So Who Was There …
Applewood, Countryman’s, County Cider, Kawartha Country, Moon Shadows, Muskoka Lakes, Ocala, Rush Creek, Southbrook and of course the host, Archibald’s. My foodie took the day off, so I was on my own for food selections, and those who know me know that food takes a back seat to a good glass of wine, but there were some interesting and tasty dishes to be had – keeping in mind that sometimes simple is best.
Food First …
Chanterelle Bistro (Bowmanville) served delicious mini lamb burgers that were succulent and juicy topped with a mint jelly. Everything from the bun to the jelly was homemade.
A gentleman by the name of Eben Vanderstam, who goes by the moniker “Chef Eben”, had the most sought after treat of the day: Durham Pork and Beef Meatballs Walsaka. Everybody was carrying at least one of these delicious squash ball sized meatballs around, smothered in a delicious sweet and tangy sauce; if you were unlucky enough not to be carrying one around (or hadn’t tried one yet) you sooner or later found yourself asking someone, “where did you get that?”
Steamers Catering (Newcastle) had the dessert of the day to die for: Chocolate Crunch Trifle … chocolate cake, chcolate pudding with toffee-almond crunch mixed in, all topped with whipped cream and a cherry. I suffered through one, but would have gladly suffered through a dozen more.
Now, The Wine …
Ten wineries pouring a minimum of three wines each, though many were pouring more, and the choices of what to try seemed endless. But the wine of the day went to Applewood Farm Winery for their Mac Meade ($12.95) – there is no doubt as to why this wine won it’s Double Gold status at this year’s All Canadian Wine Championships (its second in as many years).
Other delights included Rush Creeks’ Rockin’ Raspberry; Kawartha Country Wines’ Raspberry Social and Raspberry Chocolate; and Muskoka Lakes 2007 Cranberry and 2007 White Cranberry. There were also previous favourites like the Moon Shadow dessert series (Maple Sugar, Strawberry Shortcake and Cranberry Ice), Applewood’s Hard Eight Raspberry Cider and Mukoka Lakes’ Red Maple.
I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention at least one wine from the host and I found a great little bit of bubbly called Hard Cranberry that’s an apple based wine with a shot of cranberry to minimize the sweetness and ramp up the refreshment factor.
Another successful and eye-opening Fruit Wine Festival – it’s here that you will find the innovators of the wine industry – they push the envelope to make interesting and authentic wines because of their passion for the product, because they sure don’t get the recognition they deserve from the wine buying public or the LCBO and certainly none from government – but that’s a story for another day. What I suggest now is finding your local fruit winery, step inside and see what interesting things are on the shelf, or you can always wait for the 11th edition of this festival to come around.