Saturday, May 17, 2014

Report from ... The New Sip and Sizzle, Niagara-on-the-Lake (Part 2) - May 11, 2014

We're back on the Sip and Sizzle trail with 6 more wineries visited ...

One of our favourite spring events to attend in Niagara was put on by the Wineries of Niagara-on-the-Lake, it was the Wine and Herb festival that happened every year in the month of May ... but I guess the event was getting a little stale and tired and so the wineries have decided to shake things up a bit.  After the long and arduous winter we endured Niagara-on-the-Lake decided to try in put a sizzle into the chilly spring we seem to be having creating Sip and Sizzle, a BBQ themed wine and food pairing.

These days I am lucky enough to live in St.Catharines ... I say "lucky" because when these events come around (and there are 26 wineries attached) we can spread our touring out over a few weekends, unlike in the olden days when I resided in Toronto and had to hit all 26 in one weekend.

Throughout the month of May we'll be hitting a handful of the wineries and trying their pairing.  We went through the booklet-style "touring pass" and picked out the ones that interested us ... there are some that have grilled fruit and grilled veggies as their main focus that just did not seem to float our BBQ craving boat and those that were sweet also did not cause a stir within us.  In all we will be trying about 17 of the 26 offering, though who knows, maybe we'll pop in somewhere that we have not picked out because the urge struck us on that day.

This Sunday we’re back on the Sip and Sizzle trail and we hit 6 more wineries: Lailey, Reif, Riverview, Coyote’s Run, Ravine, and Niagara College ... here is more of the pictorial evidence and thoughts about the pairings.

Star of the Day ... Lailey Vineyard

Grilled Pork Belly with Wild Leek and Local Honey ...
this was just one tasty bite; it had the right amount of honey,
the Chardonnay paired surprisingly well and really who can resist
pork belly at any time of the year.
Second Place ... Ravine Vineyard

Charcoal Grilled Lamb Spiedini ...
the first item we have had that has actually been grilled outside,
right in front of us - the pairing as good, we just wish there was
more meat on the stick.
We also made a stop in the Ravine Bakery where we came across
Salted Caramel Peanut Chocolate tarts, below that you can see
the edge of fresh fruit pies and on the bottom shelf were glasses
of strawberry shortcake ... 2 of the 3 were delicious.
The Rest of the Day's Winery's ...

For the most part the food and wine pairings were pretty good - but unfortunately this time their was one thing that was simply put, not very palatable, and it happened to be the last of the day.

Coyote's Run

Mesquite Grilled Chicken Chipotle Antijito with an Avocado Drizzle ...
tasty bite with a touch of heat, but it did come off a little soggy
after sitting in the heating tray all day, and the grilled aspect seemed
a little lost; if you like mild heat it's worth getting there early.

12 Hour Smoked Pulled Pork on Brioche ...
last week we talked about bun to meat ratio and this one commits
the cardinal sin of having too much bun - but that could easily
be fixed with a little more sauce to bring it all together.

Reif Estate

PEI Blue Mussels, "Grilled and Chilled" with Dill, Garlic and Shallots ...
a refreshing bit of food here served almost in cold salad format, I have to
admit, I have never thought of serving mussels cold - but it worked.

Niagara College ...
Balsamic Marinated Grilled Ontario Asparagus Wrapped with House Cured Maple Bacon ...
worst taste of the day, bacon is suppose to make everything good but it just
could not bring forth any good flavours in this limp and disappointing offering.


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