Wineries in NiagaraSeptember 20, 2018
There's an awful lot to like about a nice red or white wine, sipped slowly as you're surrounded by good company, in a warm, comfortable setting.
The only thing that beats that - wine, and dinner.
In the Niagara region, there are more than 40 wineries, and they do more than simply manufacture wine. They are pretty much all set in beautiful, natural green surroundings, to start with, and they offer tours of their grounds, vineyards and winemaking facilities.
Most, too, employ some of the best chefs around and offer wonderful dinner settings throughout the season.
To use a wine phrase, how about a sampling?
For starters, there is a Sunday Wine-Down held monthly at Chateau des Charmes on York Road, one of the most iconic of all the Niagara wineries.
They promise "our backyard will be your chill zone." The Wine-Down events offer live music, wines by the glass, wine popsicles, wine cocktails, cheese and charcuterie. There is no admission charge and the events are kid and dog-friendly.
Meanwhile, over at Strewn Winery, there is the Terroir Reds Taste and Buy with lunch.
They say "if you love big, bold red wines from outstanding vintages," then this is for you. On Sept. 29 at 12:30 p.m. you can join the winemaking team to taste six red wines, along with cheese and gourmet crackers.
There's more on the menu - grilled steak is the star of the meal, and there is a chocolate truffle brownie for dessert and two three-ounce glasses of wine with your meal.
Strewn Winery is on Lakeshore Road in Niagara-on-the-Lake.
And it doesn't get any more Canadian than dropping in for Hockey Night at Gretzky's.
The Wayne Gretzky Estates Winery is on Niagara Stone Road, and on Oct. 6 they'll be streaming the Toronto Maple Leafs playing the Ottawa Senators, while you dine.
No need to dress up - hockey jerseys are welcome. You'll get a glass of wine or a whisky cocktail in a souvenir glass, plus a bag of popcorn. Additional food and drinks are available for purchase.
Just down the road from Gretzky's, also on Niagara Stone Road, is Trius Winery where on Oct. 13 they're hosting a History of Red Wine Trivia Dinner.
Trius promises red wine and farm-fresh cuisine as part of a three-course meal in addition to a lot of trivia.
Each of the meal courses will be paired with a red wine from Trius's award-winning VQA portfolio.
The trivia master will be presented with a bottle of Trius's prize-winning Showcase Red Shale Cabernet Franc.
Remember, this is just a sampling. There are some 40 wineries spread around Niagara and they all offer a magnificent day out or night of fine dining and wine.