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Thursday, August 30, 2012

Sip and savour at Ontario wineries and Winemakers Dinner


   One-Tank Trip for Aug. 25/12


   (c) By Jim Fox

   Once again, we’re all over the map with tips about “one-tank trips” around Southern Ontario.
   Fine wine, food and fun are on the agenda on this road trip.
Ripened grapes on the vine in Niagara-on-the-Lake. (Photo by Barbara Fox)
   Sip and savour
   Here’s a tasty treat for a trip through the wineries of Niagara-on-the-Lake.
   The new Winemakers’ Selections Tasting Pass will help to make a wine aficionado out of anyone.
   For $28, it provides for tastings of a featured VQA (Vintners Quality Alliance) wine at each of the 28 members of the Wineries of Niagara-on-the-Lake.
Freshly picked grapes are ready for processing into a VQA wine at Chateau des Charmes. (Photo by Jim Fox)
    Visiting all those wineries on one trip is “a tall order,” said Sherri Lockwood, winery group chair, who notes the tasting pass can be used virtually anytime throughout the year.
   The program is designed to “encourage our guests to slow down, take their time and savour the carefully selected terroir wines” over multiple trips to wine country, she added.
Visitors helping with the harvesting of grapes in Niagara-on-the-Lake. (Jim Fox photo)
    Member wineries are: Cattail Creek, Chateau des Charmes, Colaner, Coyote’s Run, Diamond, Hinterbrook, Ice House, Inniskillin, Jackson Triggs, Joseph’s, Konzelmann, Lailey, Maleta, Marynissen, Niagara College, Palatine Hills, Peller Estates, Pillitteri, PondView, Ravine, Reif, Riverview, Southbrook, Stonechurch, Stratus, Strewn, Sunnybrook Farm and Trius at Hillebrand.
    Passes are available at www.wineriesofniagaraonthelake.com; (905) 468-1950 and the wineries.
   A toast to Amherstburg
   In Southwestern Ontario’s wine region, there’s a big party planned for Sept. 7 to tie in with in with Amherstburg’s bicentennial.
   That’s the date for the Shores of Erie Wine Festival Winemakers Dinner that will “parallel dishes offered 200 years ago.”
   It’s part of the wine fest from Sept. 6 to 9 at Fort Malden National Historic Site of Canada on the banks of the Detroit River.
Tours are offering daily, including the underground barrel cellars at Chateau des Charmes. (Barbara Fox photo)
   The dinner prepared by Chef Mike Jimmerfield of St. Clair College for the Arts will be a “decadent five-course meal” paired with Lake Erie North Shore wines.
   The menu includes harvest duck breast, red leaf and endive salad, panko crusted oysters, sorbet, boar duo and red wine poached pear.
    Returning as host will be Robert Reynolds, deputy commissary officer at Fort Malden during the War of 1812, and his sister Catherine Reynolds who was known as one of Canada’s first native-born artists.
   There’s a champagne reception at 6:30 p.m. followed by dinner at 7 p.m., with tickets costing $135. www.soewinefestival.com; (519) 730-1001

   Head for the hills
   An annual taste treat is SummerFeast in the Hills of Headwaters in the Orangeville area from now through Sept. 2.
   This culinary extravaganza is presented by 11 of the region's finest restaurants and features locally grown and raised items.
   Chefs have created “special menus showcasing the extraordinary cuisine” at some of the area's most popular dining establishments.
   Each restaurant offers a “prix fixe” dinner menu with at least three courses for $25 or $35 and, in many cases, lunch for $15 or $20.
   Participating are the Belfountain Inn, Bistro Riviere, Caledon Country Club, Consulate Dining Lounge, David’s, Edge Wine Bar and Grille, Mrs. Mitchell’s, One99, Ray’s 3rd Generation Bistro & Bakery, Ruby Pier and the White Truffle. www.summerfeast.ca; 1-800-332-9744

   Get it fresh
   Enjoy a 100-mile (OK, 160-km) diet with the latest edition of the Huron Perth Buy Local! Buy Fresh! map.
   It lists more than 100 farms and food retailers where consumers can find locally grown and produced goods, said Janice Dunbar of the Huron-Perth Farm to Table Network.
   “The map includes businesses with products ranging from fruits and vegetables to meat and bread to cheese and coffee,” she said.
   It’s available at www.huronperthfarmtotable.ca; 1-888-537-3163

   Good fortune cooking
   Enjoy the tastes, sights and sounds of Asia at the Fortune Cooking Festival on Sept. 16 at Harbourfront Centre in Toronto.
   This “celebration of Pan-Asian food and culture” builds on flavours of the Vietnamese Lantern Festival to be held the day before.
   Visitors can “witness culinary traditions and trends” as well as savouring samples from some of the city’s top restaurants for Asian flavours.
   Highlights include an Iron Chef competition with local chefs facing off in a battle along with cooking demonstrations from the Toronto Garlic Festival, Lamesa Filipino Kitchen and EDO’s Ryo Ozawa.
   On through Sunday is TaiwanFest to “discover the culture and vibrancy of contemporary Taiwan” through music, food and film. www.harbourfrontcentre.com/summer; (416) 973-4000

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Jim Fox can be reached at onetanktrips@hotmail.com
For more One-Tank Trips: http://1tanktrips.blogspot.ca

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