One-Tank Trip for Jan. 11/2020
(c) By Jim Fox
Postmedia Network/Sun Newspapers and websites
These are the days of icewine and roses as “Canada’s liquid gold” marks its quarter-century celebration.
|Saying cheers with Ontario’s icewine.|
The Niagara Grape & Wine Festival marks this icy milestone with events that include the launch of a new dining experience.
“The Snow Globe Soiree Series is set at the edge of Niagara Falls,” said Dorian Anderson, festival executive director.
|Dine in a dome overlooking Niagara Falls during the icewine festival. (Katy Wassenaar, Niagara Parks)|
“This new pop-up series blends Niagara’s world class VQA (Vintners Quality Alliance) wines, exciting wine country cuisine, spectacular views and one of the hottest dining trends,” she added.
From Jan. 16 through Feb. 16, a collection of 10 domes will appear at the edge of Niagara Falls as featured by the festival and Niagara Parks.
Top chefs from five popular restaurants will create signature menus that diners can enjoy inside their own snow globe.
|Tables with a view of Niagara Falls inside the domes.|
Featured are Chef Jay Williams of Treadwell Farm to Table Cuisine in Niagara-on-the-Lake; Chefs Cameron MacDonald and Steve Sperling of Tide & Vine in Niagara Falls; and Chef Andrew McLeod of Bolete in St. Catharines.
Joining the fun in February are Chef Ryan Crawford of Backhouse, Niagara-on-the-Lake and Chef Ray Syegco of Incoho in St. Catharines.
Two dinner seatings will be offered each evening from Thursday through Sunday available for groups of six at $999 per dome for a three-course meal and two bottles of premium VQA wine.
The Snow Globe Soiree Domed Dining Village will be 10 clear, heated dining domes set along the Niagara Parks promenade overlooking the illuminated American and Canadian Horseshoe Falls.
The globes will offer diners a stunning view, complete with twinkling lights, cozy blankets and a concierge.
The village will also feature the Niagara Parks Snow Lounge, where diners can enjoy pre-and post-dinner wine while mingling with other guests.
Step aside maple syrup
This dessert wine is renowned for its intense flavour, rich bouquet and smoothness, and is snapped up around the world.
|These vidal grapes are left to freeze on the vine to become icewine. (Jim Fox photo)|
It is produced entirely from grapes naturally frozen on the vine and picked when temperatures are -8C or lower and immediately pressed after picking.
The most common grape for icewine is vidal but numerous other varieties are increasingly being used.
This season had the earliest picking of icewine grapes on Nov. 12 when snow covered the vineyards.
The story of Ontario icewine began 35 years ago when Karl Kaiser harvested his first frozen crop in Niagara-on-the-Lake.
Familiar with German Eiswein, discovered as a grower tried to salvage a crop frozen by a sudden early freeze, Kaiser recognized that Ontario’s climate was ideal for producing icewine vintages.
Now Niagara is the largest and most awarded icewine producing region in the world.
Sip and savour
|Icewine presentation at Trius Winery in Niagara-on-the-Lake.|
The festival’s popular Discovery Pass allows visitors to experience wine country during the winter ($45; $35 for designated drivers).
Choose eight stops from among 36 wineries that showcase Niagara’s bounty paired with sweet and savoury chef’s creations on Fridays through Sundays now through Jan. 26.
There’s also the Twenty Valley Winter WineFest in Jordan Village this weekend and the Niagara-on-the-Lake Icewine Festival, Jan. 17 to 19 and Jan. 24 to 26.
Admission is free for both events that feature live entertainment and fun activities for all ages.
Visit niagarawinefestival.com for a listing of signature events, street festival schedules, Discovery Pass listings and tickets.
Jim Fox can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org
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