The Niagara Icewine Festival discovery pass is an incredible and affordable way to experience Icewine from 8 Niagara wineries! We had the pleasure of making our rounds this past weekend and loved every minute of it. I’m not as wine savvy as I would like to be, so this might be more food oriented. I’ll do my best!
Magnotta Winery was one of the favourites for obvious reasons. We were served a plate of hot and fluffy waffles, topped with a luscious fruit reduction. I made sure to add a large dose of powdered sugar and ground dark chocolate. This was paired with their world-famous 2008 Vidal Icewine VQA and 2007 Cabernet Franc Icewine VQA. The only thing better than one taste of icewine is two!
Malivoire Wine was an interesting stop. They had Cheesy Guys on site and when we walked in, we were given a taste of their Chocolate Cheddar. It seemed like an odd combination at first, but the flavours really worked well together. At first it has the flavour and texture of a creamy fudge, but finishes with the distinct flavour of cheddar. The flavours blended into one another quite well and I was completely surprised. Malivoire served the Old Vines Foch, which was very unique. For me, it falls between a white and a red. A couple of people in the group usually stick to white wines, but really enjoyed the Foch and said it would be a great way for them to start getting into reds.
Next on the list, and my personal favourite, was Sue-Ann Staff Estate Winery. Kelly Nemeth gave visitors the opportunity to create their own chocolate bark. I decided to go with something called “Breakfast of Champions” and I could not have eaten it fast enough. Kelly first melted two pieces of chocolate, then added salt, caramel and…bacon! I am a huge fan of salty-sweet and could not have made a better concoction myself. I was told the 2011 “Sparkling and Icy” would pair the best and they were right. The sparkling wine complimented the flavours of the bark and everything was gone in the blink of an eye.
I wanted to finish with Southbrook Vineyards because nothing beats a crispy, gooey grilled cheese sandwich, especially one filled with meat and fruit. Southbrook is the first estate in Canada to earn both organic and biodynamic certification for its vineyard and winery. While there, we were served a grilled cheese sandwich filled with Niagara pears, smoked ham, aged Montforte sheep cheddar and Icewine syrup. This was accompanied by a 2006 Cabernet Franc Icewine. My only complaint here was that there wasn’t more. I could have easily eaten 3 or 4 of the sandwiches, they were that good! They were also showing off their new and innovative product called Bioflavia. It is made from red wine grape skin and has a high concentration of antioxidants. It has a red wine flavour and aroma and can be added to food or smoothies.
We had a wonderful time travelling from winery to winery, tasting incredible Niagara food while sipping fantastic Niagara Icewines. It really was a memorable time and at $40 a ticket, the price cannot be beat. Make sure to also swing by Visit Niagara to get $5 off each ticket you purchase, this opportunity just keeps getting sweeter!