Since I've been going on this wine tour annually I've learned a lot more about wine, but still haven't caught up to his knowledge and I'm all about how does it taste to me, do I enjoy it, is it paired well with the food. The pairings I like are mainly based on an immediate emotional and physical reaction, not analyzing the wine or food too much.
My Top 3 Pairings
3. Cattail Creek Estate Winery - 2009 Pinot Noir paired with Wild Mushroom and Pancetta Ragout, topped with crispy onions- What can I say? I'm a sucker for crispy onions...and bacon or pancetta, so this sounded great from the start. I like mushrooms, if they're not the regular white, button kind, so the fact that wild mushrooms were part of this recipe also made it great. It was such a great combination of flavours, and textures and when paired with a red wine made it even better. The earthy flavours of the mushrooms with the salty pancetta and crispy onions were more than enhanced by the wine. At first glance, since the only meat in this recipe is the pancetta, I thought a white wine would be a better choice, but after tasting it, the Pinot Noir was a perfect choice! Now I have to learn how to make crispy onions!
2. Riverview Cellars Estate Winery - 2011 Riesling paired with Vegetarian curry - When I think of white wine pairings I think of pairing it with chicken, fish or vegetarian meals. Seeing this pairing of vegetarian curry and white wine peaked my interest because it sounded like a great idea from the start. It was fabulous because the vegetarian curry had just the right amount of spiciness and the white wine was crisp with a little sweetness so it was refreshing after the spicy curry. I'm going to try to recreate this recipe at home because I liked it so much!
1. Inniskillin Wines - 2008 Vidal Icewine paired with Asian Inspired Chicken Wings- Sometimes the pairings that sound the simplest turn out being the best, as with this pairing, in my opinion. We arrived at the winery when they were making fresh wings, just out of the kitchen which was even more of a treat and I'm sure added to their fabulous taste. The wings weren't greasy and they had a tangy, salty, sweet glaze on them, but they weren't over sauced. Pairing the wings with the Icewine was ingenious because it highlighted both the sweet and salty flavours. The Icewine was fabulous and complemented by a specially made Icewine glass. The glass would allow for you to drink the Icewine and have it hit the back of your mouth not the tip of your tongue, which would make it come across as too sweet. It was such a well done, not over done pairing. I'd love to have the recipe to the wings too!
Most Unique and Memorable - The most unique and memorable treat at the tour was the Ice wine slushie at The Ice house! It was so decadent because ice wine is so sweet and the perfect chill just makes it better. So and ice wine slushie was such a cold, sweet treat. At The Ice House you could get your pairing with a tasting of ice wine in a regular cup or as a slushie. I chose the slushie! Next time I serve Ice wine at home I'll have to try to make it a slushie and the Christmas season may just be the time to try this out!
All in all, there were so many great pairings and wines this year and I can't wait until next year. I might try out the Wine and Chocolate festival in February or wait for the Wine and Herb festival in May. All I need is to get a babysitter again and start planning and dreaming!