Sunday, 29 August 2010

Nice Nose... Good Legs... Great Body...

Before you all get too excited by the title, let me explain.
I went on a wine-tasting tour this weekend. I've never done that before. It was fun!

It was a birthday party for The Bride's mum. Thirty people started the day at Al Dente with a yummy breakfast and the first alcohol of the day.... Mimosa which is a blend of champagne and orange juice. I don't usually drink before the sun shines over the yardarm, but I had to make an exception in this case.... of course!

The bus called in at three wineries in the Niagara area. We stopped at Fielding Estate, which was modern and bright and full of gleaming stainless steel tanks, Calumus Estate, small and rustic and located in a converted barn, and Vineland Estate, one of the biggest commercial wineries in the area. All beautiful in their own way.

At each stop, we were treated to samples of two white wines, and two red wines.

But I have to admit, once I had tasted six or more wines in quick succession, my taste buds were starting to rebel, and my tummy too! But the wines at Calamus were all good, and I bought a couple of bottles of the 2007 Calamus Red Reserve, which, I was assured by the nice Calamus owner, was a very good year for red wine. Lots of summer sunshine trapped in those bottles.

Growing grapes and winemaking have been a tradition in the Niagara Region for over 200 years. The mild climate is ideal for growing grapes, and all kinds of fruit too... cherries, peaches, apples. It's gorgeous at apple blossom time.

But even though I tried to "see, swirl, sniff, sip, savour" and appreciate the subtle differences in each wine, I have never been able to detect "aromas of raspberry and green pepper" or "citrus notes with a hint of spice and honey" as enticingly described in the brochures.

I just know if I like it or not.

At the end of the tour the bus took us back to Al Dente for a four course dinner with Niagara wines paired with each course. The food was mmmmmm great! And so were the wines. By the end of the day we had tasted at least sixteen different wines.

I don't think I need to look at another glass of wine until some time next week. And maybe not even then! I think I'm all wined out for a while.


  1. What a wonderful and different AND Special way to Celebrate A Bityday! I loved your descriptioons and the pretty pictures of the winery's....A GREAT idea to all be traveling in a bus together....! Very Creative udea for a Birthday Celebration!

  2. Crikey, I'm impressed with how much wine you drank and were still standing. It looks and sounds like a brilliant day out. You see you have much more fun over there than I do in Paris!

    I loved the photos with this post especially the shot through the single wine glass - very artistic!

  3. My first response is how can you ever be wined out! :D My second response is that if all you know is if you like it or not, it means you can buy cheap wine and not be a snob, like some people I know!

  4. Knowing whether you like it or not is the most important thing in most aspects of life, so don't let anyone make you feel inferior for not recognizing subtle hints of asparagus and bubble gum.

  5. I think you are meant to take a sip, then spit it out !!!

  6. Oh boy, what fun you all had. I love the first pic of the vine through the glass.

    I scrolled through your blog and found it delightful. thanks. MB

  7. A charming french proverb reads "In water one sees one's own face, but in wine one beholds the heart of another"

  8. When I was in Toronto in 2004, I signed up for a one-day trip to the Niagara Falls and a stopover at a winery that makes sweet winter wine.

    Did you try those?

  9. Sounds like a lot of fun....and I'd bet a lot of laughing. California has a lovely wine country but in all the years i lived there we never did the tour.

  10. Those are wonderful photos Shammie!! Especially love the one with the wineglass overlooking the vineyard! I woulda never thought of that, very clever you!

  11. I've never been on a wine tour so it's interesting to read about your experience. I think that after the first couple of sips I wouldn't be tasting much any more. :)

  12. Wow! That's awesome especially that I've never been to a wine tour, but always wanted to try. Beautiful photos!

  13. I'd love to do a wine tasting tour like that. Our NIagara region is so beautiful.. and our wines so yummy. Thanks for taking us along. :)

  14. With all that wine tasting I am surprised you weren't feeling a little tipsy!! But wine tours are a great way of sampling local wines.
    Wonderful post!
    Congrats on your POTW award!

  15. Wonderful outing and lovely post with super pictures. Somehow I have never equated Canada with vinyards...see how the blogosphere educates?

    Next time...sip and swill then spit.

    unbelievably the veri word is Sopot...almost a sospot...geddit?

  16. This sounds like a delightful day and time of celebration. I know that would be more wine than I could handle. A little goes a long way with me.
    The restaurant is so inviting. Wish I was there. Have a great week Shammy.

  17. Suldog said it in a funny way, but when it comes to wine, he's exactly right. What matters most is whether you enjoy it or not. That is what wine is for.

    As for me, I might be tempted to go back to the beginning and start all over again. ;-)

    I'm kidding. I haven't been drunk since I turned 21. That's when I discovered that a person under the influence may be loosed up to say EXACTLY what he is thinking. That can be dangerous.

  18. 2 glasses of wine per day is doctor's advice! 16 is a bit much! :-)

    (But, next time, please don't mix the champagne!) :-)

  19. What a lovely birthday treat for someone, very original.
    Like you I don't know much about wines, but I know what I like!

  20. What a fantastic tour! Sounds really a great event. Love the photos, principally the second with the glass.

    Thanks for your nice congratulations on my daugther's Birthday.

    Have a good weekend!

  21. We toured a winery in Newfoundland and bought some wine. Then a couple of hours before we were to take our plane back to Atlanta I suddenly remembered that we were not allowed to bring liquids on the plane. It was a mad dash finding a box, plastic, etc. to pack it. We did and it arrived in Atlanta, after a change a plane in Toronto, in great shape. It was interesting wine – the only winery in Newfoundland we were told.

  22. I've been to lots of wine tastings and I try to do the whole 9 yards but it comes down to this...I either like it or I don't regardless of the shape, body, flora fauna color year --well- you get the idea! What a great post with fabulous them!


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