Thursday, 1 September 2016

Thursday, or Thereabouts - September 1, 2016

September Bliss - the fruit of the vine

It's that time of year again, and that means only one thing in this house - The Annual Anniversary Wine Trip!

Tomorrow morning my love and I will head for Niagara wine country on our annual pilgrimage in celebration of wine and our life together. These excursions began not long before we were married in 1975 and have continued almost annually since then and always timed around our anniversary (September 6, 1975)

I took stock of the wine cellar a month ago. Apparently we're down by 79 bottles. How can that be I wonder? Must have been a cold winter...  And I've spent a few hours reviewing wineries and wines, selecting the ones we will visit and the specific wines we want to taste at each winery. This is a much tougher job than it used to be thirty+ years ago when there were maybe a dozen wineries in Niagara. Today there are 92 according to VQA Ontario.

Angel's Gate Winery - Sept. 2014

But we have our favourites, a stable of about 12 (and growing). We cycle through them over the years, visiting 8 or so each season. We are not just tasters but serious buyers who love the smaller wineries. It is not unusual for us to truck home 7+ cases of reds and whites, most of which are only available at the wineries. But this year we are going to cut back...

Yeah, well we say that every year. Here is our record of "cutting back" from past years:

2010: 69 bottles purchased
2011: 74
2012: 91
2013: 88
2014: 95
2015: 97!!!

In early August we made the most of a half day in the Niagara region. With our daughter and son-in-law we visited Strewn where we took part in a special tasting seminar and paid homage to the barrel we bought them as a wedding present last year.

Canadian Oak - of course!

Then we dropped by Malivoire, for some chards and a few other gems.

We brought home a modest 30 bottles of wine that day. Our kids followed in our footsteps with their own 24 bottles.

I'm looking forward to priming the pump on Friday with three winery stops: Angel's Gate, Kew Vineyards and Tawse wineries. Saturday will see us, along with our son and daughter-in-law, (we have passed on our 'habit' to both of our children), at Cave Springs Cellars - including an exquisite lunch at Inn on the Twenty Restaurant - and then Flat Rock Cellars where we have not been in a few years. There is room for one or perhaps two more...

Already I can smell the grapes and hear the cannon shots that keep the birds away.

And did I mention the food?? Ah well that's pretty special too!

It's a tough job, but somebody's got to do it!

©2016 April Hoeller

1 comment:

  1. I am looking forward to seeing photos of delicious breakfasts and also dinners and maybe a lunch or two as well. I recall those from past years! The wine looks nice too but since I'm not that much of a wine drinker I'm focusing on the food! Cheers!