Posts Tagged ‘wineries’

We had booked the following wine dinner for Saturday night at Peller and decided to make a sleepover out of it and spent the day Sunday touring some wineries and ending with a guided tasting at Thirty Bench.

Chef’s Table Dinner Series

Come behind the scenes at Peller Estates Winery Restaurant and discover how Winery Chef and CityLine personality Jason Parsons approaches the art of pairing wine and food.  Your dining experience begins with a reception in Jason’s kitchen where he will discuss collaborating with winemaker Lawrence Buhler and his approach to developing innovative food and wine pairings.  You will then enjoy a seasonally inspired tasting menu presented by Jason and perfectly paired with wines selected by Lawrence.

Jason welcomed us and gave us a tour of the kitchen, explaining what happened at each station and the pass (his spot).  Our chef’s table was in a room adjacent to the kitchen and the doors were kept open all night. We were encouraged to walk around the kitchen anytime we liked throughout the evening, talk to the staff and ask questions. It was fantastic!

And the food and wine? Holy moly. We knew we were in for a special evening when we sat down to this (these were all mine):

Chef’s Signature Tasting Menu (Sept 3, 2011)

Pastrami Cured Salmon

Doughnut Peaches, Plums and Goat Feta

Ice Cuvee Rose “Signature Series”

Curried Cauliflower Velouté

Sautéed Swiss Chard, Saffron Arborio Croquette

Pinot Gris “Private Reserve” 2010

Ontario Beef Tartar

Horse Radish Cream and Panzanella Salad

Riesling “Private Reserve” 2010

I actually took a bite before I remembered to take a pic...

Seared Scallop and Foie Gras

Niagara Peach, Corn and Grey Owl Cheese Fricassee

Gamay Noir “Private Reserve” 2009

Frost (to cleanse the palate)

Seared Venison

Grape, Leek and Red Wine Bread Pudding, Grainy Mustard Plum Sauce

Merlot “Signature Series” 2004

I actually got to cross off a life list item (Eat venison) with this dish! Bonus 🙂

Peller Estates Signature “Blue Ice” Empanada

Sovereign Grape Jelly

Late Harvest Vidal 2010

Baked Milk Chocolate Mousse

Roasted Peach and Almond Brittle

Cabernet Franc Icewine “Signature Series” 2008

During the visits to the kitchen, we saw plates coming up to the pass, desserts being made and a fair amount of hustle and bustle:

View of the kitchen. That's Jason at the pass.

Dessert! Doughnuts being made

Venison entrees on the pass

Appetizers ready to be sent out

Chris, me and Jan at the start of our evening

This was one of the most enjoyable meals I’ve ever had. Everything was fantastic, the food, the wine, the staff – all superb. I would highly recommend it to anyone thinking of visiting Niagara on the Lake and looking for something to make it extra special. We’ve visited Peller many times including three of their dining experiences and they always deliver memorable, elegant and top of the line food, wine and service. Just fabulous.


We decided to visit some wineries, some new and some old favourites to stock up on wines. We stopped at Konzelmann, Hinterbook, Ravine (lunch) and Maleta. Then headed over to Beamsville and visited Fielding and Thirty Bench, where we enjoyed a guided tasting.

We bought lots of wine – that should hold us until our next visit. 🙂

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We’ve already started planning for the next wine festival: Taste of the Season in November in Niagara on the Lake.

The pairings have already been posted. They all look really good – the ones my husband and I find particularly interesting are highlighted in red:

Cattail Creek Estate Winery
2006 Cabernet Merlot paired with Beef Brisket topped with Caramelized Onions and Cabernet Merlot Sauce

Château des Charmes
2008 Estate Bottled Riesling paired with Cucumber and Yam Tempura with Cream Cheese and Spicy Sauce Sushi Roll

Coyote’s Run Estate Winery
2008 Cabernet Merlot paired with Slow braised Ontario Lamb Shank with Du Puy Lentil Ragout

Hillebrand Winery
Trius Brut paired with Peameal Bacon Sandwiches with Icewine Onion Jam

Inniskillin Wines
2007 Vidal Icewine paired with Blue Benedictine Mousse & Vidal Poached Apple

Jackson-Triggs Niagara Estate Winery
2008 Silver Series Shiraz paired with Chevre Noir with Cocoa Nib Brittle

Joseph’s Estate Wines
2006 Cabernet Franc paired with Balsamic Marinated Savoury Mushroom Salad with Goat Cheese & Walnuts

Konzelmann Estate Winery
2008 Pinot Noir paired with “The Festive Crostini”. Turkey with Blue Cheese with a twist of Cranberry Relish on a Crostini

Lailey Vineyard
2008 Vidal Icewine paired with Apricot Cheesecake


2006 Cabernet Merlot paired with Asiago Cheese on French Baguette drizzled with Piemontese White Truffle Olive Oil

Marynissen Estates Winery
2008 Barrel Fermented Chardonnay paired with Squash Soup

Niagara College Teaching Winery
2007 Cabernet Franc paired with Caramelized Apple and Chicken Ragout garnished with Aged White Cheddar

Palatine Hills Estate Winery
2008 Gewürztraminer Proprietor’s Reserve paired with Peach and Cranberry topped Turkey Sausage

Peller Estate
Andrew Peller Signature Series Ice Cuvée paired with Three Sweet and Savoury Scones

Pillitteri Estates Winery
2007 Bottle Blonde paired with Tapenade with Feta and Pita Points

Ravine Vineyard Estate Winery
2008 Riesling paired with Mini Goat Cheesecake with Vanilla Poached Peaches

Reif Estate Winery
2007 Merlot Reserve paired with Caramelized Onion and Mushroom Tart

2007 Cabernet Merlot Shiraz paired with Stone Road Grille Cassoulet with Cabernet Bread

Stonechurch Vineyards
2007 Quintet paired with Bistro Beef Canape

2008 Wildass Red paired with Apricot and Green Peppercorn Terrine of Pork

2006 Merlot paired with Potato and Parsnip Mash

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Last night we had our dinner at Peller Estates Winery (read the original posting here: Terroir Trek: Dine Amongst the Vines). Unfortunately it had been drizzling since late afternoon so after a quick stroll outside, the rest of the evening was held inside but we had a fantastic time nonetheless! 

We arrived in time for the 6:30 cocktail where their Ice Cuvee was served – we’ve had this one before and really enjoyed it. It’s a sparkling wine with a bit of ice wine in it. We sipped our cocktail and took a quick guided walk outside. There were two guides throughout the evening who answered questions and provided information: Kevin for wine-related info and Mo for wine/food pairing info. Both were great – very pleasant, fun and informative. 

After the cocktail, we came back inside to the first station: Freshly shucked oysters paired with a Sauvignon Blanc. 


Chris and I were there with another couple (K and her husband J). K and I had never tried oysters before so this was going to be our first foray into oyster world. They were Atlantic oysters and actually pretty good. The guys enjoyed them. I liked the one I tried and although I probably wouldn’t order oysters if out for dinner, I can see the appeal. K wasn’t very fond of the sliminess. 🙂 They also served a chilled mint and pea soup in a shot glass which was really crisp and fresh. All of us agreed that both dishes paired very nicely with the Sauvignon Blanc. 

The next stop was the Chardonnay station. This was paired with a wonderful quail dish with pastry, St. Honoré cheese and apricots. It was fabulous – the Chardonnay brought out the richness of the cheese and the sweetness of the fruit. This was a favourite. 

The next stop was the Cabernet Sauvignon (2007) station and it was paired with a ham, raclette cheese and dijon grilled mini panini. Again, the panini was very flavourful and the wine brought out the sweetness of the ham and the spiciness of the dijon. Nice. 

We then moved into the dining area for the main course. 


We were served an ice (can’t recall what flavor) to cleanse our palates. The main course, served with a 2008 Meritage released that same day, was pepper-crusted lamb on a bed of risotto. The lamb was great and the Meritage excellent. 

Dessert was served upstairs, various pastries paired with a wonderful ice wine. The cream puffs (or profiteroles) were very good. Coffee and tea were also available. 

And that concluded our evening – we all had a wonderful time!

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