Wine & Herb Touring Pass event returns in May 2013



ENTERTAINMENT: Wine & Herb Touring Pass event returns in May

NIAGARA – The Wine & Herb Touring Pass Event returns in May 2013 and brings with it 27 unique VQA wine and food pairings created by the Wineries of Niagara-on-the-Lake. Wine & Herb takes place Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays in May from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.

“Wine & Herb is a casual, light-hearted event that is ideal for guests exploring the art of pairing wine with food, and Niagara-on-the-Lake wine country,” says Tim Coons, Wineries of Niagara-on-the-Lake Touring Events Committee Chair.

Each winery’s approach to wine and food pairing is as unique as the winery itself, resulting in 27 distinct offerings, some of which feature newly released wines and wines only available at the winery.

Highlighting the TripAdvisor ranking of Niagara-on-the-Lake as Canada’s #1 Food and Wine Destination (Travellers’ Choice, 2011), a number of wineries are working closely with in-house chefs, or local restaurants and suppliers. The result is an array of wine and food pairings that use the featured herb and regional ingredients in fresh and innovative ways.

Local garden centre, Mori Gardens is once again partnering with the Wineries of Niagara-on-the-Lake and supplying the herbs on display at each winery.

Touring passes are $43 per person (plus HST), entitling the holder to a VQA wine and food pairing at each of the 27 Wineries of Niagara-on-the-Lake and can be used any event weekend.

Touring passes can be purchased online at or by calling 905.468.1950. They will be available for purchase at Wineries of Niagara-on-the-Lake in April 2013.

Designated driver touring passes are $35 per person (plus HST) and entitle the holder to a food pairing and non-alcoholic beverage at each of the 27 Wineries of Niagara-on-the-Lake. Designated driver touring passes are valid any event weekend and can be purchased online at or by calling 905.468.1950. Limit one per purchase.

Learn more about the Wineries of Niagara-on-the-Lake by visiting or

Every day the Wineries of Niagara-on-the-Lake welcome guests into wine country to savour the richness of the region and to experience the 27 distinct wineries, each with its own personality reflected in the wines they craft. The members of Wineries of Niagara-on-the-Lake are: Between the Lines, Cattail Creek, Château des Charmes, Colaneri, Coyote’s Run, Diamond Estates, Hinterbrook, Inniskillin, Jackson Triggs, Joseph’s, Konzelmann, Lailey, Marynissen, Niagara College, Palatine Hills, Peller Estates, Pillitteri, PondView, Ravine, Reif, Riverview, Small Talk Vineyards, Southbrook, Stratus, Strewn, Sunnybrook Farm and Trius Winery.

Follow the Wineries of Niagara-on-the-Lake on Twitter @NiagaraWine.

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Niagara-on-the-Lake’s Grove Music Festival Gets Phoenix, Hot Chip, Girl Talk, Earl Sweatshirt

Niagara-on-the-Lake’s Grove Music Festival Gets Phoenix, Hot Chip, Girl Talk, Earl Sweatshirt

News breadcrumbsplit Mar 04 2013

Niagara-on-the-Lake's Grove Music Festival Gets Phoenix, Hot Chip, Girl Talk, Earl Sweatshirt

By Alex Hudson
As if Arts & Crafts10th anniversary festival and compilation album weren’t already keeping the Toronto label busy enough, it has now partnered with concert promoter Goldenvoice to present the Grove Music Festival. This star-studded event will take place on August 3 in Niagara-on-the-Lake, ON.
This promises to be a jam-packed day of music, with performers including Phoenix, Hot Chip, Girl Talk, the Gaslight Anthem, Earl Sweatshirt, Wavves, Macklemore & Ryan Lewis, Bob Mould, Pretty Lights, Palma Violets, Young Empires, Icona Pop and Nightbox.
The fest will take place at the Commons at Butler’s Barracks National Historic Site. The Grove is said to blend the feeling of a large festival with that of a small community event, and a press release notes that it “places emphasis on themes of discovery, diversity, sustainability and environment.”
Early bird and VIP tickets go on sale tomorrow (March 5) at 10 a.m. local time. These will be available while quantities last, although any available early bird tickets will go off the market on Thursday morning (March 7).
Early bird tickets cost $74.50 plus $10.25 of additional charges, while a standard ticket is $79.50 plus $15.25 of additional charges. VIP tickets are $140 plus $17.75 in extra charges.
Get more information over at The
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Oast House – Micro-Brewery in Niagara on the Lake

First Draught: a saison from Niagara-on-the-Lake’s Oast House Brewer


By David Ort
This saison pairs well with just about any food (Image: David Ort)

New breweries seem to sprout up in groups. The once-dry Junction now has two; new ones are opening in Muskoka and now Niagara has a few. Last November, Oast House joined Silversmith Brewing Company in the growing club of breweries in Niagara-on-the-Lake. The Farmhouse Saison is a notable selection from Oast House’s small portfolio of beers.

The two beers in Oast House’s Farmhouse series (the second one, the Biere de Garde, will be released soon), are bottle-conditioned for at least two months. This treatment gives the saison a cloudy haze that lends a glow to the dark straw colour. The aromas and flavours twist together spicy notes like clove and cardamom with fruity notes of orange peel and banana. There is a good deal of European-style hops in the background that leads smoothly into the refreshing, dry finish.

Historically, the saison style (originating from the French-speaking southern half of Belgium) was made in the early spring and stored for summer consumption during the busiest time of year for farm workers.

That said, I think saison’s ability to pair with just about any food helps it break free from the seasonal typecasting more than other hot-weather beers like wits and weissbiers. The bottle-conditioning provides a lively carbonation that cuts through the grease from fried foods; the fruity, herbal and floral notes contrast with darker meat flavours; and the slight hop bitterness keeps spicy food in line.

I look forward to sampling more of the brewery’s offerings, like the Barnraiser Country Ale and the Crop Duster Belgian IPA.

Appropriately for Niagara, Oast House partners Cian MacNeill and Mike Berlis are both accredited sommeliers with winery backgrounds. The brewmaster and third partner, Kevin Somerville, helped get Niagara College’s brewmaster program off the ground.

If you can’t make it out to Niagara-on-the-Lake, the Oast House saison is also available in Toronto at barVolo, The Rhino and Indie Ale House. Other beers from the catalogue are carried by Tequila Bookworm, Wvrst and Bar Hop.

MacNeill sees what he calls the “new Niagara” as encompassing more than just wine (or even beer), but also distilleries, restaurants, food trucks and markets that are about “diversity, creativity and ambition.”

Niagara Oast House Brewers Farmhouse Saison, $11 for a 750 mL bottle at the brewery

In addition to covering beer, new restaurants and food trucks for Post City, David Ort writes about food and drink for several Toronto publications including Spotlight Toronto and his own site, Food With Legs. For more of his thoughts on food, beer and life in general, follow him on Twitter.