Heading South

Early morning walk to the falls
Early morning walk to the falls

My boyfriend drove me to Niagara last month to celebrate my friend’s birthday. Since we arrived very early, the first thing we did was have breakfast. We both agreed to taste-test IHOP just to see what the hype’s about. Also, the smiley looked really promising. I ordered a basic morning treat of bacons, eggs, and potatoes while Franco ordered a burger with a side. A quarter of an hour later, our food arrived. My food seemed as if it was taken out of a polystyrene box — so not classy. I’d rather eat at Tim Hortons. It was very expensive too. But at least my stomach was full — I needed that to get me through the day.

Fast-forward to the wine-tasting tour with my newfound friends. My friend Eloisa planned the trip as she was celebrating her birthday. It’s a five-hour tour at four established wineries in the country. A bus picked us up at Fallsview Casino at the heart of Niagara. It was a small group of 20 adults, and surprisingly, half of which came from the States.

It was a whole new experience filled with grapey information and clinking glasses. Now I know which wine best suits my taste — something light, refreshing, and fruity like the peach wine from Konzelmann Estates. I used to buy rosé because of (this is so lame) the color, but now I’m gonna buy because of the taste.

Icewine galore
Icewine galore

Each winery also offered us a taste of icewine, which is what Niagara on the Lake is popular for. It’s very interesting and meticulous how they make it. They let the grapes freeze during wintertime and harvest them only at a certain temperature. This method allows the sugar to become more concentrated, thus giving the wine its characteristic sweet flavour. One grape makes one drop of icewine (no kidding), so imagine how many bunches of grapes they need to produce just a single bottle of icewine. Now you know why ice wines come in slim packaging yet are very costly. As for the taste, I personally think it is too sweet for sipping, but I’d definitely use it when making desserts.

Here’s some more photos from the tour:

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