April Days of Food & Wine

April’s been a funny sort of month.

Some days have been very full, and I’ve been bursting with energy and productivity. Others, all I want is a comfy chair, a good book, and a glass of my favourite red.

Maybe it’s spring fever. Even though we think of spring fever as typically providing us with a new sense of vigor and vitality, apparently it can also do the opposite. This article, however, doesn’t mention those of us who flip-flop wildly from one side to the other. But my mother says I’ve always been a person of extremes. The middle road seems to be tough for Jo to find.

Anyway. I’m sure you don’t want to hear my mother’s psycho-analysis of me. That’s another type of blog post altogether, and one you probably don’t care to read.

So let’s just talk about what’s been going on, ok?


Most of April has been about food. This has kind of surprised me, as I’m not really a food blogger. I attended the Niagara Chef Showcase, and had a truly fantastic time at the Winemaker’s Dinner at Konzelmann. I also went to two food & wine expos. I even – get ready this may surprise you – have been cooking more. Cue the victorious trumpet music – Da da daaaaa!

Take yesterday, for example. Yesterday was one of those I-want-to-curl-up-with-a-book-and-wine days.

So my thoughtful sweetie pie says :

“Do you want me to pick something up for dinner?”

And Jo says:

“No, that’s okay sweetie, I’ll make something.”

We were both in shock. Who is this foreign being? Has Jo been abducted by aliens and replaced with a clone? The real Jo doesn’t OFFER to cook.

Perhaps it’s spring fever. Or perhaps I’ve been influenced by all the great food I’ve had this month.


Let’s talk about The Niagara Food & Wine Expo.


There was a lot of good food on offer here. But I didn’t get to try very much of it. This is totally self-inflicted though. You see, we went on the Saturday afternoon, and everyone knows that Saturday is always the busiest day of these shows. I’m not so great with crowds, and I lose patience waiting in line.

I know, I should probably just learn to be more patient, eh? Well, it’s never been my strong suit.

From now on, I go on the Friday or the Sunday, and hope I’ll have more patience. That’s just me, though. The folks who enjoy having lots of people around were having a great time!


However, I did get to try some tasty Escargots from Marilyn’s Bistro. Which just reinforced that I need to go to the restaurant soon. I hear the food’s great, and that their view of the Falls is amazing too.

I also tried a couple of wines, but kept going back to PondView. They were pouring one wine from their BellaTerra line, it was the Cabernet Franc if I remember correctly. If you have tasted it, then you know why I kept going back

I also met up with my wine buddies


Denny and John from The Wine Boys, and Ralph and Elaine from Savour Life. All fellow lovers and promoters of Niagara wine – and a real hoot to hang out with too. After the show, we went for dinner at Weinkeller, which was really good – food, atmosphere and service were fantastic. Bad blogger me didn’t take any pictures though, I just focused on having a good time with my friends.


Next, the Food & Drink Fest in Hamilton.

You guys, I am so glad I went to this event. I’ve heard some great things about the food scene in Hamilton, and I kind of got a snapshot of it at Food & Drink Fest. I also went on a Sunday, arriving at about 12:30, so the crowds and line-ups were more to my liking.

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The food. Oh my. Really wonderful food. Food that entices me to go back and explore Hamilton.

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If you follow me on Instagram, then you have heard about my Samosa tale of awesomeness. I think I found Samosa heaven on Sunday, courtesy of Sensational Samosa.

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Perfectly cooked, spiced veg in a flaky, baked crust. Yes, baked. I haven’t had much luck with baked samosas before, but these were incredible. To me, a delicious baked samosa is the food of the gods.


I also loved the Roasted Cauliflower Taco with Queso Fresco and Green Goddess Dressing from Eat Industries Inc. Wonderful flavour – who would have thought you could get so much out of the humble cauliflower? Perfect consistency for the taco, and a bit of heat too.


This Smoked Gouda Burger came topped with Chocolate Bacon. It was my first time trying this new food trend….and I’m not so sure if I like it. I get the whole salty/sweet thing, it’s one of my favourite food combos to play with. But chocolate on bacon….I don’t know, maybe I just need to try it again.

The burger was great. It was matched with a Malbec Sangria that had a little hit of jalapeno in it – I liked that. I think I’ll add it to my own Sangria blend.


I was thrilled to get to try some wine from another Ontario wine region too. Oxley Estate Winery was there, and I sampled their Rosé with one of the samosas of gloriousness. It was a terrific match, perfect for the spice from the samosa. They had more wines I would have liked to try, so I guess I’ll just have to try to get to Harrow soon. It was so great to see wineries from other Ontario wine regions at a show, and I hope we’ll see more of this in the future.

One last thing I’ll mention from Food & Drink Fest is this cocktail from The Twisted Lemon.


Not only was it beautiful to look at, there was quite the process to making it.

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I honestly can’t remember all the ingredients that went in it, other than Hendrick’s Gin. I was too mesmerized watching them make it.

It was utterly delicious. I don’t drink many cocktails because I find many of them are waaayyy too sweet for my liking. This one was tasty, balanced, no over-the-top-sugary-syrupyness.

It went down real fast and easy. The perfect way to finish my time at the Food & Drink Fest.


So if April’s been the month of food, perhaps May will be the month of wine? Or beer? Maybe it should be a month of dietary austerity, making up for these April indulgences.

Nah…I’ve never been good at austerity. Moderation and enjoyment are what I live by.

And with spring in Niagara upon us, I’m sure there’s lots of enjoyment to come.