Last Minute Road Trip

Earlier this week, I discovered I had a problem. This problem concerned wine.

You see, in the summer I typically drink more white wine. But for some reason that has not been the case this year, and my red wine stash was getting seriously low. An emergency trip to Kacaba was required for some more of their incredible Syrah. So, on the spur of the moment, Ken and I decided to make an afternoon of it. As soon as our guests were gone for the day, we jumped into the convertible and drove out Beamsville way. The convertible is Ken’s pride and joy, and therefore is a necessity on every road trip.

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First stop – of course – Kacaba.

I was planning to just pop in and get my Syrah, but the lovely Holly was there and asked if I wanted to taste anything else.

How could I refuse?

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I thought I had sampled pretty much everything at Kacaba, but I tried the 2011 Cabernet Sauvignon again (which I had at the vertical tasting a couple of months ago). The 2012 Cabernet Syrah almost came home with me too….but I stayed with Syrah and some Merlot.

Then we were off for lunch. I wanted to go to August Restaurant, which I had heard wonderful things about. IMG_9860 IMG_9857

And all those things I heard were right. I settled in to read the menu with a glass of Amarosé from the Foreign Affair Winery . I couldn’t decide between the Seafood Gratin and the Double Decker Veggie Club House. My server said both were good, but recommended that I try the Seafood Gratin for this visit. Ken ordered the Grilled Reuben Sandwich.

We nibbled on some yummy breads – tomato flax and cornbread – and I sipped my rosé. I was trying to decide which other winery to get to, as there are several I still haven’t been to out there. As Ken and I discussed the possibilities, our lunch arrived.

Oh my.

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I really can’t say enough glorious things about this Seafood Gratin. Perfectly cheesy and creamy. The seafood beautifully plump and moist. Perfection.

I would probably be happy to swim in a vat of this gratin. With my mouth open. I am not exaggerating.

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See what I mean?

You’ve gotta try it.

Oh and Ken also enjoyed his Grilled Reuben. (Sorry, I almost forgot to talk about Ken’s lunch – I am still swooning over the gratin!)

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August also serves dinner, Sunday Brunch, and they have a Tapas menu, which I am particularly excited to try. Tapas is such a great idea. Several times I have met friends out here for drinks around 5-ish, no one wants dinner yet, but we want to nibble. Some places will rustle up a charcuterie board, but Ken is not a fan of charcuterie (shocking, I know). I see many things on August’s Tapas menu that would be right up his alley though. I wish more Niagara restaurants would do this. Anyway.

Feeling perfectly satiated, we went on our way to Kew Vineyards.

Friends, I am in love. There are so many things I love about Kew.

First, the scenery and the grounds.

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Second, the building. The farmhouse dates from the 1860’s, but the owners have renovated the inside. It’s contemporary, full of light, and just gorgeous. This is my ultimate dream house – a historic house brought up to date, yet keeping those antique touches.

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Third, the people. We were so warmly welcomed, and their tasting experience is like no other. They don’t have a tasting bar. Instead, they show you the list of their wines and what is available to taste. They ask you what wines you like, and make recommendations. Then you are invited to sit inside or out, and they bring the wines to you, giving you plenty of time to relax and savour. We chose to sit outside and soak up the amazing view.

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And the final thing that I love about Kew Vineyards? Need you ask?

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The wine.

I sampled two of their sparklings – the Rosalie and the Tradition Sparkling. Rosalie doesn’t appear to be on the website yet. As it is a pink sparkling, you know I would love it. And I do. The Tradition was wonderful as well.

I also sampled the Marsanne, the Old Vine Chardonnay, and the Soldier’s Grant. The Marsanne and the Old Vine Chardonnay will be staples in my cellar from now on – they are gorgeous. The Old Vine Chardonnay is beautifully balanced with yummy, buttery oak.

Truly it was one of the best wine experiences I have had so far. If you haven’t been, you must go.

Their philosophy is summed up so perfectly in this quote from their website:

PLEASE DON’T TASTE OUR WINES

Rather, enjoy them. Explore them. Take time to experience the wine country lifestyle with us here at Kew. Visiting Kew is about being engaged with life, while getting acquainted with all that is Ontario wine country.

So we ask, please don’t just taste our wine. There’s more to life. Love our wine and stay a while.

Actually, doesn’t that sum up all that is great about the Niagara lifestyle?

I think so. Go and visit Kew Vineyards as soon as you possibly can. I promise you will have a wonderful wine experience.