Sometimes, my weekends are spent doing a bunch of things. Sometimes they are primarily focused on one event. This was one of those “lots-of-fun-things” weekends, which are actually my favourite – especially when I can start the weekend early . One of the perks of being self-employed, though it doesn’t happen as often as I would like.
But hallelujah, this was one of those times, so we headed out to the Niagara Food & Wine Expo on Friday afternoon.
The weather was glorious. Utterly glorious.
Niagara, you are such a beauty in the spring.
So it was time to celebrate this long-awaited arrival of spring. What better way to do it than with wine?
And there was lots to choose from at the Niagara Food & Wine Expo.
It seemed like everyone there was in a festive, cheery, almost holiday-like mood. See what spring weather does to us Niagara people?
My buddy from Freixenet even gave me a bit of a salsa demo.
Joining in with the festive mood of my new pal, I decided to start my sampling with some bubbles – Freixenet Cordon Negro Brut Cava. I just can’t resist salsa-dancing-bubbly-bearing men. C’mon, you can’t either.
And being the totally gourmet, high class girl that I am, there was only one food choice that could possibly go with this. Oh yes friends…
A Canadian specialty. Ken actually thinks it’s weird that a foodie and former fitness pro loves poutine. French fries, cheese curds and gravy – nothing exotic and certainly not healthy. But Oh.So.Good. Such a treat.
Though he makes fun of me for poutine, he was awfully excited about having a sausage. But it was a good one, I must admit.
However, my gourmet side emerged after that. This time I matched the beautiful Torched Salmon from Wind, with Sue Ann Staff’s Sparkling and Sassy Riesling.
I should mention that was my second helping that day of Sparkling & Sassy Riesling. Springtime just calls for sparkling, and I really love this one. I am told that a new sparkling from Sue-Ann is about to be released, with another cool name…something along the lines of Foxy and Flirty, I think? Really, how can you resist that? And since it’s coming from Sue-Ann, you know it’s gonna be good.
But the great thing about the Niagara Food & Wine Expo – and other shows like it – is that you get to discover some products you might not otherwise have found out about. I have to say my favourite discovery this year was Silver Lake Premium Vodka.
A beautiful, quadruple distilled premium vodka, proudly made in Simcoe, Ontario.
First I tried a sample of the Silver Lake Vodka straight. It was delicious, and so smooth. You know how sometimes straight vodka makes you wince and cough? (well, it does for me, anyway) This did not happen. I could easily drink it straight.
Of course, the best way to have it is in a Caesar, I think.
Silver Lake Vodka is available at the LCBO, but it’s always great to go to the distillery yourself, if you can.
By this point, Ken and I were feeling quite content. So we walked around some more.
Did a bit of people-watching
Looked at some of the other food products on offer – like these amazing savoury pies. Chicken Vindaloo? Yes please!
We also sampled some balsamic vinegar and olive oils from Della Terra.
Admired the dessert selection
Then decided to halt our tasting for the day. The only problem with these shows is that you can’t taste everything you would like, which is why it’s great to go back more than once if you can.
We attended on Friday afternoon, and really just scratched the surface. There were also cheese tastings, and chef demos, and wine, beer, tequila and cocktail tastings. Not only that, John Catucci from You Gotta Eat Here was making an appearance on the Chef stage.
I was sorry we could only make it on the Friday. I’ll plan for more visits next year!
And, of course, so should you.