It never hurts to go back to the beginning, to your inspiration, to where your ideas were strictly embryonic and that voice in the back of your head is still winning the fight of “don’t do it!” Six months ago, we were in Niagara On The Lake testing the libations of various wineries until we could barely feel shame. We had fallen in love with wine, an ancient siren song luring us towards the rocks. With each stop on our tour we felt ourselves drift further from reality, the bills at home, the hungry and angry cat (that insists that my entire apartment is its toilet), and the balance of our diminishing bank accounts. It was on this ground that we had decided that a vineyard was a swell idea. We figured we couldn’t be the worst at it so what could possibly hold us back? Well here we were again on yet another tour of duty of Niagara On The Lake’s wineries, hoping to catch that spirit that inspired us so long ago.
Instead we got mighty drunk.
With three sheets to the wind and the soul of Atalanta in our feet, we thought it would be a great idea to make it a race against ourselves to ensure that we hit every winery that had any signs of life. The festival again had a food pairing to go with a wine sample at each facility, some were paired beautifully so that the flavor of the wine altered, others felt as discombobulating as a Tom Bombadil segue. Ravine for example, had ribs from pigs raised on their own property. To quote the woman describing them “you can really taste the love we put in the pigs”, you know, before they were put to death for our tasting. They had paired it with… something, a wine probably, but we were too distracted by the ribs to notice. Others got a little more creative; Inniskillin paired a Vidal ice wine with sweet chili Thai chicken wings, it was a surprisingly opulent but nifty combination. The nicest surprise of the day was the discovery of a room entirely devoted to back vintage Baco Noir down at Henry of Pelham. We got away relatively easy buying only the 1999, 2003 (which had turned, womp womp), and the 2005.When the dust eventually settled and the wine purchases were tallied, we probably spent more on the weekend buying wine than trying to produce our own. This isn’t to say that making your own is frugal, but rather a testament to our lack of impulse control.
Oh yeah, and we bought chickens. An entire brood of chickens.