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vineland, the first and the finisher.

[ Wednesday, January 9, 2008 | Leave a Comment ]
[GL] - It was at Vineland Estates Winery in Vineland, Ontario - part of the Niagara wine region of Ontario, near Niagara-on-the-Lake and Niagara Falls - it was here at Vineland that we made our discovery of the beauty and intricacy that is the world of wine.

On the 2007 July long weekend, we decided it was time for our first road trip. Time to get away from the busyness, the bustle, and disgusting sticky heat of downtown Toronto - to try something new, relax, and visit Anna Olson's bakery/cafe in Niagara-on-the-Lake. We researched a few different vineyards to see what would be best for 1) wine tasting, 2) photography, 3) on the way to NOTL, and 4) food. Voted as having one of the best fine dining restaurant experiences in wine country by (if my memory serves me correctly) Toronto Life, we had nothing to lose. So we set for Vineland.

One thing I've learnt in my various pursuits of fine food - is that a Chef's Tasting Menu, if available, is always a good choice and you often can't go wrong. This past New Years, we headed to Vegas and got to do some tasting menus at L'Atelier de Joel Robuchon, Postrio by Wolfgang Puck, Andre's French Restaurant, and Nobu - and none of the above were a disappointment (except the chocolate souffle at Postrio which sadly enough, couldn't stand up to one I'd tried at Tour d'Argent in Paris).

Back to Vineland - we got there later than we had hoped and so missed the tour of the vineyards. Alternatively, we scheduled a tasting an hour before having dinner there. Our first tasting - we were fresh, wide-eyed, unknowing, and in a completely new space. We learnt to swirl, sniff, sip - and how to actually differentiate one wine from another (and we're still learning!).

Being highly recommended, I admit that I think my expectations were a little high, and dinner was weaker than I expected, but tasty, nonetheless. The customer service at Vineland and most wineries and vineyards, as we've come to learn, is always impeccable and friendly. Wine connoisseurs don't make assumptions or stick their noses up if you have no idea what you're talking about

I think that thus far on our adventure, we've dispelt the myths that say that only "ballers" and rich folk can enjoy and appreciate wine (and fine dining, at that) - but the average joe can, too :) All you need is an open mind, a good nose, and an eager tongue for tasting.

MM, tell us about the wine :)

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