I recently went on a wine tour, courtesy of my place of work. Niagara on the Lake was our destination, and we stayed at the Pillar & Post, an absolutely gorgeous hotel. We enjoyed a day of wines produced by three separate wineries, of the total of sixty that exist, in the region. They ranged from small to large, and included the medium-sized, old-fashioned Strewn Winery, the more modern and industrial Jackson-Triggs and a final stop at a more home-grown type of winery, the name of which escapes me.
We were taught the proper way to evaluate a wine, which I’d never really been through before and found quite helpful. I didn’t know you could actually “release” the flavours so much with so little effort, and that the first sip must be the one that cleanses your pallette, rather than the one by which you evaluate the flavour of the wine.
My favourite that I tasted all day and stays with me even now was a Shiraz at Jackson-Triggs. This surprised me, as I don’t usually like Shiraz. But this particular one was delicious – smooth, fruity and the after taste was delightful – like almond paste, also known as marzipan. I was in love; I bought a bottle and hope I can find it in The Wine Store at some point (they indicated how a lot of their wines aren’t available in the LCBO or The Wine Store).
I left with a greater understanding of wines and how to identify the varying flavours that can be found in them. I particularly liked the emphasis that, in the end, it really doesn’t matter what kind of wine you like – cheap or expensive. Whether you enjoy a wine or not depends entirely on you.
I’d love to go on another winery tour, particularly because many of the wines available through one aren’t available in the stores in Toronto. It’s the perfect opportunity to discover new wines I otherwise would never find.