Monday, June 6, 2011

Oh, one more thing about Niagara

Oh the romance of it all.  

The winemaker's idyllic life surrounded by acres of bucolic scenery and budding vines.  The joyful anticipation of sun-filled days when the magic of photosynthesis transforms raw energy into beautiful, plump, juicy grapes.

Oh the bullshit of it all!

I have always been struck by the difference between image and reality.  Perhaps it is never more clear than when you stick your nose into the winery business.  This is hard, sweaty farming folks and from my little experience one of the hardest working guys in the business is Daniel Lenko.  He's pretty much a one-man show at Daniel Lenko estate and he produces some remarkable wines.  We're especially fond of his whites and the great summer sipper White Merlot and White Cab.

He's also just a really good guy who is working hard on behalf of his brothers and sisters in the wine business and while he has few listings at LCBO it is well worth it to travel down the short lane to his winery to pick up a few cases and enjoy the company of Daniel and his dad Bill.

BTW:  We also had another great time at Chateau des Charmes and thanks very much to the always charming and lovely Michele Bosc for her hospitality.

A great weekend in NOTL

Have you ever been to a restaurant and thought,  "Wow, this is soooo good I must tell people about it.  But, if I tell then they'll come and it'll get busy and it might lose its essence and I might not get in and that would be bad so maybe I should just shut up and say nothing."

Well, the horse has left the barn on this issue regardless because anyone who knows anything about eating well has probably discovered Stone Road Grille in Niagara-on-the-Lake, Ontario.  I've placed their link here just in case you haven't heard of it.

The only thing I can hope for to preserve a spot for us whenever we travel to NOTL is that you'll be fooled by the exterior of the premises and think this can't be the place and drive right on by.  

Katie and I just enjoyed a very welcome mini vacation in NOTL.  Stayed at Prince of Wales which was lovely but the highlight really was our two meals at Stone Road.  Perry, (you'll recognize him if you go by his great shirts and ebullient nature) and his team have created a very special spot where the ambiance is perfect, the wine list is tremendous (only Niagara region VQA), and the food is imaginative, local, seasonal and just wonderfully tasty.

I cannot recommend it more highly than to say that it is unquestionably our very favourite restaurant in the entire province.  

Please do visit if you get a chance.  Just don't tell too many people about it OK?