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One of the newest foodie hotspots in Niagara is at Redstone Winery, named 2017 Winery of the Year at the National Wine Awards of Canada. The Restaurant at Redstone, which spills out into the vineyard and offers a stunning view, opened its doors in 2015 and is helmed by Chef David Sider, who calls the crisp, bright and just-off-dry Redstone Limestone Vineyard South Riesling 2016 “a perfect patio wine. It’s super-fresh with just a hint of sweetness. At the restaurant,” he says, “we recommend it with a ceviche of shrimp and queen scallops with cucumber, avocado, green chili, lime and cilantro—a dish with the freshness and subtle spice-heat to go beautifully. If enjoying a bottle at home or at the cottage, a strawberry-and-tomato salad with arugula, basil and tarragon would go well. I’d even do grilled lake fish, such as pickerel, with fresh herb salad or herb oil.”

Creekside Estate Winery is home to The Deck, a covered dining and sipping space that offers weekend lunch and, on Friday evenings, dinner and live music. Chef Nathan Young of In the Smoke Cookery, with his trusty Southern Pride smoker and love of barbecue and locally sourced food, designs the menu’s wine pairings in collaboration with Creekside’s estate sommelier, Britnie Bazylewski. He recommends the Creekside Rosé 2017 with “so many things. It’s versatile. Chicken liver parfait with mustard, fennel and shallots; smoked pulled pork with creamy coleslaw and dill pickle; pan-seared trout with lentil salad. On the menu we pair it with a cheese-and-charcuterie board with local preserves, which is what I’d have it with at home. It’s also great,” he adds, “for just sipping on its own, on the patio.”

Celebrating its 20th anniversary this year, 13th Street Winery features an onsite bakery and market which, in addition to their famous butter tarts, offers freshly baked pies, gourmet flatbreads, homemade soups, artisanal cheeses and other goodies. Resident sommelier Corinne Maund enjoys pairing the 13th Street Gamay 2016 with foods, and she’s not alone. “Chefs love the high acidity, sour cherry, black raspberry and floral notes,” she says, in addition to its “earthy characteristics, savoury beetroot flavours and slightly peppery finish.” Some of her favourite pairings include “goat cheese, heirloom tomatoes, fatty, rich meats on charcuterie boards and everyday foods like pizza. The acidity even marries well with the acidity in some pickled items. Gamay is a hidden gem that will surprise many foodies as it becomes more popular.”

Trius Winery Restaurant is an approachably luxurious favourite of oenophiles and foodies alike. Chef Frank Dodd bases his menu on local, seasonal, farm-fresh ingredients and recommends pairing the Trius Brut Rosé sparkling wine “with everyday foods. Not just a special-occasion wine, it’s a no-brainer to pair with grilled fish, barbecued meats and satay-spiced chicken,” he says. “It also works great with Ontario lamb rack alongside pressed tomato-and-rhubarb terrine, and with our stone-baked Piggy Pizza of pulled pork, chorizo sausage, smoked bacon and Trius Brut Rosé onion marmalade.” And it’s not just for dinner pairings, either: “Niagara strawberries and cherries with this bubbly are a match made in heaven—just add chocolate. At brunch, it goes with toasted focaccia with fresh burrata cheese and wild and tame mushrooms topped with a fried duck egg. Many an evening has been spent on my deck with chilled Trius Brut Rosé, roasted-onion-and-fennel dip and vegetable chips.”

The Finer Points

Traditional method, VQA Niagara Peninsula
184309 (XD) 750 mL $32.95

Generous, seductive and complex, with notes of pastry, fresh strawberry and spice.

91 points (Rémy Charest)

Medium-bodied & Flavourful

VQA Niagara Peninsula
177824 (XD) 750 mL $19.95

Complex pepper, herbal and meaty tones. Fresh, tart acidity and good to excellent length.

90 points (David Lawrason)

Medium-bodied & Fruity

VQA Twenty Mile Bench, Niagara Escarpment
381251 (M) 750 mL $19.95

Vibrant and generous apple, lime, honey, pear, peach and mineral notes.

Off-dry & Fruity

Sustainable product

VQA Niagara Peninsula
048819 (XD) 750 mL $15.95

Bright strawberry and tangy, concentrated red fruit, with a caressing mouthfeel and a subtle dash of spice.

Easygoing & Fruity