Summer is a popular time for people to pop the big question and there are lots of engagements to celebrate. While a bottle of bubbly is always nice for celebrations, why not gift something different? Wish the newly engaged couple a sweet marriage by gifting them a bottle of mead (honey wine).
Mead wine is created by fermenting honey with water and sometimes adding other fruits or spices. Commonly known as honey wine, mead is typically sweet, aromatic and often drank as a dessert wine. It’s origins date back to 7000 BC and is considered to be the ancestor of all alcoholic drinks. Mead has been documented throughout history as being an important ceremonial drink. In the Celtic tradition, mead was thought to bring success, happiness and fertility so it was gifted during the first month of marriage. It’s said that this is where we get the term ‘honeymoon’. Today, mead wine the perfect engagement gift for a sweet marriage!
Rosewood Estates Winery in Niagara, Ontario produces delicious mead wine. This is where you want to pick-up or shop online for your sweet engagement gift! Over 80 year’s ago, R.W. Roman migrated to Canada from Ukraine and brought with him and continued his passion for beekeeping. In 2000, his son Eugene started Rosewood Estates Winery who’s philosophy is all about honest low-intervention wine, innovative mead and local honey. For sale are seven different types of meads that range in taste depending on the style and type of fruit that is mixed in. On my visit the Rosewood Estate Winery, I tried four of their meads and loved the Cyser. The Cyser is made from R.W. Roman’s original recipe which co-ferments apple juice with estate honey. SO good! Great on it’s own, as an aperitif or served with sharp cheddar.
If possible, I encourage you to visit Rosewood Estates Winery and try all the different meads yourself. You can also shop the winery for their honey to add to your sweet gift. This summer, toast all your newly engaged friends to a sweet marriage!
For those of us living in Toronto we’re just a couple hours drive away from several different Ontario wine regions, but it can be difficult to make the trip as much as we’d like (every weekend would be nice!). But there’s now no reason to go further than 1000 Bay Street to taste some of Ontario’s best wines. You’re probably familiar with The Wine Shop; there are over 100 locations throughout Ontario carrying wines from Peller Estates, Trius Winery, Thirty Bench Wine Makers and Wayne Gretzky Estates. What you’re probably not familiar with is The Wine Shop on Bay! It’s the first location in a new concept for The Wine Shop stores – along with a trendy new look The Wine Shop on Bay offers a fabulous tasting bar and so many fun wine experiences. And if you’re in the market for a saber, this can even be picked up at The Wine Shop on Bay!
On my visit to The Wine Shop on Bay, I did a rosé tasting at the tasting bar. I was led through a flight of three different Ontario rosés by on of the store’s very knowledgeable staff. Without the drive to Niagara, I felt that I got to know each of the wineries and sample some of their great wines. I even tasted what is now my favourite Ontario rosé – the Thirty Bench Small Lot Rosé. If you have not tried this rosé than that is excuse enough to head over to The Wine Shop on Bay where it is sold exclusively, outside of the winery.
Like my rosé tasting, you can customize any type of wine experience that you like. The helpful staff are happy to organize the perfect tasting for you to celebrate a birthday, bachelorette or just a Sunday afternoon! There are also standing experiences that you can book like the Big Cheese Theory and Vino & Cocoa. The Wine Shop on Bay is starting to host fun events too! The first is Wine 101 with Thirty Bench winemaker, Emma Garner covering some of Niagara’s most popular rosés. For more information about booking an experience or attending an event, contact firstname.lastname@example.org or visit their Instagram.
If you haven’t been to The Wine Shop on Bay yet, it’s definitely worth the short trip to 1000 Bay Street. This new concept store for The Wine Shop is really great and changing how Torontonians can experience Ontario wines without leaving the city. And if anything, you must try the Thirty Bench Small Lot Rosé!
The Hare Wine Co. is a beautiful new winery to Niagara on the Lake, opening it’s reclaimed barn doors in 2016. Located on the mature and bountiful lands of Niagara , the estate winery vineyard was named after the hare for it’s symbolism of fertility and good fortune. When guests enter estate, the Hare Wine Co. wants you to experience a shift in time to the founding days of the region. I definitely got this feeling as a sipped my VQA wine in the tasting room built from rustic and repurposed wood, metal and brick materials. Plus, gotta love all the bunny imagery!
The Wine Hare Co. has four series of wines, all with pretty rabbit labels perfect to pick up at the winery for spring get-togethers! We tried wines from the Jack Rabbit, Crown Land and Frontier Collection. We also used our Winemakers Selections Tasting Pass to sample the late harvest vidal and icewine. The winemaker has really told the story of the vintage and crafted some uniquely Niagara wine. We left with two bottles from the Jack Rabbit series to enjoy this Easter.
The tasting room is open daily and no appointment is necessary to visit the tasting bar. The Hare Wine Co. offers a flight of 3 wines for $5, and the fee is waived with the purchase of a bottle. In addition to the daily tastings, there always seems to be a fun upcoming event! My mom and I will be back on April 28th for the Etsy Spring Market. Local shopping and wine sounds like the perfect day to me!
If you’re like me and always put in charge of bringing the wine to family celebrations, then I’m sure you’ve started thinking about what will pair best with Easter dinner. Most Easter dinners involve pork or bird roasts that are complimented best by medium-bodied white and red wines. I’ve found three local Ontario wines that will work great with your dinner and satisfy different wine tastes. Each bottle is under $20 and available at most LCBO locations. I suggest picking them up now before that the weekend rush!
Strewn Chardonnay Barrel Aged VQA
The Strewn Chardonnay from Niagara is a full-bodied and rich white that will pair really well with turkey or Cornish hen. It has toasty peach aromas and buttery fruit flavours. If you tend to steer away from oaked Chardonnays because of their overwhelming butteriness, you don’t have to worry with the Strewn Chardonnay as it’s really balanced with good acidity and a clean finish.
G. Marquis The Silver Line Pinot Noir
The more adventurous culinary family is having lamb or duck for their Easter dinner, and these types of meats deserve a delicate and refined red wine. The G. Marquis Pinot Noir is a medium-bodied dry red that will match the flavours of the lamb or duck nicely. It’s really elegant with a smokey spice aroma, cherry flavours and a hint of violet.
Cave Spring Dry Rosé VQA
The Cave Spring Rosé is a versatile and food friendly wine. It will pair well without a lot of menus, but particularly if you’re having ham or salmon. This rosé is a medium-bodied dry wine made up of 57% Pinot Gris, 18% Riesling, 14% Pinot Noir, 7% Cabernet Franc, 4% Gamay. It’s lovely aroma of ripe red cherries is followed by flavours of red berries and finished with a refreshing acidity.
Hope you have a wonderful Easter weekend filled with fresh new wines for Spring!