Saturday, February 5, 2011

Part 2: Ice Wine and Lost in Canada

Okay, enough with the gibber-gabber. Let's talk ice wine. We decided to take the Ice Wine Tasting tour. The tour though the winery was actually quite lovely. We enjoyed stories about picking the fruit in the dead cold of winter at dawn and the process of pressing every single drop of juice from each frozen grape.

The process is so interesting. The sugars of the grapes does not freeze, but the water does. This allows a more concentrated juice which gives you a surprisingly very sweet wine, almost a dessert in itself. The highlight of the tour of course, was tasting ice wine. We got to taste tree different types from sweet to sweetest. My favorite is the Vidal Icewine BF. Everything else was too sweet for me. My husband in the other hand, loved all three. The Vidal Icewine BF had a wonderful honey apricot flavor.

Guess what? We got lost on our way back to our hotel. Yup, I mean super lost. Ugh... Nope, he (my wonderful husband) wouldn't ask for directions. We continued to head into the woods. It was dark and cold. The only good thing was, it stopped snowing. Did you ever get so lost that everything starts to look like a B-flick horror movie? It's the worst.

Apparently, light posts doesn't exist here. The street signs are nonexistent and covered by trees that looked like they were from the Paleozoic era. All kinds of bendy and crooked into the road. At any moment, we excepted a yeti to appear out of the woods and in front of our car. Kind of like that creepy scene from "Signs" when the UFO appears out of nowhere at the kid's birthday party. Creepy, right?

This is us in the blizzard right before we got lost. Oh... and before night fall and dirt roads. Yeah, we were soooooooooooo lost.

Also, wanted to wish everyone a happy Saturday and enjoy Super Bowl Sunday.

Go Steelers!

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Part 1: Ice Wine and Lost in Canada

We made it home from our Amherst,NY/Canada and there's nothing like sleeping in your own bed. With your own sheets and pillows. I'm so glad to be home. By the way, when I say "we made it," I really mean we made it; "ALIVE." We decided to drive to Canada (Yeah, I know. Dumb, but the idea looked pretty good on paper) from New Jersey. Oh... Did I mention the blizzard?! No?!? Yup, huge blizzard. Yikes! Don't think I'm doing that again.

Nonetheless, we're home and I wanted to share my time in Canada and first time sip of ice wine. As I mentioned in my previous post; I was pretty sick, but I needed to get out of my hotel room. I'm still not quite sure if it's food poisoning or some weird stomach bug. All I can say is... it's not pleasant. Not at all!

We made plans at the beginning of the week to go Canada for the Ice Wine Festival. I really wanted to go, sick or not I was going. We researched the area ahead of time and found Hillebrand Winery. Hillebrand is the birthplace of fine wine making in Niagara, they are open all year-round and about an hour away from Amherst, NY. So, it seemed to be the perfect place for our first sip of ice wine.

We made our way to Niagara-on-the-Lake, Ontario and of course we got lost. On top of being lost, I needed to use the restroom (sick, remember) and nothing, but trees and dirt road for miles. Oh, did I mention the blizzard?! Yup, a blizzard. And it wasn't a blizzard with ordinary snowflakes, they were huge snow-flocks.

After two hours of being lost, the snow stopped and we finally see Hillebrande Winery. The winery in nestled between Lake Ontario and the Niagara escarpment and it looked like a winter wonderland. The snow gleamed and glittered in the sunset. Just breathe-taking, suddenly being lost and sick seemed completely worth it.


You could see snow covered vineyards that gleamed for miles. Each vine was draped with icicles, almost like Christmas ornaments. The estate looked like a scene from "It's a Wonderful Life" or "Christmas in Connecticut." (By the way, I love this movie. I can watch this movie anytime of the year. It's great and Barbara Stanwyck is one of my favorite actors. She's amazing, hilarious and beautiful.)

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