Celebrating Ontario Wine: Sommelier’s Perspective

by Di Profio Wines

by Di Profio Wines

A beautiful, sunny, warmish day in Jordan Village, not weather one would expect in January during the annual Twenty Valley Winter Winefest! Although this is what we got last month. Despite the ice sculptures melting it was a glorious day for music fans, foodies and wine lovers alike. Originally focused on Icewine, the festival has been getting bigger, better, and more varied each year with local restaurants and food trucks offering inspired tastes from their kitchens alongside the many Niagara Peninsula VQA wineries participating. And what a treat it was to discover a brand new distillery in town. Dillon’s Distillery brought their ultra tasty Rye, Gin, Vodka, and Bitters for sampling.

by Cynthia Silversides

by Cynthia Silversides


My Winterfest experience began with a fantastic award winning wine sample of Riesling from the newest and smallest winery in the region, Di Profio Wines. Riesling is a “cool climate” grape, well suited for planting in Niagara. Now known as a signature grape for Ontario, Riesling helped put the Niagara Peninsula region on the world wine map. In 2008, the “Riesling Experience” was created for wine professionals and enthusiasts from around the world to gather in Niagara to celebrate this versatile grape which can become a wine of many colours, ranging from dry to semi-sweet to Icewine. A great wine to pair with food because of its typically high acidity, Riesling pairs especially well with spicy flavours due to its low alcohol content.

Many Niagara vineyards recently harvested their grapes which will ultimately become Icewine. Riesling, Vidal Blanc, and Cabernet Franc are the most common grape varieties used for the production of Icewine in Ontario. Grapes must be harvested between the months of December and February when there is a sustained temperature below -8°C. They are usually hand-picked in the middle of the night, often by volunteers. A painstaking process and labour of love, it is no wonder that this coveted elixir commands the price tag it does! Generally considered a wine to enjoy after dinner, alone or with dessert. A good guideline is to pair Icewine with food which is less sweet than the wine.

by Di Profino Wines

by Di Profio Wines

Oakville Wine Events

Speaking of wine, what’s happening beyond Niagara? The Wine Enthusiasts Club of Oakville (OWEC) kicked off their year of wine tasting in January with a great sampling of wines presented by Glenn of Stem Wine Group. An excellent presentation accompanied the flavours of Prosecco, Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc, Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon, Pinot Noir, and Shiraz from around the world. In February Victorica Wines presents Argentinian Wines.

So there you have it: Winterfest, Icewine, Wine Tasting

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