All my friends and family know that I am a huge wine enthusiast. This is especially true when it comes to white wine. This may be because of my Italian heritage or because I grew up with a grandfather who made his own red wine. Or it could even be the mere fact that I am a self proclaimed "foodie" .... and food just doesn't compare without a complimentary glass of vino. Therefore, you could only imagine my excitement when iYellow Wine Club invited me as a media guest for a Tailgate Tour Party and TD'S Niagara Home Grown Festival. How could I say no to free food & wine ? #unmissable
On Saturday June 23rd, My Boyfriend and I, met the Wine Angels (iYellow Wine Club's Team) at the company's head quarters in Toronto. We were escorted onto a bus, which proceeded to take us to Niagara-on-the-lake's wine region. We had 2 full wine tours scheduled, followed by TD Bank's Niagara Home Grown Wine Fest.
We did not know exactly what to expect for the tour but were full of curiosity about the entire process. This was our first time participating in an event like this together. We had heard great things about this particular wineries, so were especially excited to see if they would live up to their reputations.
We had the pleasure of touring "Stratus" & "SouthBrook" wineries, which were both beautiful in their own light. The two of us also learned the professional techniques in which every wine cynosure should know.
I am sure you all know what I am talking about.... See, Swirl, Smell, Swish.
Easy enough, right!?
Through the duration of the tailgate tour, we had the pleasure of trying dozens of various types of wines. They ranged from red, pink, white, & even orange wine. We had the opportunity to learn about the different types of techniques and processes in which the vineries grow their grapes and make their wine. Each winery has a different technique and strategy about growing the crop and the way in which they develop the product... hence the different tastes.
My personal favourites from the tour was the Rosé from "Stratus" & the organic orange wine from "Southbrook." Which is not made from oranges ... just incase that was your first thought. Rather is a dark clouded orange colour. It is comparable to a cider, in both the tartness of taste and appearance. Besides the unique appeal of the wine, the fact that it is organic also spoke to me.
Through out all the tours and tailgate party, iYellow Wine Club's Team were very knowledgeable about the background of all the wines, the process of making each wine, the different types of wines and what may be paired as suitable options of food for each. Collecting and tasting wine is a luxurious lifestyle and can get very serious and expensive. The team has all the right skills and knowledge to guide anyone from novice to professional into finding the right types of wine for your personal likes and needs.
While on tour at "Stratus" winery, we learned that oak barrels, in which the winery uses as part of the process to age their wine can cost $2,500 and up!!!
$2,500 For 1 barrel... that can only be used 3 times, before being disposed of.
This was quite shocking... yet, this is why wine is a luxurious and expensive hobby at times.
After learning about the many ways in which the two wineries make their wine. We headed over to our final destination of the Niagara Home Grown Festival.
( *The photo above was taken by Raino Dilag)
The TD Niagara Home Grown Festival was an amazing summer experience that every "foodie" must attend. This year's venue was "13th Street Winery." There were over 40 food and wine booths/trucks featuring some of Niagara's most popular chefs and wineries. While at the festival, there is live local music of alternative, folk and country.
The vineyard was lined with little twinkling lights, that extended and draped along enormous tractors. Plaid and gingham table clothes lined picnic tables and barrel bars. The theme was consistently Canadian Country Chic.
What better food to keep with the theme then butter tarts and bacon. Are butter tarts and bacon super Canadian ?
... I sure think so !
Numerous of the food booths included bacon on their menu but my personal choice was the brick oven pizza.
Brick oven pizza, tacos, schnitzel & strudel, sliders, shepards pie are just a few of the many options of food that were readily available on site. The best part about it was everything was included with our festival passes. Unlimited food and unlimited wine.
In addition to food, and good music. There were several vintage style trucks and cars which were a popular photo spot for all the "instagramers" and bloggers.
This was a country side paradise, had me sad to leave.
This experience provided us with a chance to expand our palette and learn about the most up to date trends when it comes to wine. There is so much more to wine, then just the taste. I look forward to my further exploration of new wines and their pairs of delicious food!
A huge thank you to iYellow Wine Club Team for such a wonderful experience. I am very grateful to have been able to be apart of such a fantastic day.
A thank you to "Stratus, SouthBrook & 13th Street wineries" for hosting us.
(*The Photo above was taken by Raino Dilag)
My outfit details:
Mom Jeans in Light Wash - Zara
White Blouse with Oversize Cuffs - O.W.L
Black Faux Suede Mules - Forever 21
Tortoise Shell and Blue Lenses - Vintage Market
Black Canvas Coat - H&M
Black Velvet & Gold Chain Cross Body Bag - Gucci
Cell Phone Case - Ideal of Sweden
** All photos are my own, excepted other wise stated **