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A taste of inspiration for the season

Contributed by: News Canada

Are you planning holiday feasts paired with just the right wines?

(NC) Are you planning holiday feasts paired with just the right wines?

It is true that the brisk chill in the air, the cozy sweaters, and the warmth of a fire are all telling us one thing: The holidays are on their way. Most of us have great memories of breaking bread with family and friends, taking part in traditions and making the recipes that have been passed down through the generations.

Would you like some new ideas for entertaining?

An inspiring prelude to the holidays is an event throughout November called Taste the Season by the Wineries of Niagara-on-the-Lake. It showcases top-quality Ontario wines paired with traditional dishes, either prepared classically or with new twists, and highlights culinary creations never imagined before. Purchase the $50 pass to tour 26 beautiful wineries where you can enjoy some holiday-themed foods paired with the region's finest VQA wines – and it is also an opportunity to procure those very wines to serve at your next festive meal. You may even find some décor inspirations along the trail as well.

Niagara-on-the-Lake winemakers and chefs are ready to share their bounty with visitors and locals alike. Whether it is a VQA wine, the seasonal produce, fresh baked goods, or a favourite recipe, there is always something with which to celebrate.

While this year the wine selection looks as tantalizing as in years past, you will be sure to find some new favourites in the mix. It might be Southbrook's 2012 Triomphe Cabernet Franc paired with duck confit, pear and brie phyllo tart, or Lailey's 2013 Cabernet Merlot matched with rustic pork terrine with maple smoked bacon and cranberry compote. Or Cattail Creek's 2010 Estate Series Pinot Noir with mixed wild mushroom risotto drizzled with handcrafted rosemary oil topped with shaved parmesan could be your choice.

The classics, however, may call you home. Perhaps it's the Konzelmann's 2012 Cabernet Sauvignon paired with slow cooked Black Angus Alberta beef topped with P.E.I. lobster that will have your soul singing. Or maybe your favourite will be the 2012 Ravine Chardonnay with chicken and biscuits, a farm chicken stew with foraged mushrooms, autumn vegetables and ravine puff pastry biscuits. And for dessert? Maybe you want to try the Niagara College 2012 Dean's List Prodigy Icewine paired with spiced pumpkin cheesecake with a chocolate crust and ginger cream. Who could resist?


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