Cost: $16.95 Grape: Muscat Category: White Wine Location: Winery Country: Canada Region: Ontario Format: 750 mL Producer: Niagara College Teaching Winery Alcohol: 10.0% Alcohol/Vol.
An easy drinking, delicious off dry white wine to have on a beautiful sunny day on the patio or while enjoying a hot tub. Score: 90/100
Tasting Note: Straw in colour with good acidity, a medium+ intense nose & a long length on the finish. This wine features: Honeydew melon, kiwi, green apples, lemon meringue, clementine, peach & Ylang-ylang on the nose.
Interesting Point: Thanks to Chetan from the Teaching Winery Store for suggesting this wine.
Pairings: Drink this now or in the next 3-4 years on its own or pair it with Thai green curry coconut shrimp.
Cost: $16.95 Grape: Riesling Category: White Wine Location: Winery Country: Canada Region: Lincoln Lakeshore, Niagara Region, Ontario Format: 750 mL Producer: Niagara College Teaching Winery Alcohol: 11.0% Alcohol/Vol.
Well-made classic off dry, but not sweet, Riesling. Probably the best Canadian Riesling for under $17. Score: 90/100
Tasting Note: Straw in colour with good acidity, a medium+ intense nose & a long length on the finish. This wine features: lemon, pink grapefruit, honeydew melon, pear, green apple, limestone & petrol on the nose.
Pairings: Drink this now or in the next 10 years on its own or pair it with Jerk Chicken Wings.
Quality at a great price for this Pinot Noir rosé. Score: 90/100
Tasting Note: Light rose gold in colour with good acidity, a medium+ intense nose & a long length on the finish. Wine features sour cherry, strawberry, McIntosh apples, dragon fruit & roses on the nose.
Pairings: Drink this now or in the next 3-5 years & pair it with Alabama smoked ribs.
Cost: $15.15 Grape: Honey Category: White Wine Location: Winery Country: Canada Region: Ontario Format: 750 mL Producer: Niagara College Teaching Winery Alcohol: 12.0% Alcohol/Vol.
And now for something completely different. This mead is recommended for those who like white wine that is dry, crisp, clean with sweet & sour notes; this is a great alternative. Score: 88/100
Tasting Note: Straw to gold in colour with good acidity, an intense nose & a fairly long length on the finish. Wine features grapefruit, pear, kumquat, lychee, orange zest, honey & Acacia flowers on the nose.
Negatives: The aromatic nose maybe be too pungent for some.
Interesting Point: “Made using honey produced at the Niagara College’s Daniel J Patterson (NOTL) campus. This honey farm (apiary) is managed by the Commercial Beekeeping Program staff and students. The mead is produced by students of the Winery and Viticulture Technician Program under supervision of our Head Winemaker at Niagara College Teaching Winery.” NC
Pairings: Drink this now or in the next 3-5 years & pair it with sweet & sour pork.
Cost: $18.95 (Sale:15% off for the month of December) Grape: Chardonnay Category: White Wine Location: Winery Country: Canada Region: St. David’s Bench, Niagara Region, Ontario Format: 750 mL Producer: Niagara College Teaching Winery Alcohol: 12.0% Alcohol/Vol.
I think this is the nicest Chard with oak influence at only 12% alcohol that I’ve tasted. As the name suggest, nice balance between the fruit, oak & acidity. Score: 90/100
Tasting Note: Bright gold in colour with good acidity, a medium intense nose & a long length on the finish. Wine features lemon, green apples, peach, pear, clementine, honeydew melon, meringue, oak spice & vanilla.
Pairings: Drink this now or in the next 4-6 years & pair it with Roasted Chicken With Apples and Leeks.
My judging was based on 3 taste factors: 1) The wine being offered, 2) The food being offered, and 3) How the wine & food paired together.
My winner for best food & wine pairing at the Niagara Grape & Wine Festival is Niagara Teaching Winery with their Gastronomy Pinot Noir paired with Chef Tarun’s homemade olive & sautéed mushroom tapenade crostini with red peppers, chives & Prosciutto topping.
The newest edition to Niagara College Teaching winery is their Food Truck 101 with Chef Tarun cooking up some amazing food Wednesday to Sunday from 11 am to 6 pm. The food truck is located at the back of the Teaching Winery’s boutique, where you can enjoy some of the best foods this side of Toronto on their large patio, along with some amazing wines which I have reviewed, and not only was I incredibly impressed with the wineries 2014 Balance Blanc de Blanc Brut, but it won Double Gold and Sparkling Wine of the Year at this years Canadian Wine Championships. Congrats to wine maker Gavin Robertson. My pairing suggestion would be with any of the fries on the menu, as there’s nothing like pairing fries with Champagne/Sparkling wines.
Chef Tarun was born in India where he studied hotel management in IHM Mumbai and came to Canada in the Fall of 2018 where he studied culinary management at Niagara College. His goal is to open his own fine dining, fusion cuisine restaurant somewhere in Ontario where he can be close to local farms in order to provide patrons farm to table experiences and sustainable food options.
Lets talk about some of the delicious food that I tasted recently:
The Tacos are messy, but oh so good. Out of the four that he cooks, I would give the nod to the pulled pork as that is probably the best pulled pork I’ve ever had, so moist, tender & flavourful. His Baja fish tacos come a close second. The fish is marinated and so very moist and flavourful. Chef Tarun makes his tacos very spicy probably a few notches hotter than most people would be expecting from a food truck at a winery, so if you like it hot, leave it be, but if you want it toned down, please let your server know how you like it.
Now, let’s talk about fries. One word describes them: amazing. Thinly sliced, with crunchy exterior, yet perfectly tender inside and spices to match your palate. My favourite is his Cajun. He can up the heat if you like it, as I did as the top of my head was sweating, but I couldn’t stop eating them, so delicious. Masala spiced is my 2nd favourite followed by a tie with the salt n’ pepper and smoked paprika.
Chef Tarun’s nachos platter, which is a fusion cuisine dish influenced by his Indian culture and Tex Mex fusion, is deceiving large, and generally to be shared unless you’re really hungry.
Outside his regular menu, Chef Tarun will be featuring new options each week, I had the privilege to sample his Ice wine panna cotta with berry coulis, salted chocolate, strawberries, dehydrated mint and dill flowers. It was very flavourful, elegant and delicious. A true Niagara winery pleasure.
In conclusion Chef Tarun runs a great kitchen because he cares. There’s soul in his food and you feel that when you eat it; you just feel fulfilled.
Could this be the best traditional made Riesling sparkling wine in Canada? Well, I don’t know as I’ve never tasted every one of them, but in the ones that I have & lets include Blanc de Blancs sparkling wines in general & further add that’s it’s under $27, this is definitely one of the best. Score: 93/100
Tasting Note: Straw with a green ting in colour with fine mousse, good acidity, a medium intense nose & a fairly long length on the finish. Wine features lime, green apples, pear & limestone.
Interesting Point: I just love the colour coding labels the Teaching Winery is using for their sparkling wines.
Pairings: Drink now or over the next 7-9 of years on its own or pair it with cucumber gazpacho, especially the one from the Teaching Winery food truck’s chef; Tarun makes.