By Lori Bosworth
Okay, it’s cold out there and it looks like we’ve had an early start to the winter, but, on a positive note, this cold start to the winter has resulted in an earlier icewine harvest than usual. So just as you are starting to experience the post-Christmas blues and the winter blahs, refreshing icewine will be ready for the 19th Annual Niagara Icewine Festival taking place January 10-26, 2014 in Niagara Region.
Visitors to the festival can enjoy street festivals in Niagara-on-the-Lake and Jordan Village with ice sculptures, open fires and live entertainment. Buying a Discovery Pass for $40 allows you to choose eight wine and culinary pairings, including tastings of Icewine, sparkling wines and VQA white and red wines during the three weekends of the festival. You’ll be able to choose from 40 wine and culinary experiences along the famed Wine Route. If you are the designated driver in your group, wineries will be offering a food and mocktail Discovery Pass program especially for you. In addition, Deborah Levy from Dairy Farmers of Canada will present six unique Niagara wine and artisanal cheese seminars. You can purchase your Discovery Pass at the Festival Office or participating wineries.
On Friday, January 17, 2014, you can attend ‘Sparkle & Ice’ at the Courthouse Ballroom in Niagara-on-the-Lake where Icewinemakers will share their favourite VQA wines and you can enjoy dishes by Signature Kitchen Chefs. Guests will receive an Icewine Cocktail and can enter to win an authentic diamond. Tickets are $95 per person and can be purchased online.
“A Bacchus Evening of Icewine and Revelry,” the Xeros Icewine Gala, takes place on January 10, 2014 at Fallsview Casino Resort’s Grand Hall. Forty wineries will showcase 150 Icewines and table wines. Chefs from the Fallsview Casino Resort are preparing five culinary stations along with artisanal cheese presented by the Dairy Farmers of Canada. Guests can also participate in the Sears Canada Silent Auction and enjoy live entertainment. Early bird tickets are $175 plus HST (before December 20, 2013); regular tickets are $185 plus HST after.
On January 24th , the 9th Annual Winterfest in the Square will be held in the City’s Historic Market Square from 5 p,m to 9 p.m. and will feature VQA table and wines, as well as Niagara Icewine. Culinary delights will be made available by local restaurants and chefs, as well as trendy food trucks. You can also enjoy live entertainment.