I'm craving wine. I have a bottle of Icewine from our trip to Ontario last fall but that's not turning me on. We thought about opening it at the holidays but for some reason - maybe the whiskey slushies - we forgot about it. I'm craving mead, but was short on cash when we went to Hill's Market a couple of weeks ago. Next trip will involve plenty of cash for goodies from Brothers Drake Mead in Columbus, along with more Belgian-style ale from Rockmill Brewing in Lancaster.
What I really want is what I can't get here in Ohio. Our visit to Peninsula Ridge Estate Winery last fall was perfect in more ways than I can explain. Just a short distance from Niagara Falls in Beamsville, Ontario, I experienced my first tasting in which I understood the phrase "mineral notes". I felt like I grew up overnight.
We tasted several wines and had to make a choice on a limited wine budget. We ended up with the 2007 Merlot and 2007 Riesling. Neither of those bottles made it back to the states!
Aside from the beautiful view of Lake Ontario, Pen Ridge had one of the best cheese selections I've ever experienced at a winery. More than 30 options, many from artisan cheese houses in Ontario and Quebec but some delicious imports as well. The Douanier from Quebec was my first experience with a vegetable ash cheese. Yeah, it sounds icky but trust me - it's a perfect complement to a rich, buttery cow's milk cheese.
I've written a more detailed review of Pen Ridge that you can find here.
Ohmygosh! Chocolate AND Icewine? I might break into that bottle of 200 Vidal Icewine from Mountain Road Wine Company sooner than I thought!