Monday, 2 June 2008

Wine and Cheese, a Match Made in Heaven

Yesterday, hubs and I went for a private tour of our favourite winery, Malivoire. We are lucky enough to live within reasonable driving distance from the Niagara wine region. Malivoire is located on the Beamsville Bench which is rich in minerals due to glacial deposits. They are certified organic and dedicated to protecting and nurturing the land as well as making great wine. Their symbol is a ladybug which represents the beneficial insects that they encourage in their natural pest control. Martin Malivoire, the owner, is also a gifted architect and designed much of the buildings and winery. He used a great deal of recycled materials such as rejected telephone poles in his design. He also uses the land to the winery's advantage by putting the barrel cellar 4 feet underground and encouraging plant life to grow over the roof and using gravity in the production of his wines. His wine maker has the fortuitous name of Shiraz. Ironically, they do not grow the shiraz (syrah) grape.

We were greeted with my favourite rose wine, Ladybug Rose VQA. To find out what the VQA designation means, click on the highlighted letters.

They had a chef on site for this tour and we had Arctic Char served on a grape skin baguette with micro greens paired with the Chardonnay Estate Bottled VQA, then Braised Elk Shoulder on polenta with a horseradish cream and micro greens paired with the 2006 Gamay Estate Bottled VQA.

Hedonism is best with a touch of self-righteousness, I believe.

It is close to hubby's birthday so we made a day of it. We toured the winery and the estate vineyards and then went to nearby Port Dalhousie to visit Anna Olson's bakery. We picked up some Saint Agur creamy blue cheese and a 4 seed bread. We then stopped at the Upper Canada Cheese Company for their famous Niagara Gold and Comfort Cream cheese. All their milk comes from their own Guernsey cows that are grain fed. The cheese is hand crafted 7 days a week, and a real treat for cheese lovers like us.

So what did we have for dinner?

The perfect picnic.