A trip to Niagara-On-The-Lake can fill up a luxurious week’s itinerary, but even for a quick getaway, we can lose ourselves in all that Niagara has to offer. Close enough that it’s easy to get there, it’s far enough that we’re a world away.
Arriving for dinner at Jackson-Triggs Winery we are greeted with a glass a Entourage Sparkling Brut, slightly pink with lingering fruit, zest and minerality. This is how one should always be greeted. In the wine cellar, tables and glasses are set for a multi-course, multi-pairing extravaganza. Chef and winemaker harmonize to share with us their passion and pairings. Now we can experiment for ourselves: what do we prefer with a juicy steak? Merlot? Shiraz? Both.
One last sip of ice wine, and we make our way outside. Whisked past vineyards and into the embrace of another glass of ice wine, I reach for a bag of popcorn and a comfy seat for an intimate musical performance. The summer concert series at the Jackson-Triggs amphitheater is a unique experience to be enjoyed in Canada, and one of the best date ideas imaginable. The music, the wine, the vineyards; it’s all very romantic, as we are serenaded.
Following the show, a short drive leads us to Aqua Bella B&B where Faith and David Bell have refurbished a cozy home located moments from the centre of town. As the sun rises, and a fresh pot of coffee steams, we’re happily in the good hands of our hosts. Seated in the dining room and served along with others, our breakfast is bright and wholesome. We talk about wine and share ideas about where to go and what to do with our day away. Our hosts have arranged bikes for us from the Grape Escape. They’ve been conveniently delivered to us, and are parked outside.
Trail options are terrific, and we cycle winding paths along the water, past Fort George, through neighbourhoods of heritage homes, and vineyards where we stop to sample wine and charcuterie. It’s the best cycling area in Ontario.
As we cycle through the town we come to realize that for some reason there is excellent pizza throughout Niagara. At wineries like Inniskillin, restaurants like the Old Winery Restaurant, or pizza specialty shops like The Pie Plate. Thin sweet crust, savoury tomato, and a garden of
freshness on top. We are happy.
Looking across the lake we see Old Fort Niagara on the American side and, in the distance, Toronto. We drive up to the falls to peer over, and then make our way home.
For more info on what to do in Niagara-on-the-Lake, go to: www.dinemagazine.ca/2013/06/perfect-pairing
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Adam Waxman is an award winning travel journalist focusing on food, wine and well being. As well as an actor in film, television and formerly, the Stratford Festival, he is the Associate Publisher and Executive Editor of DINE and Destinations magazine.