Niagara Icewine Festival thrills fans

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A group of friends enjoy a fun moment at the Niagara Icewine Festival. The festival will run until the end of January. (Photo courtesy Wine Country Ontario)

NIAGARA-ON-THE-LAKE, ONTARIO — For Sylvia Augaitis, Executive Director of Marketing for the Wine Marketing Association of Ontario, there is no excuse for anyone in the province to have the winter blues in January.

“What better way to celebrate one of Canada’s most cherished products, Ontario VQA (Vintners Quality Alliance) Icewine, than with a month-long Niagara Icewine Festival that is quintessentially Canadian,” says Augaitis. “From the Northern Lights Icewine Gala, to the outdoor street festivals in Niagara-on-the-Lake and Jordan, to exploring wine and culinary pairings along the Wine Route – the Niagara Icewine Festival is truly a remarkable celebration of all things Ontario VQA Icewine.”

The good news is January isn’t over and that means there is still time to find your groove at the Niagara Icewine Festival. Now in its 24th year, this festival draws wine lovers, cocktail fans and foodies from all over the world.

The very popular Niagara Icewine Festival Northern Lights Gala at the Fallsview Casino Resort that kicked off the celebration was a tremendous success. Guests enjoyed VQA Icewine and table wines from 35 Niagara Peninsula wineries as well as delicious food pairings and live entertainment.

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Niagara Icewine Festival Discovery Pass holders enjoying the festivities. The pass allows visitors to enjoy several different wineries in the region. (Photo courtesy Wine Country Ontario)

The gala may be over but the outdoor street celebrations throughout the region will continue for the rest of the month from January 18th – 20th and 25th – 28th. Historic Queen Street will transform into a winter wonderland this weekend as the town comes together to celebrate everything icewine with icebars to sculptures and wines accompanied with culinary samples from the signature kitchens of Niagara-on-the-Lake.

If you are in the area for the festival be sure and take advantage of the Niagara Icewine Festival Discovery Pass until the end of the month. This program gives consumers the opportunity to choose eight wine and culinary pairings from a list of over 40 incredible VQA wineries along Wine Country Ontario’s Wine Route.

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VQA Icewine and food pairing at the Niagara-on-the-Lake Icewine Village. Several interesting combinations, including baked beans and pork. (Photo courtesy Wine Country Ontario)

We can’t list every tasty stop along the route but we can highlight a few great stops to get you started. For a full list of every winery participating with the Discovery Pass, click here.

Peller Estates

290 John Street East, Niagara-on-the-Lake
905.468.4678 |peller.com

Sweet and Icy, Fireside
Keep toasty warm at Peller Estates and indulge in a sweet pairing. Join us to roast Chef Parson’s signature Icewine marshmallows fireside while sipping your choice of Andrew Peller Signature Series Cabernet Franc Icewine 2016 or Ice Cuvée Rosé.

Reif Estate Winery

15608 Niagara Parkway, Niagara-on-the-Lake
905.468.WINE (9463) | reifwinery.com

Living the Sweet Reifstyle…
Join us for our annual pig roast! Savour our signature Vidal Icewine produced from our oldest vineyard blocks paired with Spit Roasted Porketta with apple Icewine sauce. No reservations required.

Sue-Ann Staff Estate Winery

3210 Staff Avenue, Jordan
905.562.1719 | sue-annstaff.com

 C’est Parfait!
Sweet Potato & Icewine – it’s a pairing that’s tried, tested and truly delicious! Experience savory layers of flavor with our Sweet Potato & Mushroom Parfait, topped with Sue-Ann’s own Icewine Candied Salmon, and perfectly paired with her extraordinary 2016 Howard’s Icewine Vidal. C’est parfait, non?

Legends Estates Winery

4888 Ontario Street, Beamsville
905.563.6500 |legendsestates.com

 Whoa, Nelly! “Icewine Baked Beans”
I never knew baked beans could be this good! Our Baked Beans are made the way you’d make them…if you had the time! This family recipe is an all-time favorite BBQ side-dish, slow-cooked with the plumpest beans and our signature blend of spices, for any occasion. Paired with Legends Estates Winery Silver Medal 2008 Vidal Icewine & Legends Estates Winery Malbec-Shiraz.

Creekside Estate Winery

2170 Fourth Avenue, Jordan
1.877.262.9463 | creeksidewine.com
Saturdays & Sundays Only

Creekside’s Signature Icy Hot Chicken Wings
Awaken your tastebuds and warm those chilled bones from the inside out with this juxtaposed pairing of sweet and heat. Enjoy traditional hot buffalo wings, covered with pungent blue cheese crumble and our 2015 Vidal Icewine reduction. This is a food and wine adventure not for the faint of heart.

MORE ABOUT NIAGARA ICEWINE FESTIVAL

Website: www.niagarawinefestival.com

Phone: 905-688-0212

Discovery Pass: www.niagarawinefestival.com/discovery-pass

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Rod has previously worked for Canoe.ca and is currently freelancing for Huffington Post Travel. He’s also written travel articles for the Toronto Star and Up! Magazine. Living in Toronto but raised in the small central Ontario village of Holstein, Rod is a country boy at heart who has never met a farmer’s market he didn’t like.