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“Sips and Soups” Sundays in March 2017

Niagara County, NY – In anticipation of the Niagara Wine Trail Taste of the Trail event in April, for the month of March various wineries along the trail be hosting “Sips and Soups Sundays.” 

Each Sunday, March 5th, 12th, 19th and 26th, participating wineries will pair a soup with a featured wine, cider or mead.

A sample of the winery’s chosen soup is included with their tasting fee, unless otherwise specified. No tickets will be sold for this event.

Use the hashtag #SipsandSoups and share your favorite pairing throughout the month!

Tastings on Sundays are from Noon – 5pm. Reservations are recommended for groups of 6 or more. Soup samples are available in limited supply, so patrons are encouraged to come early.

March 5th Pairings & Wineries:

• Long Cliff Winery & Vineyards:
Soups from Garlocks Restaurant in Lockport:
Prime Rib Vegetable with 2012 Pinot Noir, Cream of Asparagus Soup with crisp 2012 Pinot Gris, and Danielle’s personal favorite pairing – Spicy Chicken Gumbo with Long Cliff’s Semi Sweet Riesling!
Come try the flight (3 soups, 3 wines) for just $5!

• Victorianbourg Wine Estate
Breton-style Venison, Pepper and Corn Cream Chowder: A true treat to the taste buds, this soup is an excellent pairing with our Pinot Noir.
Indulge in the hearty flavor of our Breton-style Venison, Pepper and Corn Cream Chowder soup. Our estate grown Pinot Noir’s smooth, fruity and alluring bouquet makes it ideal for food pairing and perfect for sipping.

• Midnight Run Wine Cellars
Loaded Potato Soup  paired with Sweet or Dry Niagara. Complimentary samples, and available for sale by the cup.

• Flight of Five Winery
Corn Chowder

• The Winery at Marjim Manor
Gumbo paired with Sophia’s Sunrise or Spring Lake Steuben

• Schulze Vineyards & Winery
Minestrone soup paired with Cabernet Franc Reserve.

• A Gust of Sun Winery (Ransomville & Spencerport locations)
Beef Barley Soup paired with Fedora Red

• Arrowhead Spring Vineyards
Coconut Curry Pumpkin soup paired with our Chardonnay

• Chateau Niagara Winery
Hungarian Mushroom Soup with Hungarian Style Wine-Bulls Blood.

• Lake Ontario Winery
Gumbo & shrimp and corn chowder paired with Lake Ontario Vidal Blanc

• Niagara Landing Wine Cellars
Hot Pepper wine chili paired with Rosebud Red or Merlot

• Leonard Oakes Estate Winery
Herbed Carrot Soup paired with 2013 Grüner Veltliner

• Spring Lake Winery
Chicken Soup paired with our wines

• Honeymoon Trail Winery
Chicken chowder paired with Spiced white wine

March 12th Pairings & Wineries:

• Long Cliff Winery & Vineyards:
Soups from Garlocks Restaurant in Lockport:
Prime Rib Vegetable with 2012 Pinot Noir, Cream of Asparagus Soup with crisp 2012 Pinot Gris, and Danielle’s personal favorite pairing – Spicy Chicken Gumbo with Long Cliff’s Semi Sweet Riesling!
Come try the flight (3 soups, 3 wines) for just $5!

• Midnight Run Wine Cellars
Italian Pasta Soup & french bread paired with Red Storm. Complimentary samples, and available for sale by the cup.

• Flight of Five Winery
Spinach Artichoke Pesto Soup

• The Winery at Marjim Manor
Chicken Soup paired with Starlight or 100 Windows

• A Gust of Sun Winery (Ransomville & Spencerport locations)
Lemon Chicken Soup paired with DR

• Arrowhead Spring Vineyards
Tom Yum Soup Paired with our Estate Riesling

• Chateau Niagara Winery
Italian Sausage and Potato Soup with 2Amoré Wine

• Lake Ontario Winery
Turkey Sausage & Kale Soup paired with Lake Ontario Chardonnay

• Leonard Oakes Estate Winery
Potato Chorizo Soup paired with 2012 Reserve Syrah

• Honeymoon Trail Winery
Beef Spaetzle paired with Full Moon & Coyote

• Schulze Vineyards & Winery
Potato bacon soup paired with Vidal Blanc

March 19th Pairings & Wineries:

• Long Cliff Winery & Vineyards:
Soups from Garlocks Restaurant in Lockport:
Prime Rib Vegetable with 2012 Pinot Noir, Cream of Asparagus Soup with crisp 2012 Pinot Gris, and Danielle’s personal favorite pairing – Spicy Chicken Gumbo with Long Cliff’s Semi Sweet Riesling!
Come try the flight (3 soups, 3 wines) for just $5!

• Midnight Run Wine Cellars
Savory Chicken Corn Chowder & fancy croutons paired with White Storm. Complimentary samples, and available for sale by the cup.

• Flight of Five
Cheddar Potato

• The Winery at Marjim Manor
Broccoli Cheese Paired with Cat’s Meow or Thursday Afternoon at 3

• A Gust of Sun Winery (Ransomville & Spencerport locations)
Taco Soup paired with Lake Mariner

• Arrowhead Spring Vineyards
Creamy Tomato Bisque with our Arrowhead Red

• Chateau Niagara Winery
Artichoke Soup with Riesling

• Lake Ontario Winery
Lobster Bisque paired with Mayer’s 1835 Hard Cider

• Niagara Landing Wine Cellars
Hot Pepper wine chili paired with Rosebud White or Semi-Sweet Riesling

• Leonard Oakes Estate Winery
Cauliflower Bisque paired with 2015 Reserve Sauvignon Blanc

• Honeymoon Trail Winery
Delicious Chillin’ Chili made with our Chillin’ Concord paired with our wines

• Schulze Vineyards & Winery
Creamy Chicken Corn Chowder paired with either Dry White Blend Aurelia or Semi Dry White Vidal Blanc

March 26th Pairings & Wineries:

• Long Cliff Winery & Vineyards:
Soups from Garlocks Restaurant in Lockport:
Prime Rib Vegetable with 2012 Pinot Noir, Cream of Asparagus Soup with crisp 2012 Pinot Gris, and Danielle’s personal favorite pairing – Spicy Chicken Gumbo with Long Cliff’s Semi Sweet Riesling!
Come try the flight (3 soups, 3 wines) for just $5!

• Midnight Run Wine Cellars
Mexican Taco Soup & Tortilla paired with Baco Noir. Complimentary samples, and available for sale by the cup.

• Flight of Five Winery
Minestrone Soup

• A Gust of Sun Winery (Ransomville & Spencerport locations)
Chicken pot pie soup paired with Chardonnay

• Arrowhead Spring Vineyards
Mushroom Bisque paired with our Rose

• Chateau Niagara Winery
Stuffed Pepper Soup with Gerwürztraminer

• Lake Ontario Winery
Loaded Potato paired with Lake Ontario Estate Red

• Leonard Oakes Estate Winery
Mushroom Bisque paired with 2013 Meritage

• Honeymoon Trail Winery
Delicious Chillin’ Chili made with our Chillin’ Concord paired with our wines

• Schulze Vineyards & Winery
Roasted Red Pepper & Smoked Gouda Bisque paired with Old Barn Red

• Spring Lake Winery
Chicken Soup paired with our wines

Additional information on the wineries of the trail and a map of locations may be found at http://www.niagarawinetrail.org.

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A Locavore’s Delight

Featured Winery:
Chateau Niagara Winery
Smell that?
No, it’s not wine – it’s herbs!
Sage, Thyme, Lavender, Oregano, and Savory to be exact 
You might notice walking through the property at Chateau Niagara there is more than just vines growing this year. Instead of fruit, you’ll find some rows of plants that are sure to be an accompaniment to your meal besides wine.
The field of herbs you’ll find is a new project started by owners, Jim and Kathy Baker, who are just as passionate about their food and they are about their wine.
The Lavender, shown above being harvested, is used for both its flower and scent as well as a culinary spice.
Herbs de Niagara 
 
Soon you will be able to purchase the special herbs at the winery, a blend being called Herbs de Niagara, that is sure to bring excellent flavor to your dishes.
A Locavore experience to be paired with Chateau Niagara wines!
And now, back to the wine. . . 
Besides new herbs, the winery is showing progress in their newly planted Cabernet Franc. The dry summer is great for established vines, but these young ones need to be watered closely.
The winery is also only one of three growers of the “Saperavi” grape in NY State.
New clusters (shown directly below the Cabernet Franc planting photo), show a lot of promise. The grape is a Georgian variety they will be harvesting this year. Look for this new grape to show up in the tasting room soon!
 

What Local Wine Goes Best with Turkey?

Looking up and down the aisles at the store for wine can be confusing. So many choices!

We asked our member wineries for their suggestions on what you should be serving (or bringing with you) for Thanksgiving dinner. Or, maybe you have a few hard-to-please drinkers at your table? Good news! There are LOTS of options for every type of wine drinker! Continue reading “What Local Wine Goes Best with Turkey?”

Niagara Wine Trail Expands “Taste of the Trail” Food Paring Event

ImageNiagara County, NY – During the weekends of April 4–6 and 11–13, the wineries along the Niagara Wine Trail will participate in their annual wine and local food-pairing event, Taste of the Trail. The popularity of this event has lead to its expansion over two weekends.

The concept of Taste of the Trail is to educate how wine can easily pair with each part of your meal. A sample from a local food vendor, or the winery’s own favorite pairing, will be given at each location with a taste of three wines.

Because the event spans two weekends, half of the trail member wineries will participate during each weekend. This allows attendees to take advantage of visiting wineries they may not have had the chance to visit yet, and have the opportunity to visit more than just a few wineries in one day. The dates for each participating winery and some featured parings are listed below:

April 4–6 Participating Wineries:

  • BlackBird Cider Works – Spent Grain Pretzels from Woodcock Brothers Brewing Company, with a gourmet mustard dip. Pretzels paired with our draft hard cider
  • Black Willow Winery – Spiedini of fresh mozzarella, basil, & tomato dressed with our very own artisan Hojiblanca olive oil and 18yr aged balsamic, accompanied with a crostini
  • Chateau Niagara Winery – A pasta sampler paired with their new release “Bliss” wine (blend of Pinot Noir and Chardonnay)
  • Lake Ontario Winery – Semi Dry Riesling paired with baguette bread topped with homemade mozzarella & drizzled with a mild olive oil and cinnamon pear balsamic vinegar
  • Leonard Oakes Estate Winery – Beef Stew made with our 2012 Cambourcin; the same wine is also the recommended pairing
  • Schulze Vineyards – Pasta salad with roasted vegetables citrus vinaigrette and asiago cheese, by Cream & Sugar Ice Cream Cafe, Lockport. Recommended pairings are Chardonnay Reserve for the dry palate, Vidal Blanc for the semi dry palate, and Niagara for the sweet palate. On Saturday, 4/5 live music at the winer with Dave Stoll (guitar and vocals) 2-5pm
  • Schwenk Wine Cellars – Chicken and rice soup made with Stone Bottom Cayuga White wine, paired with a Wine Bread made with Lighthouse White wine
  • Spring Lake Winery – Bruschetta Italiano paired with Zinfandel and White Merlot
  • Vizcarra Vineyards – Mini cupcakes paired with Becker Blue blueberry wine: Blushing peach melba mini cupcake with a vanilla bean buttercream; Peach cake, accented with black raspberry and vanilla bean, vanilla bean buttercream and cobbler garnish.
  • The Winery at Marjim Manor – Pizza Fondue paired with choice of dry, medium, or sweet wine: True Blue or Legacy (dry), Sophia’s Sunrise (medium), Blue Beryl (sweet)

April 11–13 Participating Wineries:

  • A Gust of Sun Winery – Creamy, vegetarian carrot soup, infused with Sweet Westies White wine
  • Arrowhead Spring Vineyards – D’avolio olive oils will be featuring breads with artisanal olive oils, which go great with many of our red wines
  • Eveningside Vineyards – Chocolate Brownies paired with red wines
  • Flight of Five Winery – Lock 68 wine paired with Pesto Chicken Sliders (a vegetarian option will be available)
  • Freedom Run Winery – Choose a sample of one of our Bistro’s flat breads paired with a wine: Sun-dried Tomato Pesto with Chardonnay; Sautéed green & Sun-dried tomato with Pinot Noir; Chicken Bacon ranch with Cabernet Franc; Buffalo Chicken with Gewurztraminer.
  • Honeymoon Trail Winery – Food samples provided by the Wine Trail Italian Bistro
  • Long Cliff Winery – Pinot Noir paired with a mixed vegetable side dish from Garlock’s Restaurant, Lockport
  • Midnight Run Wine Cellars – Coconut curry chicken paired with Riesling
  • Niagara Landing Wine Cellars – Assorted artisan and stuffed breads with a variety of dips that pair with any of our wines
  • Victorianbourg Wine Estate – A choice of either Pinot Noir or Pinot Gris, paired with Bruschetta on Crostini from Red Coach Inn, Niagara Falls

Tickets include the food sample, a tasting of three wines, and a commemorative wine glass from the first winery. Attendees are encouraged to purchase tickets online in advance for this event. The Single Weekend price will be $20 advance or $25 at the door, and the Two Weekends price will be $35 advance or $40 at the door during the first weekend. Advance ticket sales end online at 9PM Thursday, April 3 for the first weekend, and on April 10 at 9PM for the second weekend. Tickets do not include transportation, and are valid all three days of the event so attendees may visit a few wineries each day, if they choose. The event runs each weekend Noon-5pm on Friday and Sunday, and from 10am-5pm on Saturday.

A complete list of parings, along with more information about the twenty wineries that make up the Niagara Wine Trail may be found online at http://www.niagarawinetrail.org.

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For more information contact:
Elizabeth Maute, Wine Trail Coordinator
lizrose@nigarawinetrail.orghttp://www.niagarawinetrail.org

Heritage of Cider on the Western New York Region

860368_317060235082552_792467435_oWhile this hard cider (cider) is now being enjoyed by a wide demographic of consumer across the US, most are not aware of cider’s history or the tradition cider has in the apple growing regions of the East coast, including the Hudson Valley and specifically the Lake Ontario region that spans from Youngstown to the Thousand Islands. For people who live in this Lake Ontario region, cider is not new and many of the folks that have family roots in “apple belt” have cider stories that go back three and four generations.

Hard cider (cider) has recently enjoyed resurgence in popularity over the last decade – and for good reasons. Consumers find apple ciders and pear ciders (Perry) refreshing and delicious, and like wine and beer, come in a vast array of styles and ABV’s. Ciders are also gluten free. Once the most popular beverages from colonial times through the mid-to-late 1800’s, cider began to decline in the 1880’s when beer and wine made by immigrants from Italy, Germany, and Eastern Europe began producing commercial products.

applesCider nearly disappeared as a commercial beverage after prohibition. However, it didn’t disappear from the basements, barns and sheds of some Western New Yorkers that had access to high quality and low cost apple juice. Over the last several years I have heard so many stories, conveyed to me in our cidery tasting room, by customers whose family had made cider for many generations. Some of the common threads in all the stories include acquiring a Kentucky bourbon barrel (once available at Buffalo’s Clinton Bailey Farm Market in the 1930’s for $1) or a used wine barrel, and making a visit to one of the several local cider mills in our area where the barrel(s) would be filled. Back then cider making wasn’t sophisticated. The home cider maker would often let the cider ferment with wild yeasts that were already present in the apple juice from the skins of the apples and the cider equipment. Times were hard back then and folks liked the cider strong, so it was a common practice to boost the alcohol level by adding sugar, honey, raisins, molasses, etc., which when fermented dry, delivered a powerful product often over 15% ABV or more. This is what people would drink through the cold dark winters of Western New York.

At BlackBird Cider Works, we have replicated these cider traditions in two of our ciders. Our NEW ENGLAND STYLE CIDER 9.9% ABV (2013 Silver Medal Great Lakes International Cider and Perry Competition) is a double fermented beverage made from a blend of six apple varieties. Local honey is used in the second fermentation and then the cider is infused with golden raisins, making a delicious and complex tasting cider that includes apple, wood, raisin and honey notes.

buffalo-blue-gress-ciderOur BUFFALO BLUE GRASS CIDER, to be released this August, is the Sister Cider to the NEW ENGLAND STYLE CIDER. Celebrating the rich tradition of using Bourbon barrels, we purchased barrels straight from a Kentucky distillery and aged a naturally fermented cider in them. The flavor profile of this cider is amazing! This cider has hints of apple and bourbon on the nose with a light bourbon finish.

If you have any cider stories from the past please email them to me or go to the Blog section of our website. Please enjoy your ciders they are part of our proud Western New York Heritage.

Scott M. Donovan
Cider Maker and Owner
BlackBird Cider Works

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