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A day in the bench…

We have a last minute event on Monday, so it was a bit rushed this a.m. but I was still able to get to our venue for Wednesday by 10:30 a.m. - it's a gorgeous, rustic setting with lush greenery and a fabulous Victorian style house on the property. I hope our guests on Wednesday enjoy it !

Next, I went over to the Watering Can in VIneland to get some supplies - and while I was over there I thought maybe I should have lunch at About Thyme Bistro as I eat their food at so many functions but have never been to the actual bistro - now -this is not a large place - and I was close to the first luncheon customer there at noon - but in short order the place was packed. I bumped into Paul and Maury and the crew from Tawse getting organized over lunch for their big concert series (Jim Cuddy is coming! woohoo!) and we had a chat about the corporate group that I am bringing to Tawse on Wednesday.  When Ryan, the Chef and owner of About Thyme, had a minute, we got our July 16th bike dinner organized - if you are a Twlighter you know about this annual, "back by popular demand" event, and if you are keen, book now - because we are only taking 20 people - and hey, one of them has to be me - so that leaves 19 spots!

Ryan, ever gracious, sat with me and reviewed the menu for Wednesday and that is when my day really took off - first he had me over to Daniel Lenkos, then Gretzky's, then Kacaba - and well, I have to do Hidden Bench, Stratus and Vineland tomorrow because there was not enough time in the day!

I was at Daniel Lenko Winery to hunt down a nice late harvest for dessert - ice wine is an acquired taste and often it is good to have a late harvest option - and Ryan was quite excited about this particular wine as Daniel has decided to get out of sweet wines and this is the last of stock.  I ended up with a case of late harvest, one bottle of raspberry reserve, a little John Deere Tractor for my son and a bottle of Reisling Reserve for the big kids - everyone was happy! The wines are well made, they have what you will hear wine writers refer to as good structure - and nicely balanced. I first heard about Daniel Lenko from Anna Olson, who told me this was the best winery in NIagara  - which is high praise from a foodie.

If you haven't been to DLW, and you are up for a taste of character - you really have to go - Daniel is the kind of character that Harlequin Romance writes novels about. As I left the winery 4 lovely young ladies in town for the Niagara Wine Country Run tomorrow pulled up - they approached, giggling, and asked..."are you THE Daniel Lenko?".  Blackie the resident border collie and I were left in the driveway, both of us grinning.

Next it was off to Wayne Gretzky's - to collect some Shiraz ice wine which I tried at the bar with some medium dark chocolate - it was a very nice pairing.  If you get a chance to do this tasting, take it - the chocolate really softens the sweetness of red ice wines - do you remember Hershey Cherry Blossoms? It's like a cherry blossom for big kids - yum. I would do this for dessert - red ice wine and good quality chocolate wafers - what else do you need?

So, the next stop is Kacaba for their 2007 Cabernet - wow, this is a big, meaty wine with a lot of tannin (it is that part of wine which makes your mouth feel dry) - and I am a bit hesitant on it - so Dave, the retail manager, puts the wine through the aerator and wow - I am hooked. Now, this is not a sit on the porch and sip wine - this wine needs protein to bump up against - but I am pretty excited to try this - it should be a great steak wine that doesn't set you back $30 a bottle. Here is a shot of the pretty exterior at Kacaba - and they have some great event space just to the right of this - definitely worth checking out.

 

Well, I was exhausted by then...so I scooted over to pick up my race kit at the Beamsville Fairgrounds for tomorrow's big race - and the ever lovely Christina Pietraculpa from Niagara Airbus was there - she, Jennifer Wood and I are going to brave the elements and run the Niagara Wine Country Race tomorrow!

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