Anyone who has read this website know that Katie and I have developed an interest in wine. Neither one of us was born or brought up around wine regions and there was never a bottle on the table at any of our special occasions.
We are practical down to earth people and we love to eat, particularly, rich, hearty foods filled with flavour. When we lived in Arizona we would make our way to California on long weekends and holidays and found more and more restaurants that promoted wines to be served with our favourite foods.
Knowledgeable staff helped guide us in a cursory exploration of complimentary wines with the meals that we loved. And our favourite foods were better for it.
I think sometimes when we speak to people who don’t know us very well they are under the impression that our interest in wine is some sort of snobby, pretentious hat we want to wear. That we think it makes us better or more sophisticated to enjoy wine.
But that is ridiculous.
Wine appeals to our joy of eating. The science and art involved in making interesting wines appeals to our curiosity and our desire to seek knowledge. Learning the history of winemaking, especially as it applies to Niagara wines, appeals to our desire to know more about where we live and what makes our region distinct.
Katie and I recently enjoyed an evening out with a group of people who seemed to share our sensibilities regarding the enjoyment of Niagara wine.
Wine Sense Events was created by Jillian Dowling to cultivate an atmosphere for open discussion, discovery and to invite people out to learn more about the quality wines of Ontario. And the best way to learn about wine is to drink them.
Currently, Wine Sense Events hosts 4 monthly events (2 in Niagara, 1 in Burlington and 1 in Hamilton). These events are open to the public and held at a variety of reputable eating establishments.
The event that we attended was held in the intimate back room of PowWow in St. Catharines. The group of people were varied, the mood was casual, and laughter and conversation was easy to find.
The events vary in their approach and subject matter from month to month. This particular evening, Jillian had focused on a sample of wines from Henry of Pelham that would be used to showcase the effects of ageing on wines.
At each place setting there were 6 glasses of wine – 2 each of Henry of Pelham’s Riesling, Chardonnay and Meritage. The 2 different glasses represented the same wine but from a different year.
The glasses were unmarked and the group tried to ascertain between the 2 examples of each wine and assess how age had changed the characteristics, particularly how it applied to colour, taste, scent, acidity and the level of alcohol.
Over the course of the evening, the group were presented some information on the particular wine type and given an opportunity to compare them and how they paired with PowWow’s delicious food offerings.
It was interesting to see how ageing had impacted each of the specific wines, particularly how not all characteristics between the 3 wines had changed the same way.
Through the course of the evening ageing was explained in more detail, how historically the way wine was prepared and stored changed how the wines would age (the characteristics and also the longevity). Also, realizing that different types of wines age at different rates depending on the characteristics of the individual wine such as acidity.
This led into some explanation regarding how you should store your own wines and some best practices regarding how you serve them. As with many wine-related advice, there were some common sense items that serve as guidelines, but a lot of it comes down to your personal experience and determining your own preferences.
At the end of the night, I felt like we had enjoyed some great conversation and laughs, that we had an opportunity to taste a couple wines that we might not otherwise been exposed to, got to enjoy great food in a wonderful venue and learned several things about our local wines that we didn’t know before we walked through the door.
This was a terrific event and Katie and I would highly recommend heading out to take in a Wine Sense Event whether you are a wine expert, a curious novice or just somebody who would like a fun night out!
JUST THE FACTS:
Wine Sense Events provides exclusive wine & food tasting experiences for your event of 10-
They service Niagara, Hamilton, Burlington and the GTA. Wine Sense delivers an unmatchable event experience on site or in one of our partner venues.
Partner venues include: PowWow (St. Catharines), Cairn Croft (Niagara Falls), Radius (Hamilton), The Ivy (Burlington), for scheduled events and times visit The Wine Sense Events website
In addition to provided the great wines for the evening, Henry of Pelham also announced they have two new wine clubs they are offering to the public. Membership to their wine club FREE and they offer a Prestige membership for only $19.95 – you can read the details of these two great Wine Club programs here.