Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Angeline’s Inn - Prince Edward County

Photo By Tania Daviduke

I recently had the opportunity to take part in a wonderful event called #IndulgePEC, which brought together a group of bloggers from Ottawa and Toronto to learn more about all the food, wine and activities that Prince Edward County has to offer.

I’m a big fan of the region and over the next few months you can look forward to regular posts about all the exciting things that I discovered during my recent trip. You can also read my post about our previous visit to learn even more about what there is to see and do in PEC.

For those of you who are hoping to spend a few days exploring the region, I wanted to start this series with a post about Angeline’s Inn, our fantastic #IndulgePEC hosts. From the moment we arrived (and were greeted with County Mimosas made from Huff Estates Cuvée Janine) we felt right at home in this pretty inn. They’ve recently renovated and have several more rooms – including a number just outside the inn proper (that’s where Shawn and I stayed) that are spacious, comfortable and well-designed.

From speaking to my fellow bloggers I learned that all the rooms were pretty fabulous. We all raved the next morning about how well we slept in our comfy beds – although the one downside to staying in a room outside the Inn proper is that you aren’t awoken in the morning by the smell of freshly-baked croissants. They do, however, invite you in to eat them so I had no complaints.



The Hubb, which is the café at the Inn features a small, but delicious looking menu and a bar. In the morning, we were treated to homemade donuts (so good that I may have snuck more than one), croissants and really good quality tea (that’s something I take pretty seriously, so I was impressed). In the evenings you can order off their menu and they keep a nice selection of PEC wines and cocktail offerings at hand. The layout is welcoming and the staff is friendly, making sure your day of exploring the area starts off well and ends on a positive note.



It’s also nice that Angeline’s is walking distance to Bloomfield Main Street where you can enjoy shopping and dining at the area restaurants. This is a big plus for Shawn an I, as he is happy to play designated driver when we’re exploring wine country, but in the evening he’d like to have a drink or two with his dinner and not have to think about how we’ll get back to our room.



After our recent stay I would absolutely recommend Angeline’s Inn for fellow PEC visitors. I just hope they’re not too busy so we’ll be able to snag a room for our next stay.



Angeline’s Inn is located at 433 Main Street (Hwy 33) in Bloomfield, Ontario.

More great IndulgePEC posts:






Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Terroir Run 2013

Regular readers of the blog know that I started running last year and I've really come to enjoy it (OK, most of the time). When I heard about Terroir Run, which is a run around the wineries of Prince Edward County, I was intrigued. Turns out it's a little longer than I'm comfortable running just yet and I've already signed up for the Toronto Women's Run that day, but it's become a goal for next year. What could be better than combining two of my passions?

Are you a runner and wine lover? Than you definitely want to add Terroir Run to your schedule for Sunday, May 26th, 2013. Hurry, though, as the run can only accommodate 100 people. 

Interested in learning more? You can visit the Terroir Run website here and check out my Q&A with co-founder Rebecca LeHeup below. 

How did you decide the route for this event?
Andrew Mackenzie and I were sitting on our patio in April of 2011 enjoying a glass of wine and a gorgeous sunset. We decided to register for the Ottawa half marathon (we like to set running goals) and when we went online it was sold out! With pen in hand we then planned to create our own run to take place on the last weekend of May. We decided it would be a blast to pair our love of running with our other passion - wine and food - and so the Terroir Run was born. We chose the Closson Road route because its lined with vineyards, not a high traffic route and we could end at Norm Hardie's winery where we could celebrate with a local lunch!

How long is the run?
11 glorious kilometres of flat paved and gravel country roads.

How many people do you expect?
We max out our run at 100 people. We want to keep the experience intimate.

What wineries are participating and what can runners expect from them?
The nine wineries we run past and Karlo Estates Winery all participate by contributing wine for the finish line lunch our runners enjoy. We also provide all of our runners with a passport to visit all participating wineries post run for complimentary tastings. A full list of participating wineries are on http://www.terroirrun.com

Is the event just for runners or do you include those who want to walk?
We welcome all wine and outdoor lovers. This is not a race. We have many folks who jog or take a brisk walk. With it only being 11km it can be run in 30+ minutes or walked in under 2 hours

Is it a relatively flat course?
Yes - there are several low grades but its primarily flat. The last half of the run doesn't have a ton of shade so we encourage runners to wear a hat. There are water stations at Closson Chase Vineyards, The Grange of Prince Edward Estates Winery and Karlo Estates hosts a water station at the junction of Benway & Greer Road.

Do you give out medals?
No - the first runner across the finish line gets registration the following year for free and the top three finishers get a bottle of PEC wine. All runners receive a run kit with a Me To We organic cotton t-shirt, wineries passport, Taste of Ontario granola bar and lunch that includes spring salad, wood fired pizza and wines, beer & cider all from PEC.

And, finally, why would you suggest people come out for this race?
Because its a blast! Every wine should have great legs and great body - all of our runners do too!

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Wine Country Ontario Videos

Recently, I discovered a great series of videos from Wine Country Ontario, including this one featuring Brian Schmidt, winemaker from Vineland Estates.

Check this out to discover more about Ontario's terroir:



You can view even more interesting and informative videos about Wine Country Ontario on their YouTube channel.

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Waking Up in Vegas


Shawn and I have both been to Las Vegas separately and have always wanted to go back together – this February we decided to grab a great flight deal and re-discover the city. I have to say, as much fun as Vegas can be, it sure is tiring! I came back exhausted (and really sick), although I can’t help but wonder if all those people with drinks so large they needed a neck strap were worse for the wear!

Our home base for this trip was Paris Las Vegas. It’s an older property and is showing some wear and tear, but we had a nice, comfortable and clean room so we’ve got no complaints. It’s a great location and the staff were all really nice to deal with.

I had hoped to spend the week trying all sorts of California wines, but I was surprised that a lot of the restaurants we tried didn’t have the greatest wine lists. Right now, cocktails seem to be super hot in Vegas and that’s just fine with me. I did have some good glasses of wine during our stay, but I was happy to switch to a margarita when that made more sense.

Hell's Kitchen Burger
We had some great meals in Vegas, but the best was at BurGR. This is Gordon Ramsay’s newest Vegas restaurant and they specialize in burgers, as the name implies. Nothing disappointing here – Shawn swears the Hell’s Kitchen burger was the best he’s ever eaten (and he’s kind of a burger connoisseur), the truffle fries were to die for and I really enjoyed my chicken wings. I opted for one of their fancy whisky drinks (the cocktail menu is super fun) and Shawn went with beer.

We were almost too full for dessert, but I couldn’t resist trying the push pops with peanut butter ice cream and layers of sticky toffee pudding. Quite possibly the best dessert I’ve ever had – not too much, incredible flavours and who doesn’t love a push pop? I wish we could have eaten here every night. 

Truffle Fries

Mr. Ramsay
Chicken Wings


Another great night out was at The Pub in the Monte Carlo. It used to be an actual brewery (production has since moved to another location) and they have a beer menu that would thrill any fan. It’s pages and pages of brews from around the world and they offer a fantastic beer tasting menu. I opted for a margarita and let Shawn pick out interesting beers to his heart’s content. He went with the local sampler and really enjoyed trying all the different Nevada options. Our server was extremely knowledgeable about the beers and was super friendly, which made the experience so much nicer.

Bread Pudding
Shawn raved about his wiener schnitzel, but I didn’t love my entrée. I think I just made a bad selection, as I’ve read the other food reviews and they’re all pretty great. Dessert, however, was fabulous. They definitely know their bread pudding. This is another one we’d go back to again.

Wiener Schnitzel
Shrimp Po'Boy

Hob Nob Pinot

We opted to try Mon Ami Gabi in Paris for our big night out and we were very happy with that selection. The food was fantastic (I had chicken, Shawn had steak, both were delicious) and they have an extensive wine menu. It was super hard to pick, but I went with a Mon Ami Gabi Chardonnay, as I was interested in how the restaurant’s own wine would be, and Shawn had a Hob Knob Pinot Noir, which he really enjoyed. Nothing fancy, but both wines were good food pairing options.












Truffle Mac and Cheese
The best wine I had was at Gordon Ramsay’s Pub & Grill in Caesar’s Palace. I had a Riesling, which I believe was from Washington. For maybe the first time ever, I forgot to put the name of the wine in my phone and now I’m kicking myself because it was definitely the best wine I had on our trip. The Pub doesn’t have their menu online, so I guess I’ll just have to hope I stumble upon this one again. Lesson learned. I had the mac and cheese (incredible) and Shawn had the sliders (very good). I wish we’d brought bigger appetites because the food was stellar and our server was excellent.

Sliders

Riesling


Huevos Rancheros at Cabo Wabo
Other food/drink highlights: Breakfast at Cabo Wabo Cantina (although the service was so slow it almost negated the great food), drinks at Margaritaville (what a fun place to waste away a few hours), Toby Keith’s I Love This Bar (great band, great drinks, super slow service) and Carnegie Deli at Mirage (pricy, but the food was really good).

Fun things we did: Kiss Mini-Golf (a great way to spend an hour – staff are fabulous and this was just so fun), Shark Reef Aquarium at Mandalay Bay (small, but well done), Freemont Street Experience (Shawn was brave enough to go ziplining and declared it a fantastic experience). There are so many other things, but those two stood out as big winners for us.

Vegas was a blast. I’m not sure I need to go back for awhile, but I’m glad we got to take a break from this Toronto winter and indulge in some great food, wine, shopping and fun.

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Macaron Day TO!

One of my favourite sweet indulgences is the macaron - when done well, it's the most indulgent, delicious treat out there. So when I heard about Macaron Day TO, I was eager to learn all the details. Turns out, it's a great opportunity to try a new macaron flavour, as well as a chance to raise money for a wonderful charity - Red Door Shelter.

Participating patisseries are offering a free macaron to patrons who mention Macaron Day TO on Wednesday, March 20th. If you purchase more macarons (and, really, who can stop at just one?), 25% of the purchase price will go to support Red Door Shelter. 

And, as an added bonus for VQA wine-lovers, I have it on good authority that one of my personal favourite bakeries, Le Dolci, is hoping to have a new ganache for macarons made with honey from Rosewood Estate Winery.   We go through a lot of Rosewood's honey in our house, so I can attest to how awesome a combination it will likely be. Rosewood and Le Dolci often partner for fun events like wine and chocolate pairings - be sure to keep an eye on Le Dolci's class schedule to see when the next one pops up.

Now, anyone have any suggested wine pairings for macarons? Maybe a Vidal Icewine? We need to plan a wine and macaron tasting for the evening of the 20th! Someone needs to get on that.

Macaron Day TO takes place on Wednesday, March 20th. 

You can read a review of last year's fun event on Mardi's eat. live. travel. write. blog (with so many of her trademark, mouth-watering photos that you'll be powerless not to go this year).

Find a list of 2013's participating patisseries here: http://macarondayto.com/participants.html

Le Dolci is located at 1006 Dundas Street West in Toronto.