Pelee Island Winery and Birdie’s Perch

IMG_5325The long weekend gets even better – yesterday, Jonathan and I went for a tour of Pelee Island Winery.  We sampled a few new wines and learn a few things about how one of my favourite Ontario wines is made.  The tour started by tasting a few reds and whites of varying sweetness, flavours and age.  We even got to keep the wine glasses at the end as a fun keepsake.  Our favourite wine that we tasted was a new organic wine called Pelee Pure.  It was light, non acidic and perfect for a summer afternoon with some appetizers.

First in the tour they showed us the huge barrels that were used about forty years ago, imported from France made from French oak.  These barrels are fun to look at, but hard to keep clean.  Each time these wine barrels were emptied someone had to crawl into the barrel and scrape the insides clean so that the flavour would be perfect for the next batch of wine.  Currently, Pelee Island uses smaller oak barrels and giant stainless steel barrels to age, ferment and store its wine.  A fun fact that I learned about sparkling wine is the finer the bubbles the higher the quality of the sparkling wine.IMG_5306IMG_5307IMG_5313

IMG_5326At the side of the building there was a mini vineyard and pretty garden beds.  All of the grapes used in the wine are grown on the island.  Pelee Island was chosen to grow grapes primarily because it shares the same latitude as Northern California and Southern France.  Meaning a warm climate and longer growing season.  Pelee Island has 550 acres of vineyards and is Canada’s largest private estate.  You can also visit Pelee Island for wonderful bird watching, hiking and cycling.  There is a ferry that goes over to the island, but it only goes across twice per day.

IMG_5339After our wonderful tour Jonathan and I went for fish tacos at Birdie’s Perch.  Jonathan discovered this unique chip truck while writing for his weekly food column at CBC Radio Windsor.  He loved the food so much that he simply had to take me back to try the food.  The ingredients were fresh and delicious – the perch in the taco came from Lake Erie.  Jonathan also ordered a delicious Canadian treat – poutine!  Clearly because it’s delicious and to celebrate our Canada Day weekend.  On the top level of the bus there are tables, but since it was humid we opted for a shaded picnic table where there was a nice breeze.  It was a perfect ending for our day.  On the drive back we drove by many beautiful farms where farmers grow fresh produce.  Local produce always tastes better and can be a fun way to explore your surroundings.IMG_5340IMG_5337IMG_5346IMG_5344IMG_5342IMG_5323IMG_5303IMG_5300IMG_5297

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Sangria Blanco and a new Graduate in the Family!

IMG_5052Today’s recipe:  Sangria Blanco!

A special congratulations to my sister for completing her university degree!  We had some special drinks and a barbecue tonight to celebrate.  Beau (the dog) greeted the new university graduate with some turquoise balloons at the front door.  My Dad is in the picture too (I think he is freeing Beau from his balloon greeter duties, so Beau can have dinner too).

My sister loves refreshing summery drinks.  This recipe certainly fits the bill – it was a refreshing combination of green tea, orange juice, prosecco, fresh lemons and fresh oranges.  I chopped the oranges into cubes and put them in the freezer for two hours and they acted as ice cubes to keep the drinks cool.  In a pitcher it is the perfect elegant summer beverage.  I would also make this drink without the wine (for those who do not drink).  Add more green tea and orange juice and add in the fresh citrus fruits.  It is sure to impress your guests!IMG_5055IMG_5028IMG_5045IMG_5062

Ingredients

1 can Arizona Green Tea

1 cup orange juice

2 oranges, cubed

2 lemons, sliced

1 bottle Prosecco

Instructions

1.  Slice fruit and place in pitcher. (freeze orange cubes two hours before you plan to serve it)

2.  Pour in orange juice, green tea, and Prosecco.  Stir well.

3. Serve and enjoy!