Saturday, July 25, 2015

  • Saturday, July 25, 2015

Château de Treviac 2012 (Midi) - Wine Review



Tonight's red wine is a sneak preview and will be on LCBO VINTAGES shelves on .

Château de Treviac is the property of young and dynamic winemaker Arnaud Sié. The property itself is located in Talairan, which lies between Carcassonne and Perpignan, just off the coast of the Balearic Sea and north of the Spanish border in the Corbières appellation of Languedoc-Roussillon (Midi), France. Arnaud took over the responsibility of his family's estate in 2000 and now controls 20 hectares of vineyards, 14 of which are in the Corbières appellation. The vineyards are situated at an altitude between 200 to 350 metres above sea level on rocky limestone-clay soils and surrounded by garrigue.


CHÂTEAU DE TREVIAC 2012 - AP Corbières, Midi, France (#670505) (XD) - $16.95

Château de Treviac 2012 from AP Corbières, Midi, France (89 pts)

Tasting Note:

Unoaked blend of 80% Syrah and 20% Grenache. Vanilla and cocoa aromas from the cork. Medium intensity nose with aromas of blackberry, black pepper, herbs and a hint of garrigue. The palate is medium+ bodied with rounded tannins and appealing flavours of black fruits, black pepper, sage and hints of blue fruit. It has very good acids and a slightly earthy, lengthy finish. Well balanced. Will be enjoyed with homemade Lamb Souvlaki. Score: 89 pts

Monday, July 20, 2015

  • Monday, July 20, 2015

July 25 LCBO VINTAGES Release: Chilled Wines + Argentina + Greece

LCBO Wine Picks from July 25, 2015 VINTAGES Release
The major feature of the VINTAGES Release is titled "Chill Out" and features 20 refreshing summer wines that should be chilled for ideal enjoyment. Also included in this release are mini-themes on wines from Argentina and Greece.

Obviously, all white wines should be served chilled, with some chilled more than others. The white wines I can recommend from the "Chill Out" feature are the medium sweet Henry of Pelham Riesling (it will be sweet), the just off-dry (slightly sweet) Pinot Gris from New Zealand, and a dry white wine from Italy that is 100% Pecorino.

There are also some red wines as part of the "Chill Out" feature, with the claim that most red wines are served warmer than their intended 'cellar temperature' of 18°C. These days, since I don't have a wine cooling unit or basement, all of my wines are refrigerated prior to opening. It's been amazing to see how much better the wines have tasted with a slight chill and also to see how the wine changes as it warms up in the glass. If your red wines aren't getting a slight chill, I would highly encourage you to try it.

The mini-theme on Argentina was disappointing, while the feature on Greek wines produced two wine recommendations. The dry white wine from Greece is a blend of local grape varieties Malagousia and Assyrtiko. Meanwhile, the Greek red wine is a blend of 60% Merlot and 40% Ximomavro.

Osoyoos Larose Le Grand Vin 2010 - BC VQA Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, Canada (91 pts)
Once again, quite a few wines from the Flagship Store Exclusive (FSE) section at the back of the magazine are included among my wine picks. Among them is a lush blend of 67% Merlot, 20% Cabernet Sauvignon, 6% Petit Verdot, 4% Cabernet Franc and 3% Malbec from British Columbia, a $110 red wine from Argentina that is 75% Cabernet Sauvignon and 25% Merlot, and an IGT blend of 85% Carignano (Carignan), 10% Cabernet Sauvignon, and 5% Merlot from Sardinia. There's also a $47 rosé that consists of 40% Cinsault, 40% Grenache, 14% Syrah, and 6% Cabernet Sauvignon. All of these wines will be available in limited quantities at VINTAGES Flagship Stores.

Other red wines to consider from this release include a 60/40 Touriga Nacional/Tinta Roriz (Tempranillo) blend from Portugal, and the Lealtanza Reserva which is 100% Tempranillo. The Remelluri red from Spain is mostly Tempranillo, but also contains Garnacha, Graciano and Viura.

For sweet wine lovers, you'll want to check out the Vineland Elevation St. Urban Vineyard Riesling that recently became a VINTAGES Essential and will now be available year round. Other sweet wines to consider are the aforementioned Henry of Pelham Riesling and the Pinot Gris from New Zealand.

Enjoy my wine picks for this week. Cheers!

Red Wine:

  • TSCHARKE BAROSSA GROUNDS COLLECTION SHIRAZ 2012 - Barossa Valley, South Australia (#411520) (XD) - $17.95
  • TESSELLAE VIEILLES VIGNES CARIGNAN 2013 - IGP Côtes Catalanes, Southwest, France (#343509) (XD) - $17.95
  • MAÇANITA RED 2012 - DOC Douro, Portugal (#408070) (XD) - $18.95
  • KTIMA KIR-YIANNI 2011 - PGI Imathia, Greece (#419234) (XD) - $18.95
  • LEALTANZA RESERVA 2009 - DOCa Rioja, Spain (#208223) (XD) - $19.95  reviewed here
  • REMELLURI LINDES DE REMELLURI VIÑEDOS DE LABASTIDA 2010 - DOCa Rioja, Spain (#422030) (XD) - $22.95
  • CARPINETO FARNITO CABERNET SAUVIGNON 2010 - IGT Toscana, Italy (#996553) (XD) - $27.95
  • BARRUA 2011 - IGT Isola dei Nuraghi, Sardinia, Italy (#109124) (XD) - $43.95  FSE
  • DOMAINE CHANTE CIGALE CHÂTEAUNEUF-DU-PAPE 2012 - AP, Rhône, France (#194993) (XD) - $44.95
  • OSOYOOS LAROSE LE GRAND VIN 2010 - BC VQA Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, Canada (#626325) (XD) - $44.95  FSE reviewed here
  • NICOLÁS CATENA ZAPATA 2010 - Mendoza, Argentina (#396960) (D) - $110.00  FSE

White Wine:

  • TENUTE MESSIERI VISIONI OFFIDA PECORINO 2012 - DOCG, Marche, Italy (#414011) (XD) 750 mL $16.95
  • HENRY OF PELHAM ESTATE RIESLING 2012 - VQA Short Hills Bench, Niagara Peninsula, Ontario, Canada (#557165) (M) - $17.95
  • KTIMA GEROVASSILIOU WHITE 2014 - PGI Epanomi, Greece (#999714) (XD) - $18.95
  • MOMO PINOT GRIS 2014 - Marlborough, South Island, New Zealand (#163535) (D) - $19.95
  • VINELAND ESTATES ELEVATION ST. URBAN VINEYARD RIESLING 2014 - VQA Niagara Escarpment, Ontario, Canada (#038117) (M) - $19.95
  • SERESIN SAUVIGNON BLANC 2013 - Marlborough, South Island, New Zealand (#735043) (XD) - $23.95
  • DOG POINT VINEYARD CHARDONNAY 2012 - Marlborough, South Island, New Zealand (#238568) (XD) - $42.95  FSE
  • BILLAUD-SIMON MONTÉE DE TONNERRE CHABLIS 1 ER CRU 2011 - AC, Burgundy, France (#325241) (XD) - $45.95
  • ROUX PÈRE & FILS LES CHAUMES CHASSAGNE-MONTRACHET 2013 - AC, Burgundy, France (#208512) (XD) - $64.95

Rosé Wine:

  • DOMAINES OTT CHÂTEAU DE SELLE COEUR DE GRAIN ROSÉ 2014 - AC Côtes de Provence, France (#074617) (XD) - $46.95  FSE

Sparkling Wine:

  • NAVERAN BRUT NATURE MILLESSIME CAVA 2011 - DO, Navarra, Spain (#414649) (XD) - $17.95
  • CHARLES HEIDSIECK BRUT RÉSERVE CHAMPAGNE - AC, Champagne, France (#036962) (D) - $69.95


The rest of the wines from this release can be found here.

Saturday, July 18, 2015

  • Saturday, July 18, 2015

Lavau Côtes du Rhône Villages 2011 (France) - Wine Review

Formerly of St. Emilion, the Lavau Family has been in winemaking for several generations. In 1964, they settled in the Rhône valley and now have 3 cellars and work with over 300 grape growers. This partnership with grape growers has allowed Benoit and Frederic Lavau to select the best terroir and the best grapes for each of their blends. The grapes for this wine were hand-harvested from the steep terraced hillsides of Gigondas.

This red wine is part of the LCBO General List and will be widely available across Ontario in the coming days.

LAVAU CÔTES DU RHÔNE VILLAGES 2011 - AOC, Rhône, France (#421024) (XD) - $12.90

Lavau Côtes du Rhône Villages 2011 from AOC, Rhône, France (88 pts)

Tasting Note:

50/50 blend of Syrah and Grenache. Wood and plum aromas from the cork. Medium+ aromatics from the glass with notes of blackberry, black cherry, kirsch liquer, and sweet oak spices. On the palate, it's medium-bodied with black plum, sweet baking spice and some herbal, sage nuances. It has very good acids and fine tannins. Finishes long with slight chalky mouthfeel. Very good value! Score: 88 pts

Wednesday, July 15, 2015

  • Wednesday, July 15, 2015

31 Days of German Riesling: Media Wine Tasting + Contest

The 31 Days of German Riesling
On , I was thrilled to attend a media exclusive tasting at the iYellow Wine Cave to celebrate The 31 Days of German Riesling.

In all there were 8 German Rieslings available for tasting, including a Sparkling Riesling. There were also wines made from Rivaner, Grauburgunder (Pinot Gris), and a pair of Spätburgunder (Pinot Noir) wines. All of the wines were from Germany.

Personally, I'm a big fan of German Riesling and prefer the sweeter versions over dry Riesling. Furthermore, the quality of German Riesling with it's brilliant acidity makes it favourable for pairing with meals. Excellent German Riesling also tends be available at very good price points that are approachable for even the casual wine drinker. For fans of sweet wine, German Riesling is one of the first places you should look to when adding wines to your cellar, or if you're looking to sip on something mid-week or on a Saturday night.

Below you will find wine reviews of 6 of the wines I tasted and enjoyed at The Cave. The first two wines are readily available at the LCBO, while the other four wines were previously featured in VINTAGES and are either sold out or almost sold out (click on the product code below to find stock levels at your local store). Furthermore, nearly all of the wines I tasted will be poured at iYellow's Riesling Wine School on .

As part of Canada-wide celebrations running through July and August, there is also a fantastic contest to win a trip to Berlin, Germany.

If you're drinking any German wine or German Riesling over the next couple of months, be sure to use the official hashtags #SipGermany or #31DaysOfRiesling, or leave a comment in this post. I want to hear what you think about German wines.

Tasting Notes:

RE-THINK DRY RIESLING 2012 - Mosel, Germany (#394361) (D) - $12.80 $11.30 until July 19
Impressive medium-to-high aromatics featuring petrol, mineral aromas along with hints of tropical fruit and pineapple. The palate is medium-bodied with bright acids with flinty, orange citrus and tart lime flavours. Off-dry (slightly sweet) in style. The finish is medium-long and a touch hot. Score: 87 pts

Re-Think Dry Riesling 2012 - Mosel, Germany (87 pts)Villa Wolf Riesling 2013 - Pfalz, Germany (89 pts)

VILLA WOLF RIESLING 2013 - Pfalz, Germany (#394023) (M) - $14.95
Focused, medium-high aromas showing elegant sweet lime, mineral, pink grapefruit notes. On the palate, it's medium+ bodied with lovely floral, lemon, and mineral flavours in a medium sweet profile. Racy acids give way to long, smooth finish. Elegant and classy. Score: 89 pts

BOLLIG-LEHNERT PIESPORTER GOLDTRÖPFCHEN RIESLING SPÄTLESE 2011 - Mosel, Germany (#284422) (S) - $17.75
Highly aromatic nose, elegant with petrol, citrus orange and hints of white peach, apricot, pink grapefruit and honey all make an appearance. It's medium-bodied with very nice, sweet aroma replays. Crisp, balanced acids and excellent length on the finish. Will continue to age gracefully over the next 8-10 years, but why wait? Score: 91 pts

Bollig-Lehnert Piesporter Goldtröpfchen Riesling Spätlese 2011 - Mosel, Germany (91 pts)Wegeler Rüdesheimer Berg Schlossberg Riesling Kabinett 2012 - Rheingau, Germany (91+ pts)

WEGELER RÜDESHEIMER BERG SCHLOSSBERG RIESLING KABINETT 2012 - Rheingau, Germany (#378083) (M) - $25.95
Highly aromatic with elegant petrol, orange, and citrus nose. Medium+ bodied. Medium (sweet) aroma replays are nicely balanced on the palate by the bright, crisp acidity. Very long, minerally finish. Drink over the next 7 years. Score: 91+ pts

BECK HEDESHEIMER HOF GRAUER BURGUNDER KABINETT TROCKEN 2012 - Rheinhessen, Germany (#378349) (D) - $19.95
This Pinot Gris has complex medium intensity aromas of herbaceous, stone fruit, fennel and lime. Floral, herbal and hints of fruits on the medium-bodied palate. Just off-dry (slight sweet) with fine, beady acids. Long, crisp and minerally finish. Well done! Score: 90 pts

Beck Hedesheimer Hof Grauer Burgunder Kabinett Trocken 2012 - Rheinhessen, Germany (90 pts)Heinrich Vollmer Altum Spätburgunder 2008 - Pfalz, Germany (89 pts)

HEINRICH VOLLMER ALTUM SPÄTBURGUNDER 2008 - Pfalz, Germany (#375279) (D) - $21.95
This mature Pinot Noir has medium-high balanced rustic aromas of cherry, oak spices and light hints of earthy-smokiness. On the palate, it's medium-weighted dried cherry, black cherry and integrated oak flavours. It has dusty tannins, very good acids and a lengthy finish. Score: 89 pts

Monday, July 6, 2015

  • Monday, July 6, 2015

Reichsgraf von Kesselstat Kaseler Nies'chen Riesling Kabinett 2006 (Mosel) - Wine Review

Opened up this beautiful white wine . It was purchased from a VINTAGES release last August. For sweet wine lovers, stay tuned for future vintages as this is a consistently great wine!

REICHSGRAF VON KESSELSTAT KASELER NIES'CHEN RIESLING KABINETT 2006 - Pradikätswein, Mosel, Germany (#940809) (M) - $19.95

Reichsgraf von Kesselstat Kaseler Nies'chen Riesling Kabinett 2006 from Pradikätswein, Mosel, Germany (91 pts)

Tasting Note:

Orange citrus and peach aromas from the cork. Highly aromatic petrol, orange, candied ginger, white peach and a touch of honey. Medium+ bodied and medium sweet with very nice aroma replays. Impresses with bright, vibrant acids at 9 years old and balances the sweetness very well. Excellent length on the finish. Will continue to drink well over the next 5-8 years. Score: 91 pts
  • Monday, July 6, 2015

July 11 VINTAGES Release: Spain + Cool-Climate Chardonnay

LCBO Wine Picks from July 11, 2015 VINTAGES Release
The LCBO VINTAGES Release will be on shelves this coming . The main theme of this release features 18 food-friendly wines from Spain, including quite a few that are new to VINTAGES. The mini-theme coincides with the upcoming Cool-Climate Chardonnay Celebration (i4c) in Niagara and highlights 10 "cool" Chardonnays from around the globe.

From the 18 wines in the Spain thematic, 5 wines made my list of wine picks. We'll begin with a pair of Cava (Spanish sparkling wines). The first is a blend of local varietals Macabeo, Xarel-lo, and Parellada from Juvé & Camps. The second Cava is from the producer Gramona, aged 5 years in cork and is a blend of 70% Xarel-lo and 30% Macabeo; at 9 years old, this is a mature Cava. Both of these Cavas are off-dry and will show some sweetness - my types of sparkling wines.

Also from the Spain feature is the Cune Reserva that is a blend of 85% Tempranillo, 5% Garnacha (Grenache), 5% Mazuelo (Carignan), and 5% Graciano. A common theme among Spanish wines is that you can buy them pre-aged, as is the Heretat Mont-Rubi - a wine that is now 11 years old and blended with 30% Sumoll, 20% Cariñena (Carignan), 20% Garnacha, 20% Syrah and 10% Merlot. In white wines from Spain, there is an organic Verdejo.

I suppose the Torres Floralis Moscatel is not very food-friendly because it was not included as part of the Spanish feature. Regardless, it's an excellent fortified wine and one that I will likely add to my collection this time around.

Gramona Iii Lustros Gran Reserva Brut Nature Cava 2006 from DO Cava, Penedès, Spain (92 pts)Hamilton Russell Chardonnay 2013 from WO Hemel-en-Aarde Valley, South Africa (91 pts)

The collection of 10 Cool Chardonnays is quite good, with nearly half of these white wines making my wine picks. The four I've chosen are the locally made Chardonnays from Cave Spring and Pearl Morissette, as well as an Oregon Chardonnay and a South African Chardonnay. All have seen some time with oak.

From the rest of the release, the Creekside's Laura's Red is a blend of 45% Cabernet Sauvignon, 28% Merlot, 21% Cabernet Franc, 3% Syrah, 2% Malbec, and 1% Petit Verdot, while the Chianti actually contains 3% Canaiolo and 2% Malvasia/Trebbiano (the balance is, of course, Sangiovese). The two Montalcino wines are also 100% Sangiovese. Lastly, the rosé wine pick from this release is dry and consists of 60% Cinsault and 40% Grenache.

Enjoy my wine recommendations from this release. Cheers!

Red Wine:

  • GÉRARD BERTRAND GRAND TERROIR LES ASPRES SYRAH / MOURVÈDRE / GRENACHE 2011 - AP Côtes du Roussillon, France (#413245) (XD) - $18.95
  • CASTELGREVE CHIANTI CLASSICO RISERVA 2009 - DOCG, Tuscany, Italy (#344416) (XD) - $19.95
  • CREEKSIDE ESTATE LAURA’S RED 2012 - VQA Niagara Peninsula, Ontario, Canada (#117960) (XD) - $19.95  reviewed here
  • HERETAT MONT-RUBI DURONA TINTO 2004 - Vino de Mesa, Spain (#143255) (D) - $19.95
  • DOMAINE TOURNON MATHILDA SHIRAZ 2012 - Victoria, Australia (#327395) (XD) - $19.95
  • CUNE RESERVA 2010 - DOCa Rioja, Spain (#417659) (XD) - $23.95
  • BUENA VISTA PINOT NOIR 2011 - Carneros, California, USA (#304105) (XD) - $24.95  reviewed here
  • UCCELLIERA ROSSO DI MONTALCINO 2012 - DOC, Tuscany, Italy (#414581) (XD) - $31.95  FSE
  • LA VELONA BRUNELLO DI MONTALCINO 2009 - DOCG, Tuscany, Italy (#181321) (XD) - $39.95
  • DOMAINE D’ARDHUY ALOXE-CORTON LES CHAILLOTS 1 ER CRU 2012 - AC, Burgundy, France (#413112) (XD) - $67.95
Creekside Estate Laura's Red 2012 - VQA Niagara Peninsula, Ontario, Canada (89 pts)Buena Vista Pinot Noir 2011 - Carneros, California, USA (90 pts)

White Wine:

  • FINCA LAS CARABALLAS VERDEJO 2013 - Vino de la Tierra de Castilla y Leon, Spain (#418699) (XD) - $16.95
  • WILLY GISSELBRECHT TRADITION GEWURZTRAMINER 2012 - AC Alsace, France (#928390) (M) - $17.95
  • CAVE SPRING ESTATE BOTTLED CHARDONNAY 2013 - Cave Spring Vineyard, VQA Beamsville Bench, Niagara Peninsula Ontario, Canada (#256552) (XD) - $18.95
  • ROBERT OATLEY SIGNATURE SERIES CHARDONNAY 2013 - Margaret River, Western Australia (#350900) (XD) - $18.95
  • REINHOLD HAART HAART TO HEART PIESPORT RIESLING 2013 - Qualitätswein, Mosel-Saar-Ruwer, Germany (#672683) (M) - $19.95
  • JEAN-PIERRE BAILLY POUILLY-FUMÉ 2013 - AC, Loire, France (#408815) (XD) - $22.95
  • GEROVASSILIOU MALAGOUSIA 2014 - Vieilles Vignes, IGP Epanomi, Greece (#416792) (XD) - $23.95
  • BACHELDER OREGON CHARDONNAY 2012 - Willamette Valley, Oregon, USA (#273334) (XD) - $29.95
  • PEARL MORISSETTE CUVÉE DIX-NEUVIÈME CHARDONNAY 2012 - VQA Twenty Mile Bench, Niagara Peninsula, Ontario, Canada (#303602) (XD) - $35.20
  • HAMILTON RUSSELL CHARDONNAY 2013 - WO Hemel-en-Aarde Valley, South Africa (#931006) (XD) - $38.95  reviewed here

Rosé Wine:

  • CHÂTEAU DE BERNE TERRES DE BERNE ROSÉ 2013 - AP Côtes de Provence, France (#278861) (XD) - $17.95

Sparkling Wine:

  • JUVÉ & CAMPS CINTA PURPURA RESERVA BRUT CAVA 2011 - DO Cava, Catalunya, Spain (#352864) (D) - $18.95
  • GRAMONA III LUSTROS GRAN RESERVA BRUT NATURE CAVA 2006 - DO Cava, Penedès, Spain (#413963) (D) - $49.95  reviewed here

Fortifieds:



The rest of the wines from this release can be found here.

Friday, July 3, 2015

  • Friday, July 3, 2015

Lunch at Farmers' Table @Southbrook

Southbrook Vineyards
On my latest visit to Niagara last month, I had the pleasure of having lunch at Farmers' Table @Southbrook, a brand new restaurant by Southbrook Vineyards located on their property and attached to the winery in Niagara-on-the-Lake. Having driven by Southbrook many times, this was actually my very first visit to the winery - a modern building with clean lines, and an open, transparent feeling throughout. On my next visit to Southbrook, which I hope will be sooner rather than later, I think a tour of the facilities will be in order.

As we entered the winery, we turned left and walked through the tasting room and headed to the outdoor patio. Chef Shawn Murphy quickly recognized me as I stepped onto the patio and we had a quick intro while he prepared meals for the other guests. The patio was mostly sheltered from the beaming hot sun on this day. However, the outdoor kitchen where Chef Shawn prepares his meals is not - and he was feeling the heat on this day. Guests have the option of sitting under the roof or on the charming umbrella-covered wooden park benches.

Outdoor patio at Farmers' Table @SouthbrookOutdoor patio at Farmers' Table @Southbrook

Southbrook was Canada's first certified organic and biodynamic winery. This philosophy continues at Farmers' Table, where nearly all the ingredients used to prepare dishes are locally sourced from sustainable practices. Chef Shawn mentioned that just about everything was grown/produced no more than 5 kilometres from the property. Quite an achievement, I must say!

While we waited for our first course, Chef Shawn brought us some grilled organic whole wheat bread topped with Handeck cheese shavings, alongside pickled organic green tomatoes drizzled with olive oil, black pepper and salt. All of it was prepared fresh and tasted very good.

Braised lamb pizzaThe sheep at the back of the property

The second course was the Feature Pizza of the Day - a delicious braised lamb pizza with wild garlic scapes, asparagus, goat cheese, and garlic oil made fresh in their outdoor pizza oven. The dough is made in-house using Red Fife flour and Bioflavia grape skin powder, while the lamb is raised by Southbrook and likely from the same herd I saw out back. I've never had lamb on a pizza before, but had no doubt it would be delicious - and I was right! I would love to see this pizza on their daily menu. Because the pizza had good balance between all the different elements - meat, cheese, vegetables - it is quite versatile for pairing with wine. I enjoyed it with their 2014 Southbrook Triomphe Cabernet Franc Rosé (#279117, $19.95, 88 pts).


Strawberry salad
To waken up the palate before the main course, we were served up a very interesting salad made with... strawberries! These local strawberries were served with 12-month aged Handeck cow's milk cheese and fresh baby Arugula in a Petit Verdot Vinaigrette and topped with sea salt. What was really interesting was that the Arugula was grown in the raised garden bed located right beside our table. Awesome! Overall, it was quite the sensory explosion on the palate with sweet, salty and sour all making a delightful appearance, and the creamy cheese holding it all together.

Prior to arriving at Southbrook on this fine day, we had already visited Reif Winery and Pillitteri Estates Winery for a cheese platter, pizza, and grilled cheese and, unsurprisingly, our stomachs we were now starting to get full. However, there was at least one more course to go.

Roasted free-range chicken

Chef Shawn had roasted a whole free-range chicken on the outdoor the grill and seasoned it with black pepper and salt. It was then topped with a raisin salad dressing and the aforementioned fresh Arugula. The meat was tender and delicious - a very nice creation indeed. It also paired quite nicely with their 2013 Southbrook Triomphe Chardonnay (#172338, $22.95, 89 pts). Since we were already quite full, we didn't get to eat too much of the chicken and ended up taking it home and ate it for lunch on Monday. It made for a very nice lunch to be sure!

We also had to take a pass on a delicious looking dessert - it appeared to be a strawberry rhubarb parfait - that nearly everyone else was enjoying.

I came to this dining experience with little expectations and left wishing that more restaurants do it the way Southbrook does. It was very enlightening speaking to Shawn and learning about the many practices that he and Southbrook have employed. It's not often one finds a restaurant where the produce is only a few hours old. Shawn also shared some of his other wonderful ideas that I hope come to fruition in the coming weeks and months.

Fresh herbs grown right beside our tableChef Shawn Murphy in his kitchen

Shawn Murphy’s passion for local food dates back to his childhood, having spent time growing up on his grandparents farm and eating the vegetables harvested from their garden. Shawn is a graduate from Niagara College’s Culinary Management Program, and is no stranger to the wine community after spending time in the kitchens at Hillebrand Winery and working as a sous-chef at Ravine Vineyards.

This was a very refreshing experience at Farmers' Table @Southbrook and one that I would encourage everyone to experience for yourself. Farmers' Table @Southbrook is open from June 4 to Thanksgiving weekend (October 12), Thursday through to Monday from 11:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Follow @SouthbrookWine for more details, updates and daily specials.

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