June 23rd - June 25th 2017
The past couple weeks have been a dramatic mess to say the least. As I mentioned, I haven’t been feeling the most awesome, but I was so incredibly excited to spend the weekend in Niagara Falls, wine tasting for my 3 year anniversary with Pierce.
We had Groupons and a hotel booked - two wine tours, and plans to have a nice dinner at the falls. I was so excited to get away since our New York had was not going to happen for at least another few months, so you can imagine how upset I was when I was being told I had to spend our anniversary night in the hospital.
I was exhausted and upset, but most of all, very anxious to just feel better. I was lucky the nurses let my boyfriend and I have our ‘date night’ in my hospital room — though that day, ‘date night’ meant watching Netflix and buzzing the nurse because my IV kept beeping.
Sadly, we ended up missing our first wine tour on the Saturday - and after I was discharged I forced my sick body to drink a smoothie and hit the road for Niagara. It wasn’t the weekend I had in mind, but I am still so grateful that Pierce was by my side the entire time.
We stayed at the Oaks hotel and spent the night roaming around the area in the dark, impressed by the changing colours of the lit up falls. I wore Pierce’s (very large) blue rain coat and some teenager made fun of me by shouting ‘graduation?!’.. it was the most alive I felt all weekend.
The next day I woke up feeling sick, but determined to taste some wine because we were about to experience our first winery experience, ever! We chose the Wayne Gretzky Food + Wine Pairing (and let me just say, I am incredibly proud of completing this event with multiple esophagus ulcers).
As a Brantford girl (who doesn’t care much for sports), I love Wayne Gretzky because I would see his dad Walter all around my hometown growing up. I spent so many nights swimming and watching my friends play hockey at the Gretzky centre, and once my dad met Wayne while he was shopping at the local Sport Check so I definitely feel like we’re long lost buds.
The Food and Wine Pairing was very insightful because I discovered that I know virtually nothing about wine; as an Italian, this is sad. During the tour we sat in glass room overlooking the winery estate - this, and my new hair cut, had me feeling like Posh Spice in the late 90’s.
To my surprise, the food was OK for vegetarians - minus the piece of meat, but I just gave that to Pierce and stuck with the fig/apple/walnut bread (which was my favourite).
I enjoyed most of the wines we tasted, minus the ice wine (but lets be real, if you like ice wine, I am concerned - it tastes like cough syrup and smells like ketchup). I liked this option, (especially as an individual who had just been diagnosed with having ulcers) because we were sitting down, eating and learning about how to actually make wine taste better with food. We learned how to sip, swish and let the wine breathe, along with what kind of stem and glass should be used with certain wines. I left feeling like a little smarter, which is always a nice feeling to have when you’re a little tipsy.
We purchased a few bottles of wine for ourselves and gifts for friends and family after we took a little tour of the beautiful Niagara-on-the-lake location.
Though this weekend was definitely not what I envisioned when I thought “anniversary in Niagara” but I can’t complain because now I am on the road to recovery and have a few new bottles of Shiraz on my bar cart. I would happily recommend doing this tour, especially if you are new to drinking wine. Thank you for having us Wayne Gretzky Winery - you helped us make the most of our, initially, bummer of a weekend.