You don’t visit a winery without tasting some of their wine. And when you’re being offered 9 different samples to try, you know it’s going to be a fun night. We were treated to a private holiday wine tasting at the Atlantis Niagara Winery estates on behalf of the owner/winemaker John Kocsis, where every single bottle passes through his hands before being served or sold. It’s easy to discern that wine making is more of an art than a business at Atlantis Niagara Winery.
The night started off with a chauffeured service from our offices to the winery (in a party bus nonetheless, we could already predict the fun that would ensue) where we met the owner himself as well as his wife (you’re not going to believe her cooking) and his team.
Although it was dark, we could smell the fresh, crisp air radiating from nutrient rich soil turned over by the receding glaciers 12,000 years ago. Located in the Niagara Region of Ontario, Canada, Atlantis Niagara’s vineyards were once covered in over 300 ft. of ice, but is now home of some of the best icewines in the world – and that’s not an exaggeration. A bottle of icewine from Atlantis Niagara will run you a steep $225 each. With an extremely hands-on approach, Atlantis Niagara’s ultra-premium icewines are definitely for the consumer who appreciates the finer things in life. You won’t be able to find these bottles at your local liquor store, as limited quantities are produced each season, making it unviable for mass consumption.
The whole night turned out to be more of an experience as opposed to a press event. And although it was set up in their warehouse, everything felt cozy, comfy and right at home. We were treated to a charcuterie platter to start off the night as everyone settled in and John introduced himself to us.
They had 9 different samples lined up for us that night, and we kicked off the evening with the 2012 Late Harvest that was sweet but wasn’t overly dry. Now I’m not a big fan of wines, even white ones either, but this one went down as smooth as wine can go. There was no aftertaste, nor was there a before taste (does that even exist?). All we could taste was some apricot, lychee and another sweet fruit. The wine went well with the cheese and pruscuitto and was the perfect one to start off the night.
Our second tasting of the night was a little bit drier and less sweet. It served well as a palette cleanser in between the appetizers and the main course which was served next. We were treated to a home cooked dinner by John’s wife, which consisted of haddock, steamed vegetables, and a side of mashed potatos. Our third wine of the night was served with the main course and it really enhanced the flavors of the haddock.
After finshing up our meal, we were treated to large array of desserts (including cake!) and were served several different ice wines to try. If you haven’t ever tasted ice wine, then you’re very much so missing out. This sweet dessert-like wine is enjoyed in small portions and is the perfect way to incorporate some drinks into your dessert!
After some light chit-chat with the other attendees and an interview with John (he knows how to throw a party), we ended the night with some tank samples of white icewine (which were delicious) and then boarded the party bus back home. Being the generous host that John is, he slipped us a few bottles of Sassafraz to enjoy on the ride back home (I can confirm that it was a party going back). With Mariah Carey’s 90’s jams blasting and spirits flowing, it was the perfect way to end a night of fine wining and dining hosted by our friends from Atlantis Niagara Winery.
[quote_center]Do you prefer reds or whites?[/quote_center]
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