Monday, September 27, 2010

Savour Stratford: Part I

A couple of years ago, for our birthdays (which are 3 days apart), Giz and I went to Prince Edward County for their festival.

This year, we decided to go to Stratford, to partake in some of the Stratford Shakespeare Festival and Savour Stratford.

We arrived in time to try out the "VQA Wine and Chocolate Tasting". Chris Guilliani from Chateau des Charmes Vineyard in Niagara and Kristene Steed of Rheo Thompson Candies in Stratford walked us through the chocolate and wine pairings.

Both Giz and I were really impressed with the tasting. For only $15, you get 5 pieces of chocolate and 6 glasses of wine. Not to mention the educational information about how to properly sample chocolate (letting it melt in your mouth) along with the wine. In the video below, Chris is making a compelling case for buying VQA wines:

Here is some more information about VQA wine..

Every VQA wine meets the following standard:

Wine must be made from 100% fresh Ontario grown grapes — no concentrates are permitted - Grapes used must meet a quality standard for each variety (measured by natural sugar content in the ripe grapes)
No water can be added in the winemaking process
Labels must be truthful and accurately represent the wine in the bottle
All wines except for sparkling wines must be vintage dated and meet vintage requirements
All wines must be packaged in glass bottles with cork, synthetic or approved screwcap closures
All finished wines are evaluated by an expert taste panel and a laboratory analysis and must meet minimum quality standards before release.

Since I convinced Giz that she shouldn't drink too much of her wine (she was first) and let me drink the rest....I was feeling pretty good by the end of the tasting. It worked out perfectly too because I'm about as chatty and ready to talk to strangers after drinking about a bottle of wine as Giz is sober. So, off we went to the farmer's market set up as part of the festival.

The market had a nice variety of produce, preserves, etc...

We saw these neat fruits at Sea Buckthorn Orchard's stand. Apparently, "Sea Buckthorn is rich in many essential nutrients. It contains high concentrations of Vitamin C, carotenoids, fatty acids as well as phytochemicals that are known to have strong antioxidant activity".

What's with all of the Golden Retrievers in Stratford?

Nice to see the Farmers Feed Cities folks there:

Farmer's Feed Cities, an organization with a vision of being a driver in ensuring a thriving and sustainable farming industry in Ontario. They promote a greater understanding of the significant contributions made by farmers to the wellbeing of Ontario.

We still have another post coming, to talk about one of the main events of the festival...


kat said...

What a fun trip. I went to Stratford once in high school to see some places & really enjoyed the city

Valerie Harrison (bellini) said...

What an exciting day you ladies had!!! Anythung foodie related has to be attended!!

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