Why not spend Valentine’s Day at home with a romantic dinner and a bottle of Essex Pelee Island Coast (EPIC) wine?
Getting last minute restaurant reservations to treat your sweetheart to a romantic night out can be next to impossible and stressful but it doesn’t have to ruin your Valentine’s Day.
With so many wonderful wineries surrounding the Windsor Essex area picking up a bottle of local wine to go with a homemade dinner and a relaxing night at home couldn’t be easier. Dim the lights, light a few candles, make sure to do the dishes and the love of your life might just appreciate your plan more than waiting for a table at a noisy restaurant packed with couples trying to be intimate.
If figuring out what to cook and pair perfectly with what brand of wine makes you anxious there’s no need to worry because a fantastic resource will show you everything you need to know, recipes included.
In an effort to promote and educate the public about our great wine making region Bruce and Tina Durward, founders of EssexCountyWineries.ca, sample local wines and pair them with homemade food they prepare themselves. Each week a post to their website features a wine from one of the area’s local vineyards paired with an appetizer or entree and the recipes for those who want to try it for themselves at home.
“All of our pairings are prepared and cooked by my wife Tina and I. The wines are gifted by the wineries and summer produce comes from Lee and Maria’s Market (Kingsville, Ontario). We always choose local or Ontario meat and vegetables whenever possible,” explains Bruce Durward.
The website launched on November 12, 2012 and as of the time of this writing they have shared over 182 food and wine pairings. Bruce and Tina enjoy hosting food and drink parties. Since Bruce is a web designer the couple came up with the idea for their website as a way to help promote the area’s wine tourism industry.
“All of the wineries have been great with this. They supply the wine and have told me people have been to the site before contacting them, so it is helping get the word out”, says Durward. “We have only had positive feedback. Traffic is up 25% every month over last year. People like the site. They like that they can get information on all wineries in one spot. They look forward to the next pairing and like the events page, tours, restaurants and accommodations pages.”
“We have chosen some of our favourites from this past year based on flavour, appearance and unique pairings. They would be perfect for a couple to enjoy at home for Valentine’s Day,” says Durward.
Favourite Essex County Wineries Food & Wine Pairings Of The Past Year With Comments by Bruce Durward
December 13, 2015 – Wagner Estate Winery Firehouse Red and Dark Chocolate Dipped Chips
This pairing was simple to make and the message of giving and sharing for the holiday season comes out.
November 29, 2015 – Sprucewood Shores Estate Winery 2014 Riesling Sparkling with Bourbon Chicken
A great Sparkling White to enjoy on any occasion.
September 7, 2015 – Colio Estate Winery Girls’ Night Out BFF Red 2013 with Mini Tomato Burgers
Even vegetarians can enjoy burgers and wine.
Desserts compliment a beautiful Rose.
Everyone loves pizza. Why not with wine.
June 21, 2015 – Muscedere Vineyards 2012 Pinot Noir with Maryland Style Pit Beef
What father would not enjoy beef and wine on father’s day?
Portobello mushrooms make great bun replacement. You need to try this one.
Duck pairs very well with this Cabernet Franc.
Local grain feed beef and Cabernet Sauvignon helped start off the BBQ season.
Dark Chocolate sweets will light up any occasion.
March 15, 2015 – Mastronardi Estate Winery 2013 Gewurztraminer with Spicy Appetizers
Spicy appetizers pair well with this white.
Fruit wines and salty meat pair very nice.
So if last minute restaurant reservations for Valentine’s Day (or any other special occasion like an anniversary) has got you down consider a romantic relaxing evening at home instead. After all, figuring out what to cook and pair it with couldn’t be easier thanks to EssexCountyWineries.ca