Romantic Stay at Home Valentine’s Day Food & Wine Pairing Ideas From Essex County Wineries

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.

Aleksander Estate Winery Food & Wine Pairing by EssexCountyWineries.caWith 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, 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.

Crew Winery Food & Wine Pairing by Essex County Wineries“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.

August 30, 2015 – Paglione Estate Winery 2012 Santino Rosé with Poached Apricots and Peaches

Desserts compliment a beautiful Rose.

July 26, 2015 – CREW Colchester Ridge Estate Winery 2011 Cabernet Franc VQA with Fire Baked Salami Pizza

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?

May 31, 2015 – Aleksander Estate Winery Rosé with Parmesan & Herbed Quinoa Stuffed Portobello Mushrooms

Portobello mushrooms make great bun replacement. You need to try this one.

May 24, 2015 – Erie Shore Vineyard’s 2011 Cabernet Franc Reserve & duck confit

Duck pairs very well with this Cabernet Franc.

April 12, 2015 – Cooper’s Hawk Vineyards 2012 Cabernet Sauvignon with Marinated Flank Steak

Local grain feed beef and Cabernet Sauvignon helped start off the BBQ season.

March 22, 2015 – D’Angelo Vineyards Estate Winery’s 2008 Fortified Foch sweet red Fortified wine with Dark Chocolate energy bites

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.

March 1, 2015 – Black Bear Farms Peach Fruit Wine with Salami and Gouda Shish Kebabs

Fruit wines and salty meat pair very nice.

Cooper's Hawk Food & Wine Pairing by Essex County WineriesSo 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