Niagara-on-the-Lake in Ontario, Canada, is one of the best places in the world for wine lovers. The region is known for unique, sweet dessert ice wine, which is made with grapes still frozen on the vine. In May, you can check out diverse wines throughout Niagara Falls at Sip & Sizzle, which occurs every full weekend in May from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Sip & Sizzle lives up to its name. Sip on locally crafted wines, and nibble on sizzling grilled food pairings like spiced pork sausage or prime rib sliders at more than 20 wineries. The Sip & Sizzle event is one of the best Niagara wine tours because it’s a great way to learn about Niagara Falls wines and taste some delicious food the region has to offer.
What Kind of Wine Will You Get at Sip & Sizzle?
Every wine served during Sip & Sizzle is a premium VQA wine. VQA stands for Vintners Quality Alliance. A VQA Ontario designation means the wine is from 100 percent Ontario-grown grapes, so you can be assured you’re drinking pure Ontario-based wine at each Niagara Falls winery you visit during Sip & Sizzle.
To get a VQA Ontario distinction, the wine must have been approved through a strict quality assurance program by the VQA Ontario independent authority. You may see the Ontario region displayed on the bottle, too. For example, the Peller Estates ice wine has the VQA Niagara Peninsula label. That means the Peller ice wine came directly from the Niagara Falls region, not somewhere else in Ontario.
Sip & Sizzle Wine and Food Pairings
Niagara Falls wineries are gorgeous, serene locations where you can learn more about the culture of Niagara Falls and the people who make this community so great. Not to mention, the delectable food and wine! Here are the participating wineries in Sip & Sizzle 2019, along with the grilled food item you can look forward to at each one:
Try the 2017 Sauvignon Blanc, Estate Grown & Bottled, with a citrus cured and grilled slice of rainbow trout with a fennel and herb slaw.
Coyote’s Run Estate Winery
The Hare Wine Co.
Try a 2016 Frontier Riesling with a stone oven pizza with smoked duck, caramelized onions and apple. There’s also a vegetarian option.
Hinterbrook Estate Winery
Try a 2018 Venus Rosé with a golden chicken cutlet with a garden-fresh salad and savoury dressing.
Try a 2016 Reserve Cabernet Franc with barbecued pork ribs and smoked slaw.
Jackson-Triggs Niagara Estate Winery
Try a 2016 Grand Reserve Red Meritage with a prime rib slider and Meritage onions.
Joseph’s Estate Wines
Try a 2016 Gamay Rosé with herb-crusted chicken wings with rosemary honey ginger barbecue sauce.
Konzelmann Estate Winery
Try the 2017 30th Anniversary Series Small Batch Riesling paired with beef tenderloin tips marinated in a sweet and savoury traditional Korean sauce.
Try the 2013 Vidal paired with smoked cheese on a nacho cracker with mango salsa.
The Lakeview Wine Co.
Try the 2017 EastDell Riesling with a grilled chicken and avocado taco with creamy cilantro dressing. There is a vegetarian option available here.
Marynissen Estates Winery
Try the 2016 Platinum Series Sauvignon Blanc with grilled pineapple salsa and pulled chicken on a flour tortilla. There are vegan and gluten-free options available.
Niagara College Teaching Winery
Palatine Hills Estate Winery
Try the 2016 Riesling, Estate Grown, with 18-hour smoked beef brisket and pickled red cabbage slaw topped with Niagara sour cherry barbecue sauce.
Peller Estates Winery
Try the 2016 Private Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon with Peller Estates’ Chef Parsons’ vegetarian barbecue grain bowl with grilled cauliflower, charred broccoli, eggplant confit, toasted farro seed and peanut crumble.
Pillitteri Estates Winery
Try the 2016 Riesling Dry with a gluten-free lemon oregano grilled chicken souvlaki with cucumber yoghurt.
Pondview Estate Winery
Try the Blockbuster 2016 Cab Merlot Reserve with a steak spice grilled beef patty, crispy onions, smoked 5 Brothers cheese and barbecue aioli on a brioche bun.
Queenston Mile Vineyard
Try the 2017 Mile White with a grilled pineapple tropical shrimp poke bowl. Vegetarian and vegan options are available.
Ravine Vineyard Estate Winery
Try the 2017 Sand & Gravel Chardonnay with crispy pork belly, honey and lime glaze and a black bean salad with mustard vinaigrette and herbs.
Reif Estate Winery
Try the 2017 Fortune Cabernet Rosé with a grilled jalapeño, black olive and feta mini corn muffin.
Riverview Cellars Estate Winery
Try the 2018 Gamay Nouveau with pork belly with Asian slaw, glazed with garlic ginger hoisin sauce served on a steamed bun.
Small Talk Vineyards
Try the 2016 RSVP Pinot Gris with vegetarian sweet and savory herbed shortbreads with blackberry pink peppercorn preserves.
Southbrook Organic Vineyards
Try the 2017 Wildass White with a vegetarian grilled fennel and cucumber salad with Sichuan chili oil and smoked peanuts.
Try the 2017 Sauvignon Blanc Terroir with a vegetarian grilled naan pizza topped with pesto, spinach and mozzarella cheese.
Trius Winery & Restaurant
Try the 2017 Trius Merlot with gluten-free grilled beef kofta with pickled onion, mint and honey yoghurt.
Wayne Gretzky Estates Winery and Distillery
Try the 2016 Estate Series Shiraz Cabernet with grilled lamb and rosemary sausage with ice wine onion jam.
Book a Sip & Sizzle Wine Tour to Save on Transportation
With so many amazing Niagara Falls wineries to try, get around safely and visit several by booking a Sip & Sizzle tour with Magnificent Tours. Transportation is included, and for just $99, you can be driven to seven different wineries to try all the pairings. Book a tour for Saturday, May 11, 18, or 25 now.