Wine, chocolate and cheese … a tasty combination.
NOTL’s Chocolate & Cheese touring pass program is back each weekend in February.
“This is the second year now that we’re doing the program as cheese and chocolate,” Madison Vine, board chair of the Wineries of Niagara-on-the-Lake, told The Lake Report.
“Historically it was always chocolate.”
Each of the 20 participating wineries decides what wines and food pairings they’ll serve, said Vine.
“Wineries have gotten very creative in showcasing these cheese and chocolate pairings with our wines,” she said.
Riverview Cellars Estate Winery on the Niagara Parkway is a perfect example of that.
Guests will be given a tasting of its newly released 2020 Barrel 81 Cabernet Merlot, paired with a creamy Mac n’ Cheese topped with crunchy Cheetos.
At Konzelmann Estate Winery on Lakeshore Road, visitors will indulge in a mini chocolate and caramel cheesecake from Willow Cakes & Pastries, while enjoying a tasting of the 2021 Merlot Barrel Aged Reserve.
“Our wineries do try and put their best foot forward because for a lot of people visiting this might be their first time coming or the only time that they’re able to come for a while,” said Vine.
An individual pass is available for $75 and includes 16 tastings per person, with a limit of eight per day. You would need two days to complete the pass, but it can be used over all four weekends.
There’s also a new option this year, a couples pass. It also is $75 and includes 16 tastings total split between a couple — so, eight tastings per person. That pass can be used in one day or spread out over the month.
When purchasing a pass, guests will need to pick which days they will be attending and which wineries they’ll be going to.
A designated driver’s pass is also available at a discounted rate.
Tastings will be available from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m., from Friday to Sunday each weekend in February. Reservations will close at 6 a.m. the day before.