Tonawanda News — If one weekend of food and wine pairings is a good thing, two weekends of food and wine pairings must be even better.
For the first time, the Taste of the Trail event, which takes place Friday through April 6 and April 11 to 13 on the Niagara Wine Trail, will be split into two weekends, with half the trail’s wineries taking part the first weekend and half the second, said Elizabeth Maute, wine trail coordinator.
“You can only hit five or six wineries (at a time) and we have 20,” she said. “You can do one chunk of wineries one weekend and if you have time, the next week you can do the other chunk.”
One of the purposes of Taste of the Trail, Maute said, is to challenge people to think about wine in a new way, such as how it interacts as food items.
“People don’t necessarily see wine as a food item,” she said, “but they can pair a wine with a food and it can completely change the wine ... or the food. That’s one of the reason we like to do it, trying to challenge people to incorporate wine into their daily food.
“That’s not just for dinner, either. We have wineries with pairings good for a light snack, an appetizer or dessert. It’s kind of fun.”
The first weekend will include BlackBird Cider Works in Barker; Black Willow Winery and Schulze Vineyards in Burt; Chateau Niagara Winery in Newfane; Lake Ontario Winery in Hilton; Leonard Oakes Estate Winery in Medina; Schwenk Wine Cellars in Kent; Spring Lake Winery in Lockport; Vizcarra Vineyards in Gasport and The Winery at Marjim Manor in Appleton.
Food pairing items vary from spent grain pretzels with gourmet mustard dip paired with draft hard cider at BlackBird Cider Works, to beef stew made with 2012 Cambourcin (and paired with the same) at Leonard Oakes Estate Winery, to mini cupcakes paired with Becker Blue blueberry wine at Vizcarra Vineyards.