Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Port Dalhousie II - Wine Tastings - Lake Ontario

Sunday dawned bright and clear, sunlight flooding through our windows, so we descended for breakfast and Jennifer produced home made granola with yoghurt, fresh fruit, croissants and muffins, orange juice, peameal bacon, fried egg and lots of coffee. Quite a breakfast and I availed myself of most of it. The croissants, in particular, were very good and I discovered they come from Costco which is a big wholesale store found all over North America. I will hi me there as soon as I can to check out these delicious croissants.

Whilst stuffing myself with all this food, we were chatting to Jennifer who was talking to us about web sites where educators can travel to B & Bs all over the place for pretty reasonable prices. She also talked about the Henley Regatta which takes place in Port Dalhousie (as well as in England of course) and said it was the biggest regatta in North America. She herself rows regularly and is a retired teacher. It was very interesting chatting to her. If we want to go to the area again, we will certainly go to that B & B it was delightful and not expensive by any manner of means.

Matt had been sufficiently impressed with the wine we drank last night, we decided to visit the winery. Jennifer had also told us that Vineland Estates did lunches and a friend from last night had recommended Fielding Winery. We set off for Maliviore first - delightful drive along the Wine Route - and just as we arrived a notice was being hung saying tasters welcome, so in we went. The first wine we tasted was their 2006 Estate Gewürztraminer VQA which is a big award winning wine. It was a beautiful wine but just a little too sweet for our palate. We then tasted their 2006 Pinot Gris VQA which we liked very much and bought a bottle. We don't drink a lot of white wine but every now and again we enjoy it with seafood of one kind or another.

We then tasted the wine we had drunk the previous night, 2005 Pinot Noir VQA which was a very good wine and we found just as pleasant to drink on the Sunday morning as we had with dinner at Treadwell's. We ended up buying two bottles of that as we figured we would be disappointed not to have a second once we had drunk the first bottle, whenever that happened. We were discussing corks with them and discovered that they prefer real cork or screw tops for immediate drinking. They have found that plastic cork can allow just a smidgin of air to get into the wines and cause oxidation. Not enough space to lose the wine, but enough to allow just a breath to infuse and spoil the contents. I might say, at this time, that to us, this wine is not a cheap one, more than we usually spend, but we had decided to treat ourselves as it was so enjoyable.

We also bought a bottle of their 2005 Cabernet Merlot VQA, another very good one which we tasted and enjoyed. At this point Matt decided to stop tasting as he was driving. One only gets about and ounce in a glass, but that can mount up if you aren't careful. I then decided to taste their 2007 Chardonnay Musqué so he gave me some water as I was going backwards in my tasting. It was good but we didn't buy that, however, he showed us a half bottle of 2004 Estate Chardonnay which was also good and I thought the half bottle was a good idea so bought two of those. There isn't a picture of that particular wine. If you are interested in reading more about Maliviore and their wines there website is here where you can buy their wines if you live in Ontario, unfortunately it is a small and somewhat exclusive winery and does not sell very much outside Ontario. Their productions are limited. The LCBO (Ontario's liquor board) does occasionally have their wines apparently but not on a large scale. Having finalised our purchases they gave us a free wine carrier and we were, obviously, not charged for the tastings which is normally $5 a head. We saw one of the vineyards outside the tasting room where the Pinot Noir grapes were being grown. It was on a hillside which I found interesting, mostly you see vines being grown in flat fields. If you go on the website, you can read all their viticulture policies and practices.

We then headed to Vineland Estates which is quite a different proposition and, I think, much bigger.
We went into their tasting room where they were also selling very expensive glass of all kinds, some absolutely beautiful pieces. Matt didn't want to taste any more so I was going to but he wandered off so I ended up tasting their Pinot Gris and then leaving and we walked to the restaurant. When we got there we were seated and I hung my purse/handbag on the chair and looked at the menu. Interesting but not what we were looking for. Much too much, set menu, etc. so we left. I was followed by one of the staff waving my purse!!!!! Thank goodness. I felt such an idiot.

We drove a bit further and ended up in a Tim Horton's which is a chain restaurant throughout Canada. I ended up with a ham and cheese BLT which was not very interesting, but I have to eat three meals a day minimum. Matt didn't eat at all as he was not hungry. Nor, I guess, was I.

We then decided to drive back to Port Dalhousie where I was anxious to get near the water. I find that since we left England which is surrounded by water, I love to be near the coast or at least a lake or river. After a bit of driving down wrong turnings, one of which dead ended at Lake Ontario and I took a picture, see above, we finally came to a small port area where we strolled along the pier which was, for me, quite a long walk, I was very impressed with myself. It was delightfully sunny and quite warm. The only thing spoiling the walk was the flies. There were literally millions of tiny flies. I was wearing a white jacket which looked black by the time we had finished our walk. What a pain. We saw cobwebs absolutely thick with these flies and reckoned the local spiders knew a thing or two. Beyond the harbour one can see Lake Ontario, I wish I could convey to non Canadians just how huge these lakes really are. Ontario is the second smallest of the five Great Lakes and you could take the British Isles, chop off Scotland and Wales and just drop England into the lake without any trouble.

You will notice we were a bit nearer the lighthouse on the left. There was a second lighthouse beyond that. When we got there we saw a couple - he was obviously setting up for something, fishing maybe, not sure, however she was dressed in an extremely tight dress, flowing long hair and 6 inch heels. Just the right gear for walking a pier and spending the afternoon by the lake. Matt kept saying she had good legs!!!!!!
Having walked back to the car and shaken, brushed and generally dealt with all the flies, we drove into the village itself and decided to stop at one of the bars with an outside veranda. Matt had a beer and I had a strawberry martini. Wasn't bad. I had to ask the waitress where the washroom was and she turned her back on me!! If you can't read the shirt, click on the picture to increase the size. You can do that with any of the pictures of course. I thought it was extremely funny although she did make sure, verbally, that I knew where it was.

As, by now, it was getting late in the afternoon, we headed for the QEW (Queen Elizabeth Way) and our road home. Looking at all the blossom again on the way out of Port Dalhousie. It was such a pretty little spot, I am sure we will go back.

As Pickerel is one of the favourite fish pulled out of the Great Lakes, I thought I would give you a recipe for it although one of the favourites around Lake Ontario seems to be breaded or battered as shown in the picture. The pickerel at Treadwell's restaurant was certainly not battered. I am not sure how it was prepared.

Pickerel in Almond Butter Sauce Recipe

A recipe from an old edition of Chatelaine Cookbook. It is a very tasty fish dish.
by Allyoop
15 min | 5 min prep | SERVES 6
2 lbs of fresh pickerel fillets or frozen pickerel fillets

1/2 cup seasoned flour

salad oil
1/4 cup unsalted butter
1/3 cup blanched slivered almonds
1 tablespoon of chopped fresh parsley
1 tablespoon lemon juice
  1. Cut fillets into 6 serving pieces.
  2. Dip them in milk, then in seasoned flour (1/2 tsp mixed salt and pepper to 1/2 cup flour).
  3. Heat 1/4 inch salad oil in large skillet.
  4. Add fillets.
  5. Saute quickly on both sides until lightly browned; do not over cook.
  6. Place fish on a heated platter.
  7. Melt butter in a separate pan, add almonds and stir on low heat until lightly toasted.
  8. Remove from heat and add parsley and lemon juice.
  9. Pour over fillets.
  10. Garnish with lemon wedges.
© 2007 Recipezaar.

Have a great day.


  1. I've not heard of Pickerel fish before. Neither have I heard of that way to direct one to the ladies/

  2. I thought the T shirt was quite funny. All the waitresses were wearing one. Pickerel is a freshwater fish so imagine it is only peculiar to this part of the world. It is very good, as is whitefish which is another fish I have not seen outside Canada. Our first time holidaying in Canada, we caught 7 and had no idea what they were.