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It’s the wine party of the year

March 23, 2018

Cuvée takes over Niagara this weekend and there’s lots for you to do and drink and eat

By Dick Snyder

One of our favourite wine events of the year is the annual Cuvée awards in Niagara. It’s a celebration of great Ontario wine and wineries and the people who make it all happen. The event kicks off with a gala food and wine party (tonight! get your tickets!) with dozens of Ontario’s best wineries pouring their best. And there will be delicious food stations with local chefs and restaurants cooking up snacks to pair with every wine.

This Cuvée Grand Tasting has some fun surprises. The wines that will be featured at the gala are not announced ahead of time. Each winemaker selects two of their favourite wines to pour, representing the very best they have to offer. Almost 50 wineries will be on site this year. Twelve of Niagara’s top chefs will be working their magic, including celebrated Niagara chef Erik Peacock, representing the soon-to-open restaurants at the historic Bench Brewing Co. in Beamsville.

30th anniversary

This year marks the 30 anniversary of the Cuvée Grand Tasting, which is organized by Brock Unveristy’s Cool Climate Oenology and Viticulture Institute (CCOVI). More than 750 people attended last year’s gala — but the nice thing about this party is the expansive amount of space at the Scotiabank Convention Centre in Niagara Falls. The room is laid out in a smart way, leaving plenty of space for lounging, tasting, chatting and having a good time. It never feels crowded.

Yvonne Irvine, Assistant Winemaker at Creekside Estate Winery, will present two of Creekside’s favourite wine selections — we’re betting on our longtime favourite, Laura’s Red, or any of the Broken Press line — along with the new-to-the-market Rood Apples Cider at Cuvée. (It’s always good to see some more cider hitting the market!)

“Cuvée is one of the highlight events of the year and it is always filled with inventive and delicious food from Niagara’s top chefs with some of the best wines that Niagara has to offer,” Irvine said. As a consumer, this is a really great opportunity to sample Niagara’s best.”

Cuvée awards

The Winemaker of Excellence Award will be part of the celebration this year, paying further tribute to the talented people who fuel the industry. The winner will be announced before the kickoff to the evening’s Après Cuvée after party, which features live music from the Associates, Icewine, sparkling wine, cider and local craft beer.

Visit the Cuvée website for more information about events and special tastings happening all weekend.