If you read this blog even sporadically, you know I love wine! So I was very excited when South River Vineyard invited me to come along on a limo-chauffeured winery tour with the Ice Wine Queen and her court to celebrate the Ice Wine Festival. The weather gave us a perfect day and beautiful scenery for ice wine.
Our day started at Red Eagle Distillery, with ice wine cocktails and martinis. Red Eagle’s small-batch bourbon will be available for purchase starting in April and I know Matthew is looking forward to trying it.
We sampled not only ice wine, but ice wine martinis (equal parts ice wine and vodka, which really helps cut the sweetness), as well as doing a tasting of Debonne’s Cellar Rats Brewery beer. The beer tasting was $10 for 10 different beers, which is quite the deal! My personal favorite was the Black Rat Imperial Stout.
Back into the limo we went and off to Grand River Cellars. The wine cellar at Grand River was decked out in twinkle lights and snowflakes, fitting for an Ice Wine Festival.
At Grand River, we found one of our favorite ice wines of the day: a sparkling ice wine that was not cloyingly sweet and had the fun fizz of a bubbly. We definitely snagged a bottle to enjoy in the limo. Speaking of the limo, there were quite the shenanigans going on, from wine drinking to singing to, well, Queen problems…
Our next stop was Ferrante Winery, where I quickly found my direction to another favorite wine of the day.
The bubbly raspberry is definitely something I’d uncork for my next occasion warranting a bubbly celebration (or just your average Tuesday). We also got to nibble on peach ice wine breaded ravioli, which were delicious!
Our Ice Wine odyssey continued at Saint Joseph Vineyard, with samples of not only the ice wine but also their tasty late-harvest Riesling. There were also tasty nibbles here, with a pound cake with Ohio maple syrup being a nice compliment to the ice wine.
Our penultimate winery was Laurello Vineyards for more ice wine and a nibble of crostini with bacon, caramelized onions, and goat cheese and thyme mousse. It was nice to have something to balance all the sweetness!
On the way back to South River Vineyard, this was the scene in the limo:
Take a bunch of women, throw in wine and a limo, and it’s amazing how quickly bonding happens and how great a time a you can have! The Ice Wine Festival is definitely on my list of activities for next year.
You can check out events at this line-up of great wineries by going to each of their websites. There’s always a lot going on at the wineries, particularly in the warmer months!
Have you been out to the Ohio wineries? Which is your favorite?
***Disclosure: I was asked by South River Vineyard to attend the Ice Wine Festival in a limo with the Ice Wine Queen and her court. Most of our tastings at the various wineries were courtesy of South River Vineyard. As always, all opinions and tiara envy are 100% my own.***