Thursday, July 19, 2012

Prince Edward County: Norman Hardie Winery

Lately I've been asking myself why I haven't toured more wineries, or wine regions for that matter, considering my passion for this nectar of life. 

I decided to start with Prince Edward County, since it was close to home and it would offer a great excuse for having a weekend away with my sisters. We started our day of winery-hopping with my first choice, Norman Hardie Winery. 

As soon as we entered the driveway and saw the sign, my Artist sister commented on its rustic, modern and beautiful design aesthetic. All three of us loved how this visual appeal was evident in everything from the wine glasses to the clipboard menus and wine barrel herb gardens. 

Once inside, we started with a tasting, and enjoyed the Riesling, the County Chardonnay and the County Pinot, picking up a few bottles for home. I especially enjoyed the Pinot...

We were tempted to buy some of the beautifully etched glasses and heck, let's be serious, we were tempted to buy a whole case of wine, but we had to pace ourselves and our wallets, and most importantly, there was hot pizza to be consumed in the outdoor kitchen that was calling our names. 

We made our way downstairs to enjoy some more wine and some equally delicious pizzas which were cooked with care in this amazing wood burning oven. Of the culinary experiences in life, I often enjoy the simple ones the most, which explains why this meal was one for the books. 

pizza + wine + outdoor setting + good people + sunshine = pretty close to perfect.

Artist sister chose the "cochon" pizza, featuring salami among other ingredients. A meat lover to the core, she thoroughly enjoyed every bite. 

Marketing Whiz sister opted for the quattro fromaggio with truffle oil. Many "oohs and ahhs" came from her side of the table while she enjoyed this pizza pie.

As for myself, I didn't have any problems enjoying my pizza of choice. I opted for the Margarita: classic, simple deliciousness.

In the short time we spent at Norman Hardie Winery, we enjoyed every sip and every bite, but it was the generous, down to earth hospitality provided by Norm himself that made our visit even more memorable. Here he is, personally welcoming you to his winery! 

Wine, Pizza and Music from After the Harvest on Vimeo.

Thank you, Norm, for your hospitality, your food, and of course, your stunning wines. I look forward to many more beautifully etched glasses of your wine in my future.

Monday, July 2, 2012

Four-Herb Canada Day Bruschetta

I hope everyone had a fun and food-filled Canada Day! And for my American friends, I hope you have an amazing 4th of July celebration!

Here's a simple, delicious appetizer you can make when you're celebrating with family and friends. Enjoy!

Four-Herb Canada Day Bruschetta

  • 2 large tomatoes
  • 3 cloves of garlic
  • fresh thyme
  • fresh oregano
  • fresh basil
  • fresh rosemary
  • olive oil
  • ciabatta bread
  • sea salt
  • pepper

Cut ciabatta loaves in half lengthwise and lightly toast them on the BBQ. While someone else is watching the bread (in my case, dear ol' Dad), chop the garlic (or use a garlic press), and add it to a bowl with olive oil and fresh thyme. This may take a little while because of the thyme, but if you hold it upside down and run your fingers along the stem, the leaves should all pop off in one go!

Chop the tomatoes and basil, and have the other herbs ready nearby. When the bread is toasted, put it in a foil pan ready to go back on the BBQ. Then, brush the bread with the garlic, olive oil and thyme mixture (garlic-thyme oil if you will), then add the basil, then the tomatoes, and top with oregano leaves and rosemary sprigs. Lightly season with sea salt and pepper, and drizzle each one with more olive oil.

Put in a BBQ safe foil pan on the top rack, so as to broil it with the reflective heat (or broil it in the oven if it's not too hot!) When the tomatoes have been roasted, cut and serve!

You may want to add a few crumbles of goat cheese if you're feeling decadent, but if not, this bruschetta is quite flavourful as is, with the fragrance of the four herbs, the fresh tomatoes and of course, the garlic.

Happy Canada Day and 4th of July everyone!