Monday, December 20, 2010

Holiday Partyin' (and a giveaway!)

This past weekend we hosted Christmas gatherings at our house both Saturday and Sunday. We all know that hosting can be a lot of work with cleaning, preparations, finding the perfect food and drink... all of it. Well, this past weekend we got a little bit of help from the wonderful people at Inniskillin Wineries.

Last week they got in touch with me and asked me to try out a couple of wines from their East-West series for 2010. Of course... I was more than happy to accept, as I knew we would all enjoy them at our Christmas gathering. The East-West series of wines is made up from 100% Canadian grapes from wineries in the East and West of Canada, with varying percentages from each. The two wines that I received were a 2009 Riesling-Gewurztraminer and a 2008 Merlot-Cabernet. 

Though I had planned to wait to open the bottles until dinner, they ended up being poured while we munched away on cheese, crackers, chips and other little starter snacks. Everyone seemed to agree that the Riesling-Gewurztraminer was great for drinking with snacks and cheeses to start. It was light and fruity and a little sweet. Because of what we were munching on, the white was much more appropriate for our starters... but we made sure we had enough left for dinner.

Though the wonderful people at Inniskillin were great enough to send along some recipes meant to go with the wines they sent, B had already come up with a really great menu for our party. He made a delicious lasagna with bechamel sauce, and a rotisserie chicken, and my Mom provided some yummy rosemary roasted potatoes...

Yeah... no pictures until everyone started to dig in. It was really THAT delicious! YES! So what did we find? The Riesling-Gewurztraminer was great with both the chicken and the lasagna (thanks to B's fantastic bechamel sauce), and the red was great with the lasagna as well. 

Overall, we really loved both kinds of wines! They were a great, and I think that the Riesling-Gewurztraminer was the winner of the night. Everyone seemed to love it and it paired really well with everything on the table! I'd say that both were great for evening and entertaining mainly, and would be great for dinner parties or evening drinks with friends. I will definitely be heading out to buy more of this for ourselves, as well as for some hostess gifts this holiday season! 

Of course, the great people at Inniskillin did not forget about my readers either! They sent along a great gift pack for me to share with one of my readers. What did they send?

- A gorgeous red knit Canada scarf
- A VIP Tasting Card - Visit Inniskillin's Niagara Estate to receive a complimentary tasting for you and a guest at the tasting bar. This inclusdes 2 VQA Inniskillin Wines and their Vidal Icewine (YUM!)
- An Icewine Book

This contest is open to Canadian readers only, and closes Wednesday night! To enter, leave a comment below and let me know what your favourite type of wine is! Be sure to leave some way for me to contact you when you leave your comment! I will announce the winner bright and early on Thursday morning, so come back to see if you were the lucky winner!



  1. My favourite wine is a pinto grigio. I'm a white wine girl for sure. I enjoy a really nice red, but I always prefer white...easier to clean if you spill it! I'm so glad the company reached out to you. Happy Monday Kerry xo

  2. Wow, all the food is making me hungry!

    Great giveaway Kerry! I may sound like an inexperienced wine drinker here, but I enjoy a glass of white zinfandel. I don't care what kind!

  3. Yeah some food pictures!! Um, that lasagna looks delicious!

    I prefer white over red... My favourites to date are Girls Night Out Chardonnay, and OPEN Pinot Grigio... both Ontario wines of course!

    Great contest Kerry! Thanks for the chance to win!

  4. I am not the wine drinker in the household but my hubby loves a good red wine!! We were just at a house party where he had some Merlot 2008 and joked it was the oldest wine he had ever had!! which I guess was not a joke but true :)

  5. I used to like white, but now it's red all the way! Gamy noir is delicious - I had a glass last night with dinner :) 20 Bees has a really good one

    happy holidays!

  6. LOVE shiraz or a cab merlot! Fingers crossed xx

  7. I'll definitely try and get the recipe up for the marinara sauce and lasagna. I also highly recommend brining your chicken before you rotisserie or bake it. I wouldn't do it everytime but if you are looking to impress your guests with a moist and juicy bird...boil about 12 cups of water, then stir in 1/2c sugar, 1/2c salt and cool. Add in the bird and let soak 24hrs before cooking. That makes enough brine for 2 med birds.

  8. I love white wine, especially Pinot Grigio


  9. Ohhhh, how fun! I love white wine, especially Riesling :)

  10. ok, i'm not canadian and don't qualify for this giveaway, but man, i want free wine! i wish i could try this riesling. it's my favorite kind..a local winery in PA does the best dessert reisling.

  11. We really loved our tour of the winery when we were there in October. You can see/taste why their icewines are winners... It was so nice sharing at Thanksgiving - a yummy memory. I vote for white:)


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