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Port Treadwell's unsuitable for a small child?

grandgourmand - the restaurant absolutely encourages parents to bring their children with them, whether at lunch or dinner. There is a "young adults menu" but can also offer the SNOB Wine Bar menu to younger guests at lunch (it has pizzas, pastas, etc.). When making a reservation, make sure to mention that you have some younger guests coming with you. Enjoy!

NOTL for Valentine's Weekend - the Ultimate Dead End?


Please note that Treadwell will be offering the regular dinner a la carte menu over the Valentine's Day weekend, as well as the lobster tasting menu. They are also open for lunch too (the lunch menu can be found on the website)

Treadwell - Still Good? Need 'Re-confirmation'!!

Treadwell offers a $15/bottle BYOB charge to its guests. Also, the scallops used at the restaurant are dry-packed.

Ontario Wine: Beamsville vs. Niagara


I'm slightly confused? When you say Niagara, do you mean Niagara-on-the-Lake or everywhere but Beamsville? If you meant to say the Niagara-on-the-Lake area, I would agree that there are more small artisan wineries in Beamsville, but wineries like Lailey, Coyotes Run, Cattail Creek, and Stratus are certainly producing top quality wines from several different varietals. Sure, Niagara-on-the-Lake is home to the most recognized "volume" producers in the region (Peller, JT, Hillebrand, Inniskillin, 20 Bees), but it would be wrong to say that there are no "low yield", quality producers in that area.

You should also note that there are terrific wineries located in Vineland and Jordan (along with Henry of Pelham in the Short Hills - which you had mentioned in your post) which are certainly producing excellent wines - Tawse, Featherstone, Cave Spring, Flat Rock, 13th Street, Creekside, Crispino), Foreign Affairs (formerly Megalomaniac, etc. While located beside the QEW on the South Service Road, Le Clos Jordanne's vineyards (5 in total if you include the West Block - Grand Clos - of the Le Clos Jordanne Vineyard) are located in and around 17th and King Street in Jordan. Sorry...

Don't get me wrong, I think that Beamsville has some of the best, and most unique (see Lenko) wineries in Niagara (one winery you didn't mention - Peninsula Ridge - makes in my opinion the most consistant and interesting Sauvignon Blanc in the region). Its just that the other areas of Niagara have their fair share of great wineries too.

Globe Bistro Wine Dinner

Cybergod's right...

HBs wines are consistantly very good to excellent (which you can't say about any other winery in Niagara not named Le Clos Jordanne) and while they are expensive, they are serious, world-class wines. I still think the 2005 Nuit Blanche is the best sauvignon-semillon blend i've ever tasted outside of Bordeaux. Their chardonnays and rieslings would rival any others in Canada.

Ontario Wines Recs. for Thanksgiving Dinner

The 04 Nadja's Vineyard Riesling has been sold out for nearly a year. The 2006 NV Riesling is just as good, but might seem a little "tight" right now (a common trait for the Nadja's). Great value at $20 too.

Was the Norm Hardie Pinot Noir from County grapes or Niagara grapes? Although he didn't make a "County" Pinot in 2004, he did make a Pinot from both regions in 2005 and 2006. Some people (actually, quite a few) find the 05 County to lack concentration and fruit, but I actually like its "feminity" - in that it shows excellent floral notes with cranberry and beetroot flavours. Sure, its only 11% alcohol, but it is a great food wine and would be interesting with some short-to-mid term cellaring.

Sep 29, 2007
niagara_wine_guy in Wine

My favorite Ontario Wineries

I've had the pleasure of opening a few older gems over the last several months,

They include:

1999 Lenko Meritage - I try it almost every month, and it hasn't started to fade at all. Very elegant and restrained, which is surprising, since Jim Warren (I believe) helped Dan out on this one.

1999 CSV Riesling - an absolute beauty of a wine. First ever under CSV designation. Still youthful, will continue to get better over the next several years.

1998 Stoney Ridge Wismer Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon - closed when bottle was uncorked, but after an hour, started to really show its stuff. A little dry on the palate, but beautiful wine nonetheless.

1995 Chateau des Charmes PB Vineyard Chardonnay - tried it in a vertical with '96, '97, and '02. Very delicate, needs to be drunk alone. A great, pretty, fully mature chardonnay with dried stonefruit, char, and honey flavours.

2003 Sandstone Gamay (13th Street) - had it last night. A really fantastic gamay that still had great freshness. I wish I had more. I've heard that the '99/'01/'02s are still unbelievable.

2001 Cabernet Franc, Lailey - great wine with dried herb, pepper, and red currant character that still has a couple of more years in it. A "cab franc lovers" cab franc. The 2002 is also great, and would appeal more to those people that prefer the more red-black fruit styled cabs.

1999 Moira Chardonnay Malivoire - dead

2000 Blanc de Noirs 13th Street - it hasn't been cellared for that long, since it was released in July, but it has spent nearly 7 years on its lees before disgorgement. Extremely elegant, extremely delicious, extremely inexpensive.

1998 Founders Pinot, Inniskillin - bottle variation. One bottle was dead, another was absolutely fantastic. If you get the right bottle, its a steal at the price.

1995 Vinc Vineyard Riesling, Lakeview - I love older riesling, and this was, probably, the single most enjoyable wine that I've ever consumed from Ontario. It was so delicious. It had a pink-eraser, petrol, creme caramel, waxy, dried lemon character that I adore in older wines.

I will agree with you that the Lenko 02 Signature Chardonnay is a great wine, but there were so many from that vintage (Tawse Robin's Block/Beamsville Bench, Stratus Reserve, Legends Reserve, etc.)

I think you have to be somewhat cautious in cellaring wines from Ontario (mind you, everyone should be cautious in cellaring wines no matter where its from). Ontario wines, with its higher acidity and more minerality, can reward some ageing. Warmer vintages (95, 98, 02) can produce reds that will last 8-10yrs+. Riesling from cooler years (03, 06, etc.) can thrive with ageing. If you need to age something longer, look to Icewine.

What to taste in Niagara/Bench?


If you go to Stratus, stop by Rancourt on East/West Line and see Lionel and his wife. Very nice people who make honest wines at respectable prices.

Wineries with great tastings include, in no particular order, Lailey (ask for Derek), 13th Street (only on weekends), Mountain Road Wine Company, Featherstone, Flat Rock, Lenko, and Hidden Bench (will cost you $10 for a flight, but wines are as good as Stratus). If you are heading down in the next week or so, stop by Reif on the Parkway. They are having their Anniversary celebrations, and there are some great tastings/seminars available.

There are too many options to list for lunch. What style are you looking for? Patio? Bistro? Winery? Cafe?

NOTL bike tour!

Lenko is located on King Street in Beamsville. He's not on the Wineries of Ontario Map because, according to the man himself, he refuses to pay to get onto it. The best point of reference is a sign on the side of the road that says "Jancis Robinson's favourite Canadian wine" (his 2002 Syrah...which, sadly, he has none left..or, more than likely, refuses to give up). Drive up the path to the bungelow, and knock on the door. If no one answers, go around back to the barn. His "tasting room" is open on the weekends. If you go out that far, be sure to visit Fielding, Thirty Bench, and Hidden Bench too.

Treadwell - Tasting menu anyone?!

Charles Yu,

The $35 dollar wine supplement with the tasting menu is for all Ontario wines. However, one could have non-Niagara wines too, if enough notice is given. Also, there's a small surcharge for that option.

Ice wines?


Sorry about the delay. Inniskillin have been making Cab. Franc icewine for over 10 years, are are very good at it. It is the most expensive wine in their current portfolio, as it is extremely revered in Asia. It shows a beautiful rhubarb/red currant flavour and has razor-sharp acidity. I tried a 1997 last week, and it was still fresh!

I forgot to mention in my earlier posting that Chateau des Charmes makes a great riesling icewine - among the best i've tried from Austria/Germany/Canada. They usually hold the icewine back about a year longer, and thus, it develops that slick texture on the palate, as well as beautiful mid-maturity aromas that only riesling can offer.

Hope this helps!

Jun 20, 2007
niagara_wine_guy in Wine

winery's around Beamsville


Not that I want to steal jcanncuk's thunder, but I tried the 2005 Thirty Bench Red in a tasting on Monday, and thought it was quite good. Its drinking nicely right now with a black cherry/ raspberry compote/milk chocolate character, but has the stuffing to warrant some mid-term aging. A good medium-to-full body Niagara red indeed! Also try the Et Ceteras Red from 13th Street Wine Co., Strewn Three, Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon from Mountain Road, Reserve Baco from Henry of Pelham, and Reserve Merlot from Pillitteri.

I know Thirty Bench riesling gets a lot of great press (and rightly so, as they are very good wines), but a less expensive, and just as good in my opinion, wine is the 2006 Old Vines Riesling from Featherstone. An exceptional riesling at under $15!!

Niagara Wine Tour Suggestions?

Food wise, I second Gourmando's recommendation for About Thyme Bistro in Vineland. Great fruit can be found in season at Whitty Farms on 4th Avenue in Pelham/Jordan Station. Check out Vinifera for Life, a small business in Jordan specializing in Cabernet Flour.

Winery-wise, I agree with the recommendations of Calamus, 13th Street, and Lenko for off-the-beaten path facilities. I would also include Rancourt in NOTL, Ridgepoint in Vineland, The Ice House in Queenston (icewine), and Mountain Road Wine Co. in Beamsville.

Tried some excellent wines from Hidden Bench in Beamsville recently. The winery should be open for business come June 1st ( Also, Legends Estates still have several different varietals from the '02 vintage available in their store. The Cab. Franc Icewine, Cab. Franc reserve, Chardonnay, and Chenin Blanc range from good to very good/exceptional.

winery's around Beamsville

I agree that Peninsula Ridge is a good choice if you are looking for the winery-restaurant combo. If you are interested in winery-only, then Mountain Road Wine Co. and Fielding are excellent family-run wineries.

There is a bistro that opened a couple of months back in neighbouring Vineland called About Thyme. It offers nice comforting food at reasonable prices with a good local wine list.

Hope this helps.

Ice wines?

Inniskillin and Jackson Triggs make good icewines that I assume are readily available in NYC. However, very good icewines can be had from producers such as Cave Spring and Henry of Pelham. I believe both have agents in NY State.

Some may argue that better value-for-money sweet wines from Canada are Late Harvest Riesling and Vidal. All four CDA wineries listed make excellent LH wines.


Apr 11, 2007
niagara_wine_guy in Wine

Riesling Revelation


Some Kabinett rieslings have so much acidity to it that it can make the wine seem dry, although there is some RS in it. It is fresh and easy to drink, but it wouldn't seem as sweet as a Spatlese or Auslese designated riesling, or some of the cloying/less balanced wines being produced under QbA rules (QbA is a lesser quality designation compared to the QmP). Saying that, even some Spatlese's tend to taste slightly dry, because of the acid.

As for Canadian wines in the US, I'm assuming that it is similar to the situation of Canadian wines for sale in the UK. When I was working over there last year, the only CDA wines available (other than icewine), were from bigger wineries such as Inniskillin and Mission Hill and were very expensive because of the tax mark-ups. Top Canadian rieslings right now are being produced by Cave Spring, Charles Baker/Stratus, Lailey, Thirteenth Street and Flat Rock, amongst others. Of those, I believe only the Cave Spring would be available in the US, as the others are either a.) too new, and/or b.) too small. Saying that, Cave Spring has been the most consistant producer of top quality riesling in Niagara for about a decade, and I rank their CSV riesling (oldest vineyard block) as on par (if not better) with the Eroica riesling from Washington as the top riesling produced on the continent. Obviously, I'm slightly biased, but it really is a world-class. Cave Spring's Semi-dry, Dry, and Reserve rieslings are fantastic buys and all run for less than $18 CDN.

FYI, the Canadian Consulate in NYC held a tasting of Niagara wines last month. Some of this area's top winemakers made the trip down, and showcased two or three of their top wines. The goal of the trip was not only to make the city's Sommeliers/Wine Buyers more aware of their product, but to also encourage some NYC wine agents to pick up their wines. Perhaps the current situation you're facing won't be as severe in the years to come.

Mar 08, 2007
niagara_wine_guy in Wine

Riesling Revelation


I find Austrian rieslings to be powerful, mineral driven wines that have great fruit and acidity. Of all the world's rieslings, I find them to be the most food-friendly. The best rieslings, IMO, are from the Wachau, from producers like Hirtzberger, Knoll, and Pichler. They, sadly, are also the most expensive. However, terrific value rieslings can be found from Kamptal, from larger producers like Brundlmayer to small producers like Birgitt Eichinger.

In regards to your question about the Markus Molitor riesling, Zeltinger or Zeltingen is the name of the town, and Sonnenuhr (Sundial) is the vineyard. You might see other rieslings baring the label Wehlener Sonnenuhr. This is because the Sonnenuhr vineyard is a very large vineyard, stretching over two villages (Zeltingen and Wehlen). Kabinett is the ripeness designation from QmP standards (as Zin1953 was explaining earlier). Trocken is totally dry, Halbtrocken is Half dry. Thus, the wines are less sweet, but have higher alcohol. I can tell you from personal experience that most restaurants of the restaurants that I visited in Bernkastel-Kues (the main "town" surrounding Urzig, Wehlen, Zeltingen, and Graach) only serve those styles of riesling. It seems that the locals prefer that style to what we believe to be the "traditionally german" sweet style.

Hope this helps.

Mar 07, 2007
niagara_wine_guy in Wine

NOTL option other than Stone Road

Just to let you know, Treadwell is closed till Feb. 1st. My father and I are away on holidays, but will be back in a few weeks. Thank you, nonetheless, for the nice comments.


Treadwell: Niagara's Newest Gem

Food Tourist,

Nonetheless, I'm glad that you and your family enjoyed everything (although we just had a very good review from the Buffalo News, and the reviewer stated that the Sticky Toffee Pudding was "mildly disappointing"...oh well can't impress everyone).

I forgot to mention yesterday about Pinstripeprincess's comment on Tawse's wines. While I have been incredibly impressed by the quality coming from Tawse, I have heard several times from customers about Tawse wines having an "off" or "faulty" taste to it. While I don't believe it should be consider a "fault", I agree that Tawse wines over the past 3 vintages have had a "uniqueness" to it. Their previous winemaker, Deborah Paskus, does have a reputation for using unique (by Niagara standards) viticulture and maturation techniques. I remember when we carried the 03 Lincoln Lakeshore Pinot Noir from Tawse, and it having an "almost too-Burgundian to be from Ontario" aroma of cloves, cinnamon, tomato, and sour cherry. But its colour was so tawny for a 2 1/2 year old wine, that something wasn't right. I thought it was brilliant, but thats the great thing about wine: its totally subjective (although yesterday, a winemaker in Pernand Vergelesses scoffed at my tasting notes of one of his young wines). Tawse's new consulting winemaker, Pascal Marchand, is from Montreal but has worked as winemaker at many estates in Burgundy (including Vougeraie - i'm going there today, and Comte d'Armand.) Perhaps you'll see a difference in the 2006 wines.


Treadwell: Niagara's Newest Gem

Thank you all for your comments.

HarryLloyd, The duck is from La Ferme. The Duck Confit Terrine has a little bit of pork belly in it as well. The apricots with the "prosciutto" are preserved in house with sugar syrup, vanilla, and chili.

Pinstripeprincess, I couldn't agree with you more in terms of the wines from the Beamsville Bench. There are some spectacular wineries up there, and there are more about to open shortly. Saying that, there are some fantastic wineries in Niagara-on-the-Lake and St. Davids areas. Since we are doing our best to promote the local artisan growers/farmers/producers, it seems only right to do so with the wines. Fortunately, the many talented winemakers we have in Niagara make my job very easy. Every so often I'll showcase an international wine or two on the Tasting Menu, but I'll always give the guest the option to have local wines too.

Food Tourist, I'm glad you enjoyed everything (although, i'm a little concerned about your views on the molten cake - while I'll agreee that molten cake has been around for quite some time, I believe that our take on a "classic" (i guess)with the candied ginger ice cream is interesting, and it has been the only dessert that has stayed on the menu since day one. Saying that, I'm glad you enjoyed the family's sticky toffee pudding. As I said that evening, if you do go to Legends Estate, please don't buy all the chardonnay, as I need to get a couple of cases when I get back from holiday.

Just to let you all know that the restaurant is closed until Feb. 1st as Chef is in Mexico, and I'm in Burgundy/South Africa.