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Idaho® Potato Gnocchi with Peas and a Bit of Wine

During the Corona-19 pandemic, more people are getting to know their kitchens better. Early during the pandemic even baking yeast was difficult to come by. The recipe below takes quite a bit of time and may be a great recipe for you to create in your kitchen when you have extra time. The recipe, from the Idaho® Potato Commission website, requires white wine. Pair the rest of the bottle with dinner or perhaps enjoy a glass while making the Gnocchi!

Idaho Potato Gnocchi with Peas


Potato Gnocchi – yield about 150 gnocchi

  • 4 pounds Idaho® russet potatoes, scrubbed, not peeled
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting
  • 2 whole eggs
  • 2 egg yolks
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • Semolina flour for dusting

Pea Tendril and Spinach Purée – yield 3 cups (24 oz.) 1/4 cup per serving

  • 12 ounces fresh pea tendrils, lightly packed
  • 6 ounces fresh spinach, lightly packed
  • 1/4 cup canola oil
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt

Sauce per serving

  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1 teaspoon garlic, minced
  • 1 teaspoon shallot, minced
  • 1/4 cup white wine
  • 1/4 cup pea tendril and spinach purée
  • 1 cup snap peas, trimmed
  • 1/2 cup fresh green peas, shelled


  • Shaved Parmesan cheese
  • Extra virgin olive oil



  1. Prick each potato once or twice with the tip of a knife. Place on a tray or on oven rack and bake at 400°F until centers are soft, 45-60 minutes. Remove skins while warm.
  2. Working quickly with warm potatoes, push through a ricer or food mill into a large bowl or onto a lightly floured work surface.
  3. Whisk together eggs, yolks, and oils in a small bowl. Pour over potatoes and mix in with hands or large silicone spatula, while gradually adding about 2 cups flour, working just enough to form a soft dough. Do not over-work.
  4. Before proceeding, test-cook a few gnocchi in boiling salted water. Allow to cook until they rise to the surface, usually 3-4 minutes. Cooked gnocchi should be light and pillowy. If too soft, work in a little more flour to the remaining dough before proceeding.
  5. Divide dough into 12 equal pieces. Keep the dough covered while rolling gnocchi.
  6. Working on a flour-dusted work surface, roll one piece of dough into a rope 1/2 to 3/4-inch diameter. Using a floured bench scraper, cut into 1-inch pieces. If desired, roll each piece on the back of a fork to make indent lines.
  7. Place rolled gnocchi on semolina flour-dusted sheet pan while preparing remaining gnocchi. Cover tightly with plastic if not using immediately. May be refrigerated up to 1 day but best to use immediately.
  8. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Working in batches, or cooking per serving, drop the gnocchi into boiling water and cook as directed above. Remove from water with a slotted spoon or large mesh sieve. Serve immediately or transfer to a sheet pan to cool.
  9. If not serving immediately, cover and refrigerate. Reheat in a skillet with butter until lightly browned.

Pea Tendril Purée

  1. Blanch pea tendrils and spinach in boiling salted water for 3 minutes. Drain and transfer to an ice water bath. When cool, drain well.
  2. Blend with oil and salt in a blender or processor until smooth. Store refrigerated in a covered container for up to 3 days.

Per serving, à la minute

  1. Melt butter in a skillet over medium heat; sauté garlic and shallot until softened.
  2. Add wine and simmer until reduced by about half.
  3. Stir in 1/4 cup Pea Tendril Purée, peas and snap peas. Cook just until peas are tender-crisp, adding a few teaspoons of hot gnocchi water if needed to thin sauce.
  4. Spoon sauce over hot boiled or browned gnocchi. Garnish with Parmesan, fresh black pepper, and a drizzle of olive oil.

Recipe provided by the Idaho® Potato Commission.

Wine Media Conference

The Wine Media Conference, formerly known as The Wine Bloggers Conference, was to be held in person in Eugene, Oregon which is in the renowned Willamette Valley. Due to the pandemic, the wine conference for 2020 was postponed until 2021. In its place there were a series of sessions. Terry and I attended three of the online sessions which took place last week.

Dr. Konstantin Frank Vineyards close to Keuka Lake

The first session we attended was “Wineries, Wine Writers and the Pandemic.” The presenters included Craig Camp from Troon Vineyard, Meaghan Frank from Dr. Konstantin Frank Winery in the Finger Lakes, Leah Derton at William Chris Vineyards in Texas and Joy Sterling from Iron Horse Vineyards. The moderator was Fred Swan, a wine writer.

Vineyards at William Chris Vineyards in Texas

Each winery representative talked about the challenges the pandemic has been for wineries and explained enthusiastically what their specific winery is doing to cope with COVID-19. Tasting experiences have changed a great deal; but everyone was enthusiastic about the positive steps their wineries are taking in order to make visiting welcoming and safe. Safety for visitors and staff was mentioned throughout the session. Some of the wineries are doing virtual wine tastings. William Chris Winery offers picnic packs. At Troon Vineyard one staff member is assigned to visitors throughout their visit. Craig noted that their customers are supporting their efforts to stay open and safe. At Dr. Konstantin Frank Winery, they are focusing on tastings based on themes. Meaghan also mentioned the Cornell Experiment Station when discussing the winery’s new tasting experiences.

The second session we attended was “Reporting Techniques for Better Wine Writing” by W. Blake Gray. There were 242 people who attended this online presentation. 

Gray began by stating that if you are blogger, you are a journalist. During his presentation, he noted the importance of asking questions. He also commented that “facts are interesting.” Gray believes that talking with winemakers and winery owners is important and that a good question to ask is “What is your philosophy of winemaking?” Gray helpfully provided resources for wine writers including California Grape Acreage Report. California Grape Crush report. Wine Institute. COL search online and OIV.int/en.

The final session we attended was “Easy Wine Photography – Tips to Getting Great Wine Shots Every Time by Christina Peters. Much of the presentation by Peters was an emphasis on how to deal with the reflections on bottles of wine. She noted that reflections vary not only by the location of the bottle of wine but whether the wine is red or white.

She also strongly suggested that when photographing a plate of food with wine, pour the wine into a stemless glass.

These were just three of the many sessions offered this year. The wine media conference offered informative sessions to wine media.

Cheers, Kathy and Terry

Discover Low Calorie Wines

Pure the Winery Low Cal Wine

We were sent four samples of the wines from Pure the Winery. These wines included two still wines, a red and white. It also included two sparkling wines, a white and rosé. The wines were produced in Italy and offered zero carbohydrates and 81 calories for a five ounce pour. The range for many wines for a five-ounce pour is between 120 and 130 calories; higher for sweeter wines. The alcohol content for all of the Pure the Winery wines is 10.5%. All wines are non-vintage. The Pure Red and Pure White have a price range of about $18 – $22. The sparkling wines have a price range between $20 and $25.

Sparkling Wines

Our first bottle to open was the sparkling rosé. It was a hot summer day and we had a few neighbors over sitting ten feet apart in our back yard. Those wine drinkers in the group liked the rosé. The salmon colored sparkling wine was crafted with Pinot Noir, Pinot Grigio and Chardonnay. The Charmat method was used for the secondary fermentation. There were multiple columns of bubbles forming a central and circumferential mousse on the wine’s surface. The aroma included berry fruits. The taste had raspberries and citrus. The smooth mouthfeel was lively. The finish was refreshing.

The Pure White Sparkling Wine was a blend of Pinot Grigio and Chardonnay. This sparkling wine made in the Charmat method, had a yellow color with light gold hue. The wine had multiple columns of bubbles forming a circumferential mousse on the wine’s surface. Apple was on the aroma, while the taste included apple and pear. The wine had a very creamy mouthfeel with a bit of liveliness. It too had a refreshing finish, perfect for hot summer days and throughout the year as an aperitif.

Still Wines

The Pure White was a blend of Chardonnay and Sauvignon Blanc. The wine had a yellow color. Apple with a hint of lemon were noticed on the aroma. The taste included apple, lemon, lemongrass, some flowers and mineral. The wine had a smooth mouthfeel and a crisp finish.

Red Wine from Pure the Winery

The Pure Red Wine was a blend of Barbera and Merlot. The translucent ruby colored wine had a dark red hue. The aroma was reminiscent of a red and black fruit salad. The taste included red and black raspberries, plums, baking spices and leather. Fruit yielded to spices on the finish.

If you are calorie conscience you may want to consider the wines from Pure the Winery. They are incased in a white plastic bottle covering and are perfect to match as an aperitif and with a variety of food dishes.

Cheers, Terry

Discover Cambria Estate Wines

Cambria Estate Winery tasting room

An email from Cambria Estate Winery in Santa Maria, California triggered very enjoyable memories of our visit to the winery several years ago.

All of the wines produced at Cambria are estate grown. Large productions of Cambria wines are for distribution; small productions are served in the tasting room

Ready Willing & Mabel singers

As enjoyable as the wines were, we also continue to remember a small group of performers who began to sing among themselves. After they concluded, we introduced ourselves and learned that this small group was from the Los Angeles region and had formed the group “Ready, Willing & Mabel.” Mabel refers to their 1938 RCA microphone.

In my article about Cambria Estate Winery, I wrote, “Visitors to the tasting room will discover that the Cambria wines available for tasting are the smaller wine productions. The large production wines are put into distribution.” At the time of our visit, the vineyards covered approximately 1,600 acres with a concentration of Chardonnay and Pinot Noir. Smaller plantings include Syrah, Viognier and Pinot Gris.

Safety Protocols at the Cambria Tasting Room

  • Fridays thru Sundays wine tastings are available only by appointment; for an appointment email brian.york@cambriawines.com or call 805.938.7318.
  • Seated Outdoor Patio Tastings Only
  • No picnicking onsite
  • Face coverings required as visitors arrive, depart and are inside.
  • Hand sanitizing stations are available
  • All team members have daily healthy screenings

Since travel is not easy during the COVID-19 pandemic, wine enthusiasts who want to try Cambria wines can order directly from the winery.

The winery is offering a Tepusquet Four Pack which includes 2016 & 2017 Syrah/2018 Viognier and 2016 Pinot Gris for $91.01. The wines will be shipped with complimentary temperature-controlled ground shipping.

The email from Cambria included a recipe from Jill Russell, Cambria Winemaker for Tepusquet Paella which follows:

Tepusquet Paella

4 1/2 cups chicken stock
1/2 teaspoon saffron threads
1/4 teaspoon salt
3 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 yellow onion, finely chopped
1/2 red bell pepper, finely chopped
3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
6 ounces mild dried chorizo sausage, sliced into thin half-moons
3 cups short-grain rice, such as Spanish Bomba rice
1 (14-ounce) can fire-roasted diced tomatoes
1 cup frozen green peas
3 lemons, sliced into wedges
1 pound large (21-24 per pound) shrimp, peeled and deveined, with tails
left on
1 pound mussels, rinsed and scrubbed
1 pound littleneck clams, rinsed and scrubbed
1 Preheat the grill: Heat a gas grill to medium-high heat (375ºF).
2 Steep the saffron: In a saucepan over medium heat, bring the stock to a boil. Add the saffron and salt. Turn off the heat and let the saffron steep for at least 15 minutes.
3 Cook the sofrito base: In a 12- to 14-inch stainless steel skillet, cast iron pan or Paella pan, heat the oil. Add the onion and red pepper, and cook for 5 to 7 minutes, or until the onion is translucent. Stir in the garlic and chorizo.
4 Assemble the ingredients by the grill: On a table next to the grill, set the rice, tomatoes, infused stock, salt, peas, shrimp, mussels, and clams.
5 Begin cooking the paella: Add the rice, and cook, stirring often, for 4 to 5 minutes, or until the rice is coated with oil and lightly toasted. Stir in the stock, tomatoes, and peas. Spread the rice evenly over the bottom of the pan. Close the grill cover and simmer the rice without stirring for 15 minutes, or until the rice absorbs most of the stock. If the mixture looks dry, pour about 1 cup of hot water over it, but do not stir.
6 Add the seafood: Nestle the mussels and clams into the rice with the hinge sides up so they release their juices into the rice. Arrange the shrimp around the shellfish. Arrange the lemon wedges in a circular fashion. Cover the pan with foil, close the grill and cook for 6 to 10 minutes longer (depending on the heat of your grill), or until the rice and shrimp are both cooked through and the mussels and clams are open. (Discard any shellfish that remain tightly shut once everything else is cooked.)
7 Check to see if the bottom is browned: Slip a spatula under the rice and check to see if you have achieved the elusive golden brown socarrat. If not, set the pan over the heat, uncovered, for a few minutes to lightly caramelize the bottom.

Cheers and Please Stay Safe!


Discover Effingham Manor and Winery in VA

Effingham Manor and Winery tasting room

Effingham Manor and Winery, located in Nokesville, Virginia offers visitors a lovely experience. The winery and tasting room are located on the grounds of historic property that includes a large manor house.

The winery is taking special care and following protocols to help protect visitors and workers from he current COVID-19 pandemic. They have updated their policy for visitors and are at the current time no longer requiring reservations to visit.  Visitors can make reservations for special table reservations. Traditional wine tastings are not available yet, although wine is now available in flights and by the bottle. The winery is open seven days a week. Seating is only available outside; when rain occurs covered areas are available.

Effingham Merlot

Effingham Manor and Winery is continuing to follow all protocols for sanitation. The winery is asking everyone to maintain six feet distance between groups as well as keeping pets and children home.

Special Barrel Tasting Events

Reservations are required for the Barrel Tastings scheduled for August 1, August 2, and August 9. 

According to the winery website, “Get unique insight to the winemaking process, learn some tricks, and find your favorites among what is turning out to be a special Virginia vintage. The white wines are available now, with the reds being bottled in December (just in time for Christmas). To ensure safety and social distance, the event will have two groups of 10 visiting different stations on the property to sample the wines.

“At the conclusion of the tasting you will be able to purchase at our special pricing ($22.00 to $30.00). Whites can be taken home now, reds will be available after their December bottling.”

Other anticipated events to watch for include:

  • Wine Club Weekend – September 12/13
  • Wine Festival – September 26/27
  • Hallo’wine’ Party – October 24
  • Sip and Shop – December 6
  • Wine Club Weekend and Holiday Party – December 13/14

When you are looking for more information about Effingham Manor & Winery, check out Wine Trail Traveler about Effingham Manor & Winery article.


Third National Prosecco Week!

In 2020, 13 Prosecco producers are participating in National Prosecco Week join the United States. It was interesting to note that the focus of the the Prosecco DOC Consortium is on millennials and women.

Mionetto from ProseccoDOC

This week, July 20 to July 26, is the third annual celebration of National Prosecco Week. As Terry mentioned yesterday’s blog, on Tuesday the Prosecco DOC Consortium hosted a virtual Prosecco tasting and info session using Zoom. The host of the Zoom session was Brooke Sabel, Wine Director at Gary’s Wine & Marketplace. 

In the last ten years, the Consortium has played a large role on the increased quality of Prosecco. Also, a large increase in Prosecco production has occurred since 2009. Back in 2009, 120 million bottles of Prosecco were produced. By 2019 the number of bottles had increased to 486 million bottles.

Much of the Prosecco DOCs are exported to the United Kingdom, United States, Germany and France. About 22 percent of production stays in Italy.

Among the data provided during the virtual tasting, participants learned a bit about the history of the development of Prosecco. The first production of Prosecco was in 1754. In 1970 the IGT accepted the name Prosecco. In 2009 Prosecco became Prosecco DOC.

The Prosecco DOC is located in northern Italy near Venice. The region is in Friuli Venezia Giulia and Veneto.

To be designated Prosecco, the sparkling wine must  have 85% Glera grapes. The other 15% of the grapes can be from particular varieties including:  Chardonnay, Pinots and some native grapes. The wines are produced using the Martinotti (Charmat) method for secondary fermentation.

Why and when should you drink Prosecco? Prosecco is delightful anytime. The serving temperature should be at 42° to 46° Fahrenheit.  It was suggested that Prosecco is great for breakfast, lunch or dinner. 

How to Identify Prosecco and avoid fraudulently labeled Prosecco?

  • Prosecco DOCs have a special label at the top of the bottle over the cage and capsule. 
  • Have a serial number
  • Have Ministry of on bottle
  • Prosecco is not found in cans
  • Prosecco is never served on tap

One of the last questions of the Zoom session was, “What to do with leftover Prosecco?” Answers included cocktails, fish, and use for a big family. For me, I’d like to have Prosecco poured over lemon sherbet!

Future of Prosecco
The concept of a rosé Prosecco is being worked on and winemakers hope to have rosé Prosecco available later in 2020. At this writing there is no rosé Prosecco on the market. 

 I am looking forward to tasting a rosé Prosecco when it becomes available.

Cheers! Kathy

National Prosecco Week

This week marks Prosecco Week in the United States from July 20th through July 26th. The Prosecco DOC Consortium is educating and promoting Prosecco this week. This is one of several posts that we will focus on Prosecco. We were pleased to be selected to attend an online tasting of eight bottles of Prosecco from seven producers. The format of the tasting was through Zoom. Participants were from the United States and Italy. The Zoom tasting was organized by Colangelo & Partners, the PR firm representing the Prosecco DOC Consortium.

Device used to open Prosecco bottles.

With temperatures in Maryland reaching the upper 90s, a cold glass of Prosecco is refreshing. Given Prosecco’s value, this is a great time to drink this sparkling wine from Northern Italy. For the eight wines we tasted, the prices ranged from $12 to $17 at Total Wine and wine.com

Having eight Prosecco wines to open just before tasting in 90 minutes offers challenges. While in the province of Pordenone, a few years ago, we visited a few wineries. Some of these wineries were crafting Prosecco. San Simone Winery had a unique device they used to open Prosecco bottles. They gave us two of these plastic devices, and we used one of them to help open the eight bottles of Prosecco. After removing the foil and cage, you press the plastic onto the cork and turn the cork. The pressure in the bottle helps lift the cork.

The Prosecco Wines

We tasted the wines in order of dosage from dryer to sweeter. There was not a large range though. The sweetness of the wines began with 10 g/L residual sugar and ended with 18 g/L of residual sugar. There was little color variation. The wines were either a light straw color or a straw color. All wines except for the first were 11% alcohol. The first wine tasted, the Bianca Vigna had 11.5% alcohol.

Eight Prosecco wines tasted during Prosecco Week.

Bianca Vigna

The Bianca Vigna Prosecco DOC Brut had a light straw color and was the driest of the Proseccos with 10 g/L of residual sugar. The wine showcased multiple columns of bubbles forming both a central and circumferential mousse. The aroma had floral notes and some freshly baked bread. The wine had a lively mouthfeel and tastes of peach and freshly baked bread. The finish was crisp. The wine retails for about $17 at wine.com.

Mionetto Prestige Collection

Mionetto Prosecco DOC Treviso Prestige Collection was a straw color with 12 g/L of residual sugar. The wine exhibited multiple columns of bubbles forming both a central and circumferential mousse. Apple and peach were on the aroma and taste. The creamy mouthfeel was also lively. There were earthy and fruity notes on the finish. The wine retails for about $12 at Total Wine.

Valdo Marco Oro

Also with 12 g/L of residual sugar and a straw color, The Valdo Marco Oro Prosecco DOC Brut also had multiple columns of bubbles forming both a central and circumferential mousse. There were apple and citrus on the aroma and taste. The mouthfeel was lively and creamy. The finish was crisp. The wine retails for about $16 at wine.com.


The Zardetto Prosecco DOC Brut had a light straw color and also 12 g/L of residual sugar. The wine had multiple columns of bubbles forming a central mousse on the wine’s surface. The aroma was floral, fruity and earthy. The mouthfeel was silky and the taste included apple and freshly baked bread. The finish was crisp and fruity. The wine retails for about $12 at Total Wine.

The last three wines all had a residual sugar of 12 g/L. However, the perceived taste of sugar was different. The acidity levels had a lot to do with this. 


The Torresella Prosecco DOC had a light straw color with 15 g/L residual sugar. The wine formed multiple columns of bubbles producing both a central and circumferential mousse. Freshly baked bread and apple were on the aroma. The taste included apple, peach and freshly baked bread. The lively mouthfeel was also creamy. The complex finish offered fruit and earthiness. The wine retails for about $17 at wine.com.

Tenuta Sant’Anna

The Tenuta Sant’Anna Extra Dry Prosecco DOC had 15 g/L residual sugar and a light straw color. The wine exhibited multiple columns of bubbles forming a total surface mousse. Apple and pear were on the aroma and taste. The mouthfeel was creamy and lively. The finish was crisp and fruity. The wine retails for about $16 at wine.com.

Borgo Magredo

The Borgo Magredo DOC Prosecco Extra Dry had a straw color with 15 g/L of residual sugar. The wine had multiple columns of bubbles forming a total surface mousse. The aroma reminded me of peaches, flower blossoms and apples. The taste included peach and apple along with velvety mouthfeel. The finish was clean and crisp. The wine retails for about $17 at wine.com.

Mionetto (Organically Grown Grapes)

The Mionetto Prosecco DOC was crafted from organically grown grapes. This wine with a straw color had 18 g/L of residual sugar. Multiple columns of bubbles formed a central and circumferential mousse on the wine’s surface. The aroma was very peachy and the taste had peach and apple with a slight earthy character. The finish was clean, crisp and refreshing. The wine retails for about $12 at Total Wine.

Throughout the year, Prosecco is a great value for those who like sparkling wines.


Discover Wollersheim Winery in Wisconsin

Several years ago, we visited Wollersheim Winery in Wisconsin. We discovered a delightful winery experience. The ambience of the facility added to our experience. The winery specializes in cold weather grape varieties and also has an assortment of other traditional wines available.

Wollersheim Winery in Wisconsin

Originally the property was planted  with grapevines in the 1840s. Until the devastating Prohibition was enacted, wine and brandy were produced here. During Prohibition the property was farmed as a dairy farm

Eventually in 1972, the property was purchased by the Wollersheims who sought to discover grapevines that would grow well in this colder region. Today the Wollersheim vineyards are home to Marechal Foch, Leon Millot, St. Pepin and LaCrosse. In addition to their own estate grown grapes, Wollersheim sources other varieties from New York, Washington and California. These other varieties include Sangiovese, Chardonnay, Riesling , Pinot Noir, Seyval Blanc, Muscat and Carignan.

Cellars at Wollersheim Winery

Today the Wollersheim family has continued the winery and established the Wollersheim Distillery and a bistro.

Check out the Wine Trail Traveler article we wrote about our visit to Wollersheim Winery.

As of today, July 16, Wollersheim Winery has opened with some modifications. The winery hours are now 12Noon until 5pm. Tours are not available. Currently reservations are required for wine tastings. Events offered with reservations required are: Seated Wine Tastings, Summer Cocktail Tastings and until July 19 – Vineyard Walks. 

Wollersheim wines are also available online for shipping to residents in certain states including: California, Colorado, District of Columbia, Florida Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, and Wisconsin.

Check out Wollersheim Winery soon!

Cheers, Kathy

Indiana: Oliver Winery & Vineyards

Three years ago we visited wineries in Indiana and discovered large and boutique wineries offering a variety of experiences. One of the larger wineries we stopped at was Oliver Winery & Vineyards in Bloomington.

Oliver Winery in Indiana

Oliver Winery & Vineyards offers a wide variety of experiences. 

COVID-19 has caused the winery to adapt the experiences; however, many of the experiences are currently available with certain limits. 

At Oliver Winery, the following is open with some adaptations. The retail shop and tasting room are open but with a limited capacity and social distancing. The Lower Patio and Hillside have seating with limited capacity and also social distancing. The Hillside venue is also limited to groups of up to six. Reservations for picnics require bookings and only for a maximum of four people. Reserved wine flights for up to four people are available and the winery recommends advance reservations for weekends. According to the winery’s July 6 update, live music and wine tastings are not taking place. Watch the winery website for changes to the current adaptations

Oliver Winery offers several types of wine clubs that reflect the types of wines people enjoy. Members can receive wine by shipping or pick-up. Other specials for members include wine, food and merchandise, private event rentals and special events ticket discounts.

  • Creekbend Club is an exclusive club that recently opened for new participants. The wines in this club focus on Indiana wines from estate bottles from the Creekbend Vineyard collection. Shipments of six bottles (with 15% off) are in April and November. Members receive six complimentary individual wine tastings in the tasting room. (Est cost: $100 to $125 plus shipping and taxes.) Members will also receive access to new release and library wines pre-sales.
  • The Drier Side Club: As its name suggests, this club focuses on dry red and white wines. Shipments of six bottles are sent out in April and November. Est. cost is $85 to $125 plus shipping and taxes.
  • The Sweeter Side Club: The focus for the Sweeter Side Club is on semi-dry, semi-sweet and dessert wines. Members will receive six bottles of wine in April and November. The cost is $65 to $85 per selection plus shipping and taxes.

It should be noted that the winery ships wine to more than 30 US states. So if you are hesitant to visit, consider ordering wine from Oliver Winery online.

Check out the Wine Trail Traveler article about our visit to Oliver Winery & Vineyards.

Cheers, Kathy

Ontario Winery: Between the Lines Family Estate Winery

A number of years ago, Wine Trail Traveler traveled to Ontario and visited many of the wineries in the region. One of the wineries we visited was Between the Lines Family Estate Winery in Niagara-on-the-Lake. Check out our article here.

At the time, one of the questions we had for the owners was, “Why did you choose the name Between the Lines?” In the Wine Trail Traveler review of the winery I wrote about their answer, “The name ‘Between the Lines’ refers to the winery location. Current plans are to sell out of the tasting room. In order to do that, people needed to find the winery. People would call to ask them what lines (roads) they were between. They would say they were between Line 5 and Line 6. It just made sense to call the winery “Between the Lines.” The wine bottle labels show a map of the location of the winery between the lines. GPS coordinates are also part of the label design.”

Since our visit to Between the Lines Family Estate Winery, the winery appears to have made tremendous growth. Today the winery offers four types of Wine Clubs. The Loyalist Package is free and includes the monthly BTL newsletter mailing, first-to-know status for BTL events and exclusive Loft Member events. The only requirement is that you visit the winery occasionally. The next step in the wine club lineup is The Economist. In addition to the benefits of the Loyalist club, members receive six bottles of wines delivered four times a year. Merchandise  purchased at the winery will have 15% off. This also includes free tasting for you plus three friends at BTL any time. Price: $475. The Reservist Package, in addition to the Loyalist offerings, you receive six bottles of Reserve wines delivered four times a year, a copy of the winemaker’s notebook, a special t-shirt and two VIP tickets to BTL events. This also includes free tastings for you and three others at anytime. Cost: $800. Looking for a more extravagant wine club, check out The Hedonist Package priced at  $2400. As above The Hedonist members receive what the Loyalist receives plus 12 bottles of wines which arrive at the beginning of every month. The Hedonist Package also includes a private winery tour and tasting with Greg and Yannick for you and friends. Members receive four VIP tickets to all events, Yannick’s Notebook and a special t-shirt.

Currently Between the Vines winery offers several types of wine tasting opportunities. When planning to visit, check the winery’s website for events and be sure to receive a ticket. Note that the tours/events are limited to a maximum of 10 people.

The winery is following the pandemic guidelines set by the government of Ontario. The winery website notes, “The maximum people for each tour or tasting will be determined by current social distancing rules required by the Government of Ontario. For the safety of you and our staff, we ask you to comply.”

Wine tasting options include:

  • Private Group Tasting
  • Grape to Glass Tour
  • Black Glass Tasting @BTL
  • Decadent Tasting
  • Corner Store Cravings and Pairings
  • BTL Cheese & Charcuterie Tasting
  • Yoga + Brunch (only August 9)

Purchase tickets from the dropdown list for each event. The tickets are considered your reservations. 

When you plan to visit any of the Canadian wineries, be sure to check with each winery as to whether it is currently open and what COVID 19 protocol steps they are following.


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