A sweet escape from the winter blahs

This past weekend I discovered a new way to counter the January blahs that doesn’t involve any costly flights to the Caribbean. Instead of cocooning on the couch to watch the entire first season of
Modern Family (I’m a late adopter) my husband and I went to the
Niagara Icewine Festival. First stop—the
Inniskillin Wines for a tasting with Debi Pratt, the public relations manager. Before sampling its famous Riesling, Vidal and Cabernet Franc varietals, I indulge in several servings of chef David Penny’s braised rib and icewine bacon stew. After lunch—and a quick primer on how the wines are made—we start tippling. It’s a tie between the Riesling and the Cabernet Franc, until Debi pops the cork on the Sparkling Vidal Icewine. “If you serve this at your party, that’s what everyone will remember.” She had me at bubbles.