Cuvée 2017 – Niagara – The red carpet gala of the Wine Industry.

Cuvée 2017 – Niagara

The red carpet gala of the Wine Industry (minus the red carpet). If you have not had the chance to attend this event, you’re truly missing out.

Cuvée 2017 Niagara - Cuvee Grand Tasting

Cuvée was first hosted in 1989 at Victoria Park Restaurant with only 16 wineries participating. WOW! Has it grown, this year there were over 45 wineries participating at the Niagara Scotiabank Convention Center.

Cuvée is brought to you by Brock University’s Cool Climate Oenology & Viticulture Institute (CCOVI).

Growth is always number one with CCOVI and looking toward the future of the grape and wine industry a legacy fund was created to assist in a positive and educated future. Proceeds from Cuvée grow this legacy fund.

Cuvée 2017 Niagara - The Wine Boys

This year, we were honoured to be invited to Cuvée 2017 as Media Guests; allowing us early entry to an exclusive media tasting an hour and a half before the general public arrived. This was fantastic! 45+ local Ontario wine makers just waiting to fill our glasses, and explain why they picked their two vintages to showcase. Another advantage to being media was knowing what wineries and wines were serving making us able to zoom in on the wineries and wines we have yet to experience.

Normally we like to stay on track and taste our white wines first and then our reds. This night we thought we would change it up a little since we started with Cave Spring Blanc de Blancs at home. We started the Gala with another sparkling wine, Vieni Estates. Pouring an amazing red sparkling wine called Canada 150 an anniversary sparkling priced at $16.95. This is a blend of Pinot Noir, Baco and Pinot Meunier – we can see this enjoyed on a patio or on the boat this summer.

Cuvée 2017 Niagara - The Wine Boys

Next was a first experience for us, with the new up-and-coming winery called Nyarai Cellars. They were pouring 2012 Cadence priced at $22.95. This red wine is a blend of 37% Cabernet Franc, 29% Merlot, 27% Cabernet Sauvignon and 7% Syrah. With deep rich red berry fruits and a long earthy tone finish we would love to pair this with a steak or some really big cheeses in the near future.

We cannot deny, Colaneri Estate Winery has been one of our favourite wineries for years. Betty Colaneri, looking radiant as always; was pouring their fantastic appassimento red blend called Insieme 2013 priced at $39.95. This full bodied red wine is a blend of 36% Merlot, 31% Cabernet Sauvignon, 19% Cabernet Franc and 14% Syrah. This wine tastes amazing right now, but the wine maker notes this vintage can be cellared up to 2026! Time is only going to make this vintage even more amazing, if only we could cellar this wine that long…

Speaking of Colaneri, we bumped into one of our favourite people – Tara Colaneri and her friend Kim Rossi, both looking absolutely fierce in black and bling. It’s great to be at these events when you’re in the company of great people.

Cuvée 2017 Niagara - The Wine Boys

Rockway Vineyards was pouring a 2012 Small Lot Cabernet Franc priced at $22.95. This vintage was medium-bodied, and was very pleasing to the palate. This winery is also special to us, as this where we tied the knot, long before we were The Wine Boys.

Stratus was pouring their 2013 Cabernet Franc priced at $38.00. I think you guessed it by now – The Wine Boys do love their full-bodied red wines and have a soft spot for the perfect Cabernet Franc. This full-bodied Cabernet Franc definitely has time as his friend in the cellar. Again, if only we had the discipline to cellar it until 2023 but we doubt it would even get dusty in our rack!

Since we started the night with sparkling wine, and then headed right into the big bold reds, we thought we need to sample some white wines. We have never really been big on Chardonnay’s in the past but keep in mind, your palate is always changing, and you start to crave a different type of wine. Years ago, John didn’t like red wines due to their dryness, now he looks for the driest he can find.

Another of our first experiences, and definitely not one of our last was Domaine Queylus. Pouring a 2014 Chardonnay Reserve priced at $34.95! We both took a sip and were amazed by this Chardonnay. Yes, we just put that in print. Being barrel fermented, it didn’t have that overwhelming long buttery finish (oaky) that The Wine Boys usually don’t like. This Chardonnay was medium-bodied with a nice long finish. It definitely had us craving some seafood.

An exciting night so far, how could it get much better? Low and behold who do we run into? Our friend Angela Aiello of iYellow Wine Club, with one of the “iYellow Angel’s” Mandy, Managing Director. This night, Angela was awarded the 2017 VQA Promoters Award for Media. Congratulations Angela, a very well deserved award on the great work you have done in promoting the wine industry.

Cuvée 2017 Niagara - The Wine Boys

Cuvée 2017 Niagara - The Wine Boys


During the evening we were also lucky to meet up with Jeff and Mike, The Sparkling Winos with their sparkling personalities and good looks. You need to check out all their fabulous blogs about everything Sparkling. You’ll be surprised at how much sparkling wine is made here in Ontario!


And of course, who should catch us with Chardonnay in our hand but Joanne Deall otherwise known as Niagarafied. We always enjoy wine tasting, and time well spent with Joanne and her partner Ken. If we don’t watch out, she just may get her wish – to make Chardonnay lovers out of both The Wine Boys… ha-ha!


Another great opportunity was meeting Kimberley Gunning, one half of Niagara Culinary Tours. Check her page out for all your ‘foodie’ needs.

Well keeping up with the Chardonnay that has now taken over our palates. Henry of Pelham was pouring 2012 Speck Family Reserve Chardonnay priced at $24.95. This Chardonnay had a creamy like finish, and once again, not over powered by the taste of heavy oak.

We thought we would finish the night off with some delicious desserts from Criveller. These desserts are light yet full of rich flavour – mouth watering just thinking back to them. (Another one of our favourites, as they did the desserts for our wedding)

Cuvée 2017 Niagara - The Wine Boys  Cuvée 2017 Niagara - The Wine Boys

Next on the wine tasting was Megalomaniac Estate Winery bringing us back to our love of red wines with 2012 Bravado. A Cabernet Sauvignon priced at $24.95. This full-bodied wine will pair nicely with bbq meats as well as dark chocolate desserts.

Lastly, we finished off the Grand Tasting with Flat Rock Cellars 2013 Gravity Pinot Noir price at $30.15. This Pinot Noir has a great balance with a smooth finish.

The night was just getting started, it was hitting 10pm and the next part of the night was beginning in the next room for Après Cuvee; with craft beers, spirits and more bubbles! A band playing some great ole tunes, we had to step out onto the dance floor with Tara and Kim, before calling it a night.

The night was absolutely magical. Some of the best wines, food and great wine friends, who could ask for anything more?

Once again, we’d like to thank the CCOVI for the opportunity to enjoy this years Cuvée as Media Guests.

See you next year, Cuvée.

Til next time, have a great day and great wine!

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