Fill your glass with local flavour

AG Food and WineLynn Ogryzlo, Just a Sip

Eating local is the latest rage. Some call it the 100-mile diet. It’s all about buying your food within 100 miles of your kitchen. Consumers rush out to rural farms armed with grocery lists only to get a crash course on local availability. Eating local can be done, just not in the same way as we approach buying groceries.

But we can drink local without too much of a challenge. Niagarans are very fortunate to live in a region which is not only agriculturally rich, but is also vinously savvy. We have the privilege of travelling into back roads, past orchards and fields and into vineyards to enjoy the delicious flavours of Niagara wines.

As consumers we know this, but how brave are prominent, local restaurants to feature all-local wine lists. The number is growing.

Just last weekend I dined at AG, the fantastic new restaurant at the Sterling Inn & Spa in Niagara Falls. Don’t let the address fool you, you won’t find a more decadent and delicious place to sip the flavours of Niagara, either on a plate or in a glass.

The Niagara proud wine list features celebrity bottles like the ’05 Wayne Gretzky Merlot, (only $32 per bottle) and the ’06 Mike Weir Pinot Grigio ($32 per bottle). In between the celebrity vintages are by-the-glass options from ’05 Jackson Triggs Shiraz, Private Reserve ($9 per glass, $38 per bottle) to ’06 Henry of Pelham Sauvignon Blanc ($8 per glass, $35 per bottle).

The main list offers great wines including the ’06 Coyote’s Run Pinot Noir, Red Paw Vineyard ($45 per bottle), a First Growth ’02 Reif Estate Cabernet Sauvignon, an ’06 Stratus ‘Charles Baker’ Riesling ($65 per bottle) and a ’95 Thirty Bench Reserve Blend ($155 per bottle). It’s a great collection of wines most people are unfamiliar with. The list is put together with the aim of quenching the thirst for everyday drinking and special occasion celebrations.

The wines are well priced for restaurant offerings, meaning there’s always wallet room for another glass or that second bottle to share with friends.

Each bottle was selected for its reflection of the region’s terroir, which marry perfectly well with foods grown from the same soils.

AG is a modern, sophisticated restaurant specializing in eating and drinking local. It joins the ranks of Queenston Heights Restaurant with their Best of Niagara Wine Cellar, and the Riverbend Inn & Vineyard with their own vineyards, wine and all-Niagara wine list.