3 Reasons Bob Blumer Is Excited For the Niagara Wine Festival

We chatted with the Food Network host and author about this year's festival 

The Niagara Wine Festival welcomes more than 100,000 wine lovers from around the world to explore one of Canada’s best wine and culinary destinations. From September 13 to 28, attendees will get to experience the region’s finest and newest wines, along with food pairings and entertainment.

In its 63rd year, the festival is launching the Harvest Table Culinary Demonstrations in Niagra’s Montebello Park, which invites celebrity chefs to create dishes made from local ingredients served up to the audience. Bob Blumer, author and host of shows like Food Network’s Surreal Gourmet, will be teaming up with students from the Canadian Food and Wine Institute on September 21. Here, the Canadian food adventurer shares three things to look forward to. 

1. Cycling through the Niagara landscape

As an enthusiastic cycler, Blumer will ride the 100-km stretch to the festival on two wheels from Toronto. He suggests taking the route along the Niagara Escarpment just past Hamilton to enjoy the stunning landscape. “It’s all beautiful farmland and great views over the embankment,” he says. He also suggests plotting out wineries you’d like to visit and cycling through them. Blumer recommends Stratus Vineyards as a must-see.

2. Creating local dishes fresh off the farm 

“The farm-to-table movement has gone from being a niche little thing in fancy-pants markets to gaining traction with everybody,” says Blumer. He adds that eating local foods also means eating more interesting foods. Blumer says he doesn’t know yet which ingredients he’ll be using during his demonstration, but that it will be tailored to whatever is fresh from the farm that week.

3. Embracing the fall harvest

Blumer explains that from the time the spring breaks until the snow falls, there’s always something happening at a winery, so September is a great time to take in the last few weeks of action. He says the most exciting time for visitors is when the grapes are coming in, being sorted, crushed and fermented in barrels, which will still be happening during the festival.