A very welcome package arrived at the front door the other day courtesy of Wines of Ontario and their partners.

A very welcome package arrived at the front door the other day courtesy of Wines of Ontario and their partners.


I had planned to publish this piece just before Canadian Thanksgiving, but unfortunately due to some crippling technical issues with the GFR website I was unable to do so. However, we are back and in rude health, so…

Just the other day I was looking out the window and worrying about where the world was going. I had just read this rather amusing piece regarding decorating tips for the fall of society, and given everything that’s going on these days, I had many a reason to feel a certain amount of anxiety and disquiet.

I was startled by a sharp knock at the front door, and I went outside to discover a package lying on the front stoop. What on earth could this be? Yet another strange middle-of-the-night online purchase I had subsequently forgotten about?

Taking it to the kitchen I went at it with a pair of scissors and discovered a delightful package from Wines Of Ontario with the note “Harvest 2020 is upon us and what better way to celebrate its bounty than by embracing the taste of home with all things Ontario. We’ve put together a selection of locally crafted goods comes from various makers across the province, all of which pairs perfectly with your favourite Ontario VQA wine.”

This brought a huge smile to my face, not only because I was thirsty for a bit of Ontario juice, but because I was reminded of all the simply wonderful stuff that the annual Ontario harvest brings.

I took the box out onto the back deck and sat down at the picnic table, my wife (ever the professional) reminding me that I simply had to take a pic for “social” before I set about it. Yeah, she styled the pic you see above… she’s great at all that stuff.

And what a treat it was.

As well as bottles of Closson Chase‘s Vineyard Chardonnay and Two Sisters Cabernet Sauvignon there was some lovely fresh penne pasta and Pomodoro sauce from Ryan Crawford and Bev Hotchkiss’ Ruffino’s, a can of beautifully packaged Ontario Trout with dill from Charlotte Langley at Scout Canning, cheeses (for the record, the true way to my heart) from PEC’s Black River Cheese (Two Year Aged Cheddar with Honey) and Niagara’s  Upper Canada Cheese Company (Niagara Gold), some deliciously rich Cheddar and Thyme Shortbread from Beamsville’s Provisions Food Company, a little jar of pickled Sweet Drop Chilli Peppers from Littlejohn Farm in Picton, a jar of Niagara Peach Chutney from Toronto’s Ricky + Olivia, some fantastic Wildflower Honey from our old friends at Rosewood, and copy of Chef Michael Olson’s new cookbook Living High Off The Hog (as covered by Malcolm right here). 

I sat back and, putting away my corkscrew, unscrewed the cap on the Closson Chase Chardonnay, poured myself a pretty healthy-sized glass, and surveyed the magnificently coloured falling leaves from the tall trees at the end of our garden. I sipped on the wine and thought for the first time in quite some time “Maybe life’s not so bad after all?” and thought of all the things I was so very thankful for.

And that certainly included my generous care package from VQA Wines of Ontario.


Edinburgh-born/Toronto-based Sommelier, consultant, writer, judge, and educator Jamie Drummond is the Director of Programs/Editor of Good Food Revolution… And that was a terrific surprise.