This weekend my folks were in town to visit the grandkids. On Saturday night they generously offered to watch the wee Stacey brothers, giving Lisa and me the chance to go out and have some fun.
The next day, as a respite from their previous night of hectic childminding (and as a balm for my hangover), I took Steve Sr. & Stella over to Griffiths Road to participate in one of the weekly tastings being hosted at the Monforte Dairy cheese shop Sundays from 11am to 4 pm all summer.
Monforte Dairy is a true icon upon the Stratford and Ontario food landscape. Owner Ruth Klahsen has become widely recognized as an industry leader for artisan cheese production.
We in Stratford are so fortunate to be able to get her unparalleled sheep, goat and cows milk cheeses straight from the source at the dairy's on-site store.
Ruth's son Christian (above) has been hosting tastings at the shop every Sunday this summer featuring Monforte cheeses paired with Ontario wines and accompanied by the stellar line of olive oils and preserves offered by Sarafino foods.
The apple doesn't fall far from the tree: Stella and Steve Sr. (aka 'The Real Steve') instantly started to enjoy this unique experience just as much as I did.
Once we'd been poured a glass of wine from this week's featured winery - Niagara's Southbrook Vineyards - we were presented with a spread of Monforte cheeses alongside gorgeous Italian preserves (Sarafino's blood orange marmalade went beautifully with the tarragon brie).
Then out came a board full of hot-off-the-press grilled cheese sandwiches! We were pretty much in Sunday afternoon heaven as we dipped the sannies in the various preserves and olive oil while hearing all about the wine we were drinking from the Southbrook sommelier (their organic and biodynamic production methods create some truly wonderful wines!).
Doug from Sarafino topped the experience off with some sweet Southbrook ice wine served in dark chocolate shooter cups.
I highly recommend taking some family or friends over to Monforte Dairy one Sunday this summer to taste some really great combinations of food and wine. $20 is a really good value especially with such generous and interesting hosts.