Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Le Dolci's Bees, Mead & Cheese Class

I was invited to Le Dolci's (@LeDolci) first ever Bees, Mead & Cheese class with Rosewood Estates Winery & Meadery on Thursday, July 12. It was also my first time visiting Le Dolci's new studio location at 1006 Dundas St. W since my cupcake decorating class last year. What a beautiful space, Lisa! Congratulations on the move :)

Le Dolci, for those of you who don't know, offers classes on how to make and decorate delicious treats like Parisian macarons, cupcakes, cake pops, and mini fondant wedding cakes. They also host birthday, bachelorette and corporate events

I know this post should be about honey and mead but I need to show you these cute cupcakes first!

Sorry, I digress. Back to honey and mead :D

Owned by the Roman family, Rosewood Estates Winery & Meadery is an award winning boutique winery located on the Beamsville Bench. Lovers of wine and honey, Rosewood produces 100% VQA wines, honey and the first honey wines in Niagara. 

Below is Krystina Roman (@Rosewoodwine) talking about Rosewood's beekeeping and harvesting operation. Here are some interesting Rosewood's beekeeping facts:
Rosewood has 9 bee yards located all over Niagara with over 300 hives.
- Each hive is between 2 to 4 boxes high. Each box can have up to 25,000 bees. On average each hive can have over 75,000 bees
- Rosewood makes most of their hives by scratch
- Their honeybees source wildflower, clover, mint, goldenrod, Russian sage for their nectar. 
-Their bees need to visit over 1 million flowers for one pound of honey
- Their bees come from Hawaii, Italy & Russia

Some honey facts:
- Honey never goes bad. It may crystallize and when that happens, all you have to do is put it in a microwave for less than 10 seconds and stir, or put it in a pot of hot water for less than 30 seconds.
- Honey does not need to be refrigerated after opening but it is porous. Keep away from highly scented food
- Honey is a natural antibiotic and has great healing powers. Great for sore throats, ulcers, digestion problems and allergies.
- Rosewood's honey is raw and rated as Canadian No.1

Click here for more information on Rosewood's honey

After our honey tasting, it was time to taste some Rosewood's meadsKrystina brought in a selection of cheeses from The Village Cheesemonger (@TOcheesemonger) to accompany our mead tasting.

Some mead facts:
- Mead (or honey wine) made from the fermentation of honey and water, is the earliest form of consumable alcohol. Its first appearance as a beverage was approx 10,000 years ago. Mead has deep historical roots, and it was the drink of choice for many ancient civilizations
- There are 3 mead types:
1) MEAD: Also known as honey wine, is an alcoholic beverage crafted by fermenting honey and water with yeast. Most age in oak barrels.
2) MELOMEL: A type of mead that integrates fruit juice (Raspberry, cherry, blackberry) in the mead. Melomels range from dry to sweet.
3) PYMENT: A type of mead that is fermented with grape juice (Rosewood uses Geuwrztraminer and Pinot Noir. Rosewood's pyments never see the inside of an oak barrel so that it preserves the fresh acidity and aromatics produced by the unique combination of grape juice and honey).

We tasted four different Rosewood's meads:

1) 2007 Mon Cherie - Unique blend of Niagara sour cherry juice and Rosewood's own local honey, pair with veal or pork tenderloin covered in fruity chutney, and aged cheeses, great with dark chocolate desserts (Bronze: Canadian Wine Awards 2010 & 2011)
2) 2008 Mead Royale - A slightly sweeter mead, palate is fresh, rich and luscious, pair with Canadian aged Cheddars, Niagara Gold, spiced cheesecake and creme brulee (Bronze: Canadian Wine Awards 2010 & 2011 (available in the LCBO Nov 10, 2012)
3) 2009 Mead Blanc - Fermented in Gewurztraminer juice, best paired with creamy cheeses & fruit desserts (Gold: 2010 Mazer Cup - Pyment Category)
4) 2006 Grand Reserve Ambrosia - Rosewood's signature mead, aged in French oak barrels for 2 years, pair with duck liver pate, charcuterie plates, aged Cheddars and brie (Gold: Canadian Wine Awards 2009)

Click here for more information on Rosewood's meads and here if you want to make your own mead cocktails!

I really enjoyed Le Dolci's Bees, Mead & Cheese class. It was informative, educational, fun and tasty! Thank you, Krystina, for doing such an awesome job teaching us about beekeeping, honey harvesting, and the different kinds of Rosewood's meads ^_^

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