We were finally leaving Niagara-on-the-Lake and on our way home, we were going to stop and see some friends, about half-way on our drive. The amusing part is that we were leaving one theatrical centric community to go to another like community. While we did not see any theatrical productions while we were in Niagara-on-the-Lake, it is home to the Shaw Festival that is wildly popular, and we were going to Stratford, Ontario, which happens to be on the Avon River and home of the famed Stratford Festival. My Bride grew up during the summers, kind of in the shadow of Stratford and grew up with her friends from her cottage days. So we decided to meet and have a late lunch with them in their home town. Stratford is quite a unique community with a charming downtown area, and one of the few places that I know, that you can have a kilt made in your family tartan, or almost any other type of garment that tartans are suitable for.
We have been to Stratford at different occasions and have dined at some of the more popular locations. Our friends suggested someplace new to us, namely Taverna Pazzo Pizzeria, which is right downtown, and has two levels for accommodations. The basement level is more casual and is an upscale pizzeria and the main level is a charming tavern and restaurant. We ended up on the main level and our meal went fron late lunch to early dinner, because we were just having so much fun, catching up on what was going on with the assorted families. We just kept ordering appetizers, individual pizzas and assorted classic Italian entrée dishes that we all tended to sample and enjoy.
Now I have to laugh to myself, I am not Italian by descent, but I do understand some Italian from working for years with people of that heritage. Pazzo, in Italian roughly translates to “crazy” at least in my rudimentary understanding of that language. While I was searching the wine carte for an interesting wine for our visit, I searched on my phone for a photo of a wine label that we had enjoyed some time passed. I have wine labels on my phone like crazy, because there are times that it is not convenient to take the bottle(s) of wine that we have enjoyed at certain times and it gives me a chance to write about the wine and event and a later time. I showed them a label of Pazzo wine from Baccio Divino Cellars from Napa, California. This wine is basically a blend of Sangiovese and Cabernet Sauvignon, and our waitress came up with a bottle of it from their cellar. I am glad that I did ask the price, prior to ordering the wine, since with all of the taxes in Canada, plus the markup, the wine was about three times what one would pay for it, here in the states at a comparable restaurant. I did find another wine from a firm, that I have enjoyed other wines in the past, and I even have some in my cellar still. We enjoyed a couple of bottles of Illuminati Ilico Montepulciano d’Abruzzo 2013. Abruzzo and the area is the fifth largest wine producing area in Italy. The Montepulciano grape thrives in the area and is very popular and in 1968, it was designated a DOC. This wine starts with long term maceration in Stainless Steel and then is aged for ten months in Slovenian oak barrels, followed up with three to four months of bottle refining, before being released. This was just a wonderful way to end our little trip to Canada and we ended up with plenty of memories.