With New Year's Eve festivities right around the corner, I'm already mentally preparing myself for when the winter doldrums hit come 2019. The month of January can be a letdown after the merriment and flurry of activity during the holidays, which makes planning a getaway to start your new year off on a high note the best gift you can give yourself. Already got a serious case of wanderlust? This Niagara Icewine Festival in January 2019 includes a Northern Lights Gala and all the icewine you can drink, so raise a glass to the new year.
From Friday, Jan. 11 through Jan. 27, self-professed winos can head to Canada for three weekends of wine and bites during the annual Niagara Icewine Festival in Ontario, which reportedly boasts an ideal temperature and climate for the production of Icewine. On night of Friday, Jan. 11, Canada’s largest VQA Icewine tasting will start the festivities off with the 24th annual Niagara Icewine Northern Lights Gala, which will be held at the Fallsview Casino Resort. Fort the price of a $190 ticket, you can dance your New Year's Eve withdrawals away at the elegant ball, which promises to be a night of "glamour and indulgence" as well as a toast of some of the country's finest wines.
According to the website, guests can expect over 35 wineries to bring out their best sips for the annual black tie event, including Icewines, Late Harvest, Sparkling, premium red, and white wines. Even if you aren't a big fan of Icewine, which is a sweet, desert-style wine created by freezing the grapes on the vine, wine aficionados will definitely be able to find something that they like among the offerings. The event's all-inclusive tickets also include an array of Canadian fare created by a few of the Niagara Casino's chefs, so you'll have plenty of bites to pair with your sips during the Northern Lights-themed ball.
OK, so I can't promise that you'll see any Northern Lights while you're there, but you'll get the chance to dress up, dance and mingle among "masterfully crafted ice sculptures and installations," and yes, drink all the wine you could want. Who said all the fun and glamour is over after New Year's?
After the gala, things will take a slightly less lavish but still completely delicious turn for the next three weekends that the festival will be running. Oh, and the tickets to get festival sips are an affordable $34 for a "Discovery Pass," which will get you "8 wine an culinary experiences" for any of the three weekends: Jan. 11-13, Jan. 18-20, or Jan. 25-27. According to the festival's website, visitors can enjoy some of the region's best libations in the Niagara region, which will be transformed into a wine lover's paradise for the month of January. Over 40 wineries will reportedly be participating in the January festival and offering unique food pairings with their boozy sips. In addition, the area will be throwing a variety of outdoor street festivals with vendors offering all the local food and drink your tastebuds could want.
If you've been looking for an alternative to the Napa Valley or another wino-approved region that helps you stay in the festive spirit long after the holidays are over, I'd definitely recommend checking out the festival and preparing to toast the new year with a glass of icewine in hand.