Tag: Niagara

Foodie Swellness: Limited Edition Vintage Ink Merlot Cabernet

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Sometimes I shop for wine by reading labels and trying to remember what I’ve learned in various tastings…and sometimes I go by price and pretty label…

The latter strategy has mixed results, but thankfully, this time the pretty label got us a tasty bottle of red, and it’s a limited edition bottle and I love the story behind it.

Six thousand bottles of Merlot Cabernet featuring the Limited Edition Vintage Ink Merlot Cabernet labels were launched last month. Created by Toronto-based tattoo artist Spencer Harrington (his friend Crispin Day has the actual tattoo on his bod), the art won the We Are Made of Stories contest held by the wine brand last year created to find a label for these bottles and allow the artists a chance to showcase their art. At $17.95 a bottle, it fits our wine budget and I enjoy the fruity notes of cherry, blackberry and plum. It’s dry and full-bodied, and is available in Ontario and B.C., so grab a bottle while you can if that’s what you tend to enjoy. Cheers!


Leave a Comment September 4, 2016

Travel Swellness: GO getaway to Niagara or Barrie

Inniskillin Winery

As much as Toronto is lovely during the summer (well, minus the humidity), sometimes you just gotta get out of the city. But visiting Niagara-on-the-Lake (NOTL) or Barrie isn’t an easy option when you don’t have a car. In fact, I don’t think I’ve been on my own to either destination since that last time I had a car. Add to this that you’re probably going to be drinking on your day trip, which then forces someone to take the role of designated driver. Le sigh…

But wait, did you know that the GO train has service to NOTL and Barrie? I didn’t. Now, this opens up all sorts of day trip possibilities for the summer! And it’s affordable: round-trip to NOTL from Union Station costs $36.30 for an adult, and it’s $26.90 round-trip to Barrie.

GO bus to NOTL

For NOTL, you get off the train at St. Catherines, then you hop on a GO bus that’ll bring you to downtown NOTL (and from there are some wineries that offer shuttles). Or, and I love this option, there are specific cars on the GO train that are equipped with bike racks, so you can bring your bike to St. Catherines and pedal to NOTL and from winery to winery. Throw a blanket, baguette, charcuterie and cheese in your bike basket and what a charming little outdoor summer day you have in store for yourselves.

GO train

I had the chance to try this GO train service to NOTL (however, we had a private bus take our group from St. Catherines to a couple of wineries rather than bike), and we stopped into Jackson-Triggs for a tour and lunch, and then a tour at Inniskillin. We learned much about the wine process (like how ice wine is produced, and what the windmill-like towers in the fields are actually used for — to find out, get yourself out on a wine tour!) before we hopped back on a bus for our group that took us back to the 6, bottles of wine in tow. And from these pics, you can probably tell we got a lovely little day trip out of it!

cheers in NOTL

This GO service made the getaway easy breezy and I’m already hoping to do it again soon.

Will you use the GO service for a getaway? What’re your fun summer plans??

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Oh, and here are the details of the dates of service:


Friday, July 3 to Monday, September 7

Friday, October 9 to Monday, October 12 (Thanksgiving weekend)

(once-daily on Fridays and three-times daily on Saturdays, Sunday and holidays)

* As a part of the summer service there is a connecting GO bus from St. Catherines to NOTL; check the GO Transit website for that schedule.


Saturday, June 27 through Monday, September 7

(four times daily on Saturdays, Sundays and holidays)

Jackson Triggs

Leave a Comment June 4, 2015

Travel Swellness: 12 days of Wine Country Ontario Giveaway



Congrats to Sharon W., the winner of the Wine Country Ontario  giveaway!

Oh, it’s that most wonderful time of the year! The holidays always make me want to be home, sticking to local favourites and seeing loved ones. And rather than jetting off somewhere far (although I do love that, too!) it’s fun to celebrate the treasures that are nearby, too. Such as taking advantage of all the Wine Country Ontario has to offer. They’ve actually got tons of great ideas for gifts (I’m all about experiential gifts! Head on over to WineCountryOntario.ca where from Dec. 1 to 12, they’re highlighting some amazing ideas that’ll help you get your shopping done fo the holidays in  snap. Including one idea I chose!

They asked me what I’d wish for when it comes to exploring Wine Country as part of their 12 days of Wine Country Ontario and I had trouble narrowing it down to just one thing, but I’ve always wanted to check out Pillar and Post in Niagara-on-the-Lake. This five-star inn in the country is a former canning factory that’s won numerous awards for its dining and top-notch spa, and hello, wouldn’t their hot springs pool be just dreamy to sink into during a winter weekend getaway?

Well, lucky Health and Swellness readers: one of you could win a $150 giftcard to use as you wish at Pillar and Post. You could use it toward a delicious meal, towards accomodations at the inn, for a spa treatment, however you’d like! Yes, Merry Christmas to you!

How to enter? You can enter in five different ways (each way counts as one entry, so go ahead and enter in all five methods!):

1. Email me at healthandswellness@gmail.com with your name and mailing address. Please put “Wine Country Ontario” in the subject line.

2. Twitter: Follow me on Twitter (@healthswellness) and tweet:

I want to #win this @WineCountryOnt #12daysVQA giftcard to Pillar and Post from @healthswellness. http://bit.ly/1D4gEVa

3. Comment on this blog post about what you would spend the giftcard on.

4. Like the Health and Swellness page on Facebook and then leave a comment on the wall post about this Wine Country Ontario giveaway — tell me who you would take with you to the Pillar and Post to share your prize with.

5. Instagram: Follow me on Instagram (@healthandswellness), like the Instagram photo related to this giveaway, and share what you love most about Ontario wine country, whether it’s your fave spa, resto, winery, excursion, etc.

The giftcard is valued at $150 and the giveaway will close at 11:59PM on Tuesday, December 16, 2014. Please note that this giveaway is open to Canadian residents only. The winner will be chosen at random. If I cannot reach the winner within five days, another winner will be selected. The winner’s name will be announced on the blog once confirmed.

53 Comments December 9, 2014

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