But let's not dwell on the negative and focus on the positive aspects of the evening, of which there were many. The room was stunningly laid out with ice sculptures everywhere. Upon entering you were faced with an ice curtain that continued to drip all night - it was truly something to behold.
The winery personnel seem to enjoy getting out of their work-a-day clothing and slip into something more formal, it was hard to recognize a few of them. The men had on their "Sunday Best" (dark suits and ties), while the ladies had on elegant evening wear. Their was even some oriental flare on this evening as both Lydia Tomek (winemaker for Hernder) and Paul Lizak (owner of Legend) had on their respective Japanese and Chinese formal pieces (neither knew the other was going to wear their Asian attire). Seeing them talking together was like stepping into another dimension.
The other formal 'gala', held in Niagara, is Cuvee (March), the difference is that at Cuvee restaurants take over the food service duties, here at the Icewine Gala the Casino is in charge of feeding the masses, and from the looks on the faces and the plates piled high the food was not an issue.
In the left hand corner of the room (as you walked through the main door) you found what Icewine is all about, sweets. The sweets buffet was piled 5 levels high with everything from chocolates to cupcakes, and everything in between. Chocolate covered strawberries shared space with fruit parfaits and white chocolate squares. You name your sweet toothed poison and it was somewhere on these shelves.
The word for the night was "elegance" and the room was a-buzz with it, and also the accomplishment of breaking a Guinness World Record earlier in the day: A 44L glass was filled with 25L of Icewine, shattering the record previously held by the Italians (who filled a 16.5L glass with sparkling wine). One of the highlights of the night was getting your picture taken with the still filled Record Breaking piece of stemware.
One question that was asked of me that I could not answer was, "why did they not fill up the rest of the glass". As the weekend rolled on it was brought to my attention that the record was for the glass itself, not necessarily for what it was filled with ... maybe someone would like to enlighten us about this (?) - I await the official Guinness pronouncement. But the good news in all this is that is was broken here in Niagara.
As for the other question, "So how are we doing?", posed to me earlier in the evening, I would have to say, "You're doing better than alright. In fact, you're doing elegantly darling" As for the person who asked, I forgot to mention, (in my best Hannibal Lecter impression) "Clarice, love the dress". (there was no better hatchet man than the good doctor).