Celebrate The Summer With Tips and Recipes from Chef Tim Mackiddie of Jackson-Triggs

There is so much to celebrate in Canada these days.  This weekend we throw our arms around our dads and thank them from everything they do for us, over the next few weeks we congratulations to graduates as they turn the page and begin new chapters in their lives and perhaps the biggest celebration of all, is when we come together as a country on July 1 and say HAPPY 150th BIRTHDAY CANADA!  

Two things all good parties need: food and music.

Chef Tim Mackiddie from Jackson-Triggs Estate Winery has created regional and seasonal jams using Merlot and Sauvignon Blanc wines, perfect as they are, or used to ‘turn up’ the festivities and flavours of your summer nosh when entertaining. Representing the provinces Jackson-Triggs calls home, Ontario and British Columbia, as well as a special jam just for Canada’s 150, Chef Tim combines much-loved flavours in simple, but exciting recipes that will delight your guests and showcase your ability to infuse great Canadian wine and fresh ingredients into memorable summer nibbles.

 For Ontarians, Chef Tim has used plump local peaches, which will be in season around the province in August.


Jackson-Triggs Savoury Sauvignon Blanc and Peach Jam

Recipe by Jackson-Triggs Executive Chef, Tim Mackiddie

Makes roughly 6 cups


6 Ripe local peaches, peeled and diced

1 cup red onion, diced

2 cloves garlic, minced

1 small bunch of fresh thyme, picked from stems and chopped

¼ cup honey

1 cup Jackson-Triggs Sauvignon Blanc

1 cup water

2 limes, juiced

2 tbsp. olive oil

Salt and pepper to taste

2 tbsp. corn starch

2 tbsp. cold water


  1. Place a medium pot over medium heat and add in 2 tbsp. of olive oil.
  2. When the pot is hot, add the onions and garlic. Cook while stirring until tender (roughly 3-5 minutes).
  3. Next add in peaches, honey, Sauvignon Blanc and water.
  4. Gently simmer for 15 minutes or until the peaches are just tender.
  5. Mix together the corn starch and cold water until it forms a smooth paste.
  6. Whisk in lime juice, chopped thyme and corn starch mixture.
  7. Continue to simmer for an additional 5 minutes.
  8. Season with salt and pepper.

Wild blueberries are devoured by trail walkers, and cottagers can’t seem to get them home from the roadside stand before they are licking their stained fingers – that is how much Ontarians look forward to the picking season.  Chef Tim has created a delectable recipe pairing Jackson-Triggs Reserve Merlot and wild blueberries that together captures the essence of summertime.


Jackson-Triggs Reserve Merlot and Wild Blueberry Jam

Recipe by Jackson-Triggs Executive Chef, Tim Mackiddie

Makes roughly 4 cups


  • 6 cups wild blueberries
  • 1 ½ cups Jackson-Triggs Reserve Merlot
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 tsp. vanilla extract or 1 vanilla bean, seeds scraped
  • 2 tbsp. cornstarch
  • 2 tbsp. water


  1. Wash the blueberries in cold water and be sure all stems are removed.
  2. Place a large pot over medium high heat and add Merlot, sugar and vanilla.
  3. Bring to a simmer then add in the blueberries. Cook until the berries just begin to burst (this will take roughly 15 minutes).
  4. Mix cornstarch with cold water into a smooth paste in a small bowl. Pour into the simmering berries and stir immediately.
  5. Continue to cook for an additional 5 minutes, then pour into prepared (sterilized) jam jars.

Plaid, the great outdoors, “sorry”, and . . .bacon.  That’s as Canadiana as it gets and so of course Chef Tim had to create  a recipe for a very Canadian jam incorporating maple syrup, bacon and sparkling wine.


Jackson-Triggs Sparkling Maple Bacon Jam

Recipe by Jackson-Triggs Executive Chef, Tim Mackiddie

Makes roughly 6 cups


  • 1lb sliced bacon, cut into 1 cm strips
  • 1lb fresh tomatoes, diced
  • 2 onions, diced
  • 4 cloves of garlic, minced
  • ¾ cup Jackson-Triggs sparkling wine
  • ½ cup vinegar
  • ¾ cup maple syrup
  • ¼ cup Worcestershire sauce
  • 4 tbsp. powdered fruit pectin
  • 3 tbsp. smoked paprika
  • 2 tsp. four spice (optional)
  • Salt and pepper to taste


  1. Heat a large saucepan over medium high heat. When hot, add in the diced bacon and cook until very crispy. Remove the bacon and allow to cool on paper towel.
  2. Strain off all fat that remains in the pan and pour into a medium pot.
  3. Heat a medium sauce pot over medium heat; add in the reserved bacon fat then the onions and garlic. Cook until just soft (roughly 3-5 minutes).
  4. Next add in the tomato, wine, vinegar, maple syrup and Worcestershire sauce.
  5. Bring to a simmer, then turn heat to low and simmer until the tomatoes just begin to break down (roughly 10-15 minutes).
  6. Stir through the fruit pectin, smoked paprika and crisped bacon.
  7. Turn the heat to high and bring to a boil while continuing to stir. Allow to boil for 1-2 minutes
  8. To finish, season with salt, pepper and four spice (if using).

 A party wouldn’t be complete without a great host, so Tim has also shared his chef’s secrets on hosting and enjoying a great Canadian party, including three all out Canadian playlists featuring old and new homegrown favourites. Jackson-Triggs has been a key supporter of Canadian music for more than 15 years, hosting Canadian talent at the winery’s amphitheatre in Niagara and as the Official Wine Sponsor of the 2017 JUNO Awards.

Jackson-Triggs Reserve Merlot and Wild Blueberry Jam: Chill out music

  1. Pacing The Cage – Bruce Cockburn
  2. Insensitive – Jann Arden
  3. Leaving On A Jet Plane – Chantal Kreviazuk
  4. Lost In The Light – Bahamas
  5. Hang With Me – Dan Mangan
  6. The Wire – Justin Rutledge
  7. Sweet Jane – Cowboy Junkies
  8. Hasn’t Hit Me Yet – Blue Rodeo
  9. Your Rocky Spine – Great Lake Swimmers
  10. Away – Kathleen Edwards

Jackson-Triggs Savoury Sauvignon Blanc and Peach Jam: Backyard patio

  1. Brother Down – Sam Roberts
  2. Queen of Portland Street – Matt Mays
  3. One Week – Barenaked Ladies
  4. Fireworks – The Tragically Hip
  5. The Walls Have Drunken Ears – Whitehorse
  6. 1,2,3,4 – Alan Doyle
  7. Poor Old Broken Hearted Me – The Trews
  8. The Highway Patrol – Paul Brandt
  9. Life Is A Highway – Tom Cochrane
  10. Through & Through & Through – Joel Plaskett

Jackson-Triggs Sparkling Maple Bacon Jam: Ready for a big night

  1. Got Your Number – Serena Ryder
  2. Shake – Jesse Cook
  3. Miracle – The Darcys
  4. Enemies – Cezar Nedelcu Remix – Hannah Georgas
  5. Tough Love – Suzie McNeil
  6. Leather Jacket – Arkells
  7. No One Is Lost – Stars
  8. Run Amuck – Lindi Ortega
  9. Keep On Loving Me Baby – Colin James
  10. Just Like That – Jarvis Church

How Do Chef’s Prepare For Canada Day Celebrations? Learn 5 entertaining secrets from Chef Tim Mackiddie of Jackson-Triggs Estate Winery

  1. Enjoy what’s around you: Summer is a great season for produce, so start with inspiration from what’s available at the farmer’s market. From blueberries to stone fruit, fresh, local and seasonal ingredients always taste better.
  2. Keep it simple: Pick simple flavours that pack a punch and can be used in a variety of ways. Even appetizers can be elevated with the addition of a great topping – salsas, jams, or sauces. I’ve created three special wine-infused jams that can add a variety of flavour to your dishes in unexpected ways.
  3. Prepare ahead of time: Do as much preparation as you can before the actual day – there’s no shame in reheating something you’ve made ahead of time.
  4. Pair your wines: Throw out the rule book that says white wine has to be paired with chicken or fish and red wine with red meats. Try different food and wine pairings that suit your tastes. Jackson-Triggs has a variety of wines my family loves and yours will too. Wine pairings add a certain sophistication and harmonize the flavours in your food – it’s a win-win.
  5. Put some homegrown names on high rotation: Jackson-Triggs has long been a supporter of Canadian music and it’s a big part of what I enjoy at the Niagara-on-the-Lake Winery. I’m constantly jamming along to my favourite local acts, shuffling between upbeat and chilled out tunes to suit my mood and the type of dishes I’m cooking. Each song and songwriter has a personality, just like each bottle of wine does.

Looking for Plenty more to do this summer?  Why not explore all that Canada has to offer on her 150th birthday in Niagara-on-the-lake. The Jackson-Triggs Amphitheatre concert series, set in a 500 seat open-air venue located on the picturesque winery begins in late June and runs into September, offers a unique and relaxed way to enjoy wine country at its best, while catching some of Canada’s premiere talent under the stars. Enjoy sipping the award-winning wines of Jackson-Triggs Winemaker, Marco Piccoli and savouring Niagara’s outstanding local fare prepared by the Estate Winery Chef, Tim MacKiddie.

For tickets and more information about the 2017 summer season at the amphitheatre, visit www.greatestatesniagara.com or call 1-866-589-4637 ext 2. Like the Jackson-Triggs Facebook page or follow @Jackson_Triggs on Instagram to get more information about the wines, winery and concert series.



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