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All of us at Savvy Company love wine & we love to have fun introducing you to new wineries & their wines. Last week we hosted 20+ wineries from Niagara's 20 Valley to strut their stuff at Outstanding in their Fields Taste & Buy event in Ottawa. Despite the first big snowstorm, the event was sold out & received many rave reviews from wine lovers & wineries.
Here is a great review from one the bloggers - Jane Staples - who offers wine tips to help you start your Christmas shopping!
And more great news....20 Valley wineries are coming back in November 2014. Stay tuned for the details. If you would like to receive an invitation to this signature event, simply let us know with an email to email@example.com
GUEST BLOG by Jane Staples
A sold-out winetasting event at the NAC last night, showed how delightful a Savvy wine tasting can be. Over 300 people braved the slippery streets to be greeted warmly by Savvy Company staff. Dozens of outstanding wines from Niagara’s Twenty Valley wine region were available to taste and to order. This is probably the most fun you can have while doing some holiday shopping and stocking up for home entertaining at the same time. A disc jockey and a raffle added to the fun.
My top picks...
I started the evening’s tasting with some bubbly from Cave Spring: lovely green apple and citrus on the nose and palate, a fine creamy fizz and a long citrus finish made this a perfect way to wake up the taste buds and start the tasting adventure.
My favourite wine discovery (after all, I already knew that I love champagne) was Kacaba Pinot Noir VQA 2007. Earthy, plummy, tart fruit flavours and well-balanced acidity and tannins. Sure to pair well with roast pork, duck or turkey.
Another happy find was Green Lane Chardonnay VQA 2010. Fresh citrus and pear on the nose, repeated with subtle oak and vanilla on the palate. Definitely a wine worth remembering.
Last stop was at the Vineland Estates table, where I sampled their 2011 Rose. If you like strawberries or dreaming about summertime, this one’s for you. Fresh strawberries on the nose and tart berries on the palate, which sweetens during a lingering finish.
Want to order these outstanding Ontario wines?
No problem! You can order any of the wines featured at Outstanding in their Fields online or call the Savvy Team anytime on 613-SAVVYCO (613-728-8926) to make arrange a shipment of Ontario wines for you. Place your order before December 8th to take advantage of the free shipping offer on a case of wine.
This was Savvy’s last wine tasting event til 2014…we can’t wait to see what the New Year brings!
Hats off to Savvy Company for another terrific wine event!
Back by popular demand, for the 2nd year in a row, we are hosting the Outstanding in their Fields wine tasting, giving you the opportunity to Taste & Buy wines from Niagara's 20 Valley region. Discover new wines from one of the top wine regions in Canada with so many top-notch wines that are really outstanding.
Last year this event sold out. Don't miss it!
DATE: Wednesday November 27
EVENT BEGINS: 7pm
LOCATION: Panorama Room - 2nd floor of National Arts Centre, Ottawa
Have a look at all of the outstanding wines that will be available for you to discover & enjoy. These wines are not available at the LCBO & several have special prices only available at this event. To see all 50+ wines that await you click here or email us on firstname.lastname@example.org for this wine list in a document that you can print & bring with you.
Mix 'n Match...& FREE shipping too!
At this special Taste & Buy event you can order ANY combination of the featured outstanding wines from ANY of the 20 Valley wineries. They will be delivered by courier to your home or office within a week. And that is not all - FREE SHIPPING on all orders of 12 bottles or more!
Join us at Outstanding in their Fields event
OR order your wine online >>
Can't make it but want to order wines?
No problem! You can order all of the wines featured at Outstanding in their Fields online or call our Savvy Team anytime on 613-SAVVYCO (613-728-8926) to make arrange a shipment of Ontario wines for you. Place your order before December 4th to take advantage of the free shipping offer on a case of wine.
Hot off the press! Ottawa at Home Magazine & the Sommeliers at Savvy Company are hosting Ottawa's newest event: Corks & Forks - The Ultimate Neighbourhood Get-Together.
Corks & Forks will give you fresh new ideas for entertaining. At each event, the spotlight will shine on 15 Ontario winemakers serving their wines that you won't find at the LCBO. This is a great opportunity for you to try these hard-to-find wines & order your favorites directly from the winemaker.
As good wine deserves good food, we are bringing together Ottawa's finest artisan food companies who will be whipping up appetizers & hors d'oeuvres showcasing their products & will give you loads of great entertaining tips & tricks so you can create these tasty delights next time you have friends over.
Pencil February 11 to 14th in your 2014 calendar.
You know what it is like to organize a get-together with friends & neighbours. We are just putting the final touches on the plans for this multi-neighbourhood event.
Be the first on your street to know all of the info about Corks & Forks. Email Savvy Company on email@example.com & we will send you a special invitation & early bird ticket pricing very soon!
Corks & Forks will be a fun night to catch up with friends & neighbours at a wine & food event in your neighbourhood!
We look forward to seeing you there!
My inbox is filling up with emails from wineries around the world reporting about their harvest or invitations to join winemakers to help pick grapes. While it sounds romantic to be in the vineyard at this time of the year harvesting grapes, I can tell you from experience (in photo left), that it is nothing like the Hollywood movies. Picking grapes is back breaking work. It is fun though, when the rows are filled with chatty people who want to tell stories, swap wine tips or shoot the breeze.
The big question on the tip of everyone's tongue is 'How does this year's harvest look?". When I ask, the winemakers often comment that this year, they are in a wait & see holding pattern. In Ontario the general growing conditions was a cold spring, followed by a wet summer & a dry fall. Unlike the stellar harvest of 2012, this year presented some challenges. Now the talent of the winemakers will really show with what they can create with this year's crop of grapes.
Here's some quick clips of harvest reports that I have received to paint you a picture of how harvest 2013 is unfolding in wine regions around the world in the northern hemisphere. The southern hemisphere harvested their grapes already in February & March...in fact you may see white wines already on the store shelves with 2013 on the label!
Ontario harvest reports from...
... Southbrook Vineyard (Niagara-on-the-Lake)
Winery owner Bill Redelmeier reports:
"Well, that time has arrived. We spend all year building up to the harvest, and each year it seems to sneak up on us. The 6 weeks from start to end sees the Winemakers, Vineyard Crew, Cellar Workers, Pickers and a lot of others living on adrenalin and Tim Hortons coffee while trying to bring in their year's work. This is the time that a year is made or lost. At the winery it is like a dance: wagons full of grape boxes arriving and being unloaded to be sorted, the sorting table humming and grapes either being pressed for whites, or going into fermenters for reds.
Our reds are a little later. The Merlot and Cabernet Franc should start in about 2 weeks with the Petit Verdot and Cabernet Sauvignon following. That is perfect timing, as our "Join The Harvest" festival takes place on October 5thand 6th at the winery. That weekend is a great opportunity to see behind the scenes of our bustling operation, and a chance try tasting ripe grapes.
...Henry of Pelham (Beamsville Bench)
“September and October are definitely our two busiest months,” said Paul Speck, president of Henry of Pelham Estate Winery in St. Catharines. “We’re out conducting the harvest, but it’s also our busiest time for tourism.” Henry of Pelham started harvesting its Pinot Noir last Friday (September 13). The variety is handpicked for the winery’s sparkling wines, and about 35 tonnes will be harvested over the coming weeks, “We like what we’re seeing so far,” he said. “If we get some cool nights and warm days, we should have a good crop this year.”
That said, there are still some risk factors. Speaking Monday morning, Speck was weary of the hot weather predicted for Tuesday — in excess of 30C.
“You want to get the sugar up to a good level and the acidity to come down, but we need to watch to make sure rot doesn’t set in with the extreme (temperatures),” he said. “We’ve had a good July and August, but hopefully the weather cooperates over the next four to six weeks.”
Aside from icewine varieties, Speck said, much of the picking for the Pelham Road winery should be done by the end of October. That means those visiting the winery during the Niagara Wine Festival will have a great opportunity to see the operation in full swing, he said.
“It’s a great time to come in for tours and tastings,” said Speck. “You get to come and see equipment that just sits there for nine months a year in the fields and in action.
...Broken Stone Vineyard (Prince Edward County's newest winery)
Tim, Micheline and family from Broken Stone Winery report:
Harvest Weekend took place Saturday October 5 & Sunday October 6 when their Chardonnay, Pinot Noir, Pinot Gris, and Pinot Meunier vines were loaded with succulent berries. Being their first harvest, this weekend was quite a party!
10 am Arrive and start picking (truthfully, we'll be out in the field by 8 am, so if you are eager, please feel free to come sooner)
1 pm Lunch & Toast to the Vines
2-4 pm More Picking!
4 pm Grape stomp & crushing
Sunday you're welcome to come out, enjoy the outdoors, and help us pick, but it's a much more informal affair.
Please wear your outdoor work clothes & bring gardening gloves. We'll provide a morning snack, hearty lunch, and an afternoon snack. Children are welcome. They can pick grapes, play soccer, stomp grapes, explore the property & jump on the trampoline.
October is a beautiful time to be in the County; combine your day trip with a wine tour (there are 7 wineries on Closson Road alone). Or you can stay until late afternoon and watch how we de-stem and crush the grapes. Relax with a nice glass of Broken Stone Pinot Noir -- our wine always tastes the best after you've worked in the vineyard where it's grown.
British Columbia harvest reports from...
British Columbia Wine Institute says: "Early reports suggest that 2013 will be an excellent vintage with great quality potential."
Penticton resident Michael Bartier, who is the chief winemaker at Okanagan Crush Pad, has harvested Gewürztraminer from a Summerland vineyard owned by his brother Don Bartier, to be used for their Bartier Brothers wine. "We harvested this vineyard a full three weeks earlier than last year, and the quality of the fruit looks very good. Prepare for a great 2013 vintage from the Okanagan,"
Christine Coletta (left), co-owner of Okanagan Crush Pad, where Haywire wines wines are made, expects to process 420 tons this year, from vineyards as far north as Kamloops and as far south as Osoyoos. "Grapes are ripening quickly and the fruit flavours on these early picks have been exceptional. But it is not over until it is over, so we are cautiously optimistic that harvest will continue to be a smooth sail."
Matt Dumayne, who moved three years ago from New Zealand to make wine in the Okanagan, noted the vintage was shaping up to be the best he has experienced in the valley.
Judy Kingston, owner of Naramata's Serendipity Winery offers, "2013 promises to be a great vintage at the winery. Lots of spring rain paired with hot days and cool nights made for ideal growing conditions, so we are two weeks ahead of schedule. The grapes taste phenomenal right now,"
The reds are coming along well, but we'll need some dry weather coming into October. It should be an early year for everything,
Harvest Report from Italy... Hail & heavy rain dampens 2013 harvest
Italian wine industry web site - Assoenologi - provides this harvest report:
"Unlike 2012 when a series of adverse summer weather conditions had a significantly negative impact on wine production, 2013 has been kinder. Giving rise to more favourable conditions with an improved cycle of growth for the vines, slow maturation and bigger and fuller berries as well as restoring a traditional harvest time which in the Centre North, was up to10 to 15 days later than that of 2012 and 7 to 10 days later in the South and the Islands.
Bizarre weather patterns, but not for vines. Riccardo Cotarella, President of the Association of Assoenologi reports, that after a very mild autumn, one of the warmest on record for the past 25 years, winter started with a sharp drop in temperatures compared to the seasonal average. Throughout Italy January, February and March had higher than average rainfall, making this one of the wettest periods recorded for the past 50 years.
In Friuli in the first five months of 2013 rainfall equalled the annual average, in May, in Trentino 260mm of rain were recorded, the first 3 months in Romagna were the wettest in recent decades, and in the Marche from January to April/May the amount of rainfall (464mm) exceeded the average values for the last forty year by 46%. In total 50% of a year’s rainfall fell in the first three months of 2013.
Rainfall was also plentiful in spring and early summer, creating invaluable subsoil reserves, but at the same time giving rise in several areas, to a number of problems connected to virulent fungal diseases (mildew and oidium) which affected potential yields as well as creating setting issues after a heterogeneous flowering.
During the second half of July and for a month it was very hot, in August, there were important thermal variations between day and night thus creating ideal conditions for a very promising maturation, far better than those of the two previous vintages. Unfortunately, throughout Italy, there were also hail storms, that have adversely damaged the vines.
To date - 31st August - less than 10% of grapes have been harvested. Puglia and Sicily were the regions that picked early grapes in the first 10 days of August – states Giuseppe Martelli, general director of Assoenologi and chairman of the Ministry of Agriculture’s National Wine Committee – Throughout Italy the harvest will peak during the last 7 days of September and the first 7 days of October, ending in November with the last harvest of bunches of Nebbiolo in Valtellina and Cabernet in South Tyrol, Alglianico in Campania and other various indigenous varieties on the slopes of Etna.
Early analysis suggests lower sugar concentrations than last year, but a more robust total acidity.
Grape maturation was gradual, over a reasonable period of time, not concentrated as in 2011 and 2012. A slow maturation implies a higher quality, it favours concentration of positive elements such as aromatic ones in white grapes and polyphenolic compounds in red grapes.
2013 therefore promises to be a vintage of attractive quality, but most of its potential is still to be assessed. It all rests upon September’s meteorological conditions and those in areas such as Campania, Valtellina, South Tyrol and Mount Etna in October. If September and October have adequate sunlight and rainfall we will have an excellent vintage, if rain prevails on the other hand, quality will definitely be affected.
New Zealand wineries have already harvested & share this report...
Wines of New Zealand reported "Outstanding weather means we expect the 2013 wines to be vibrant, fruit driven and complex expressions of our diverse grape growing regions."
Facts & Figures for the 2013 vintage:
345,000 tonnes of grapes were harvested, which is up 28% on the small 2012 harvest last year but up only 5% on 2011 Sauvignon Blanc is up+ 26% Pinot Noir is up +36% Chardonnay is up + 19% Pinot Gris is up + 44%
It's worth noting that New Zealand Wines are currently tracking at +17% nationally this is the highest percentage growth of any wine category.
Stay tuned for more harvest reports. It might be October 15th, yet harvest is far from being over!
It's back! And we are back too...all of us in the Savvy Team are delighted to be the Sommeliers for this year's Harvest Noir - the ultimate end-of-summer party & start-of-harvest ball in Ottawa. The date is set - Saturday September 7 - but the location is a BIG secret. On the day, the venue for the all black 'chic' picnic will be revealed to all ticket holders by email.
Join us! Click to buy your Harvest Noir tickets & use promo code 2013SAVVY to receive 25% off.
Gather a groups of friends of any age & dress in your lil black dress or sport a suit...or gents pull out your tux from the back of your closet as we all celebrate local food and fine Ontario wine at the picnic. Harvest Noir last year was Canada's 2nd-largest chic picnic, with 1,500 guests picnicking at Ottawa City Hall. This picture captured the fun (left to right in photo: Dixie, Locks, Debbie, Shawn & Debbie)
When the sun sets, the party will continue! A fashion show featuring local designers and DJ TIMEKODE will have all of us on the dance floor all night long.
"Everyone dolls up to the nines as if is New Year's Eve" commented Dixie who attended last year's Harvest Noir for the first time. And she has her picnic basket & black number ready to go again this year.
Click here to watch a video of a sneak peak at all of the fun that awaits.
How to get ready for Harvest Noir? It's easy!
1. Round up some friends and family (kids are welcome too). Designate one person to be the organizer or 'host' (aka table captain). Go to www.harvestnoir.com to buy tickets for the Table Captain and tickets for each person in your group. TIP: use promo code SAVVY2013 to receive discounts on your tickets.
2. Plan your picnic menu - it is a potluck extraordinaire. Tables with black linens & chairs will be provided. Your group will need to bring everything else. There are prizes for the best decorated table - and remember to keep the black theme in mind.
3. At noon on the day, the location of this over-the-top picnic is revealed to the guest list by email. That is your cue to put on the final touches to your meal, pack up your picnic baskets and head to the party! It will be a fun evening noshing & nibbling on homemade foods & celebrate the end of summer and start of the harvest with friends old and new.
To add to the ambiance, you will enjoy this gourmet dining experience, accompanied music by The Ottawa Jazz Orchestra.
And we have selected wines from Palatine Hill Estate Winery of Niagara-on-the-Lake to be served at the cash bar. The wine selection is:
We'll see you at this year's Harvest Noir - It's blast!
So what happens when two Canadian-wine-loving guys - Shawn McCormick of Uncork Ontario and Calvin Hanselmann (@TheEvilDoctorD) - lament the fact that Canadian Wine Day (June 28th) is only one day? Why, they end up challenging each other to go for a year without drinking anything but Canadian wine! When we caught wind of this all Canadian endeavor, the Savvy Team wanted to take part too.
As the saying goes, 'the more the merrier!'
We invite Canadian wine lovers from coast to coast to coast to take part in the first annual The Great Canadian Wine Challenge (@TGCWC)! The start line begins on September 1st...and it goes for a whole year.
Being a challenge of who-can-stick-to-the-drink-Canadian-wines-for-365-days, there are some basic rules & reds...err, I mean regs:
#1 - It is all about drinking great Canadian wine, but it is also about having fun along the way!
#2 - The duration of the Challenge is 12 calendar months, starting Sept 1, 2013
#3 - You may only purchase or open Canadian wine for the duration of the Challenge. This allows for a few exceptions like international wine events that may be attended, dinner parties where the host unwittingly opens something non-Canadian, wine-related courses you may be taking where other wines may be opened, and events like i4c2014 or The Riesling Experience where it would be terrible to miss the international wines on offer. With feedback, we decided to allow for international travel exemption as well, as we know how hard it is to get Canadian wine within Canada, let alone the rest of the world!
#4 - You must drink wine from at least three (3) provinces during the 12 month period, and at least 12 different wines during that time. Any Canadian wine counts – VQA, non-VQA, fruit wines, anything that involves fermenting fruit from this great country of ours.
Ready to take on the Challenge?
"We also figured we should have some prizes for anyone who can complete The Great Canadian Wine Challenge @TGCWC", explains Shawn (in red shirt at bottom). "We're putting our heads together on some outstanding Canadiana prizes, so stay tuned. Until then, share on Twitter about the Canadian wines that you have discovered throughout the year."
If you are a winery or wine-related business and would like to donate some swag & prizes, contact Shawn or Calvin at thegreatcanadianwinechallenge(at)gmail(dot)com or on Twitter @TGCWC. They will be sure to praise you all over the interwebs and in a special blog post.
Happy Canadian Wine Year!
Join the growing list of Challengers...
Want to be famous? All you have to do is sign up for the Challenge and send Savvy Company your photo and you will be included in our poster-board of Challengers. Take a look to see who have committed to enjoying ONLY Canadian wine this year...
Looking for a different party idea for friends or for a business networking event? We have some wonderful Savvy Sommeliers on our Team and we are called on frequently to create a special gathering for family & friends or businesses call us to design a way to thank clients & employees. No matter what the occasion the events we create are fun.
A few weeks ago we hosted a client appreciation event for a local business to celebrate summer. It was one of those sweltering, steamy days during the mid-July heat wave that you really need to have a chilled Ontario rosé in your hand, or better yet an ice-cold craft beer to help unwind after a busy day. Held at the picturesque Ottawa Rowing Club overlooking the Ottawa River, our guests were treated to the latest & greatest wines from across Ontario in addition to some thirst-quenching craft beers made in Ottawa.
Our guests enjoyed summertime hors d’oeuvres made by The Mixing Bowl Catering that were paired with the various drinks. And we had a Savvy Cheese Bar with a variety of artisan cheeses from Ottawa & Quebec that our Cheese Sommelier Vanessa especially selected.
To tempt your tastebuds & give you an idea for your next party, here's what we served...and we continue to receive rave reviews!
~ On Arrival: Sparkling Wine ~
Special Savvy Bin Ends price $22.95 (regular $29.95)
Popping the cork is a great way to begin any event. This sparkling wine made in Niagara-on-the-Lake is our top selling Savvy Bin Ends wine. Your guests will be Wowed with the light salmon colour & outstanding taste. Made with 100% Pinot Noir grapes, this bubbly is a perfect way to celebrate summer. Refreshing with the zippy acidity & elegant mousse (winespeak: bubbles) with citrus, strawberry & apple notes.
Suggested food pairings: Served well chilled, this wine is lovely on its own, with shrimp or paired with light appetizers.
Chef Scott Lucas at The Mixing Bowl created a Chili citrus marinated watermelon with garlic feta cheese & pickled rind to go with this bubbly.
~ Refreshing White, Rosé Wines & Craft Beers ~
One of Prince Edward County’s hidden gems! This boutique winery is so small that you won’t find them at the LCBO. We are delighted to showcase their wines in our Savvy Selections wine of the month club.
Vidal is the same grape that is often reserved to make icewine. In this case, this wine is not sweet at all, rather it is dry, crisp & refreshing. There are loads of delicious aromas & tastes that may remind you of fresh fruit salad in a glass! Our Savvy Sommeliers picked this wine for our Savvy Selections subscribers to enjoy as it is perfect to unwind in a deck chair at the cottage or back yard deck with a good book.
Suggested food pairings: BBQed pork tenderloin
A unique wine using grapes from some of the oldest vineyards in Niagara, especially a unique Rosé made with Cabernet Franc & Cabernet Sauvignon grapes!
Suggested food pairings: Aromas of wild strawberry, pink grapefruit & peach that follows into the taste. Delicious chilled on its own, with grilled salmon or beef & strawberry spinach salad.
Daniel Lenko wines are hard to find & we are delighted to offer them this month for Savvy Selections - our wine of the month club - the best way to have Ontario wines delivered to your door every month!
Our Savvy Sommeliers chose 3 wines that are ready to drink now – at the cottage, at a campsite or on a deck chair in your backyard. In addition to this unique Rose, our subscribers received bottles of these delicious Daniel Lenko wines:
FEATURED CRAFT BEERS:
This is a refreshing wheat beer that the brewmaster (who remarkably doesn't like fruit of any kind!) concocted by adding grapefruit zest and pulp at different points in the beer making process to insert a zippy character of grapefruit into the beer. The hops were carefully selected to specifically emphasize the citrus notes in each pint.
Photo credit: Debbie Trenholm
Brewmaster Lon Lodell tapped the keg of his first-of-its-kind creation at Big Rig in time for us to showcase at this corporate event. Our guests were treated to this brand new wine! A refreshing cold one with subtle raspberry - we heard many 'yum' followed by nodding heads of approval were heard at the event. This brew certainly made an impression
HORS D'OEUVRES SERVED:
Roasted asparagus-risotto cake with herb mascarpone cream
Honey date chicken roulade on a sweet potato coin
~ Red Wines & Craft Beers ~
There is a fantastic story about how winemakers where talking shop over beers at a summer backyard BBQ & created a new way of aging wine…with native Canadian oak. Read this story in our Savvy eZine - our mini magazine for our Savvy Selections subscribers.
When plans were made for Bank of Canada’s Mark Carney’s final Board of Governors dinner, I was called on to be the Sommelier for this VIP event & it was easy to select this truly Canadian wine crafted in Niagara-on-the-Lake by Lailey's renowned winemaker Derek Barnett.
Suggested food pairings: Pinot Noir could be served lightly chilled (10 mins in the fridge) with BBQed salmon, pork chops or portabello mushrooms.
Now this is a BIG red wine! Whenever I am asked to find a bold red wine from Ontario…Kacaba Vineyards of Beamsville Bench (aka Niagara Escarpment) will always impress. They are consistently crafting outstanding red wines that turn heads & win awards. Few of their wines are available at the LCBO, so we showcased their big red wines in our Savvy Selections wine of the month club early this year.
Suggested food pairings: Fire up the BBQ & uncork this wine to enjoy with steak, lamb, burgers…and ribs too!
FEATURED CRAFT BEERS:
This is the summer seasonal beer from Ottawa's first brewery. Only brewed until mid-August, be sure to visit the brewery to get some of this Bavarian Lager. Brewed with a combination of German malts, German noble hops and a genuine Munich yeast, this is a good example of the 'session beers' enjoyed in Bavarian beer gardens...or your back deck in Ottawa!
A uber hoppy beer, this brew has strong aromas & tastes of hops. This big beer loaded with high alcohol at 7% is the cold one you want to have with heavier foods - think BBQed steak, ribs or thick pork chops.
HORS D'OUEVRES SERVED:
Olive stuffed meatball crusted with parmesan & tomato coulis
Wild mushroom gallette with avocado pesto
~ Savvy Artisan Cheese Bar~
Have you had cheese & wine - absolutely! How about cheese & beer? Our Savvy Cheese Sommelier Vanessa selected these cheeses from across Canada that she thinks are great to nibble on during the summer:
Raw sheep's milk made by Back Forty Artisan Cheese located in Lanark County, Ontario
Interesting Fact: Pressing a cheese during the cheesemaking process expels more whey and gives the paste a firm, dense texture as found in Bonnechere.
Pasteurized cow's milk made by Madison D'Affinage Maurice Dufour, Baie-Ste.-Paul, Quebec
Interesting Fact: Washed rind cheeses age or ripen from the outside in, and the inside out, contributing to both the complexity of the aging process as well as the flavors and aromas of the cheese itself.
Raw cow's milk made by Cow's Creamery, Charlottetown, PEI
Interesting Fact: Roughly 100 liters of Holstein cow milk goes into making 1 wheel of Avonlea Clothbound Cheddar
Pasteurized goat's milk made by Fromagerie Les Folies Bergères, Sainte-Sixte, QC
Need a hand planning your party?
Call on us anytime. Whether you're planning a surprise birthday celebration, a family get-together, a client appreciation event or corporate team building, we can make all of the arrangements for you. Whether wine, beer, cheese or catering is required, every event we design is customize & will suit your budget.
Give us a call at 613-SAVVYCO (728-8926) to talk to Amanda our event manager extraordinaire or email her on firstname.lastname@example.org . We are ready to help make your next event a memorable one!
Looking for some great ideas of where to go this summer - or planning on trips for this fall or an escape from the winter? We have found a new magazine - Taste & Travel International - that showcases interesting & fun food related ideas to enjoy where ever your next trip takes you. The magazine contributors are foodies who offer tried & true tips from their trips of interesting and everyday places along with 'must visit' things to do such as farmers markets, art galleries, wineries and cooking schools (you have to see where they recommend in Tuscany, Andalucía and Vermont!)....and many more delicious ideas to include in your next trip.
Taste & Travel International is an inspiring, high quality print magazine that focuses exclusively on the exciting and delicious world of culinary travel. Taste & Travel has a global scope, delivering 96 gorgeous pages packed with information on the hottest gourmet destinations, epicurean lodgings, cooking schools, culinary cruises, vineyard tours, food markets & trails all over the world, along with restaurants, chefs, recipes & other essential information for the culinary traveler & adventurous home cook.
Do we have a deal for you!
We have teamed up with Taste & Travel International magazine to offer all wine enthusiast a SPECIAL SUBSCRIPTION RATE! Taste&Travel is available in Chapters stores across Canada. The cover price is $6.95. As a special offer for Savvy Company friends, fans and followers, Taste & Travel is offering a full 1 year subscription at 40% off the newsstand price.
For just $15 including tax and shipping, this fabulous Canadian publication will be delivered to your door.
Calling all gardeners & herb lovers: spend a day in the country with us at home-grown Midsummer Herbfest this Sunday (July 28). You will find our own Accredited Sommelier, Debbie Trenholm, MCing the ever popular Chef Cook-off. You may have caught her on this morning's CTV Ottawa Morning where she was with one of the 'competing' local chefs - Josh Gillard who is the new owner of Ottawa's Must Wine Bar & Kitchen.
Watch the video of Josh creating this recipe below...in 4 minutes flat!
What is the Chef Cook-off all about?
It is a fun & friendly competition of 3 local chefs who will whip up dishes before your eyes as you learn about their culinary techniques. Here`s the exotic dishes that Chef Josh Gillard will be creating during his lunchtime presentation.
Photo on set (left to right: Debbie, Jeff Hopper - CTV host, Chef Josh, Laurie (Josh's wife) & Bruno (Herbfest PR Director)
More about competing Chef #2: Josh Gillard
Executive Chef/Owner of The Galley at The Nepean Sailing Club, is a graduate from the Culinary Arts program at Algonquin College. Josh grew up with a taste for cooking from a very young age. Josh's 15 years in the culinary industry have included positions in many acclaimed restaurants in Ottawa. Josh's specialties include French Cuisine, Italian, Mediterranean and Tapas styles. Josh enjoys creating straight forward dishes using the seasons' best to using his creative side bringing flavours together that are unforgettable. Josh invites you to come and share the "nautical vacation hospitality", relaxed and attentive service, tucked-away on the second floor within the warmth of the Nepean Sailing Club.
His most recent endeavor includes ownership of a wine and small plates establishment, located in the heart of Ottawa’s Byward Market called Must Wine Bar & Kitchen. This quaint little gem is revolutionizing Ottawa’s palate through exciting food and wine pairings, and offering a selection of high-end wines by the glass. Josh and his culinary team offer small plates of exquisite arrangements of many flavours & textures that are a MUST try! Wine flights and pairings by the glass accompany the many exciting creations you’ll come to enjoy at Must.
At the Chef Cook-off, the crowd will be oohing and ahhing while Josh makes Elderberry Bison with elderberry infused sambuca reduction, caramelized apples & burnt scape goat cheese
See you there!
4cups fresh or frozen elderberries
4oz elderberry syrup or must
750 ml black sambuca
Combine ingredients and store for 30 days, then strain
Elderberry sambuca reduction
2 Tbsp butter
2 Tbsp elderberry jam or jelly
1/4 small red onion
2 oz elderberry sambuca
6 oz beef stock (or bison)
2 oz 35% cream
salt and pepper to taste
Melt butter in a pan, add red onions and jam. Cook for 1 min then add sambuca, light on fire and let it go out on its own.
Add beef or bison stock and reduce to half; then add cream and reduce by another half. Season with salt & pepper.
Scape pesto goat cheese
1 cup chopped scapes
2 fresh cloves garlic
1/4 cup pine nuts
1/4 cup parmesan
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
Salt and pepper to taste
500g goat cheese (room temp)
In a food processor, combine scapes, garlic and almonds and pulse till fine, then slowly add olive oil.
Thicken by adding parmesan, then sugar to cut back on bitterness. Add salt and pepper to taste and lastly, combine with goat cheese to desired flavor
1 Tbsp unsalted butter
2 thinly sliced apples
3 Tbsp brown sugar
Heat butter till melted then add sliced apples and sauté for 1 min on high heat. Reduce heat and add sugar.
Cook till sugar begins to brown, remove from heat and pan.
Elderberry almond bark
1 cup roasted almonds
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup honey
2 Tbsp butter
1/4 cup water
Roast almonds in the oven till lightly browned, then cool almonds and put in a ziplock bag and roughly crush with a mallet.
Melt butter in a pan and add brown sugar and water.
On low heat cook till mixture begins to thicken and add honey and cook for 1 more minute.
Add crushed almonds and remove from heat and mix till fully coated and then pour onto butter sprayed parchment. Let cool and then break into pieces.
Store layered with parchment in a dry place.
Elderberry cider vinaigrette
1/4 cup Elderberry must or syrup
2 tbs sugar (more if desired)
1/3cup extra virgin olive oil
1/4 cup strongbow or desired cider
1/4 cup apple cider vinegar1tsp black pepper
Salt to taste if desired
Combine all ingredients in a bowl and refrigerate, then whisk together (or in a bottle and shake).
Cut an avocado in half and remove the pit. Score in centimeter squares using a butter knife, being careful not to puncture the skin.
In a bowl mix baby arugula, elderberry vinaigrette and avocado, using a spoon to skim it from the skin.
Set aside and let arugula take in the flavors.
To Assemble - putting your bison & accompaniments all together as a full meal
Season bison with salt and pepper and sear on all sides in a pan with butter.
With the bison still in the pan, start to make the reduction, add red onions and elderberry jam then add elderberry sambuca and burn off alcohol. Remove bison from the pan and set aside on a pan to purge.
Add stock, reduce then add cream and reduce further. Then remove sauce from heat or leave on ultra low.
In a separate pan start to caramelize the apples.
On a plate take some of the goat cheese and make into 2 thin patties about 3 inches in diameter
To plate everything nicely together...
Start by plating the salad as its served cold. Lay down a bed on each plate of arugula, trying to save the avocado for the top. Crush or chop the almond bark and sprinkle over the salad.
Place bison on the grill or very briefly in the oven, making sure to just reheat and not cook further.
On the other half of the plate, first start with a pool of the reduction, then place the bison in the center.
Then take the caramelized apples and put on top of the bison and the goat cheese patty on top of the apples. With a kitchen torch(or blow torch) char the top of the goat cheese.
Serve immediately with a well paired wine and enjoy!
Never been to Herbfest?
Boasting over 100 vendors and artisans, with back-to-back lectures, the fun Chef Cook-off, live entertainment, and plenty more with lots of time to relax in the sunshine and meander through the beautiful landscaped herbal garden beds.
Don't miss our Cheese Sommelier, Vanessa Simmons who will be under the big top tent with nibbles of artisan cheeses for her presentation: Summer Cheese Sizzlers – A Tasty Discovery of What’s Hot in Local Artisan Cheese. Don't miss this fun day out for the whole family!
More about Herbfest at www.herbfest.ca
Herbfest is an Ottawa Valley tradition combining a large marketplace of over 100 vendors and artisans, informative lectures, a Chef Cook-off, live entertainment, and much more with time to relax and meander through the beautiful landscaped herbal garden beds.
Savvy Company will be out in full force at this year's Herbfest. Accredited Sommelier, Debbie Trenholm, will be on-hand to moderate the Chef cook-off while Cheese Sommelier, Vanessa Simmons, will do a presentation on Summer Cheese Sizzlers – A Tasty Discovery of What’s Hot in Local Artisan Cheese. Don't miss this fun day out for the whole family!
While you wander along the wild herb walk, taking in the garden tour and maybe even catching a glimpse of garden fairies you can also pick up some great new recipes from Executive Chef Rehaad A. Ali. He is cooking up a storm at Saffron & Chives Creative Catering & is also partner of FUZE Productions, an Events Food and Venue company saffronandchivescatering.ca www.fuzeproductions.ca 613.858.9250
Rehaad gives the ultimate food experience to the client. He constantly follows the hot food trends and is proud to create some of his own… adding to the Ottawa dining scene. Rehaad was trained by some of Ottawa’s top chefs—such as the Ottawa Westin Hotel’s executive chef, Philippe Whetell (formerly of La Baccara) and the Ottawa Crowne Plaza’s executive chef, Willy Wetcher.
Here are some of Chef Rehaad's mouth-watering recipes...
Stuffed Ground Bison Crocchetta (Meatball)
10 oz ground bison to serve 5 persons
1 tbsp chopped fresh thyme
1 kg vidalia onion fine diced and cooked on low heat until carmelized
2 cloves chopped garlic
2.5 oz chopped cooked pancetta choppped coarsely
2.5 oz shredded Oka
salt and pepper to taste
Olive oil to fry
Season bison with salt and pepper, add carmelized vidalia and fresh thyme, mix and set aside
Equally divide bison into 2 oz balls and proceed to flaten each balls, add Oka and pancetta to the centre of meat. bring up edges to form a ball. On medium heat on, use a heavy deep pan, fry croccohettas until brown, about 4 mins, should be nicely cooked at 160 0 F, cover and keep warm at 140 0 F
Something special featuring this year's "Herb of the Year"...the Elder
Elderberry Chipotle Maple Compote
5 tbsp Elderberry preserve or jam
1 tbsp chipotle chopped finely
2 tbsp maple syrup
1 tbsp fresh lime juice
1 tsp chopped fresh cilantro
In a small bowl combine all ingredients and set aside.
Butternut Squash Mash with Coconut Oil and Chives
1 small butternut squash
2 tbsp coconut oil
2 cloves chopped garlic
1 tbsp chopped fresh chives
2 tbsp coconut oil
salt and pepper to taste
Peel and scoop out seeds from squash, cut into medium cubes. Heat 2 tbsp oil on medium heat, add garlic, cook 1 minute. Add squash and sautée for 5 mins and then cook covered until tender, about 20 mins. Remove from heat and mash, add oil and season then chives, set aside and keep warm.
Red kale and Fennel Slaw
1 cup shredded kale
1 cup shredded fennel
1 tbsp chopped fresh dill
2 tbsp olive oil
fresh ground pepper to taste
sea salt to taste
In a medium bowl mix all ingredients and set aside.