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It is harvest time! Wineries across Ontario – for that matter across Canada – are all abuzz with harvest. “Half of the grapes are in” explained Paul Marconi who is one of the principals of this month’s featured winery: Casa-Dea Estates. Visiting wineries during harvest will give you a glimpse of this exciting time of the year & helping with the harvest will give you an even better glimpse. Getting your hands right into the winemaking process can give you a whole new appreciation that there is little glamour in making wine and a lot of back-breaking work!
Grape-growing pioneers of Prince Edward County
Breaking ground in a new wine region is even more hard work. Casa-Dea Winery was one of a trio of wineries who pioneered the Prince Edward County wine region. And since they first opened, the property has switched owners and names too. The name, Casa-Dea means, “House of the Goddess” and Dea is also the wife’s name of one of the current owner’s. Casa-Dea is often mispronounced, sounding more like “quesadilla” when, in fact, Dea is properly pronounced as Day-ya. It is the largest vineyard in Prince Edward County with 65 acres on the property that includes La Pergola restaurant & banquet hall that has been the romantic place for several weddings!
Our Savvy Sommelier Eva Nagy visited Casa-Dea to interview winemaker Paul Battilana & taste through his portfolio of wines to decide which wines to put to the test of the Savvy Selections tasting panel. In this month’s issue of the Savvy eZine Eva shares with you her conversation with Paul and how winemaking is in fact his 2nd career. He began as a butcher. Talk about food & wine pairing!
In your Savvy Selections, you will find:
Dea’s Rosé Sparkling VQA 2012 - This stunning dry bubbly is perfect to sip on while you baste the turkey or with appetizers before you bring out the ham
Pinot Gris Reserve VQA 2010 - Not your typical Italian Pinot Grigio! This medium to full bodied white wine has a delicious texture with aromas & tastes of cooked apple, roasted nuts with a delicious long finish. Perfect with roast turkey or turkey left overs! TIP: be sure to open & let this white wine breathe before serving
Cabernet Franc Reserve VQA 2009 - Rather have red with turkey or ham? This is your wine! Medium red wine bodied with aromas & tastes of cranberry, overripe raspberries with black & white pepper finish. One of our Savvy Sommeliers – Patti – does not like Cab Francs, but this one blew her away…she bought a case!
OPTIONAL WINE: - The winemaker is particularly proud of his Riesling VQA 2011 as it JUST won Gold Medal at Intervin – and you are the first to know! Zippy & refreshing, this Alsatian style Riesling (aka – not sweet at all) makes this a great white wine to serve before dinner with cheese, light hors d’oeuvres or chilled on its own.
Similar to other wineries we have featured in Savvy Selections, some Casa-Dea wines are on the LCBO shelves. However, there are many of their wines that are not. If you would like additional bottles of your favourite Casa-Dea wine – or other featured Ontario wineries - just give me a call on 613-SAVVYCO (728-8926) or send me an email to firstname.lastname@example.org to arrange an additional delivery for you. It is always my pleasure to introduce you to wonderful new Ontario wines!
Cheers & Happy Thanksgiving!
Debbie & Savvy Team
Casa-Dea Estates Winery
Presented by Savvy Sommelier Éva Nagy
Rarely does a day go by at the Savvy Company office without someone making mention of Prince Edward County - affectionately known as “The County”. Some County wines find their way to the LCBO but many are still only available at the wineries & through Savvy Company – either at our Taste & Buy events or with Savvy Selections.
I have visited The County three times this summer – sometimes for just a day, other times for a weekend. On each trip I discover new wines, wineries and restaurants. And I have only just got started – there are so many country roads to wander on & shops to stop in.
The County wineries are different from those in Niagara. There is something special about the minerality from its limestone terroir. With each sip of County wine, this uniqueness makes its way to your nose & palate, you will see what I mean when you uncork this month’s Savvy Selections.
From butcher to…winemaker
Growing up in an Italian household, wine was always on the table. After 15 years as a trained butcher, Paul Battilana (left) was fed up with this trade, so back to school he went! Paul enrolled in the first graduating class at Niagara College. However, he claims his real education was gained at his first job at Peninsula Ridge Estates Winery where winemaker Jean-Pierre Colas (transplanted from Burgundy, France) was his first mentor... they remain great friends to this day. Other winemaking mentors Rob Powers & Craig McDonald from Creekside Estate Winery also had a great influence on Paul’s winemaking career.
In 2009 everything changed! Paul moved to The County to take on the position of head winemaker at Casa-Dea. As I mentioned earlier, Paul finds something special about The County’s characteristic limestone soil that creates a unique minerality in the wines. “Oddly, there is phenolic ripeness (winespeak: physiological ripeness in terms of phenolics - i.e. Tannins - in grape’s skin, seeds & stems) usually before sugar ripeness (the measure of sugar accumulation & breakdown of unpalatable acids)”, explains Paul. If you are lost in all of this winespeak…be sure to ask for Paul when you visit the winery or at an upcoming Savvy Event.
Paul is a wealth of knowledge. With each year, he learns even more about what to do as well as what not to do in Casa-Dea’s vineyard. The learning process never stops! He does not over-think or over-work the wine. He says, “My wines are not over-manipulated. I let wine do what it wants to do.”
What's in a wine?
While touring his cellar, Paul explained that yeast selection is important in his winemaking. And oak is never the dominant characteristic in any of his wines. “Why hide the flavours of the wine with lots of oak?”
Paul is very proud of all of his wines. I put him on the spot asking him to choose is favorite. “It would be my Cabernet Franc. Cab Franc flavours shine without even a hint of the typical characteristic of green pepper”. When Savvy Sommelier, Patty Petty, visited Casa-Dea this summer, she told Paul quite frankly, “I don’t like Cabernet Franc because of the green pepper taste.” After tasting Paul’s Reserve Cabernet Franc - that is included in this month’s Savvy Selections - her opinion has completely changed! And Patti has bought 2 cases of this wine and is on the hunt for more Cab Francs.
Appassimento - the Italian winemaking technique
And to do something completely different, Paul honoured the Italian connection at the winery (the owners are Italian too), by making the first appassimento-style wine in The County using Cab Franc (winespeak: Italian winemaking technique using partially dried grapes to concentrate sugars & flavours. Amarone & Ripasso wines are made in this fashion). Paul put 5 cases aside before he went away for a week. Upon his return, they were all gone! Now completely sold out, Paul admitted that he will continue to use this winemaking technique with other grape varieties.
Loving every moment
It took a number of years for Paul to realize that his father was right in saying, “do what you enjoy doing.” Paul now enjoys going in to work. Every Monday, he tastes through the wine in the barrel to see how it has evolved. He jokes that “this is the tough part of the job!” Rest assured, he has many offers of help…even I offered my assistance when I visited Paul at the winery!
Tomato vines to grape vines
When I interview winemakers, I make a point to ask for their favorite story about visitors to the winery. Paul explained that one summer he gave a tour of the winery & vineyard to a grandfather, father & son with ages ranging 14-90. As a boy, the grandfather recalled that his job was to pick rocks from a property that is now Casa-Dea’s vineyard. At the time, the site was a tomato farm – with rows of tomato plants as far as the eye could see. The grandfather explained that the farming had dried up but he was now overjoyed to see the farm land being used again as a vineyard.
Cheers & enjoy your Savvy Selections!
~ SAVVY SOMMELIER TASTING NOTES ~
Savvy Sommelier Tasting Notes: On the nose & in the taste, this crisp & dry bubbly exudes sweet aromas of citrus (pink grapefruit perhaps?), white flowers, minerality (I told you that it is a County characteristic!), juicy berries & rhubarb. There is lovely mousse (winespeak: tiny bubbles) with a long yet delicate finish.
Suggested Food Pairing: This is a great sipping wine & can be enjoyed on its own after being chilled for 30 minutes in the fridge. Pair with oysters or sushi. For something a little different, match with Beet Risotto (recipe follows).
The characteristics of grapes grown in their vineyard shine through in this Pinot Gris Reserve. Enjoy!
Savvy Sommelier Tasting Notes: Delightful aromas of floral, sweet ripe apple go hand in hand with a waft of something a bit smoky. On the palate, you will find tart citrus, green apple, minerality (there it is again!), nuttiness & spice (ginger perhaps?). Our Sommelier tasting panel noticed that aromas changed as the wine breathed in the glass. Give it a swirl & see if you notice any difference from sip to sip!
Suggested Food Pairing: Wondering what to do with leftover Thanksgiving turkey? Why not try turkey quesadillas?! I simply could not miss the opportunity to play on the oft mispronunced winery’s name - Casa-Dea - with ‘quesadilla’.
Fun Fact: this wine was featured at the 2013 Toronto International Film Festival! A signature wine at Casa-Dea, Paul is very proud how this wine is evolving
Savvy Sommelier Tasting Notes: A beautiful garnet coloured Cabernet Franc. Concentrated aromas & flavours of ripe red fruit & raspberries leading to a lovely jamminess without a trace of Cab Franc’s usual green pepper characteristic. The ripe red fruit replays on the palate with a hint of spice & tartness. The long finish keeps you coming back for more.
Suggested Food Pairing: Cabernet Franc pairs well with earthy dishes made with wild game or lamb. Here is a recipe that will be delicious: Lamb Chops with Moroccan Barbeque Sauce.
Cellaring: This wine is ready now, or can be cellared for 2-4 years
~RECIPES TO ENJOY WITH YOUR SAVVY SELECTIONS~
From Food & Wine
7 cups chicken stock
4 tablespoons unsalted butter
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oi
l1 large sweet onion, finely chopped
2 large beets (12 ounces each), peeled and coarsely shredded, plus thinly sliced beets for garnish
3 cups arborio rice
1 1/2 cups young pecorino cheese, freshly grated
2 teaspoons poppy seeds, plus more for garnish
Note: “Beets give this creamy risotto stunning colour & delicate sweetness. Grace Parisi suggests wearing rubber gloves and shredding the beets directly into a stainless steel bowl to avoid staining hands and countertops.”
In a saucepan, bring the stock to a simmer; cover and keep warm.
In a medium enameled cast-iron casserole, melt the butter in the oil. Add the onion and cook over moderately high heat, stirring, until softened, 5 minutes.
Add the shredded beets and cook, stirring, until the pan is dry, 12 minutes. Spoon half of the beets into a small bowl. Then add the rice to the casserole and cook, stirring, for 2 minutes. Add 1 cup of the warm stock to the rice and cook over moderate heat, stirring, until the stock is nearly absorbed. Continue adding the stock 1 cup at a time, stirring constantly, until the rice is al dente and a thick sauce forms, about 22 minutes.
Stir in the cooked beets, cheese and the 2 teaspoons of poppy seeds. Cook, stirring, until heated through; add a few tablespoons of water if the risotto is too thick.
Spoon the risotto into bowls. Garnish with sliced beets and poppy seeds and serve.
Star-tested by Jennifer Bain, thestar.com
Serves 8 (24 pieces)
4 cups shredded, cooked turkey
1 red or green bell pepper, finely diced
35-g package fajita seasoning mix
1/4 cup (60 mL) water
8 large tortillas (each about 9 inches/23 cm), preferably whole grain
2 cups (500 mL) shredded cheddar cheese
Sour cream (optional)
In large non-stick skillet, combine turkey, bell peppers, fajita mix and water over medium-high heat. Simmer, uncovered, 3 to 5 minutes, stirring frequently until turkey is warm and peppers soften slightly.
Evenly divide turkey mixture over top half of each tortilla (about 1/2 cup/125 mL per serving). Sprinkle each serving with 1/4 cup (60 mL) cheese. Fold over to make half-moon shape, pressing lightly to evenly distribute turkey and cheese.
Wipe out skillet. Return to medium heat. Cook quesadillas, in batches, 3 to 4 minutes per side or until tortilla is browned and crisp and filling is hot. Let stand 2 minutes before cutting each into 3 wedges.
Serve with salsa and sour cream for dipping, if desired.
Lamb Chops with Moroccan Barbeque Sauce
8 lamb loin chops (each about 1 in. thick and 4 oz.), fat trimmed
Mint chutney (recipe follows)
Salt & pepper
Moroccan barbecue sauce (recipe follows)
Rinse lamb chops; pat dry. Place chops in a bowl with about 1/4 cup mint chutney; turn to coat. Cover and chill at least 4 hours or up to 1 day.
Lift lamb chops from bowl (discard any chutney in bowl) and sprinkle all over with salt and pepper. Place on a grill over a bed of medium-hot coals or medium heat on a gas grill (you can hold your hand at grill level only 3 to 4 seconds); close lid on gas grill. Cook chops, turning once, until browned on both sides but still pink in the center (cut to test), 9 to 12 minutes total.
Place chops on plates and drizzle with Moroccan barbecue sauce; offer remaining chutney and sauce alongside.
In a blender, whirl 1 cup lightly packed rinsed fresh mint leaves, 1/2 cup olive oil, 1/2 cup chopped green onions (white and pale green parts), 3 tablespoons parsley leaves, 1 tablespoon lemon juice, 1 peeled clove garlic, 1 teaspoon salt, 1/2 teaspoon curry powder, and 1/4 teaspoon cayenne until smooth. Makes about 1 cup.
Moroccan barbecue sauce
In a 2- to 3-quart pan, combine 3/4 cup honey, 1/2 cup fresh cilantro sprigs, 1/3 cup lemon juice, 1/4 cup rice vinegar, 1/4 cup ketchup, 1/4 cup soy sauce, 1 clove garlic, 1 whole star anise, 1 cinnamon stick (3 in. long, broken into pieces), 3/4 teaspoon black peppercorns & 1/4 teaspoon each ground ginger, ground cardamom, whole cloves, hot chili flakes & salt.
Bring to a simmer over medium-high heat; cook, stirring occasionally, until sauce is reduced to about 1 1/4 cups, about 15 minutes. Pour through a fine strainer into a bowl.
Makes about 1 1/4 cups.
Enjoy your Savvy Selections!
Fruit trees & a few hybrid grapes were once farmed along the Niagara Parkway by husband & wife team William & Nora Lailey. Following in their footsteps as farmers, their son, David (a school teacher) and his wife Donna purchased the family farm & after many conversations around the kitchen table, David & Donna decided to replace the fruit orchards with vitis vinifera grapevines. “The orchard is too much work’, Donna explained to me in an interview. “And a vineyard is easier?” I did not dare say aloud!
Now as grape farmers, David & Donna spent many years buying, processing & reselling grapes to the neighbouring wineries – many who are now considered the pioneers of the Ontario wine industry. Transforming the grape growing into a winery – Lailey Vineyard - was sealed with the granting of a winery license, followed by Derek Barnett joining them in 2000 as winemaker. And with Derek came along his wife Judith as a business partner. Derek’s talents were quickly recognized by the industry with the title of ‘Winemaker of the Year’ at the annual Ontario Wine Awards. This is quite a coup for any winemaker, especially interesting as Derek is a son of a brew master in England!
When you ask David about his wines, he still maintains that, “Our wines express the natural characteristics of the grape varietal and the vineyard they come from.” Over the years. the Lailey estate has grown in size while their wines have grown an outstanding reputation. With every year that the vineyard matures, the quality of the grapes improves and so does the wine. You are in for a treat as many of the Lailey vines are close to 30 years old. The richness & complexity of these wines can be tasted with one sip. And interesting to compare to last month’s Savvy Selections featured winery – DiProfio Estate – which just opened last summer and their vineyards are less than 10 years old.
A ‘must visit’ on your next trip to Niagara-on-the-Lake
The team at Lailey always has something going on at the winery. Their annual Barrel Burning BBQ on July 6th features an afternoon of sausages roasted over “de-commissioned” oak barrels enjoyed with newly released Lailey wines of course! And for dessert ... S’mores! Click here to buy advance tickets or phone the winery at (905) 468-0503. This is just one of the many fun activities hosted by Lailey at the winery.
In your Savvy Selections, you will find:
Sauvignon Blanc VQA 2012 – zippy & fresh New World style ‘Sauv Blanc’ without being over-the-top
Canadian Oak Chardonnay VQA 2011 – a rare white wine that is uniquely aged in barrels from native Canadian oak offers enticing aromas of buttered popcorn & tropical fruit – a Lailey signature!
Cabernet Sauvignon VQA 2010 – this unfiltered beauty with loads of mouth-coating dark berry fruit tastes that you can enjoy now or to hide in your cellar
OPTIONAL WINE: Lailey makes a gorgeous Canadian Oak Meritage VQA 2010 - a blend of Cabernet Franc, Merlot & Cabernet Sauvignon. If you asked me to add a bottle or two of this multi award winning wine… you are in for a treat!
Similar to other wineries we have featured in Savvy Selections, a small selection of Lailey wines are available at the LCBO. If you would like additional bottles of your new favourite – or other featured Ontario wineries - just give me a call on 613-SAVVYCO (728-8926) or send me an email to email@example.com to arrange an additional delivery for you. It is always my pleasure to introduce you to wonderful new Ontario wines!
Cheers & Enjoy!
For over 40 years, David & Donna Lailey have farmed the land, converting the Lailey family fruit farm into a flourishing vineyard & grape growing business. Donna with her ‘roll up her sleeves’ approach to building the business, was a founding member of the Vintners Quality Alliance (VQA) and in 1991 was named the very first “Grape Queen” – a highly sought after annual award designated by the Grape Growers of Ontario for the most impressive & well-maintained vineyard in Niagara – chosen by her peers. The family success lies in the vines telling them what needs to be done to them. With great care, everything is done by hand from grape to glass.
The main man behind the winery - Derek Barnett
Derek (left) began his winemaking career at Southbrook Vineyards originally located north of Toronto. During visits to Niagara-on-the-Lake, he was attracted to Lailey Vineyard when he saw small parcels of mature vines with potential to be a high quality production facility. Remember 20 years ago, there were not numerous wineries in Niagara as is the case today! Derek boasts that the success of the winery attributes to the wonderful location of the vineyard & the Lailey family’s commitment to grow only quality fruit. The estate is comprised of seventeen grape varieties and in the winery cellar Derek says he is always experimenting “with two barrels of this & that to keep things fun!”
With 22 years (and counting) in the industry as winemaker, Derek has a deep affinity for the growing Canadian wine industry. He appreciates how wonderful it is having a job you like to do. “Making wine & going out to meet the people who like wine gets me out of bed each morning.”
“The excitement of the growth of the Canadian wine industry generated within by the winemakers is now getting out to the consumers, wine reviewers and even the energy is seen on the retail store shelves”. In the last 10 years, a new generation of wine drinkers has helped proliferate the international message – that Canada makes impressive wines. Coupled with the grass root movement supporting local food & wine, social media is engaging more people to view Ontario & Canada as a wine & culinary destination. The bottom line beams Derek, “We have awesome wine! VQA & the Canadian wine industry is on its way up.” You heard it here first!
A fun bunch – and we’re not talking grapes!
The folks at Lailey are fun & passionate about their winery & wines. Quick to show you around, anyone jumps in to do a hands-on tour led – including Derek or the resident sommelier. In the tasting room, it is all about the wine; no trinkets nor t-shirts nor glassware for sale, as they do not want the Lailey team or the visitors to lose focus on the wine.
Considered “old school”, they do not interfere in their winemaking approach. Derek is hands-off, listening to what the wine wants to do. Romantic as it may sound, Derek maintains a hands-off approach, “I bottle wines when they are ready to be bottled”.
Favorites – vintages, wines & harvest
Which wines does Derek enjoy making? Well that changes every year. Currently, he has a passion for barrel-fermented Chardonnay, “Niagara’s white wine grape” as he calls it. Other varietals that intrigue & inspire him are German Riesling with its bright aromatics, Northern Rhone style Syrah & Ontario varietals too.
Favorite times of year? Derek has 2 favorite periods during the grape-growing season: The green tinge of spring signifies another year of winemaking. Harvest provides the next bottle of wine that he is going to produce. If he has to choose his favorite time of the year, “Harvest!”, he exclaims.
Winemaking for 13 years at Lailey has led to many awards. Derek is proud of the “stunning” 2007 Syrah and 2002 limited edition Chardonnay: “It was hard to top”. 2012 is a well-balanced vintage, comparing closely to 2002, one of his favourite vintages for good growing.
Derek mentions that there is no one particular ‘proudest moment’ –there are too many! Chardonnay excites him, as he describes it as “stunning”. Syrah, Cabernet Franc & Pinot Noir are great personal challenges too.
A Curious Mind
All of these proud moments led to the creation of Curious Mind label: one-offs available only to loyal Lailey customers. Derek explains that these wines are his ‘toy box’ – he experiments using the any of 17 grape varieties and 9 different barrel brands to play & create very interesting curiosities. These limited edition wines are an absolute steal at $20 - made to order, numbered & signed too. Are you curious to try these wines? Call us to arrange a special shipment.
Cheers & enjoy your Savvy Selections!
~ SAVVY SOMMELIER TASTING NOTES ~
Interestingly the history of Sauvignon Blanc is rooted in the ‘Old World” wine region of Bordeaux, France. Today though, it is planted around the world – New World & Old World, resulting in crisp, dry & refreshing white wine. Commonly referred to as ‘Sauv Blanc’, is the main component of the famous French dessert wines of Sauternes & Barsac. Have you had these wines?
Savvy Sommelier Tasting Notes: Zippy aromas & flavours of citrus (think lime & white grapefruit), floral, distinct minerality with a zingy tart gooseberry taste that when Eva had a sip, she immediately mentions ‘Oh my, this reminds me of mother-in-law’s gooseberry pie’.
Reminiscent of a New World style Sauvignon Blanc without being over-the-top. Mint makes an appearance on the palate resulting in a fresh & cleansing long finish. Delicious!
Suggested Food Pairing: A classic pairing is with goat’s cheese/chêvre, asparagus & sushi. Give the Spanakopita recipe a try on the following pages.
The vineyards feature some of the oldest plantings of Chardonnay in Ontario.
We are excited to include this wine as it has been a long favorite of Debbie’s to showcase at Savvy Events since the ‘what if’ story of making barrels with Canadian Oak has resulted in incredible wine. It is truly a Canadiana story…move over maple syrup!
The story goes... about 5 years ago, a handful of winemakers were ‘talking shop’ at a backyard BBQ. Conversation lead to wondering what a barrel made with native Canadian oak would do to their wines. After a lot of research, they found a cooper (barrel maker) in California who would make these one-of-a-kind barrels. Next step was to find native oak trees – luckily found in Brantford, Ontario. The wood staves were cut and shipped in hockey bags (brand new ones of course!). Their “what if moment” & hard work paid off when several Canadian Oak barrels arrived at the wineries. Today, there are fewer than 10 winemakers across Canada who barrel age some of their wines in this special oak…and now there is a cooper in Canada making the barrels. Derek is a big enthusiast with his Chardonnay, Pinot Noir and Meritage (an optional wine we offered) wines aged in Canadian oak and constantly receiving rave reviews.
Savvy Sommelier Tasting Notes: “This wine makes me think of buttered popcorn” suggested Eva. Golden straw colour with aromas of wildflower honey, tropical fruit (think coconut & sweet citrus) with some nuttiness – walnut perhaps?. Rich & round mouthfeel with flavours of lime, stone fruit & baking spice with minerality & a lengthy warm finish.
Suggested Food Pairing: Given the rich aromas & flavours of this Chardonnay try the Chicken & Farfalle with Creamy Walnut Sauce recipe that follows.
Expect loads of ripe fruit from this award-winning Cabernet Sauvignon. (Bronze Medal at Canadian Wine Awards 2012 & Bronze Medal at the Intervin International Wine Awards 2012). This wine is unfiltered meaning that small particles may be found in the bottle, leaving the wine’s aromas & flavours intact. No need to be alarmed if you notice this when you serve the wine. It is completely natural
Savvy Sommelier Tasting Notes: Verging on opaque in colour, this Cabernet Sauvignon has amazing aromas of ripe fruit - plum, figs, dates, dark berries – along with red roses, cranberry, rhubarb & vanilla. Flavours of tart red cherry, berry & cassis layered with smoke, earth & tobacco. The balancing acidity keeps the tannins in check in this beautifully structured full-bodied red wine. The long finish begs for another sip. Don’t you agree?
Suggested Food Pairing: Fire up the BBQ! Enjoy with a big steak or, for a change, grilled Portobello Mushrooms.
Cellaring: Ready to drink now or cellar for 5-7 years.
OPTIONAL WINE: Canadian Oak Meritage VQA 2010 $40.00
For all of you big red wine lovers – we did not want you to miss this special treat!
Meritage is the wine name that winemakers outside of France use to call their wines made in the French Bordeaux style. This is a blend of the best from the highly acclaimed 2010 vintage. It’s a big juicy red wine made with 45% Merlot, 33% Cabernet Franc, 22% Cabernet Sauvignon – all from the Lailey estate.
Savvy Sommelier Tasting Notes: This is a big, bold, almost black coloured wine has aromas of molasses, tar, tobacco, smoke & blueberry with something that smells like “Chinese Five Spice mix”, says Debbie. Beefy with big tannins that will continue to mellow, the flavours of coffee, cocoa & black pepper with an incredible long finish.
Cellaring: Enjoy now or put away in your cellar to mellow for a few more years (5 to 7 years max).
~RECIPES TO ENJOY WITH YOUR SAVVY SELECTIONS~
From Chef in You
3 bunches of fresh spinach (about 2 lbs)
1 onion, chopped finely
6-8 spring onions (scallions), chopped
5 oz feta cheese, crumbled
3 oz ricotta cheese
1/3 cup freshly grated vegetarian parmesan
1 Tbsp fresh dill, chopped
1 generous pinch of nutmeg
1/2 cup fresh parsley, chopped (cilantro works well too)
12 sheets of phyllo pastry, thawed
3-4 Tbsp of unsalted butter, melted + some olive oil (or more if required)
Trim the stems of spinach & clean them well in cold water. Filling the kitchen sink with lots of water and then submerging & rinsing the spinach works well in cleaning out the mud and debris. Drain. Roughly chop & place in a steamer. Steam for 5-8 minutes or until the leaves are wilted. Drain. Squeeze out the excess water from the spinach. This step is extremely important to avoid a soggy filling. Set aside.
Take a skillet and heat 1 tsp of olive oil & sauté the onion until tender. Add the spring onions & cook for another 2-3 minutes. Remove from heat & add the spinach, herbs, cheeses & nutmeg. Season with salt & pepper (if required). You can taste it to see if it does not have enough salt from the feta cheese.
Preheat the Oven to 350°F (180°C). Place the 3 sheets of phyllo at a time (keeping others covered to avoid drying out). Mix the butter & 2 tbsp olive oil in a small bowl. Brush each sheet with butter mixture & lay on top of another. Cut into equal thirds lengthwise.
Spoon a little filling on an angle at the end of the each strip. You don't want to be overzealous here with the portion since it will slip out later. Fold the pastry over to enclose the filling to form a triangle. Now take it upwards to form another triangle.
Repeat this process until you reach the end. You will have a small strip at the end which you can grease with little butter mixture & stick to the pastry. Brush the top lightly with butter mixture.
Grease two baking sheets. Bake the triangles for 20-25 minutes or until the pastry is golden brown.
Chicken & Farfalle with Creamy Walnut Sauce
From Eating Well
1/3 cup walnuts
1 small clove garlic, peeled
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
Pinch of cayenne pepper
1/4 cup reduced-sodiumchicken broth
2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh parsley
1/2 teaspoon lemon juice
1 teaspoon walnut oil, or extra-virgin olive oil
8 ounces boneless, skinless chicken breast, trimmed of fat, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
4 ounces whole-wheat farfalle pasta
1 cup small broccoli florets
1/2 red bell pepper, seeded and cut into thin strips
Put a large saucepan of water on to boil. Combine walnuts, garlic, salt, pepper & cayenne in a blender; pulse until finely chopped. Blend in broth, parsley & lemon juice until smooth & creamy.
Heat oil in a medium nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add chicken & cook, stirring often, until it is no longer pink in the middle, 3 to 5 minutes.
Cook pasta for 5 minutes. Add broccoli & bell pepper, cook, stirring occasionally, until the pasta & vegetables are just tender, about 4 minutes more. Drain, return to the pot.
Add the walnut sauce & chicken, then toss to coat.
Grilled Portobello Mushrooms
Serves 4 to 6 – depending on the size of meat
3 portobello mushrooms
1/4 cup canola oil
3 tablespoons chopped onion
4 cloves garlic, minced
4 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
Clean mushrooms and remove stems, reserve for other use. Place caps on a plate with the gills up.
In a small bowl, combine the oil, onion, garlic and vinegar. Pour mixture evenly over the mushroom caps and let stand for 1 hour.
Grill over hot grill for 10 minutes. Serve immediately.
Enjoy your Savvy Selections!
Savvy Selections wine of the month club
Featuring Di Profio Wines
- May 2013 -
Di Profio Wines is unique in that it is one of few wineries surrounded completely by neighbours. Residences meet with edges of farms. The vineyards grow down from the escarpment on flat land running north & south on 12 acres. They are so flat that a viewing platform was built to view the u-shaped vineyards. They enjoy the best of both worlds with their vines. The south clay loam vineyards were planted 17 years ago with Cabernet Sauvignon, Sauvignon Blanc, Gamay (1 of 7 in Ontario) & a little Vidal, whilst north vineyards are sandy loam where Riesling, Pinot Gris & Merlot thrive for their 4th season. And there are still 5000-6000 vines yet to plant. Both north & south vineyards drain directly into Lake Ontario just 1km away.
In your Savvy Selections delivery, you will find:
Riesling 2011 – enjoy this easy-drinking summertime sipper
Gamay Noir 2011 – chill this slightly for a Beaujolais-style Gamay
Cabernet Merlot 2011 – match this fresh & lively Cab Merlot with hamburgers
OPTIONAL WINE: If you asked me to add a bottle or two of the Select Late Harvest Vidal 2011 in your delivery then you are indeed in for a treat!
Fred’s winemaking style is described as alive, vibrant and mellow (not sharp!). The Gamay Noir is so drinkable. Joe exclaims that having mature Gamay grapes in the fields is unique. The new 2011 Cabernet Merlot is their fastest seller - so mellow without heavy tannins. The gravity flow process is very efficient in its methodology. Last year, they produced 535 cases, which will grow to 1000 cases this year. Their goal is 3000-5000 cases but they will always remain a small winery supplying wine to restaurants, their own Zinc wine boutique & internet sales.
On the following pages, Éva encourages you to visit Di Profio Wines as well as their Bed & Breakfast, Among the Vines. You will find her sommelier tasting notes along with recipes to would pair with the featured wines.
Among the Vines Bed & Breakfast
Joe & Carollynn’s Bed & Breakfast is nestled between Jordan Village & Jordan Station amongst the vines of the Mia Cara Vineyard & next door to Di Profio’s winery. They welcome you with open arms to join them to enjoy wine & improve their knowlege. They promise to make you feel as welcome as old friends.
Similar to other wineries we have featured in Savvy Selections, Di Profio wines are not on the LCBO shelves. If you would like additional bottles of your favourite Di Profio wine – or other featured Ontario wineries - just give me a call on 613-SAVVYCO (728-8926) or send me an email to firstname.lastname@example.org to arrange an additional delivery for you. It is always my pleasure to introduce you to wonderful new Ontario wines!
Cheers & Enjoy!
Presented by Savvy Sommelier Eva Nagy
It all began with Guiseppe Di Profio known as “Peppe”, who like many Italians living in Canada imported his grapes from California in the ’40’s and ’50’s & experimented with different varieties & barrels to create the quality reminiscent of Italy. The winemaking bug skipped a generation & landed on his grandson Fred, who studied Oenology & Viticulture at Brock University.
During my interview with Joe, he affectionately said that his son Fred `bothered` him into buying a vineyard complete with a house on the property that they converted into Among the Vines Bed & Breakfast. Now in its 4th year of operation, Joe & his wife Carollynn welcome 225 people each year.
When Fred`s parents purchased the vineyard, it was completely abandoned. In its 12 years, it had overgrown & the dead vines never been replaced & replanted. Joe & Carollynn were advised to completely flatten the vineyard & begin again, but they retorted with, “we are not millionaires”. In fact, they retired as teachers only 4 years earlier! They both felt it was time to change gears, even with no experience as farmers and `a green thumb only good enough to grow dandelions` laughs Carollynn. They pruned an absolute forest. They knew that at minimum each vine needed to produce two suckers to grow healthy vines and eventually bunches of grapes. Carollynn decided that she would “coax the vines with a lot of talking”. Much to Joe`s chagrin. It worked though as some of the vines had not 2 but 14 suckers! A lovely forest of green ensued.
There is always something to laugh about
Indeed it seems crazy to come out of retirement to purchase a vineyard with absolutely no farming background. No doubt, it has been a steep learning curve yet, Carollynn & Joe did receive lots of help. `There is a peacefulness to the vineyard`, explains Joe. `We both enjoy being completely involved from roots to bottle, for there is a story behind every one.
Is that bottle shock?
Carollynn once thought that they could sell a bottle of wine immediately after it had been bottled, however, Fred quickly taught her about bottle shock. Carollynn jokes that her bottle shock is the sore back as result of bottling! Joe & Carollynn have coined all of this learning as `their anti-Alzheimer’s Project`. At the winery, visitors learn about growing grapes in their vineyard rather than terroir or the technicalities of brix. `Sure, there are the technical details, but one must enjoy the grass roots`, explains Joe. And having a good time is indeed infectious in the DiProfio family.
Everything is hand-done
All of the grapes are select & hand-picked, then double hand-sorted & hand-processed. The DiProfio team prides themselves on the quality of their fruit, compared to the mush of grapes that have been machine-processed. `We once supplied Gamay grapes to a nearby winery. One time, upon delivering the grapes, the winery staff came out to admire the beautiful hand-picked grapes. Simply gorgeous they exclaimed!`` It is obvious that Joe loves the harvest when he can see the fruition of what his years of work. “Great wine, great grapes”.
1 year and counting…
Based on Fred’s design, an architect created a striking looking structure that does not resemble a typical winery, rather a striking burgundy & black twisted & angular cube. Inside, the 3 floor building operates with gravity flow winemaking process. Joe, Carollynn & Fred celebrated their 1st anniversary of the new building on June 15th. This year also brings celebration of 100 years of winemaking in their Italian family. In Peppe’s honour, they will release an Appassimento-style Cabernet Sauvignon, aptly named “Peppe’s Pride” due to be released by the end of the year – we will be on the look out for this wine!
Joe is very proud of his wines and the medals they have earned so quickly for their wines. It reminds him that all of the hard work is being recognized. In early spring, there are no leaves on the vines yet, but Joe is out in the vineyard feverishly spraying trunks & canes to avoid black rot & to keep down fungus growth. Mildew is another headache in the spring as it can quickly spread throughout vineyard with the gentle winds blowing off of the nearby Lake Ontario. Managing Mother Nature in his vineyard, Joe jokes that this is where his biology degree comes in handy. `Every day is different & I love the challenge of getting out there to grow grapes`.
While the winery and their vineyards are only a few years old, the wines are easy drinking and ready to be enjoyed now. As each year passes, the vines will produce more grapes that with Joe & Carollynn`s care, will continue to impress with quality wines.
Cheers & enjoy your Savvy Selections!
~ SAVVY SOMMELIER TASTING NOTES ~
If you are looking for an easy-drinking summertime sipper then you have found it!
Savvy Sommelier Tasting Notes: Light gold in the glass. Fresh aromas of apple, pear, citrus, mineral, slight petrol & floral with slight hint of sweet ripe fruit on the long finish. Mouth-watering acidity is immediate but quickly mellows to white grapefruit & lime flavours. Very well balanced.
Suggested Food Pairing: Smitten Kitchen’s French Onion Tart.
Decanting & Cellaring: Rieslings are often consumed when young. Rule of thumb with Rieslings is 5-10 years aging for dry Rieslings with such acidity.
Vigorous & youthful. Are you looking for a refreshing Beaujolais-style Gamay? Chill this slightly for a very refreshing red.
Savvy Sommelier Tasting Notes: Vibrant purple ruby in colour. Aromas of fresh strawberry, rhubarb & cranberry waft from the glass & replay on the palate with the addition of red cherry, cocoa & chocolate flavours. So fresh!
Suggested Food Pairing: homemade thin-crust Margherita pizza or mushroom tarts.
Cellaring: Enjoy this lively Gamay Noir now.
A blend of 53% Cabernet Franc and 47% Merlot creates a terrific wine for sipping alongside hamburgers.
Savvy Sommelier Tasting Notes: Dark plum in colour. Earthy & herbaceous flavours give way to berries, dark plum, black cherry, cola, clove & cinnamon with a distinct figgy-ness. Aromas replay on the palate with the addition of smoke. Young vines create such a fresh & vital red wine.
Suggested Food Pairing: As previously mentioned, this is a great sipping wine & can be enjoyed on its own or with BBQ-ed hamburgers given its smoky flavour.
OPTIONAL WINE: Select Late Harvest Vidal 2011 VQA $18.55
A sweet treat delightful on its own as dessert or alongside a fruit tart or soft cheeses.
Savvy Sommelier Tasting Notes: Pale gold in colour. Floral, stone fruit, mineral & sweet citrus aromas. Sweet, crisp & fresh with honey, super-ripe stone fruit, tangerine, pineapple & grapey flavours. The acidity balances the sweetness perfectly.
Suggested Food Pairing: Di Profio’s Select Late Harvest Vidal can easily be served as dessert. If you wish to further indulge then a fruit tart or soft cheeses would match perfectly.
~RECIPES TO ENJOY WITH YOUR SAVVY SELECTIONS~
French Onion Tart
From Smitten Kitchen
Below is (roughly) the recipe for a savory tart shell recommended by Larousse Gastronomique. If you have a go-to crust that you love, feel free to use it here. If you can’t be bothered making one, there’s no shame in buying one at the store.
2 cups (250 grams) all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon table salt
1/2 cup (1 stick, 4 ounces or 113 grams) chilled butter, in cubes
3 tablespoons cold water
1 1/2 pounds yellow onions (about 4 medium), halved and thinly sliced
1 tablespoons butter
1 tablespoon olive oil
Scant 1/2 teaspoon table salt
Pinch of sugar
1 cup low-sodium beef, veal or mushroom stock/broth
2 teaspoons cognac, brandy or vermouth (optional)
Freshly ground black pepper
1/2 cup (about 2 ounces or 60 grams) grated Gruyere, Comte or Swiss cheese
1 large egg
1/2 cup heavy cream (half-and-half and milk work too, but cream tastes best)
Mix flour and salt together in a large bowl or the work bowl of a food processor. Add butter; either rub the butter bits into the flour with your fingertips, with a pastry blender or (in the food processor option) by pulsing the machine on in short bursts until the mixture resembles breadcrumbs.
Sprinkle in cold water and mix it with a spoon, a few more cuts with a handheld pastry blender, or by pulsing the machine a couple more times. The mixture should form large clumps. Knead it gently into a ball; it will be on the firm side but should be easy to roll.
Lightly butter a 9-inch round tart pan with a removable base. Don’t have one? Try a standard pie dish or even a 9-inch cake pan. The second two options will be hard/impossible to unmold later, but there’s no harm in serving the tart from its baking pan.
Roll your dough out between two pieces of plastic wrap until it is about 11 inches in diameter. Peel the top plastic layer off and reverse the dough into the prepared tart pan, lifting the sides to drape (rather than pressing/stretching the dough) the dough into the corners. Press the dough the rest of the way in and up the sides. Trim edges, which you can leave ever-so-slightly extended above the edge of the tart pan, to give you some security against shrinkage. Chill for 15 minutes in your freezer.
If par-baking the crust (see notes up top for pros/cons): Heat oven to 400 degrees. Lightly butter a piece of foil and press it tightly into your firm-from-the-freezer tart shell. Fill tart shell with pie weights, dried beans or rice or pennies and blind bake for 12 to 14 minutes. Remove from oven, carefully remove foil and weights, and return to oven for another 5 to 7 minutes, until lightly golden at edges. Set aside until needed.
Melt the butter and olive oil together in a large skillet over medium heat.
Add the onions to the pan, toss them gently with the butter and oil, reduce the heat to medium-low, and cover the pan. Cook the onions for 15 minutes, then remove the lid, stir in the salt and sugar and saute without the lid for about 10 to 15 minutes, until the onions are fully caramelized and have taken on a deep golden color. Pour in cognac, if using it, and the stock, then turn the heat all the way up and scrape up any brown bits stuck to the pan.
Simmer the mixture until the broth nearly completely disappears (wetter onions will make for a wetter quiche), about 5 to 10 minutes. Adjust the salt, if needed, and season with freshly ground black pepper. Let cool until warm. You can hasten this process by spreading the onions out on a plate in the fridge, or even faster, in the freezer.
In a medium bowl, beat the egg and cream together. Gently stir the lukewarm onions into the custard.
Heat oven to 400 degrees.
Assemble & bake tart
Fill prepared tart shell with onion-egg mixture. Ideally, this will bring your filling level to 1/4-inch from the top, however, variances in shells, pans, pan sizes and even onion volume might lead you to have a lower fill line.
You can beat another egg with cream together and pour it in until it reaches that 1/4-inch-from-top line if you wish. Sprinkle cheese over custard and bake 25 to 30 minutes, or until a sharp knife inserted into the filling and turned slightly releases no wet egg mixture.
Serve hot or warm, with a big green salad.
From LCBO recipes by Lucy Waverman, Autumn 2003
Onions can be substituted for mushrooms, if desired. The pastry is very rich and needs to be patted out, not rolled. With the addition of 1 tbsp (15 mL) sugar, the pastry can be used for mini butter or fruit tarts. Use foil tart tins, if desired. These tarts freeze well and will keep for a month.
2 cups (500 mL) all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp (2 mL) salt
1 cup (250 mL) cold butter, diced
1 cup (250 mL) cream cheese, diced
2 tbsp (25 mL) butter
8 oz (250 g) fresh mushrooms, chopped
8 oz (250 g) wild mushrooms, chopped
2 cloves of garlic, chopped
1 cup (250 mL) whipping cream
1 tbsp (15 mL) lemon juice
1/4 cup (50 mL) chopped green onion
1/4 cup (50 mL) chopped parsley
Salt and freshly ground pepper
Place flour and salt in food processor. Scatter over butter and cream cheese. With on-off motion, pulse together. Remove from processor and form into ball. Chill for 30 minutes.
Pinch 1-inch (2.5-cm) balls from pastry and pat into small tart or muffin tins. Chill until needed.
Preheat oven to 400°F (200°C).
Heat butter in skillet, add mushrooms and sauté 5 minutes until juices disappear. Add garlic and cream, bring to boil, add lemon juice, green onion and parsley and season with salt and pepper. Spoon into pastry cases.
Bake for 15 to 20 minutes or until pastry is edged with gold, and mushroom filling is hot. Turn out of tins and cool 10 minutes.
These may be frozen on cookie sheets, placed in freezer containers and reheated from frozen state at 350°F (180°C) for 15 minutes or until filling is hot.
Chris’ Bay Area Burger
1 pound ground beef
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 1/2 teaspoon dried basil leaves
4 hamburger buns, split
Preheat an outdoor grill for high heat. Mix together the ground beef, garlic, olive oil, salt, pepper, and basil.
Divide into four balls, and flatten into patties. Cook the patties for about 3 to 5 minutes on each side, or to desired doneness. The internal temperature should be at least 160 degrees F (70 degrees C).
Remove from grill and place onto hamburger buns. Top with desired toppings & condiments.
Fresh Fruit Tart with Pastry Cream
From Brown-eyed Baker
For the Pastry Cream
2 cups half-and-half
½ cup granulated sugar, divided
Pinch of salt5 egg yolks
3 tablespoons cornstarch
4 tablespoons cold unsalted butter, cut into 4 pieces
1½ teaspoons vanilla extract
For the Crust
1 egg yolk
1 tablespoon heavy cream
½ teaspoon vanilla extract
1¼ cups all-purpose flour
2/3 cup powdered sugar
¼ teaspoon salt8 tablespoons cold unsalted butter, cut into ½-inch cubes
For the Fruit
2 kiwis, halved lengthwise, and cut into half-circles about 3/8 inch thick
2 cups (about 9 ounces) raspberries
1 cup (about 5 ounces) blueberries
Heat the half-and-half, 6 tablespoons of the sugar, and the salt in a medium heavy-bottomed saucepan over medium heat until simmering, stirring occasionally to dissolve the sugar.
Meanwhile, whisk the egg yolks in a medium bowl until thoroughly combined.
Whisk in the remaining 2 tablespoons sugar and whisk until the sugar has begun to dissolve and the mixture is creamy, about 15 seconds.
Whisk in the cornstarch until combined and the mixture is pale yellow and thick, about 30 seconds.
When the half-and-half mixture reaches a full simmer, gradually whisk the simmering half-and-half into the yolk mixture to temper.
Return the mixture to the saucepan, scraping the bowl with a rubber spatula; return to a simmer over medium heat, whisking constantly, until a few bubbles burst on the surface and the mixture is thickened and glossy, about 30 seconds.
Off the heat, whisk in the butter and vanilla. Strain the pastry cream through a fine-mesh sieve set over a medium bowl.
Press plastic wrap directly on the surface to prevent a skin from forming and refrigerate until cold and set, at least 3 hours or up to 2 days.
Whisk together the yolk, cream and vanilla in a small bow; set aside.
Place the flour, sugar and salt in a food processor and process briefly to combine. Scatter the butter pieces over the flour mixture; process to cut the butter until the mixture resembles coarse meal, about fifteen 1-second pulses. With the machine running, add the egg mixture and process until the dough just comes together, about 12 seconds.
Turn the dough onto a sheet of plastic wrap and press into a 6-inch disk. Wrap in plastic and refrigerate at least 1 hour or up to 48 hours.
Remove the dough from the refrigerator (if refrigerated longer than 1 hour, let stand at room temperature until workable).
Unwrap and roll out between 2 lightly floured large sheets of parchment paper or plastic wrap to a 13-inch round. Transfer the dough to a 9- to 9½-inch tart pan.
Ease the dough into the pan corners and press the dough against the fluted sides of the pan; if some sections of the edge are too thin, reinforce them by folding the excess dough back on itself. Run the rolling pin over the top of the tart pan to remove the excess dough. Prick the bottom and sides of the dough all over with a fork.
Set the dough-lined tart pan on a large plate and freeze for 30 minutes. (The dough-lined tart pan can be sealed in a gallon-size zipper-lock plastic bag and frozen up to 1 month.)
Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
Set the dough-lined tart pan on a baking sheet, press a square of foil into the frozen tart shell and over the edge, and fill with metal or ceramic pie weights. Bake for 30 minutes, rotating halfway through the baking time.
Remove from the oven and carefully remove the foil and weights. Continue to bake until deep golden brown, 5 to 8 minutes longer. Set the baking sheet with the tart shell on a wire rack and cool to room temperature.
Assemble the Tart
Spread the cold pastry cream over the bottom of the tart shell, using an offset spatula or large spoon. Arrange the kiwi slices in an overlapping circle around the inside edge of the pastry.
Arrange the raspberries in rings just inside the kiwi. Mound the blueberries in the center. (The tart can be refrigerated, uncovered, up to 30 minutes.)
Remove the outer ring of the tart pan and place the tart onto a serving platter; serve.
Enjoy your Savvy Selections!
Renata and Eugene Roman purchased 40 acres of land in 2000, which is now home of Rosewood Estates Winery and Meadery. Their goal was to start a small-batch artisanal winery and meadery. Winemaker Natalie Spytkowsky tells it, wines and meads are all about “small and natural”. This philosophy is what allows selective hand harvesting of grape clusters, extensive sorting of grapes to get the best of crop and whole cluster pressing of grapes in gentle cycles. There is no crushing. Grape clusters go straight to the tank and are allowed to settle in cold temperatures. As much as is possible, Natalie naturally ferments the red varietals rather than introducing commercial yeasts. She explains that it takes more time to complete the winemaking process, but in six or seven months after fermentation, it is her opinion that “the wine opens up better and shows more richness and complexity”. Of course this winemaking approach takes passion, patience and commitment.
The meadery side of Rosewood takes on the same philosophical and practical approach. A second generation beekeeper, Eugene realized a longtime dream by teaming up with Natalie to produce mead (honey wine). Mead is made by fermenting honey and water. There are three apiaries attended by the Rosewood team that are positioned throughout the Beamsville Bench. As you might expect, the bees are busy travelling throughout the region. Natalie explains that one bee will visit one million flowers to produce one pound of honey. It may fly a distance as far as 4 times around the world collecting the raw materials for honey. Just think of all the choices it has in the Niagarawine and fruit region?
When we featured Rosewood in our Savvy Selections wine of the month club, we sampled 3 of Rosewood’s meads & were blown away by the Ambrosia Grand Reserve 2006. Savvy Sommelier Wayne Walker sums it up: “Ambrosia was like nothing I have ever tasted before – an incredibly delicious, smooth & unique wine.”
Cheers & Enjoy!
$36 for 375mL bottle - makes a unique gift too!
Savvy Sommelier Tasting Notes: Full bodied, rich & warm is the best way to begin to describe this unique wine. Straw yellow in colour, the aroma & taste of fresh ripe stone fruits (think nectarine, peach) orange marmalade, sweet spices, white flowers & clover. A honeyed texture with a long pleasant finish that lingers on the tongue with one of the sweetest wood flavours that you will ever experienced. There is no other taste quite like it!
Food pairing suggestions: If you have a sweet tooth, you will enjoy this mead with aged cheeses, pates, foie gras & fruit or nut based desserts. On the sweetness level it is a 10 – compared to icewine that is usually in the 30’s
What Is Mead?
Courtesy of Rosewood Estates website
Mead (also known as honey wine) is made from the fermentation of honey and water. Honey is flower nectar collected by domesticated honeybees (apis mellifera). Honey is a remarkable product which contains a complex mixture of sugars, enzymes, proteins, organic compounds and trace minerals. These compounds give honey its distinctive flavor and aromas. These carry over into mead production and lend a distinctive flavor to the finished mead.
Mead was the first fermented beverage enjoyed by modern mankind. Mead first showed up as a beverage almost 10,000 years ago. It is a deep part of human history and a link to our forefathers. In ancientGreece, Hippocrates used mead as a tonic. Vikings believed that honey and mead had magical properties and were a gift from the heavens (Valhalla). In Celtic tradition, no wedding was complete without a mead toast to the young couple…FOR A SWEET MARRIAGE. It has been claimed that the word honeymoon comes from a tradition where a newly married couple drank mead for a full moon to ensure a long life and a happy marriage. We find it an intriguing and historical product which links us to human history.
Honey - Nature's Original Sweetner
At Rosewood, we produce and sell natural un-pasteurized honey on the Estate. Our busy bees Apis mellifera – fly the Beamsville Bench andTwentyValley to gather nectar from the flowers to produce sweet golden honey for your enjoyment. Honey is known to provide us with many health benefits and provides instant fast burning energy. Honey can be used extensively in cooking from making smoothies to honey baked hams.
Using only grapes grown on their property, the Mavety family has been growing grapes in the Okanagan for over 40 years – true pioneers! For the first 21 years, they supplied premium grapes to commercial wineries when finally the allure of producing quality wines inspired them to craft their own label - Blue Mountain Vineyard & Cellars - in 1991. The family has not looked back since!
Today, on their 31-hectare estate, they make limited quantities of complex wines from noble varietals including Pinot Noir, Gamay Noir, Pinot Gris, Pinot Blanc and Chardonnay -- the same varietals found in the Champagne, Burgundy and Alsace regions of France.
Cheers & Enjoy!
LCBO # 350108
Savvy Sommelier Tasting Notes: This is a beautifully crafted wine made with Chardonnay grapes that half have been aged in oak while the other half was aged in stainless steel tanks. The result is a medium bodied white wine with a combo of buttered popcorn, warm spices & a zippy long finish. Reminds me of a dense pound cake or a flaky croissant. Easy drinking & round in the mouth. Each sips begs you to come back for more. This wine will go down too easily, so get two bottles & save yourself the disappointment when you reach the bottom of the bottle.
Suggested Food Pairing: A great match for BBQed pork tenderloin or a heavy fish - tuna or swordfish steaks.
Pinot Noir is known by winemakers as the “heartbreak grape”. This grape variety needs care & nurturing around the clock. Difficult to grow in the vineyard & always changing in the cellar, crafting a good wine of Pinot Noir is the pinnacle of any winemaker’s personal achievement.
There are two classic styles of Pinot – cherry or earthy. Depending on the winemaker’s preference, the Pinot will be crafted to emphasize the terroir. At Coyote’s Run Winery, they have a unique property of red & black soils. They intentionally grow Pinot Noir vines on both & make the individual wines to taste the difference of their terroir!
Cheers & Enjoy!
Savvy Sommelier Tasting Notes: A deep red colour with aromas of black cherry, black currant & a whiff of earthiness that reminds you have a walk in the forest. It is a dry medium bodied red wine with subtle tannins that lingers into a velvety elegnat finish. It's a Pinot that is worth every penny!
Suggested Food Pairing: Pinot Noir is a versatile wine – it can be served chilled or at room temperature. As the wine warms up, aromas, tastes & levels of acidity changes too. Classic matches with Pinot are roast duck, grilled salmon & mushrooms.
Coyote's Run Estate Winery has been a feature winery in our Savvy Selections wine of the month club. Call on the Savvy Team (613-SAVVYCO) to arrange for this wine (and others from Coyote's Run) to be delivered to your home or office. Here's another idea: Subscribe to Savvy Selections & you will always have outstanding Ontario wines on hand - none of them you will find at the LCBO!
With a wine route map on her knee, Savvy Sommelier Debbie followed the country roads that lead to this new boutique winery in the depths of Prince Edward County. Definitely worth the visit! Lighthall Vineyards owner & self taught winemaker Glenn Symons was eagerly awaiting her visit as he was excite to pour a glass of his soon-to-be-released sparkling wine. This was Glenn's new creation and you could see that he was 'bubbling' over with excitement. With coaching from his friend Frederic Picard (winemaker at Huff Estates), Glenn has every reason to be proud of this bubbly. ..and his other wines too as he is making a big impression already!
This sparkling wine is different is several ways. First, there is no cork, just secured with a bottle cap like closure. And it is made with Vidal grapes that are often saved for dessert wines – yet this wine is far from being sweet!
Savvy Sommelier Tasting Notes: There’s delicious refreshing acidity with aromas of citrus, pear & crunchy apple with a crisp finish.
Suggested food pairings: Served well chilled, this wine is lovely on its own, with oysters, or paired with light appetizers. Be sure to pack a bottle of this sparkling wine for your next picnic.
Cheers & Enjoy!
Prince Edward County is Canada’s fastest growing wine region with 25+ wineries awaiting your visit - only a three hour drive from Ottawa. Housed in a heritage Loyalist barn, owner & winemaker Richard Karlo crafts outstanding white, rose, red & even port wines! Karlo Estates Winery is definitely a must visit on your next trip to "The County".
Savvy Sommelier Tasting Notes: Everything about this wine is watermelon – its colour, aromas & taste – with a splash of tangerine & ruby red grapefruit. Crisp & refreshing, this medium bodied Rose feels delicious in your mouth.
Suggested Food Pairings: Unwind with a glass on the deck, at the cottage, or pack with a picnic – don’t you agree? Here’s to summer!
Cheers & Enjoy!
Karlo Estates has been a feature winery in our Savvy Selections wine of the month club. Call on the Savvy Team to arrange a couple of bottles or a case of this wine or others from Karlo Estates right to your door. Better yet, subscribe to Savvy Selections & each month you will have outstanding Ontario wines that you won't find at the LCBO delivered to your home or office!
One of Savvy Sommelier Susan’s recent wine finds!
Winemaker Kevin Panagapkos has been involved in the Ontario wine industry over 10+ years, with a brief stint in New Zealand. In 2007, he decided to start his own ‘virtual winery’ named 2027 Cellars. Why 2027? Kevin owns a small Pinot Noir vineyard in Beamsville & it has the registration number 2027! He focuses on making wines using three grape varietals - Riesling, Pinot Noir & Chardonnay - to create a clear expression of the terroir.
Cheers & Enjoy!
Savvy Sommelier Tasting Notes: This Mosel-style Riesling has clean crisp aromas of citrus, mineral & a whiff of petrol. Dry, juicy & definitely mouth-watering, the fresh flavours of lemon-lime, stone fruit & green apple complement racy acidity & minerality. Great balance & a lasting finish – a fantastic wine find!
Suggested food pairings: A great choice for fish or pork tenderloin.
Pondview Estate Winery is a family affair. The Puglisi family have been grape growers for over 3 decades. In 2008, Lou was crowned the distinguished title “Grape King’ & toured the Okanagan Valley in British Columbia where he met other small family owned wineries. Returned inspired, Lou & his extended family decided to establish Pondview to craft their own wines made with grapes from their well established vineyard. More & more grape growers in Niagara are transforming their grape farming business to incorporate a winery as well. With a commitment to viticultural & winemaking excellence along with a welcoming tasting room offering traditional Italian cheese & antipasto, Pondview has become an overnight success.
Cheers & Enjoy!
Savvy Sommelier Tasting Notes: This wine is a blend of Merlot, Cabernet Franc & Cabernet Sauvignon grapes harvested from the remarkable 2010 vintage. Aged in the cellar in a combination of American & French oak barrels for 12 months, this is a powerful Bordeaux style wine. This wine reminds Debbie of red & black – juicy red & black cherries, red & black plums, strawberries & blackberries even red & black licorice! The barrel aging adds warm spices with firm tannins & a lingering finish.
Suggested Food Pairing: Fire up the BBQ to serve with burgers, steak or serve with a hearty lamb stew. See how the wine changes as you nibble on the Bleu D’Élizabeth or L’Apprenti Sorcier creamy cheeses.
Pondview Winery has been a feature winery in our Savvy Selections wine of the month club. Would you like some of this wine? Our Sommeliers will offer their recommendations of other Pondview wines to make a delicious selection for you. Call on us 613-SAVVYCO or email@example.com
Or subscribe to Savvy Selections & wines like this one will be delivered to your home or office!