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Patti's Blog

Savour, Relax & Explore at Huff Estates

Savvy Selections - Ontario wine of the month club

Savvy Selections wine of the month club 
Featuring Huff Estates Winery

– January 2015 –


Prince Edward County – known by many as ‘The County’ – is a quick & easy getaway – for a day or two, even a weekend.  Have you been?  About 2.5 hours from either Ottawa or Toronto, there are 30 plus wineries awaiting your visit.  A must stop is at the junction of Highway 62 & County Rd. 1.  This crossroads is known by the locals as Huff’s Corner.  Wine tourists know this location on their GPS as Huff Estates Winery.

logoHands down, Huff is a destination to SAVOUR fantastic wines, RELAX in the comfort of the boutique inn surrounded by vineyards & to EXPLORE the Oeno Gallery exhibiting contemporary art & a unique sculpture garden on the fringe of the vineyard. And this is just one of The County’s wineries. It is no wonder that MacLean’s Magazine has named this wine region as “One of Canada’s Great Escapes”.

Lanny & Catherine Huff have deep roots in The County as they were both born and raised here.  They also share a passion for fine wines. When apple orchards were being transformed into vineyards at the turn of the century (aka in year 2000), a special opportunity existed for them to return to The County & harmonize their two passions.  Lanny will tell you that, “once you have Prince Edward County in your blood, you are bound to return. It is a very special place with a long tradition of growing & an exciting new future in fine wine production.  When my passion for wine could no longer be put aside, I decided to return to The County.”

Huff BottlesHuff Estates will continue to share its family’s history of the land by producing exceptional wines source from its well-maintained vines & complemented with the wine making expertise of Frederic Picard who was lured to The County from Burgundy France. ”We aim to create a unique destination & provide not only fantastic wine, but also accompany great food, fine art, luxurious accommodations offering a memorable experience”, Lanny explains.

Ready for a roadtrip?

After you enjoy the following bottles in your Savvy Selections, we are certain that you will want to visit Huff:

2012 Cuvée Janine – a rosé sparkling crafted in the traditional French Champagne method

2012 South Bay Chardonnay – a new style for Huff: an unoaked Chardonnay that “dances on your palate”

2012 Gamay  –  a full bodied wine that surprised us with big flavours!

2013 First FrostThe latest release of Huff’s signature “sweet & playful” wine that has become a favorite with the Savvy Team.  If you would like some of this wine, just let us know.

You won’t find these Huff Estates wines at the LCBO

Huff makes such a small amount of these wines that none of them are at the LCBO. If you would like additional bottles of your new favourite Huff wine, call me on 613-SAVVYCO (728-8926) or send an email to to arrange an additional delivery. Savvy Selections is all about introducing you to wonderful Ontario wines!

Debbie & Savvy Team



Huff Estates Winery

Presented by Sommelier Patricia Petty


This past October, I spent two wonderful weekends exploring the back roads of The County & tasting some incredible wines. There was definitely a buzz in the air wineries were in the midst of harvest. 2014 was an exceptional year for growing grapes & there is expectation that the wines will be fantastic too – stay tuned!

There is a saying amongst wine growers that, “September makes the vintage”.  A burst of sunny, dry weather is what the winemakers hope for…and this year, that is exactly what Mother Nature delivered. An abundance of clean fruit bursting with flavor was picked, and while fermentation continues in the cellars, vineyard crews have hilled up (winespeak: put the vines to bed under a protective layer of soil – only done in PEC) for another winter. Added to that, this week’s snow squall have insulated the vines even more.

Oak trees protect the vineyards

Prince Edward County is a wine region that is less than 10 years old.  Many were skeptical at first, yet the soils & growing conditions of The County lend themselves to crafting great wines. Lanny Huff believed in the region’s potential & wanted to be part of the growing industry.

In addition to the estate on Huff’s Corner, he has 150 acres of land on the quiet South Bay shore guarded by ancient oak trees towering over the vineyard.  Lanny explains that, “Oak & wine are linked together from earliest wine making traditions. We are dedicated to the production of only the finest wines that this age old relationship of oak & grape can create”.

Add experienced people to craft the wines

Success at a winery is created with the vines as well as the individuals who have both the skill & the passion to transform those grapes into great wines. The team at Huff comes to The County with a wealth of worldly experience.

Lanny’s first business is in the plastics industry.  When wineries were breaking ground in The County, Lanny ceased the opportunity to combine his passion for travel & wine along with his desire to return to his roots.

Frederic PicaHuff frederic picardrd (left), Huff’s winemaker has helped put The County on the world wine maps. He studied in Beaune, France & crafted wines in many wine regions around the world before joining Lanny in 2001 to open the doors at Huff. Jason, the General Manager returned to Huff after studying wine in Australia. Alex is the vineyard manager and when not in the fields, he can be found in the cellars assisting Frederic. During my visit, he was feverishly cleaning the tanks in preparation for the harvest.

Brian Hanna, the winery’s Sommelier & Angela Braun, the Retail Manager, will make you feel right at home when stop by. Be sure to ask for a winery tour with Brian – he is passionate about wine, food & most importantly how the marriage of these two can create a unique experience – he certainly “WOWed” me!

Connected to the family

Jason HuffAfter a lovely stay at Huff Estate’s Inn, I spent a good part of the day with Jason (right) & Brian. Jason confessed, ”while he is my uncle, I am proud to call Lanny my mentor”. The property where the winery sits was originally owned by the Huff family. It changed hands many times over the years & reverted back to the family when Lanny purchased it. Jason proudly told me, “Growing up, Lanny introduced me to this industry. He taught me the important lesson of constantly driving the business from the ground up – from farming, through manufacturing to sales.”

Years ago while in the Barolo region of Italy, I remember a young winemaker named Aldo, who told me that in the wine industry, you “learn by the seat of your pants”. Coincidentally, Jason said the same thing, “there is an element of calculated risk yet, you learn best simply by doing.” Going into its 13th year of business, Jason feels the winery is at a sustainable point in its growth & sees the production of new products & innovation as the path to growth on a moderate scale. Jason explained that Frederic is intentionally moving his winemaking style to use less oak for some of their wines. An example would be the unoaked Chardonnay that you have received in your Savvy Selections. 25% of the wine was aged in oak barrels & this is notably significantly less than what has been used in previous vintages. Brian, explains that Frederic wants to showcase the natural characteristics of The County grapes “unencumbered by the straight-jacket of lumber”.

Grab your corkscrew & get ready for a delicious experience. Here’s to you discovering your own perfect pairings with Huff wines.




It is clear that Brian loves what he does in his ‘retirement’. If you enjoy the game of pairing wine with food as much as we do, get ready for a delicious time with Brian when you visit the winery. He often says that the wine would be best paired with “whatever comes out of the kitchen”, meaning no special occasion, fancy meal or complex recipes are needed to enjoy Huff’s wine.  We have featured some of Brian’s wine & food pairings, while others were ‘a-ha!’ moments from the Savvy Sommeliers.

Cuvée Janine, VQA 2012 $29.95

Frivoulous Fizz” is how Huff describes this wine. A sparkling Rosé created with 100% Pinot Noir grapes from nearby Hillier vineyards. Kick up your heels with as glass or two of this beautiful red crabapple hued sparkling wine created in the traditional method and allowed to sit on the lees  (winespeak for the process of leaving the yeast used for fermenting with the wine as it ages to impart more flavours) for 12 months to further develop its flavors.

Savvy Sommelier Tasting Notes: This crab apple coloured bubbly on the nose shows a subtle smoky, sweetness accompanied with slightly salty notes on the palate. In addition, there is a subtle tartness and hints of white pepper on the palate as well as refreshing cranberry/apple, watermelon, strawberry, pomegranate and raspberry notes.

Suggested Food Pairings: This is a refreshing sparkling wine with a perfect affinity for a wide variety of foods. Brian commented that this wine would be fantastic with “whatever comes out of the kitchen.”

Our Savvy Sommeliers agreed with its versatility. We saw this bubbly being served with everything from salmon or crab cakes, smoked trout or Peking Duck or even BBQ spareribs would be a fantastic pairing.  Surprise your dinner guests & serve this rosé bubbly at the end of a meal with a Pavlova dessert with ripe strawberries, raspberries and blackberries or a bowl of beautiful ripe cherries. YUM!


South Bay Unoaked Chardonnay, VQA 2012 $21.95

“Vintage after vintage, the quality of the wines have improved remarkably and despite the cold climate and the challenges that growers have to face, the terroir in The County is unique. Elegant, mineral, floral, fresh and linger are the words that now define the wines I make at Huff and these descriptions are fitting for The County wine region too.” Frederic Picard, Huff winemaker. 

Savvy Sommelier Tasting Notes: Bright yellow color and on the nose we find refreshingly ripe fruit with both lemon and tropical notes. There are floral accents, orchard fruit (think apples or pear), fresh baked brioche and roasted almonds. The subtle notes of oak showed through with butterscotch and a distinct creaminess from the lees. Savvy Sommelier Debbie Trenholm commented that the slight oak “gently dances on your palate”. This is an elegant, full, clean, round and smooth wine which truly showcases the winemakers expertise.

Suggested Food Pairings: If you are a lover of seafood, look no further than linguine with lemon garlic shrimp or fettuccine with baby clams in a white wine sauce. Roast chicken with garlic and fresh herbs and a touch of lemon in the accompanying gravy would be delicious as would pork scaloppini with a lemon and caper sauce. Or, once again surprise your guests and serve with desert – a classic French Apple Tarte Tatin.


Gamay, VQA 2012 Ontario, $24.95

My New Year’s Resolution: drink more Gamay! This one is a beautiful expression of this varietal that hails from a dry, sunny vintage of 2012.  The grapes were grown in Niagara and shipped to Frederic to work his magic. (note –  Gamay grapes are hard to grow in The County as they are not a hardy grape variety.)  Jason describes this wine as a “Bistro Beauty” and we couldn’t agree more. Certainly a food friendly wine.

Savvy Sommelier Tasting Notes: Cherry-plum in color and with notes of black berry, dark plum, oak, spice, leather and dark chocolate infused with cherry. Gamay wines tend to be light bodied – this one surprised us.  Full flavours & soft tannins provide both structure and roundness to a fresh acidity present that makes it a beautifully food friendly wine. In France, Gamays are typically served slightly chilled, so shock your guests and throw it in an ice bucket for 10 minutes or pop in the fridge to chill slightly (15 mins should do the trick). Have fun with this wine – as the wine warms up to room temperature notice how the tastes & flavours change.

Suggested Food pairings: This Gamay would pair beautifully with a cheese and charcuterie board – include pate, terrines, cold cuts; tomato based pasta dishes; rustic and simple dishes – a simple Shepard’s Pie, Moussaka, your favorite meat loaf or chili, cabbage rolls (my favorite); Spanish-style chicken or sausage dishes; grilled pork in the summer; roast chicken in the winter. I think it is evident that this wine will go with so many of your favorites. 

Cellaring: Drinking well know, can cellar for up to 5 years or more.



First Frost, VQA Prince Edward County, 2013 $24.95

winter harvestNew Release and a fan favorite at Huff Estates! “This wine teases the palate with white peach and aromas of beeswax, honey and floral notes. A delicate balance of sweetness and acidity, it delivers a thirst quenching finish. Made with Vidal grapes and hand harvested from our estate vineyard…our fruit”

Savvy Sommelier Tasting Notes: This unique wine is created with 2/3 normal dry Vidal wine and 1/3 wine created from grapes harvested after the “first frost” and between 7 – 8 degrees Celsius. The result is a hint of natural sweetness in the wine. Described as “sweet and playful”, lemon in color with a golden hue. It is a light dessert wine that features whit floral notes and honeyed aromas. Baked apple, apricot and stewed stone fruit will fill your glass. There is a perfect acidity that follows through.

Suggested Food Pairings: Easily served with a pan-seared Foie Gras accompanied by poached pears and a simple reduction of the wine accented by fresh thyme. Hungry yet? But, if you want to stick to a dessert theme, how about a simple Vanilla panacotta; a lemon tart; a poached pear with a hazelnut mouse or a nectarine crostata…all desserts which would enhance the flavors found in this very special dessert wine. Or after dinner it would pair well with a light blue cheese!




With Huff Estates Cuvée Janine…

Mixed Berry Pavlova

From Ina Garten – The Barefoot Contessa
Serves 6
The components for this dessert can all be prepared ahead of time and assembled just prior to serving. You are going to WOW your guests!

IngredientsHuff icebucket


4 extra large egg whites, room temperature
Pinch salt
1 cup sugar
2 tsp corn starch
1 tsp white wine vinegar
½ tsp vanilla extract
Sweetened whip cream
Fresh strawberries, hulled and sliced
Fresh blueberriesFresh raspberries

Triple Raspberry Sauce

½ pint fresh raspberries
½ cup sugar
1 cup seedless raspberry jam
1 Tbsp raspberry framboise liqueur




Preheat oven to 350 degrees

Place a sheet of parchment paper on a sheet pan and draw a 9” circle on the paper using a plate as a guide. Turn the paper over so the circle is on the reverse side.

Place egg whites and salt in a bowl and beat on high speed until firm, about 1 minutes. With mixer on high, slowly add the sugar and beat until it makes fir, shiny peaks, about 2 minutes. Sift the cornstarch onto the beaten egg whites, add the vinegar and vanilla and fold in lightly with a spatula. Pile the meringue into the middle of the circle on the parchment paper and smooth it within the circle, making a rough disk. Bake for 1 ½ hours. Turn off the oven, keep the door closed and allow the meringue to cool completely for about an hour. . It will be crisp on the outside and keep soft on the inside.

Invert the disk onto a plate and spread the top completely with the sweetened whipped cream. Combine the berries and toss with about ½ cup of the raspberry sauce or enough to coat all the berries completely. Spoon berries carefully into the middle of the Pavlova, leaving a border of cream and meringue. Serve immediately in large scoops with extra raspberry sauce.

Triple Raspberry Sauce

Place the raspberries, sugar and ¼ cup water in a small saucepan. Bring to a boil, lower heat and simmer for 4 minutes. Pour the cooked raspberries, the jam and framboise in the bowl of a food processor and process until smooth. Chill.


With Huff Estates South Bay Unoaked Chardonnay…

Creamy Parsnip, Celery & Apple Soup

From Canadian Living Magazine 40th Anniversary Edition
Serves 6 to 8


2 Tbsp unsalted butter
1 leek (white & light green parts) sliced
¼ tsp ground ginger
1 pinch salt
1 lb parsnips, peeled and sliced
3 ribs celery, sliced
1 Granny Smith apple, peeled, seeded and chopped
3 cups chicken broth (use low-sodium if desired)
3 cups water
¼ cup whipping cream
2 tsp Dijon mustard
2 tsp cider vinegar 


In Dutch oven melt butter over medium heat; cook leek, ginger and salt, stirring occasionally until softened, about 8 minutes .

Stir in parsnips, celery and apple; cook stirring occasionally for 3 minutes. Add broth and water; bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer until parsnips are tender, about 20 minutes. Let cool for 10 minutes.

In batches in blender, puree soup until smooth; return to pot. Stir in cream, mustard & vinegar. Reheat to serve.

For a definite “Bistro” take on this recipe serve in shallow bowls with Crispy Sage and Proscuitto on top.

To create crispy sage simple heat olive oil in a sauté pan. Add fresh sage leaves and lightly sauté until leaves are crisp; drain on paper towels and reserve.

For the prosciutto, simply slice into thin strips and then sauté in the same pan. Drain and reserve.

To garnish the soup, drizzle a small amount of olive oil on top of the soup, place proscuitto and sage on top of the soup and you have a restaurant-worthy version of this soup!


With Huff Estates Gamay…

Pan Seared Duck Breast with Dried Cherry Jus

From Patti Petty’s kitchen
Note from Patti:
Don’t be intimidated by using duck breast. It is an easy preparation with results that will WOW your guests. 


1 Mallard or Muscovy Duck Breast, 450g
4 oz. Roasted Chicken Demi-glaze Jus
1 bottle of medium bodied red wine (Huff Estates Gamay will be perfect!) – go ahead & drink while cooking what you don’t use in the recipe!
3 tablespoons dried cherries


Preheat oven to 425 degrees

Trim some of the fat from the duck breast, leaving about ¼” on. Trim any sinew or silver skin from the meat. Season with salt and pepper.

Using a small frying pan, turn heat to medium high. Place breast in pan, skin side down. Fry for several minutes, until fat is slightly rendered and browning.

Place pan with breast in the oven, still skin side down and roast for 7 minutes.

While the duck is in the oven, macerate the dried cherries in the red wine to allow them to plump slightly and take on the flavours of the wine.

Remove duck from oven, cast off rendered fat. Turn the breast over in the hot pan and let rest for 1 minute (skin side up). After a minute, remove the breast from the pan and let rest.

While the duck rests add cherries with some of the wine and the chicken Demi-glaze to the pan. Over high heat reduce to a sauce like consistency (about ½). Not too runny or too thick.

Before serving, warm duck breast in the oven. Slice thinly against the grain, which runs length-wise down the breast. Fan out on plate, pour sauce over and serve.

This method is per duck breast so multiple by the number of guests you are serving.

Serve with local in-season vegetables for this very simple yet memorable dish.


With Huff Estates 2013 First Frost…

Rustic Nectarine and Blackberry Crostata with Cornmeal Crust

From Epicurious
Serves 8

A crostata is simply an Italian free form tart or a type of pie. This recipe can be made with any type of stone fruit in season or what you can find in your favourite store.



2/3 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 cup polenta (coarse cornmeal)*
3 tablespoons sugar
1 teaspoon (packed) grated orange peel
3/4 teaspoon salt
14 tablespoons (1 3/4 sticks) chilled unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
1/3 cup (or more) ice water

Filling and baking

1/4 cup sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons corn starch
4 medium nectarines, each pitted and cut into 16 slices
1 1/2-pint basket of fresh blackberries
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 egg, beaten to blend (for glaze)
Raw sugar crystals
Peach preserves, heated
Vanilla ice cream


For the Crust

Combine first 5 ingredients in processor and blend 5 seconds. Add butter; using on/off turns, blend just until butter is reduced to pea-size pieces. (To ensure a flaky crust, be careful not to overwork the butter.) Add 1/3 cup ice water. Using on/off turns, blend until dough comes together in moist clumps, adding more water by teaspoonfuls if dough is dry. Gather dough into ball; flatten into disk. Wrap; chill at least 1 hour. (Can be made 1 day ahead. Chill. Let soften slightly at room temperature before rolling out.)

Roll out dough on lightly floured sheet of parchment paper to 14-inch round, turning dough occasionally to prevent sticking. Slide rimless baking sheet under parchment. Transfer dough on parchment to refrigerator. Chill until dough firms slightly, about 30 minutes. 

For Filling and Baking

Stir sugar and cornstarch in medium bowl to blend. Mix in fruit and vanilla. Let stand until juices are released, stirring fruit occasionally, about 30 minutes.

Preheat oven to 375°F. Transfer baking sheet with dough to work surface. Let stand 8 minutes to allow dough to soften slightly if too firm to fold. Spoon fruit and juices into center of dough. Arrange fruit in even 10-inch-diameter layer in center. Brush 2-inch border of dough with egg glaze. Lift about 2 inches of dough border and pinch to form vertical seam. Continue around tart, pinching seam every 2 inches to form standing border. Fold border down over fruit (center 6 inches of fruit remain uncovered). Brush folded border with egg glaze; sprinkle with raw sugar.

Place baking sheet with tart in oven. Bake until crust is golden brown and fruit filling is bubbling at edges, about 55 minutes. Remove from oven; slide large metal spatula under tart to loosen from parchment. Brush fruit with preserves. Slide tart onto rack. Cool 45 minutes. Serve warm or at room temperature with ice cream.

* Available at Italian markets, natural foods stores, and some supermarkets.


Bon Appetite & Enjoy your Savvy Selections!

Heavenly wines made at Devils Wishbone

SS stamp lo res

Savvy Selections wine of the month club 
Featuring The Devils Wishbone Winery & Vineyard

– May 2014 –


Did you know there are so many wineries are right in our back yard? It’s true the Savvy Team is always travelling great distances to discover new wine regions for Savvy Selections and yet only 270km from Ottawa and 240km from Toronto we find Prince Edward County (PEC) on the shores of Lake Ontario and seemingly surrounded on all sides by water. This emerging region – a recognized VQA wine region since 2007 – offers a tremendous variety of wines from a new breed of winemakers who have built a community of collaboration to craft fine wines. When speaking to these winemakers and owners about what it is they do, their passion oozes. And, passion creates wonderful wines!

Come & get lost in The County

One of the joys of  Prince Edward County is getting lost on the country roads. A few years ago, I was coming from Some Where, going Some Where-else when low & behold, I came across The Devils Wishbone. Their winery and vineyards sit along County Road 7 and you reach them by wandering along a road with rock and shale outcroppings on one side of the road and views of Adolphus Reach on the other. It truly is a beautiful location.

What’s in a name?

The Devils Wishbone seems like a curious name for a winery but it is one rooted deeply in the history of the county. Back approximately 15,000 years ago when the glaciers retreated from this area they left a soil comprised of clay and loam on a limestone substrata. The amount of soil varies greatly from approximately 2” – 10” and the area where we find The Devil’s Wishbone, when allocated to one of the early settler’s, was actually in the shape of a wishbone. Because the soil was so poor for farming, those settlers called this area “The Devils Wishbone”.

Paul Gallagher, a retired accountant from Toronto, will tell you more of the story when you visit.  Savvy Sommelier Patti Petty had two interviews & remembers Paul stating, “We may be in concert with the Devil but we make heavenly wines”!

Paul calls the vineyards his “children” and the grapes are his “babies”. All of The Devils Wishbone wines are personal to Paul and he won’t pick a favorite…he loves them all. Our Sommeliers tasted them all…and loved them too. But we had to make a choice for you.

In your Savvy Selections you will find:

2012 Riesling VQA, Prince Edward County – a heavenly wine that… Dances with the Devil

2012 Cabernet Franc VQA, Prince Edward County –  a beautiful ruby, ripe and well-balanced wine that will age well. We suggested holding on to it for a couple of years.

2012 Pinot Noir VQA, Prince Edward County“This wine is devilishly delicious.  It makes me smile” I remarked when I first sipped it.

The Devils Wishbone makes such a small amount of wine that none are available at the LCBO. If you would like additional bottles of your favourite Devils Wishbone wine, call me on 613-SAVVYCO (728-8926) or send an email to to arrange an additional delivery. It is always my pleasure to introduce you to wonderful new Ontario wines!

Cheers & Enjoy!

Debbie & Savvy Team


The Devils Wishbone

Presented by Sommelier Patricia Petty 

Paul worked for 35 years as an accountant in Toronto and during those years, between the early 1980’s and the mid 1990’s he traveled frequently to France with restaurateur clients where he would spend time talking to the winemakers. In 1997, while on a trip to Burgundy he tasted Michel Lafarge’s Pinot Noirs from a small single vineyard. And, a passion was born.  

Paul discovered The County in 2002. He was looking for a place to slow down and to get his strength back after suffering a stroke in 1998 and then having open-heart surgery after several heart attacks. Coming to The County felt right for Paul; it was a place to heal, to breathe and to play in the dirt.

The Barn is the cornerstone

Savvy Company - Devils Wishbone barnThe property had an old barn and restoring it was crucial to creating the winery. Paul will tell you it is the cornerstone of the winery and that “he just had to save her”. Interestingly, Paul claims that it was the barn that helped bring his strength and improve his health.

The barn now houses the wine cellars (aka Paul’s domain), the tasting room and retail operation (aka his partner Jennifer’s domain), and a beautiful space upstairs to sit and enjoy the view and sip a glass of their wine. Roy, the vineyard manager, takes care of the farming side of things. And growing grapes after all is just that…farming!

I asked Paul about his approach to crafting his wines.  “It is simple,” Paul explains, “I want to create both approachable and affordable wines that reflect the terroir of The County”. He believes in sustainable practices in the vineyard, yet his vineyards are not organic. That’s a difficult path to follow, yet he confirms that he uses neither insecticides nor pesticides.

Like so many winemakers, he states without any hesitation that, “The grape is the place where it all starts.” He told me he wasn’t striving to be the best there is; he didn’t feel that was doable. What he wanted to do was to create wines that reflected that “sense of place” and ones that his visitors and customers would enjoy and he certainly has achieved that goal.

Farmers First

Paul speaks passionately about being part of a much bigger idea. Prince Edward County is a new frontier for viticulture and winemaking and is growing as a destination for wine lovers. He wanted to be a part of the agricultural environment in The County and not an interloper. These winemakers for the most part were not “farmers first” but have become farmers. And, there is a sense of, “we’re all in this together” amongst all the different wineries…of which there are now almost 40! Even the largest winery in PEC is a boutique producer, so he believes they are all a part of the same fraternity.

16,500 children

Savvy Company - Devil's Wishbone vineyard 2For Paul, his favorite part of the year is now – when the green starts to show in the spring. Paul describes his vines as 16,500 children and the grapes they produce as his babies. And, when he sees that green he knows they have made it through the winter. For him it is a very personal experience. Paul is very much a pragmatist when it comes to growing the grapes. “You take what you get…that’s farming.”

I asked Paul if he had ever made a mistake when crafting his wines and the answer was, “of course”. His most memorable – he let his 2007 Pinot Noir “get away”. He blended two tanks of his Pinot. Although a simple action, it had a bad reaction as the new blend separated. The wine had to be “tossed” and he lost 400–500 litres. What it taught Paul was a lesson he already knew and that was to slow down. As he says, “He learned by doing!”

Paul doesn’t want his operation to grow too large nor too fast. Currently they are producing approximately 1,100 cases of wine. He talks about growing to a 1,500 case threshold to maintain his original concept of affordability and approachability. He sees his whites – Pinot Grigio (to be released in June), Riesling, and Chardonnay as having achieved this point.  For his reds, Pinot Noir, Cabernet Franc, Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot, these wines continue to come along. In Devil’s Wishbone wines, all are made with County grapes (the exception is the Merlot which is sourced from a Niagara grape grower who practices the same sustainable methods as Paul). He creates a few blends – Wicked White, a Cabernet Franc/Merlot blend and a Rosé using Pinot Grigio.

A Perfect Dinner Party

Paul talks about his 4 Keystone Wines. Those are the Pinot Grigio and Riesling whites and the Pinot Noir and Cabernet Franc reds. Those are his “Perfect Dinner Party”. I would love to sit and partake of that party. After tasting his wines I am certain you will agree!

Famous Visitors?

For Paul it was the impressions of his son Sean and his daughter Sara. He sent Sean his 4 Keystone Wines thinking that his son would just “show” them to his Vancouver friends who are all BC wine lovers. Instead Sean served them at a dinner party and when asked where the wines are from, Sean declared with great pride, “My Dad made them”.

And for Sara, those Keystone Wines, along with embossed glasses, were a part of her engagement party. It was with great pride that she served her Dad’s wines to rave reviews.

Definitely stop for a visit!

Savvy Company - Devil's Wishbone - Paul in vineyardPack a picnic lunch or enjoy a glass of wine in the old barn or sit back & relax in one of gazebos on the property overlooking the lake. The Devil’s Wishbone should definitely be on your list of places to visit this summer!  

How does the vineyard look? 

Debbie visited Devils Wishbone last weekend (May 3rd) and Paul had just finished his first pass of ‘Hilling Down’ the vines.  This is the process of removing the 2 foot high mounds of soil around the rootstock to protect them from the harsh temperatures of winter. 


2012 Riesling VQA PEC $22.00

“Riesling is a variety that is 500 years old. The vines were planted in 2002 and this year we were able to coax out plenty of tanginess balanced with lots of lovely citrus fruits”  – Paul 

Savvy Sommelier Tasting Notes:  We couldn’t agree with Paul more! During our Savvy Selections tasting panel, Sommelier Debbie’s first comment was that it “Dances with the Devil”. Clean, crisp, a full-bodied wine. Notes of pears, ripe peaches, and citrus (think white grapefruit).

This is a refreshing wine with an underlying essence of minerality, perfect for a warm summer evening.

Suggested Food Pairing: Paul loves pickerel and this wine would pair beautifully with any firm white fish. We think it would be lovely with pan-seared scallops as either an appetizer served with micro-greens or as a main. We would also suggest serving this with a chicken curry with a hint of heat.


2012 Cabernet Franc VQA, PEC $26.00

“Aged in 2 year old French oak for the past year, imparting a delicate finish”. – Paul

Savvy Sommelier Tasting Notes:  A beautiful ruby color, with light tannins, clean fruit flavors and well balanced. There are aromas of dark red fruit and perhaps roasted red peppers. You will find flavors of cherries, cranberry and a hint of red candy.

 Suggested Food Pairing:  Our Sommeliers agree, this wine is best with food. Paul suggests lamb chops with a herb crust. With its heartiness, we crave pasta tossed simply with olive oil and crumbled blue cheese. Better yet, try our ‘Drunken Pasta’ recipe on the following pages.


2012 Pinot Noir VQA, PEC $29.00

“This Pinot offers lingering aromas accompanied by subtle layers of black current, black cherry and a hint of pepper.” – Paul

Savvy Sommelier Tasting Notes: When Debbie first tasted this wine her comment was, “This wine is devilishly delicious. It makes me smile”.   There are aromas of red fruit and cranberries, pepper, and hints of oak. On the palate it is a soft, smooth, luscious and elegant wine. It is an approachable wine and that is something that Paul strives for in all of his wines. 

Savvy Sommelier Tasting Notes: Like so many Pinot Noirs, this wine would pair beautifully with salmon on the grill, grilled portabella mushrooms and grilled asparagus…a perfect summer pairing.  Paul suggests serve this wine with small birds such as a Cornish hen, simply roasted and accompanied with seasonal veggies.




With The Devils Wishbone 2012 Riesling VQA…

Scallops with Apple Pan Sauce

From Bon Appétit Magazine, May 2013
Recipe by Lake Austin Spa Resort
Serves 4


2 Granny Smith apples
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
2 tablespoons olive oil
12 large sea scallops (about 1 pound), side muscle removed
Kosher salt, freshly ground pepper
1 tablespoonunsalted butter
1/4 cup hearty sprouts (such as daikon or sunflower) or pea shoots


Core 1 apple; cut into 1-inch cubes. Place in a blender with lemon juice and 1/4 cup water; purée until smooth. Strain the juice through a fine-mesh sieve into a small bowl.

Peel, core, and cut remaining apple into 1/4-inch cubes. Add to bowl. Set aside.

Heat oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Season scallops with salt and pepper. Working in batches, cook scallops until golden brown and just cooked through, about 2 minutes per side. Transfer to a plate; tent with foil to keep warm.

Add butter to skillet along with the diced apples. Cook, scraping up browned bits from bottom of pan.

Add reserved apple mixture and cook, stirring often, until juice is thickened and apple pieces are tender, about 4 minutes.

Spoon over scallops; top with sprouts or pea shoots and season with salt and pepper.

Savvy Company - Devils Wishbone - Paul and Jennifer

In photo at left Paul (centre) & Jennifer (right) at Savvy Company’s County in the City Taste & Buy event, held in Ottawa on April 10.





With The Devils Wishbone 2012 Cabernet Franc VQA…

Drunken Spaghetti (in Italian: Spaghetti Ubriachi)

From David Rocco’s Dolce Vita Cookbook
Serves 4


1lb. (500 grams) spaghetti
1 bottle red wine (a bold style wine – Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc , Malbec or Merlot)
4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
2 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
2 anchovies, finely chopped (optional)
Chilli pepper flakes to taste
1 small bunch of flat-leaf parsley, finely chopped
½ cup crumbled blue cheese, or to taste


In a large pasta pot, put your wine and bring to boil. Add pasta & a splash of oil so the noodles don’t stick together.

In a frying pan, heat up the olive oil. Add garlic, anchovies and chilli flakes if using and cook on medium heat until the anchovies melt into the oil and the garlic is softened. Set aside.

Now, add your spaghetti to the boiling wine, give it a good stir and finish cooking the pasta until al dente, 10 to 12 minutes.

Savvy Company - Drunken PastaWhen the pasta is ready, the wine will have infused the spaghetti, giving it a gorgeous ruby color. Don’t worry about the wine being too strong for the sauce. The alcohol will burn off and leave a sweet delicate taste.

Drain spaghetti from the wine, toss in the skillet with the garlic, anchovy sauce and finish cooking for 30 seconds. Remove from the heat and sprinkle with a bit of the parsley and the blue cheese. Finish with a few toasted pine nuts if desired.

Note: if blue cheese isn’t for you this dish would work beautifully with a freshly grated pecorino or asiago cheese. Don’t be shy to add vegetables such as grilled asparagus, broccoli or beef it up with thinly sliced grilled meat or sausages.

Serving tip:  This stunning and colourful pasta dish will present well on a simple white plate or pasta bowl, giving it a very bistro style look!


With The Devils Wishbone 2012 Pinot Noir VQA…

Roasted Salmon with Lentils

From Bonnie Stern, The Best of HeartSmart Cooking
Serves 6


1 ½ cups dried Puy (green) lentil
4 teaspoons olive oil, divided
1 onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1 teaspoon ground cumin
¼ teaspoon red pepper flakes
1 carrot, finely diced
1 stalk celery, finely diced
1 cup canned plum tomatoes, with juices, pureed
¼ cup chopped fresh parsley
Salt to taste
1 ½ lb. salmon filet, cut in 6 pieces, skin removed
1 teaspoon chopped fresh rosemary


Place lentils in a large pot and cover generously with water. Bring to a boil and cook gently for 25 – 30 minutes, or just until tender. Rinse and drain well.

Meanwhile, heat 1 tbsp. oil in large, deep non-stick skillet on medium heat. Add onion and garlic and cook gently for 5 minutes. Add cumin and hot pepper flakes. Cook for 30 seconds.

Add carrot, celery and tomatoes to skillet. Cook for 8 – 10 minutes or until carrots are just tender and liquid from tomatoes has reduced.

Add drained lentils, parsley and pepper to skillet. Taste and adjust seasonings, adding salt if necessary. Keep warm.

Heat remaining 1 tbsp. oil in separate non-stick skillet on medium-high heat. Pat salmon dry and sprinkle with rosemary. Cook for 1 – 2 minutes per side or until slightly browned and crusty.

Transfer salmon to a baking sheet lined with parchment paper (or leave in skillet if it is ovenproof). Bake in preheated 400-degree oven for 7 – 9 minutes or until just cooked through.

Serve salmon on bed of lentils.

This dish would be equally delicious with a simple grilled salmon served over the lentils. Serve with roasted asparagus as a side dish for either version of the salmon.


Enjoy your Savvy Selections!




Brazil’s royal fruit – the pineapple

My trip to Brazil was great in so many ways – culture, cuisine & curiosities.  Traveling up Amazon Jungle, walking the streets of Rio de Janeiro with the infamous Cristo Redentor overlooking the city, seeing Iguazu Falls which is one of the Seven Wonders of the World…not to mention the Ilha Grande. I even got to see fresh pineapples growing in the Amazon! Try this recipe for grilled pineapple and you can almost hear the birds in the rainforest.

Sweet Grilled Pineapple with Rum Sauce 


1 Pineapple – see pineapple plants growing along Amazon River at left
vanilla ice cream
Rum Sauce (recipe below)
Coconut, fresh toasted & unsweetened


Cut off the top and bottom of pineapple; cut off the skin and then slice pineapple into thick slices and remove cores.

Place on greased grill pan over medium high heat; grill turning once until grill marked and heated through. I prepared the pineapple early in the day and gently reheated in the oven.

Photo credit: Patricia Petty



Ingredients for Rum Sauce

¼ cup butter
¾ cup dark brown sugar
½ cup whipping cream
2 Tbsp rum (I used dark navy rum)

Method for Rum Sauce

In saucepan, melt butter over medium heat; stir in sugar and cook, stirring until simmering, about 4 – 5 minutes. Remove from heat and whisk in cream.

Return to heat and bring to gentle boil and cook, stirring gently until sauce has thickened. Remove from heat and stir in rum.

For each serving cut pineapple ring in half, place 1 scoop of ice cream on top. Drizzle with warm rum sauce and sprinkle with coconut. Refrigerate any leftover sauce.


Bom apetite! as they say in Brazil and savour those fruitlets as each pineapple tree can only produce on pineapple every 3 years.


Brazil’s Fish stew to die for

Are you ready for a new name for fish stew? Moqueca do Ilha Grande.  This recipe was inspired by a great dinner venue…we sat at a tiny restaurant on the beach on the island of Ilha Grande, about 2 hours south of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. It truly was a memorable meal that evening and recreating it brought back incredible memories of an amazing trip.

Harbor view on Ihla Grande off Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Photo credit: Patricia Petty

Moqueca do Ilha Grande aka Fish Stew Ilha Grande


60z. portions of firm, thick white fish (I used halibut)
Fresh shrimp (optional) are also typical for Brazil
Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
2 Tbsp olive oil
1 large onion sliced into thin rounds
½ cup white wine (I had a bottle of Riesling open)
2 Tbsp tomato sauce
4 plum tomatoes, seeded and chopped
1 red bell pepper, seeded, deveined and chopped
1 cup canned unsweetened coconut mild (premium brand tends to be very thick and creamy)
Fresh cilantro sprigs for cooking and extra, finely minced as a garnish
¼ cup chopped cashews
Shavings of fresh coconut (optional)



Preheat the oven to 400. Season the fish and set aside

In a deep, ovenproof skillet, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the onion and sauté until wilted, about 5 minutes. Add the wine and reduce down to about half. Add the tomato sauce and cook another minute or so. Add the fresh tomato and red pepper, cook another 8 – 10 minutes or until thickened. Then stir in the coconut milk.

Place the fish in a lightly oiled Dutch oven or casserole and pour the sauce over the fish. Cover and bake for 5 minutes. Add the shrimp if using and gently spoon sauce over it.

Add the cilantro sprigs (4 – 6), cover and bake until the fish is opaque, the shrimp is tender and the sauce is bubbling, approx. 5 – 10 minutes.

Sprinkle the cashews, cilantro and garnish with the fresh coconut shavings.

Serve with simple boiled rice and a hot sauce if desired. I took fresh broccoli and shaved the flower heads and then folded it in to the hot rice.

Bom apetite!


Wine Pairing


2011 Fielding Viognier, VQA Ontario

$25.95 (LCBO Vintages 142323) 13.5% alcohol





2012 Morgadio da Torre Alvarinho Vinho Verde, Portugal

$17.95, (Vintages  960955) 12.5% alcohol

Both wines paired beautifully with the fish stew, in fact any Alvarinho would be a good match.



I hope you enjoy making – and eating – this traditional fish stew as much as I did.  The memory of that wonderful meal on the tiny island of Ihla Grande (there’s an oxymoron for you) will stay with me forever.

Patricia Petty
Accredited Sommelier with Savvy Company 


My trip to ‘coffee country’ – Brazil

Bem VindoWelcome.  On a recent trip to Brazil – the largest country in South America – I spent 5 days travelling up the Amazon, visited Iguazu (a world heritage site with 250 waterfalls), Rio de Janerio, and Ilha Grande. This trip inspired me to create a dinner menu based on the foods I tasted there, so different from our Canadian fare. The cuisine of Brazil is influenced by that of Portugal who settled the country and Africa, with the slaves who were brought over.

Wild Rice in the morning mist, Amazon River. Photo credit: Patricia Petty

My Brazilian Dinner began with appetizers.  First up was shrimp and mussels simply poached in a white wine ( I had a Reisling open) infused with fresh herbs (including cilantro), lemon peel, and garlic. Once the seafood was cooked I strained the liquid, reduced it down and added coconut milk before adding the seafood back in. Of course there were ham and cheese filled empadinhas, various olives and wine. We found wherever we went empadinhas (almost always filled with ham and cheese of some sort) were on the menu and olives were always brought to the table – what a nice touch.

With the appetizers, I served an Argentine Torrontes, an Ontario Rosé and of course beer, although not the Brazilian Brahmin that we drank everywhere. Next was a Portuguese inspired Caldo Verde. I used a recipe, which is somewhat untraditional from Martha Stewart’s web site and is one created by Emeril Lagasse. See here for full details of Emeril’s “new-style” Caldo Verde so-called because the kale is cut into thin strips and is cooked only until crisp-tender.

Our main course was inspired by an amazing fish stew I had at a small seaside restaurant on Ilha Grande, an island approximately 2 hours south of Rio de Janeiro and a short ferry ride away. I am not sure what the fish was although I know it came from the waters around the island that afternoon. It was fragrant with coconut and cilantro and truly wonderful. Vegetables were not commonly found in most restaurants as a side dish but I served this with the rice that accompanied it there and green beans. The white rice had the flowerettes from brocolli shaved very fine and folded in…pretty green specks!

View of the harbour, Ilha Grande, Brazil. Photo credit: Patricia Petty

Our desert was inspired by the fresh pineapple found everywhere. We actually saw pineapple growing in the Amazon jungle on a 3 hour trek one morning. Dinner was a way to relive my journey through Brazil. Funny how things come back to life when you’re eating food. The recipe for Caldo Verde is listed below & the Brazillian fish stew and the grilled pineapple will follow in the recipe blogs this week.

I always believe in drinking local when travelling and oh how I tried – the restaurants carried only a few local wines, the rest on the list were mostly from Portugal, Chile, Argentina. So  it saddens me to say that I didn’t find any great wines from Brazil while there I was there – but maybe I just needed to stay a bit longer! Or I’ll have to go back again soon to continue my search.


Bom apetite! as they say in the ‘Country of coffee’.
Patti Accredited Sommelier Savvy Company

Emeril’s New-Style Caldo Verde

From Martha Stewart

Emeril calls this version “new-style” because the kale is cut into thin strips and is cooked only until crisp-tender, which differs from the traditional version. Serve with crusty bread.


2 tablespoons olive oil
1 1/2 cups finely chopped yellow onions
1 tablespoon minced garlic
2 pounds Idaho potatoes, peeled and cut into 1/2-inch cubes (sweet potatoes could be used as an alternative) this is my note
7 cups chicken stock or canned, low-sodium chicken broth
Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper
8 ounces kale, large stems and ribs removed
8 ounces firm (smoked) chorizo or other hot smoked sausage, diced or crumbled
1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro
1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
2 tablespoons chopped fresh mint


Heat the olive oil over medium-high heat in a large soup pot, and add the onions and garlic  then cook until the onions are wilted, 4 minutes.

Add the potatoes and chicken stock, cover, and bring to a boil. Season with salt and pepper, and add the crushed red pepper. Reduce the heat to a simmer and cook, uncovered, until the potatoes are tender, 20 minutes.

While the potatoes are cooking, thinly slice the kale. Set aside.

When the soup is thick and the potatoes have begun to break down, add the sausage and cook for 5 minutes. Stir in the kale and simmer until the leaves have softened but are still slightly crunchy and the flavors have melded, 15 minutes.

At the end, stir in the cilantro, parsley, and mint, and season to taste with salt and pepper. Serve hot.

Suggested Wine Pairing:

2010 Hewitson Miss Harry, Austrailia,Grenach, Syrah, Mouvedre Well balanced, fruit, pepper notes. Paired beautifully with the smokiness of the soup.





Cheers & Enjoy!


‘Pinot geek & a lover of soil’ – winemaker at Keint-He

Savvy Selections wine of the month club
Featuring Keint-He Vineyard
–  July 2013 –


We often travel great distances to discover new wine regions; to taste and experience new and exciting wines. And yet 270km from Ottawa and 240km from Toronto we find Prince Edward County (PEC) on the shores of Lake Ontario. This emerging region, designated as a VQA wine region in 2007, offers a tremendous variety of wines from a new breed of wine makers who believe in collaboration and in crafting wines in both new and exciting ways but ones based on traditions from regions long experienced in wine making. I find great passion when speaking to these winemakers and owners about what it is they do. And, passion creates wonderful wines.

The soils and climate of PEC lend themselves to many of the viticulture practices and varietals of Burgundy, France. Amongst those wineries you will find Keint-He Winery & Vineyards.  This winery sits just past Wellington on the Loyalist Parkway – also known as Highway 33 – as it winds its way along the windy shores of Lake Ontario.

Keint-He (pronounced Kent-hay) is the native word for one of the four Seneca villages located in PEC region. The Seneca’s were one of the five tribes of the Iroquois. Keint-He was later francocized into Quinte and used in English names such as the Bay of Quinte.

Like father, like son

Ron Rogers, a retired banker, purchased two vineyard properties in 2006. The winery has evolved from creating their first vintage in 2007 in a small shed on the property, to their current winery producing approximately 3,000 cases with an inviting tasting room & facility. As the expression goes ‘like father, like son’, Ron’s son Bryan became the winery’s General Manager. “Dad keeps us grounded,” Bryan states with a smile.

Growth and expansion at the winery will increase their yield to between 8,000 and 10,000 cases over the next few years. Coming this year are two 5000 liter oak      fermenters. These will permit Keint-he to both ferment and age their Pinot Noir in the same vessel. Another innovation that keeps Keint-He moving forward.

In your Savvy Selections, you will find:

Voyageur Vidal VQA 2012 – the exceptional weather in 2012 creates this stunning white wine.

Voyageur Rose VQA 2011 –  a serious twist on Rosé…not pink at all!

Portage Pinot Noir VQA 2011an elegant, well defined Pinot

OPTIONAL WINES:  Try this crowd pleaser with great body and staying power Chardonnay VQA 2009 or else a very unique and high-scoring wine from The County Pineaux Sauvage VQA 2008. If you asked me to add either of these to your wine list this month … you are in for a treat!

Keint-He makes such a small amount of wine that none are at the LCBO. If you would like additional bottles of your new Keint-He favourite wine, call me on 613-SAVVYCO (728-8926) or send an email to me on to arrange an additional delivery. It is always my pleasure to introduce you to wonderful new Ontario wines!

Cheers & Enjoy,

Debbie & Savvy Team

Keint-He Winery & Vineyards

Presented by Savvy Sommelier Patricia Petty


You have been introduced to Ron Rogers, he is the man behind Keint-He Winery and Vineyards…. now let’s meet the rest of the Keint-He team – they certainly are a tight team!

Wine is way better than mating frogs!

Bryan Rogers is the General Manager and until recently the main sales force of the team. Bryan started out his early career in the sciences and in communications. When I first met him about a year ago he told me that he decided making wine was way more interesting than the mating habits of frogs. His previous “life” gives him his two mentors – Charles Darwin and David Suzuki.

In a ‘cellar conversation’ Bryan (left) told me that he loves the fact that Keint-He took shape just 8 months prior to the County getting its “Designated Viticulture Area (VQA)” status. “Call me a softy, but I feel there is some romance and excitement in starting something and not really knowing where it will lead you. PEC is a new frontier for viticulture and winemaking. There is a real sense of, “we’re all in this together” amongst all the different wineries…of which there are now almost 40! Even the largest winery in PEC is a boutique producer, so we’re all a part of the same fraternity”.

For Bryan, his favorite part of the season is harvest. “I like it when the grapes have all been picked and processed. It’s an especially tiresome point in the season for the whole team. At that point you can look across the cellar and say quite literally, these are the fruits of our labor. And then you sleep for three days”.

From New Zealand to Niagara to The County…

Ross Wise – the winemaker – is the new kid on the block having joined the team in December 2012. He comes from Flatrock Cellars in Niagara via New Zealand where he earned a degree in oenology and then learned his craft. During his time at Felton Road in Central Otago, Ross became as he puts it “a Pinot geek and a lover of soil”. When I asked him what excites him about being in The County he explained, “when I walk between the rows, kick the soil and see the rocks, I get excited”. Ross will tell you he “really likes veraison, the stage of the season when the grapes are changing color. Most of the vineyard work is done at this stage, and the berries (winespeak for grapes) are starting to develop their flavors.  It is a waiting stage, with anticipation for the vintage ahead”.

Both Bryan and Ross see Prince Edward County as having the best potential to grow Pinot Noir grapes in Ontario. The reason? Bryan will initially give you a one-word answer, limestone. And, in two words, limestone and PEC’s island microclimate. From the winemaker’s perspective, Ross explains, “our Pinot Noir grapes are ripening about two weeks later than they are in Niagara – and this is a distinctive advantage.  It means that the grapes are ripening in cooler temperatures and accumulating sugars slower and the flavors and aromatics are also developing slowly.  This is also the reason for the great acidity in PEC Pinot Noir.  Pinot Noir likes a large diurnal range of temperatures (winespeak for warm days and cool nights) and PEC delivers this during peak ripening times”.

Hardest farming – ever!

The rest of Keint-He team is made up of Mark Gilbert and Caitlin Prior.  Mark is a “County Boy” who comes from a farming family and has been with Keint-He since the beginning. Mark states, “This is the hardest farming he’s ever done”. He constantly worries about the weather but then that is so much a part of what he does. He “lives” in the vineyards from spring through to harvest. Even though he is more of a beer drinker he will admit to enjoying a glass of Keint-He Chardonnay.

More than just wine at this winery…dinner, music & more

Caitlin is the Retail Manager and Special Events Coordinator. She comes from Foreign Affair Winery in Niagara. She is a pro at WOW-ing visitors with all that Keint-He has to offer.

Caitlin has put together an exciting list of events, which she hopes will give visitors a reason to sit and enjoy the winery this summer. There is live music at the winery most weekends throughout the summer; in early September there will be the 1st Annual BBQ; the winery will be hosting a couple of Winemaker’s Dinners throughout the season and, as always there will be Keint-He’s wines to sip, savor and enjoy on the front patio. And, along with that wine you can enjoy foods this summer prepared by the Agrarian Restaurant in Bloomfield, another venture of Patricia and Bryan Rogers. Check out the Keint-He website for dates and times.

They may be small, but they have major innovations!

Growth and expansion at the winery will increase their yield to between 8 and 10,000 bottles over the next few years. Coming this year is a new oak fermentation system that will allow them to both ferment and age both the Pinot Noirs in the same vessel. I have never heard of such a thing – that in itself is a reason to put Keint-He on your list of places to visit this summer.

Cheers & enjoy your Savvy Selections!




Voyageur Vidal VQA 2012   $17.00

“The 2012 Vidal is a wine that pretty much made itself. Right from the day it was harvested it was so naturally balanced, and took very little winemaker effort at all.  It’s nice when that happens” – Ross, Keint-He`s winemaker.

Savvy Sommelier Tasting Notes: Our Sommeliers found this wine full of ripe fruit flavors. Perfumed with flower blossoms of orange and a hint of vanilla, it was described as “a big fruit salad in a glass”. This wine had aromas and flavors of pear, peach and nectarines, green apple and grapefruit. The flavors of pineapple, kiwi and juicy fruit gum played on the palate. The finish was long, smooth and refreshing.

This is a refreshing wine, perfect for a warm summer evening. Simply put…DELICIOUS!

 Suggested Food Pairing: Pork tenderloin with an orange glaze (recipe follows) or white fish grilled with a mango/pear salsa. At Keint-He, the team favorite is a beet and goat cheese salad. Or serve this wine with a summer pear tart with a dollop of sweetened mascarpone cream – it would pair beautifully on the other end of dinner.

Voyageur Rosé VQA 2011 $15.00

“Not your average Rosé wine!” Savvy Sommelier Debbie commented during the tasting panel. A serious twist on Rosé as it is a blend of Pinot Noir, Pinot Meunier and St. Laurent grapes – all sourced from Keint-He`s Foxtail Vineyards. The individual wines were then aged in French oak barrels for 10 months, then blended and bottled in the winter of 2013.

Savvy Sommelier Tasting Notes: The color reminded us of watermelon or rhubarb. The nose was a complex blend of floral notes, cinnamon heart candy, vanilla, smoke, tart red cherries, rhubarb and dried fruits. Tastes of raspberry, pink grapefruit and rhubarb appear on the palate and a slight earthiness and oak play out in the background.

Suggested Food Pairing:  We suggest trying this with a watermelon and olive salad (recipe follows) or salmon served along side a warm grilled salad.

Portage Pinot Noir VQA 2011 $25.00

This is a blend of grapes from three of Keint-He’s vineyards – Closson, Benway and Foxtail. Each portion was aged separately in French oak for 12 months then blended together to make this fine Pinot.

Savvy Sommelier Tasting Notes: A beautiful light red in color, this wine shows aromas of raspberries, cherries, vanilla, dried fruits of raisins and dates. “It reminds me of bunch of long stemmed red roses” one of our Sommeliers commented. It is warm and velvety on the palate with light tannins. A smooth mouth feel, with flavors of raspberry, cherry, rhubarb & hints of brown sugar or molasses sweetness and earthy mushroom notes hiding in the background.

Suggested Food Pairing: Like so many Pinot Noirs, this wine would pair beautifully with salmon on the grill, grilled portobello mushrooms or perhaps if you are adventuresome, a seared and pan roasted duck breast. Chef Michael Sullivan of the Merrill Inn in Picton has graciously given us a recipe for his version of this dish. He likes to serve it with a rosti (or shredded potato cake) and fresh locally sourced vegetables – French green beans, peas, asparagus or cauliflower in season.


OPTIONAL WINES  – We couldn’t resist suggesting these Keint-He wines!

Chardonnay VQA 2009  $20.00

This wine is an easy drinking crowd pleaser; priced at an excellent entry point into Keint-He’s premium wine offerings.

Savvy Sommelier Tasting Notes: This wine is bright, straw-hued with a slight green tinge. On the nose we find creamy notes of butter, maple, fresh peach, pears and yellow plums and a mix of herbs – spearmint & thyme. Medium bodied, this wine shows some of the stone and minerality the county is known for and has good length and staying power.

Suggested Food Pairing: Pair this wine with steamed mussels and herbs; grilled shrimp or seared scallops; and/or a quinoa salad with roasted vegetables. This is a great easy drinking wine that would be perfect for sipping on the patio with a simple cheese plate…think Camembert or a young Riopelle.


Pineaux Sauvage – Botrytis Affected Pinot Noir VQA 2008  $25.00 (375ml bottle)

A first for Prince Edward County! You may have heard the saying that wine is made in the vineyard…this is a good example. The key tool here is mould. Yes mould! Known by winemakers as Botrytis. It occurs only during damp, misty mornings and warm, dry afternoons. As the mould grows on the bunches of Pinot Noir grapes, it breaks down the thin skins & extracts the natural water in the grapes, leaving shriveled bunches. When harvested, although not appealing looking, the wine is extra concentrated with nectar. The result is a special wine known as Noble Rot.

Savvy Sommelier Tasting Notes: Brown sugar in color, with aromas that reminded us of Sherry or Cognac combined with the heart-warming notes of raisin butter tarts. When this delicious nectar hits your lips, tastes of marmalade, warm spices with a Cognac like alcohol burn. It is dry, has a light finish and is not too high in alcohol (12.6%).

Suggested Food Pairing: Surprisingly, this is not a sweet dessert wine. Rather a wine that can be served as an aperitif or to unwind after a meal. Do, as the French do & serve with Foie Gras, cheese & charcuterie or with cakes – gingerbread or rum cake would be fantastic!




With Keint-He Voyageur Vidal VQA 2012 …

Pork Tenderloin with Burnt Orange and Sage Sauce

From LCBO Food & Drink, Summer 2009
By Marilyn Bentz-Crowley
Serves 4


4 centre-cut pork chops cut 1 inch (2.5 cm) thick or
2 large pork tenderloins, butterflied (this cut was used when testing)
1 tbsp (15 mL) peanut or canola oil
Several whole sage leaves

For Sauce

2 large oranges
1⁄4 cup (50 mL) granulated sugar
1⁄4 cup (50 mL) water
1 cup (250 mL) chicken broth or stock
2 tbsp (25 mL) cider vinegar
2 tbsp (25 mL) all-purpose flour
4 large fresh sage leaves, chopped
1⁄4 to 1⁄2 tsp (1 to 2 mL) salt
Several grindings of black pepper
2 tbsp (25 mL) butter, softened


To make sauce, zest oranges; set aside. Then cut away orange skin & segment orange by cutting away internal membranes. Set aside segments and juice squeezed from membranes.

Combine sugar and water in a heavy bottom medium skillet. Shaking pan occasionally, cook over medium heat for 7 to 9 minutes or until sugar caramelizes. Deglaze with broth stirred with vinegar, juice from orange segments and flour. Bring to a boil for 2 to 3 minutes or until thickened.

Then stir in chopped sage, salt, pepper and a couple pinches of zest. Using a small whisk to pick up butter, rapidly whisk into sauce. Remove from heat; keep warm while grilling pork.

Rub pork with oil; lightly season with salt and freshly ground black pepper.

Preheat barbecue to hot.  Grill for 6 minutes per side for chops or until internal temperature for medium doneness is 150°F (65°C) for butterflied tenderloin.

Place the pork, slicing tenderloin if using, on warmed serving plates. Add reserved orange segments on top of pork. Nap with sauce; garnish with orange zest and sage leaves. Serve right away with grilled zucchini and seared rapini or spinach. Or serve this with the beet and goat cheese salad that Keint-He suggests. We were glad we did!

With Keint-He Voyageur Rosé VQA 2011 …

Watermelon & Black Olive Salad

From Wish Magazine



For Salad

4 cups seedless watermelon cut in ½ inch cubes
1/3 cup chopped black olives
1/3 cup chopped green onions
Place all ingredients in a large salad bowl & set aside.


For Vinaigrette

1 tablespoon garam marsala*
1 teaspoon sugar
1 teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
2 tablespoons rice vinegar
¼ cup olive oil

* garam marsala: An East Indian spice mixture that generally includes coriander seed, black pepper, cumin, cardamom, turmeric, nutmeg, cloves & cinnamon. Purchase a package of this spice mixture at an Indian grocery or health food store. 


Mix together all ingredients for vinaigrette.  Gently mix in vinaigrette to cover watermelon.  Chill until ready to serve

TIP: this can be served as skewers of watermelon instead of a salad.  Make as a salad & marinate in vinaigrette for an hour, then thread onto skewers alternating periodically with whole black olives.  Either way, this dish has a WOW factor!

With Keint-He Portage Pinot Noir VQA 2011…

Merrill Inn Seared Duck Breast with Dried Blueberry Jus

Chef Michael Sullivan of the Merrill Inn in Picton
This is one of the most popular dishes at the Inn’s highly acclaimed restaurant


1 Mallard or Muscovy Duck Breast, 450g
4 oz. Roasted Chicken Demi-glaze Jus
3 tablespoons dried blueberries





Preheat oven to 425 degrees.

Trim some of the fat from the duck breast, leaving about ¼” on. Trim any sinew or silver skin from the meat. Season with salt and pepper.

Using a small frying pan, turn heat to medium high. As Chef Sullivan says, the secret is in a searing hot pan! Place breast in pan, skin side down. Fry for several minutes, until fat is slightly rendered and browning.

Place pan with breast in the oven, still skin side down and roast for 7 minutes.

Remove from oven, cast off rendered fat. Turn the breast over in the hot pan and let rest for 1 minute (skin side up). After a minute, remove the breast from the pan and let rest.

While the duck is resting add blueberries and chicken Demi-glaze to the pan. Over high heat reduce to a sauce like consistency (about ½). Not too runny or too thick.

Before serving, warm duck breast in the oven. Slice thinly against the grain, which runs length-wise down the breast. Fan out on plate, pour sauce over and serve.

This method is per duck breast so multipy by the number of guests you are serving.

Serve with local in-season vegetables for this simple but memorable dish.


Enjoy your Savvy Selections!



Grill Angel Food Cake on the BBQ!

This combines the best of 3 things: a light cake, fresh fruit & BBQ.  Be sure to watch the angel food cake very carefully while it is on the BBQ. Take your eyes away for a second & it could burn…especially when it is coated with maple syrup!


Grilled Angel Food Cake with Fresh Fruit Salsa

2 cups fresh or frozen strawberries – diced
2 golden delicious apples peeled – dice finely
2 kiwi – peeled & diced finely
1 cup raspberries – fresh or frozen
1 cup blueberries – fresh or frozen
1 Tbsp brown sugar
2 Tbsp white sugar (or omit & add more brown sugar)
2 Tbsp raspberry jam (or Farm Boy Fig Jam is also good)
1/2 tsp of cinnamon (optional)


Mix in a bowl & chill until serving.
This is a great fruit mixture to top a bowl of yogurt, pound cake, ice cream…you name it!


How to Grill the Angel Food Cake

  1. Heat BBQ on medium high.
  2. With an already prepared Angel Food Cake, cut cake 6 or 8 slices, brush very liberally with real maple syrup.
  3. Place on a hot BBQ until toasted – the sugar starts to caramelize and you get attractive grill marks (done when it looks like a campfire marshmallow — not the ones that catch fire!).
  4. Serve on a plate topped with a spoonful of fruit salsa and whipping cream (Tip: infused the whipping cream with lavender sugar or a splash of Tia Maria liqueur).
  5. Garnish with a sprig of mint or slice of orange
  6. Be ready for oohs and ahhhs!


What bottle of wine to uncork?

With the fresh fruit and light cake, you have many wine pairing options! Try a bottle of red icewine (made with Cabernet Franc grapes), Sparkling Shiraz  or take a dry approach by serving a glass of sparkling white like Moscato d’Asti made in Italy.


Voila!  Your BBQ’d dessert is ready to eat.


Easy as Pie!

One of our Savvy Selections wine of the month subscribers invited me to dinner & served this dessert.  It is OMG delicious!  And while he fessed up that he doesn’t usually make desserts, this recipe is no sweat at all. His tip – be watchful that the pie pastry doesn’t brown too quickly.

Quick Apple Tart


1 sheet frozen puff pastry (half of 17.3-ounce package), thawed
3 medium Golden Delicious apples, peeled, cored, very thinly sliced
2 Tbsp (1/4 stick) unsalted butter, melted
3 Tbsp white sugar mixed with 1/2 teaspoon (or so) of ground cinnamon
1/4 cup apricot jam, melted



  1. Preheat oven to 400°F.
  2. Line baking sheet with parchment paper. Unfold pastry on parchment paper (do not skip this step!)
  3. Using the tines of fork, pierce 1/2-inch border around edge of pastry, then pierce center all over
  4. Arrange apples atop pastry in 4 rows, overlapping apple slices and leaving border clear.
  5. Brush apples with melted butter; sprinkle with cinnamon sugar. Bake 30 minutes.
  6. Brush melted jam over apples. Put the tart back into the oven until golden, about 8 minutes longer. Serve warm or at room temperature.

What bottle of wine to uncork?

When you pair a dessert with a wine, the rule of thumb is to select a wine that is sweeter than the dessert. Nothing goes better with an apple dessert than Ontario ice wine. Chill a glass of icewine made with Vidal or Riesling or even Gewürztraminer and you have a heavenly match. See our list of suggested Ice wines

Go Nuts With These Nuts & A Glass of Port!

These are my favorite spiced nuts and I’ve been asked for the recipe more times than I can count! I honestly think the secret ingredient is the rosemary—there is lots of it and it is sharp yet fragrant.

This recipe & photo is from Domenica Cooks & is in fact adapted slightly from The Union Square Cafe Cookbook, by Danny Meyer and Michael Romano; 1994 Harper Collins.

Ingredients (this recipe makes 5 cups)

5 cups mixed raw nuts (I like almonds, brazil nuts, cashews, hazelnuts, pecans, and walnuts)
2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh rosemary
1/2 teaspoon cayenne
2 teaspoons dark brown sugar
2 teaspoons fine sea salt
1 tablespoon unsalted butter, melted



  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. Toss the nuts in a large bowl to combine and spread them out on a rimmed cookie sheet. Toast in the oven until they become light golden brown, 15 to 20 minutes.
  3. In the large bowl, combine the rosemary, cayenne, brown sugar, salt, and melted butter. Thoroughly toss the warm toasted nuts with the spiced butter.
  4. Serve warm or at room temperature.

What bottle of wine to uncork?

Quite simply a bottle of port of course.  Whether you prefer a Ruby, Tawny, Late Bottle Vintage or Single Quinta port, there are so many to choose from that you can spend all fall & winter learning about the world of port.


Be Savvy! A quick guide of Ports

The history of Port is closely linked to Portugal’s trading relationship with England.  Port was introduced to the rest of the world by the British, as they searched for an alternative to French wines during the unrest of the late 17th century.

Most of the Port Houses are based inVila Nova de Gaiain, Oporto. The vineyards are carved into the mountainside north of Oporto along the River Duoro that meanders across the north of Portugal before it heads to meet the Atlantic Ocean in the city of Oporto.

The winemaking process results in many different styles including:

White Port
Made with white grapes, white port can range from off-dry to sweet.


Ruby Ports
These Ports have retained their deep red colour.

Ruby  – Young, refreshing port matured in large casks 2-3 years, ready for immediate enjoyment.

Late Bottled Vintage (LBV) – This is made in a specific year (vintage), aged in casks 4-6 years before being bottled.  LBVs can be enjoyed soon after purchasing & will keep several weeks after opening.

Single Quinta Port – ‘Quinta’ is Portuguese for an estate or vineyard, and is roughly equivalent to in wine terms, a French ‘Château’.  A Quinta may (or may not) have an elaborate house on the property.  ASingleQuintaPort is from grapes grown in the best vineyard.  This style matures earlier thanVintagePort.

Vintage Port  – Only produced in exceptional years, & declared a Vintage year by the Port Wine Institute.  This wine spends 2-3 years in barrels, then ages in the bottles for 20+ years.


Tawny Ports
By increasing the wine’s contact with air and wood over time, Tawny matures more rapidly than Ruby & transforms into a delicate orange hued colour & smoother flavour.

Aged Tawny – blends of various harvests, the average age is indicated on the label as “10 year old Tawny” or “20 year old Tawny”.

Colheita – the Portuguese word for ‘harvest’ or ‘vintage’.  This port is made from a single vintage (specific year) & is aged in barrels for a minimum of 7 years.


D is for Dessert! A Delicious Chocolate Terrine

This is the last week in our ABCD blogs where A is for Australian wines, B is for BBQ recipes, C is for Chilean wines and D…well it is for Desserts of all kinds.  Whether you have a sweet tooth or not, we have a treat to serve after every meal.

For starters…Chocolate.  Honestly, who doesn’t like chocolate? Here is a favorite (and easy dessert) from Savvy Sommelier Patti who always gets rave reviews when she makes this dessert.

Bon Appetit!

Bittersweet Chocolate Terrine

From the kitchen of Savvy Sommelier Patti Petty


14oz bittersweet chocolate, coarsely chopped
½ cup plus 2 tbsp. Unsweetened cocoa
5 tbsp. strong espresso coffee
2 tbsp. brandy
6 large eggs, room temperature
½ cup sugar
1 cup heavy cream chilled


  1. One loaf pan, 8½” x 4½” x 3”, greased and lined with baking parchment
  2. Heat oven to 325 degrees
  3. Put the chopped chocolate into a heatproof bowl with the cocoa and coffee. Set over a pan of barely simmering water and melt gently, stirring frequently. Remove the bowl from the heat, stir in the brandy and let cool.
  4. Meanwhile put the eggs into the bowl of an electric mixer and beat until frothy. Add the sugar and beat until the mixture is pale and very thick.
  5. In another bowl, whip the cream until it holds a soft peak.
  6. Using a large metal spoon, gently fold the chocolate mixture into the eggs. When combined, fold the whipped cream in.
  7. Spoon the mixture into the prepared pan, then stand the pan in a bain-marie.
  8. Bake in a preheated oven at 325 for about 1 hour to 1 ¼ hours or until a skewer inserted into the center of the mixture comes out clean.
  9. Remove from the oven, let cool in the bain-marie for about 45 minutes, then lift the pan out of the bain-marie and leave until completely cold.
  10. Chill overnight then turn out. Serve dusted with confectioner’ sugar or alternately prepare a bittersweet chocolate ganache and smooth over entire surface.
  11. Store, well wrapped in refrigerator.


What bottle of wine to uncork?

As the food & wine pairing tip says on the business card of Savvy Sommelier Debbie Trenholm – “A rich, dark chocolate cake & a big, bold red wine – a heavenly match.” Serve a California Zinfandel or velvety Chilean Carmenere or a jammy Cabernet Franc from British Columbia or Ontario.  If you rather a sweet wine with chocolate, then a tawny port or a Hungarian specality – Tokai – would definitely fit the bill.