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Archive for ‘Gift ideas’

Gotta give these gifts!

Posted by Debbie

Tuesday, December 13th, 2016

I visited ‘the mall’ in hopes that I would find a long list of ‘must buy’ gifts for this article. After 2 fruitless hours, I am back at my screen now shopping online. What to get? What to give? This is the never ending question as the holiday season ramps up. Is it getting harder to find a gift for those hard-to-buy-for-people on your list? I agree!

Drumroll please…here are my top gifts for 2016. Hopefully by the time you read this they are not all sold out!

 

For the Foodie…

GIFT IDEA: Spice of the Month Club

spice-clubThe brainchild of Jodi Samis, owner of Cardamon and Cloves mails to you on the 15th of each month an assortment of three different freshly ground spice blends along with recipes using each spice. Each package includes recipes for the featured spices. Three month subscription ($8 per month), six months ($7.50 per month) and 12 months ($7 per month). http://cardamomandcloves.com/monthly-spice-subscription

 

ottawa-cooksFor the Cook…

GIFT IDEA: Ottawa Cooks

They may already have stacks of cookbooks, but the hottest new cookbook in town is Ottawa Cooks written by food writer and restaurant critic Ann DesBrisay. This stunning cookbook is a testament that Ottawa has talented chefs with varying styles of cuisine. Each of the 41 chefs provided two recipes that have been tested by Ann, her sisters and friends in their home kitchen to make sure that all secrets have been revealed.

This book is worth picking up to see how Supply & Demand Food & Raw Bar makes their famous Kale Salad that I always order! Purchase at the featured restaurants, book shops and online.

 

scotchFor any Whisky Lover …

GIFT IDEA: Lagavulin 8 year old Single Malt

To commemorate its 200th anniversary, Lagavulin has released a limited edition 8 year old single malt. Never been done before – look for it at the LCBO $99 for 750mL bottle.

This just-released whisky commemorates Alfred Barnard, the first ever whisky journalist back in the late 1800s. The lore is that he sampled an 8 year old Lagavulin during a visit to Islay, Scotland. He described it as ‘exceptionally fine’ and went on the declare Lagavulin to be ‘one of the rare distilleries that could produce single malt of quality.’

Remarkably a pale colour with easy drinking personality, soothing texture and well balanced. A combination of apricot with smoke, then hints of dark chocolate, mint & sea salt with each sip. Dry & light, it is a whisky that any beginner or collector would enjoy to receive as a gift under the tree.

 

december-vintagesFor the Wine Lover …

GIFT IDEA: Assortment of Sommelier taste tested wines.

The LCBO stocks their shelves extra high during the holiday season. Mesmerized by all of the bottles, it is far too easy to pick up a pre-made gift pack. Instead, buy wines recommended in our If I had a $100, I would buy at Vintages’ blog. This shopping list has our Savvy Sommeliers’ top picks after tasting countless bottles before they go on the shelves in Vintages. Grab a basket, cool tote or a wooden crate and pack up your picks. TIP: periodically Vintages has used wooden crates at the cash for $5 (that will be donated to a local charity).

The latest list of our top picks is at savvycompany.ca/category/if-i-only-had-100/

 

savvy_coolcurds_ColourFor the Cheese Lover…

GIFT IDEA: Cheese of the Month Club

This is a gift that is guaranteed to bring a smile to their face. Like wine and beer clubs, the monthly deliveries contain chunks, wedges and rounds of artisan cheeses that are not readily available at grocery stores. There are two cheese clubs to consider:

Jacobson’s Fine Foods features cheeses from around the world and delivers them to homes in Ottawa. www.jacobsons.ca/products/cheese-of-the-month Subscription is $60 per month plus delivery

Savvy Cool Curds offers monthly subscriptions or one-off shipments containing a variety of Canadian artisan cheeses. To be delivered to a home or work address across Canada. www.savvycoolcurds.ca  Holiday subscription special $55 per month plus delivery

 

For the Entire Family…

GIFT IDEA: Museum Membership

experimental-farm

Did you know that Ottawa has a museum all about food? Located on the Experimental Farm, the Canada Agriculture and Food Museum has neat exhibits, special events and family activities year round. In November they are hosting “For the Love of Cheese” with special programming for all ages. In addition, food themed events and exhibits include Baconpalooza, Taking Care of Beesness, A Piece of Cake & Food Preservation an countless hands on kids weekend programs, this museum is one of the city’s best kept secrets. Family membership starts at $90 & includes membership to Canada Science & Technology Museum as well as Canada Aviation & Space Museum!

 

Now let’s get shopping.
Happy Holidays from all of us at Savvy Company!

 

This article appears in the November – December 2016 issue of Ottawa Life Magazine

 

Is your Ontario bubbly on ice?

Posted by Amanda

Saturday, February 13th, 2016

Love is in the air as we inch closer and closer to the day that embodies all that is romance. Valentine’s Day is when we share our passion with the one(s) we love with just a little more fervour and fanfare than the rest of the year.

Glass and bubblyI can’t think of anything more romantic to sip on Feb. 14 than a fine sparkling wine, those tiny and elegant bubbles that shout love with every pop and crackle as they tickle our tongue. If ever there was a time for Champagne, or as it is called anywhere but in Champagne, sparkling wine or simply bubbly, it is on Valentine’s Day with the one you love over a romantic dinner.

Sparkling wine has always been the poster girl for sexy, romantic, dreamy, love, emotion, celebration and excitement.

Who can forget Champagne house Moët & Chandon’s 2011 international advertising campaign featuring actress Scarlett Johansson? Developed by Paris-based Works Advertisement Agency and shot by renowned British photographer Tim Walker, the photo (below) and video show Scarlett Johansen Moet Chandonthe glamour and sexiness of Johansson enjoying Moet seductively at Trianon, an impressive residence built by Jean-Rémy’s Moët between 1805-1817 on the Moët & Chandon Estate in Epernay, France. (Photo credit: Tim Walker)

Champagne has always aligned itself with beauty, love, celebration and moments that capture our hearts. Johannson was the perfect choice for the campaign.

Here in Canada (and elsewhere in the world), Champagne is not a word that can used to describe domestic sparkling wines, but winemakers still employ the very same techniques as those in Champagne to make those magical bubbles come to life in a glass.

No matter what it’s called, no matter where you are, a nice, chilled bottle of bubbly can put the romance into whatever occasion you are celebrating.

For Valentine’s Day, why not try any one of these Ontario sparkling wines that can be found either at Vintages stores or directly from the winery? It is one of the styles Ontario is very good at.

Here’s our list (in alphabetical order):

chateau de charmes rose sparklingChateau des Charmes Rose Sparkling 2012 ($29, 91 points) — This is a 50-50 blend of Chardonnay and Pinot Noir with a Pinot Noir dosage that was recently disgorged after 18 months on the lees and is made in the traditional method. It has a pretty nose of soft red fruits of raspberry, cranberry and cherry with subtle herbs. A gentle mousse leads to rich, ripe cherry and cranberry fruits that are elegant and lush on the palate. This is a nicely mature and poised rose with a touch of sweetness on the finish.

Chateau des Charmes Brut Sparkling NV ($23, 88 points) — The 50-50 blend of Chardonnay and Pinot Noir was recently disgorged after three years on the lees. It is made the traditional method. The nose shows lemon, toast and citrus that’s bright yet elegant. The tiny bubbles pop on the palate with creamy but fresh lemon, lime, pear, apple fruits all lifted by bright acidity. Great value sparkler.

Featherstone Cuvée Joy 2011 ($35, 92 points) — A traditionally-made sparkler made from 100% estate-grown Chardonnay. This is a delightful, yes, joyful, wine with a nose of brisk lemon, baked apple, toast, citrus and interesting yeasty-bready notes. Perfect tiny bubbles tickle the palate with a lovely melange of citrus, toast and creamy notes all lifted by wonderful, refreshing acidity.

Fielding sparkling roseFielding Estate Sparkling Rose ($30, 90 points) — The is a non-vintage Rose traditionally made from 84% Pinot Noir and the rest Chardonnay with the bulk of the fruit from the 2013 vintage. It’s quite toasty on the nose with fragrant red fruits, herbs, raspberry and leesy/floral notes. It has good acid lift on the palate with tart red fruits, lovely finesse, a lively mousse and a toasty note through the finish.

Flat Rock Cellars Riddled Sparkling 2009 ($30, 91 points) — The base wine is 92% Chardonnay with a touch of Pinot Noir and spends four years on the lees before disgorging. The nose shows lovely and inviting brioche, toast, lemon-lime, grapefruit and apple notes. A soft but persistent mousse delivers an array of bright lime, green apple and creamy pear notes in this nicely aged and mature sparkling wine.

Henry of Pelham Cuvee Catharine Carte Blanche Estate Blanc de Blanc 2010 ($45, 92 points) — This top sparkling wine from HoP is made from 100% estate Chardonnay grown on the Short Hills Bench. About 20% of the fruit is barrel fermented and secondary fermentation in the bottle is followed by 54 months of aging on the lees. The nose is lemony with notes of biscuit, toasted vanilla, saline minerality and brioche. The palate reveals a lively bubble with lemon-citrus, toasty-yeasty notes, orange peel, and subtle earthiness on a luxurious, silky and vibrant finish. Such a beautiful and thought-provoking sparkling wine that can age gracefully in the cellar.

Henry of Pelham Cuvee Catharine Rose Brut ($30, 91 points) — A blend of about 75% Pinot Noir and 25% Chardonnay made in the traditional bubbly method. The nose is lovely with biscuit, cherry, raspberry and subtle herb and rhubarb notes. On the palate it’s quite dry and refreshing with crisp red fruits, pomegranate, apple, citrus, bramble and toasty vanilla notes through a lively, bright finish.

Inniskillin Sparkling Vidal Icewine 2014 ($80 for 375 mL, 94 points) — What a sensational treat from winemaker Bruce Nicholson. Sparkling icewine is extremely difficult to make with few wineries attempting the style, but Nicholson has perfected it. The nose is a gorgeous mélange of orange marmalade, honeycomb, peach and mango. It has a rousing mousse on the palate to go with sweet, compoted fruits, fresh and delicate notes of pineapple, tangerine and peach and a luxurious texture that’s accentuated by the tiny bubbles that tickle the palate through the finish. A rich, exotic treat that is well worth the high price.

Tawse sparkTawse Limestone Ridge Vineyard Spark Riesling 2014 ($20, 88 points) — Organic and biodynamic farming, traditional method and aged 12 months on the lees, the nose shows creamy/toasty notes of citrus and lemon, ripe apple and some swirling mineral notes. It’s bright and juicy on the palate with a lively mousse and leans toward citrus fruit and minerals through a fresh finish.

13th Street Grand Cuvée Blanc de Noir Brut 0 2007 ($70,  94 points) — As mentioned, seven full years on the lees, zero dosage, disgorged in Oct., this adds complexity and freshness to the low-dosage Grand Cuvée regular bottling. The nose shows fresh baked bread, brioche, toast, lemon curd, wet stone, green apple and vanilla cream. There is a fine and dainty mousse to go with biting acidity that props up the wonderful smoky citrus, toast, vanilla, butter and mature apples on the palate with gorgeous complexity and mouthfeel through the finish. It’s highly recommended you grab a bottle or two of this fine sparkling wine.

13th Street Grand Cuvée Blanc de Noir 2007 ($59, 93 points) — A gorgeous and generous nose of lemon and brioche, green apple and fresh baked bread with creamy vanilla and toast accents. It’s built in an austere style, with very low dosage, chiselled acidity and a fine mousse that tickles the palate and gives way to fresh apple and lemon flavours that are just beginning to soften. Tertiary notes of warm toast, custard and tangy minerality add to the complexity of this well-built sparkler. Drinking rather well right now but can still cellar a wee bit longer to draw out further nuances.

13th Street Cuvée Rose NV ($25, 90 points) — This reasonably-priced staple from 13th Street is a Pinot Noir-driven blend with Chardonnay and a touch of Gamay added. It spends two years on the lees. The newest release is primarily from the 2012 vintage. The nose shows fresh red berries, lovely yeasty-toasty notes and a subtle anise accent. The colour is a rich pink hue that is luminous in the glass with an energetic mousse. The flavours range from rich cherries and raspberries to bolder cranberry and toasted vanilla. Showing more elegance than the previous version with a clean and fresh finish.

Redstone Sparkling 2013 ($26, 88 points) — Made in the traditional Champagne method with an untraditional blend of Pinot Noir, Chardonnay and Pinot Gris, this sparkler spends up to 18 months on the lees. It’s a lively and spunky bubbly with a nose of fresh citrus, apple and creamy/toasty notes. It’s driven by racy acidity on the palate and combines lemon, lime and green apple flavours.

and from Prince Edward County…

Hinterland Les Etoiles 2012, Prince Edward County ($39, 92 points) —The 2012 version of Les Etoiles, made in the traditional method, is a blend of 60% Chardonnay and 40% Pinot Noir with a modest 6 g/l dosage. The nose shows grapefruit, pear, brioche, toast and smoky-flinty notes. It’s racy on the palate with a healthy, persistent stream of bubbles that accent flavours of fresh grapefruit, pear, citrus and that vein of flinty minerality. Beautiful bubbly here and worth laying down for a few years.

Hinterland les trois etoiles 2009Hinterland Les Etoiles 2009, Prince Edward County ($49, 93 points) — Only 80 cases of this aged Les Etoiles (on the lees for five years, disgorged in July) are available. It has a beautiful, engaging nose of brioche, yeast, baked bread, bright citrus, pear and apple. The soft, elegant mousse carries toasty, mature citrus notes with subtle green apple flavours and minerals with a creamy texture through the long, luxurious finish.

Hinterland Blanc de Blanc 2011 ($39, 92 points) — This is made from 100% Chardonnay aged in five-year-old oak barrels with zero dosage. The 2011 growing season was a little cooler and wetter than 2009 but it turned out to be a great vintage nonetheless, according to winemaker Jonas Newman. “The Chardonnay, which was destined for 2011 Les Etoiles, was so special that we diverted 3000L for our first Blanc de Blanc. It was bottle aged (sur lattes) for 40 months with only 80 cases produced.” It’s so fresh and perky on the nose with lemon, biscuit, apricot, lime, grapefruit and creamy pear with leesy-vanilla-mineral accents. It’s nicely aged but still bright and cheerful on the palate with citrus, brioche and pear flavours to go with a creamy, textured mouth feel.

 

This has been a special guest blog post by Rick Vansickle, Wines in Niagara

Rick is renowned wine critic & industry writer. In this blog he offers his ratings for recently reviewed sparkling wines using a 100 point system.

 

 

 

Valentine’s Date Night – underground!

Posted by Debbie

Monday, February 1st, 2016

Have you booked your night out for Valentine’s Day yet? Look no further, back by popular demand, we’re hosting our 2nd annual Wine, Craft Beer & Artisan Cheese Tasting at the Diefenbunker.  It’s a date night like no other!  Book your tickets & join us for a fun evening exploring the fascinating Cold War Museum while sipping & sampling hard-to-find Ontario wines, craft beers & artisan cheeses.

Tour & Taste Diefenbunker Blast Tunnel 72dpi

Take it all in! A complementary guided tour of the Diefenbunker will be offered before OR after the tasting event.

Then at 7pm the corks will start popping, the Bunker will be filled with music & Savvy Company’s Cheese Sommelier will serve a variety of Canadian artisan cheeses.  As you mix & mingle in the Bunker’s Cafeteria, our Savvy Sommeliers will lead you through a ‘TOP SECRET’ blind tasting where the bottles of sparkling, white & red wines along with craft beers will be disguised. There’ll be fun guessing the style of wine & craft beer before we unveil the truth.

What’s a blind tasting?

Each bottle – wine & craft beer – will be wrapped in foil so that you can’t see the label. Sip & sample then make your best guess to what it might be.  A Chardonnay? An IPA? Or possibly a Pinot Noir?  At the end of the evening our Savvy Sommeliers will peel back the foil & uncover the truth of each bottle.  Ooohs, ahhs and “I told you so” are guaranteed to be heard.

Book quickly – this unique  event will sell out

 

Event Details

DATE: Saturday February 13
TASTING EVENT: 7 to 9pm

BUNKER TOURS – FREE!Diefenbunker-logo
Pre-event: 6 to 7pm
Post event: 9 to 10pm
** Guided tours must be booked in advance **

Advance Tickets Only
$80 per person
$150
per couple
$60
Designated Driver (alcohol free)

10% off for Diefenbunker members & Inner Square cardholders.  Call the museum for your top secret discount code! 613-839-0007.

All ticket prices include wine, craft beer, cheese samples & good ol HST.

NEW: Order a ‘Care Package’

Fall in LOVE with the featured wines, craft beers & artisan cheeses? You won’t find them at the LCBO or grocery stores. We’ll make it easy for you to order ANY of your new found favorites to take home with you or to be delivered after the event. You can pre-order a ‘Care Package’ – your personal picks of the featured wines, craft beers & wedges of artisan cheeses & we will have your customized parcel will be ready for you to take home after the event – every Care Package will include a set of 4 tasting glasses too.

See you underground!

The Museum Team & our team of Savvy Sommeliers look forward to seeing you at this one-of-a-kind event.

5 team members standing-001

 

A Wine Lover’s Christmas

Posted by Debbie

Monday, December 21st, 2015

The Christmas crunch is on now that folks are realizing that there are only 4 shopping days left.  Our phones are ringing off the hook at Savvy HQ.  Admist the mayhem of last minute purchases to our Savvy Selections wine-of-the-month subscriptions, here are some fun holiday wine photos that we have seen that have made our Savvy elves stop & say WOW.  Thought all of the wine lovers out there would like them too.

Ho-Ho-Ho!

santa
Amanda has added this to her email!

 

This cool card arrived in our mailbox!
This cool card arrived in our mailbox!

 

What a good giggle! Source: www.goodtoknow.co.uk
What a good giggle!
Source: www.goodtoknow.co.uk

 

 

wine-cork-christmas-tree
So…what to do with all of those corks?
Source: https://vinumvine.wordpress.com

 

Source: https://vinumvine.wordpress.com
And what to do with all of the empties??
Source: https://vinumvine.wordpress.com

 

 

 

Hoppy Holidays! Get your Beer Advent Calendar…only a dozen left

Posted by Debbie

Friday, December 4th, 2015

It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas at Savvy HQ! To help craft beer lovers across Ontario get into the holiday spirit, we have created the first-ever Hoppy Holidays Advent Calendar featuring hard-to-find craft beers made locally in Ontario.Hoppy Holidays logo

Finally…it’s here!

Our Savvy Hip Hops subscribers have repeatedly requested (some have begged – LOL!) for this one-of-a-kind sudsy treat.  All of us in Savvy Brew Crew worked hard to make this happen in time for the holiday season.

What’s in the Advent Calendar?

Our Hoppy Holidays Advent Calendar is a 2-4 of delicious craft beers that we have curated from breweries from across the province.  Each box contains 19 cans (473 mL) & 5 bottles (650mL ) – no two beers are the same & there’s no duplications.  It’s an assortment like you have never tasted – there’s every style of beer you can imagine.

Beer lovers are snapping them up!  100 Advent Calendars were made…and there are only a dozen left. Want one?

Click to place your order >>

 

Check out the rock star list of featured breweries:

Calabogie Brewing Co. – Calabogie
Kichesippi Beer Co. – Ottawa
Left Field Brewery – Toronto
Niagara Teaching College Brewer – Niagara
Railway City Brewery – St Thomas
Stack Brewing – Sudbury
Whitewater Brewing Co. – Forrester Falls

What’s the price?

$88 & shipping is FREE.  The price for Hoppy Holiday Advent Calendar is the total combined cost of all of these delicious craft beers. Your credit card will be charged directly by the featured breweries for the retail cost of their beer in your Advent Calendar.

In the spirit of Christmas…shipping is FREE.

Hop to it & join the fun discovery.

Hop to it & order yours >>

 

Limited quantities left!
Once they’re gone…you’ll have to wait ’til next year

 

Psst...share this secret with a friend and we’ll send you $50 gift certificate that you can use for tickets to Savvy Events next year.  We have craft beer events in the works that we know you’ll love.  Simply have your friend mention your name on the order form where it asks: How did you hear about Hoppy Holidays Advent Calendar?

Ho! Ho! Ho!
Debbie & the Savvy Team

 

Sure…we’ll do wine shopping for seniors

Posted by Debbie

Monday, November 23rd, 2015

Have you started your wine shopping yet?  On my fridge, I have a magnet that reminds me “So many wines, so little time”. The truth is that we are creatures of habit and despite so many options,it’s often easier to simply reach for a bottle of wine that we know. Are you like that?

What can a personal wine shopper do for you?

Savvy Company Keep Calm & Drink Canadian Wine t-shirtAt Savvy Company, we are just a phone call away. When a friend called me recently and asked me to help her buy wine for her parent,  I thought – what a great job I have!

“My parents are in their 90’s.They drink a glass of Kim Crawford Sauvignon Blanc every day. And it’s been that way for years.” I have to admit, her parents have good taste in wine, yet I can only imagine what it is like to drink a zippy zingy high acidity wine each day. Shouldn’t it be that variety is the spice of life, as the saying goes?

I called her parents to find out what they really like and was on the ready to pick wines based on their preferences. After all, that is the role of a Sommelier!

Turns out that they buy this wine not only because they like it, they also know exactly where to find the bottles in the LCBO each time they go shopping. The net-net, they need shopping for wine to be dead easy. With both on the phone, they explained, “It is mesmerizing looking at the thousands of different wine labels. We just want to go in, pick up what we want and get out of there with our supply of wine for the next few days.”

Turns out, this ritual happens twice a week! The words on the magnet echoed in my head. Seniors, or for that matter, wine drinkers of any age, can enjoy the discovery of the world of wines without even stepping out their front door.

Keeping seniors off the streets

You know what I mean! There is no need for them to be driving on bad weather days during the winter bound for the wine store. Loblaws and Walmart have this figured out. Both have recently launched online grocery shopping service. Take it one step further, taxis and Uber will even pick up orders at the grocery stores and deliver to seniors’ residences or homes.

When it comes to delivering wine or craft beer, Savvy Company’s Sommeliers will take on this job. “It’s super easy,” explains Amanda Jackson of Savvy Company, “Our Sommeliers spend time finding out what they like in a wine, then arrange for a customized assortment from various wineries throughout Ontario. And it will be delivered right to their door – home, office or even retirement residence.”

Debbie-bottle-boxCustomized wine delivery to seniors residences

“When I learned this service existed, I was very interested.”  Catherine Strevens – Bourque, Director of Lifestyles and Community Relations at the Rockcliffe Retirement Residence. “Customized wine delivery is an impressive  luxury and a service our residents appreciate.  Sage advice, excellent suggestions and  more impressively, Savvy Company will host a wine & cheese and provide ordering options.  This  is an absolute bonus and naturally,  a well attended social event!”

“No longer do we need to call our daughter to take us to the LCBO,” explains Alwyne Greenhalgh who is 92 and lives in her own home with her husband Roy. He pipes in, “Over the years, our personal Sommelier has found delicious wines that I would never have ventured to try. With service tailored to our budget, why wouldn’t anyone have wine delivered? It’s a great way to shop.”

And not just limited to seniors

Having deliveries of wine or for that matter craft beer is a service that’s available for everyone. Slowly it is being recognized as THE new way to shop. So ask yourself (or your aging parents), why bother with traffic when a personal Sommelier can pick wines especially for you to magically arrive at your doorstep. From the comfort of your own armchair, wine shopping has never been easier.

I’ll drink to that!
Cheers,
Debbie

 

Savvy Elves are in the festive mood

Posted by Debbie

Friday, December 12th, 2014

The countdown is on – ready or not, Christmas is next week. In the Savvy office, we’ve been singing holiday songs all month long to keep us in the festive mood while our phones ring off the hook! Here is the SAVVY version of The 12 Days of Christmas to make your Holiday Shopping easy…and bright!

On the 1st day of Christmas, my true love gave to me…

A one-of-a-kind gift of a subscription to the new Savvy Hip Hops Craft Beer of the month club.  A Taste Case of beers from different Ontario breweries is delivered each month!

Savvy Company keep calmOn the 2nd day of Christmas…

2 cool red Keep Calm & Drink Canadian Wine T-shirts.  $25 each.  Call our Savvy Elves on 613-SAVVYCO (728-8926) to wrap up a couple for you.

On the 3rd day…

3 Savvy gift certificates for tickets to upcoming Savvy Events in 2015. Order $100 gift certificate, we’ll increase it to $125 value – only during the holidays!

Savvy Selections iconOn the 4th day…

4 month subscription to Savvy Selections wine of the month club . Our #1 wine gift! Each month, three different hard-to-find Ontario wines selected by our team of Savvy Sommeliers conveniently arrive at your home or office. “It’s Christmas for adults. Wines arrive on my doorstep every month!” – Colleen

On the 5th day…

5 ‘Must Buy’ wines from the LCBO featured in our blog If I only had $100, I would buy at LCBO. Use this shopping list for great value wines at Vintages as chosen by our Savvy Sommeliers Julie Stock & Susan Desjardins

Savvy Hip Hops beer of the month clubOn the 6th day…

6 month subscription to Savvy Hip Hops  – Ontario’s largest craft beer of the month club. On the Friday closest to the 2-4 of the month, we hand-deliver an amazing assortment of beers from a featured Ontario brewery.  It’s different each month!

On the 7th day…

7 days a week you can contact us online with our Live Chat. Ask us any question about wine, artisan cheese & craft beer. Try it out now on www.savvycompany.ca “Operators are standing by”!

Savvy SommeliersOn the 8th day…

Our Savvy Elves are working over 8 hours a day & we’re online around the clock! Call our Savvy Team on 613-SAVVYCO (728-8926) each day leading up to Christmas or reach us online anytime at cheers@savvycompany.ca

On the 9th day…

Wine & beer of course! We have Ontario’s largest wine AND craft beer of the month club. Give a subscription for 4, 6 or 12 months.  It’s THE perfect gift that keeps on giving!

wine_tasting_sparklingOn the 10th day…

Round up 10 friends, colleagues or clients for a private Savvy Sommelier led wine, artisan cheese or craft beer tasting – a fun way to entertain in your home or at the office. Call on us to create a fun & memorable event. You invite the guests – we do the rest.

On the 11thday…

11 fantastic years in business – thank you for your continuing support as Savvy Company grows. Here’s to what in store for us in 2015!

On the 12th day…

12 different bottles of incredible Ontario wines – you won’t find these wines at the LCBO – delivered to you to enjoy during the holidays.

 

The Savvy Holiday Hotline
613-SAVVYCO (728-8926) or cheers@savvycompany.ca

 

Happy Ho-Ho-Ho Holidays from all of us at Savvy Company. Here’s to an exciting & delicious New Year together discovering wines, artisan cheeses & craft beers!

Debbie, the Savvy Team & Savvy Elves too!

 

Raise a glass – it’s the holidays!

Posted by Debbie

Tuesday, December 9th, 2014

Is your calendar overflowing with holiday parties all across town? Or are you going to host your own soiree for neighbours & friends this year?  However you deck the halls, here are some savvy tips & recipes that will make your season bright

Pop the corks!

wine_tasting_sparklingI always like to serve bubbly when the guests arrive.  In fact, you will notice that we always do this at every Savvy Event. The sound of popping corks sets the mood and the rush of bubbly wine overflowing the flute glasses easily brings on a smile. Sparkling wine is fun and you don’t need to break the bank by serving fine French Champagne either.  Here are some Ontario sparkling wines to have in the fridge for any occasion during the holidays:

Casa Dea Cuvee Rosé $17.95 – a glass of this dry bubbly from Prince Edward County adds WOW power with its gorgeous pink colour.  Available directly from the winery or make it a reason for a getaway to The County!

Palatine Hills Estates Prestige Sparkling $20.00 – a crisp, dry bubbly from Niagara-on-the-Lake that won gold at this year’s Ottawa Wine Challenge – the wine competition associated to the Ottawa Wine & Food Festival. Look for it in Vintages at the LCBO.

Serve up Seasonal Sparkling Sippers…

Both of these sparkling wines are ideal (and the right price) to make into cocktails with a holiday flare.

SOMMELIER TIP: serve bowls of potato (Ms Vickies is my favorite) or vegetable chips laced with sea salt for your guests.  The salt magically reacts with the bubbles of the sparkling wine making it feel like fireworks in your mouth!

Sparkling Red Poinsettia Cocktail

Makes 8-10 glasses
Ingredients
1 bottle of chilled sparkling wine – either white or rosé
½ cup (125 mL) of either Cointreau, Grand Marnier or Triple Sec, chilled
1 cup (500mL) cranberry juice, chilled

To make the cocktail…
Mix all ingredients together in a jug and pour into champagne flutes.

Garnish with fresh cranberry or sugared rim

Ginger Snap

Makes 8 – 10 glasses
Ingredients
2 teaspoons finely grated peeled fresh ginger
½ cup sugar
1 bottle of chilled sparkling wine – white is preferred 

To make the cocktail…
In a small saucepan, boil ginger, sugar and ¼ cup of water until syrupy (about 2 minutes).

Place a fine mesh sieve over a small bowl.  Pour syrup through sieve, discarding solids. (at this point, you can store syrup in airtight container in fridge for a week)

When ready to make cocktails, pour 1 tablespoon of ginger syrup into champagne flute glasses.  Top with sparkling wine & gently stir

Garnish with a festive swizzle stick or curl of citrus rind (mandarin or orange).

Shaking it up this year with craft beer & gin

Cocktails made with craft beer & gin are trending high this year.  There are over 12 craft breweries in Ottawa and small distilleries are cropping up in Prince Edward County & Niagara too.  These cocktails will WOW your friends with the chic look in the glass as well as the delicious taste.

Blue Spruce

Makes 1 cocktail
A creation by Dillon’s Small Batch Distillery located in Niagara www.dillons.ca

Blue Spruce CocktailIngredients
2 ounces of your favorite gin (Why not go local? Buy a bottle of Dillon’s Unfiltered Gin 22 at the LCBO or direct from the distillery)
1 package fresh blueberries
Squirt of simple syrup to taste (or use blueberry syrup/juice)
Juice & rind from lemon wedge
Tonic Water
Stem of fresh rosemary
Ice

To make the cocktail…
Place a handful of ice in a tumbler glass.

Pour in gin, lemon (juice & peel), a few blueberries (Feel free to give the blueberries a little mashing), syrup and top with tonic.

Give a little stir with the rosemary stem & serve

Festive Fizz

From the fine folks at www.drinkcraftbeer.com
Makes 1 cocktail

Ingredients

1 part of your favorite gin
1 part grapefruit juice
2 parts craft beer (try Perth Brewery Hopside IPA, Covered Bridge Brewery Dirty Blonde or Dominion City Brewery Earl Grey & Marmalade Saison)
1 tsp simple syrup (adjust to taste if you prefer a sweeter drink)
Sprig of mint
Wedge of grapefruit

To make the cocktail…
Shake gin, juice and simple with ice.

Pour into glass and top with beer.

Add sprig of month and wedge of grapefruit to the glass.

Can you believe it…just 2 weeks till Christmas!

Savvy Selections iconSavvy Hip Hops beer of the month clubIf you still haven’t found that perfect gift that will make a WOW impression this year, keep Savvy Company top of mind. Our team of Savvy Sommeliers & Brew Crew are ready to design a one-of-a-kind wine, craft beer and artisan cheese events for your family, clients & friends. And our Savvy Selections wine-of-the-month club is the largest in Ontario.

Did we mention that Savvy Hip Hops is the only club featuring craft beers brewed in Ontario???

Call on us ANYTIME! Savvy Hotline is 613-SAVVYCO (728-8926) or cheers@savvycompany.ca

Happy Holiday Cocktails to you & yours!

 

 

The 12 SAVVY Days of Christmas…

Posted by Debbie

Friday, December 20th, 2013

Can you believe Christmas is tomorrow!?! Don’t despair…Be Savvy! Our team of Savvy Sommeliers are here to help! There is still time to wrap up these gifts:

Our #1 gift: Savvy Selections wine of the month club 3, 4 or 6 month subscription

Our ever popular Wine Appreciation 101 ‘Class’ with Savvy Sommelier Debbie Trenholm

NEW this year! Cheesey FUN-damentals ‘Class’ – a full day with our Cheese Sommelier Vanessa Simmons


And don’t forget to stock up on wines!

Our Sommeliers have a special holiday assortment of Ontario wines that will WOW your family & friends. And be sure to have our special bubbly for $18.95 (regular $27.95) for New Years Eve!

The Savvy Holiday Hotline is 613-SAVVYCO (728-8926)
or cheers@savvycompany.ca

 

The Savvy Elves are in the festive mood! We’ve been singing holiday songs in the office all month long. Here is the SAVVY version of The 12 Days of Christmas!

On the 1st day of Christmas, my true love gave to me. . .

1 Wine Appreciation 101 ‘Class’ on January 18 with Savvy Sommelier Debbie Trenholm. Join Debbie for a full day of learning about wines from around the world, wine lingo, the importance of glassware & decanters, tricks for ordering wine at a restaurant . . . AND Debbie will even show you how to sabre a bottle of bubbly!

On the 2nd day of Christmas. . .

2 Back-to-Back weekends featuring Wine Appreciation 101 ‘Class’ (January 18) & Cheesey FUN-damentals ‘Class’ (January 25) by the Savvy ‘Teachers’ & dynamic duo: Debbie Trenholm (for wine) & Vanessa Simmons (for artisan cheese). Join us for one or come to both ‘classes’ for a true wine & cheese experience like you have never had before. Homework never tasted so good!

On the 3rd day. . .

3 Savvy gift certificates for tickets to upcoming Savvy Events in 2014. Ideal for those hard-to-buy-for friends . . . and as a thank you gift for colleagues & clients too.

On the 4th day. . .

4 month subscription to Savvy Selections wine of the month club . Our #1 gift! Each month, three different hard-to-find Ontario wines selected by our team of Savvy Sommeliers conveniently arrive at your home or office. “It’s like Christmas for adults. Wines arrive on my doorstep every month!” – Colleen

On the 5th day. . .

5 ‘Must Buy’ wines from the LCBO featured in our blog If I only had $100, I would buy at LCBO. Use this shopping list for great value wines at Vintages as chosen by our Savvy Sommeliers Julie Stock & Susan Desjardins

On the 6th day. . .

6 month subscription to Savvy Selections – Ontario’s largest wine of the month club. The perfect gift for any wine lover . . . yourself included! Three bottles of wine that you won’t find at the LCBO are delivered directly to you each month – can shopping be any easier?

On the 7th day. . .

7 days a week you can contact us online with our NEW Live Chat. Ask us any question about wine, artisan cheese & craft beer. Try it out now on www.savvycompany.ca . . .”Operators are standing by”!

On the 8th day. . .

Our Savvy Elves are working over 8 hours a day & we’re online around the clock! Call our Savvy Team on 613-SAVVYCO (728-8926) each day leading up to Christmas or reach us online anytime at cheers@savvycompany.ca

On the 9th day. . .

$9 off sparkling wine from Niagara-on-the-Lake – so delicious you’d think it is French Champagne! Pop the cork when your friends drop in during the holidays or stock up for New Years Eve. ONLY $18.95 – and shipping is FREE when you order 12 bottles.

On the 10th day. . .

Round up 10 friends, colleagues or clients for a private Savvy Sommelier led wine, artisan cheese or craft beer tasting – a fun way to entertain in your home or at the office. Call on us to create a fun & memorable event. You invite the guests – we do the rest.

On the 11thday. . .

11 fantastic years in business – thank you for your continuing support as Savvy Company grows. Here’s to what in store for us in 2014!

On the 12th day. . .

12 different bottles of incredible Ontario wines – you won’t find these wines at the LCBO – delivered to you to enjoy during the holidays. Order today & your wines will be delivered in time for Christmas.

 

Happy Ho-Ho-Ho Holidays from all of us at Savvy Company.
Here’s to an exciting & delicious New Year together discovering wines, artisan cheeses & craft beers!

Debbie, the Savvy Team & Savvy Elves too!

 

PS – Have you seen the articles showcasing Debbie & her festive ideas in the holiday issue of Ottawa at Home Magazine (page 42 & 43)? And be on the lookout for her in this coming Saturday’s Ottawa Citizen

 

SPECIAL OFFER: Travel around the world with this new magazine

Posted by Debbie

Tuesday, July 30th, 2013

Looking for some great ideas of where to go this summer – or planning on trips for this fall or an escape from the winter?  We have found a new magazine –  Taste & Travel International – that showcases interesting & fun food related ideas to enjoy where ever your next trip takes you. The magazine contributors are foodies who offer tried & true tips from their trips of interesting and everyday places along with ‘must visit’ things to do such as farmers markets, art galleries, wineries and cooking schools (you have to see where they recommend in Tuscany, Andalucía and Vermont!)….and many more delicious ideas to include in your next trip.

Taste & Travel International is an inspiring, high quality print magazine that focuses exclusively on the exciting and delicious world of culinary travel. Taste & Travel has a global scope, delivering 96 gorgeous pages packed with information on the hottest gourmet destinations, epicurean lodgings, cooking schools, culinary cruises, vineyard tours, food markets & trails all over the world, along with restaurants, chefs, recipes & other essential information for the culinary traveler & adventurous home cook.

 

 

 Do we have a deal for you!

We have teamed up with Taste & Travel International  magazine to offer all wine enthusiast a SPECIAL SUBSCRIPTION RATE!  Taste&Travel is available in Chapters stores across Canada. The cover price is $6.95. As a special offer for Savvy Company friends, fans and followers, Taste & Travel is offering a full 1 year subscription at 40% off the newsstand price.

For just $15 including tax and shipping, this fabulous Canadian publication will be delivered to your door.

CLICK HERE TO SUBSCRIBE NOW! 

Happy Summer…

Debbie & the Savvy Team