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Posts Tagged ‘good value wines at LCBO’

The 12 SAVVY Days of Christmas…

Posted by Debbie

Friday, December 20th, 2013
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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

 

California Wine Fair coming to Ottawa & Toronto

Posted by Susan

Thursday, February 28th, 2013
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The California Wine Fair is visiting Canada this spring with stops in Toronto (April 8, the Fairmont Royal York) & Ottawa (April 5, Westin Ottawa).  Always a sell out, we recommend that you don’t miss this opportunity to enjoy a huge assortment of the newest wines & styles coming from the west coast wine regions.

Cutting-Edge California trends

To prep you for the California Wine Fair, March is the feature month for California wines in the LCBO.  To kick it all off, this weekend's LCBO Vintages release focusing on ‘Cutting-Edge California’ trends. The Wine Institute of California has identified some of the evolving trends, including emerging regions and varietals, as well as more extensive use of environmentally friendly practices, such as dry farming, which relies only on rainfall and fog.

The new generation of California winemakers and grape growers is strongly committed to sustainable agriculture, which has become a common approach for California producers determined to preserve the quality of their vineyards and the state’s water resources. California is blessed with a wide range of growing conditions thanks to its varied topography, proximity to the Pacific Ocean and diverse soil conditions. As a result, grapes produced from international varieties such as Riesling Gewürztraminer, Merlot and Tempranillo are now appearing on California wine labels, while lesser known regions such as Mendocino and Napa’s Lake County are introducing wine from varieties long grown in California, such as Chardonnay, Cabernet Sauvignon and Pinot Noir.

Must try California wines ....

I'd recommend in this release to seek out the classic Chardonnays, a Gewürztraminer from Monterey County, a unique blend of Viognier, Verdelho, Sauvignon Blanc and Vermentino from Paso Robles.  When it comes to red wines, try the organic Pinot Noir from Bonterra, Napa classics such as Frog’s Leap Cabernet Sauvignon, or a Vintages favorite, Liberty School Syrah.

... there are Italian wines featured too!

The secondary feature of this release draws attention to the native grapes of Italy’s southern mainland and the islands of Sardinia and Sicily, including wines produced from white grapes varieties such as the well-known Verdicchio, and from red wine varieties such as Montepulciano d’Abruzzo, Nero d’Avola, Cannonau di Sardegna (Grenache) and Italy’s noble southern grape, Aglianico.

Other wines to consider adding to your shopping cart - a lovely Pinot Gris from Malivoire, a fabulous Gamay Noir from Tawse, an award-winning Alsatian Pinot Blanc from Jean Geiler (only $14.95!), as well as Piñol’s Ludovicus, a Grenache blend and outstanding value at just $13.95.

There were so many great wines in this release that it made it difficult for me to keep within my $100 budget —I am over by 75 cents – no pennies required!

Cheers and Enjoy!

Susan

 

Vina Robles White 4 2010

Paso Robles, California
$18.95 (Vintages #313460) 14.2% alcohol


This assemblage of Viognier, Verdelho, Sauvignon Blanc and Vermentino offers great complexity and style. It’s perfumed and aromatic, displaying floral notes, passion fruit, citrus, mango and stone fruit. Dry, medium bodied, creamy and rich in texture yet lively on the palate, the harmony of the fruit flavours replays and amplifies through the crisp finish. Lovely integration, balance, flavour and texture. Enjoy as a sipper or with light fare.

 

 

 

Bonterra Pinot Noir 2010

Mendocino County, California
$19.95 (Vintages #317685) 14.1% alcohol
Here’s another great example of the flavourful organic wines Bonterra has been producing for years. Enticing aromas of red cherry/berry fruit, sweet spice and a touch of toast rise from the glass. Dry, silky, the luscious core of ripe fruit mingles with notes of milk-chocolate-coated cherries and vanilla, the sweet spice and toast replaying. A very approachable wine, balanced and flavourful, it has the heft to pair with roast beef tenderloin with root vegetables.

Aldiano Montepulciano d’Abruzzo ‘Riserva’ 2008

DOC Montepulciano d’Abruzzo, Italy
$17.95 (Vintages #61706) 14.0% alcohol
Inky, opaque and intensely aromatic, this is a stunning wine and a great value. Notes of plum, blueberry, pipe tobacco and vanilla tease the nose. On the palate, it’s dry yet velvety, mid-full weight, rich in dark fruit that’s framed by fine-grained tannins. There’s a freshness complementing the ripe fruit, while notes of espresso bean and a hint of earth linger on the finish. Serve with meat-based pasta.

Konzelmann Heritage 2010

VQA Niagara Peninsula, Ontario
$24.95 (Vintages #149179) 14.0% alcohol
Here’s finely crafted assemblage of Shiraz, Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot offering alluring aromas of fully ripened red and black fruits, baking spice, pepper and a whiff of smoke. Dry, medium-full bodied, the texture is velvety, the tangy flavours of black cherry, cassis and raspberry mingling with notes of spice, dried herbs and toasty oak. Soft ripe tannins and fresh acidity underpin the ripe fruit, lending fullness to a persistent warm finish graced with notes of spice and pepper. Pair with rare roast beef. It’s sold out at the winery, so don’t miss this opportunity!

 

Barossa Valley Estate ‘E Minor’ Shiraz 2010

Barossa Valley, Australia
$18.95 (Vintages #295907) 14.5% alcohol
Classic Shiraz from a reputable and reliable producer equals great value! Savour the high-toned aromas of black berry, kirsch, smoke, crushed pepper and sweet spice. Dry, full bodied, the wine offers a rush of intense, concentrated dark fruit and black pepper, along with a subtle earthy quality and notes of char. This is a big, powerful, well-balanced wine, well structured with a lasting fruity-filled finish.

Grand Total: $100.75

 

Got the urge to splurge?

Frog’s Leap Cabernet Sauvignon 2010

Napa Valley, California
$56.95 (Vintages #932400) 13.9% alcohol
This is a powerful, complex cellar-worthy wine, inky purple and enticing with its layers of aromas and flavours—hints of menthol, lavender, dried herbs, cedar, cassis, black cherry and smoke. Dry, full bodied, firmly structured, it displays a clean tangy texture and a concentrated core of full-flavoured fruit. Finishing dry and long, it’s your wine of choice for rare red meats.

 

Wines to warm your winter

Posted by Julie

Friday, February 15th, 2013
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Ottawa in February offers many wintery activities but Winterlude is truly our city’s greatest celebration: skating on the canal, viewing the ice sculptures, walking around the market restaurants to taste what the chef’s have specially prepared to celebrate, so that you do not have to waste much time doing routine things like shopping, here is a quick 'must by list' of wines available in LCBO Vintages release as of February 16.

This release features heart warming Cabernet red wines, a few  Kosher wines for Passover as well as some Ontario award winning wines.

What is Kosher wine?

I have never written anything on a Kosher wine, but after tasting many delicious Kosher wines in this release, I found myself doing research on Jewish traditions. Familiar with the term “Kosher”, I did not realize that kosher wines must be processed by only Sabbath-observant Jewish males touching the grapes from the crushing phase through to the bottling.

Kosher wines also differ from those made specifically for Passover. These wines must be made from mould (all wines require some mould or yeast) that has not been grown on bread and cannot have any common preservatives such as potassium sorbate. There is also a “P” on the label which means it is meant for Passover.  While I wrote on one Kosher wine below, there is another in this release I really liked called Segal’s Fusion Merlot/Cabernet Franc/Cabernet Sauvignon (KPM) 2001 (Israel)  that is made by a former poet, journalist and barman. With all that on his CV, he probably sleeps well at night.

If you too are curious about Kosher wines, this is the time of year when there are many at the LCBO - so pick one up & give it a try!

I won’t be blogging again until April since I am off to work in Shanghai, but I can’t wait to catch up with you again in April.

Cheers to Winterlude...and Happy Passover!

Julie

 

Clay Station Unoaked Viognier 2011

Lodi, California, U.S.A.
$16.95 (Vintages #25411) 13.5% alcohol

I have read that the Viognier grape is somewhat temperamental to grow but am grateful that some winemakers got it right. It has been described similarly to Chardonnay in that it shares tropical fruit flavours and has a creamy mouthfeel. This Viognier is pale golden in colour with tantilizing aromas of blossoms and honey. It is smooth and velvety in texture and oh so deliciously mouthcoating with apricots, mango and a little vanilla and caramel on the after taste. It’s bone dry but with distinct richness in flavour. For the price point, I think it’s spectacular.

 

Fielding Estate Riesling 2011

VQA Niagara Peninsula, Ontario, Canada
$18.95 (Vintages #251439) 10.5% alcohol

This Riesling is so deliciously fresh and clean tasting. Lots of citrusy expression with an undermining of minerality and stone, softly textured with subtle fruit flavours and plain lip-smacking good. It is a fabulous afternoon sipper or would be great with spicey chicken, pork chops and of course any fish dish. It’s a very versatile food wine.

Château Cailleteau Bergeron 2010

AC Blaye-Cotes-de-Bordeaux, France
$17.95 (Vintages# 309138) 14% alcohol

This wine won a Gold Medal at the 2012 Concours Général Agricole in Paris! I try not to pick the “already winners”, but write on ones that I think are really good wines. With a blend of 80% Merlot, 10% Cabernet Sauvignon, !0% Malbec, how could this Bordeaux not be delicious.  Aromas of violets and red ripe berries that follow through on the palet, medium bodied with a little tobacco, soft tannins, and a tad spice are all the yummies that develop in your senses. They persist and make for a really smooth finish.

Five Stones Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon (KPM) 2010    *KOSHER

Margaret River, Western Australia Beckett's Flat
$19.95 (Vintages #157305)  13.5% alcohol

The Five Stones Winery used to be called Beckett’s Flat and has been producing kosher wine since 1998. They are located in the southwest corner of Australia surrounded by three sides of ocean. Their wines are processed without the use of any animal products and under strict kosher supervision, all suitable for Passover and Mevushal.

I just couldn’t spit this wine and had to swallow. If that sounds funny, try tasting over 50 wines in a morning. Sound familiar to any other sommeliers out there?  Blends of dark fruits, blackberries, plum, tobacco, leather  and spice on the nose following through with a harmony of bone dry fruit flavours, soft tannins and oh so drinkable.  Since I am not Jewish I kept wondering if I would be in frowned upon. But it’s a lovely, well-made Cab and I’d be proud to have it on my dining table - regardless of what denomination is comng for dinner.

 

Fairview Caldera Grenache/Shiraz/Mourvedre 2008

WO Coastal Region, Charles Back, South Africa
$22.95 (Vintages #3013330) 14% alcohol

This is another fabulous blend of 50% Grenache (68-70 year old bush vines), 25% Shiraz and 25% Mourvedre aged in old wooden 225-liter barrels. Lots of dark berries and quite peppery that makes it interesting and edgy. Very dry but elegant on the palate with strong blackberry flavours making it quite a rich wine. Would be fabulous with a steak or rack of lamb with some buttery spuds.

 

Grand Total: $ 96.75

 

 

Wines to WOW your Valentine

Posted by Debbie

Thursday, February 9th, 2012
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To make it a breeze to enjoy a special dinner for Valentine's Day, Thyme & Again Creative Catering has a delicious take home menu for February 14th.  As good food deserves good wines, Thyme & Again called our Savvy Team of accredited Sommeliers to provide wine recommendations for the menu.  As Thyme & Again supports local farmers, the Savvy Sommeliers have selected Ontario wineries to enjoy with your special meal.  All of these wines are available at LCBO in the Vintages section.

Toast your Valentine with a sparkling

Outstanding white wines

Red wines that will melt your heart

 A sweet finish

Happy Valentine's Day!