“Don’t underestimate Canadian wines. You can travel to the most exotic places in the world but it’s rare that you’ll find a more outstanding collection of wines than we have here in our own backyard.”
Accredited Sommelier, Algonquin College – Ottawa
Smart Serve certificate
Bachelor of Arts, Trent University – Peterborough
Q. What inspired you to become a Savvy Sommelier?
Julie Stock: I’ve always had a passion for wine and food—retirement seemed like the perfect opportunity to explore it further. Once I started studying wine, I couldn’t stop. The learning is almost as much fun as the drinking. Being part of the Savvy team gives me the opportunity to share my knowledge and learn all at the same time. And I get so much from the guests at our events—everyone has a wine story or experience to share.
Q. Where have you traveled to explore the world of wines?
JS: I was fortunate in my career with the federal government to work in seven different countries. That gave me the chance to discover some fabulous—and totally unexpected—wine treasures. When I was in Serbia I came to appreciate some really outstanding eastern European wines. I worked in China and was surprised to learn that they grow grapes. I’ve also lived in the Philippines, Korea, Japan, Delhi and England—sampling wine at every point of course. And I’ve visited some spectacular wine regions here in Canada, from Prince Edward County and Niagara to the Okanagan Valley. Next on my list: New Zealand.
Q. What question do people most often ask you about wine or food?
JS: People often want to know what wine pairs best with a certain dish. The first thing I tell them is that it’s really a personal choice: what I like may not necessarily work for someone else. The only way you’ll find out what works for you is through experimentation. In general, a wine with a bit of acidity pairs better with food than one without. In the warmer weather, I personally enjoy rosés: they can take you right from the porch to the table. With stew and chili in the winter I enjoy a glass of a robust red—a Bordeaux or a Malbec.
Julie’s Wine Tips
Uncork a bottle of rosé – you may discover a new favourite wine. A favourite new wine begins with the decision to try something different. Terroir and wine invoke everything good in life. Don’t underestimate Canadian wines. You can travel to the most exotic places in the world but it’s rare that you’ll find a more outstanding collection of wines than we have here in our own backyard.