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Archive for ‘Pairing wine with food’

“Dad…Dad…buy a winery!”

Posted by David Loan

Monday, March 13th, 2017

When you have generations of winemakers in your family tree, the word “tradition” takes on a new meaning. This month in Savvy Selections, we feature fabulous wines from Niagara’s  Di Profio Wines. A family run operation that specializes in small batch, hand-made wines, Di Profio has quickly built a reputation for their excellent products. You can read all about their approach to winemaking in our Di Profio profile, below.

 

Get ready to uncork & enjoy your Savvy Selections…

In your Savvy Selections you will find 3 of our favourite Di Profio picks. We love how they offer a variety of flavours and styles!

2015 Sparkling Aromatic Gamay Rosie Light and lively are the key words for this bubblegum pink sparkling wine.

2015 Kitchen Zinc – Blended from seven grape varieties, you’ll love how pretty and well-balanced this white wine is.

2013 Zinc-tastic – Here’s an example big red wine Fred Di Profio has become famous for: Cab-Merlot in perfect harmony!

 

Wines with power & elegance

Di Profio is making wines that will entice the most discerning of palates. Each one is unique, offering flavours and aromas that you would expect only from much more expensive products. These wines are read to drink, though most of them can handle cellaring for a few years, too. Our Savvy Sommeliers know you’ll love them as much as we do!

Call on us at anytime you would like additional bottles of your favourite Di Profio wines – or other wineries we have featured in Savvy Selections.  Your Canadian Wine Hotline is 613-SAVVYCO (728-8926) or send me an email to debbie@savvycompany.ca.

Cheers!
-Debbie & Savvy Team

 

 

Introducing…

Di Profio Wines
presented by Sommelier David Loan

“Traditional” is a word we like to use a lot in the wine industry. It calls to mind the ancient history of winemaking, and connects the New World to the Old. But only a few Ontario wineries have the family roots to show that winemaking is a family legacy, a true tradition that forms part of the winery’s heritage.

Deep Roots

At Di Profio Wines, the winemaker’s roots go as deep as his vineyards. “My father’s family for generations were farming in a well-known region of Italy called Abruzzi,” Di Profio’s winemaker Fred Di Profio remembers. “My grandfather, Giuseppe, left and they eventually sold off their vineyards, but he continued making wine as many Italian immigrants do, in his cellar.” Fred’s father, Joseph, watched his own father make wine, but didn’t have much interest in the process when he grew up.

Fred, however, decided to study winemaking and began to work as a “cellar rat” at a variety of wineries in Niagara and elsewhere. He eventually took over as winemaker at Pondview Estates Winery (the winery we featured in Savvy Selections just 3 months ago – December 2016). 

Family Business

That’s when his dad, Joseph, got interested, too. “My father saw how gratifying it was for me to make wine and he thought, I should rekindle my childhood memories of MY father making wine,” Fred said. “He had a great time and learned something new and together we naturally found our family roots.” With Fred’s advice, Joseph bought some vineyards near Jordan Station in the Niagara Escarpment. Of course, he immediately enlisted Fred to run the operation.

Building Up

Joseph spearheaded building a new winery and tasting room. One of his biggest concerns was the bar. “Fred was looking for an interesting material for the tasting bar top,” Joseph said. “And he found a wine bar in Italy with a zinc countertop. Zinc oxidizes in a really neat way. Spilled wine produces a really nice patina – the older and more used, the more personality it develops. Joe got some zinc sheets and used them to cover our beautiful tasting bar.”

Joseph liked the material so much, in fact, that the tasting room is called The Zinc. And some of the wine labels playfully use the word, too.

Ready for Reds

Fred has developed a reputation for making big, bold red wines.  In the cool climate region like Niagara, Cabernet Sauvignon can be challenging for those grapes. Fred explained to me that extra time spent in the vineyard makes all the difference. “We always adapt to the climactic conditions. Even in the cooler growing seasons, there are a number of tools we can use in the vineyard to accommodate to any climate, which can vary from year to year,” he said. “Crop thinning to give the vines a helping hand, canopy management to vary the shade levels – more leaves in hot seasons, less in cooler seasons. The secret is patience and good vineyard practices.”

We’re Convinced!

Since Di Profio Wines opened in 2012, the father and son duo (and mother Carollynn had her hand in it too running the B&B next to the winery), Joseph and Fred have quickly built a reputation for high-quality wines. Dedicated to small batch production, and producing only wines from estate vineyards, they are leading a new movement in Niagara winemaking, one that looks to the future while embracing, yes, the traditional.

We are proud to offer you our favourite picks from the Di Profio portfolio. We’re confident that every bottle in the Savvy Selections that you open will leave you wanting more!

~ SAVVY SOMMELIER TASTING NOTES ~

For your Savvy Selection this month, we’ve chosen three wines that demonstrate the powerful elegance of Di Profio wines.  We know that you’ll love the subtle flavours of these stunning wines, along with some delicious recipes that will perfectly match food and drink.

 

2015 Sparkling Aromatic Gamay Rosie (VQA Creek Shores)
$25

Savvy Sommelier Tasting Notes: Named for Joe’s mother, Rosie (and bearing her image on the label), this Gamay sparkler is perfect for a romantic evening! There’s so much going on here: candied citrus, cherry gumdrops, pink marshmallows. It’s dry and refreshing, and finishes on the palate with watermelon and strawberry notes. The mousse is light, with fine bubbles.

Suggested Food Pairings: Our tasters agreed that this will go well with fish and seafood. We think a nice Trout Almandine will be a perfect pairing. (Recipe below.)

Cellaring:  Drink at 8ºC within a year.

 

2015 Kitchen Zinc (VQA Ontario)
$18

Savvy Sommelier Tasting Notes: Want to know what grapes this is made from: Chardonnay Musque (a cousin of the Chardonnay we know and love); Riesling, Sauvignon Blanc, Muscat, Chardonnay, Vidal, and Pinot Gris.

Pretty and aromatic, it has fresh floral and orange notes, with flavours of rose and honey. Medium acidity balances the light sweetness.

Suggested Food Pairings: Off-dry wines pair beautifully with spicy food, and this is no exception. We suggest a chipotle black bean chili. Recipe follows.

Cellaring: Ready to drink now, this could be cellared for up to 2 years. Serve between 10-14ºC.

 

2013 Zinc-tastic (VQA Niagara Peninsula)
$23

Savvy Sommelier Tasting Notes:  Sixty-four per cent Cabernet Sauvignon and Thirty-six per cent Merlot, the Zinc-tastic showcases Fred Di Profio’s talent with making big red wines.

With loads of dark fruit flavours and aromas of cigar box, coffee, and chocolate, this has medium, elegant tannins and medium acidity. Our tasters all thought that this is a steal at the price!

Suggested Food Pairings: We want to pick up on the fruit and smoky flavours of the Zinc-tastic. So, we turned to one of our favourite culinary regions – Provence – and a very old stew recipe: Daube de Boeuf Jeannette.

Cellaring: Drinking well now, this can cellar 3-5 years. Serve at 14-16ºC.

 

 

~ RECIPES TO ENJOY WITH YOUR SAVVY SELECTIONS ~

 

With Di Profio Sparkling Aromatic Gamay Rosie…

Trout Almandine

Recipe & Photo credit: MarthaStewart.com
Serves 4-6

Ingredients

1/2 cup sliced almonds
1/2 cup flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 cup milk
4 trout fillets
1 Tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
1 Tbsp butter
2 garlic cloves, smashed and peeled

 

Method

Lightly toast the almonds in a saute pan. Reserve. Combine the flour, salt, and cayenne pepper in a small, flat dish. Pour the milk into another one. Place the trout fillets in the milk.

Heat a large saute pan over medium heat. Add the olive oil and butter. Dredge the fillets in the flour mixture on both sides. Add to the pan and increase heat. Put the garlic cloves in the pan and swirl it around.

Turn the trout after 2 minutes and remove the garlic (you don’t want it to brown). Cook until the fish is cooked through and lightly golden brown, about 1 or 2 more minutes. Scatter the almonds over top. Serve immediately.


With Di Profio Kitchen Zinc…

Chipotle black bean chili

Recipe and photo: MyRecipes.com
Serves 4

Ingredients

1 teaspoon olive oil
1 cup finely chopped onion
6 garlic cloves, minced
2 Tablespoons chili powder
1 teaspoon minced canned chipotle chile in adobo sauce
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1/8 teaspoon salt
2 (15-ounce) cans black beans, drained
2 (14.5-ounce) cans whole tomatoes, undrained and chopped
1 (4.5-ounce) can chopped green chiles, drained
Cilantro sprigs (optional)

 

Method

Heat oil in a large saucepan over medium-high heat.

Add onion and garlic; sauté 3 minutes or until tender. Add chili powder and next 6 ingredients (chili powder through green chiles); bring to a boil.

Reduce heat, and simmer 15 minutes. Ladle chili into individual bowls, and garnish with cilantro sprigs, if desired.

Serve with corn chips or corn bread.

 

 

With Di Profio Zinc-tastic…

Daube de Boeuf Jeannette

Recipe: Chicago Tribune
Photo credit: SAQ
Serves 5-6

Ingredients

8-10 canned anchovy fillets, optional
3 1/2 pounds lean beef stew, preferably top round, cut into 1-inch cubes
6 ounces lean bacon, cut into 1/2-inch dice
1/2 cup olive oil
2 medium onions, sliced
3 garlic cloves, mashed

Peel from an orange, dried
1 onion, studded with 3 cloves
2 1/2 cups dry red wine
Beef broth, or water and bouillon cubes
3 Tablespoons tomato paste
Large bouquet garni (2 small celery ribs tied with a bunch of parsley sprigs, a few thyme stalks, and a bay leaf between)
Salt, pepper to taste
4 ounces tiny Nicoise olives, pitted
1 Tablespoon minced basil or parsley

 

Method

If you choose to use the anchovy fillets, insert a small piece in each beef cube, using a pointed knife, then set aside. Plunge the bacon into rapidly boiling water for 6 to 7 minutes, rinse under cold water, then drain and dry on paper towels.

Heat half the oil in a heavy-bottomed skillet. When very hot, add the diced bacon and stir until it begins to brown, then remove and let drain on paper towels.

Without crowding the pieces, add the beef cubes to the hot oil. Turn the pieces when nicely browned. When all sides are evenly browned, remove the beef with a slotted spoon, and reserve. Add more oil and the sliced onions, and cook slowly, stirring, until tender but not browned.

Heat oven to 375 degrees. Return the meat and bacon to the skillet, and add garlic, orange peel, onion with cloves and wine. Heat to boil, then add broth to cover, stir in tomato paste, place bouquet garni in the middle, and season with more pepper than salt, as the olives will provide salt.

When the mixture begins to simmer, cover with parchment paper and the lid. Bake until the meat is tender, at least 1 1/2 hours. Turn the beef cubes halfway through cooking. A few minutes before serving, remove the onion with cloves; add olives, taste and correct the seasoning. Serve in a warmed shallow serving dish, accompanied by boiled potatoes or rice, sprinkled with minced basil or parsley.

 

Enjoy the season with your Savvy Selections!

Fall in Love with these Okanagan wines & cheese

Posted by Susan

Tuesday, February 14th, 2017

I can’t get enough! I’m in the south Okanagan again, remembering why I fell in love with its unique landscape, the changing hues of the fruit trees and the vineyards, the outstanding wines created by established growers and newcomers. On this trip, I discovered new places that I wanted to share with you…

Upper Bench Winery & Creamery

Four years ago, I headed up to the Naramata Bench to check out a couple of new wineries, including Upper Bench. At the time, they had just opened, many of their wines were sold out, and there was a limited selection of their delectable cheeses. But what I tasted was very good and I decided to stop in this year on my way from Kelowna to Osoyoos.

As luck would have it, Shana, the ‘Big Cheese’ – half of the duo responsible for this small family-owned winery (husband Gavin Miller is the winemaker) – was in the tasting room. So, we were treated to her expertise and enthusiasm as we tasted three of their unique cheeses, along with several wines.

I make no claim to any cheese expertise like our cheese Sommelier Vanessa, mark my words, the Brie seemed wonderfully creamy to me, with a lovely soft yet textured rind. The Gold offered a firmer texture, a golden washed rind and a slightly nutty flavor. The Grey Baby, named for her cat, had a lovely bloomy grey rind, almost no typical blue cheese veining but an absolutely melt-in-my -mouth texture and delicate flavours. Yes, I found cheese heaven!

The U&Brie was paired with their 2015 dry Riesling – they’re already into the 2015 wines due the fast pace of sales. Light-mid weight, the nose is floral and fruity with underlying mineral notes, the palate crisp and bright offering flavours of orchard fruit and lemon zest, the finish tart and tangy yet fruity.

The 2015 Chardonnay continues to be made with an emphasis on purity of fruit, half the wine aged only 3 months in French oak, the balance in stainless, so that the delicate notes of spice and warm pastry garnish the aromas and flavours of tropical fruit, melon and juicy pear, while a hint of pithy grapefruit adds tang to the creamy finish. It provided a great pairing with the Oka-like Gold cheese.

The Grey Baby cheese was a perfect complement for the 2014 Pinot Noir red wine – an elegant, silky wine with lifted floral notes, bright red fruit and hints of earth and spice. Medium bodied, it’s intensely flavourful, subtly structured, the flavours of ripe red fruit interwoven with delicate notes of spice and mineral.

The Yard Wine is a signature wine, a Bordeaux-style red wine blend of co-fermented Merlot and Cabernets (mainly Franc) that’s medium-full bodied, full of aromas and flavours of sweet black and red fruits, hints of chocolate-coated caramel and spice as well as complementary undertones of tomato leaf and earth. Underpinned with ripe tannins and fresh acidity, it’s a very approachable, gulpable wine!

While the small production of Upper Bench wines means that they won’t be found in the LCBO, you can always join their wine and cheese clubs.

 

Painted Rock Winery

Another sunny day found us winding our way along the east side of Skaha Lake from OK Falls toward Penticton. We made our way up the bench to Painted Rock, where we once again struck gold, as proprietor John Skinner was at the tasting bar.

John worked in the financial industry in Vancouver for many years, all the while developing his fascination with fine wines and the wine industry. In 2004, he and his wife Trish purchased a former fruit orchard on the bench that had lain fallow for almost 2 decades. About 25 acres were planted to a variety of vitis vinifera clones in 2005 and 2006. As a result of his interaction with the nursery from which he sourced his clones, John was contacted by wine consultant Alain Sutre (who also consults with Don Triggs’ Culmina estate winery), who continues to work with Painted Rock to this day. As an example of the valuable input he provides, during the extremely hot 2015 vintage, Alain counselled John and his team to allow the vine canopy to grow to ensure shading of the grapes from the sun and to prevent scorching. This allowed for a longer hang time, good maturation of the fruit and retention of acidity.

John’s commitment to premium winemaking and his delight in his property and the local trails was evident as he interspersed our tasting with anecdotes of the recent vintages and photos of local pictographs he has found on the granite outcroppings.

The 2015 Rosé wine is a Saignée, an assemblage of his red grapes, including Merlot, the Cabernet Sauvignon and Cabernet Francs, Malbec, Petit Verdot and Syrah. A lovely salmon hue, it shows some residual sugar and warmth from the hot vintage, aromas and flavours of strawberry/rhubarb compote, dried cherry and dried herbs, and a lovely silky, fruity finish.

The 2013 Merlot, aged 18 months in a combination of new and second fill French oak, is dry, full bodied red wine with tangy, showing rich lifted aromas and flavours of black cherry, plum and raspberry, warm sweet spice and hints of menthol and herbs, underpinned by ripe tannins and a fresh texture.

The 2014 Cabernet Franc was a particular favorite, seducing with its lifted floral notes of red rose and violet, the sweet hints of baking spice, cocoa and plummy fruit, and a subtle whiff of graphite. Dry and firmly structured, it’s loaded with flavours of black currant garnished with notes of herbs and cracked pepper. Finishing long and dry, this red wine shows great cellaring potential.

Once again, none of these wines are on the LCBO website, but John also offers a wine club.

Nk’Mip Winery

Nestled on a bench just above Lake Osoyoos, the Nk’Mip Cellars is as much a part of the land as its owner/operators, the Osoyoos Indian Band. In a partnership with the then-Canadian wine conglomerate, Vincor, the band established the first indigenous-owned winery, and winemaker Randy Picton was engaged in 2002, just in time for the first harvest.

Located on a small campus that includes the Desert Cultural Centre, the Sonora Dunes Golf Course and Spirit Ridge Resort (where I stayed), it was inevitable that I would wander over to Nk’Mip to see how the 2016 harvest was progressing (slowly due to a very cool fall and an early killing frost) and to taste a few wines from recent vintages. It felt like a celebration to be there, as Nk’Mip has recently been named 2016 Winery of the Year, having been in the top 10 in the last four years, and the recent purchase of Constellation Brands Canadian wine properties (including its investment in Nk’Mip) by the Ontario Teachers’ Pension Fund means that the winery is now fully in Canadian hands once again.

The view from the winery is idyllic, rows of golden-leaved vines marching down the sloping vineyard to Lake Osoyoos, the small resort town of Osoyoos rising from the lake to a backdrop of rugged Sonoran desert mountainscapes.

Randy has honed his craft so that no matter the level of wines tasted, you can expect deftly crafted high quality wines made to his exacting standards. To quote Randy, “My approach is to focus on every detail in the vineyard in order to bring the best possible grapes to the winery. The vineyard is expressed in the bottle.” He’s assisted in the winery by Justin Hall, an Osoyoos Indian Band member who has studied viticulture and oenology in Canada, as well as New Zealand, and worked in the industry in Australia as well as at Nk’Mip.
You see his experience in cool climate winemaking in the vibrant, fresh 2015 Pinot Blanc, a great value white wine that offers subtle aromatics of citrus and orchard fruit, with a clean, crisp flavours of lemon, pithy grapefruit mineral through a zesty finish.

The 2013 Merlot is an easy-going crowd pleaser, a dry mid-weight red wine aged 12 months in a combination of French and American oak, offering flavours of cherry and plum, herbs, spice and cocoa through a nice lively finish.

The 2014 Syrah from the signature QwAm QwMt tier is produced from estate fruit, the wine aged 18 months in French oak. It’s a complex, full bodied deep purple wine with layers of flavours–dark berry fruits, exotic spice, Okanagan sage, cracked pepper with notes of dark chocolate and coffee bean wrapped in a firm structure. It’s a great value and worthy of cellaring.

The Nk’Mip Qw’Am Qw’Mt Chardonnay 2013 is listed on the LCBO website (#391813), and for other wines you can always contact the winery about their wine club.

 

There you go…3 more reasons to pack your bags and head to British Columbia wine region!

 

Have you been to the winery in the Ottawa Valley?

Posted by Susan

Thursday, October 20th, 2016

Savvy Selections wine of the month club
KIN Vineyards
–  October 2016 –

Google Chris van Barr, and the first thing you’ll learn is that he is a successful lawyer specializing in intellectual property law, who also teaches in the subject at the University of Ottawa. But, dig a little deeper, and you’ll discover that he has roots on a farm in southern Ontario and has made his home in rural Ottawa. Chris is a man who has a passion for the land as well as interesting, elegant wines. This deep rooted passion led him to partner with Alan Krueger five years ago to establish KIN Vineyards, where together they have transformed part of Chris’ 50 acre property in Kinburn (west of Ottawa) into a vineyard. This property includes Pinot Noir and Chardonnay vines, as well as hardy hybrid varieties Marechal Foch, Frontenac, Vidal and Muscat Ottonel. There is a twin site – a 50 acre Carp vineyard – that is being harvested for the first time this month. The Carp vineyard was planted exclusively for Pinot Noir and Chardonnay vines.

This summer while the vines took hold, the team constructed a modest facility for winemaking and wine storage on the Carp estate. Work is also underway to create a small retail store at the edge of the vineyards. Local architect Richard White, known for his focus on environmentally friendly buildings in harmony with the flow of the land, is working with Chris and his team to design the permanent facility planned for the site. It can be truthfully said that no grass grows under Chris & Alan’s feet!

Winemaker Brian Hamilton, a graduate of Brock University’s Cool Climate Oenology and Viticulture Institute, comes to KIN with prior experience as a winemaker at Malivoire, Southbrook Vineyard and Tawse Winery. These three wineries have been featured in Savvy Selections over the years and have grown their reputation for their focus on organic and biodynamic winemaking practices. Brian also has notable winemaking experience internationally, having worked a vintage in California, as well as one in New Zealand, where he further developed experience and expertise in the creation of cool-climate wines.

Alan, the KIN Viticulturalist, graduated from the University of Guelph, is an avid gardener and has taught at the Ottawa Waldorf School for many years. Rudolf Steiner, the founder of Waldorf schools, was also the founder of the holistic system of biodynamic farming, which significantly influenced the principles of current organic farming.

Chris and Alan both originally lived in Southern Ontario, and both worked on farms during high schools holidays, connecting when they coincidentally both moved to rural Ottawa. On cycling trips through the countryside, they talked about different types of environmentally friendly artisanal enterprises that they could partner in, including raising goats to produce cheese. But the idea that really struck a chord was the concept of growing grapes and producing wine organically. Alan said, “Given my experience with the Steiner philosophy at the Waldorf school, my ‘green thumb’, and my availability in the summer, I was the obvious choice to lead the work in the vineyards. Chris is great with all types of farm equipment, so he deals with anything mechanical, as well as being the guiding financial and management hand of the business. Before we made any decisions, we arranged a trip to Niagara to meet with winemakers producing organic wines.” It was during this trip that Chris & Alan met Brian at Southbrook Vineyards. Over subsequent visits and countless questions, four years ago, Brian became a winemaking consultant at KIN. As you can imagine, he has been an invaluable resource & winemaking knowledge…not twoman-and-wine-in-foregroundo mention all of his contacts in the industry.

“When I met with Chris and Alan during their visit at Southbrook, we spoke at length about organic and biodynamic production,” remembers Brian. Our common views on these philosophies really connected us as we established the principals for KIN Vineyards.” This spring, Brian took the plunge & moved to Ottawa to become KIN’s full-time winemaker as the team prepares for their first harvest on the Carp estate.

Given the very limited production available from the KIN vineyards (about 500 cases in 2015), the Savvy Team is delighted to offer our subscribers the opportunity to taste 2 wines produced from fruit from the Kinburn property, as well as 2 wines that Brian is producing from fruit harvested from a carefully selected vineyard in Niagara, while the vines on the Carp estate mature:

– KIN Chardonnay 2015 – released in time to be featured. This is a refined & silky smooth Chardonnay

Frontenac ‘Dark Horse’ 2015 – a medium-bodied red wine with juicy cherry & berry flavours

-‘Understory’ Marechal Foch 2015 (375 mL bottle) – a rare variety that offers a unique fresh & fruit-dominated tastes

– KIN Pinot Noir 2015 – just released and making impressions. A well-integrated cool-climate wine that shines Brian’s talent brightly

You can order extra bottles directly from us or visit the KIN team at the Carp or Westboro Farmer’s markets. As always, don’t hesitate to contact the Savvy Team if you have queries about this exciting new venture sprouting up in the Ottawa Valley.

Cheers & Enjoy!

  

Introducing…
KIN Vineyards
Presented by Sommelier Susan Desjardins

All these years I’ve been writing Savvy Selections features, I would never have guessed the opportunity would arise to introduce you, to a winery in my own backyard – in rural west Ottawa, no less!two-guys-and-barrel

The vineyard on Chris van Barr’s (right in photo) Kinburn property strategically sits between the house and the forested ridge. Alan (left in photo) is convinced that the trees on the Carp Ridge offer protection to the vineyard from the harsh winter winds and the killing spring frosts.

Brian is impressed with the site too with the constant amount of sunshine in the vineyard and in terms of the milestones for grape growing and ripening, the Carp vineyard is performing at the same level as, or only a couple of days behind, many vineyards in Niagara.

Alan came across this special protected property while ferrying his children to after-school activities. It seemed ideal given the slope of the land.

 

Bring in the firefighters!

There’s great laughter as Alan describes the process of planting the Chardonnay and Pinot Noir, with local firefighters volunteering to dig the holes, while high school students were recruited to hand plant the vines.

I had the opportunity to spend time with Brian and Alan, walking the Carp vineyard to see the results of the KINfolks’ commitment to a challenging viticultural landscape. Planted only three years ago, the Carp vineyard slopes south and west immediately off the Carp Ridge, overlooking the farms of the Ottawa Valley. This block includes three different soil types, the upper slope characterized by loamy sandy soil, the mid slope showing exposed limestone and loam (the rocky soil has the potential to hold and radiate the sun’s heat), while the lower slope is largely clay loam over limestone bedrock.

The Kinburn estate lies between the Carp Ridge and the Carp River. Its soils are a darker clay loam, deposits from the ancient Champlain Sea, over the friable limestone bedrock. This site has plants of the vinifera vines of Chardonnay and Pinot Noir, as well as hardier hybrid varieties – Marechal Foch, Frontenac, Marquette, Vidal and Muscat Ottonel.

The different soil types between the two sites, aspect and slope determined where each variety was planted. In a way, these vineyards are the experiment, the testing ground for the dream of vineyards in this part of the Ottawa Valley – setting out a range of different types of grape vines, doing the backbreaking work of planting the vines and burying the canes for the winter, then exposing them to the risks of frost each spring, testing their mettle and their ability to thrive in this unique environment.

 

Harvest 2016

While you read this, Brian is quietly bursting with excitement at the prospect of being onsite for the Carp estate harvest, and the opportunity to make the first KIN Chardonnay and Pinot Noir from their own grapes. The small facility is prepared for the event, and Alan will be recruiting his students to help with picking the grapes. There’s very close monitoring to ensure that the fruit achieves optimal ripeness and intensity. Brian expects that the yields will be low – perhaps as little as one tonne per acre – but that is part of the deal when working in a site on the ‘bleeding’ edge of winemaking.

The killing frost of May 2015 weakened some of the vines and killed others in the lower block of the property (replanted this spring), further limiting the size of the harvest this year, as well as for a couple more years. Brian explains, “This uncertainty, as well as the limitations on yield, are key reasons that we will continue the relationship with our grower in Niagara over the long term.” Their target for 2016 is to produce 1000 cases of wine, with the goal of doubling that in 2017. Oh and did we mention their yields might be down a bit more because of the wild turkeys eating the perfectly ripened Pinot Noir grapes? Ask Brian and Alan when you visit them at the winery…

 

Patience. Patience. Patience!

During my visit, Brian continuously talks about the importance of patience and a commitment to nurturing the grapes – as the raw ingredients – and to nurturing the process of winemaking to ensure the faultless expression of the terrior in the wine. He sees the KIN wines – the Chardonnay and Pinot Noir – as a vehicle for cool-climate wine aficionados to experience pure flavours of the terroir, to learn about the personality of vitis vinifera in the Ottawa Valley and the ways in which organic and biodynamic practices deliver that unique experience.

Brian laughingly talks about his ‘job’ since joining KIN full time this spring. “I’m multi-tasking, marketing with restaurants, selling at farm markets, working in the vineyard and, oh, yes, I’ll be doing some winemaking soon as well!” But you can see from his expression that he is as excited as Alan and Chris, perhaps more so now that he is onsite for the Carp site’s first harvest.

And I think you’ll agree when you taste the wines that you’ll be lined up to taste the 2016 vintage when it’s released!

Cheers & enjoy your KIN wines!

 

 

 

~ SAVVY SOMMELIER TASTING NOTES ~

KIN ‘Dark Horse’ Frontenac 2015
$19.95kin-bottle-pouring

Never heard of Frontenac? Here’s a great opportunity to try a well-made wine, produced from the fruit of a vine that is a cross of a hybrid and the very cold hardy Vitis riparia, developed at the University of Minnesota and introduced in 1996. The grapes are quite small, which would suggest good flavour concentration, and wines from this grape generally show flavours of red fruits and good levels of acidity. Brian gave the must extended skin contact, resulting in intensely lovely dark colour. The wine was then aged it for several months in American oak to polish off the flavours.

Savvy Sommelier Tasting Notes: Deep ruby, this offers intriguing aromas, combining perfumed notes of red rose, lifted red and black cherry notes and a subtle herbaceous character. Dry, medium bodied, you’ll note a touch of oak aging underlying the wash of tasty, juicy red berry and cherry flavours. There’s a roundness to the texture with a touch of warmth and oaky toast on the tangy finish.

Suggested Food Pairing: Bright, fresh and flavourful, this will pair well with meals such as turkey with cranberry or with duck with a cherry reduction.

Cellaring: Drinking well now or cellar for 2-4 years

 

KIN Vineyards ‘Understory’ Marechal Foch 2015 VQA
$12.95 (375 mL bottle)

Marechal Foch (or just ‘Foch’) is a French hybrid that ripens early and is a vine that is cold hardy. Foch was grown in many Canadian vineyards until the 1980s, when government incentives to plant vitis vinifera led many grape growers to remove it. Now still grown in a handful of vineyards across the country where winemakers excel at producing intensely flavoured wine from the grapes of old vines, as well as fortified wines of great depth and intensity.

This Marechal Foch was produced from grapes grown in the Kinburn vineyard, the wine lightly aged in American oak.

Savvy Sommelier Tasting Notes: Deep purple, this wine offers intense aromas of sweet dark berries along with earthy notes and a whiff of graphite. Dry medium bodied, its clean, fresh flavours of blueberry and blackberry are garnished with a light kiss of spice and toast, the fruit dominating through the tangy finish.

Suggested Food Pairing: Serve with roast lamb, gourmet burgers or an early autumn stew.

Cellaring: Drink now or over the next 12-18 months

 

KIN Chardonnay VQA 2015
$29.95

Produced from the fruit harvested from an acre in the Lincoln Lakeshore appellation, grown specifically for KIN, this Chardonnay is aged in very lightly toasted French oak barrels, 50% of which are new. Given the very limited production available from KIN’s own vineyards (the first harvest of Chardonnay and Pinot Noir will take place this fall), Brian plans to continue to use this carefully selected fruit from Niagara.

Savvy Sommelier Tasting Notes: Lovely restrained aromas of sweet vanilla, hints of melted butter, ripe tree fruit and citrus tantalize the nose. Dry, mid-weight, the wine shows real purity of fruit—crisp apple and juicy pear mingling with flavours of lemon-lime and a touch of grapefruit pith. It’s nicely balanced, clean and fresh in texture, showing notes of spice and white pepper on fresh finish. A true cool-climate Chardonnay!

Suggested Food Pairing: Serve with seafood pasta, coquille St-Jacques, or roast chicken.

Cellaring: The wine was recently bottled, so we recommend waiting a month or so before opening. This wine will age 5-7 years

 

KIN Pinot Noir VQA 2015
$29.95

Produced from fruit from the same vineyard as the Chardonnay, cropped at 2 tons per acre. Brian selected two clones of Pinot Noir for this wine, one which delivers more tannins, while the other offers more intensity of colour and fruit. The grapes were gently pressed in a small basket press, the wine aged 10 months in French oak using two different toast levels. Picking Pinot is fussy work – yet many hands make light work (see the photo below!)

Savvy Sommelier Tasting Notes: This is a classic, elegant cool-climate Pinot Noir, offering perfumed floral notes, subtle red fruit aromas, and hints of crushed leaves and earth. Dry, light-mid weight, nicely framed by lively acidity and light, fine-grained tannins, the wine also shows wonderful freshness of flavour with tangy red fruit—Morello cherry, raspberry and red plum skin to the fore. Brian’s light hand with oak is evident in the delicate notes of spice and vanilla on the finish.

Suggested Food Pairing: Serve with duck breast with a cherry sauce, or with grilled salmon or trout.

Cellaring: This wine was also recently bottled and will benefit if held a few more weeks. Consider keeping it for your Christmas turkey feast. It has the cellaring power to last 5-7 years.

kin-team

 

 

~ RECIPES TO ENJOY WITH YOUR SAVVY SELECTIONS ~


With KIN Chardonnay…

Braised Pork Tenderloin with Apples
Lucy Waverman, Dinner Tonight
Serves 4
Photo credit: The Ann Arbor News

kin-porkIngredients

2 Tbsp butter
1 lb. pork tenderloin
½ cup chopped onion
½ tsp dried rosemary (or 1 tsp fresh, if available)
½ cup apple juice
1 Tbsp cider vinegar
½ tsp Dijon mustard
1 Tbsp vegetable oil
3 Macintosh apples peeled, cored and coarsely chopped

Method

Heat butter in skillet on medium-high heat. When it is sizzling, add pork tenderloin. Sear meat for 2-3 minutes per side. Remove tenderloin, reserve & reduce heat to medium-low.

Add onion and rosemary to skillet & sauté for 5 minutes or until onion is softened. Add apple juice & vinegar, scraping up any bits in pan. Add mustard.

Raise heat & cook 2-3 minutes or until mixture is reduced by half.

Add apples & tenderloin to pan. Lower heat to medium & simmer gently for 20 minutes or until pork is firm & no longer pink. Slice & serve with roast potatoes, the apple mixture on the side.

  

With KIN ‘Dark Horse’ Frontenac…

Seared Duck Breast with Cherries & Port Sauce

Recipe & Photo Credits www.epicurious.com
Serves 2

duck-table-overview-kin-vineyardsIngredients

2 5-6 oz. duck breast halves, or one 12-16 oz. duck breast half
2 Tbsp chilled butter, divided
¼ cup finely chopped shallot
½ cup low-salt chicken broth
8 halved pitted sweet red cherries, fresh or frozen
2 Tbsp Tawny Port
1 Tbsp orange blossom honey

Method

Place duck breast halves between 2 sheets of plastic wrap. Pound lightly to even thickness (~ ½-3/4”). Discard plastic wrap. Using a sharp knife, score skin in ¾” diamond pattern (do not cut into flesh.

Melt 1 Tbsp butter in heavy large skillet over medium-high heat. Sprinkle duck with salt & pepper. Add duck, skin side down, to skillet & cook until skin is browned & crisp, about 5 minutes. Turn duck breasts over, reduce heat to medium & cook until browned to desired doneness, about 4 minutes longer for small breasts & 8 minutes longer for large breast for medium-rare. Transfer to work surface, tent with foil to keep warm & let rest 10 minutes.

Meanwhile, pour all but 2 Tbsp drippings from skillet. Add shallot to skillet & stir over medium heat for 30 seconds. Add broth, cherries, Port and honey. Increase heat to high & boil until sauce is reduced to glaze, stirring often, about 3 minutes. Whisk in 1 Tbsp cold butter. Season sauce to taste with salt & pepper. (With this tasty sauce, you may wish to double the recipe!)

Thinly slice duck. Fan slices out on plates. Spoon over sauce & serve with roast autumn vegetables.

  

With KIN ‘Understory’ Maréchal Foch’

Roast Sirloin Steak with Mushroom Sauce

Recipe & Photo credit: Lucy Waverman, Dinner Tonight
Serves 6

roast-strip-loin-kin-vineyardsIngredients

1 3½ lb sirloin steak, about 2” thick
1 Tbsp Dijon mustard
3 cloves garlic, chopped
2 Tbsp soy sauce
1 tsp Worcestershire sauce
2 Tbsp chopped fresh rosemary
1 tsp paprika
2 Tbsp olive oil
Salt & pepper to taste
3 Tbsp butter
8 oz. wild mushrooms, sliced
1 Tbsp balsamic vinegar
1 cup red wine
1 ½ cup beef or chicken stock
2 Tbsp chopped parsley

Method

Trim fat from steak. Combine mustard, garlic, soy sauce, Worcestershire sauce, rosemary, paprika and 1 Tbsp oil. Brush over both sides of steak. Season with salt & pepper. Marinate 4 hours or overnight in refrigerator.

Preheat oven to 450F.

Heat remaining 1 Tbsp oil in large ovenproof skillet on medium-high heat. Add steak & cook 3 minutes on each side. Place skillet in oven & bake for 15-18 minutes for rare, or until desired degree of doneness. Place on carving board & let rest while making sauce.

Heat 2 Tbsp butter in skillet on medium-high heat. Add mushrooms & sauté until limp. Add balsamic vinegar & wine & reduce until ¼ cup remains. Add stock & reduce by half.

Reduce heat & stir in remaining 1 Tbsp butter. Stir in parsley. Slice steak thinly & top with mushroom sauce.

 

With KIN Pinot Noir…

Balsamic Chicken with Mushrooms & Sundried Cherries

Adapted from Troy & Cheryl-Lynn Townsin, Cooking with BC Wine
Serves 6-8
Photo credit (as close to recipe as we could find!): Simply Recipes

balsalmic-chickenIngredients

1 cup red wine
1 cup chicken stock
8 boneless, skinless chicken thighs
4 Tbsp flour
½ lb. pancetta bacon
1 Tbsp olive oil
2 onions, chopped
4 garlic cloves, finely chopped (or to taste)
1 cup mushrooms, sliced
1 cup dried cherries, chopped
¼ cup good quality balsamic vinegar
Salt & pepper to taste

Method

Dredge chicken in flour seasoned with salt & pepper.

Over medium-high heat, fry pancetta in olive oil until crisp. Remove from the pan & set aside. Brown chicken on both sides in bacon fat then remove from pan. Sauté onion, garlic & mushrooms until soft.

Add cherries, wine, vinegar, chicken stock, pancetta & chicken & simmer over medium-low heat for 30 minutes (add extra chicken stock if evaporation requires). Check the seasoning & adjust with balsamic vinegar if necessary.

Serve with frenched green beans, roasted cherry tomatoes and mashed potatoes.

 

 

Enjoy your Savvy Selections! 

 

 

Beat the heat bevvies

Posted by Debbie

Monday, July 11th, 2016

Question: What drink make you think of summer?

A) Refreshing Rosé
B) Mouth-watering Cider
C) Cold Radler Beer
D) Big bold Cabernet
E) Fruity Sangria
F) All of the above!

This is a multiple choice quiz that none of us can get wrong! With more sun-filled days, long weekends and lazy afternoons lounging on your deck or dock, summer brings more time to relax & unwind with a glass in your favorite beat-the-heat bevvy.

To help you shift from winter warming drinks to summer sippers, here are some tips from our team of Savvy Sommeliers & Brew Crew:

 

Fielding RoseFielding Estate Rosé VQA 2015

from: Niagara, Ontario

Nothing says summer like a glass of chilled Rosé wine. There are plenty to choose from all parts of the world, ranging in colour from a hint-of-pink to bright candy floss. With a sip, you will discover tastes from bone dry to a touch of sweetness.   To tip you off on just one Rosé to buy is difficult. When the Savvy Sommeliers got together for our spring kick-off, we were impressed with Fielding’s Rosé wine. A soft pink colour with aromas and tastes that will remind you of ripe strawberries and rhubarb. It’s a lovely wine that will be delicious with fish (poached or grilled), prosciutto wrapped asparagus, lemon roasted chicken, corn chowder or even a summer salad.

$15.95 per bottle available at the LCBO all summer long.

County Cider Pear bottle shotCounty Cider Co. Pear Cider

from: Prince Edward County, Ontario

County Cider Company is a family-run operation that has been crafting ciders in The County since 1995 – long before the region became known for its wines. The Pear Cider was inspired when the cidery owners Jenifer & Grant Howes visited Normandy, France – an area renowned for Cavardos (Pear and Apple Brandy). For this summer sipper, pear juice has been blended with carefully selected apple cider – for a dry, delicious quench thirsting summer drink.

$7.95 per bottle – available when you visit The County this summer or contact Savvy Company to deliver some to your doorstep.

radler-can_2048x2048Kichesippi Brewery Radler

from Ottawa, Ontario

Last summer, it seemed that every craft brewery was making a Radler! They are not a new creation, rather a resurgence of a summertime beer that was first introduced in Deisenhofen, Germany back in 1922. Intentionally made to be lower in alcohol (typically 3%), this is a great beer to enjoy during lunch on the patio, or to pop into your panier to quench your thirst during a bike ride. Kichesippi’s Radler is a blend of their lager with grapefruit soda. Be sure to try plenty of Radlers this summer to find your favorite.

$2.85 per can – available at the LCBO throughout Ottawa only for the summer.

 

13th Street Meritage13th Street Estate Winery Meritage VQA 2012

from Twenty Valley (Niagara), Ontario

A powerhouse red blend of 33% Cabernet Sauvignon, 33% Merlot & 33% Cabernet Franc. Get out your largest wine glasses as this BIG red wine is begging to be served with anything off the BBQ. Think thick steak, lamb chops, spicy sausages with loads of fresh grilled veggies. A very special wine as only 220 cases were made. Every sip will remind you of black cherry, dark chocolate , black plum with a dash of fresh ground pepper and warm spices (think cloves, Chinese 5 Spice & steak spice). At $34.95 per bottle, this extra special wine is only available when you visit the winery this summer. Alternatively, subscribe to Savvy Selections wine-o-month club & the wine will auto-magically arrive at your home or office.

 Summer won’t last forever, so mix it up with a pitcher of sangria. Whether you make it with red wine or take a new approach and use white wine, this fruit ladened cocktail make your summertime Happy Hour, even happier!

 

Debbie’s Secret recipe for Sangria

from Debbie’s kitchen to yours…

Photo from www.goodtaste.tv

Makes 1 large pitchersangria-3

1 bottle of red wine (select something under $18…afterall you will be adding fruit to it!)
10 to 15 strawberries, sliced
A handful of blackberries
1 lemon, sliced & quartered
1 lime, sliced & halved
1 orange, sliced & quartered
½ of a tin of frozen Five Alive juice concentrate
½ to a full can of Club Soda or 7-Up (optional – if you want a little spritz to your sangria. 7-Up will make your sangria sweeter.)

Place fruit into a large pitcher or jug. Pour in Five Alive concentrate, club soda or 7-Up (if using). Fill with red wine. Stir until well mixed. Chill in fridge for 1 hour before serving to let the fruit marinate. Pour into a tall glass with lots of ice. Garnish with a slice of fruit on the rim. Enjoy.

 

Love Rosé wines? You’ll love this…

bouquet-of-rosesWe make it easy to Clink & Drink Pink! Each month throughout the summer, our Savvy Sommeliers will select a different assortment of six Rosé wines from across Ontario. These are extra special as you won’t find them at the LCBO.

Order a small bouquet (a parcel of 6 different Rosé wines) or a full bouquet (a parcel containing 12 bottles – 2 of each of the featured Rosé wines).

There is a different bouquet of Rosés each month!

Next to the taste, the best part of this new way to buy hard-to-find rosé wines is free shipping.

Order yours or give as a gift at www.savvycompany.ca/rose

Wines for every Weekend from Pondview, Rosewood & 13th Street

Posted by Debbie

Friday, September 25th, 2015

Savvy Company is rapidly becoming the one-stop solution to drinking good wines.  While summer has turned to fall,  we are finding ways to give you more free time…you can get wine delivered to your door with Wines for the Weekend. Rather than aimlessly roaming the aisles, our Savvy Sommeliers have picked the best 12 bottles  of Ontario wines for you for you to have on hand with Wines for the Weekend as summer turns to fall.

wineweekend_smallWines for the Weekend are bottles of hard-to-find wines that can be enjoyed any day of the week. All you have to do is order by Tuesday and your wines will arrive on Friday….just in time for the weekend. Watch this space for our Recipe Box with neat recipes from local chefs. You will find all the makings of a great weekend (or two) or even a dinner party.

With each entry in our Weekender Report, our Savvy Sommeliers  take the guess work out of what taste is bottled up inside your case of wine   Come back to this blog often to get the full report on a regular basis.  Each week we will highlight some top Ontario wines that are awaiting to be enjoyed when you open your Wines for the Weekend.

Start your weekend now!  Click & order >>

 

Featuring wines from…

Pondview, Rosewood & 13th Street

 

13th Street PinotGris 201213th Street Pinot Gris VQA 2012

$19.95
Beamsville Bench (Niagara)

That summer feel can last forever when you have a glass of Pinot Gris in hand…a classic light bodied white wine that refreshes you with every sip. Whether named Pinot Gris or Pinot Grigio (the Italian way), the wine is made with the same grape variety.

Savvy Sommelier Tasting Notes: To make a crisp, clean refreshing wine, 13th Street’s winemaker Jean Pierre Colas harvested the grapes in early September. Aromas and tastes of green melon, pear, white flowers and green apples are noticed with a rich mouthfeel that lures you to have another sip, and another!

Food Pairing Suggestions: Delicious chilled on its own all year long, with pan fried fish or better yet…Shrimp on the ‘barbie’. This cool white sipper can make these cooler days of fall taste just like summer season linger. For a completely different recipe that will WOW, try the Zucchini Parm in the TGIF Recipe below.

 

Rosewood Sussreserve Riesling 2013Rosewood Süssreserve Riesling VQA 2012

$15.00
Beamsville Bench (Niagara)

What does Süssreserve mean? An amount of Riesling grape juice is added to the finished wine before bottling to add complexity, natural acidity and natural sweetness. The result is a remarkable off-dry wine. Wait till you try it!

Savvy Sommelier Tasting Notes: The aromas in this wine range from white flower to peach to apple (Gala or Empire perhaps?) laced with honey and mineral notes. The cleansing acidity continues with each sip of this medium bodied white wine as tastes of sweet lemon, fresh apricot and a chalk-like minerality dance in your mouth.

Food Pairing Suggestions: This is the perfect cocktail party wine – it will go with pretty much every hors d’oeuvre. For something completely different and seasonal, pull out some rhubarb from your garden & make Rhubarb Salsa.

 

Pondview Cabernet RosePondview Cabernet Rosé VQA 2014

$14.95
Niagara-on-the-Lake

Savvy Sommelier Tasting Notes: How can you make summer linger? Keep on drinking Rosé wine – this one from Pondview will definitely do the trick! Pink salmon in colour with refreshingly youthful aromas of cranberry and strawberry. The cranberry aroma also comes across on the palate along with pink grapefruit and a hint of rose petals. This medium bodied wine has great acidity along with a crisp mouth feel and a medium length cranberry finish.

Food Pairing Suggestions: Enjoy all on its own or pair with a garden fresh salad, lamb burgers or cheese, paté and charcuterie.

 

 

13th Street Pinot_Noir 201213th Street Pinot Noir VQA 2011

$23.95
Beamsville Bench (Niagara)

Savvy Sommelier Tasting Notes: Ahhh… a Pinot Noir…one of the trickiest grapes to grow and, as such, is also every winemakers challenge. Temperamental in the vineyard and in the cellar, this has turned out to be a fine wine. Warm spices, campfire smoke, red berries and flowers are classic aromas and tastes of a Pinot Noir…and this wine has all that!

Food Pairing Suggestions: Speaking of classic, a classic food match for this wine is grilled salmon. Whether you grill it or plank it, this wine (served slightly chilled – 15 mins in the fridge) would be perfect. If you are not a fish fan, then grilled mushroom and risotto will be mouth-watering.

 

Pondview Cabernet Merlot ReservePondview Cabernet Merlot Reserve VQA 2013

$18.95
Niagara-on-the-Lake

Winery owner Joseph Barbera calls this wine “A wolf in sheep’s clothing. When you can’t decide between the bold and the beautiful.” A Bordeaux blend of 35% Cabernet Franc, 20% Cabernet Sauvignon and 45% Merlot grapes.

Savvy Sommelier Tasting Notes: A bright and beautiful garnet red core (winespeak: middle of the wine) that fades to a ruby red colour as it approaches the rim of the glass. Great intensity of flavours – vanilla, cherry, cedar and prunes – are discernible on the nose, while baked fruit, cedar and clover come through on the palate. This medium bodied wine has noticeable tannins, balanced acidity and a medium length red-fruit finish.

Food Pairing Suggestions: This wine ain’t no chicken wine! commented Savvy Sommelier Doug during our grand tasting. This wine is a well-rounded red that can be served with rare to medium-rare red meats, with BBQed steak or roast beef, meat lovers lasagne or even roast lamb with a peppercorn crust. Ever made your own sausages? Chef Albert Ponzo of Le Select Bistro in Toronto shares his Kaiserainer recipe…give it a try!

 

Rosewood Locked & Loaded VQA 2013

$22.00
Beamsville Bench (Niagara)

Savvy Sommelier Tasting Notes: A cellar experiment, that turned into a ‘phenomenal wine’, the Savvy Team exclaimed. Concentrated aromas of everything dark – overripe plums, cassis, fresh ground black pepper, baking spices & dark chocolate jump out of your glass. These same aromas continue into the taste with layers of rich textures and integrated tannins.

Food Pairing Suggestions: Enjoy now or keep in your cellar a bit longer, this wine is definitely loaded! Fire up the BBQ or plan for a prime rib, this wine is ready to enjoy with a meaty dish. You’ll wish you had more bottles of this wine!

 

~ TGIF Recipe Box ~
Recipes to enjoy with your Wines for the Weekend

 

Our Savvy Sommeliers have chosen these recipes to pair with each wine in the Wines for the Weekend…to make your weekend even easier to enjoy to its fullest.

 

With 13th Street Pinot Gris…

Zucchini Parm

From The Combine in Norfolk County
The online version of this recipe is on Ontario Culinary Tourism Association
Serves 2

More than just a restaurant, The Combine sits on 2500 sq. ft of land they use to grow beautiful herbs, vegetables and fruit that inspire everything on their menu.

Ingredients

1 zucchini sliced ½ inch thick, lengthwise or round
Breading station (seasoned flour, egg wash, panko breadcrumbs)
1 oz Parmigiano Reggiano
Homemade tomato sauce
Lemon ricotta* (see notes below)
Your favorite pesto
2 whole garlic scapes
Fried zucchini blossom**(see notes below) 

Notes from the chefs
Zucchini Parm*For the lemon ricotta, bring 2 litres of whole milk and a 1/2 tsp of salt to 185 degrees over medium heat. Remove from heat and add 1/4 cup of white vinegar, stir for one minute. Leave covered and undisturbed for 2 hours. Gently scoop out curds from mixture and place in cheesecloth lined strainer, let drain for 2 hours. Place drained curd in bowl and add juice from one lemon, adjust seasoning with salt if needed

**For the blossom, combine 225g of Monforte Water Buffalo Queso Fresca (or fresh chèvre) with some thyme and parsley in a mixer. turn on, slowly add olive oil till you get a creamy spreadable texture. Place mixture in piping bag and pipe into blossom, refrigerate until firm. Dip into your favourite batter, beer or otherwise and fry at 350 until golden brown.

Method

Cut zucchini to desired shape and coat with flour, egg wash and breadcrumbs.

Heat 50/50 olive oil and butter and add zucchini.When crisp turn over, top with Parmigiano Reggiano and place in a 400 degree oven for approximately 5 minutes or until cheese is melted and bottom side of zucchini has crisped.

Heat tomato sauce and pour on plate.

Batter stuffed blossom and deep fry till crisp and browned.

Place cooked zucchini on tomato sauce and spoon pesto around plate, sprinkle with lemon ricotta and garnish with grilled garlic scapes and fried blossom.

 

With Rosewood Süssreserve Riesling…

3 Guys and a Rhubarb Salsa

From3 Guys and A Stove
The online version of this recipe is on Ontario Culinary Tourism Association
Serves 2

This recipe comes from the team at 3 Guys and A StoveTHE stop-over for those on the pilgrimage to Algonquin Park or Muskoka for decades. Located in Huntsville, you can experience real hospitality the second you walk through the door. Once the first rhubarb stalks sprout, try this easy recipe for Rhubarb Salsa! It’s a delight with chicken and fish.

Rhubarb SalsaIngredients

1 stalk young rhubarb, diced fine
¼ cup yellow pepper, diced fine
¼ cup orange pepper, diced fine
2 Tbsp sweet white onion, diced fine
2 Tbsp green onions, diced fine
1 jalapeño, seeds removed, diced fine
2 Tbspfresh cilantro, chopped fine
1 Tbsp apple cider vinegar
1 Tbsp lime juice
2 tsp honey
¼ tsp sea salt
Fresh ground black pepper

Method

Heat 2 cups of water in a saucepan to boiling. Blanch rhubarb by placing in the boiling water for 10 to 20 seconds. Quickly remove the rhubarb and place in a colander. Blanch by running cold water over the rhubarb to stop the cooking process. Turn the blanched rhubarb onto some paper towel to dry.

In a separate bowl, combine the yellow & orange peppers, onion, scallions, jalapeño, and cilantro. Add rhubarb and mix ingredients.

In a small separate bowl, pour the honey in the lime juice and apple cider vinegar and whisk. Drizzle this dressing over the rhubarb salsa and stir. Add the salt and pepper to taste. Gently stir ingredients together.

Chill 30 minutes to an hour to allow the flavours to meld.

 

With Pondview Cabernet Merlot Reserve…

‘Kasekrainer’

From Le Select Bistro in Toronto
The online version of this recipe is on Ontario Culinary Tourism Association
Serves 2 to 5

I know what you’re thinking — what the heck is kasekrainer? Before you move onto whatever you were originally planning on grilling this weekend, hear me out. Kasekrainer are Austrian pork & cheese sausages. All together now, PORK & CHEESE SAUSAGES! Amazing, right?

This recipe comes to us from the endlessly talented Chef Albert Ponzo of Le Select Bistro.

“There’s something really rewarding about making something from scratch that most people would just buy pre-made. Besides, making your own sausages is a fun, albeit messy, experience. This recipe travels really well once smoked, meaning you can have a delicious, locally sourced, chef caliber meal wherever you may trek to!”

Ingredients

Kaiserkrainer2 kg ground pork, lean
50 g salt
875g ground Ontario pork back fat
3g black pepper
4 g caraway seeds
4 g mustard seeds
4g garlic
6 g sugar
¼L cold water
575g Ontario cheddar – we like St. Albert’s!
1 packet hog casing soaked in water

Method

In a mortar and pestle, grind black pepper, caraway seeds, mustard seeds.Mince garlic cloves.

Ensure the meats are very cold when mixing them. Mix together, by hand, lean pork, fat and all seasonings and spices until thoroughly incorporated. Add water and continue to mix until absorbed and texture is tacky. Add cheese and mix until evenly distributed.

Stuff cold sausage mix firmly into hog casings. Twist and pinch the sausages in 5” lengths to create links. Refrigerate until ready to smoke.

Set smoker to 145F. Soak apple wood chips in water.

Drain woodchips and place in smoking tray or compartment. Add kasekrainer sausage to smoker and smoke for 1 hour or until internal temperature reaches 145F. Chill sausages.

When ready to serve grill over hot camp fire grill, until heated through.


Like the sound of all these wines & recipes?

Click & order here >>

 

Here is a list of all the wines featured in this month’s Wines for the Weekend:

wineweekend_smallFrom Niagara-on-the-Lake

Pondview Cabernet Rosé VQA 2014
Pondview Cabernet Merlot Reserve VQA 2013

From 20 Valley (Beamsville Bench – Niagara)

13th Street Pinot Gris VQA 2012
13th Street Pinot Noir VQA 2011

Di Profio Gamay Sparkling
Di Profio Kitchen Zinc VQA 2013 (red)

Good Earth Wine Viognier VQA 2013
Good Earth Wine Big Fork Red VQA 2013

Rosewood Süssreserve Riesling VQA 2012
Rosewood Locked & Loaded VQA 2013 (red)

 

When you order Wines for the Weekend, you will always have outstanding Ontario wines on hand. To order additional bottles of your new found favorites from this assortment by calling the Savvy Team on 613-SAVVYCO (728-8926). OR, continue to make your weekends even easier with an automatic delivery of Wines for the Weekend every month –  a completely new selection of hard-to-find wines will arrive at your home or office.

To order, simply call us on 613-SAVVYCO (728-8926) or visit www.savvycompany.ca/TGIF

Ready to get your wine glasses out again next month? Stay tuned to this blog, where we will post a list of the wines that we plan on featuring each month.

 

Cheers & enjoy these great Ontario wines!

Summer is not over yet…enjoy the long weekend with a G&T!

Posted by Debbie

Tuesday, September 1st, 2015

September has arrived but there is still time to enjoy the many iconic drinks of summer – a fruity sangria, a minty mojito, an elegant glass of rosé wine, or a frosted G&T. You might be surprised to read that this Sommelier enjoys something other drinks as well as wine, yet with gin making a comeback, it is interesting to re-discover classic favorites and try some of the artisanal gins that are being made in our own backyard.

The history of gin stems back to 16th-century Holland and since then various styles that have emerged from crystal clear and bone-dry to honey colored and fruity. While you may go local when buying wine, craft beers, artisan cheese and farmers fresh produce, there is a local distiller in Ottawa and several more throughout Ontario making their one-of-a-kind gin to enjoy this summer.

Savvy Company - 66 Gillead Loyalist GinLoyalist Gin

66 Gilead Distillery in Prince Edward County is constantly creating adding a new twist on their portfolio of spirits. Their Loyalist Gin has is loaded with junipers and botanicals including locally grown lavenderas well as heritage hops flowers.Available at the LCBO or the distillery. $43.95 43% alc/vol 66gileaddistillery.com

 

Savvy Company - PigerHenricusGinPiger Henricus

A traditional London Dry gin made with botanicals such as juniper, berries, coriander, angelica root, lemon zest, cardamom AND parsnips. This secret ingredient gives the drink a very distinctive taste that is hard to pin point on the first or second sip. Parsnip makes it uberrefreshing. “Piger Henricus is not your grandfather’s gin,” remarks founder Stephan Ruffo. Available at the LCBO $39.00 43% alc/vol pigerhenricus.com

 

Triple Beam Gin

Made in Ottawa at North of 7 Distillery – the only one in the city – using juniper berries sourced from Ferme et Forêt in Wakefield, Québec along with a concoction of botanicals (many that are local). Available only from the distillery at 1733 St Laurent Blvd. $39.95 40% alc/vol northof7distillery.ca

Savvy Company - Dillons_Rose-GinUnfiltered Gin 22 and Rose Gin

Dillon’s Small Batch Distiller in Niagara creates a base using grapes from neigbouring wineries. Herbs, flowers, fruitand other secret ingredients are all sourced from local farmers in the Niagara region.   Available at the LCBO or at the distillery Unfiltered Gin 22 $39.95 40% alc/vol, Rose Gin $49.95 38% alc/vol, Cherry Gin And they make Cherry Gin and Strawberry Gin too (available in August at the distillery)! dillons.ca

 

Gin 101 – the 5 different styles of gin…

London Dry Gin – typically dry & heavily juniper flavoured without any sugar added, classic to use for cocktails & martinis, names you will recognize include Gordon’s, Tanqueray, Bombay Sapphire, Beefeater

Plymouth Gin – less dry than its cousin London Dry, infused with more roots to create an earthier softer flavoured gin. Only one brand available, coincidentally called Plymouth Gin

Genever or Dutch Gin – a darker coloured drink made from a base of malt grains. Good for sipping straight up or chilled.

Old Tom Gin – the sweetest of the bunch. Used for making the classic Tom Collins drink. It can be difficult to find, yet be on the lookout for Hayman’s brand.

International Gin – the umbrella style for all gins that are made with ingredients other than juniper berries. Hendrick’sis a brand that is growing in popularity.

 

 Recipes 2 try

Once you have your gin of choice in hand, keep the bottle in the freezer for that opportune moment to shake up a martini or pour a G&T.   Since this article is all about discovering different gins, here two recipes to try this summer to mix things up a bit!

Celery Gin & Tonic

from the creators of PigerHenricus

1 celery stalk, chopped
1 tablespoon sugar or maple sirup
1 ounce fresh lemon juice
2 ounces gin (why not try Piger Henricus?)
1 small stick of parsnip
Lemon twist

Muddle celery with sugar and lemon juice in a blender for 1 minute. Add gin.Pour in a cocktail shaker filled with ice and shake until the outside of shaker becomes frosty (about 30 seconds). Strain into a rocks glass filled with ice. Garnish with parsnip and lemon twist.

Pimms No. 1 Cup

Savvy Company - PimmsIf you have ever traveled to England during the summer, you would have noticed that G&Ts have been replaced with a dark-coloured drink called Pimms. This is a cocktail made with a gin based liquor and is the cocktail of choice at Wimbeldon tennis matches….and everywhere else in the UK during the sunshine! Either grab a bottle of the ready-to-mix Pimms from the LCBO ($29.95) or use this do-it-yourself recipe for this classic summertime drink

 

DIY Pimms

1 part gin
1 part red vermouth
½ part Cointreau
Club soda, 7UP or Sprite

Mix the ingredients in a pitcher and refrigerate. When ready to serve, add sliced strawberries, sprigs of mint & cucumber to the pitcher and soda, then pour into ice-filled glasses.

dozenroses_180pxWant to take a break from gin?

For those of you who want to Clink & Drink Pink, check out www.savvycompany.ca/rose for our monthly assortment of One Dozen Rosés – a selection of 12 bottles of dry, crisp refreshing Rosé wines handpicked by the team of Savvy Sommeliers.  Whether it’s the heat or summer or fall on the way, we have lots of tips for you to enjoy great Ontario wines.

Enjoy your Long Weekend!
Debbie

 

 

 

Clink & Drink Pink with Rosé wines from Creekside, Rosewood & Sue-Ann Staff

Posted by Debbie

Monday, July 27th, 2015

Why not stock up on Rosé wines for the August Long weekend? What better way to celebrate summer in all its sunny glory than toast with a glass of pink in hand.  Our One Dozen Rosés is back with a different assorted case of Rosé wine each month this summer &  you can read all about each bottle that you will receive when you place your order.  We make buying Rosé wine so easy, just click & sip!

One Dozen Roses - Savvy CompanyWith each entry in our Rosé Report, our Savvy Sommeliers  take the guess work out of what taste is bottled up in each pretty pink bottle.

Come back to this blog often to get the full report throughout the summer.  Each week we will highlight some of the Ontario Rosés that are awaiting to be enjoyed when you open your One Dozen Rosés as well as great recipes that we feature to help make your summer wining & dining easy.

Bring on summer! Order One Dozen Rosé now >>

 

 

Featuring Rosé wines from
Creekside, Rosewood & Sue-Ann Staff wineries…


Creekside Cabernet Rose 2014Creekside Estates Cabernet Rosé VQA 2014

$14.95
Beamsville Bench (Niagara Escarpment)

Another great winery to visit when you take a summer getaway to wine country. Not only do they make lots of great wines, but their patio overlooking the vineyard is also worth stopping for.

Savvy Sommelier Tasting Notes: Bright neon pink in colour with gorgeous aromas of wild strawberries, flowers& green apple that follows into the taste. This crowd-pleasing wine is juicy yet dry. Medium bodied and well balanced with refreshing acidity…it is summer in a glass.

Suggested Food Pairing: You can’t go wrong with this wine. The colour, the bouquet & the taste…they all will remind you of summer. This versatile wine can be served chilled on its own or with any of the creations in our Rosé Recipe Box. Be sure to have a batch of the Rosemary & White Bean Dip in the fridge at the cottage just in case you feel the urge coming on to crack open this bottle of wine as the sunsets.

 

 

Rosewood Trois Femmes Rose 2013Rosewood Trois Femmes Rosé VQA 2014

$15.00
Beamsville Bench (Niagara Escarpment)

From the family run winery and Ontario’s first Meadery, this year’s Rosé from Rosewood is 100% Pinot Noir grapes. The wine was made with the skins intact with the juice for 3-5 days then fermented until it reached the fruity flavours and the colour that the winemaker wanted to create.

Savvy Sommelier Tasting Notes: One word will describe this wine: STRAWBERRY. From its colour, the aroma and taste, this wine has the wonderful summery taste of fresh strawberries. “It has the zippiness of rhubarb too”, commented Savvy Sommelier Debbie during the Savvy Team tasting of 40+ Rosé wines. A very well-balanced, smooth wine that combines notes of strawberry tastes of watermelon and freshly crushed ripe berries – all things that are iconic about summer.

Suggested Food Pairing: This is a no fuss wine. It would be delicious with anything off the grill, seafood, homemade pizza, charcuterie and light meals. Try something completely different – Beet-zza!

 

Sue Ann Staff Fancy Farm Girl Foxy Pink 2013Sue-Ann Staff Foxy Pink VQA 2013

$17.00
Beamsville Bench (Niagara Escarpment)

This has been an amazing year for our friend Sue-Ann. In April, she decided to finish the chapter of her career where she was making wine at other wineries and focus 100% on her namesake winery – Sue-Ann Staff Estates. And the decision quickly paid off. Her new Fancy Farm Girl wine brand has won label design awards as well as accolades for her wines. This one is the Rosé in her portfolio. Be sure to read the back label to learn more about Sue-Ann’s style – a farm girl who loves to be a diva too!

Savvy Sommelier Tasting Notes: The bright coral pink colour alludes to the style of this wine. Bright vivid aromas of watermelon, strawberry candy, even marshmallows leap from the glass. These aromas continue as you sip on this off-dry wine, then the bright zippy acidity will make your mouth water while prepping your palate for another sip and another.    Enjoy on its own with friends (or not!) or with sushi, tuna, salmon, pizzas, picnics, salads and soooo much more.

Suggested Food Pairing: Keep chilled in your fridge for when friends come over for a spontaneous get together. Call out for sushi or fire up the gill with some salmon steaks or better yet…get fancy with the Grilled Chicken & Strawberries with Balsamic.

 

~ Recipes to enjoy with your One Dozen Rosés ~


With Creekside Cabernet Rosé

Rosemary & White Bean Dip

From Serious Eats
Serves 4 – 6

Ingredients

1 (15 ½ oz) can cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
2 medium cloves garlic, peeled
2 tsp freshly squeezed lemon juice and 1 teaspoon finely grated lemon zest from 1 lemon
¼ cup plus 1 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil, divided
2 tsp finely minced fresh rosemary
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

Method

Place beans, garlic, and lemon juice in the work-bowl of a food processor fitted with a steel blade. Pulse until beans are roughly chopped.

With motor running, slowly pour 1/4 cup of oil through feed tube. Process until mixture is smooth.

Transfer bean mixture to a small bowl. Stir in rosemary, lemon zest, and remaining 1 tablespoon of oil. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Serve immediately or store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.

Serve with Greek pita wedges or pita crisps.

 

With Rosewood Trois Femmes Rosé

Beet-zza

From Chatelaine Magazine
Serves 4-6

beet-zzaIngredients

1 sheet puff pastry, thawed
1 beaten egg
½ cup very thinly sliced beets
1 tsp olive oil
2 Tbsp crumbled feta
fresh basil to garnish

Method

Unroll puff pastry onto a parchment-lined baking sheet. Use a paring knife to score a ½in. border around pastry square. With a fork, prick holes all over pastry.

Bake at 400°F for 15 min.

Brush egg evenly over pastry. Layer with sliced beets. Brush with olive oil, then sprinkle with feta.

Bake at 400°F in bottom third of oven until golden, 15 to 20 more min.

Sprinkle with fresh basil.

 

With Sue-Ann Staff Foxy Pink

Grilled Chicken & Strawberries with Balsamic Syrup

From Fine Cooking Magazine
Serves 4

Grilling gives strawberries a slightly smoky flavor and a striking appearance. Balsamic vinegar adds a rich note that highlights and deepens the flavor of both the strawberries and the chicken, tying the meal together.

Ingredients

Grilled Chicken & Strawberries arugula from Fine Cookingbalsamic vinegar
strawberries
chicken breast cutlets
olive oil
kosher salt
black peppercorns
basil
3 Tbsp balsamic vinegar
20 medium strawberries (unhulled)
4, 5-oz. boneless, skinless chicken breast cutlets
Extra-virgin olive oil
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 Tbsp chopped fresh basil
handful of arugula, as desired

Method

In a 1-quart saucepan, boil the vinegar until reduced by half, about 2 minutes; set aside.

Thread 5 strawberries on each of 4 skewers. Brush the chicken cutlets with olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Heat a grill or grill pan over medium-high heat.

Grill the chicken and strawberries until the chicken is cooked through, 2 to 3 minutes per side, and the strawberries have slight grill marks, 1 to 2 minutes per side.

Serve drizzled with a little olive oil and the reduced vinegar and sprinkled with basil.

 

Clink & Drink Pink all summer long!

Here is a sneak peak of the wines that will be featured in the upcoming months.

In August the One Dozen Rosé will include:

Casa-Dea Cabernet Franc Rosé, VQA 2014, Prince Edward County

Devil’s Wishbone Pinot Gris Rosé VQA 2014, Prince Edward County

Greenlane Rosé VQA 2013, Beamsville Bench (Niagara)

Henry of Pelham Sibiling Rivilary Pink VQA 2014, Beamsville

Vieni Momenti Sparkling Rosé, Beamsville (1 bottle)

Vieni Alleria Rosé VQA 2014, Beamsville (1 bottle)

Vineland Estates ‘The Game Changer’ Rosé VQA 2014, Beamsville

Order your One Dozen Rosé at www.savvycompany.ca/rose

 

 

Clink & Drink Pink with Rosé wines from Kacaba & DiProfio Wines

Posted by Amanda

Tuesday, July 7th, 2015

The temperature is soaring & those lazy days we’ve been dreaming of all winter are now here!  Our One Dozen Rosés is back by popular demand &  you can read all about each bottle that you will receive when you place your order.  We make buying Rosé wine so easy, just click & sip!

One Dozen Roses - Savvy CompanyWith each entry in our Rosé Report , our Savvy Sommeliers  take the guess work out of what taste is bottled up in each pretty pink bottle.   Come back to this blog often to get the full report throughout the summer.  Each week we will highlight some of the Ontario Rosés that are awaiting to be enjoyed when you open your One Dozen Rosés.

“Rosé wines unleash the creativity in a winemaker. They can be made from any combination of grape variety resulting in dramatically different styles,” says Savvy Sommelier Debbie Trenholm. “There are so many exceptional Rosé wines made right here in Ontario but not all are available at the LCBO. We’ve brought back One Dozen Rosés and The Rosé Report to help you experience those hidden gems.”

Bring on summer! Order One Dozen Rosé now >>

 

Featuring Rosé wines from
DiProfio Wines & Kacaba Vineyards…


These 2 boutique wineries are located in Twenty Valley along the Beamsville Bench and they illustrate that small is BIG.  These Rose wines pack a punch of taste & quality that our Sommeliers are always on the lookout for in Ontario wines.


Di Profio Gamay Rose 2013
Di Profio Gamay Rosé

$15.70
Twenty Valley  (Beamsville Bench)

This boutique winery has a growing reputation for making outstanding wines. Sandwiched between the 20 Valley region and Niagara-on-the-Lake, this is definitely worth the stop…and they have a wonderful B&B on the estate!

Savvy Sommelier Tasting Notes: A stunning colour in the glass. Aromas of beets, candy floss, it smells sweeter than it is…in fact, it is deliciously dry. Each sip is loaded with tastes of red fruit (cherry, raspberry or strawberry perhaps). This Rosé has a nice refreshing acidity, a long berry finish. Bring on summer with this outstanding wine!

Suggested Food Pairing: Another one to pack for a picnic or serve on the dock. Chill & pack in your basket (no need for a corkscrew) to enjoy with tabbouleh, hummus, quinoa salad. In our Rosé Recipe Box below, we have included a Chickpea, Barley & Feta Salad that will do the trick!

Trip Tip: Among The Vines B&B

Planning a roadtrip to Niagara? Try to get accommodation at Carollynn & Joseph Di Profio’s B&B located next door to Di Profio Wines. It is truly a way to enjoy the fullest wine experience in a very personal way.  The 10 acres of vineyards with both mature vines & newly planted ones too are filled with activity during the day and tranquility at night. They promise the vines won’t disturb your sleep. Awake to a fresh breakfast laced with Di Profio’s own icewine – now that is the way to start a day in wine country!

 

Kacaba Rebecca Rose 2014Kacaba Vineyard Rebecca Rosé VQA 2014

$14.95
Beamsville Bench (Niagara Escarpment)

Looking for great red wines made in Ontario? Kacaba Vineyards is definitely one of our top picks. This year’s of rosé wine is made with 100% Gamay grapes grown on the estate, this is ‘not just another summer sipper’ states John Tummon, Kacaba’s winemaker. It is a wine to be enjoyed year round… before or during a meal.

Savvy Sommelier Tasting Notes: Bright cotton candy pink colour. Concentrated aromas of fresh juicy red cherries, ripe red berries and cotton candy of course! These aromas continue into the taste with an added cranberry flavour to give it even more body. A smooth texture in your mouth, this bright and refreshing wine is so easy to enjoy.

Suggested Food Pairing: One definitely to serve during a meal – lunch or dinner. Chicken satay, grilled vegetable kebabs would be delicious. We also think that it would be perfectly paired with pan seared fish – such as the perch recipe that we’ve provided for you from Port Restaurant located in Pickering – recipe below.  Enjoy!

 

~ Recipes to enjoy with your One Dozen Rosés ~

With Di  Profio Gamay Rosé

Chickpea, Barley & Feta Salad

From Bon Appetit Magazine www.bonappetit.com
Barley has nice heft and chew, but don’t feel limited—use cooked farro, quinoa, or brown rice if you prefer.

Ingredients

8 oz. green beans, halved crosswise
Kosher salt
1 cup pearled, hulled, or hull-less barley
1 tsp olive oil
¼ cup raw sunflower seeds
1 can ( 15.5-oz.) chickpeas, rinsed
4 oz. feta, crumbled
2 Tbsp chopped fresh dill
2 Tbsp fresh lemon juice

Method

Cook green beans in a large pot of boiling salted water until crisp-tender, about 3 minutes. Using a sieve or a slotted spoon, transfer to a bowl of ice water. Return water to a boil, add barley, and simmer until tender (refer to packaging for timing); drain. Let cool on a baking sheet.

Heat oil in a small skillet over medium heat. Cook sunflower seeds, tossing occasionally, until golden brown, about 5 minutes; let cool.

Toss green beans, barley, sunflower seeds, chickpeas, feta, dill, lemon juice, and vinaigrette in a large bowl.

Toasted Spice Vinaigrette

1 tsp coriander seeds
1 tsp cumin seeds
1 tsp fennel seeds
¼ cup olive oil
2 Tbsp white wine vinegar
1 tsp Dijon mustard
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

Method

Toast coriander, cumin, and fennel seeds in a dry small skillet over medium heat, tossing, until fragrant, about 3 minutes. Let cool, then chop.

Whisk with oil, vinegar, and mustard in a small bowl; season with salt and pepper. Vinaigrette can be made 4 days ahead. Cover and chill or toss into salad & chill until serving.

 

With Kacaba Vineyards Rebecca Rosé

perch with salsa verdePan Seared Perch with Salsa Verde

From Port Restaurant in Pickering (recipe & photo credits)
Serves 4

Ingredients

1/2 bunch Ontario flat-leaf parsley
1/2 bunch Ontario basil
l1/2 bunch Ontario mint
1 clove Ontario garlic, peeled
2 tablespoons capers, drained
2-3 anchovy fillets
1 Tbsp Ontario mustard
4 Tbsp Pristine Gourmet Sunflower OiL
1-2 Tbsp red wine vinegar
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
2 Tbsp paprika
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 Ontario egg
1 cup Ontario cream
1/2 cup butter
1 1/2 lb fresh, skin on Ontario perch
Salt & Pepper to taste

Instructions

Before prepping fish, place herbs, garlic, capers, anchovies, mustard, sunflower oil and vinegar in a food processor. Season generously with salt and pepper. Pulse until mixed, but still course. Add more oil if necessary.

Next, mix flour, paprika, and salt together and set aside.

Heat butter in a large sautee pan. Dip perch fillets into the flour mixture and gently shake off excess. Carefully place them into the heated, buttery pan, skin side down. Once golden brown, flip and cook for 30 seconds more. Remove from the butter and drain on a paper towel to absorb excess butter. Spoon on salsa and serve immediately.

Enjoy…and Clink & Drink Pink!

 

 

 

Summer is here…Let’s Clink & Drink Pink!

Posted by Debbie

Wednesday, June 17th, 2015

It’s time to raise a glass of Rosé wine to welcome in summer…our One Dozen Rosés is back!  For the second year in a row, we’re offering an assorted case of refreshing & delicious Rosé wines crafted in Ontario to be delivered to your home, office or even cottage. Our team of Savvy Sommeliers has tasted too-many-to-count bottles to hand-pick this selection for your enjoyment all summer long.  In fact, there were so many great Rosé wines that we’re offering a different One Dozen Rosés  each month.

Grab your corkscrew or crack open the seal on these Rosé wines to enjoy with a picnic, serve with lunch or better yet…watch the sunset as you unwind on your deck or your dock.

You don’t even have to get off your lawn chair!  Click & order >>

Each Rosé wine has a cool story. To add to your enjoyment of the selected wines, our Savvy Sommeliers have compiled this Rosé Report – a different one will appear here each month – with our Sommeliers’ tasting notes for each wine in your assortment along with some easy summertime recipes from our kitchen to yours.

Only $199 & shipping is FREE!

 

In July’s case of One Dozen Rosés you will find…

Huff Cuvee-JanineHuff Estates Cuvée Janine Sparkling

$25.00
Prince Edward County

Winemaker Frederic Picard is true to his French roots when making wines at Huff Estates.  Raised amongst the vineyards and wineries in Burgundy France, this man has wine running through his veins.  Both of the selected wines from Huff are great examples of how Frederic lends his winemaking talent (nurtured in France, South Africa & other parts of the world) to craft elegant wines in Prince Edward County.

A special price on this Bubbly! We were delighted when the team at Huff Estates offered us an extra special price (regular $30) so we could include this bubbly in this month’s assortment.

Savvy Sommelier Tasting Notes: Everything about this wine exudes fun – the colour, the refreshing dry tastes and all of the possibilities for food pairings.  Made with 100% Pinot Noir grapes, the wine is made using the classic French Méthode Champagnoise that is aptly named for the winemaking technique for Champagne. The second fermentation (that creates the bubbles) happens in each individual bottle.

A vibrant cranberry coloured bubbly with a lovely nose of red fruit, a touch of mineral and a hint of sweet citrus (pink grapefruit or blood orange). Very dry and medium bodied, it’s juicy and refreshing with tastes of red cherries, berries and tangy cranberries that play through garnished by a lively touch of white pepper on the finish.

Food Pairing Suggestions:  Put in your fridge for any occasion (we do!) – a beautiful sunset, friends dropping by or why not begin a long weekend with the popping of its cork!  In our Rosé Recipe Box, we share with you a stunning looking (and delicious) Gorgonzola and Strawberry Canapé that is easy to make. Chill & enjoy every sip of this sparkling wine.


Huff Rose 2013Huff Estates Ros
é VQA 2013

$19.00
Prince Edward County

This is one of Huff’s signature wines. Rosé lovers clamour for it every year.

Sommeliers Tasting Notes: Lively, this refreshing wine is bone dry with a light pink hue that resembles classic Rosé wines from Tavel, France. In two words: pink grapefruit.  Added to that, light floral notes with citrus (think lime and mandarin) to create a well-crafted refreshing balance. Made with 100% Cabernet Franc grapes grown in The County, there is the regional characteristic minerality & crisp acidity that makes this a class act wine. Now that you’ve been tipped off about this wine, you’ll be on the lookout for it each year. Always a solid wine.

Food Pairing suggestions: Serve chilled on its own to unwind, with sushi or pack for a picnic.  In our Rosé Recipe Box, we have included the Smoked Salmon Sushi Pizza recipe to make for your next picnic.


Di Profio Gamay Rose 2013
DiProfio Gamay Rosé

$15.70
Niagara-on-the-Lake
This boutique winery has a growing reputation for making outstanding wines. Sandwiched between the 20 Valley region and Niagara-on-the-Lake, this is definitely worth the stop…and they have a wonderful B&B on the estate!

Savvy Sommelier Tasting Notes: A stunning colour in the glass. Aromas of beets, candy floss, it smells sweeter than it is…in fact, it is deliciously dry. Each sip is loaded with tastes of red fruit (cherry, raspberry or strawberry perhaps). This Rosé has a nice refreshing acidity, a long berry finish. Bring on summer with this outstanding wine!

Suggested Food Pairing: Another one to pack for a picnic or serve on the dock. Chill & pack in your basket (no need for a corkscrew) to enjoy with tabbouleh, hummus, quinoa salad. In our Rosé Recipe Box, we have included a Chickpea, Barley & Feta Salad that will do the trick!

 

Kacaba Rebecca Rose 2014Kacaba Vineyard Rebecca Rosé VQA 2014

$14.95
Beamsville Bench (Niagara Escarpment)
Looking for great red wines made in Ontario? Kacaba is definitely one of our top picks. This year’s of rosé wine is made with 100% Gamay grapes grown on the estate, this is ‘not just another summer sipper’ states John Tummon, Kacaba’s winemaker. It is a wine to be enjoyed year round… before or during a meal.

Savvy Sommelier Tasting Notes: Bright cotton candy pink colour. Concentrated aromas of fresh juicy red cherries, ripe red berries and cotton candy of course! These aromas continue into the taste with an added cranberry flavour to give it even more body. A smooth texture in your mouth, this bright and refreshing wine is so easy to enjoy.

Suggested Food Pairing: One definitely to serve during a meal – lunch or dinner. Chicken satay, grilled vegetable kebabs would be delicious. We also think that it would be perfectly paired with pan seared fish – such as the perch recipe that we’ve provided for you from Port Restaurant located in Pickering. The recipe is found in our Rosé Recipe Box. Enjoy!

 

Rosewood Trois Femmes Rose 2013Rosewood Trois Femmes Rosé VQA 2014

$15.00
Beamsville Bench (Niagara Escarpment)
From the family run winery and Ontario’s first Meadery, this year’s Rosé from Rosewood is 100% Pinot Noir grapes. The wine was made with the skins intact with the juice for 3-5 days then fermented until it reached the fruity flavours and the colour that the winemaker wanted to create.

Savvy Sommelier Tasting Notes: One word will describe this wine: STRAWBERRY. From its colour, the aroma and taste, this wine has the wonderful summery taste of fresh strawberries. “It has the zippiness of rhubarb too”, commented Savvy Sommelier Debbie during the Savvy Team tasting of 40+ Rosé wines. A very well-balanced, smooth wine that combines notes of strawberry tastes of watermelon and freshly crushed ripe berries – all things that are iconic about summer.

Suggested Food Pairing: This is a no fuss wine. It would be delicious with anything off the grill, seafood, homemade pizza, charcuterie and light meals. Try something completely different – Beet-zza! We will provide this cool new recipe in our Rosé Recipe Box.

 

Sue Ann Staff Fancy Farm Girl Foxy Pink 2013Sue-Ann Staff Foxy Pink VQA 2013

$17.00
Beamsville Bench (Niagara Escarpment)
This has been an amazing year for our friend Sue-Ann. In April, she decided to finish the chapter of her career where she was making wine at other wineries and focus 100% on her namesake winery – Sue-Ann Staff Estates. And the decision quickly paid off. Her new Fancy Farm Girl wine brand has won label design awards as well as accolades for her wines. This one is the Rosé in her portfolio. Be sure to read the back label to learn more about Sue-Ann’s style – a farm girl who loves to be a diva too!

Savvy Sommelier Tasting Notes: The bright coral pink colour alludes to the style of this wine. Bright vivid aromas of watermelon, strawberry candy, even marshmallows leap from the glass. These aromas continue as you sip on this off-dry wine, then the bright zippy acidity will make your mouth water while prepping your palate for another sip and another.    Enjoy on its own with friends (or not!) or with sushi, tuna, salmon, pizzas, picnics, salads and soooo much more.

Suggested Food Pairing: Keep chilled in your fridge for when friends come over for a spontaneous get together. Call out for sushi or fire up the gill with some salmon steaks or better yet…get fancy with the Grilled Chicken & Strawberries with Balsamic. This simple recipe will be in our Rosé Recipe Box – stay tuned!


Creekside Cabernet Rose 2014Creekside Estates Cabernet Rosé VQA 2014

$14.95
Beamsville Bench (Niagara Escarpment)
Another great winery to visit when you take a summer getaway to wine country. Not only do they make lots of great wines, but their patio overlooking the vineyard is also worth stopping for.

Savvy Sommelier Tasting Notes: Bright neon pink in colour with gorgeous aromas of wild strawberries, flowers& green apple that follows into the taste. This crowd-pleasing wine is juicy yet dry. Medium bodied and well balanced with refreshing acidity…it is summer in a glass.

Suggested Food Pairing: You can’t go wrong with this wine. The colour, the bouquet & the taste…they all will remind you of summer. This versatile wine can be served chilled on its own or with any of the creations in our Rosé Recipe Box. Be sure to have a batch of the Rosemary & White Bean Dip in the fridge at the cottage just in case you feel the urge coming on to crack open this bottle of wine as the sunsets.

 

Clink & Drink Pink all summer long!

Here is a sneak peak of the wines that will be featured in the upcoming months.

In August the One Dozen Rosé will include:

Aure Rose VQA 2011, Beamsville Bench (Niagara)

Casa-Dea Cabernet Franc Rosé, VQA 2014, Prince Edward County

Devil’s Wishbone Pinot Gris Rosé VQA 2014, Prince Edward County

Greenlane Rosé VQA 2013, Beamsville Bench (Niagara)

Vieni Momenti Sparkling Rosé, Beamsville (1 bottle)

– Vieni Alleria Rosé VQA 2014, Beamsville (1 bottle)

Vineland Estates ‘The Game Changer’ Rosé VQA 2014, Beamsville

Order your One Dozen Rosé at
www.savvycompany.ca/rose

 

#1 Mother’s Day Gift

Posted by Debbie

Monday, May 4th, 2015

Are you still looking for that perfect gift for your Mom? Your search is over. Treat your Mom to Bubbles & Brunch and enjoy Mother’s Day with our Savvy Sommeliers and spectacular views of the city as the room revolves atop the Ottawa Marriott hotel. Guaranteed, it’s THE perfect way to celebrate Mother’s Day.

Pop the corks!

To begin the delicious meal, our Savvy Sommeliers will pop the corks on fine sparkling wines from Ontario to toast your Mom. Throughout your meal, our team of Accredited Sommeliers will visit your table offering samples of Ontario wines ideal for brunch that we have selected to pair with specific dishes on the menu.

The entire family is invited to enjoy this one-of-a-kind brunch.   Chefs will be at the ready to create omelettes & crêpes as you like them, Sommeliers will host at-your-table wine tastings, buffet tables will be overflowing & endless desserts await!

Savvy-gift-certificatesOur Gift to your Mom…

It’s all about your Mom! To mark the occasion, we will give each mother a special $25 gift certificate to use for tickets to an upcoming Savvy Event.  Maybe she will take you out!

 

Book your table >>

Savvy Sommeliers

Event Details

DATE: Sunday May 10th
2 SITTINGS: 10am or 1pm

Advance Bookings Only

$55 per adult when booked before Wed May 6th (regular $60)
$25 for children from 6 to 12
Free – children under 5

Prices includes everything – brunch, wine, server gratuities & HST

 

Book your ticket to Bubbles & Brunch now >>

 

Mother’s Day Brunch menu will include:

Brunch Favorites

Mini Croissants
Danish & Muffins
Banana & Carrot Breads
Cheese & Charcuterie boards with deli accompaniments
Oven Roasted Ontario Turkey with cranberry sauce
Selection of Northern Ontario Smoked Fish
Assorted Salads

Hot Breakfast Buffet

Fluffy Scrambled Eggs
Waffles made to order with Fresh Fruits and Cream
French Toast
Crisp Smoked Bacon & Breakfast Sausages
Oven Roasted Breakfast Potatoes

Crêpe Station

Chefs will make crêpes just the way you like them!

Omelette Station

Chefs will whip up omelettes with your favorite fixings …
Ham, Smoked Salmon, Baby Shrimp, Tomatoes, Peppers, Onions, Spinach, Grated Cheddar & Herbs

Carving Station

Thick or thin.  Medium Rare or Well done.  The chef will slice a piece of slow roasted Alberta Beef as you like topped with natural jus, mustard, horseradish…and complete with a Yorkshire Pudding.

Fish & Meats Buffet

glassandbubblyAtlantic Salmon
Ontario Lamb Ragout
Chicken Supreme
Manitoba Ham Glazed with Clover Honey
Vegetarian Pasta
Oven Roasted Potato
Rice Pilaf
Fresh Market Vegetables

A sweet finish – desserts!

Mini French Pastries
Fresh Fruits & Berries
English Sherry Trifle
Apple Strudel
Bread & Butter Pudding with Rum Sauce
Assorted Cheese Cakes
Assorted Tortes & Mousses
Coffee & Tea

We look forward to seeing you & your Mom
at Bubbles & Brunch!