Archive for ‘Savvy experiences with wine’

Go ahead…splurge a little!

Posted by Ophelia Bradly

Thursday, October 10th, 2019
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By Debbie Trenholm, Sommelier and President of Savvy Company
www.savvycompany.ca

The most asked question at this time of year that I get?  “What wine gadget would you give a hard-to-shop-for wine enthusiasts.”  Honestly, most of my wine gizmos end up in the bottom drawer and rarely get used.  The gift I would highly recommend is giving the gift of really good wine glasses. Splurge a little and the enjoyment of wine can improve a lot.

The Riedel family (pronounced REE-dle as in ‘needle’) has been in the glass business for over 300 years, spanning 11 generations. They have revolutionized the way we taste and enjoy wines with the introduction of their delicate crystal glasses that are specifically designed and crafted to enhance the different characteristics of each grape variety.

In my humble opinion, you can serve wine in any glass, but once you drink wine in a Riedel crystal glass, you’ll be amazed at the difference.  Whether the glass is the traditional slender stemmed glass or the stemless tumbler style, the aromas and flavours of the wine are amplified in a specially shaped glass intended to WOW with each sip.

What is the difference?  

It is both academic and scientific. In the late 1950’s, Professor Claus Riedel recognized that the bouquet, taste, balance and finish of wines were affected by the shape of the glass from which they were drunk.  Understanding this, he focused on developing different shapes of glasses for each grape variety to maximize the individual’s enjoyment of that wine. In 1961, Riedel launched their revolutionary portfolio of glassware with different shapes and sizes.  Now, the Riedel product line has over 400 styles of glasses and decanters that are enjoyed by thousands of wine enthusiasts around the world. 

There are several decanters – the Decanter Horn in particular – is truly a work of art that I wouldn’t even dare serve wine with!  Each are mouth blown crystal and one of a kind.

How does it work?

A wine glass is a delivery mechanism to send wine onto your tongue (or palette).  There are four sensory points on your tongue – sweet (tip of tongue), salty (top of tongue), acid (sides of tongue) and bitter (back of tongue).  When you take a sip of wine, the shape of the glass actually affects how the wine is delivered into your mouth. Riedel glasses are specifically shaped to send the wine directly to the areas of your tongue that corresponds to the characteristics of the grape variety of that wine.  For example, a Sauvignon Blanc typically displays tastes of citrus, herbs and a refreshing acidity. Riedel’s Sauvignon Blanc glasses are shaped to drive the wine straight to the sides (acidic) and back of your tongue (bitter) to amplify these specific Sauvignon Blanc characteristics.

Wine is just wine in a basic wine glass.  When served in Riedel crystal, it comes alive and is more expressive and taste substantially better. They say that imitation is the highest form of flattery.  There are now other glassware companies that rival with some similarity and price points.

Riedel’s products were not an instant success.  It took over 20 years for the wine world to embrace the Riedel approach.  In 1987, the tipping point in Riedel’s history was when winemakers such as Angelo Gaja, Robert Mondavi and wine publications such as The Wine Advocate, the Wine Spectator and Decanter Magazine endorsed Riedel glassware.  These endorsements helped to put Riedel glasses onto the tables of the wine world. Under the leadership of Georg Riedel, their crystal became the world’s leading wine glass company, based in Austria.

Those who have tried Riedel, swear by it.  And the good news is that you don’t need to have a secret handshake or be part of a wine club or go out of your way to purchase it.  Often entry level glassware is available at Hudson Bay, Winners, Homesense, even Bed Bath & Beyond. To splurge on the ‘Performance’, “Sommelier’ or ‘Vinum’ line, decanters or to buy a special 4 glass set, visit Chefs Paradis (1314 Bank St) or call us Savvy Company 613-SAVVYCO to see what we have in stock.

The glassware is high quality crystal, elegant yet incredibly durable.  The glasses don’t need extra special care – they can be placed in the dishwasher. It is that easy to elevate your wine enjoyment rather than collect more wine gadgets.

We are doing exactly that! New this year, we’re elevating the tasting experience at our Taste & Buy events in Ottawa and Kingston. All ticketholders who purchase the V.I.T. (Very Important Taster) pass will be provided Riedel ‘Overture’ glassware to enjoy the wine tasting. This is the glass most often used at high end restaurants in town.

With so many different glasses to choose from, giving the gift of Riedel is the beginning of a collection that can be added to with every occasion.  And easily the question of what to give this year’s hard-to-buy-for wine lover just got easier…more Riedel glasses will definitely get a smile – every time. 

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Canada’s Coolest Curds – Ottawa’s 1st annual Artisan Cheese Festival

Posted by Ophelia Bradly

Wednesday, August 28th, 2019
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GET SET FOR CANADA’S COOLEST CURDS — Ottawa’s first Artisan Cheese Festival

Ottawa, ON August 28, 2019 – Cheese lovers rejoice! On Saturday, September 21 cheesemakers from across Canada will be gathering at the Canada Agriculture & Food Museum located at Ottawa’s beautiful Central Experimental Farm.

This one-of-a-kind event designed and hosted by Savvy Company is all about sampling artisan cheeses and taking home real treasures that are rarely found in grocery stores.

There will be wedges and rounds of all kinds – made with milk from cow, sheep, goat, water buffalo – even vegan cheeses.

Savvy Company has been showcasing delicious artisan cheese made across Canada that we send to subscribers to our Savvy Cool Curds Cheese-of-the-month club,” says Debbie Trenholm, Founder of Savvy Company and lead organizer of Canada’s Cool Curds. “People in Ottawa and Gatineau LOVE their cheese. At this new artisan cheese festival, we’re connecting those cheese fans with the talented cheesemakers to make a delicious experience.”

Award-winning cheese from the Canadian Cheese Grand Prix and the Canada Cheese Awards will be featured at this one-day festival.

“There are so many great cheeses made coast to coast in Canada,” says Margaret Morris Peters, owner of Glengarry Fine Cheese in Lancaster, Ontario. “Special events like Canada’s Coolest Curds in Ottawa give consumers a chance to see and sample so many more Canadian cheeses and meet the people who make them.”

Which cheesemakers are coming?

The enthusiasm for this new cheese festival has been tremendous. Here is the initial list of cheesemakers who will be featured. As more cheesemakers are confirmed, they will be listed on www.savvycheese.ca and profiled on Savvy Company’s social media feeds:

Participating Gourmet Artisans…

Cheese goes well with many delicious gourmet goodies. Ottawa based artisanal businesses will be onsite selling their creations including:

Throughout the day-long event, passholders will sample cheese, learn how cheese is made and what to look for in different types of cheeses from Ottawa’s own Cheese Sommelier & Professional Judge Vanessa Simmons, as well as cheese industry pros.

“We’re excited to welcome the different Canadian cheesemakers and festival goers to this new festival,” says Kerry-Leigh Burchill, Director General of the Canada Agriculture & Food Museum“We are delighted that Savvy Company selected the museum as the ideal venue for this event. As a demonstration farm and an educational facility for food literacy, we continuously shine the spotlight on Canadian producers. This new festival for Ottawa is the perfect match and promises to be fun day for cheese lovers & families.” 

This indoor and outdoor event begins at 10am attracting power-shoppers eager to stock up on hard-to-find cheeses, followed by a jam-packed day of seminars hosted by the pros on the main stage.

There will be a ‘Cheesey Hour’ with local comedians entertaining the crowds along with live musical performances.

There is no reason to worry about cheese melting as there will be a ‘Cheese Vault’ offering space in the Ottawa Food Bank’s refrigerated truck. This novel & cool service is $10 includes a limited edition insulated Savvy shopping bag and dedicated spot all day in the truck. Proceeds of this service will be donated to the Ottawa Food Bank.

There’s More!
Ottawa’s LARGEST Wine & Cheese Party

This new festival will be topped off with Ottawa’s LARGEST Wine & Cheese Party

At this ‘cinq à sept’ more delicious artisan cheese each expertly paired with outstanding Ontario wines, craft ciders along with samples of spirits from Top Shelf Distillers & Dairy Distillery – both from the Ottawa Valley.

Passes & Prices

All Festival Passes are available in advance ONLY at www.savvycheese.ca

  • Half Day Pass (10am – 1:30pm) – $20
  • Full Festival Pass (10m – 7pm) – $37 – includes a ticket to Ottawa’s LARGEST Wine & Cheese Party
  • Ottawa’s LARGEST Wine & Cheese Party Admission (5-7pm) – $25

Extensive information about Canada’s Coolest Curds is available at www.savvycheese.ca

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All inquiries and to request Media Pass contact:

Shirley Roy
Sommelier & Media Maven
613-SAVVYCO (728-8926)
c: 613-513-9401
shirley@savvycompany.ca

About Savvy Company

Savvy Company is about creating memorable experiences with wine, craft cider and artisan cheese. Through its popular ‘of-the-month’ clubs, educational and fun Savvy Events, as well as custom private tastings, the Savvy Team of experienced Sommeliers connects consumers to the dynamic people behind the products. The Savvy Team takes pride in showcasing hard-to-find beverages and cheeses that are not available at retail. Deepening the relationship between the people who make the product with the people who enjoy it is the essence of every activity that Savvy Company creates.

Visit www.savvycompany.ca or follow on social media channels:

Instagram: @savvycompanyinc
Facebook: SavvyCompany
Twitter: @SavvyCompany

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It’s Tonight! Oh Canada! Celebrate Red & White

Posted by Debbie

Thursday, June 22nd, 2017
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The corks will be popping tonight at Oh Canada! Celebrate Red & White. It’s a Taste & Buy event like never before showcasing hard-to-find wines from coast to coast…that’s right from British Columbia all the way to Nova Scotia. There will be Canadian artisan cheeses & gourmet goodies – that you can buy too.

 

It’s sold out!

We’ve had a tremendous response – thanks to you! Everything is all set.  Your name is on the guest list. Either bring a paper copy of your ticket or save it onto your smartphone.

TIP: Have dinner beforehand

The focus of this event is about sampling & shopping. Be sure to have dinner beforehand to ‘fuel up’.  Plan to book at table at one of the restaurants in Lansdowne or The Glebe.

Wear Red & White…get $50!

Show your Canadian colours tonight!  Dress head to toe in red & white and we’ll give you $50 off tickets to our next Taste & Buy event this year. Oh Canada!!!!!

 

Sip, Savour & Stock up…

Tonight’s event is all about sampling Canadian wines that you won’t find at the LCBO.  The cool part is that you can order them at the event or online.  Hurry as the special prices & shipping promos are only on orders placed by Sunday June 26 @ midnight. Tell your wine loving friends that they can order too!

Here is the complete list to DOWNLOAD NOW of all the featured wines to create your ‘gotta try’ or ‘shopping list’.  OR…use our online order form at www.savvycompany.ca/ohcanada

 

There will also be really neat goodies made by cool Canadians that you can buy onsite along with incredible artisan cheese.  Bring a picnic basket to use as you stock up & put some ‘mad money’  in your pocket.  There is no ATM onsite.

 

Pro Tips on ordering from coast to coast  – it’s New & Easy!

All of the featured wines at this  Taste & Buy event can be ordered & delivered to your home or office.  Since the bottles are coming directly from the wineries to you, here are some important details:

Ordering Ontario & Quebec wines – order 6+ wines from these provinces & shipping is FREE
Ordering BC wines – minimum order of 6 bottles PER WINERY.
Ordering NS wines – minimum order of any 6 bottles from the 2 featured wineries.
The BC & NS wines are traveling across the county to your doorstep. The wineries are offering special shipping fees for this event: $25 for 6 bottles or $40 for 12 bottles.

When will your wine order arrive?

Shortly after Canada Day…just in time for the lazy hazy days of summer.  Be sure to let the Savvy Team know if you will be away in July.

 

Order tonight or online www.savvycompany.ca/ohcanada before Sunday June 26 @ midnight!

 

Event Details

Date: Thursday June 22 – tonight 5 to
5 to 7pm: V.I.T Reception – Did you upgrade your ticket with a special V.I.T. Pass (Very Important Tasters)?  You’ll get the red carpet treatment with advance access.
7 to 9pm: Main Event
Location: Horticulture Building, 1525 Princess Patricia Way (Lansdowne Park)
Parking: Ample underground parking

 

NEW: It’s FREE to Ride the Bus

Hop aboard the OC Transpo bus & show a paper copy of your ticket…and the bus fare is FREE.  How cool is that – you can ride the bus to & from the event for $0 (you can’t just show your tix on your phone).

 

Win a trip to Vancouver!

You read that right… the organizers of our favorite wine festival have given us a festival pass AND a $1000 flight voucher on Delta Airlines to attend the Vancouver International Wine Festival in February 2018. Value of this prize is over $1500! When you order wine, we’ll enter your name into the draw. You can win a night out in Ottawa too! Beerocracy – a brand new pub on Somerset – has given us a $50 gift certificate for a door prize. They have great local beers & Ontario wines…we created their list!

 

Before an event, we are often asked:

What is the format of the evening?  ANSWER: Upon arrival, you will be provided a Savvy tasting glass- it is yours for the evening & to take home.

Will I be able to order my favorites?  ANSWER: Absolutely!  This Taste & Buy event features bevvies that you won’t find at the LCBO. Attached is the order form (copies will be available) or you can order online.

What is the dress code?  ANSWER: Dress as you like – this is your evening. Dress head to toe in Red & White and we’ll give you $50 voucher to apply to tickets to our next Taste & Buy event.

Is there WiFi?  ANSWER: This is new!  Select the network called: Taste & Buy.  Password: saVvy2017

Do you Taste & Tweet?  ANSWER: Spread the word by including: #ohcanadasavvy / @SavvyCompany / #RootedinCool / @WinesCanada / Go ahead & tag us on Instagram too!

 

TIP: Join our ‘Clubs’

Keep discovering with us.  Subscribe or give a gift subscription to our Savvy Selections wine-o-month club & receive a delivery of 3 hard-to-find BC, NS, Ontario & Quebec wines every month.  Love craft beer? Suds-cribe to our Savvy Hip Hops craft beer-o-month club. Our Savvy Cool Curds artisan-cheese-o-month club features cheeses from across Canada. Life does not get any better than this.

 

If you have any questions, just let me know….otherwise we look forward to seeing you tonight!

Cheers,
Debbie and the Savvy Team

PS – Found some Savvy wine tasting glasses you no longer want?  Bring ’em back!
For every 4 glasses, we’ll give you a $5 gift certificate you can apply towards tickets to an upcoming Savvy Event.

Savvy Company
613-SAVVYCO (728-8926)
cheers@savvycompany.ca
www.savvycompany.ca

Keep in touch with us…
@SavvyDebbie
@SavvyCompany
@SavvyWines
@SavvyHipHops
@SavvyCoolCurds
#CountyintheCapital
www.facebook.com/SavvyCompany
instagram.com/savvycompanyinc

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We’re gearing up for a Savvy Summer!

Posted by Debbie

Wednesday, May 24th, 2017
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Hockey is still being played & summer is almost here…get your Canada Day celebrations started with one of our most requested events:  Oh Canada! Celebrate Red & White on Thursday, June 22 – tickets are going fast!

And what is Summer without Rosé wines?  No need to jump out of your deck chair, simply CLICK HERE & we’ll deliver an assortment of fine Rosé wines to your dock or deck.

Now…how is that for the start of a Savvy Summer?

 

Oh Canada! Celebrate Red & White

We’re kicking off Canada Day celebrations on Thursday, June 22 by waving the Canadian flag & raising glasses of Canadian wines to celebrate that our winemakers have put our country on the wine map!
The cool part: you can Taste & Buy your favorites so you can have 100% Canadian wine on hand – all summer long.   FREE shipping on 6 or more bottles – of your top picks.

This Taste & Buy is over 50% sold out!  Get your tix quick…
Buy a $80 ticket & bring a friend for FREE OR $150 for a foursome of Canadian wine lovin’ friends

 

Here’s who is coming so far:

Casa-Dea Estates Winery * The Good Earth Food & Wine Co. * Legends Estates Winery * Huff Estates Winery * Karlo Estates * Kinsip House of Fine Distillers*  Keint-he Winery & Vineyards * Merry Dairy * Top Shelf Preserves * Trail Estate Winery * Westcott Vineyards ….this is just a start!

Soon we’ll announce the wineries from BC, Nova Scotia & Quebec who will be joining us – stay tuned.

 

NEW: Rose Wine Bar

We will have loads of Rosé wines to sip away the heat wave. Our Savvy Sommeliers will be serving up samples to Taste & Buy Rosé wines to stock your fridge full this summer.

 

Canadian Cheese Pleeeeze!

What is perfect with Canadian wines?  Canadian artisan cheese of course! Our Cheese Sommelier is organizing cheesemakers from coast to coast so you can Taste & Buy rounds & wedges of 100% Canadian cheese for your summertime picnics.

 

Oh Canada! Deets

DATE: Thursday June 22
VENUE: Horticulture Building @ Lansdowne

TIMES:
V.I.T. (Very Important Taster) Reception – 5 to 7pm ($25 upgrade pass is required)
Main Event – 7 to 9pm

ADVANCE TICKETS ONLY: $80 + bring a friend FREE  OR  Group of 4 people for $150

Don’t miss out!   Get your tickets >>

 

It’s time to Clink & Drink Pink!

Summer living is easy…especially when you have a glass of Rosé wines in hand! No need to aimlessly roam the aisles of the LCBO wondering which bottle to buy.  We have you covered!

Sit back & relax in your lawn chair…Simply CLICK HERE to order a one-time shipment packed with 6 bottles of refreshing Rosés OR subscribe for the summer & we’ll deliver a different assortment of Ontario’s finest Rose wines each month.

Order by Friday, June 9th & shipping is FREE

What’s in this month’s assortment?

Our Savvy Sommeliers hand-picked 6 Rosé wines – you won’t find these special wines at the LCBO. CLICK to see what we picked >>  It’s PINK Magic

Order just June’s Selection of Rosé  OR  choose to auto-magically receive a different parcel every month throughout the summer.  For June the prices are:

SMALL Bouquet: $120 – assortment of 6 different Rose wines
LARGE Bouquet: $240 – assortment of 2 of each Rose wine (total 12 bottles
FREE shipping to addresses in major cities in Ontario.  Bring on summer!  Place your order>>

 

LAST MINUTE Tickets: Only $50!

Over the long weekend, 3 sponsors came on board & we’re able to release a special block of tickets for this Friday’s concert featuring Chantal Kreviazuk at the stunning Shaw Centre.

Kick off your summer right! Come & hear a Canadian superstar live. Her hits include (click to listen):

Feels Like Home  *  In This Life  I Will Be  Leaving on a Jet Plane  Surrounded   

These special tickets include admission to the concert.  Cash bar will be onsite serving Amazing Wine, craft beer & non-alcoholic bevvies too. Get your tix & we’ll see you there >>

 

We’re hiring!

School is almost out & we have a great summer job opportunity for a high school or university students to work with the Savvy Team. We’re looking for dynamic & creative students who are Savvy (of course!) to join us.

Interested?  Contact us on 613-SAVVYCO (728-8926) or send your resume to cheers@savvycompany.ca

 

We’re ready for all-Canadian summer – are you?
– Debbie and the Savvy Team
PS – GO Sens GO!

Savvy Company
613-SAVVYCO (728-8926)
cheers@savvycompany.ca
www.savvycompany.ca

Keep in touch with us…
@SavvyDebbie
@SavvyCompany
@SavvyWines
@SavvyHipHops
@SavvyCoolCurds
#CountyintheCapital
www.facebook.com/SavvyCompany
instagram.com/savvycompanyinc

 

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They are ba-a-a-a-ack! Prince Edward County is coming….

Posted by Debbie

Wednesday, May 24th, 2017
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Have you heard? Prince Edward County is coming to Ottawa! For the 6th year in a row we bring you County in the Capital. At this year’s Taste & Buy event, we are adding artisanal spirits along with hard-to-find wines, craft beers & ciders. And there will be cheese & gourmet goodies too.

 

Sip, stock up & get travel tips!

County in the Capital is your chance to get a true taste of The County. Meet the makers, order your favorite bevvies & buy neat treats onsite. Plus get the ‘inside scoop’ on places to visit from Prince Edward County Tourism & those who live there.

Buy a ticket + bring a friend for FREE
until March 31st

 

Returning favorites…

401 Cider Brewery * Barley Days Brewery * Casa-Dea Estates Winery * Clafeld Fruit Winery & Cider House * County Cider Company * Devils Wishbone Winery * Half Moon Bay Winery * Huff Estates Winery * Karlo Estates Winery * Keint-He Winery * Lighthall Vineyards & Dairy * Stanners Vineyard * The Grange * Trail Estate Winery * Traynor Family Vineyard * Waupoos Estates Winery

New this year…

Del-Gatto Estates Winery * Kinsip House of Fine Spirits (formerly 66 Gilead) * Lacey Estates * The Grange of Prince Edward and we are working on more!

 

Make it EXTRA special

Become a V.I.T. – a Very Important Taster. With so many bevvies to try, for an additional $25 you can upgrade your ticket & get a V.I.T. Pass.

You’ll enjoy red carpet treatment & advance access from 5 to 7pm, then stay as long as you like for the main event.

Round up your friends & get your tickets >>
This event always sells out…

 

Event Deets

DATE: Thursday, April 20
COOL NEW VENUE! Horticulture Building (in the Lansdowne Complex near TD Place)
V.I.T. RECEPTION: 5 to 7pm – V.I.T. Passes required
MAIN TASTING EVENT: 7 to 9pm

 

ADVANCE TICKETS ONLY

$80 per person + bring a friend for FREE – only until March 31
A group of 4 for $150
Prices include absolutely everything – all samples, a Savvy tasting glass & good ol’ HST

 

Get a taste of The County

Oh my! There will be so much to try…and buy. Wines of all kinds – sparkling, white, rose, red, even port. Craft beers & ciders too. Small batch gin, rye, rum, whisky….

One thing is for certain: EVERYTHING showcased at County in the Capital is extra special, hard-to-find & not available at the LCBO.

 

Order your faves…shipping is FREE

At this Taste & Buy event, order 6, 12 or more bottles of ANY combo of your favorite bevvies & we’ll hand deliver to your home or office – absolutely FREE.

 

Can’t make it but want to order?

Call the Savvy Team on 613-SAVVYCO (728-8926) to place your order
& take advantage of FREE shipping – to major cities in Ontario.

See you at County in the Capital,
– Debbie and the Savvy Team

PS – Calling all sparkling wine fans! Join us for a neat night out at the Museum of Nature tasting of bubblies from around the world with led by a geologist expert & me as your Sommelier. We are popping corks on Thursday, March 16 – a few tickets left >>

 

Savvy Company
613-SAVVYCO (728-8926)
cheers@savvycompany.ca
www.savvycompany.ca

Keep in touch with us…
@SavvyDebbie
@SavvyCompany
@SavvyWines
@SavvyHipHops
@SavvyCoolCurds
#CountyintheCapital
www.facebook.com/SavvyCompany
instagram.com/savvycompanyinc

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What a fun night! County in the Capital

Posted by Debbie

Sunday, April 23rd, 2017
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Thank you for joining us at this year’s County in the Capital. We hope you enjoyed meeting the cool people who have put Prince Edward County on the map AND discovering their delicious bevvies too.

Thinking about ordering?

ACT FAST! You have until midnight tonight to place your order online at www.savvycompany.ca/pec.

All it takes is a few clicks…then TA-DA!…your favorite wines, craft beers, ciders & spirits will be shipped directly to you from The County.

Your parcel will be delivered with a smile by courier to your home or office address. It is that easy…and shipping is FREE when you order 6+ bottles.

Get shopping!

Click to print out the order form.
Order online at www.savvycompany.ca/pec.

BONUS – 4 FREE tickets!

EVERYONE who places an order will auto-magically receive
4 tickets to our next event Oh Canada! Celebrate Red & White on Thursday, June 22.
It’s our way to thank you for ordering from us at County in the Capital.

 

Perfectly timed before Canada Day, this Taste & Buy event will shine the spotlight on wines from coast to coast – British Columbia, Quebec, Ontario, Nova Scotia – there will be 100s of bottles of hard-to-find wine ready for you to sip, sample & stock up.

And there will be loads of Canadian artisan cheeses to buy too.

 

Tickets for Oh Canada! Celebrate Red & White go on sale tomorrow.

Buy a $80 ticket & bring a Canadian flag waving friend for FREE
$150 for a group of 4 Canadian wine fans
Upgrade your ticket with a V.I.T. Pass for early access for an additional $25/person
Prices include absolutely everything…PLUS a Oh Canada! gift.

 

Bookmark the ticket page >>
Don’t wait because this event will sell out red-lightening fast!
www.savvycompany.ca/savvy-events/

Thank you again!

All of us in the Savvy Team enjoyed meeting you at County in the Capital…and look forward to seeing you with a Savvy glass in hand again soon.

Cheers!
– Debbie and the Savvy Team

PS – Thinking of going to Prince Edward County this summer? Plan around these great events:
* Terroir Wine Celebration – Saturday, May 13 (in Picton)
* The Great Canadian Cheese Festival – Saturday, June 3 & Sunday, June 4 (in Picton)

And….here’s our Top Tips of things to do in The County

Keep in touch with us…
@SavvyDebbie
@SavvyCompany
@SavvyWines
@SavvyHipHops
@SavvyCoolCurds
#CountyintheCapital
www.facebook.com/SavvyCompany
instagram.com/savvycompanyinc

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California Dreaming…

Posted by Susan

Thursday, March 30th, 2017
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How could you start a visit to the Sonoma/Napa area without a stop in San Francisco?

It was a brilliantly sunny day when we arrived, ever-present wisps of fog drifting over the hills as we gazed out across the Pacific Ocean. San Francisco offers endless delights, from Boudin’s unique sourdough bread to Tarantino’s fresh seafood at Fisherman’s Wharf. We did all the requisite things, riding the cable car up and down the hills downtown – several cars survived the great earthquake and fire of 1906, as we learned at the Cable Car Museum and operations centre. Fisherman’s Wharf swarmed with Labour Day weekend visitors, the sea lions oblivious, as they floated alongside docking fishing boats, hoping for scraps. We visited the Mission of San Francisco de Asis (guess where the city’s name originated), which opened in 1776, days before the American Declaration of Independence was signed, and also survived intact the great 1906 earthquake and fire. Muir Woods induced awe and reverence, the never-logged forest home to giant redwoods as much as 1000 years old. And everywhere we stopped for lunch or dinner, an endless range of California wines was available for sampling.

We made our way north to Sonoma County, and from our excellent B&B there, Mediterranea, visited a number of wineries in Napa Valley and Sonoma. We also spent a day travelling out to the Pacific coast, and had an absolutely amazing lunch at the River’s End Restaurant in the small town of Jenner. Don’t miss it if you are visiting the north California Coast!

 

 

Marimar Estate Vineyards & Winery

Born into the Torres wine family, Marimar Torres has been immersed in the industry all her life. With degrees in business, education in oenology and a facility for languages, she was the ideal ambassador for Torres wines in her early career. After establishing her home in California, she focused her energies on increasing awareness of Spanish wines in North America. Ten years later, the sale of Torres wines in the U.S. had grown ten-fold, and Marimar was ready for the new challenge of establishing Marimar Estate Vineyards & Winery.

The Don Miguel vineyard surrounds Marimar’s winery and tasting room, designed in the style of a Catalan farmhouse. Located in the cool climate Russian River Valley and named for her father, it was first planted in 1986 and now includes 81 acres of which 45 are planted principally to Pinot Noir and Chardonnay, with growing plantings of Albariño, Syrah and Tempranillo. Marimar has also recently planted Godello, a white grape variety that grows in Galicia, like Albariño, and produces attractive dry white wines. The Doña Margarita vineyard, named for her mother, is located in the cool Sonoma Coast AVA, the 20 acres planted solely with Pinot Noir. Marimar describes the differences between the Pinot Noir from the two vineyards as follows: the Russian River Valley Pinot is more opulent, with intense flavours of black cherry and wild berry, while the Sonoma Coast Pinot has an earthier character, similar to Burgundian wines.

Marimar Estate vineyards are all certified organic, while biodynamic principles are applied in all phases of vineyard management and winemaking. According to Marimar, since the conversion to organic principles, the wines from each block have become more expressive of their unique terroir.

To ensure the quality of the fruit, thinning takes place right after fruit set; leaves are regularly removed to ensure access to the sun; vines are trimmed by machete to remove excess top growth; and at veraison, excess grape bunches are removed to further concentrate flavour in those remaining. Hand harvesting, with several passes through the vineyard, ensures that only ripe bunches are picked.

As part of its commitment to sustainability, the winery has recently completed investments that allow it to meet all energy requirements through solar power.

Marimar continues to direct activities in the winery, established in 1992, as well as the vineyards. She has not limited herself to viticulture and winemaking, but has also published two authoritative books on Spanish cuisine, The Spanish Table and The Catalan Country Kitchen. The Torres family history in the vineyard and in winemaking dates back many generations in Spain, and while responsibility for the business has traditionally passed from father to son, Marimar is setting new traditions in the U.S., where her daughter Cristina, who grew up in the vineyards and is currently pursuing an MBA at Wharton, is the natural successor at Marimar Estate.

Due to very limited production – ranging from 5,000-10,000 cases depending upon the vintage – some wines are only available to wine club members, with only a limited number finding their way to Ontario. The 2014 ‘Acero’ Chardonnay was recently released in Vintages. We had the opportunity to try the new 2015 vintage at the winery (see the notes below). The fruit for the wine comes from the Don Miguel vineyard and is especially selected for intensity and aromatics, the grapes fermented in stainless to retain the unique character of the fruit.

Several other wines were tasted during our visit to Marimar’s Russian River Green Valley estate. These included her Albariño 2015, which offers lovely floral aromas, stone fruit and citrus flavours and a lively, crisp texture; the ‘La Masía’ Chardonnay 2014, showing alluring aromas and flavours of stone and tree fruit, a refined, creamy texture, and finely honed acidity to balance the rich fruit; the ‘La Masía’ Pinot Noir 2013, where cherry/berry, sweet spice and a whiff of citrus are underpinned by fine tannins and clean acidity; and the ‘Mas Cavalls’ Pinot Noir 2013 from the Doña Margarita vineyard, where this more feminine Burgundian wine offers classic aromas of red cherry, mineral notes and underbrush, framed by subtle tannins and lively acidity.

 

Marimar Estate Don Miguel Vineyard ‘Acero’ Chardonnay 2015
Russian River Valley 13.5% alcohol

A lovely pale gold, this brims with fresh aromas of sweet woodruff, citrus, pear and quince. Dry, mid-weight, silky yet juicy and lively in texture, this unoaked Chardonnay freshens the palate with flavours of crisp apple, pear and lemon curd, delivering a lasting, tangy finish. Enjoy chilled on its own or with fresh seafood.

 

 

Rodney Strong Vineyards
Dedicated, Passionate Craftsmanship

Located just south of the quaint Sonoma County town of Healdsburg, the Rodney Strong Vineyards tasting room is surrounded by some of the founder’s extensive original vineyards. Not only can you take a self-guided tour, or taste flights of wines on the terrace, Chef Tara Watchee has developed a finely balanced wine and food pairing experience where both components shine. As an example, the lively red fruit flavours of the 2015 Rosé of Pinot Noir were complemented by a salad of watermelon, grilled corn, basil, Black Pig bacon, verjus and estate olive oil.

The winery was established in 1959 by acclaimed dancer and dance producer, Rod Strong, who had fallen in love with wine while working in Paris. Under his innovative direction, the winery thrived for over 40 years, achieving milestones such as the first single-vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon – Alexander’s Crown – which is still produced to this day. He was one of the first to plant Pinot Noir in the Russian River Valley, and the first to produce a ‘Chalk Hill’ Chardonnay. As Rod Strong was developing his wines and reputation in Sonoma County and beyond, Tom Klein was pursuing his education and subsequent career as a management consultant. With the long Klein family history and experience in farming, Tom must have seemed the ideal partner to Rod Strong when they established a consulting relationship.

Eventually, the Klein family purchased the winery in 1989, then set about acquiring additional vineyards, so that they now manage 14 outstanding estates encompassing in the order of 1400 acres, all in Sonoma County, ranging from the Alexander Valley in the north out to the Sonoma Coast. The range of vineyards and terroir ties into Tom Klein’s strong belief in the importance of place in winemaking – “Place isn’t the only thing, but place is the most important thing”. Rodney Strong wines are produced using only Sonoma County fruit and are made to Tom Klein’s exacting maxim – NO shortcuts.

With the goal of building a range of premium wines, David Ramey was hired as consultant and the ‘Artisan’ cellar was created, using smaller fermentation tanks to allow for fermentation of select rows of fruit, while additional investments were made in French oak barrels. Experimentation continues and has extended to the purchase of concrete Roman eggs for fermentation, and now to the creation of the square tank cellar, an extraordinary investment. Winemaker Justin Seidenfeld has worked with LaGarde Inox, a unique steel tank producer based in Quebec, to invent, design and produce special 6000 gallon square fermentation tanks. We’ve all seen the standard round steel tanks with dimpled cooling jackets. You may ask, why are these square tanks such an improvement? For one, they use space in the winery much more efficiently, and they have a variety of unique and highly beneficial features. As an example, autumn days are often quite warm in Sonoma County, so harvested grapes arriving from the vineyards may heat up and be at risk of spontaneous fermentation. These tanks were specified to provide more cool surface area to grapes, permitting the rapid cooling of grapes as they arrive from the vineyard – voila, reduced risk of spontaneous fermentation. A specially designed pump aperture ensures the pumped over wine covers the entire breadth of the tank, providing for better contact with the cap. Further, the shape delivers more surface area of juice to cap, providing for better extraction of colour and flavours, more softness and suppleness to the wine (as proven in blind tastings by the Rodney Strong winemaking team and owner Tom Klein). The special polishing process for the insides of the tanks, which was jointly developed by Justin and LaGarde’s engineering team, reduces water consumption for cleaning and sterilization by 50-70% (critical in drought-stricken California). Justin speaks with passion and excitement about the opportunities these tanks provide for him to enhance the quality of Rodney Strong wines, as well as the sustainability of the winery operations. It’s not surprising that this Rodney Strong innovation is now being adopted by numerous other highly reputable wineries in the U.S.

With his family background in farming, Tom Klein is strongly committed to sustainability in the vineyards and the cellar. Environmental protection is an integral part of the organization’s corporate values. Solar panels were installed as early as 2001, and along the way, Rodney Strong Vineyards has developed practices that allow them to be designated Fish-Friendly Farmers. Recently, they became Sonoma County’s first carbon neutral winery.

We’re fortunate that many Rodney Strong wines find their way through the Vintages program to the LCBO. Many of those wines were tasted during the visit, and I’ve included notes on a few of them below.

 

Rodney Strong ‘Chalk Hill’ Chardonnay 2014
Sonoma County $24.95 (LCBO# 275552) 14.5% alcohol

Notes of tropical fruit and butter, vanilla custard and hints of mineral grace the nose of this wine, produced from fruit grown on the unique volcanic white ash soil of this sub-appellation in the Russian River Valley. Dry, medium-full bodied, it’s rich and creamy in texture, yet retains freshness that is a perfect match for the lush flavours of lemon curd, sweet apple and pineapple. The mineral quality is subtly present on the palate, while nuances of warm baking spice linger on the tangy finish. Serve with pasta garnished with shrimp and scallops sautéed in olive oil and garlic.

 

Davis Bynum ‘Jane’s Vineyard’ Pinot Noir 2014
Russian River Valley $ 39.95 (LCBO# 458893) 14.5% alcohol

Davis Bynum is recognized as the first winery to create, in 1973, a single vineyard Pinot Noir from Russian River Valley fruit. Rodney Strong maintains the tradition with this semi-transparent ruby gem. Notes of vanilla and sweet baking spice layer on aromas of ripe cherry/berry, complemented by earthy nuances. Dry, medium bodied, there’s a lovely freshness to the texture, well paired with the wealth of ripe red cherry and plum flavours. Delicate notes of warm spice, vanilla and cedar emerge and linger through the lengthy, tangy finish. Serve with a Provençal salad with duck confit.

Rodney Strong Pinot Noir 2014
Russian River Valley $25.95 (LCBO# 954834) 13.9% alcohol

Produced from a blend of fruit from the valley, this approachable wine offers lively aromas of red fruit, hints of earthy roast beetroot, and notions of spice and dried herbs. Dry, light-medium bodied, it’s bright with well-defined acidity and juicy with flavours of red cherry and plum, light hints of smoky oak and spice persisting through the vibrant finish. Serve with cedar-planked salmon.


Rodney Strong ‘Alexander Valley’ Cabernet Sauvignon 2013
Alexander Valley $28.30 (LCBO# 226944) 14.5% alcohol

Showing powerful fruit while retaining a fresh texture, this deep ruby Cabernet offers intense aromas and flavours of black berry, plum and dark chocolate-coated cherry mingling with nuances of dried herbs and earth, while the extended aging in French oak layers on notes of cedar and spice. Dry, full and powerful, the wine is crafted with balance, the supple yet perceptible tannins paired with fine acidity, framing lush ripe dark fruit. Subtle notes of toast and dark chocolate drift across the palate through the lengthy finish. Enjoy now with herbed roast lamb or cellar. (Susan Desjardins)

 

Rodney Strong ‘Symmetry’ Meritage 2012
Alexander Valley $70.95 (LCBO# 641142) 14.5% alcohol

Principally Cabernet Sauvignon, blended with Merlot and small amounts of Cabernet Franc, Malbec and Petit Verdot, each varietal is fermented separately with only the best wines used in this blend. Perfumed with floral notes and spice, offering intense fruit aromas, this is a robust well-structured wine designed for cellaring. The firm, defined tannins are a well-crafted foil for the big powerful flavours of cassis and blackberry. Luscious notes of dark chocolate-coated coffee bean and hints of spice and cedar add complexity, persisting through the lengthy dry finish. Cellar or decant the wine, to be served with rare prime rib. (Susan Desjardins)

 

 

 

E.&J. Gallo Winery Estates

We planned visits at two Gallo estates, and then made a quick stop at Louis M. Martini given its long history in the Napa Valley. Although the Gallo family has purchased a number of wineries and vineyards over the years, one of the themes that came through during our visits is their focus on retaining the unique character of the wines produced at each of the estates, while investing in the infrastructure and equipment that will honour and maintain the legacy of the original founders. E.&J. Gallo Winery remains a family business with goals of being a leader in the U.S. wine industry and a leading supplier of California wine internationally.

 

 

 

William Hill Estate Winery

After graduating with a degree in geology in his home state of Oklahoma, Bill Hill headed off to Europe. He fell in love with wine and headed to California on his return, to complete an MBA at Stanford, after which he began working in the Napa Valley. He arrived just after the 1976 Judgement of Paris had vaulted Napa Valley wines to global prominence. Given his interest in wines, he decided to purchase a 200-acre former cattle ranch on the bench lands of the Valley and in 1978, planted his first Chardonnay vines. Bill soon realized that the intense sun and heat on his property scorched the grapes; the initial vines were replaced with red Bordeaux varieties and for several years he sold his grapes to local wineries. In 1990, the winery was built and the first wines branded William Hill Estate Winery were created. Despite his success, Bill decided to sell the winery in 1992, and has since watched its evolution from his nearby home.

In 2007, the estate became a property of the Gallo family, with substantial investments made to upgrade the tasting room as well as the winery itself. Of the 200 acres, 125 are planted to vines, the bulk being Cabernet Sauvignon. William Hill wines are crafted with grapes from the estate on the Silverado Trail, as well as from fruit from vineyards in southern Napa, the Central and North Coasts.

The wines currently available at the LCBO include the Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon 2012 as well as the 2012 Chardonnay. Since then new 2013 vintage was tasted at the winery, and I expect these wines will be in a Vintages release in 2017, I’ve included my notes below. Tasted at the winery, but not available locally, were the 2015 Sauvignon Blanc, with lovely notes of white flowers and fine herbs, tropical fruit and citrus, wrapped in a vibrant texture; the lush ‘Bench Blend’ Chardonnay 2013, the creamy texture balanced with good acidity, infused with lovely flavours of pineapple, tree fruits and lemon vanilla custard; and the opulent ‘Benchland Series’ Cabernet Sauvignon 2013, a full-bodied powerhouse with robust dark fruit flavours layered on well-integrated oak and velvety tannins.

 

William Hill ‘Napa Valley’ Cabernet Sauvignon 2013
Napa Valley $44.95 (LCBO# 212951) 15.2% alcohol

Deep purple, this Cabernet is aged in French and American oak, a touch of Petite Syrah and Merlot giving added depth and complexity. Perfumed with aromas of ripe red fruit and juicy black berries, it hints at vanilla and sweet spice. Dry, full bodied, the wine displays perceptible yet supple tannins, well-integrated oak that offers notes of cinnamon toast and vanilla and a fresh texture. Bright, lively raspberry, black cherry and berry are fresh on the palate, rushing through the dry, toasty finish. Serve with beef short ribs.

 

William Hill ‘Bench Blend’ Chardonnay 2013
Napa Valley 14.9% alcohol

Blended from fruit from several vineyards, aged in French oak, this elegant Chardonnay offers lifted aromas of tree fruit, citrus and pineapple, vanilla custard infused with sweet spice. Dry, on the full side of medium bodied, the palate is lush with flavours of pear, tangy apple and lemon zest, underpinned with a refined backbone of acidity. The creamy texture and spice bring to mind creme brûlée, while delicate notions of white pepper add warmth to the long finish. Deftly balanced.

 

 

 

Louis M. Martini Estate Winery

There’s an incredible story behind this long-lived winery. The Martini family emigrated to the United States and worked as fishermen on the west coast in the early 20th century. From tasting local grapes, and then making wine for consumption by the family, young Louis M. Martini developed an interest in winemaking and eventually returned to Italy to study winemaking at the University of Alba in Piemonte. By the time he returned to the U.S., Prohibition had come into effect, making it difficult for him to pursue his passion. Nevertheless, since the family had grape holdings, they found ways to use their grapes for the production of sacramental wine, for medicinal use and in legal home winemaking kits.

As it became clear that prohibition was coming to an end in the early 1930s, the family moved its operations from the Central Valley to Sonoma, opening their new winery near St. Helena in 1933, one of the 5 original Napa wineries to be founded after Prohibition. Within 2 years, they had more than doubled production and sales, and in 1936, pioneered the use of temperature-controlled fermentation. The St. Helena site continues to be the base of their operations, and is where Louis M. Martini passed on responsibility for winemaking to his son Louis P. Martini in 1953. Louis P showed great creativity, and has been credited with creating the first wind fan used in the vineyards, with bottling the first single varietal wine – a Merlot (previously, wines were simply blends of the grapes in any given vineyard), and with first experimenting with fermentation in steel tanks. His son, Mike Martini took on responsibility for winemaking in 1974, and continued as winemaker until 2015, seeing the family business through the transition in 2002 to ownership by their friends, the Gallo family. The Martini winery offers an incredible legacy, including vineyards of bush vine Zinfandel planted in the 1880s.

 

Louis M. Martini ‘Napa Valley’ Cabernet Sauvignon 2013
Napa Valley $32.95 (LCBO# 232371) 14.5% alcohol

Opaque ruby with violet highlights, this offers captivating aromas of spiced rose, raspberry and blackberry, with a dash of spice and cedar. Dry, robustly full bodied, the wine offers great fruit intensity balanced by a fresh texture and soft tannins. Long and dry on the finish, this is an approachable, well-crafted wine offering great value.

 

 

J Vineyards

J Vineyards is the legacy of Judy Jordan, who grew up in her family’s vineyards in the Alexander Valley. Determined to travel her own road, she studied geophysics at Stanford University and, in 1986, bought an old prune factory and some surrounding acreage with the idea of making sparkling wine. Her first method traditionelle wine was released in 1991. Due to her success with sparkling wines – and despite the naysayers – she decided to beginning making still wines- Chardonnay and Pinot Noir – the first of which was released in 1994.

Unfortunately, the great Russian River flood of 1995 completely destroyed her entire operation and inventory. Determined to re-establish her business, she purchased the current property in Sonoma County in 1996, completing the winery in 1999. The site includes a remarkable ‘tear drop’ shaped vineyard which includes 20 clones of Pinot Noir on a half acre, allowing the winemakers to experiment with blending. The site also includes the Cooper vineyard, planted with Pinot Gris, and the Backdoor vineyard, home to Pinotage. The balance of the 200 acre estate properties are spread throughout the Russian River Valley.

After years of successful production, and having sold grapes for many years to the Gallo family, Judy retired from the business and took advantage of her established relationship to sell J Vineyards to the Gallo family in 2015.

At J Vineyards, we tasted the Brut Rose, composed of 66% Chardonnay, 33% Pinot Noir and 1% Pinot Meunier, a clean, fresh wine showing a delicate and persistent mousse and lovely subtle notes of red fruit. The Cuvée 20 is an almost equal blend of Chardonnay and Pinot Noir, again with the 1% Pinot Meunier, offering nuances of butter pastry, fresh citrus and tree fruit, the characteristic creamy, lasting mousse, and a lovely touch of pithiness through the finish. The Russian River Valley Pinot Noir is composed from the fruit of 12 different clones from 4 vineyards. It’s a dry, mid-weight wine with classic cherry cola aromas and flavours complemented by attractive notes of warm spice and toast from French oak barrel aging.

 

The only wine tasted and currently available from the LCBO is:

J Vineyards Chardonnay 2013
Russian River Valley $31.75 (LCBO# 418236) 14.3% alcohol

Produced from estate grown fruit, aged in French oak (30% new) , this wine offers lovely tropical and tree fruit aromas, hints of citrus, sweet spice and vanilla. Dry, medium bodied, the creamy texture brings to mind vanilla custard, lemon curd with a dash of zest, and ripe tree fruit. The wine retains its freshness and offers a touch of warm spice through the flavourful finish. Serve with roast lemon rosemary chicken.

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One Night Only! Next Week – Wed March 29th

Posted by Debbie

Monday, March 20th, 2017
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Psst…have you heard? We’re having our 1st ever Pop-Up Wine Shop. It’s happening next week & we invite you to come as our guest – no tickets…no cost…just RSVP!

A bunch of Niagara wineries – big & small – will be serving wines that you can only find in Ottawa at our Pop-Up Wine Shop. This spur-of-the-moment wine shopping event will
feature:
* 13th Street Winery
* GreenLane Estate Winery
* Redstone Winery
* Tawse Winery
* Two Sisters Vineyards
* Vieni Estates Wine & Spirits
* Vineland Estates Winery
* Westcott Vineyards

Hurry to jump on this opportunity to sip, sample & stock up for Spring (try saying that fast!). There will be newly released wines, top-selling wines, refreshing Sparkling & Whites, ready-for-spring Roses & Reds of all kinds.

Be our Guest!

We have designed this Savvy Pop-Up Wine Shop just for you! There is absolutely no cost for you to attend. Bring friends & introduce them to the new Savvy way to shop for outstanding Ontario wines.

Simply RSVP to put your name on our guest list. Use Promo Code: SAVVYSHOPPER

 

Pop-Up Wine Shop Deets

ONE NIGHT ONLY! Wednesday March 29
POP-UP SHOP HOURS: 6 to 8pm
BRAND NEW VENUE: Innovation Centre @ 7 Bayview Road in Hintonburg (Ottawa)

COST: $25 per person….BUT for you, it’s FREE. Use Promo Code: SAVVYSHOPPER

 

ONLY 150 spots

To make this an extra special shopping experience with have lots of one-on-one time to chat with the winemakers, we are limiting our guest list to 150 wine lovers. Be sure to get your name on our guest list – quick! Use Promo Code: SAVVYSHOPPER

 

Stock up!…shipping is FREE

At this Pop-Up Shop order 6, 12 or more bottles of ANY combo of your favorite wines & we’ll deliver by courier to your home or office – absolutely FREE.

 

Can’t make it but want to order?

Call the Savvy Team on 613-SAVVYCO (728-8926) to place your order & take advantage of FREE shipping – to major cities in Ontario.

 

BONUS 50% off & INSTANT upgrades!

Come to the Savvy Pop-Up Shop & when Prince Edward County is in Ottawa on April 20th for County in the Capital, we’ll give you 50% off regular tickets. PLUS we’ll automatically upgrade you to get a FREE VIT (Very Important Taster) pass! This will give you the red carpet treatment & early access to the event so you can spend more time mixing & mingling with the cool folks from The County.

See you at our Pop-Up Wine Shop!
– Debbie and the Savvy Team

Savvy Company
613-SAVVYCO (728-8926)
cheers@savvycompany.ca
www.savvycompany.ca

PS – Spring cleaning? Found some Savvy wine tasting glasses you no longer want? Bring ’em back!  For every 4 glasses, we’ll give you a $5 gift certificate you can apply towards tickets to an upcoming Savvy Event.

Keep in touch with us…
@SavvyDebbie
@SavvyCompany
@SavvyWines
@SavvyHipHops
@SavvyCoolCurds

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100+ hard-to-find wines, craft beers, ciders & cheeses too!

Posted by Debbie

Thursday, November 3rd, 2016
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This is THE hottest ticket in town…and you’re invited to join us & bring a friend for FREE. We’re hosting the always popular 5th annual Outstanding in their Fields Taste & Buy event where you will meet the makers of the finest wines, craft beers & ciders from across Ontario…and gourmet artisans too!

 

Sip & Stock up for the holidays

On your mark….get set…Power Shop! To prep you for this special Taste & Buy night, we’ll send you the list of featured products AND our Savvy Sommeliers & Cicerones will be at the event ready to share ‘must try’ tips.

There’ll be wines of all kinds – sparkling, white, red & even port, PLUS a variety of craft beers & ciders too. You won’t find any of the featured bevvies at the LCBO or grocery stores.

Special PROMO
Buy a $70 ticket + bring a friend FREE

 

Look who is coming from Niagara, The County & Ottawa region too!

Amazing Wines * Aure Winery * Chateau des Charmes * County Cider Company * Fielding Estates Winery * Legends Estates Winery * Karlo Estates * KIN Vineyards * Melville Winery * Trail Estates Winery * Tuque de Broue Brewery * Veini Estates * Vineland Estates Winery …and more will be announced!

 

FREE Shipping

This is an OUTSTANDING offer! At this event, order 6, 12 or more bottles of ANY of your favorites & we’ll deliver by courirer to your home or office – absolutely FREE.

 

Event Deets

DATE: Thursday December 1st
NEW VENUE! Horticulture Building @ Lansdowne, Ottawa
V.I.T. RECEPTION: 5 to 7pm – special passes required
MAIN TASTING EVENT: 7 to 9pm

 

Shop for cheeses too

Our Cheese Sommelier Vanessa Simmons will be shining the spotlight on hard-to-come-by cheeses from Ontario & Quebec that we’ve featured in our Savvy Cool Curds cheese-o-month-club. You can buy your new cheesey favorites to take home for the holidays.

 

Get the red carpet treatment….be a V.I.T.

Buy a Very Important Taster Pass (V.I.T.) for an additional $25 & enjoy advance access from 5 to 7pm…then stay on as long as you like for the main event. Limited to 150 passes.

This OUTSTANDING event always sells out quickly.
Buy your tickets >>

 

Hold on!!! There’s MORE…

For the Love of Cheese

Did you know it’s Cheese Month at the Canadian Agriculture & Food Museum? We are co-hosting these cheese-y activities every Tuesday evening – join us!
Nov 15: Wine & Cheese with a TWIST
Nov 22: Holiday Cheese Boutique
Nov 29: Fondue Fest & Racelette Rendez-Vous

FREE Tix!

Email us your favorite Canadian cheese & we’ll add your name to our draw for 2 tickets to any of these events. Need some help with pickin’ cheese? Check out our monthly Curd on the Street Magazine.

A FUNdraiser not to miss…

The Canadian Nurses Foundation called on us to create Sip & Savour FUNdraising event to help raise $1 million in one year to develop educational & special health care programs that will increase the number of nurses in Indigenous communities.

Join us on November 16 at The Westin Ottawa where Executive Chef Kenton Leier will be pulling out all of the stops to prepare an incredible menu paired with fine Ontario wines. It will be a delicious night with chefs & winemakers. Only 150 tickets….and selling quickly!

Don’t miss this event. Click to get your tickets >>

 

See you at all of these OUTSTANDING events…
– Debbie & the Savvy Team

Savvy Company
613-SAVVYCO (728-8926)
cheers@savvycompany.ca
www.savvycompany.ca

Keep in touch with us…
@SavvyDebbie
@SavvyCompany

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instagram.com/savvycompanyinc

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Top tips for your next visit to The County

Posted by Debbie

Monday, March 21st, 2016
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Prince Edward County…if you haven’t been…Start the car! Make a point to book a family vacation, play hooky and spend a long weekend or make a day of it. The County awaits!  To compile the 100+ things to do, I asked the locals and tourist for their tips. I was overwhelmed by the response….and as I write this article, more recommendations are flooding my inbox…and I will add updates to keep this list up to date.

101 Things (or more) to do in Prince Edward County

pec map for FBI have to admit that I haven’t done ALL the things on this list, but certainly plan to jump in my car soon! For starters… I always recommend getting off Highway 401 and taking the Glenora Ferry. This free ferry ride is less than 10 minutes (check the departure schedule). Mark my words, this ride will reset your pace to ‘County time’. Breathe in the fresh air, enjoy being surrounded by water and get the welcoming 2 fingered wave from the ferry driver as you arrive.

Water all around

Be baffled by the geography of Lake on the Mountain. This unique body of water is one of Ontario’s natural wonders defying geographical and geological theories. Ponder its mystery over a drink at the Miller House Café and Brasserie…you can stay overnight here too!

Parks & beaches too

water-sandbanks-FOSPrince Edward County is synonymous for Sandbanks Provincial Park (photo at right), yet, there are many more beaches to discover: Wellington Beach and Park, North Beach Provincial Park, Westlake Beach. Switch from white sand to smooth pebbles and wander along Little Bluff Beach.

 

Old barns

Check out some great old barns at The Old ThirdClosson ChaseKarlo EstatesThe Grange of Prince Edward County and Hinterland Winery.

Traveling with Savvy Company

Places to stay – oh so many!

Clarmont Inn & Spa, Merrill Inn, The Drake Devonshire, Waring House, Angeline’s Inn, The Manse Boutique Inn. All of these places have gourmet restaurants too – book a reservation to make sure you get a spot!

Where to dine

Sample County wines at many of the restos including East & MainBlumen Garden & The Agarian

Visit Angeline’s Inn in Bloomfield & pick up some of their neat postcards with historical photos of The County in years gone by. While you are there, book your reservation for lunch or dinner at The Hubb Eatery & Lounge. You will definitely make delicious memories here!

Craving a pizza? There are several wineries that have a wood oven pizza place including Norman Hardie Winery – the perfect place for pizza and a Pinot Noir (try saying that fast!)

Spend Sunday morning at the Sunday Market at 106 Bridge or brunch made by Chef Michael Hoy. And in the afternoon, enjoy live jazz & al fresco dining on the patio at Huff Estates Winery.

Cuddle baby lambs & explore forest trails to walk off the amazing meal of farm to table cuisine enjoyed at Windhover County – a 140 year old Victorian Farm that has been transformed into a boutique inn.

Take a break from gourmet meals and make your way to the Lighthouse Restaurant at the Picton Harbour Inn – a popular local hot spot for breakfast – best sausages ‘n eggs, mile high pancakes &french toast in town.

…or nibble

Top places for treats & tea: The Vic Café, The Pink Lunch Pail Bakery, Tall Poppy Café, Miss Lily’s

Hands down the best old fashioned doughnuts are at Schroedter’s Farm Market Bakery & Cafe. If you don’t have a sweet tooth, a bowl of homemade soup&sandwiches will hit the spot. There are great gluten free goodies too.

Take a break from visiting wineries and stop in to visit the Pyramid Ferments Gut Hut. A wide variety of artisan made Sauerkrauts, Kimchis and Kombuchas – all using seasonal ingredients – are made in small batches.

Have you tried Maple Cheddar from Black River Cheese Factory?

Nightlife

Think there’s no nightlife in The County? Ha! You haven’t been to the movies at Mustang Drive-In on County Road 1.

Picton’s Main street has got it all. At The Regent Theatre, check out the list of movies, live musical performances & special talks as well as the Prince Edward County Jazz Festival. While you are there, snap a selfie with Sir John A Macdonald. His statue is located in front of the Armory.

Best view in town

The locals share this secret: enjoy the view of Picton from the Millenium Lookout – access it from County Road 22

Ice cream’s finest

Cave in…have ice cream at Slickers County Ice Cream in Bloomfield, stop in at Black River Cheese Factory or the locals hot spot is Cones & Shakes in Picton

Love museums?

Here is a ‘hit list’- Mariner’s Park Museum in South Bay, Rose House Museum in Waupoos, Wellington Historical Museum, Macauly Heritage Park and Ameliasburgh Pioneer Village

Wines, beers, ciders…and more

Pop into The County Canteen– Picton’s first brew pub – stop in for a flight of craft beers. The Acoustic Grill is a great place to see local bands.

Meet the dogs & owners at Three Dog Winery. In the summer they do yoga in the vineyard (the owners that is!) and XC ski parties too.

Ever been to a speakeasy? Click here to find where X marks the spot.

Pop the cork & taste some of the best Canadian-made sparkling wines at HinterlandHuff Estates, The GrangeBy Chadsey’s Cairns Lighthall Vineyards.

County Cider tasting June 2015Calling all cider lovers! You’ll want to hit these places for hard ciders made with County grown apples: The County Cider Co. (in photo at left), Bergeron Estate Winery & Cider House, and Clafeld Fruit

Head down at harvest and join in picking grapes at Sandbanks WineryHalf Moon Bay Winery Broken Stone – something that the entire family can do.

Chat with Bryan at Keint-He Winery.  He’ll help you pronounce that!

An open invitation to everyone! Brett French – the brewer at Barley Days Brewery – gives anyone reading this an invitation to drop by to sample his beers…ask for him and he will give you the skinny on how he makes each. And County Road Beer Co. just opened, so be sure to stop in here too!

Prince Edward County is known as a wine region, yet there is a distillery – 66 Gilead – that is neat place to visit & try their Canadian Pine Vodka, Loyalist Gin, rums & whiskies too.

Want some exercise? 

A local favorite bike ride is along Big Island Road following the beach on the northeast shore of Prince Edward County as well as along the Loyalist Parkway (Highway 33).

Drive or bike along the Barn Quilt Trail. There are over 100 barnswith painted quilts – neat!

Get running! The day after the annual Terroir Wine & Farmers Market Festival, get your shoes on to do the 10 km Terroir Run that winds through wineries along the way. The Wellington Women’s Half Marathon in June (complete with firemen handing out water along the route!) In October, The County Marathon is a great way to explore the backroads.

…and there is still more!

Lavender Farm by DT June 7 2015See a sea of purple at the Prince Edward County Lavender Farm. Tip: plan to visit the Lavender Festival or stop in when the plants are in bloom in mid to late June. Take photos in the gardens, learn how lavender is harvested & the oil is made. If you are lucky – stay at the B&B there too.

Play life size chess in the vineyard at Casa Dea Estates Winery.

The locals raved about –Birdhouse City with over 100 birdhouses of reproductions of historic buildings, whimsical designs & other recognizable structures.

A sign that will make you laugh as you drive by:Dead People’s Stuff Antiques.

Lose yourself flipping through neat books at Books & Company or the cool consignment shop – City Revival – on Main Street in Picton.

 

OenoGalleryToo many galleries to visit in one weekend! Some to make sure to visit: Oeno Gallery (photo at right courtesy of Oeno Gallery) Huff Estates Winery, Love Nest Studios. Follow the Arts Trail to discover incredible local artists along the way.

Crazy about airplanes? Lock-Sloy (aka Camp Picton) is one of Canada’s last intact 1940 British Commonwealth Air Training sites. Driving through here, it is easy to imagine what this place was like in the hay day.

If lighthouses are your ‘thing’, then make sure to visit Point Petre and South Bay Lighthouse – bring some local wine & cheese to have a picnic.

If vintage cars are your ‘thing’, then plan your trip to Prince Edward County to take in the Street Meet in early August. It is a blast reliving the past at this annual car show with over 200 classic cars come from all corners of Ontario and Quebec.

Karlo bridgeVisit North America’s largest dry stone bridge (in photo at right) at Karlo Estates – made by the winery owner & friends. A great place for a family photo or a picnic.

Sit on the porch at a B&B or your weekend cottage and read Geoff Heinrick’s book A Fool & Forty Acres all about the hard work of getting a vineyard planted in The County.

Take a cooking class at From the Farm. Tell Cynthia that we say hi!

Festivals galore

wine festivalFestivals that will give you a taste of The County: Maple in the County in March, then in May – Terroir where winemakers and artisan food producers are all under one roof. The Great Canadian Cheese Festival in June is a weekend of 100% Canadian artisan cheese (and wine and beer too).

TASTE – Community Grown in September (in photo at left) celebrates the harvest with local wines, ciders and farm fresh goodies. Join the fun at Wassail – a pre-Christmas festival where you sing for your drink. Check www.visitthecounty.ca for a comprehensive calendar.

Dining delight – Countylicious – twice a year, 8 restos offer a prix fixe culinary celebration for $30 or $35 plus grats & tax.

Red White & Blues festival at Rosehall Run features music in the vineyard.

PosterCool Collectibles

Collect a couple or all 8 of the cool County Posters with neat illustrations of all corners of Prince Edward County to remind you of the fun discoveries you had on your County getaway (photo attached –credit illustration by Marc Keelan-Bishop).

Sisters Jane Rutter & Susan Felton have brought pieces of history & heritage memorabilia back to life at the cool shop called Cannery Row.

Local produce abounds

In the summer, stop by one of many veggie stands – Laundry FarmsHagerman FarmsCherryvale Organic Farm & Vicki’s Veggies.

Stop in at Highline to grab a box of their gourmet mushrooms.

Only have time for a quick visit?

Go to the brand new The Local Store where all kinds of County treasures, artists & food stuffs are under one roof…in a heritage Loyalist barn.

Send us your tips on PEC!

As you can see, there are oodles of things to do in The County. While only 2 hours from Toronto or 3 hours from Ottawa, it is a place where you can really switch off! In fact, there are over 1000 places where you will probably lose cell phone reception.

Have fun as you discover Prince Edward County & email us with your favorite spots!
Debbie

 

Can’t get away?  Don’t worry….The County is coming to Ottawa!

Prep for your road trip by attending County in the Capital. Meet the makers from 20+ wineries, cideries, breweries &artisan food producers – all from The County. This is a unique opportunity to Taste & Buy your new favorites

County in the Capital picEvent Details:

Date: Wednesday April 20th
Time: 7 to 9pm
Place: Ottawa City Hall
Entry: Advance Tickets only: $55 (bring a friend for $5)
www.countycomes2ottawa.eventbrite.ca

This article was written by Savvy Sommelier Debbie Trenholm & will be featured in Ottawa Life Magazine on May 22.

 

 

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