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Archive for ‘Wine’

6 Sparkling wines under $100

Posted by Julie

Thursday, June 22nd, 2017
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What perfect timing! Canada Day, Canadian Winemakers Around the World and Bubbles are featured in this release. LCBO & Vintages sometimes does this to me, all my favourite wine topics are featured at once – Oh Canada!

I plan to celebrate my “Canuck-ness” with bubbles. I will raise some “fizz” to toast Canada’s 150th birthday of accumulated strength in heritage and multiculturalism – this is the country where there is something for everyone.

This is also true of my selections for this release;  SIX sparkling wines from SIX countries to demonstrate a mosaic of diversity. I hope you find at least one to enjoy and join me as we raise a glass together.

Happy 150 years Canada!

-Julie

 

 

If I only had $100, I would buy…
LCBO Vintages Release for Saturday June 24, 2017

Vieni Momenti Sparkling Wine

Charmat Method, VQA Ontario
$13.95 (Vintages # 435784)  11.3% alcohol

 Last fall, I had the opportunity to taste this sparkling wine at one of our Taste & Buy events and recently “re-enjoyed” it since a friend of mine had purchased several bottles too.  It was a top seller at our event….and no doubt it will fly off the Vintages shelves too.

Pale yellow in colour, this unique blend of Vidal and Pinot Grigio grapes is fresh and aromatic. It has a light fine mousse (tiny bubbles) embracing soft tropical fruit flavours. At that price point you cannot go wrong. I will definitely be stocking up on this delicious sparkling wine. Great on its own or with lighter fare.

 

Chevalier Monopole Brut Rosé

AC, Champagne Region, France
$15.95 (Vintages #485920) 12% alcohol

First, I loved the unusual pale tangerine colour but then secondly, when several LCBO Product Consultants (aka wine experts who work in the Vintages section) are all smacking their lips, exclaiming what a fabulous wine not to mention great value, I knew I’d hit the bulleye!

Monopole is a term meaning “wholly owned” and can be used by a producer when the grapes used in the wine are exclusively owned buy the winemaker and not purchased.  It’s an easy sipping sparkling wine, full of citrusy orange and lime flavours, gentle, soft and juicy with enough acidity to pair with grilled chicken or tacos. Absolutely. Delicious.

 

Emiliana Organic Brut Sparkling

Charmat method, Casablanca Valley, Chile
$15.95 (Vintages #451914) 13% alcohol

Emiliana is Chile’s biggest organic wine producer. Artfully crafted , pale golden in colour with amazing aromas and tastes of ripe pineapple and papaya.

A Chardonnay and Pinot Noir blend (classic grape varieties used for sparkling wines) that is easy going and fresh with a citrusy lime aftertaste. Nicely balanced with noticeable acidity.  This bubbly from Chile is another great sipper on its own or  with fish, summer salads, or sushi.  Perfect for a picnic with the easy snap top bottle.

 

Graham Beck Brut Rosé

Méthode Cap Classique, WO Western Cape, South Africa
$19.95 (Vintages #175588) 12.5% alcohol

A blend of Chardonnay and Pinot Noir grapes, silvery pink and shimmery in colour just like a cocktail dress, this just glows with excitement. Loads of sweet and sour cherries, raspberries, other red berries, smooth on the palate and loads of the above berries on the aftertaste.

It has a healthy weight for a sparkling wine but in South African style, would pair well with anything grilled, salad on the side.  Another delicious bubbly.

 

Castillo Perelada Brut Rosé Cava

Traditional method, DO, Spain
$15.95 (Vintages # 226266) 11.5% alcohol

An elegant pale pink colour this sparkling wine shimmers in the glass. To start, it just looks pretty. Then, as you take in the aromas and tastes of strawberries, cherries with a little peppermint on the light-bodied finish it is no wonder that Spain has become famous for its Cava (winespeak: Spanish sparkling wines).  Cavas are typically affordable priced and this is no exception. Would be perfect for a wedding reception or bridal shower or more importantly no occasion at all.

 

Valdo Marca Oro Valdobbiadene Prosecco Superiore

DOCG, Italy
$16.95 (Vintages #422840) 11% alcohol

Year round Prosecco is a great sparkling wine. Floral and croissant aromas hover around the bubbles that burst playfully with suggestions of citrus, green apple and apricot flavours.  Fresh and always delicious, it pairs with just about anything under the sun from charcuterie to pan seared fish.

 

Grand Total  = $98.75
I was thrilled to find 6 sparklers within my $100 budget!

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The #1 question we get asked…

Posted by Debbie

Friday, June 16th, 2017
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Can you buy BC or NS wines?  Yes. You. Can.  Oh Canada! Celebrate Red & White Taste & Buy event that we are hosting in Ottawa to kick off Canada150 & Ottawa2017 celebrations is all about ordering wines from British Columbia, Ontario, Quebec & Nova Scotia…then have them delivered directly to you to enjoy all summer long.

Join us on Thurs June 22 to sample & order the 100+ wines (listed below)…or order online (we are creating the online order form as we speak!).  Advance Tickets only – click here to buy yours >>

Don’t miss it!  Celebrate Red & White 

Corks will be popping at this all-Canadian Taste & Buy as we celebrate winemakers who have worked hard to put our country on the world wine map! Meet these Canadian wine rockstars, taste their wines that are WOWing the world…then order your favs to enjoy at home.

Featured British Columbia Wineries…

Nobel Ridge Vineyard and Winery

‘The One’ Sparkling $40.00

2013 Reserve Chardonnay $30.00

2014 Reserve Pinot Noir $30.00

2014 Reserve Meritage $35.00

 

Sperling Vineyards  

2015 Speritz $22.00

2010 Sparkling Brut $42.00

2016 Pinot Gris $19.00

2015 Market White $19.00

2015 Chardonnay $30.00

2013 Old Vines Riesling $35.00

2015 Natural Amber Pinot Gris $30.00

2015 Pinot Noir Rosé $19.00

2015 Pinot Noir $26.00

2015 Old Vines Foch $32.00

 

Featured Ontario Wineries…

Casa-Dea Estates Winery  

2016 Embrace Sparkling Riesling $19.95

2016 Melon de Bourgogne $20.95

2016 Cabernet Franc Rosé $17.95

2013 Cabernet Franc $18.95

 

Huff Estates

2016 Pinot Gris $22.00

2014 South Bay Chardonnay $30.00

2016 Rosé $19.00

2014 Pinot Noir Reserve $35.00

 

Karlo Estates

2013 Three Witches $20.00

2015 Niagara Peninsula Riesling $22.00

2015 Cabernet Sauvignon $29.00

2014 Van Alstine Red $39.00

 

Keint-He Winery & Vineyards

2015 Voyageur Gewürztraminer $20.00

2015 Voyageur Riesling $20.00

2014 Portage Chardonnay $25.00

2014 Portage Pinot Noir $30.00

 

Legends Estates Winery

Love Potion Sparkling Rosé $15.95

2013 Sauvignon Blanc Reserve $16.95

2015 Reserve Pinot Gris Rosé $17.95

2012 Merlot Reserve $21.95

2012 Malbec Reserve $23.95
 

Reif Estate Winery  

Sparkling Chardonnay $24.95

2014 Cabernet Sauvignon Reserve $29.95

 

The Good Earth Food & Wine Co.  

2016 Pinot Grigio $17.95

2015 Betty’s Blend $17.95

2015 Viognier $24.95

2016 Rosé $17.95

2015 Pinot Noir $24.95

 

Trail Estate Winery  

2015 Vintner’s Weiss $19.95

2015 Wild F, Unfiltered Chardonnay $32.00

2016 Field Blend  $32.00 (NEW Reg $35)

2016 Gewürztraminer $35.00 (NEW Reg $38)

2015 Unfiltered Cab Franc $44.00

 

Two Sisters Vineyards

2016 Sauvignon Blanc $34.00

2016 ‘Old Vines’ Unoaked Chardonnay $39.00

2012 Estate Red $28.00 (Savvy Special)

2013 Cabernet Franc $49.00

 

Vieni Estates  

Sparkling Cider $11.95 (Reg $13.95)

Momenti Sparkling $13.95

Canada 150 Red Sparkling $15.95 (Reg $16.95)

2016 Gewurztraminer $17.95 (Reg $19.95)

2013 Red Trillium Ripasso $16.95

2012 Appassimento Private Reserve $69.95

2012 Appassimento 6 bottles @$59.95 each

 

Westcott Vineyards

2016 Violette Sparking Brut $25.95

2016 Estate Chardonnay $25.95

2014 Lenko Old Vines Chardonnay $32.95

2016 Temperance Red Blend $19.95

2013 Estate Pinot Noir $30.00

 

Featured Ontario Distillery…

Kinsip House of Fine Spirits

Still’s Whisper Vodka $39.95

Juniper’s Wit Gin $39.95

Duck Island Rum $63.95

Du Bois Maple Whisky $35.96

Crimson Rye $68.95

 

Featured Quebec Winery…

Vignoble CARONE Wines  

2016 VERITÀ White, $18.00

2015 VERITÀ Rosé, $18.00

 

Featured Nova Scotia Wineries….

Gaspereau Vineyards

Lucie Kuhlmann $21.99

 

Jost Vineyards

Selkie Frizzante $19.99

Selkie Rosé Frizzante $19.99

Tidal Bay $19.99

 

Place your order at Oh Canada! Celebrate Red & White Taste and Buy
OR
contact the Savvy Team on 613-SAVVYCO (728-8926) for the URL to order online

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If I only had $100, I would buy at Vintages….

Posted by Julie

Friday, June 9th, 2017
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Trust the LCBO to shine the spotlight on single malt scotch, cognac and specialty wines just in time for Father’s Day. This release also focuses on Flagship ISD (in-store-discoveries) from Australia and France. That covers a wide span of the wine world.

While Dad may be part of the focus in this release, I discovered two great sparkling wines from Niagara that were so reasonably priced you could pick something up for Mum as well.

Contraband Sparkling Chardonnay (#443705)
and Contraband Sparkling Riesling (#400127), both under $20.
These bubblies are full of lively fruit flavours that is perfect for Mum, Dad or to ring in Canada Day.

I hope you find more than one wine to enjoy in the picks that I ‘bought’ on my $100 budget.

-Julie

If I only had $100, I would buy …
LCBO Vintages Release for Saturday June 10, 2017

 

Creekside Reserve Viognier 2014 

Queenston Road Vineyard, VQA St. David’s Bench, Niagara-on-the-Lake, ON
$29.95 (Vintages #264168) 14 % alcohol

I don’t usually spend so much on one bottle of wine for obvious reasons, yet this time, I have to make an exception.

There aren’t many wineries in Ontario that produce Viognier because it is such a difficult grape to grow.  It’s prone to mildew, low yields and it has to be picked when it’s absolutely prime & ripe or it fails to develop its amazing colour, aromatics and fine fruit flavours. Creekside Winery won a gold medal winner in 2010 for their Viognier and this 2014 release is too delicious for words.

Aged for 9 months in French oak, this white wine delivers lush lingering aromatics of honeysuckle, mango, peach flavours that carry through to the palate. Slightly oily but fresh. Weighty and balanced – it’s one class act.  It also makes a beautiful gift for someone, especially someone who knows their wine. It’s so good on its own but could handle a spicy foods like a Moroccan Tagine or fresh sushi with panache.  Only 136 cases produced so I’ll grab a couple of bottles and leave the rest for you.

 

 

Medeiros Rosé

Vinho Regional Alentejano, Portugal
$12.95 (Vintages #451385)  12.5% alcohol

A pretty blend of Touriga Nacional (45%), Syrah (41%) and Aragonês or Tempranillo (14%) grapes.  This Rose is unreal at this price point. Pale pink in colour, with a little peach, almond and green melon flavours on the palate.  It is so light and refreshing. There’s not a huge finish but a great patio sipper or with seafood/summer salads. Summer in a glass!

 

 

Sister’s Run Bethlehem Block Cabernet Sauvignon 2014

Gomersal, Barossa, South Australia
$18.95 (Vintages #360636) 14.5% alcohol

Aromatic hints of  concentrated black fruit translate onto the palate. Bone-dry, full-bodied red wine with black currant and raspberry flavours. Gentle tannins that make it quite approachable on the palate and a very easy summer sipper.

It would be fabulous with assorted cheeses, lamb burgers or spicy sausages hot off the BBQ.

 

Gérard Bertrand Grand Terroir Grès De Montpellier Syrah Grenache

AP Languedoc, France
$18.95 (Vintages #493635) 15% alcohol

Aged in French oak barrels for 12 months lends hearty robust flavours to this classic red wine blend.  Ripe plums and layers of dark fruit flavours are velvety smooth on the palate with a peppery, charcoal edge on the finish and length.

It’s a big, rich red wine that would partner beautifully with BBQed steak with all of the trimmings or saucy ribs off the grill.

 

Tomassi Arele Parziale Appassimento 2015

IGT Della Venezie, Italy
$19.95 (Vintages #224188) 13% alcohol

You expect full flavour, texture and richness in a blend with Corvina, Rondinella, Oseleta and Merlot grapes.  This red wine holds no surprise. “Arele” is the name of the wooden trays used to partially dry the grapes that is part of the magic in creating this unique wine.

Loaded with dark fruit berry flavours, ripe red currants with hints of violets. Medium to full-bodied with a persistent sweet spice finish and a touch of cedar. Mark my words, this red wine is hard to resist. Perfect choice to accompany some grilled meats or summer vegetable lasagna. Stock up!

Grand Total = $100.75

The 3 extra quarters are totally worth going over budget!

 

 

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Let’s Clink & Drink Pink!

Posted by Debbie

Monday, May 29th, 2017
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The weather forecast is…it is time to put away gardening tools & get your corkscrew out…Rose wine season is here!  Wineries all across Ontario are now releasing their delicious Rosé wines to quench your thirst this summer.  While it might be raining this week, get ready for when the heat wave hits.

To make summer livin’ easy, we are offering a Bouquet of Rosés – wines that is – featuring the best Rosé wines made in Ontario.  Straight from the winery to your fridge.  Our team of Savvy Sommeliers have taste-tested 50+ Rosé wines and selected the best ones for you to enjoy this summer.  Dry. Crisp. Zippy. Delicious!  Each month a different assortment of Rosé wines made at boutique wineries across Ontario will arrive at your home, desk, deck…or even your cottage dock!

Take your pick…

Order an assortment of 12 bottles (a big bouquet) or a mixed 6 pack (a small bouquet).  Every month is different.  Deadline to order the June assortment is Friday June 9th.

To order CLICK HERE >>

What will you get? 

Every month we are creating a different combination of amazing Rosé wines. Choose the number of bottles you would like to receive:

SMALL Bouquet >> assortment of 6 different bottles of Rosé wines
LARGE Bouquet >> assortment of 12 bottles (2 x the featured 6 Rosés)

 

Here’s what we’ve picked for June’s bouquet: 

From Prince Edward County…

Devils Wishbone Pinot Gris Rosé VQA 2016
Huff Estates Rosé VQA 2016

From Beamsville Bench (Niagara)…

Legends Estate Reserve Pinot Gris VQA 2015
Legends Estate Terroir Rose VQA 2016

From Niagara-on-the-Lake

Southbrook Estate Cabernet Rosé VQA 2016
Southbrook Seriously Cool Rosé VQA 2016

These wines are so SPECIAL – they’re not available at the LCBO.

How much?

Each month is a slightly different price based on the wines selected. For June, the price is to combined total of the selected wines:

Small Bouquet: $120
Large Bouquet: $240
Oh…AND did we mention? FREE shipping to addresses in major cities across Ontario.

And last but not least… as you unwind with a glass of wine in hand, get the inside scoop on the wines in our monthly Rosé Report. It’s full of interesting stories about the people who made the selected wines, Sommelier tasting notes & favorite summertime recipes to serve with the wines.

Tick Tock!

Place your order before June 9th…then sit back & relax!
We’ll deliver to your door, deck or dock.

CLICK to Order >> 

 

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If I only had $100, I would buy at Vintages…

Posted by Julie

Thursday, May 25th, 2017
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South Central Italy & Flagship In Store Discoveries (LCBO speak: ISD) as well as California are a prominent features in this LCBO Vintages release.  Where to start?

Frankly, the ISD’s are a little rich for my $100 budget for this blog, yet there are some pretty enticing looking wines.  Worth saving your pennies (or I guess it is now nickles!)

With the weather changing, I’m in a white wine mood so that’s what will be focused on finding the best to put in my shopping basket. You can’t go wrong with any of these great wines but remember when buying wines in the Vintages section, if you find something you like – grab a few bottles since they won’t be here again until next year and even that’s not a rule of thumb either!

Enjoy,

Julie

 

If I only had $100, I would buy . . .
LCBO Vintages Release for Saturday May 27, 2017

 

Santa Barbara Winery Chardonnay 2015

Santa Barbara County, California
$24.95 (Vintages # 989152) 13.7% alcohol

Talk about typicity! It doesn’t get much richer or better for a classic California Chardonnay.  If you can imagine putting your nose in a creamy rich butter bar, or creme caramel, you’d probably not be far off when smelling the aromas in this wine. Lots of ripe pineapple and baked apple flavours, a full-bodied white wine, balanced, lots of fruity layers, creamy smooth with a citrusy finish. Rich, fragrant and delicious. Enjoy with seafood or chicken alfredo pasta, sounds like a dinner party to me.

 

 

Beauvignac Picpoul De Pinet 2016

AP, Les Costières Pomerols, France
$14.95 (Vintages #350124) 12.5% alcohol

This light, crisp perfect summer wine called “Picpoul” is a direct reference to the vibrant natural acidity of this grape. A loose translation of Picpoul means “stings the lip” which refers to the high acidity level in this varietal. It’s super fresh and floral, white blossoms and lemon-lime flavours are too easy on the palate.

There’s a bounty of  green Granny Smith apple flavours in this white wine which also offer natural acidity that makes it so refreshing. Serve well chilled with a seafood salad, or cold poached salmon and you’ll have rave reviews.

 

Vesevo Beneventano Falaghina 2015

IGT Beneventano, South Central Italy
$16.95 (Vintages #289538) 13% alcohol

One sip reminded me of sitting in an piazza in Rome, starring at busts of bronze and a nearby coliseum. Fresh, lots of minerality and tastes of wet stone (this is a good thing), especially if you are prone to liking some earthy wine with loads of lemon flavours. A light white wine and delicate and a perfect afternoon sipper. If you happen to have a few shrimps handy – serve chilled or grill em up to have an awesome afternoon snack.

 

Frescobaldi Castelo Di Pomino Bianco 2015

DOC,  Tuscany, Italy
$19.95  (Vintages #65086) 12.5% alcohol

The history books state that in 1855, Chardonnay and Pinot Blanc were planted in Tuscany for the first time. Pomino (meaning little apple in Italian) is a small DOC located in central Italy that includes vineyards within the Chianti Rufina sub-zone in the province of Florence. It earned it’s DOC status in 1983.

Softly floral, ripe apricots and gentle peach flavours coat the palate with a lemony finish. A Fresh white wine that is delicate and delicious.

 

 

Feudo Maccari Grillo 2015

IGP Terre Siciliane, Italy
$14.95 (Vintages #477877) 12.5% alcohol

If I wrote in a sommelier exam that the wine tastes like fresh green grapes, I probably wouldn’t have passed the course but it is what it is (keeping in mind all our taste buds are different). This pale golden nectar is aromatically floral with some minerality on the palate and a pinch of effervescence, perhaps from the citrusy fruit flavours. It’s crisp and dreamy and a very easy white wine sipper especially at this price point. Salads, soft cheese, fish tacos or on its own.

Bottom line…I’m stocking up, this wine is too good to be true!

 

 

Grand total = $91.75 

5 great wines and look what I’ve saved you

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Grilling a winemaker with 20 Questions!

Posted by Debbie

Monday, May 15th, 2017
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One of the oldest and best established wineries in Prince Edward County, Huff Estates has blazed the trail for the County’s cool climate techniques. From burying vines in winter to experimenting with sparkling wines, Huff is always at the forefront.

In this month’s Savvy Selections, we’re trying a new format to discover more about what life is like for Huff Estates’ long-serving winemaker, Frédéric Picard, with his answers to our Twenty Questions.

 

Get ready to uncork & enjoy your Savvy Selections…

In your Savvy Selections you will find three of our favorite Huff wines that we chose for you:

2014 South Bay Vineyard Chardonnay Rich and flavourful, with just a whisper of oak.

2013 Gamay – A savoury red that leaves a big impression.

2014 South Bay Vineyard Merlot – Replete with ripe fruit and mouthwatering acidity, this is a great food wine.

 

The Best of the County

Huff Estates has built its reputation on offering dependable, delicious wines that show off Prince Edward County’s unique terroir. These wines are ready to drink, though they could be cellared for a year or two. Our Savvy Sommeliers know you’ll love them as much as we do!

Cheers!

-Debbie & Savvy Team

 

 

Introducing…

20 Questions with Frédéric Picard
Presented by Sommelier David Loan

We are trying something different  for fun &  to keep  digging deeper to get some interesting ‘dirt’ (being a it cheeky here) about  the dynamic people behind the wines that we feature.   Not only are they great winemakers, they are people too with neat stories about how they got into the wine world.

No one likes to be in the hot seat with Twenty Questions being fired at you for quick on-the-spot answers.  Here we present Frederic Picard & his backstory…(imagine said with his French accent!)

 

Location: Huff Estates

Current Job: Winemaker

What drink would you like right this minute?
A beer. I’m a winemaker! (says with a chuckle)

When you were 10, what did you want to be when you grew up?
A mechanic.

What was the very first winery that you ever visited?
A winery in Meursault with my Dad. I was very young.

What wine got you hooked?
Burgundy wines, especially chardonnays.

Take a few minutes and jot down the path to becoming the winemaker you are today:
Adventurous, curious, enthusiast and wine lover!

My winemaking style in 3 words:
Balance, elegance and respectful.

Is there music playing in the cellar right now?
No.

Favorite thing about the local wine industry: 
You can taste and compare with what you make.

Favorite thing about growing grapes:
Making wine with them!

What part of winemaking are you always trying new things?
Fermentation and barrel ageing.

What is the unglamorous thing about winemaking?
Cleaning.

Industry Mentors:
All the winemakers I worked with.

Personal Mentors:
My parents.

What wine region do you want to visit next?
Rioja.

One surprising thing that I’m really good at:
Cleaning!

When is your birthday (no year required!)
May 24th.

My Birthday “Favorite Meal”:
Good cheeses, fresh bread and   wines that I never tasted before.

A funny moment you remember about visitors coming to the winery:
A group of people came a few years ago and started to sing in the middle of the retail store! It was really nice and unexpected!

We hope you love these beautiful Huff wines every bit as much as we do!

~ SAVVY SOMMELIER TASTING NOTES ~

For your Savvy Selection this month, we’ve chosen three wines that beautifully showcase Frederic’s talent. We know that you’ll love the remarkable flavours of these unique wines, along with some delicious recipes that will perfectly match food and drink.

 

South Bay Vineyards Chardonnay VQA Prince Edward County 2014
$30

Savvy Sommelier Tasting Notes: Winner of the 2016 Intervin “Honours” medal and Wine Align 2016 Silver medal, we think you’ll find this a big winner, too! The nose offers classic Chardonnay notes: apricot, green apple, and peach with a hint of minerality. There’s some nice acid on the finish, along with more of that peach and steeliness. But it also offers coconut and nuts, showing the winemaker’s delicate touch with oak.

Suggested Food Pairings: How about a pumpkin ravioli with cream sauce for your après ski supper? This will be perfect! Recipe below.

Cellaring:  Drink at 8-9ºC within two years.

 

 

Gamay VQA Creek Shores 2013,
$25

Savvy Sommelier Tasting Notes: Gamay is a grape that does very well in Ontario’s cool climate, where it often produces lighter bodied wines.

Here’s an exception: Huff’s Gamay has big flavours of candied dark cherries, smoke, and leather in a medium bodied wine. Tannins are soft but chewy, and there’s a hint of black licorice on the lonnnggg finish.

Suggested Food Pairings: Our tasting team had lots of ideas for this one: pork tenderloin, roast chicken, chicken pot pie. But we settled on something a bit more exotic – Mongolian Hot Pot! Recipe follows

Cellaring: Ready to drink now, this could be cellared for up to three years. Serve cool but not cold: 12-14ºC.

 

 

 South Bay Vineyards Merlot VQA Prince Edward County 2014
Savvy Special Price: $32 (regular $40)

Savvy Sommelier Tasting Notes:  Pouring an opaque purple, this full-bodied Merlot was a hit with our tasters! There’s lots of dark fruit and chocolate here, with notes of coffee, plums, leather, and jam. The acidity is on the higher side, so this is VERY food-friendly. Tannins are soft and elegant.

Suggested Food Pairings: Here’s a terrific wine for your Sunday roast beef, served with a traditional Yorkshire pudding. Recipe below.

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

 

 

~ RECIPES TO ENJOY WITH YOUR SAVVY SELECTIONS ~

With Huff South Bay Vineyards Chardonnay …
Pumpkin Ravioli with Sage Cream Sauce

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

 

Ingredients

1 8- to 9-ounce package refrigerated pumpkin or squash ravioli
1 1/2 tablespoons butter
1/4 cup chopped pecans
1/3 cup finely chopped shallots
1 1/2 tablespoons chopped fresh sage or 1 1/2 teaspoons crumbled dried sage leaves
3/4 cup dry white wine
2/3 cup whipping cream
Parmesan cheese shavings

 

Method

Cook ravioli in large pot of boiling salted water until just tender but still firm to bite, about 8 minutes. Drain well.

Meanwhile, melt butter in heavy medium skillet over medium heat. Add pecans and stir until slightly darker and fragrant, about 3 minutes. Using slotted spoon, transfer pecans to small bowl. Add shallots and sage to same skillet. Sauté until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add wine and cream. Increase heat and boil until sauce is reduced to generous 3/4 cup, about 5 minutes.

Add ravioli to sauce; toss. Season with salt and pepper. Divide between bowls. Sprinkle with pecans and Parmesan.

 

 

With Huff Gamay…
Mongolian Hot Pot

Recipe and photo: Thewoksoflife.com
Serves 4

Don’t get put off by the number of ingredients here. You can as many or as few condiments as you wish, and the list of dipping items is entirely optional to your tastes.

Ingredients

For the soup base:

2 tablespoons oil
6 slices ginger
3-5 bay leaves
10 cloves garlic, peeled
1 cinnamon stick
5 star anise
10 cloves
1 tablespoon Sichuan peppercorns
12 whole dried red chilies
1 package spicy hot pot soup base
12-15 cups chicken stock

 

Optional condiment:

Soy sauce
Sacha sauce
Chili oil or paste
Chinese black vinegar or rice vinegar
Sesame paste or peanut butter
Sesame oil
Sesame seeds
Chopped peanuts
Chopped cilantro
Chopped scallions
Chopped garlic

 

Suggested items for cooking:

Thinly shaved beef or lamb
Sliced chicken
Assorted fish balls (you can buy these pre-made at Asian grocery stores)
Thinly sliced fish fillets (tender white fish like tilapia or sea bass work well for this)
Slices of firm tofu
Soy puffs (fried tofu puffs)
Straw, Shiitake or Wood Ear mushrooms
Fresh noodles
Glass noodles (mung bean vermicelli)
Prepared frozen dumplings or wontons
Chinese rice cakes (like these)
Choy sum or bok choy
Green leaf lettuce
Napa cabbage

 

 

Method

For the soup base:

In a wok over medium heat, add the oil and the ginger. Cook the ginger for about a minute until caramelized, making sure it doesn’t burn. Add the bay leaves, whole garlic cloves, cinnamon stick, star anise, and cloves. Cook for another 2 minutes, until very fragrant.

Add the Sichuan peppercorns, dried chilies (whole), and the spicy hot pot soup base. Cook for another 2 minutes, and then add the chicken stock. Bring to a boil and transfer to the pot you’ll be using for your hot pot meal. You want the pot to be relatively wide and at least 6 inches deep.

To make the dipping sauce, simply combine whatever mix of ingredients you like.

To assemble the hotpot, simply plug in your hot plate, place the prepared pot of broth on top, and bring to a low boil or simmer. Place all your prepared ingredients around it, have everyone mix up their own dipping sauces, and dive in.

Each person just takes whatever they want, adds it to the pot, waits for it to cook, and then dips it into their sauce. As the water evaporates as you’re cooking, add boiling water to the pot as needed. You can also serve rice with hot pot (we do), but it’s not mandatory.

 

 

With Huff South Bay Vineyards Merlot…
Roast Beef with Yorkshire Pudding

Recipe & Photo credits FoodNetwork.ca
Serves  4

 

Ingredients

Fore rib beef (about 4 kg), French trimmed, on the bone, chined
Olive oil
Salt
Freshly cracked black pepper

 

For the Yorkshire pudding:

3 eggs
115g/4oz flour
275ml/½ pint milk
Beef dripping
Salt

 

Method

Preheat the oven to its highest setting.

Rub the beef with the olive oil, salt and pepper all over.

Put a heavy-based roasting tray on the hob and when hot, add the beef. Sear the beef quickly on all sides to colour and crisp the outside.

Transfer the beef immediately to the oven and leave the oven on its highest setting (about 460F) for 20 minutes.

Reduce the heat to 375F and roast for half an hour per kilo for rare, adding another ten minutes per kilo for medium rare, 20 minutes per kilo for medium, and 30 minutes per kilo for well done. Remove the beef from the oven, transfer it to a carving board and cover with foil. Allow it to rest in a warm place for 30 minutes.

For the Yorkshire pudding, mix together the eggs, flour and a pinch of salt. Add the milk, stirring constantly, until you have a runny batter. Leave this to rest, covered, in the refrigerator for up to 12 hours.

Place ½ inch of beef dripping in the bottom of each pudding mould, or if you are using a rectangular roasting tray, place ½ inch of beef dripping across the bottom. Heat the dripping in the oven (at 460F) for about ten minutes, until it is piping hot.

Remove the roasting tray from the oven, pour in the batter, and immediately return to the oven. Bake for 25 minutes, until golden brown and crispy, making sure not to open the oven door for the first 20 minutes.

Serve immediately with the carved roast beef.

 

Enjoy your Savvy Selections!

 

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Buyers Picks at Vintages

Posted by Julie

Thursday, May 11th, 2017
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‘Buyer’s Picks’ are the prominent feature of this weekend’s LCBO Vintages release, not to mention New Zealand and Sake wines.

I’m always curious about what ‘Buyers Picks’ really means: more Airmiles offered? Reduced prices on the bottle? or truly great products?  In any case, these are My Picks for you to decide if you want them in your shopping cart.

One thing for certain, these wines are all really good!

Cheers,
-Julie

 

If I only had $100, I would buy…
LCBO Vintages Release for Saturday May 13, 2017

Tom Gore Chardonnay 2014

California
$19.95 (Vintages #458810) 13.5% alcohol

Aromas of baked apple and butter, on the palate are lush tropical fruit flavours, creamy and round. It’s medium to full-bodied white wine that is well-balanced and smooth. Dry apricots and almonds prevail on the long lasting finish. A typical California Chardonnay – rich and delicious.

If you have a special dinner party coming up with a seafood casserole or sauteed scallops it would be a match over the moon.

 

Greywacke Sauvignon Blanc 2015

Marlborough, South Island, New Zealand
$23.95 (Vintages #164228)  13.5% alcohol

This is a classic Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc with aromas of gooseberry and passionfruit. Vinified in stainless steel gives this white wine a fresh clean mouthfeel.

Medium bodied with lime citrus and grapefruit pith bathe the palate, crisp and refreshing with just enough sweetness to balance the racy acidity. Lengthy with a cleansing finish. A beauty Sauvignon Blanc to enjoy on it’s own or with springtime dishes like BBQed Thai Turkey Burgers.

 

Zuccardi Serie A Malbec 2015

Uco Valley, Mendoza, Argentina
$16.95 (Vintages #167619) 13% alcohol

Ever since my trip to Buenos Aires, a Malbec always finds its way into my shopping basket. Dark ripe plums and black cherries wash the palate, this full-bodied red wine has firm tannins and a leathery finish. The mouthfeel is plush and velvety. If you are looking for a Malbec, this is the one!  You simply couldn’t ask for more.

Grilled sausages or BBQed burgers would be a great match.

 

Santa Carolina Reserve Petit Verdot 2013

Rapel Valley, Chile
$16.95 (Vintages # 7484) 14.5% alcohol

“Petit” in this varietal comes from the small size of the grape berries known for their dense, inky, violet colours. They are good descriptors for the start of this red wine. There’s also a whiff of woodsy herbal aromas. Aged in French oak it offers a hint of vanilla and savoury spice while black currants and ripe plum flavours dance on the palate. Firm, rich tannins and dark fruit concentration hover in the long dry aftertaste. It is a work of art for the price point and begs to accompany something grilled or a Chilean bean stew. The latter food pairing may not be summer fare, but it could sure brighten up a rainy day.

 

C.J. Pask Gimblette Road Cabernet/Merlot/Malbec 2013

Gimblett Gravels, Hawkes Bay, North Island, New Zealand
$19.95 (Vintages #279869) 13.5% alcohol

Talk about legs and length, this red wine blend says it all. This Bordeaux-style red blend delights with aromas of ripe dark plums garnished with smooth, savoury woodsy notes that release on the full fruity palate. Easy going with noticeable tannin and texture that support an enduring dark fruit finish. Would be perfect with a herbed crusted roast of lamb or pork.

 

GRAND TOTAL = $97.75

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A Vegan Winery?

Posted by David Loan

Thursday, May 4th, 2017
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What’s in your wine? Many wine drinkers aren’t aware that wines commonly have additives like gelatin, eggs, or milk products added to them to adjust the flavours or help clarify the wine. Most of those additives come out of the wine again before bottling, but some people are still uncomfortable with the idea.

This month in Savvy Selections, we feature award-winning wines from Prince Edward County’s  Karlo Estates. Karlo produces a selection of delicious, food-friendly whites, rosés and reds, and they’re also the only “plant-based” winery in the world. We give you the vegan backstory on the following pages.

Get ready to uncork & enjoy your Savvy Selections…

In your Savvy Selections you will find 3 of our Sommelier’s favourite Karlo Estates wines. 

2015 Niagara Peninsula Riesling Crisp and refreshing!
2015 Patio Reserve Rosé – Proving how flavourful rosé can be.
2013 Triumvirate – Food-friendly, with bracing acidity and wow! flavours.

 

Wines with style

Karlo takes full advantage of Prince Edward County’s unique terroir to make wines that are distinct and elegant. 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 Karlo Estates 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

 

Meet Sherry, Derek & the Karlo Team at Terroir – Wine Celebration in Picton on Saturday May 13 where all of Prince Edward County will be under one roof.  This all day event will be filled with delicious discoveries.  See you there!

Cheers,

Debbie & Savvy Team

 

 

Introducing…

Karlo Estates

Presented by Sommelier David Loan

When Sherry Martin Karlo (in photo) was in university, she noticed two things: she was broke, and she was putting on the dreaded ‘freshman fifteen’. “I started eating mostly vegetables and realized I was losing weight,” Sherry said. “Then I went to a slaughterhouse seminar at the Toronto Veg Food Fest and that convinced me to stick to a plant-based diet.”

 

New opportunities

At that same time, Sherry and her soon-to-be husband Richard Karlo founded Karlo Estates in Prince Edward County in 2005. They built the winery from scratch.

Richard had a passion for making wine and developed his talent and skills through twenty years of very successful home wine making, winning a spectacular number of awards along the way. “When I talked to Richard about diet from an environmental standpoint,” Sherry said, “he realized that he was already making plant-based wines and that it was a growing movement. As a businessman, he realized it was an opportunity he could capture.”

I asked Sherry to explain what she meant by “plant-based” wines. After all, don’t all wines come from grapes? “I like to use a coffee-press analogy,” she starts to explain. “Just like a coffee-press, a vat of wine has a lot of bits of grape and skin and pulp floating around in it. Winemakers add heavier ingredients, like egg whites or milk products or gelatin, which cling to the grape bits and weight them down so they’re easier to remove.”

“At Karlo, we take a different approach.  We use time and gravity to settle out the grape bits.  If we have to intervene to help the process along, we use bentonite clay as a binding agent rather than animal products. We try to avoid the need to adjust the acids or tannins, but if we do, we use potato or pumpkin proteins. It makes it harder to make the wines but people tell us it gives the wine a cleaner profile.”

 

Bridges and turnings

An engineer by trade, Richard led an important side project: building an immense dry-stone bridge over a creek on the property. In addition to being the largest bridge of its kind in North America, the keystone provides Karlo Estates with its iconic logo. Sadly, and with very little warning, Richard was taken by cancer at the end of November, 2014.  The wine community mourned this giant of the industry, who had always lent a helping hand to others. Many – including the Savvy Team – reached out to help.

 

Moving forward

Sherry was able to bring famed winemaker Derek Barnett (right in photo) onboard. Derek had won acclaim at Southbrook Winery and Lailey Vineyards.  “It is a complete pleasure to work with Derek,” Sherry said. “My late husband Richard left huge shoes to fill, and Derek is doing a great job. He’s a big teddy bear and he’s so talented and so nice.

Sherry explained, “2013 was a great vintage. What’s interesting about those wines is that Richard started them but Derek shepherded them into the bottle. 2015 on the other hand was Derek’s first vintage. He joined me at harvest, so they’re his beginning to end.” Sherry said they’re committed to developing great Prince Edward County wines from their own 14 acres of vineyards, but they’re not afraid to bring in Niagara fruit. “We source from Vineland and Niagara so we can get grapes that don’t grow well here, or to do styles that require a different terroir,” she said.

 

Taste of the County

Sherry is proud that The County offers flavours that are unique in the world of wine.   “The County is more nuanced and elegant than other Ontario regions. We have more acidity – it’s a bit more keynote. Our wines are really food friendly because you have the acidity to cut through the fats and the creams. They’re more contemplative.”

We know you’ll agree when you taste these beautiful wines from Karlo Estates!

 

 

~ SAVVY SOMMELIER TASTING NOTES ~

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

 

2015 Riesling, $22

Did you know that Ontario produces some of the best Riesling in the world? Or that Riesling is a fantastic, food-friendly wine that shines in summer?

Sommelier Tasting Notes:  Bright straw with a gold hue, this is a wonderful example of dry Ontario Riesling. There are aromas of light petrol (the classic Riesling flavour!), lime, and tart green apple. High acidity. Dry, but with a drop of residual sugar. Tart and puckering with great minerality and just a hint of peach.  The finish is bracing with flavours of limes and green apples.

Suggested Food Pairings: The bright acidity and hint of sweetness on the finish will work well with spicy and fatty foods. Try it with a Thai Red Curry (recipe below).

Cellaring:  Drink at 8ºC within two years.

 

 

2015 Patio Reserve Rosé, $18

Savvy Sommelier Tasting Notes: I mainly drink rosé in the summer. I find the big flavours of a good, dry rosé very satisfying while being refreshed from the well-chilled wine.  Karlo’s Patio Reserve is made from Frontenac Noir grapes blended with a little Vidal. Frontenac was developed to thrive in our cold climate and it offers fruity, satisfying flavours.

This wine tastes of cherry, strawberry, peach, and mint. It’s mostly dry, with a hint of sweetness to balance the bright acidity. Best comparison? Strawberries and rhubarb! There’s a long, tart strawberry finish. Yum!

Suggested Food Pairings: Off-dry wines pair beautifully with spicy food, and this is no exception. Try spicy paella made with a mix of fresh and preserved vegetables (recipe below).

Cellaring: Ready to drink now, this could be cellared for up to 2 years. Serve between 8-10ºC.

 

 

2013 Triumvirate, $28

Named for the Roman practice of three rulers working together, Triumvirate is blended from Cabernet Sauvignon 62.5%, Cabernet Franc 25%, and Merlot 12.5%.

Savvy Sommelier Tasting Notes: Opaque cherry in colour, there area are big, fruity aromas of blackberries, leather, smoke, black cherries, and mint. On the palate, there’s more of a tart cherry presence, with the smoke and mint and a hint of alcohol. Good, chewy tannins and medium-plus acidity, this has a long tannic and tart cherry finish. This wine is meant to go with good food!

Suggested Food Pairings: The mouth-watering acidity and fresh fruit notes make us think Italian. And what better time than spring to try a new way of serving pasta? Serve this bright wine alongside pasta with ramps, fiddleheads, and sausage (recipe below).

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

 

 

~RECIPES TO ENJOY WITH YOUR SAVVY SELECTIONS~

Since we’re having plant-based wine, let’s try some flavourful veg dishes for a warm spring or hot summer’s day or make it a Meatless Monday!

 

With Karlo Estates Riesling…

Veggie Thai Red Curry

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

Ingredients

200g firm tofu, cubed
4-5 tbsp soy sauce
Juice 3 limes
2 red chillies – minced
1 zucchini – chopped into 1” pieces
1 small eggplant – chopped into 1” pieces
2 tbsp vegetable oil
400ml can reduced-fat coconut milk
½ red pepper – deseeded and chopped into chunks
140g mushrooms, – halved
140g sugar snap pea
20g pack basil leaves – chopped
1 tsp brown sugar
Cooked jasmine rice to serve

 

Paste

Make a fresh spice paste or use your favourite bottled or dry curry spice!

3 red chillies
1 lemongrass, roughly chopped
3 shallots, roughly chopped
½ red pepper, deseeded and roughly chopped
Zest 1 lime
Stalks from 20g pack coriander
Thumb-size piece ginger, grated
2 garlic cloves
1 tsp freshly ground pepper
1 tsp ground coriander

 

Method

Whiz the paste ingredients in a food processor. Marinate the tofu in 2 tbsp soy sauce, juice 1 lime and the chopped chilli.

Heat half the oil in a large pan. Add 3-4 tbsp paste and fry for 2 mins. Stir in the coconut milk with 100ml water, the zucchini, eggplant, and pepper and cook for 10 mins until almost tender.

Drain the tofu, pat dry, then fry in the remaining oil in a small pan until golden.

Add the mushrooms, sugar snaps and most of the basil to the curry, then season with the sugar, remaining lime juice and soy sauce. Cook for 4 mins until the mushrooms are tender, then add the tofu and heat through. Scatter with sliced chilli and basil and serve with jasmine rice.

 

 

With Karlo Estates Patio Rosé…

Paella

Recipe and photo: CrazyVeganKitchen.com
Serves 4

 

Ingredients

2 ½  cups Vegetable Stock
½  teaspoon Saffron Threads
1 ½  Tablespoons Olive Oil
1 large Red Onion – sliced
1 Yellow Bell Pepper – sliced
1 Red Bell Pepper – sliced
1 cup Brown Mushrooms – sliced
3 cloves garlic – minced
1 cup Bomba Rice (or use another short-grain rice)
2 Roma Tomatoes – chopped
1 ½  teaspoons Smoked Paprika
Salt/Pepper
1 cup Green Peas
1 can Artichoke Hearts – drained and chopped
½  cup Parsley – chopped

 

Method

Combine the stock and saffron threads in a medium saucepan and bring to the boil over high heat. Reduce heat to low and maintain a simmer. Meanwhile, heat paella pan on the stove with 1 1/2 tablespoons Olive Oil.

Add Onion to Paella Pan and sauté for 2 minutes. Add sliced red and yellow pepper and continue to sautée till softened, about 5 minutes. Add the mushrooms and garlic and sauté for 5 minutes or until it has softened slightly. Season liberally with salt and pepper.

Increase heat to medium-high. Add Bomba rice, tomato and smoked paprika and cook, stirring, for 1 minute until well mixed through. Reduce heat to medium-low. Add one-third of the saffron infused stock and stir until just combined. Let simmer uncovered for 5 minutes or until liquid is almost absorbed.

Add the next third of the stock and cook for 5 minutes uncovered or until almost absorbed. Add remaining third of stock and cook for 5-10 minutes uncovered.

Sprinkle surface of paella with peas and artichoke hearts. Cover entire pan in tin foil and leave to cook on a low heat for 12 minutes. After 12 minutes, turn heat off but leave the paella pan covered with tin foil for another 10 minutes.

Remove tin foil after 10 minutes and garnish with parsley.

 

 

With Karlo Estates Triumvirate…

Pasta with ramps, fiddleheads & sausage

Recipe and photo: TinyUrbanKitchen.com
Serves: 4

TIP: If you want to veg-ify this recipe, substitute some of the excellent commercial veggie sausages that are widely available from companies such as Field Roast or Tofurky.

Ramps (aka Wild Garlic) and fiddleheads are available at farmers’ markets each spring.

 

Ingredients

Ramps, 1 large bunch (4-6 stalks)
Olive oil, 1 teaspoon
Fiddleheads (optional)
Veggie Sausage, about 6-8 oz
Pasta, 12 oz, fresh, or 8 oz dried
Chili flakes (optional)
Salt and pepper, to taste

 

Method

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. If making dry pasta (8-12 min cook time), add pasta to the pot before beginning to cook the ramps. If using fresh pasta (1-2 min cook time), begin making pasta after the “sauce” part is done.

Cut up the ramp bulbs (white section) into small pieces and separate it from the leaves. Coarsely chop the leaves into 1-2 inch sections. Saute the ramps bulbs in olive oil over medium heat until they soften, about 2-3 minutes.

Add the sausage and break apart the meat with a spatula. Add the ramp greens and the optional fiddleheads. Add salt and pepper to taste.

Once pasta is done cooking, add the cooked pasta and some pasta water (maybe start with ¼ cup?) to the ramps/sausage mixture and stir it all together. If you want it spicy, optionally add red pepper flakes. Since my sausage was spicy I didn’t add any.

 

 

Enjoy the spring with your Savvy Selections!

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Sure sign of spring: Rose wines!

Posted by Julie

Friday, April 28th, 2017
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Fabulous that the latest LCBO Vintages release features varietals from Oregon, Washington and Germany, yet I have chosen to focus on finding the best Rosés to highlight in this blog.

Warm weather is pushing the gauge on the thermometer higher every day. Nothing sends a more summer-like message than pulling out a chilled bottle of pink from the fridge or picnic cooler.  In this release, powerful, playful, pretty, punchy pinks are yours for the picking at GREAT value. (How is that for alliteration?)  Upon entry to any LCBO, your eye cannot help but being drawn to the beautiful rainbow of pinks on the shelves.

A provocative patio sipper, Rosé is also a great food match with anything from salads to fish to tacos and some, like the Serbal Malbec Rosé (below) will stand up to burgers and steak. How versatile is that?

I can’t wait to line up this eye-candy on my kitchen counter (and in my fridge too!).

Passionate about pink 😉
Julie

 

If I only had $100, I would buy . . .
LCBO Vintages Release for Saturday April 29, 2017

 


Vina Esmeralda Ros
é 2016

DO Catalunya, Torres, Spain
$13.95  (Vintages #490920) 12.5 % alcohol

Pale coral in colour, floral aromas, this wine is made with the Garnacha Tinto grape – the most heavily grown in the Mediterranean.  Rosé is also known as Rosado in Spain and Portugal too. On the palate, ripe cherries burst with acidity leaving a tangy lime tangerine in the finish. Clean, refreshing and crisp….and a great price too!

 

 

 

Zone’s Footstep Scarlet Ladybird Rosé 2016

Fleurieu Peninsula, South Australia
$15.95 (Vintages #408476) 13.5% alcohol

Aromas of red roses, pale pinkish with a hint of tangerine in colour.  The flavours are lush and tart. Medium-weight, rhubarb galore with ripe strawberries weaving their way on the palate and fruity finish.

 

 

 

Featherstone Estate Winery Rosé 2015

VQA Niagara Peninsula
$15.95 (Vintages #117861) 13.2% alcohol

It is hard not to write about Featherstone’s Rosé every year. I confess to being a huge fan of all of their wines.  Deep cranberry in colour, vegetal and mineral aromas that open to ripe red berriess on the palate.  There’s some sour cherry at the end which makes it crisp and just plain de-e-e-e-licious.

 

 

 

Atamisque Serbal Malbec Rosé 2016

Mendoza, Chile
$16.95 (Vintages #493031) 13% alcohol

The Atamisque Winery, maker of the Serbal line of wines, is located in the foothills of the Andes Mountain range. The winery also takes its name from the Serbal aboriginal bush. Bright ruby red, the Rosé wine literally glistens in the glass. Sour cherries and savoury spice explode in the taste buds with a noticeable seam of acidity.  Add to this an interesting hint of black pepper. Bone dry and chewy for a Rosé, but packs full-bodied red fruit on the palate and the lengthy fruity finish.

 

 

 

Château de Berne Terres Rosé 2016

AC Côtes de Provence, France
$17.95 (Vintages #278861) 13% alcohol

I did not get a chance to taste this Rosé, but I have no difficulty recommending it & putting it in my shopping basket. Rosé wine was born in Provence and todate, it accounts for half to almost two thirds of all wine produced in the region. It’s also a classic blend of Cinsault and Grenache which offers raspberry, strawberry and red currant flavours. The rosés of Provence are often known for their food pairing matches with local Mediterranean cuisine. You just can’t go wrong.

 

 

 

Brancaia Rosé 2016

IGT Rosato Toscana, Italy
$19.95 (Vintages #490953)  13 % alcohol

Aromas of violets and ripe red berries that come from the Merlot grape flow through on the palate leaving a delicious seam of acidity on the finish. Aged in stainless steel, yet there’s creamy crispness to red juicy fruit. Perfect for happy hour or any hour for that matter.

Check out the drone flight over the Brancaia Wine Estate, if you’re interested in a trip to Tuscany – if only for a few minutes!

GRAND Total of this top Rosé wine picks = $100.70 

 

 

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If I only had $100…I would buy…

Posted by Julie

Saturday, April 22nd, 2017
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Australia is renowned for it’s big juicy fruit driven Shiraz so it was refreshing to see a release that features Aussie whites.  But don’t be shy to venture further when shopping at LCBO’s Vintages this month.  There is an extremely handsome collection of some old tried and trues wines and of course also features wines from the Mediterranean.

Any chance your plans have you traveling to Europe anytime soon?  There are some wines in this release that are bound to put you in the mood for packing for a trip!

I’d say…this shopping list definitely puts me in the mood to pick up one of everything.

Cheers to all good things and the arrival of Spring,

-Julie

 

If I only had $100, I would buy at Vintages…

 

Madison Ranch Chardonnay 2014

Napa Valley, California
$22.95 (Vintages #441113) 14.5% alcohol

Plush aromas of baked cake and tropical fruit. A full bodied elegant white wine loaded with ripe yellow apple and banana flavours, rich, creamy and buttery, a classic California Chardonnay.

With a soft seam of acidity, there is some vanilla and lemony sweet spice on the end, a full-bodied Chardonnay not for those who like a wine with style.  Absolutely delicious.

 

 

 

Chapoutier Tournon Mathilda 2014

Victoria, Australia
$17.95 (Vintages #401398) 13% alcohol

Aromas you could catch across a room! Expansive fruit with floral overtones, soft white blossoms, honeysuckle, almost perfumed tropical fruit in this blend of Viognier and Marsanne white wine. Juicy peaches and pears on the palate, soft, easy and smooth, it’s the type of wine that everyone would like, inoffensive yet delicate, loaded with nutty fruit flavours.

Enjoy on it’s own or with lighter fare, it would also be perfect with summer salads.

 

 

 

Cotnari Fetească Albă 2014

DOC Cotnari, Roumania
$12.95  (Vintages #012088) 12% alcohol

Cotnari is the most famous Romanian wine producing region located in eastern Romania very near the Moldovan border. Fetească Albă is the most widely grown and best known grape varietal. I love discovering a new wine at such an incredible price point. This golden coloured nectar is slightly off-dry with tropical fruit aromas. It’s fruity; there’s pineapple, ripe pear and honeysuckle on the creamy palate but also got some mandarin and petrol on the smooth finish. It’s an easy wine wine sipper or would be a great match for spicy foods.

 

 

 

Henry of Pelham Family Tree Red 2014

VQA Niagara Peninsula
$18.95 (Vintages #247882) 13.5% alcohol

The Speck family has yet another reason to be proud. On the nose are aromas of the unmistakeable Baco Noir grape, a little smokiness, then layers of cherries and nutty flavours from the time spent in French and American oak for 17 months. Aside from Baco Noir is the classic blend of Syrah, Cabernet Franc, Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot.

Loads of personality as these varietals complement each other. Bone dry and juicy, well structured tannins; bring out a roast of beef or grilled ribs, it’s a beauty.

 

Papale Linea Oro Primitivo Di Manduria 2013

DOP, Puglia, Italy
$18.95 (Vintages #261784) 14% alcohol

Way back in July 2013, I discovered this gem and wrote on it in my If I had $100 blog.  Papale is made from the Primitivo grape vinified in the Puglia region. In 2008, 115 bottles of the vintage  was purchased by the Vatican following the election of Pope Francis in 2013.

I call this my Osso Bucco wine. Any chef knows that if you go through the labour of love to prepare Osso Bucco, you want a great wine to accompany.  Deep crimson bold with personality of firm ripe cherries, plums and peppery spice highlight the palate. Full-bodied, a little chewy and deep berry flavours intermingle with noticeable tannins that linger forever on the smooth finish. I would serve this dinner to the Pope!

 

 

GRAND TOTAL – $91.75

 

BTW…Since I came in well under budget, I thought I’d recommend a great medium bodied Portuguese wine called Animus 2014 from Douro at $12.95 a bottle.  Great for burgers, pizza or those mindless nights that call for something cheap and cheerful – it’s a steal and I’m picking up a few.  (Vintages #385302).  If you find an extra $4.70 your grand total is $104.70.

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