Archive for ‘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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Summer’s not over…

Posted by Ophelia Bradly

Tuesday, August 20th, 2019
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Thank you for sharing a wonderful summer of exploring outstanding Canadian wines with us. All the people who took part had delicious Canadian wines on hand all summer long! Although summer isn’t over yet, Savvy’s Deck Party Packs are (for now!). Don’t worry…they will be back again next summertime!

 

Want to order more of your NEW favourites?

Simply email cheers@savvycompany.ca or call 613-SAVVYCO (728-8926) with what you would like to order and Savvy will handle the rest! It’s easy to get amazing Canadian wines delivered to your door – all year round.

 

Are you a cheese or cider fan?

Ask us about Canadian artisan cheeses and Ontario craft ciders! We can add these to your special wine order, or you can SUBSCRIBE to receive delicious artisan cheeses & refreshing ciders to your doorstep.

Visit https://savvycompany.ca/savvycoolcurds/ for WHEY cool cheese, or take a peek at https://savvycompany.ca/cider/ for premium craft ciders.

 

Psst…exciting news!

With the holiday’s fast approaching, our Savvy Sommeliers will be creating exclusive Thanksgiving Party Packs this October, as well as Holiday Party Packs in late November.

Enjoy & discover delicious Canadian wines with a scrumptious turkey dinner or at a lively Christmas party. Our Holiday-themed Party Packs make celebrating & enjoying time with family & friends easy-peasy.

Want to hear when our Holiday Party Packs are available this year? Simply send an email to cheers@savvycompany.ca to be added to our mailing list…you’ll be the FIRST to hear about the BRAND NEW features for the Holiday Party Packs!

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Summer’s not over…

Posted by Ophelia Bradly

Tuesday, August 20th, 2019
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Thank you for exploring outstanding Canadian Rosé wines with us this summer. Summer isn’t over yet, but our Deck Party Packs are done for this year. Don’t worry…they will be back again next summertime. All those who took part in our Deck Party Packs had hard-to-find Canadian wines on hand all summer long!

Keep sipping on the refreshing taste of summer…order more of your NEW favourites!

Simply email cheers@savvycompany.ca or call 613-SAVVYCO (728-8926) with your order and the Savvy Team will handle the rest. It’s easy-peasy to get delicious Rosé wines delivered to your door – all year round!

Looking to discover even MORE outstanding Canadian products?

Ask us about Canadian artisan cheeses and Ontario craft ciders! We can add these to your special wine order, or you can SUBSCRIBE to receive delicious artisan cheeses & refreshing ciders to your doorstep. Visit https://savvycompany.ca/savvycoolcurds/ for the deets on WHEY cool cheeses, or take a peek at https://savvycompany.ca/cider/ for refreshing premium craft ciders.

Psst…exciting news!

With the holiday season fast approaching, our Savvy Sommeliers will be creating exclusive Holiday Party Packs this October & November. Enjoy & discover delicious Canadian wines with a scrumptious turkey dinner or at a lively Christmas party. Our Holiday-themed Party Packs make celebrating & enjoying time with family & friends easy-peasy & stress-free.

Want to hear when our Holiday Party Packs are available this year? Simply send an email to cheers@savvycompany.ca to be added to our mailing list…you’ll be the FIRST to hear about the BRAND NEW features for the Holiday Party Packs!

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The Rosé Report – July 2019

Posted by Ophelia Bradly

Tuesday, July 16th, 2019
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~ The Rosé Report ~
July 2019 Edition

Thank you for ordering a Rosé Deck Party Pack.  You are in for a treat with these refreshing Rosés! 

Again, this month, our team of Savvy Sommeliers have done the ‘tough work’.  We’ve been sipping & sampling the latest Rosé wines made across Ontario & have hand-picked the ones to be featured in this assortment. 

So get your corkscrew & wine glasses ready to Clink & Drink Pink!

In this month’s Rosé Deck Party Pack, you will find:

Several of these Rosés have just been released & you are the first to enjoy them!  And the coolest part…the bottles that you have in your hands are not available at the LCBO, rather they came straight from the winemaker to you. 

To help you enjoy the wines, our Savvy Sommeliers have shared their tasting notes along with food pairing tips and our favorite recipes to serve with Rosés.

At any time during the summer, if you would like to order additional bottles of your favorite Rosés or other hard-to-find Ontario wines, contact me at 613-SAVVYCO (613-728-8926) or debbie@savvycompany.ca. We can source artisan cheeses & craft ciders too!

Here’s to summer!

Debbie & the Savvy Team
613-SAVVYCO (613-728-8926)
debbie@savvycompany.ca

PS: Show us how you like to enjoy these Rosé wines. Post a picture on Instagram & tag us! @SavvyCompanyInc #RoséAllDay


In this assortment of Rosés, you will find…

Foreign Affair Amarosé 2018

$18.95
Niagara

Foreign Affair specializes in the Italian Appassimento method of winemaking.  Originated by the Italians in making Amarone or Ripasso wines, the grapes are naturally dried in open barns for months. This allows for the water in the grapes to evaporate leaving concentrated grape flavours that gives the wine a rich, intense flavour. It also allows the winemaker to pass fresh juice over the skins more than once, in the Ripasso style.

Savvy Sommelier Tasting Notes: A pink with an orange tinge, this has intense aromas & flavours of tangerine, mandarin with a touch of floral & red berries (raspberry & cranberry). Each sip is smooth, round & soft with hints of dried herbs on the finish that lingers and lingers and lingers….

Suggested Food Pairing: Pair with cheeses, charcuterie, salads…another words a picnic!

KIN Vineyards Pinot Noir Rosé 2017

$24.95
Ottawa Valley

A drive to Carp should be in your plans this summer!  Visit this neat town that is the home of KIN Vineyards (along with the Deifenbunker Museum, Carp Farmers Market, Ridge Rock Brewery, and several cool restaurants – Alice’s Café, Cheshire Cat, Juke Joint).  KIN Vineyards tasting room has a lovely setting where you can sip on their wines while surrounded by the vineyards…you may never leave!

Savvy Sommelier Tasting Notes: A hint of pink shows in the glass that lures you into the bone dry, crisp wine that has aromas of lemon (or is it the lemon rind?), with a backbone of pink grapefruit-like acidity.  This light bodied wine is elegant & fresh. 

Suggested Food Pairing:  Served well chilled, this wine will transform as it comes to room temperature – enjoy the different flavours all the way through!

Being light bodied, we would recommend to pair with foods of a similar weight – prosciutto wrapped melon, tabbouleh or quinoa salads, goat cheese or white fish. 

Morandin Estates Cold Creek Rosé 2018

$20
Prince Edward County

This is a BRAND-NEW winery located in Prince Edward County (opened in July 2018). As The County’s ‘newest kid on the block’, they know what they are doing as they have been growing grapes for other winemakers in the area, for several years. And to top it all off, the winemaker’s name is Amelia and worked for wineries in Nova Scotia & Niagara before putting down roots in The County.  We introduced Morandin to our customers at our County in the Capital event this past April to rave reviews.  When Amelia told us that this wine was just released, we knew we needed to add it to the assortment PDQ before the wine sold out!

Savvy Sommelier Tasting Notes: This stealth wine is not even listed on their web site. Only 45 cases made (540 bottles…and we got a bunch of them!)

With such limited supply, we acted quickly to order the wine that our Sommeliers didn’t sample the wine in advance.  We were confident that this wine would be delicious as all of Morandin’s wines have impressed us so far.

Amelia’s Wine-Making Notes: About three quarters of a tonne were picked from a small two acre parcel on Cold Creek Vineyard located on Danforth Road in Hillier, during early October over two days. Grapes were hand sorted, crushed by foot stomp, and pressed off in a basket press after a two day skin soak to extract the pink colour from the skins.

93% of the wine was fermented in two batches in stainless steel. About 7% went through carbonic maceration in a neutral French oak barrel. The wine was bottled in June 2019, unfined and unfiltered. The bubbles are created through natural secondary fermentation in the bottle, almost like a pet-nat. Sedimentation is normal.

The wine is hazy with a pretty, dusty rose hue. On the nose, there are wild strawberries, white blossoms. The palate is brisk from the bright natural acid of Frontenac Gris, but finishes beautifully with a hint of sweetness. The bubbles are persistent but light. There’s a return of the strawberries, dried apricot, and a bit of creaminess. Drink now.

Redstone Winery Rosé VQA 2017

$17.15
Niagara

This is a wine that is only available for restaurants.  We have the inside scoop so we are able to get it for you.

Savvy Sommelier Tasting Notes: This is an unusual blend of Pinot Noir, Cabernet Franc and Merlot grapes.  The result is a stunning warm pink colour with aromas of ripe strawberry, red apple & a zip of rhubarb. It’s ripe and fruity in taste, delivering flavours of red berries, and ending with a punchy balanced finish.

Suggested Food Pairing: Truly…this wine would be great chilled on its own or anything!

Southbrook Vineyards 2017 Triomphe Cabernet Franc Rosé

$19.75
Niagara-on-the-Lake

Southbrook is a certified organic & biodynamic winery.  Their uber talented winemaker – Ann Sperling – always makes home-run wines in our opinion.  We are confident that you too will be impressed with this wine.

Savvy Sommelier Tasting Notes: Pale salmon in the glass with striking aromas of wild strawberry, orange zest, tea roses with a thread of sweet herbs. There is a replay of these aromas into the taste with a refreshing acidity combined with a round mouthfeel “that tastes like more”.

Ann’s Food Pairing Suggestions: “Pairs well with characuteri – especially spicy salami.  Grilled salmon, trout, black bean tacos, niçoise salad….friends and good times. 

Tawse Winery 2017 Spark Rosé

$30.15
Niagara

What is summer without bubbles?  Always lots to celebrate or just to have in the fridge for when the moment strikes, you are the first to get this vintage.  Just released last week, this bubbly is made with 100% Pinot Noir organic and bio-dynamically grown grapes in the Traditional Method.

Savvy Sommelier Tasting Notes: A beautiful salmon colour in the glass with delicate aromas of red fruit, berries, pink grapefruit and toasted almonds (because the wine was on the lees – winespeak: in contact with natural yeast).  Strawberry tastes stand out with a zippy & refreshing tartness that makes this an elegant sparkling to enjoy.

Suggested Food Pairing: This would be delicious with BBQed shrimp skewers (with lime & honey sauce), salmon tartar or spinach & strawberry salad.


~ Rosé Recipe Box ~

A Summer BBQ favorite to enjoy with Rosé wines

Crunchy Thai Salad with Peanut Dressing

Recipe & Photo credits: Jessica Gavin
Serves: 4
Prep time: 30 minutes
Cook time: none

Ingredients

Thai Salad

2 cups kale thinly sliced, or baby kale
1 1/2 cups napa cabbage thinly sliced
1 1/2 cups red cabbage thinly sliced
1/2 cup red bell pepper thinly sliced
1/2 cup carrot shredded
1 mango thinly sliced
1/4 cup cilantro chopped
8 mint leaves thinly sliced
1 tablespoon green onions thinly sliced
1/4 cup peanuts roasted, roughly chopped

Peanut Dressing

1/3 cup peanut butter natural creamy or smooth
2 tablespoons lime juice
3 tablespoons honey or pure maple syrup
1 1/2 tablespoons rice wine vinegar
1 1/2 tablespoons soy sauce low sodium
1 teaspoon Sesame oil
1 teaspoon sriracha
1/2 teaspoon ginger minced
1 clove garlic roughly chopped
1 tablespoon water

Instructions

Thai Salad

In a large bowl, add all salad ingredients except peanuts; kale, cabbage, bell pepper, carrot, mango, cilantro, mint, and onions. Set aside while you make the dressing.

Peanut Dressing

In a blender add all peanut dressing ingredients; peanut butter, lime juice, honey, vinegar, soy sauce, sesame oil, sriracha, ginger, garlic, and water. Puree until smooth and combined, about 1 minute. You can also whisk the ingredients together in a medium-sized bowl. Add more water if needed to thin out the dressing if desired. Season with salt and pepper as needed.

To Serve

Gradually add enough dressing to coat the salad, toss to combine. Drizzle with more dressing if there is any remaining, top with freshly cracked bell pepper and roasted peanuts.  Enjoy!


Why not have your fridge full of Rosé wines all summer?

Summer is far from over! To order additional bottles of your new found favorite Rosés from this assortment OR to receive next month’s assortment, call your friends at Savvy on 613-SAVVYCO (728-8926) or order online at www.savvycompany.ca/summertime.

The August assortment of Rosé wines will have a completely different selection of hard-to-find wines including:

Price for August’s assortment:

$122 for 6 bottles
~ OR ~
$244 for 12 bottles (2 of each of the featured wines). 

Deadline to order this parcel is Sunday Aug 11th.  

Call the Savvy Team on 613-SAVVYCO (728-8926) or order online www.savvycompany.ca/summertime.

Cheers & Enjoy your summer!

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The Rosé Report – June 2019

Posted by Ophelia Bradly

Friday, June 21st, 2019
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~ The Rosé Report ~
June 2019 Edition

Finally, the sun is out and we’ve stopped talking about the long winter we endured! Enjoy every moment of sunshine this summer on your deck or dock with a glass of Rosé wine in hand. 

Again, this month, our team of Savvy Sommeliers have done the ‘tough work’.  We’ve been sipping & sampling the latest Rosé wines made across Ontario & have hand-picked the ones to be featured in the June assortment. 

It’s time to get your corkscrew & wine glasses ready to Clink & Drink Pink!

In this month’s Bouquet of Rosés, you will find:

Closson Chase Winery Rosé VQA 2018from Prince Edward County
Creekside Estate Winery Rosés VQA 2017from Niagara
Di Profio Estate Wines Gamay RoséVQA 2017from Niagara
Di Profio Estate Wines Sparkling Rosie VQA 2016from Niagara
GreenLane Estate Winery RoséVQA 2017from Niagara
Queenston Mile Vineyard Pinot Noir Rosé VQA 2017 from Niagara

Several of these Rosés have just been released & you are the first to enjoy them!  And the coolest part…the bottles that you have in your hands are not available at the LCBO, rather they came straight from the winemaker to you. 

To help you enjoy the wines, our Savvy Sommeliers have shared their tasting notes along with food pairing tips and our favorite recipes to serve with Rosés.

At any time during the summer, if you would like to order additional bottles of your favorite Rosés or other hard-to-find Ontario wines (we do craft ciders & artisan cheeses too!), call me at 613-SAVVYCO (613-728-8926) or debbie@savvycompany.ca.

I’ll be happy to arrange a special delivery for you.

Here’s to summer weather!

Debbie & the Savvy Team
613-SAVVYCO (613-728-8926)
debbie@savvycompany.ca

PS: Show us how you like to enjoy these Rosé wines. Post a picture on Instagram & tag us! @SavvyCompanyInc #RoséAllDay

In this Bouquet of Rosés, you will find…

Closson Chase Winery Rosé VQA 2018

$21.95
Prince Edward County

Closson Chase is one of the first wineries to break ground in The County when farmers fields were transforming into vineyards.  Focused on creating the best Pinot Noir & Chardonnay wines with County grown grapes, our Sommeliers were super keen to showcase the newly released wine with you.

Winemaker’s Tasting Notes: Delightful aromas of floral, cedar and red fruit fill the glass. The mouth is round and soft with hints of dried herbs and underripe strawberry. This fresh acidity has a slight salty taste that leads to a long finish.

Suggested Food Pairing: Pair with young cheeses, cured meats and lightly pickled vegetables…another words a picnic!

Creekside Estate Winery Rosé VQA 2017

$15.95
Niagara

Heading to Niagara this summer? Be sure to visit Creekside around lunchtime to enjoy a meal on their deck overlooking the vineyards…you may never leave!

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

Suggested Food Pairing: You can’t go wrong with this wine. The colour, the bouquet & the taste… It’s a versatile wine that can be served chilled on its own or with any of the creations in our Rosé Recipe Box. Be sure to have a batch of the Rosemary & Mayo condiment in the fridge in case you feel the urge coming on to crack open this bottle of wine as the sunsets.

Di Profio Estate Wines Gamay Rosé VQA 2017

$18.95
Niagara

Gamay is best known as the grape of Beaujolais Nouveau, but it has a growing reputation as a true Ontario wine star! Thriving in Niagara’s cool climate, Gamay balances bright, fruity cherry and raspberry notes with lively acidity.

Savvy Sommelier Tasting Notes: There’s an explosion of red currants when you sip this, tempered with great minerality, orange blossom, and pomegranate. At 13 % alcohol by volume, it’s medium-bodied and has a hint of sweetness. It’s a big, complex rosé that’s ready for the dinner table.

Suggested Food Pairing: This will stand up to spicy food, such as Mexican food or red curry lentils.

Di Profio Estate Wines Sparkling Rosie VQA 2016

$28.95
Niagara

This lovely sparkling wine is named after winery owner Joe DiProfio’s mother, Rosie. Unique, as it is made with Gamay grapes grown in the vineyards that surround Di Profio Winery.

Savvy Sommelier Tasting Notes: This unique bubbly is crisp, dry & delightfully refreshing. With each sip, delicate aromas and tastes will remind you of red roses, tart cranberry or perhaps wild raspberries. It is rare to find a sparkling wine made with Gamay grapes – enjoy!

Food Pairing Suggestions: When our Savvy Sommelier Debbie visited the winery, Joe was busy hand labeling the Rosie bottles…while watching the news!  Intrigued, Joe gave her a bottle to enjoy on her summer holidays. The sample bottle was tucked away in her suitcase, then popped in Nova Scotia to accompany a lobster feast. “The pairing was heavenly”, Debbie reports.  If you are not planning a lobster dinner, enjoy this sparkling wine with a picnic, tapas such as chicken satay, marinated olives or try something completely different… Serve it with BBQed hanger steak & chimichurri… Wait for fireworks to explode in your mouth when the fresh spices meet the delicate bubbles!

GreenLane Estate Winery Rosé VQA 2017

$17.95
Niagara

Greenlane is another hidden gem in Niagara.  Often overlooked, the wines that are made here are worth stopping in.  We were thrilled to get the last couple of cases of this wine to share with you…and if the timing is right, you’ll get a bottle of the 2018 vintage in a Rosé 6-pack next month.

Savvy Sommelier Tasting Notes: There is no disputing this Rosé wine – it has classic aromas & tastes of red berries, watermelon with a splash of rhubarb in the taste.  Our Sommeliers prefer dry crisp Rosé wines – and this one fits the bill.

Queenston Mile Vineyard Pinot Noir Rosé VQA 2017

$30
Niagara

Just opened in January, this is the sister winery to Creekside.  Chris MacDonald is the winemaker at both wineries showing his winemaking talent with different styles and grape varieties.

Savvy Sommelier Tasting Notes: This is the first Rosé made under the Queenston Mile label.  A premium Rosé that has outstanding aromas of strawberries, citrus (do you smell mandarin?) with some acidity that ‘tastes like more’ remarked Savvy Sommelier Debbie.

Suggested Food Pairing: This would be delicious with BBQed salmon, shrimp or spinach & strawberry salad.

~ Rosé Recipe Box ~

A Summer BBQ favorite to enjoy with Rosé wines

Homemade Condiments

Our Savvy Team offer some of their go-to condiments to enjoy with your next midweek feast burgers – beef, chicken, turkey or veggie!

Condiment #1: Tomato Jam

From Martha Stewart
Makes 1 ½ cups

A blend of tomatoes and spices.  “I make a jar and keep it in my refrigerator all summer to add pizazz to BBQed burgers, pork chops or even salmon” shares Savvy Team member Karen Wright.

Ingredients

1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
2 small cloves garlic, minced
1 piece ginger, peeled and minced (1 tablespoon)
1 small red onion, peeled and finely diced
1 can (28 ounces) plum tomatoes
1/2 cup red-wine vinegar
1/4 cup honey
1/4 cup firmly packed brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
Pinch of ground cloves
2 cinnamon sticks
2 star anise

Method

1.  In a medium saucepot set over medium heat, heat olive oil, add garlic, ginger, and red onion, and sauté until translucent. Add tomatoes, breaking them up with a wooden spoon. Add vinegar, honey, brown sugar, ginger, cloves, cinnamon, and star anise.
2.  Simmer, stirring occasionally, until tomatoes have dissolved, and liquid has evaporated, 60 to 75 minutes. Discard cinnamon sticks and star anise before serving. This jam may be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks.

Condiment #2: French Fig Olive Tapenade

From Simple Nourished Living
Makes 1 ½ cups

The addition of figs in this version takes the classic tapenade to a heightened state of wonderful. The figs and olives strike a lovely balance of savory and sweet.

“It’s super simple and can be made whenever you want something a little different on your grilled goodies,” shares Debbie.

Ingredients

5 cups pitted brined cured olives
1 large clove garlic
8 dried black figs, stemmed
1 tablespoon capers, drained
1 small bunch mint, stemmed (about 3 large tablespoons)
2 anchovy fillets (optional)

2 tablespoons olive oil

Method

1.  Place all ingredients except olive oil in a food processor and pulse to form a chunky puree.
2.  Add the olive oil and pulse until it forms a smooth mass.
3.  It is best to make this tapenade at least one day before you intend to serve it which allows the flavors to meld and develop.

Additions & Variations

The texture of the tapenade is totally up to you! Buzz in a food processor for a finer texture, or chop it by hand for a chunkier version if you prefer.
No mint?  Omit it.
Other herbs?  1 teaspoon minced fresh rosemary or thyme
Sweeter?  Add 1 – 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
Zestier?  Add 1-2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice and/or 1-2 teaspoons Dijon mustard

Condiment #3: Herb Mayonnaise

From the kitchen of Shirley Roy – member of the Savvy Team.
Photo credit: www.taste.com.au.

Ingredients

Salt & pepper
Mayonnaise
Various fresh herbs from your garden:

  • Parsley
  • Chives
  • Dill
  • Oregano
  • Thyme
  • Basil

Method

1.  Add 2 ½ tbsp chopped fresh herbs plus salt and pepper to 1/2 cup mayonnaise. Try a mixture of herbs such as parsley, chives, dill, oregano, thyme, basil. Alternatively, just focus on one herb like dill.
2.  Add a ½ tsp of lemon juice and blend well.

Condiment #4: Sriracha Mayonnaise

Another from Shirley’s kitchen. 
Photo credit: www.HealthNutNation.com.

Ingredients

2 tsp of Sriracha
1 tsp of lime juice
1/8 tsp light soy sauce
¼ cup of mayonnaise

Method

Mix all together gently & enjoy!  This is best served immediately or refrigerated.

Why not have your fridge full of Rosé wines all summer?

Always have refreshing Rosé wines on hand this summer!  To order additional bottles of your new found favorite Rosés from this assortment OR to receive next month’s assortment (we are calling them Deck Party Packs), call your friends at Savvy on 613-SAVVYCO (728-8926) or order online at www.savvycompany.ca/rose.

The July assortment of wines will have a completely different selection of hard-to-find Rosé wines including:

Foreign Affair Amarosé VQA 2018 from Niagara
KIN Pinot Noir Rosé VQA 2018 from the Ottawa Valley
Morandin Estates Cold Creek Rosé 2018 – from Prince Edward County
Redstone Winery Rosé VQA 2017 – from Niagara
Southbrook Triomphe Cabernet Franc Rosé VQA 2017 from Niagara-on-the-Lake
Tawse Spark Rosé VQA 2016 from Niagara

Price for July’s assortment:

$130 for 6 bottles
~ OR ~
$260 for 12 bottles (2 of each of the featured wines). 

Deadline to order July’s parcel is Sunday, June 7th.  

Call the Savvy Team on 613-SAVVYCO (728-8926) or order online www.savvycompany.ca/rose.

Cheers & Enjoy your summer!

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The Rosé Report – May 2019

Posted by Ophelia Bradly

Thursday, June 20th, 2019
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~ The Rosé Report ~
May 2019

Did you know…Rosé wines can be made with any grape? Unlike shopping specifically for your favorite grape variety, allow yourself to discover a different style with Rosés. Select based on recommendations, price, colour in the bottle, pro reviews…or by the creative label!

Our team of Savvy Sommeliers have done the ‘tough work’. We’ve been sipping & sampling the latest Rosé wines made across Ontario & have picked the most refreshing ones to be featured in the May assortment. 

So…get your corkscrew & wine glasses ready to Clink & Drink Pink!

In the May Bouquet of Rosés, you will find:

Huff Estates Rosé VQA 2018 from Prince Edward County
Keint-He Portage Rosé VQA 2017 from The County
Meldville Wines by Derek Barnett Rosé VQA 2018 from Niagara
Rosehall Run ‘Just One Rosé’ VQA 2017 from The County
Two Sisters Vineyards Margo Rosé VQA 2017 from Niagara-on-the-Lake and a Savvy Exclusive!
Westcott Vineyards Pinot Noir Rosé VQA 2018from Niagara-on-the-Lake

Several of these Rosés have just been released & you are the first to enjoy them!  And the coolest part…the wines that you have in your hands are extra special. They are not available at the LCBO, rather they came straight from the winemaker to you. 

To help you enjoy the wines, our Savvy Sommeliers have shared their tasting notes along with food pairing tips and our favorite recipes to serve with Rosés.

At any time during the summer, if you would like to order additional bottles of your favorite Rosés or other hard-to-find Ontario wines (we do craft ciders & artisan cheeses too!), call me at 613-SAVVYCO (613-728-8926) or debbie@savvycompany.ca.

I’ll be happy to arrange a special delivery for you.

Here’s to summer!

Debbie & the Savvy Team
613-SAVVYCO (613-728-8926)
debbie@savvycompany.ca

PS: Show us how you like to enjoy these Rosé wines. Post a picture on Instagram & tag us! @SavvyCompanyInc #RoséAllDay

In this Bouquet of Rosés, you will find…

Huff Estates Rosé VQA 2018

$20
Prince Edward County

This is one of Huff Estates’ signature and most popular wines. Rosé and County wine fans clamor for it every year – Savvy Team included!  Always crafted with 100% Cabernet Franc grapes grown on the estate, there is the regional characteristic of minerality & crisp acidity that makes this a class act wine.

Travel TIP: If you are heading to Prince Edward County this summer, plan to visit Huff on Sunday when they have live jazz performers playing on the el fresco patio overlooking the vineyard.

Sommelier’s Tasting Notes: This refreshing wine is bone dry with a light pink hue that resembles classic Rosé wines from Tavel, France.  Fresh strawberry & rhubarb notes with a splash of pomegranate creates a well-crafted refreshing balanced Rose wine with refreshing acidity.

Keint-He Portage Rosé VQA 2017

$22
Prince Edward County

This is a Rosé to serve to any friends who think all pinks are light and sweet.

Savvy Sommelier Tasting Notes: The colour of candy floss, this is a beautiful, Provençal-style Rosé. Made from 100% estate Pinot Noir, you’ll find notes of strawberry, honey, and vanilla and a hint of muskmelon in this dry watermelon-pink summer sipper. Piquant lemon rounds out the flavours.

Suggested Food Pairing: Enjoy on its own this year or serve with a chilled gazpacho.

Meldville Wines by Derek Barnett Rosé VQA 2018

$20
Niagara

Derek Barnett was the first winemaker that we hosted a winemaker’s dinner for when we started Savvy Company over 15 years ago.  We were tickled pink when he told us that he planned to release his newest wine creation – this Rose – at our Spring Pop-Up Wine Shop in April. The crowd was WOWed!  And we wanted to make sure that you got a bottle before it is all gone.  Derek only made a small batch.

Winemaker’s Notes: A pale cherry skin colour with orange hues, the aromas and flavours are of wild strawberry and raspberry, a dry wine with a rich texture on the mid palate, a balanced acidity brings a mouth-watering finish with a red citrus note.

Suggested Food Pairing: Derek says it best: “This wine can also be enjoyed just by itself with good friends.”

Rosehall Run ‘Just One Rosé’ VQA 2017

$17.95
Prince Edward County

This blend of Gamay Noir and Pinot Noir (50/50) was a tasting panel favourite, and the excellent price point is a real bargain for such a quality wine. The Gamay was left on the skins for 24 hours, providing the pretty pink colour, and the Pinot was produced in the Saignée method, bleeding some of the juice from the tank.

Savvy Sommelier Tasting Notes: This is all about the strawberry flavours, but there’s candied orange, here too, leading to an expressive strawberry jam finish. But don’t be fooled: this is a bone-dry rosé, ready to wow the red wine drinking crowd.

Suggested Food Pairing: Serve this year, chilled, and pair with grilled ribs.

Two Sisters Vineyards Margo Rosé VQA 2017

Savvy Exclusive! $18.75 (regular $34.80)
Niagara-on-the-Lake

Two Sisters Vineyards continues to impress us with their fine wines.  We were certainly intrigued with this wine when we saw the beautiful bottle… and each sip impressed us too!

Savvy Sommelier Tasting Notes: A classy pink colour delivers classic aromas & tastes of a well-made Rose.  Red berries, lime zest, watermelon and rhubarb in the taste with a weave of floral notes in the aromas. Bone dry in taste with a lingering finish.  A class act!

Suggested Food Pairing: Great for a romantic picnic for two or to enjoy while the sun is setting with nibbles of plate of prosciutto & melon or grilled shrimp.

Westcott Vineyards Pinot Noir Rosé VQA 2018

$22.95
Twenty Valley (Niagara)

And another family run winery! Like Keint-He, the Westcott family are making a range of wines focused on Chardonnay & Pinot Noir grapes.  In the past years, their Rosé sold out in a matter of weeks.  We are delighted to be the first to feature this ever-popular wine.  This year, the wine is made using 100% Pinot Noir.

Savvy Sommelier Tasting Notes: Aromatic, dry, and supple, there are loads of strawberries and mandarin notes, along with some racy acidity that makes it dry & refreshing. The bright watermelon pink of the wine is a visual treat, and it looks every bit as mouthwatering as it tastes!

Suggested Food Pairing: This would be delicious with BBQed salmon.

~ Rosé Recipe Box ~

A Spring & Summer favorite to enjoy with Rosé wines

Gorgonzola & Strawberry Canapés

From Food & Drink Magazine
Makes 24 canapés

Crisp, golden toasts are ideal for the bold, herb flavour of the Gorgonzola. A fruity and colourful topping of strawberries or grapes makes this an enjoyable fresh canapé, perfect for summer entertaining.

Ingredients

6 slices bakery white sandwich bread
2 Tbsp (25 mL) unsalted butter, melted
Freshly ground black pepper
6 oz (175 g) Gorgonzola cheese, softened
3 Tbsp (45 mL) whipping cream
2 Tbsp (25 mL) chopped fresh basil
1 tsp (5 mL) chopped fresh thyme
¼ cup (50 mL) chopped toasted walnuts or pecans
12 small strawberries, sliced or 6 each seedless red and green grapes, quartered

Method

Preheat oven to 425°F (220°C).
Trim crusts off bread and cut each slice into 4 squares. Brush with butter and place on baking sheet. Sprinkle with pepper.
Bake for about 10 minutes or until golden. Let cool completely.
Using electric hand mixer, beat Gorgonzola, cream, basil and thyme together until very smooth. Spread evenly on toasts. Sprinkle each with walnuts. Top each toast with strawberry slices or 1 of each grape quarter.

Have your fridge full of Rosé wines all summer long…

Always have refreshing Rosé wines on hand this summer!  To order additional bottles of your new found favorite Rosés from this assortment OR to receive next month’s assortment (we are calling them Deck Party Packs), call your friends at Savvy on 613-SAVVYCO (728-8926) or order online at www.savvycompany.ca/rose.

The June assortment of wines will have a completely different selection of hard-to-find Rosé wines including:

Closson Chase Winery Rose VQA 2018 from Prince Edward County
Creekside Estate Winery Rose VQA 2017 from Niagara
Di Profio Estate Wines Gamay Rose VQA 2017 from Niagara
Di Profio Estate Wines Sparkling Rosie VQA 2016from Niagara
GreenLane Estate Winery Rose VQA 2017 from Niagara
Queenston Mile Vineyard Pinot Noir Rose VQA 2017 from Niagara

Price for June’s assortment:

$133 for 6 bottles
~ OR ~
$226 for 12 bottles (2 of each of the featured wines). 

Deadline to order June’s parcel is Saturday, June 9th.  

Call the Savvy Team on 613-SAVVYCO (728-8926) or order online www.savvycompany.ca/rose.

Cheers & Enjoy your summer!

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What do Organic Wine Labels mean?

Posted by Debbie

Thursday, August 9th, 2018
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These days, products labelled as “organic, green, gluten free or vegan” are often confusing and have different meanings depending on whether the item is eggs, apples or grapes. Personally, in general terms, I tend to think organic wine is one that has not had pesticides or other chemicals used in its vineyard or winemaking process. If that is indeed the case, I can’t help but wonder if this extra attention results in a difference in taste too.

My curiosity gets the better of me and nose dive into some ‘research’.

The David Suzuki Foundation offers some great explanations of terms that I have interchanged. For example, when the wine label states “made with organically grown grapes”, this means that the wine is made with a minimum of 70% organic grapes.  Turns out this is not the same as certified organic grapes.  The term Certified Organic means that the producers use 100% organic grapes and cannot use toxic pesticides, herbicides or synthetic fertilizers that would infiltrate both the soil and the grapes.

Biodynamic wine is defined by renowned winemaker Ann Sperling (of Sperling Vineyards, Southbrook Vineyards and Versado) as, “Uber organic”.  Biodynamic is organic but natural resources are used to cultivate grapes and must meet the standards imposed for organic-certified farming. This kind of wine production also takes into consideration the lunar calendar, astrology, plants, animals, insects;  it’s not just about the grapes.

I admit that I find the idea of the slant of the moon’s light on a vineyard making a difference in grape-growing a little mind-boggling. In order for a winery to declare itself as biodynamic, it must have achieved the highest level of certification through Demeter Canada and maintained it for a minimum of three years. It’s no wonder that there are only a handful of biodynamic wineries across the country.

Wine Country Ontario lists wineries in Ontario that sell organic, vegan, gluten-free, vegetarian and biodynamic wines. All these labels embrace sustainable winemaking or economical farming practices. Whether the wine tastes any different with these labels depends on your opinion.

The recent release at LCBO’s Vintages is promoting several organic wines. I have a couple of recommendations from this release and also suggestions in the general list of organic wines. Many LCBO stores have an organic wine section, so have a look the next time you are in one. You might find something new from this issue to impress your vegan friends!

From the August 4 release. 

 

Murviedro Luna Organic Brut Cava

Spain
$17.95 (Vintages #547224) 11.6% alcohol

Cava in Spain is akin to Prosecco in Italy and it never hurts to have one of these chilling in the fridge. This happens to be a Gold Medal winner at the 2017 Concours Mondial de Bruxelles. Whenever I see those gold labels, it’s never a risk to buy the bottle.

Cava is known for its light sparkling citrusy moussey bubbles, made from the Macabeo grapes and is always a delight for brunch, Happy Hour or to kick off a party.

 

 

Southbrook Triomphe Chardonnay 2016

Niagara-on-the-Lake, Canada
$24.95 (Vintages #172338) 12% alcohol

Southbrook Vineyards is known as the first winery in Canada to earn both organic and biodynamic certification in the vineyard. It is also one impressive winery to visit in Niagara. The architecture of this biodynamic winery is different from its neighbors and their elegant wines are always memorable.

During the release tasting, I did not get to sample this 2016, but previous Chardonnays made by Ann Sperling have been knock out delicious.

Enjoy a glass in the sunshine, unwinding while the sun goes down, with fish or chicken off the BBQ or a summertime salad.

 

Montes Alpha Syrah 2015

Colchagua Valley, Chile
$19.95 (Vintages #612) 14.5% alcohol

The label on the bottle of this dark blackberry nectar states “dry farmed”.  What does this mean? Basically the grapes are cultivated without any irrigation in regions where there is little rain. The grapes feed off any residual moisture in the soil which deeply extends their vine roots and consequently their flavour.

I really liked the leathery finish on this wine.  It would be great with any grilled chops.

 

Organic Wines available all year round at the LCBO

 

Lurton Piedra Negra Pinot Grigio Organic

Argentina
$13.80 (Vintages #55674) 12.5% alcohol

This is a “pretty” soft white, dry, medium-bodied white wine. Luscious tropical and citrus flavours present loads of fresh fruit on the palate.

I picked this up on my lookout for general list organic wines at the LCBO (regularly available on the main store shelves) and it has easily become a favourite in my house.

It’s refreshing and delicious on its own or served with fish tacos, sushi, cold pasta salad.

 

 

El Abuelo Organic Tempranillo Monastrell

Almanzo D.O., Spain
$9.95 (Vintages #524520)  14% alcohol

Don’t let the price fool you. This great organic wine from Spain is full-bodied with loads of black fruit flavours.

Bone dry and smooth, it packs lots of punch at 14% alcohol but does not taste hot on the palate.

It goes well with burgers or spaghetti or just to sip in a glass.

 

Travel tip and wine stop in Hockley Valley, Mono, Ontario 

 

My husband and I recently returned from a trip to the Hockley Valley Resort (North of Toronto near Orangeville) and discovered the Adamo Winery Estate. The resort offers a shuttle to the winery, but if you prefer to walk, it’s a short distance but all uphill.

The resort and winery are family owned and operated, clearly taking great pride in both their wines and the upscale resort. Have a look at the pictures online, it is indeed as lovely as it looks.

The farming practices in the 25 acre winery are both organic and biodynamic. Shauna White, Vineyard and Winery Manager, uses thermal blankets in the winter to cover the vines so that they are insulated and protected from ice and snow. This method is done instead of hilling up vines (burying them in the earth), like they do in Prince Edward County.

At the winery, the Paddock Café offers small plates of local cheeses, olives and charcuteries overlooking the 23,000 vines. It is also a wonderful photo-op beside an amazing golf course. We visited the winery 3 times in 3 days to take in the ambience and sample more wines. The Rieslings and Viognier wines were favourites with many grapes being sourced from the Niagara region.

Coincidentally, 6 years ago, I had met Shauna when I interviewed her for our Savvy Selections wine-o-month club featuring Ravine Estate Winery.  Shauna was the winemaker. Needless to say, the surprise to see her again at Adamo was a delight and made for an over the top vacation.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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139 Things to do in Prince Edward County

Posted by Debbie

Wednesday, August 8th, 2018
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We are always asked for travel tips. One destination in particular is Prince Edward County.  Just a short 3 hour drive from Ottawa or 2 hours from Toronto, it’s an easy daytrip or a weekend getaway.

This region, surrounded by water, is turning heads as Canada’s fastest growing wine region.  And it is not all about the wine either! “The County” has been named as Maclean’s Magazine’s Canada TOP 10 Places You’ve Got to See in 2014.  The town of Picton, Bloomfield, Milford, Wellington, Cherry Valley and all the points in between was hopping four years ago…and now there’s even more reasons to visit; our list is just a start.

Our 101 Things to Do in Prince Edward County was so popular that we’ve refreshed and updated for the second time.  To help you discover all the neat things that are going on in The County, we got the Savvy Team together (over a glass of wine of course!) & jotted down our favorite things to do in Prince Edward County.  Then we had a contest on Instagram and Facebook asking for hidden gems in the area…and went to the best source – the locals who live there for their secret spots.  Here is the list for now….and if we missed something that needs to be included, don’t be shy….Let us know by email, Facebook or Instagram.

How far down the list can you get? 

Start the car…and get rolling!

1. Visit North America’s largest dry stone bridge at Karlo Estates. And if you’re lucky, you’ll meet Spencer – one of Karlo’s winemakers – in the vineyard or in the cellar. (Spencer with a glass of his soon-to-be-released Rose, shown in photo right) 

2. Visit the Oeno Gallery at Huff Estates. Be sure to take advantage of their sculpture celebration happening from May to October 1st.

3. Want your wine tours to have a more rustic feel? Check out the historic barns at The Old ThirdClosson ChaseKarlo EstatesThe Grange of Prince Edward County and Hinterland Winery.

4. Sample amazing aperitif and dessert wines (and ports) – Sandbanks WineryHillier CreekKeint-He WineryKarlo Estates

5. Taste some of the best Canadian-made sparkling wines at HinterlandHuff Estates , Rosehall Run, Casa-Dea Lighthall Vineyards.

6. Cheese Please!  All weekend long at the Great Canadian Cheese Festival (usually in June).

7. Sample County wines at great local restos – East & MainBlumen Garden & The Hubb.

8. Nothing goes “feta” with wine than cheese, so be sure to pop into Fifth Town Artisan Cheese Co. for some artisanal cheese.

9. The infamous Toronto’s Drake Hotel  now has a County location – Drake Devonshire.  Stay over or go for dinner.

10. Indulge in poutine and milkshakes at the Dari Bar in Wellington.

11. Enjoy some great apple cider & lunch of lamb burgers The County County Cider. (Owner, Jenifer Dean, serving her famous cider, in photo right

12. Need some coffee before OR after sampling wine? Miss Lily’s Café or the Bean Counter in Picton.

13. Find your favorite mantra pinned to the wall in the Cherry Valley General Store (hint: they’re all about slowing down to smell the roses!).

14. Stop by one of many veggie stands – Laundry FarmsHagerman FarmsCherryvale Organic Farm.

15. Sit on the porch at a B&B or your weekend cottage and read Geoff Heinrick’s book A Fool & Forty Acres.

16. Pop in to the Agrarian Cheese Market & Speakeasy, featuring craft brews on tap, great ciders, wine and killer cocktails with live music on Fridays & Saturdays.

17. Take a cooking class at From the Farm.

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

19. Get inspired by sustainable growing while you chat with Lee & Bryan at Keint-He Winery.  They’ll help you pronounce that!

20. Hop on your bike & ride the back roads while exploring Canadian history along the Loyalist Parkway.

21. Take in Terroir Wine Festival at the Crystal Palace (Early June).

22. Plan for a beach day at Sandbanks Provincial Park.

23. Feel those rhythm mc-blues as you attend the PEC Jazz Festival (Mid August).

24. Discover new music talent from across North America at The Acoustic Grill in Picton.

25. Dive into the fantastic water sports at West Lake.

26. Take a billion pix of the gorgeous stain glass windows & hang out in the hammocks at Closson Chase ….then indulge in their wines.

27. Spend a Sunday afternoon on the patio at Huff Estates Winery listening to live musical talent. (Be sure to get a taste of their new wood-fired pizza! Photo on right)

28. And for more live music, enjoy some dinner-side entertainment at East & Main Bistro.

29. Red White & Blues festival at Rosehall Run features music in the vineyard. (September)

30. Meet the dogs & owners at Three Dog Winery. Or you can practice your downward dog at their built-in yoga studio

31. Get limbered up for the Full Moon Yoga Festival (August)

32. Hear James call his Chardonnay vines ‘Bella’ at Long Dog Winery.

33. Stock up on your picnic goodies at Chef Michael Hoy’s Weekend Market at 106 Bridge Street in Picton.

34. Start your day “sunny side up” with bacon & eggs at Picton Harbour Inn. Declared by Grapevine Magazing as the top breakfast joint in PEC.

35. Harvest parties at Sandbanks WineryHalf Moon Bay Winery Broken Stone are fun for the entire family.

36. Book a getaway room at The ManseNewsroom SuitesThe Inn at Huff EstatesMerrill Inn or the Cottage at Angeline’s.

37. Take an early morning walk on the ‘secret’ beach (at the bottom of Cold Creek Road).

38. Go apple picking at Campbell’s Orchards.

39. …or cool off with ice cream at Slickers.

40. Did you know that Hinterland Vineyards has peach slushies for the kids?

41. Visit the old-time school house at the Ameliasburgh Historical Museum.

42. Drinks & Dinner at Merrill Inn – guaranteed delicious!

43. What the heck is Wassail?  Ask around about this pre-Christmas festival where you sing for your drink.

44. Do a County Chardonnay-a-thon trying every Chard you can find.  Be sure not to miss Lighthall, Stanners, Exultet, RosehallKarlo….is just a start.

45. Pull a pint of Pumpkin Ale at Barley Days Brewing Co.

46. Maple in the County is a great spring weekend getaway

47. Check out the cideries that are popping up – 401 Cider Company, Apple Falls Cider, Clafeld Cider House, Kings Mill (in Stirling – near PEC), County Cider Co, and The Hard Way (in Bath – near Glenora Ferry)

48. Visit the Lavender Farm when the lavender is in full bloom (June/July) or take in the lavender from across The County at the Lavender Festival

49. Chat with Pat at Del-Gatto Estates .…where he lives la dolce vita!

50. What was that on the barn?  A Barn Quilt!  It’s a THING in The County & there are over a 100 of them.

51. They say one person’s trash is another’s treasure, so why not start your hunt at the many famous antique stores in Prince Edward County.

52. Discover a lost world of treasures at the County Spring and Fall Antique Show & Sale

53. Follow the Arts Trail & meet incredibly talented artists along the way.

54. In the summer, sip Rose wines as you tour around the Wine Trail – see how they all are different – different grapes used, hues of pink…and tastes!

55. Catch a movie at the Regent Theatre.

56. Visit the gallery at Small Pond Arts to see Milé Murtanovski’s paintings made with wine. The gallery recently reopened so be sure to make an appointment!

57. Unwind one of the few classic drive-in movie theatres in Ontario: Mustang Drive-In

58. Take a break for wine touring & leisurely shop on Bloomfield or Wellington Main Streets.

59. Meet the newest cider maker in town – Ryan Monkman.  In his ‘spare time’ he works for 8…yes eight!…other cideries to help them make world class hard cider – the craft way.  In addition to working with others, his FieldBird Cider is truly unique.

60. How about a visit to Dead Peoples Stuff? (antique store).

61. Lunch al fresco at Casa Dea Estates Winery, Huff Estates or The Grange.

62. Go house hunting – it does not cost anything to dream!

63. It might be a wine region, yet there is a distillery – Kinsip House of Fine Spirits – that is a must visit.  Especially for their Canadian Pine Vodka, Loyalist Gin, rums & whiskies too. (Photo on right) 

64. Watch the sunset over Hubbs Winery or let Batista – the winery owner – chat your ear off until the stars come out!

65. Enjoy classical music in a small church during the Prince Edward County Music Festival (September)

66. Make annual family traditions by renting one of the many of the Sunrise Cottages.

67. Drop by Highline Mushrooms to buy fresh gourmet mushrooms.

68. Homemade donuts like my grandfather would make await at Schroedter’s Market at Huff Corners – at Hwy 62.

69. Spend an hour or two checking out City Revival – a high end consignment shop.

70. Marvel at the Lake On The Mountain– it’s mystical up there. After you have figured out the geographic phenomena, head to the pub for a drink.

71. Stop at Black River Cheese Co. in Milford to try…and buy…all kinds of cheese.  Savvy Cheese Sommelier, Vanessa Simmons recommends: Maple Cheddar & fresh curds (TIP – when you put curds in the fridge, they lose their squeak)

72. Where else can wines be as easy as Not Red, Almost Red and Not White? At Sugarbush Wines.

73. Did we already tell you about North Beach Provincial Park? You gotta go!

174. Go strawberry, raspberry or blueberry picking on the roadside – they grow wild! (July, August, September)

75. Grab some wine after your round of golf at Picton Golf CourseBarcovan Golf Club or Wellington On The Lake Golf Course.

76. Pop in & out of all of the cool shops along Picton Main Street. Treat yourself with a crepe too!

77. Bird-watching!! And don’t miss BirdHouse City. If you can’t get enough birds, be sure to check out the Prince Edward Point Bird Observatory. (Trails are open-all-year-round but banding begins August 21).

78. More bird business…count how many birds yo spot at the Prince Edward County Birding Festival (May)

79. Take the scenic route. Drive along the Loyalist Parkway – Hwy 33.  Start in Kingston or Napanee and it will meander all the way to Trenton.

80. Gorge on the farm fresh food at Seedlings (formerly The Hubb) in Bloomfield.

81. Get tickets to TASTE! (late September).

82. The December Busy Hands Craft Sale at Books and Company & Miss Lily’s Café – great sale for gifts.

83. Pop into Rosehall Run Winery for neat locally made gourmet goodies.

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

85. Stop for Italian thin crust pizza at Bergeron’s Estate Winery…and have a glass of wine or cider too!

86. Take photos of Lake Ontario with morning fog near Moonlight on the Lake B&B.

87. Buy Ontario wine…craft beer…and cider too!– not available in the LCBO – shop directly from the makers while you are in Prince Edward County

88. Get married!

89. Running and drinking…drinking and running during Terroir Run (June) or County Marathon (Registration in Sept).Terroir boots logo

90. Taste wine in a converted cheese factory that now houses Exultet Estates.

91. Rent a cottage on the water for a week and really live The County life.

92. Stop at a yard sale.

93. Take the Glenora Ferry – its free & runs every 15 mins (in the summer) or every 30 mins (in fall & winter)

94. Take a workshop at The Red Barns, an artisan’s playground, featuring blown and stained glass, pottery, and iron art.

95. Visit Canada’s first off-grid winery Redtail Vineyard.

96. Browse the books and say hello to Miss Ella Vader, the book mascot at Books & Company.

97. Spend a weekend at Claramount Inn & Spa. H.E.A.V.E.N.L.Y.

98. Stop by Huff Estates and get your picture taken with the giant steel pinecones.

99. Tired of wine tours? Satisfy your craft cravings with breweries like 555 Brewing Co. , Midtown Brewery, Prince Eddy’s and Barley Days.

100. Find out what all the buzz is about at Honey Pie Hives and Herbals!

101. Buy local ad support local farmers at the Wellington Farmer’s Market (July & August)

And there’s more …

So there is 101 Things  – all new from our last edition of this blog – but there is still some many events and activities to see and to in The County.  Let’s keep going….

102. Get belly laughs at The County’s Summer Comedy Series (May to Sept)

103. Let The County bring out your history buff with a Historic Walking Tour of Picton (July to Oct)

104. See The County from the coastline at Point Petre Wildlife Conservation Area, Sandbanks Dunes Beach, Little Bluff Conservation Area,

105. Winter is a great season for the County too so strap on those snow shoes or skies and head to one of the many trails in PEC.  For a longer trail try the Millennium Trail – a whole 49km to enjoy!

106. Have a getaway for Family Day at the Sandbanks Snow Fest and other family friendly activities

107. Get out on the water in a canoe, kayak or paddle board rented from Twin Birch Suites & Cottages or right at Sandbanks Provincial Park.

108. They say that we’ll spend 29.75% of our lives sitting so why not get outside with a hike in the County.

109. Try not to tip over while you cycle through the County’s best wineries on one of the many bike routes.

110. Put your feet up at The Ferg: a Scandinavian historic house.

111. Feel the beat at one of the areas famous music festivals like the Sandbanks Music Festival (September), Prince Edward County Chamber Music Festival (September), Prince Edward County Jazz Festival (August), PEC Fest (August) or County Pop (April).

112. Let the sweet and silvery voices take you to the south while to visit PEC’s Quinte’s Isle Bluegrass Celebration!

113. Park yourself down at a picnic table in the vineyards at Trail Estates or Traynor Family Vineyards

114. Stop and smell the roses at The County Blooms – The County’s Garden Show

115. Discover your artistic side at Art in the County (June/July) or at the old school Women’s Institute Art and Craft Sale

116. Show you national pride at Canada Day Celebrations in Wellington

117. Feel like royalty as you discover wineries in a horse drawn carriage with The County Carriage Co. (Photo on right)

118. Start practicing you lines to watch the Festival Players Theatre Company Productions

119. Get ready to rumble at the Consecon Soap Box Derby

120. Preserve the history of wine making, brewing, and more at the Ontario Fermentation Festival

121. Get your team together for the Wellington Lions Club Dragon Boat Festival (August)

122. It’s not Burning Man but you will get to camp in the woods and enjoy a line up of amazing performers for 4 whole days at the Country Jamboree (August)

123. Check out the cute pups and tractor pulls at the Picton Fair (September)

124. Get your bike in gear for the Gran Fondo (September). You can choose to a scenic ride of 50, 100 or 150 km.

125. Celebrate the harvest at Milford Fall Fair or Ameliasburgh Fall Fair

126. See The County with an artist’s eye at the PEC Studio Tour or the County Arts Fair

127. Support local at TASTE Community Grown (September) or The Makers Hand

128. Get into the Halloween spirit at Pumpkinfest (late September)

129. Come back at Christmas too for the Picton Santa Claus Parade

130. Ahoy! It’s time to set sail with the County Sailing Adventures. They can host private events or take you on a 2 or 3 hour cruises.

131. Find the plaque in Picton that explains the town’s claim to fame – where Sir John A. Macdonald grew up.

132. Be surrounded by creativity in the Rose Cottage Studio and Gifts in Picton.

133. Rest and recuperate at one of The Open Collaborative’s retreats. Choose from the “Run”, the “Activate”, the “Reset”, or the “harvest”.

134. Shop ‘til you drop at the Quinte Mall

135. Find your equilibrium on a Stand Up Paddleboard with Floating Lotus SUP

136. Get into the great outdoors with a luxury prospector tent at the Fronterra Farm Camp.

137. Find your perfect new outfit at Luna Boutique.

138. Be sure to veer off the highway and visit the newest winery in The County – Moranin Wines (just opened July 2018)

139. And last BUT definitely not the least…have breakfast, lunch and treats at Enid Grace Cafe in Wellington – go early because she makes only enough croissants, muffins, scones & cakes enough for the day.  Once your favorite treat is gone, you’ll have to wait til the next day.

 

 …and the list goes on!  

Even more tips and calendar of events can be found on Prince Edward County’s tourism web site is prince-edward-county.com

Wherever you decide to go – for a day trip, getaway or long weekend – why not work your way through this long list of things to see and do. It’s a beautiful place where you can make great memories of food, wine, great scenery – and more.  Call on our Savvy Sommeliers anytime on 613-SAVVYCO (728-8926) for tips of places to visit.

Enjoy Prince Edward County!

 

 

 

 

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Chill out with a pink drink!

Posted by Debbie

Tuesday, July 3rd, 2018
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While the temperatures continue to rise, I think the best way to cool down is with a glass of Rosé wine.  Crisp, dry & refreshing, with loads of floral aromatics & ripe juicy tastes that makes one glass turn into two…then a few more!

Rosé wines are perfect for this time of the year for many reasons – quenches your thirst, easy to drink, low-ish in alcohol (usually 11-12%) and pairs with many summertime foods – especially picnic fare.   Unlike other styles of wine, Rosés can be made with any grapes – a single variety or a blend of many. Winemakers have the liberty to use anything from the vineyard to craft a Rosé wine like an artist creating a masterpiece.

Before the heat wave hits, I round up our team of Sommeliers to sample just released Rosé wines made throughout Ontario.  Usually there are 50 bottles on the table of varying hues of pink made from Shiraz, Gamay, Pinot Noir and Merlot grapes.  There are blends with a splash of Riesling, Sauvignon Blanc and Pinot Grigio too.  It is really safe to say that EVERY Rosé is an expression of the winemaker’s talent.

 

How is Rosé wine made?

It’s all in the skins!  The majority of grapes used in winemaking have a white flesh, so when crushed, the grape juice is white.  The grape skins of red grape varieties – such as Merlot, Pinot Noir, Gamay, Shiraz, Cabernet Franc etc – contain a red pigment. After the grapes have been crushed and the juice is collected, the winemaker keeps the skins in with the juice for a few hours or couple of days in order to achieve the colour that they want for the wine.

The next step is to separate the skins from the juice and allow it to ferment into alcohol in a stainless steel tank.  I have yet to come across a Rosé wine that has been barrel aged. All total, Rosé wine takes a few months to make from harvest to bottling.  Whereas red wine takes a few years. Aside: red wine goes through the exactly same winemaking process, yet, the skins are left in the juice for several weeks to extract the full amount of red pigment into the wine.

 

Pro Tips:

*Rosé wines will not get better with age. Rule of thumb: drink before Christmas the year that you bought the wine

*Typically Rosé wines come in a clear bottle so you can enjoy the colour before opening the bottle –don’t leave on the counter, rather in a cool dark place…or better yet in your fridge!

*Chill in the fridge for 20-30 mins before serving….as the Rosé wine warms up, notice how the taste changes too.

*Rosés are not all sweet wines – trust us! (pink Zinfandel from California or those called ‘blush’ are often sweeter)

*Price points are usually $15 – 30

*Real men drink Rosé wines!

According to Bloomberg News, Rosé has surpassed red wine in popularity in France (apparently it’s been outselling white wine since 2008). In the US, sales soared 41% in 2015, meanwhile, Rosé is the fastest growing wine style in Australia….and at our Savvy Taste & Buy event this past April, of the top 5 wines ordered – 3 were Rosé!

Explore the world of Rosés

Go into the LCBO and the shelves will be stocked high of Rosé wines from all over the world.  If you are wondering where to start – try one from Tavel region in France.  The wineries in this small wine region near Provence exclusively make Rosé wines.  Considered the benchmark for many winemakers, a Tavel Rosé is bone dry, crisp with zippy acidity.  From there, explore Rosés from every corner of the wine world.  And be sure to sample some from our own backyard too.

Best ones are made in our backyard…

At Savvy Company, we showcase Canadian wines, here are some that you should be on the lookout for this summer:

13th Street Winery Burger Blend Rosé VQA 2017  – $14.95, Twenty Valley (Niagara Escarpment)

Casa-Dea Estates Winery Cabernet Franc Rosé VQA 2017 – $21.95, Prince Edward County 

Colchester Ridge Estate Winery ‘Red Sky at Night’ Rosé VQA 2017  – $16.95, Lake Erie North Shore

Creekside Estate Pinot Noir Rosé VQA 2017 – $23,  Twenty Valley 

Fielding Estates Winery Rosé VQA 2017 – $15.95, Twenty Valley

Kacaba Vineyard Rebecca Rosé VQA 2017 – $17.95, Beamsville Bench (Niagara)

Lighthall ‘Fence’ Sparkling Rosé VQA 2017 $25, Prince Edward County

Pondview Estate Winery Cabernet Franc Rosé VQA 2017 $16.95, Four Mile Creek (Niagara-on-the-Lake)

Sprucewood Shores Rosé VQA 2016 – $16.95,  Lake Erie North Shore

Two Sisters Vineyards Rosé VQA 2017 – from Twenty Valley (a wine only available for restaurants)

Westcott Vineyards Pinot Noir Rosé VQA 2017 – $22.95, Twenty Valley

Westcott Vineyards Delphine Rosé VQA 2017 – $16.95, Twenty Valley

 

Get Rosé wines delivered to your deck, desk or dock!

Again this summer, we will deliver an assortment of Ontario Rosé wines that you can’t get at the LCBO.  That’s right…we’ll pick out the best of the bunch & hand deliver to you.  All you need to do click here to order…then make room in your fridge! Check it out at www.savvycompany.ca/rose

Keep cool & drink pink!

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Ooooooo Canada!

Posted by Julie

Tuesday, June 26th, 2018
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Everyone is gearing up to celebrate Canada Day.  Across the country on July 1 there will be loads of free musical concerts, fireworks, carnivals, on BBQs and outdoor events of all sizes. Those of us spending the long weekend at a cottage, on a sailboat, on a golf course or on the backyard deck, here’s my suggestions on what to drink July 1 – all-Canadian of course!

Did you know…

….that Canada’s first commercial estate winery, Vin Villa, was established on Pelee Island (the southern most wine region in Ontario) in 1866?

….that 6 provinces in Canada have their own wine regions?

…that VQA (Vintners Quality Alliance) on a bottle of Ontario or British Columbia wine means that it is the province’s “appellation of origin” system which define the grape-growing regions and set standards for the wines.

 

Let’s pop open some bottles!

The recent Vintages release at the LCBO has several suggestions for Canada Day. I was lucky to sample some & have also included my top picks of the LCBO’s General List products that you can enjoy on Canada Day…and for that matter all year round. My selection will take you from brunch to dinner with choices in between for a burst of invigoration.  Our Canadian wines and beer make us very proud!

Happy Canada Day,

Julie

 

From Nova Scotia…

Benjamin Bridge Nova 7  Sparkling 2016
(LCBO #256289)  $26.95

Aromatic and fresh with soft orchard fruit flavours, this sparkling wine with golden mousse offers lively acidity. Instead of a traditional champagne cork, the screwcap opens like a regular bottle of wine with a treat of effervescence flows into the glass. It is a perfect wine for brunch or mid-afternoon thirst quencher or to serve as an aperitif.  From quiche to seafood, it goes with everything.

 

From British Columbia….

Quail’s Gate Rose 2017
(LCBO #275842)  $19.95

If you like fresh rhubarb & strawberries, this rose wine tastes just like that!  It reminds me of the aromas & taste of the juicy ripe strawberries that have just been picked.  The problem  with this tangy & delicious wine is that it goes down too smoothly. I could sip this summertime wine all afternoon.

 

From Ontari-ari-ariooo…

These outstanding wines are always available & always reliable.

Kacaba Vineyards Unoaked Chardonnay VQA
(LCBO #326975)  $15.95

Mea culpa, I always encourage people to try something new but I confess…this is my go-to white wine. Pale in colour, loads of tropical fruit flavours, always crisp, always delivers. As I write this I am already thinking how nicely it will taste with my grilled chicken, some crusty bread and my everything salad for dinner tonight – how Canadian is that ?

 

Trius Sauvignon Blanc VQA
(LCBO #221804)  $15.95 (on sale for Canada Day weekend for $1 off)

If you are a fan of New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc, here is a home-grown Sauvignon Blanc that you definitely should to try. Zingy grapefruit, some lemon-lime flavours, it is crisp and light-bodied, a perfect afternoon sipper.  A great price point for this Canadian gem.

 

Featherstone Cabernet Franc VQA
(LCBO #64618)  $19.95

A few months ago I was looking for something different and an LCBO product consultant introduced this red wine to me. (Don’t ever underestimate the knowledge of LCBO consultants) I admit that I hesitated since Cabernet Franc is not a varietal I would normally seek out, however with every sip of this wine, I was NOT disappointed. Slightly floral on the nose, this is an impressive, smooth red wine with generous lively berry flavours.  Medium-bodied, this wine has enough weight to partner with grilled meat but light enough you could easily place it beside grilled salmon.

I’ve long been a fan of Featherstone wines, ever since I visited the winery along the Beamsville Bench (in Niagara) & saw sheep nibbling at the grape leaves in the vineyard.

 

The Foreign Affair Winery – The Conspiracy VQA
(LCBO #149237)  $19.95

This medium-bodied blend of Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Cabernet Franc is berry-rich. Made in the Ripasso style (grapes are air dried) increases volume and depth of flavour. It provides absolutely lip smacking goodness with steak or hamburgers, lamb burgers or a rack of ribs – sheer yum.

 

Heading to The County?

For those of you who are lucky to be visiting Prince Edward County on the Canada Day weekend, here’s my tips on where to go, because there are now over 40 picturesque wineries that it is next to impossible to visit them all – even during a long weekend.

Casa-Dea offers a lovely patio for lunch overlooking the vineyards with many of their wines not readily available at the LCBO.

Neighbouring winery, Rosehall Run Vineyards also has some award winners – especially their Pinot Noirs – there are always a collection of medallions hanging around the bottle’s neck.  And down the road there is the stunning country setting of The Grange Winery. This former cannery is one of the first wineries in The County. The huge barn is now a tasting room with views of a nearby stream and fields, you feel like you’ve have been transported back into pioneer days.

Finally, while idyllically meandering about The County, pop into Lighthall Vineyards in Milford & say “Hi” to a long time Savvy fan & friend – Glenn Symmons. He is the one-man-show running this winery with his top selling Progression sparkling wine made of 100% Vidal grapes.  That wine alone is worth the trip to The County just to pick up a few of those bottles. When you are down that way you, visit County Cider for a splash of something different and fill up at Fifth Town Artisan Cheese. Your taste buds will love you for it and with the wine you pick up while on tour, it will be one delicious Canada Day.

Check out our 101 Things to do in The County tips too!

 

Featured wines available at the LCBO…

 



 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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