The difference is in the dirt at Coyote’s Run

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Savvy Selections wine of the month club
Featuring Coyote’s Run Estate Winery
–  January 2016 –

We are absolutely delighted to kick off our 9th year of Savvy Selections. This month we are delighted to feature Coyote’s Run Estate Winery that is located in St David’s Bench (in Niagara-on-the-Lake), followed by a Rare Wines portfolio tasting with the winery owners & winemaker. It’s like a one-two-punch!
bottlesNever before have we designed a wine soaked journey like this….read about it here, then experience it in real life by joining us on Wednesday January 20 for the Rare Wines Tasting.

Being a Savvy Selections subscriber has plenty of benefits!

2 complementary tickets with your name on them to this event plus TWO more for your friends to join us.
Use promo code: SAVVYVIP when you register at www.coyotesrun.eventbrite.ca

Let’s take a peak into your Savvy Selections parcel. You will find:

Rare Vintage Chardonnay VQA 2014the acidity combined with a touch of oak makes a beautiful tropical taste that is a break from the harsh winter
Rare Vintage Cabernet Syrah 2012– grab your coat, you’ll be wanting to fire up the BBQ for this one
Black Paw Cabernet Sauvignon 2013 – good thing you cleared out some room in your cellar over the holidays. This wine could be aged a bit longer if you like.

It all started with a fishing trip

The stories behind the winery are the ones that we like to dig up. When I interviewed owner Jeff Aubry, he recalled that the idea of a winery came about up north during a fishing trip…with a boat load of strangers no less. Read about this, the Savvy Sommeliers’ tasting notes and warm-to-the-soul recipes that the Savvy Selections panel paired with the 3 Coyote’s Run wines.

CR_black_w_coyote copyYou may see a Coyote or two in the LCBO…

…but in your Savvy Selections are the Coyote’s Run wines that rarely leave the winery. These wines are called small batch, so if you have a new favorite, you can order them in person at the portfolio tasting event on January 20th or give our Savvy Team a call on 613-SAVVYCO (728-8926) to arrange an order for you. It is easy & only takes a matter of a couple of days for delivery from the winery to you.
I’m feeling that 2016 will be an epic year…I’ll raise a glass to that!
Debbie & Savvy Team


Coyote’s Run Estate Winery

Presented by Sommelier Debbie Trenholm

Think back 12 or so years ago – remember the critter label phase? A rare scene now, yet in 2003, when Coyote’s Run opened their doors, kangaroos, turtles, cats & dragons were gracing wine labels….and the name Coyote’s Run was far from joining that pack. In fact the reference of a coyote at this winery was not for a whimsical eye-catching character, rather because wild coyotes frequently traveled across the property & can be heard in the vineyards.

A bush plane, a boat…then a bar!

Dave & Jeff & ChrisDavid Sheppard (centre) & Jeff Aubry (right) are two men with unlikely paths that surprisingly crossed. David grew up in a grape growing family in Niagara & learned winemaking in Germany before joining Inniskillin in its early days. Jeff punched away on keyboards in his high tech job at Nortel before he ever imagined ‘punching down’ the lees while making wine.
It was a love of fishing brought these men together when they escaped in a bush plane for a long weekend. While waiting for the fish to bite, the two explored the idea of breaking ground & building a winery in Niagara. “Not a large one, rather a boutique winery. Something with a soul”, explained Jeff.
Perhaps surviving a fishing trip in close & remote quarters was a sign that the two had interest and compatibility to make it happen.
“We were at the Beacon Bar (in Niagara), tossing around names. We both did not want our family name in the winery. And yet our little piece of heaven didn’t have lakes, streams to include in its name. But coyotes would travel through the property often”. And like that, the decision was made.

Never a boring moment!

“The roof was on in one day, then the tanks arrived the next day. A day later we started to harvest…before you know it we were making wine,” recalls Jeff about the fall of 2003. “We did not have running water or electricity, but that did not matter, we ordered a generator & brought in water.“ And it did not stop there. In the summer of 2004, “on opening day , as I was heading out the door in the morning, when my wife Patti, showed me the pregnancy test results. Sure enough it was blue.” The next day, Jeff shook his head as he explained, “My laptop died. Completely toast.”

Pinot Noir Challenge

Known as the heart break grape, making a fine Pinot Noir is every winemaker’s goal. Receiving accolades & awards is the golden egg. ‘A friend of mine said – You’re not thinking of growing Pinot Noir are you?” And much to his surprise not only did they grow the finicky grapes, Coyote’s Run won gold in the All Canadian Wine Awards for their first vintage of Pinot Noir. Now that is impressive! “It is one of the highlights of the past 13 years,” said Jeff. “And my friend was shocked!”

A vineyard like no other

dirtCoyote’s Run location enjoys more heat than almost anywhere in Ontario. This ripeness factor shows through in the grapes – especially the red ones. In addition, the Coyote’s Run property is really two vineyards with two very distinct soil types – red & black. To honour this unique attribute, they have named the parcels of land as ‘Black Paw Vineyard’ and ‘Red Paw Vineyard’. The soils have tremendous geological differences that are profoundly expressed in the grapes…and the wine.
The winemaking team has planted the same grape variety on each of these soils and they are vinifed separately, resulting in two very unique and distinct wines grown only a few hundred metres apart. Join us at the portfolio event to taste these wines back to back…then you’ll appreciate the difference terroir makes.

Right now in the vineyard

When I interviewed Jeff in the balmy days before Christmas, he explained that with this weird & mysterious weather, the warm temperatures don’t allow vines go dormant. If winter arrives slowly & gradually – that is good. If there is a quick drop in temperature it will be painful. This means that the sap in the buds will freeze & die. Those buds would have become grapes. After last year’s harsh winter, a moderate ‘warm’ winter would be a gift.
Here’s to David, Jeff & the Coyote’s Run team!



Rare Vintage Chardonnay 2014 $24.95

“We avoid the term Reserved. In our view it is overused and because of that, it’s significance is lessened”, explained Jeff. Rare Vintage wines are only made with exceptional grapes in exceptional years. “The wines are truly the best of the best. We select individual barrels to make the final blend. In 2014 our entire crop of Chardonnay from the Red Paw vineyard was remarkable that we used all of it to make this Rare Vintage wine.”
Savvy Sommelier Tasting Notes: Whether you love Chardonnay or not, we are certain that you will enjoy every drop. Elegant with aromas of toasted almond, tropical fruit (think pineapple & banana) that follows through in the taste. Warm spices, white pepper & vanilla round on the finish makes this medium bodied wine playful in your mouth. An absolutely well balanced wine that lingers forever…and makes you thirsty for more!
Suggested Food Pairing: This wine stumped me.I could not decide only one recipe to share. I kept the bottle in my fridge for a week and served a splash with different dishes to see which worked best. Pork tenderloin with a mango chutney played well. Indian Butter Chicken curry did too. Pan seared Rainbow trout was to die for when paired with this Chardonnay. Even the holiday cheese board sang with this wine! Net-Net: this wine is very versatile. Being the New Year, our team of Savvy Sommeliers couldn’t resist pairing with a Cheese Fondue recipe – make yours or try the one below.

Rare Vintage Cabernet Syrah VQA 2012 $32.95

Jeff explains, “2012 was a hot vintage. Our yields were very low. We did not have much in the way of grapes for either Cabernet Sauvignon or Syrah, so we decided to do something different & blend them. It is certainly a different style of blend in the Niagara…and wine writers and our customers were expecting something different.
Savvy Sommelier Tasting Notes: “Silk & elegance sums it up for me,” Jeff explained and we definitely agree. Incredibly dark and nearly opaque this a definitely a winter wine that will lure you. Heart warming aromas of mincemeat, cloves, blackberry & dark chocolate even ink. A big bold red wine…when was the last time you said that about a red from Ontario?
Suggested Food Pairing: Grab your coat…you’ll want to be firing up the BBQ for this wine. Steak – your favorite cut, lamb chops or if it is too cold to venture outside, then a roast or prime rib will definitely do the trick. We have tempted you with a Flank Steak recipe below.
Cellaring: This wine is ready now or will cellar a further 2 to 5 years.

Black Paw Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon VQA 2013 $20.95

“In my opinion that there are relatively few places in Niagara that could grow Cabernet Sauvignon. Knowing this, we put a small experimental block in our vineyard and the resulting wines were nice. Like Bordeaux yet in our Black Paw soil. Now we have over 6 acres and have been growing the variety since 2010. Dave & I love growing Cabernet Sauvignon. The vines produce so much fruit to work with. And the wine coming from this Black Paw soil are outstanding no matter what weather Mother Nature challenges us with.”
Savvy Sommelier Tasting Notes: Rich, big & loaded with flavour. It’s stunning. Another example showing that Ontario can make big reds. Intensely dark in colour & reminiscent of red & black fruit (think plums, figs, berries) that will WOW you with the aroma, then continues into the taste. There is a solid back bone that gives it a long lingering finish that makes this a full flavoured wine – kudos to Dave, Chris & the winemaking team for another hands down great wine.
Suggested Food Pairing: A steak would be delicious, yet at this price make it your house wine and serve it with pizza, grilled sausages, meatloaf, pasta or even pork chops. The list goes on. Jeff confessed that he does most of the cooking at home and offers his Italian Sausage & Kale Soup to enjoy with this wine…yes soup & wine….and crusty bread too!



With Rare Vintage Chardonnay…

Classic Cheese Fondue

Source: All Recipes.com
Photo credit: Kraft.ca


1 cup white wine
1 Tbsp butter
1 Tbsp all-purpose flour
7 ounces Gruyere cheese – grated
7 ounces old Cheddar cheese – grated
7 ounces Emmental cheese (or Swiss) – grated


Bring the wine to a boil in a small saucepan.
Meanwhile, melt the butter in a medium saucepan over medium low heat. Whisk in the flour, and cook for about 5 minutes, stirring constantly to avoid sticking and burning.
Once the flour is cooked, stir the wine into the flour mixture slowly. Use a whisk to smooth the mixture. Slowly add Gruyere, Cheddar, and Emmental cheese; stir until cheese is melted. Transfer cheese mixture to fondue pot. Keep warm over low flame.
Serve with thick slices of baguette, broccoli spears, wedges of apple & pear, a variety of mushrooms, thick slices of your favorite sausages (cooked)…and any other dipping accompaniment.
Call friends over…or make it for a date night.

With Rare Vintage Cabernet Syrah

Grilled Marinated Flank Steak

recipe & photo credit:Simply Recipes


1/3 cup olive oil
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 Tbsp red wine vinegar
1/3 cup soy sauce
1/4 cup honey
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
2 pounds flank steak


Combine the marinade ingredients in a large non-reactive bowl. Place steak in the bowl and turn so that it is completely coated with the marinade. (You can also place the steak and marinade in a freezer bag and place it in a bowl.) Chill and marinate for at least 2 hours and up to overnight.
Prepare your grill for high, direct heat with one part of the grill for lower, indirect heat. The grill is hot enough when you hold your hand about an inch over the hot side and you can only hold it there for about a second.
Remove the steak from the marinade and gently shake off the excess marinade from the steak (but make sure there is still a coating of it, you’ll want the oil on it to help keep the steak from sticking to the grill). Place steak on the hot side of the grill. Grill for a minute or two on each side to get a good sear, then move the steak to the cooler side of the grill, cover and cook a few minutes more until done to your liking.
When the steak has cooked to your preferred level of doneness, remove from the grill and place on a cutting board. Cover with aluminum foil to hold in the heat while the steak rests for 10 to 15 minutes.
Notice the direction of the muscle fibers of the steak; this is called the grain of the meat. Flank steak is a very lean cut that will be tough and chewy unless you cut it in a way that breaks up the muscle fibers. So, cut the steak across the grain of the meat, at a steep diagonal, so that the slices are wide. It is easiest to use a long serrated bread knife for this, but any long sharp knife will do.

With Black Paw Cabernet Sauvignon…

Italian Sausage & Kale Soup

from Jeff Aubry’s kitchen to yours

Black Paw Cab Sauv and Sausage Kale SoupIngredients

Italian sausages – however many you can eat
pasta noodles of your choice¼ cup olive oil
4-6 crushed cloves of garlic
4 cups vegetable stock
½ Tbsp freshly ground sage
1/2 Tbsp paprika
1 tsp fresh thyme
1 can diced stewed  tomatoes
handful of kale, torn


Grill 3 hot Italian sausages, set them aside. Boil ½ pound of pasta noodles – I prefer fusili or orzo.
In a ¼ cup of olive oil, sauté 4-6 crushed garlic cloves until golden. Add 4 cups veggie bouillon, ½ tbsp freshly ground sage, 1/2 Tbsp paprika, and 1 tsp. fresh thyme. Add one can diced stewed  tomatoes, and boil for 2 mins.
In the bowl, spoon in a 1/2 cup of cooked pasta, add a handful of torn kale, and some sausage slices (1/4 thick). Ladle the hot soup over top and voila!
Variations include spinach instead of kale, and tortellini instead of sausage.

Here’s to 2016 & your wine soaked discovery with Savvy Selections!


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