Closing off the year with award winning wines from Sandbanks

Share

Savvy Selections - Ontario wine of the month club

Savvy Selections wine of the month club
Featuring Sandbanks Estate Winery

–  December 2013 –

When you hear the word ‘Sandbanks’, you may immediately think of the Provincial Park with fine sand beaches.  But many others associate this name to excellent wine, an iconic Prince Edward County winery & brightly coloured Muskoka chairs that grace the property. Catherine Langlois the owner and winemaker says the chairs match her approach to her winery; which is to make it feel like a holiday when you visit. Wine tours often end up making this winery the last stop (intentionally or not) to enjoy sipping Sandbank’s award winning while kicking back the signature chairs overlooking the vineyard. 

Our Savvy Sommelier Erin Bolling chatted with Sandbanks Estates Winery owner & winemaker, Catherine Langlois initially at the Ottawa Wine & Food Show where Catherine was beaming from ear to ear because her Shiraz was named Best in Show Red Wine. Very impressive!  Then Erin caught up with Catherine a second time at the winery.  Read below in this Savvy eZine to learn more about Catherine’s approach to wine and some of the exciting plans she has for the future at Sandbanks Estates Winery.

In your Savvy Selections, you will find:

Sandbanks Pinot Grigio VQA 2012 $16.95 A lovely and full Pinot Grigio that will be a crowd pleaser with its notes of pear and tropical overtures. One panel member who is not a Pinot Grigio drinker in general said she could sip this all day long! Perfect to bring to a party…if you want to part with it!  

Sandbanks French Kiss VQA 2011 – $19.95  A French style Bordeaux blend that keeps you coming back for more. Erin recounted that this wine reminded her of the wines she drank while visiting France last May.  

Cabernet Franc Reserve VQA 2012 – $29.95 A BIG red for the holidays and chilly nights is perfect this time and year and this wine will not disappoint. Catherine said it is one of the wines she is most proud of. This cherry chocolate wine evolves nicely in the glass and lasts long on the palate.

OPTIONAL WINE:

Sandbanks Shiraz VQA 2011 $19.95 –  A recent winner of Best In Show Red at the Ottawa Food and Wine Show held in early November. This pleasing and peppery wine beat out many other international wines for this honour.

Sandbanks Love $14.95 –  A delightful blend of white wine and organic cassis! Perfect on its own or as part of a cocktail….read on for more details.  

You may find some Sandbanks Estate Winery wines at the LCBO …

Similar to other wineries we have featured in Savvy Selections, some Sandbanks wines are on the LCBO shelves. Yet, there are many of their wines that are not.  If you would like additional bottles of your favourite Sandbanks wine – or other featured Ontario wineries – just give me a call on 613-SAVVYCO (728-8926) or send me an email to debbie@savvycompany.ca to arrange an additional delivery for you. It is always my pleasure to introduce you to wonderful new Ontario wines!

Cheers & have a fantastic holiday season!

Debbie & the Savvy Team

 

Introducing…
Sandbanks Estates Winery

Presented by Savvy Sommelier Erin Bolling

As a new year approaches, I am already filling up my 2014 calendar with plans. One definite trip will be taking my family to our local wine region of Prince Edward County (PEC) or what we call ‘The County” in particular to visit Sandbanks Estates Winery. Our plan will be bicycle through the area and end up at the winery to enjoy the wines, the live entertainment (being planned now) and of course relax in those iconic Muskoka chairs.   

Best In Show

Cathering Langlois (left) is a person who made her dreams happen. She parlayed her love of the farming life and wine in to a career as a successful winemaker and owner. From a student in Burgundy France to a wine sales rep and sommelier, she has had a hand in all aspects of the business. Recently, she won an award that shows how far her talent and experience have taken her. The day I caught up with this busy lady (and mother of two) at the Ottawa Wine and Food Show her booth had a lineup of wine lovers wanting a taste of Sandbanks Shiraz (an optional wine this month) that won Best In Show Red against numerous other international wines. Catherine is certainly doing her part to help put PEC & Canadian wines on the world wine map! 

When congratulated on the award she told me how much it means to her. She began her career as a winery sales rep in the Ottawa area, living in Westboro. She would often encounter Peter Ward who was the Ottawa Citizen wine columnist at the time.  Peter was somebody Catherine looks up to – still to this day even though he is retired. The award the Shiraz won is also known as the ‘Peter Ward Award’. She felt it was as though he was giving her a little wink when her winery achieved this status.  

In addition to winning awards, Catherine said that the best compliments in regards to her wines are when she hears, “Where is this wine from?” in happy disbelief. She was enthused to connect with colleagues in her field at the show and to see how far the winemaking in ‘The County’ and Ontario has come. When asked what her favourite non-Sandbanks wine was she responded “There are just too many good wines to choose from”.   

Catherine is an Ontario transplant from L’Isle D’Orleans in Quebec. She grew up in a family of artists in a farming community and has always felt that her favourite part of the business is being in the fields. She hires local people as part of her team and appreciates their background in farming since PEC (Prince Edward County) has long been a farming region of Ontario.  Did you know Sandbanks uses biodynamic practices? At certain times of the year an average day is 18 hours.  

So what happens after harvest? Since PEC is at least a zone colder than Niagara the vines have to be hilled up (this is a vineyard management practice of burying the vines in extra soil for the winter to preserve buds). Her wines are being taken care of by cold stabilizing the whites and putting the reds through the process of malolactic fermentation. It all requires great attention to detail but she can relax and enjoy winter.  

From a Pile of Rocks

The six acres that make up Sandbanks started out as a pile of rocks. Catherine used her know how and spirit to transform that into the thriving vineyard it is today. She always knew she wanted to make big approachable wines that can be enjoyed with family on a Tuesday or a special occasion. She does produce quality Pinot Noir and Chardonnay like many of the other County wineries but her passion is for hybrids. New to the lineup this year is a Dunes Red – an interesting blend of Marechal Foch with its intense flavor and a bit of Gamay for ripe fruit aromas & tastes.  

The winery has always been a family run affair. When Catherine and her husband first started the winery in 2000, they lived in a house on the property that included the winery and tasting room on the main floor. In 2010, they opened a new tasting room and The Gallery which displays her mother’s art that also adds flair to the colourful and easily recognizable Sandbanks labels. When asked what is next she shared that they are in the process of building a new winemaking and storage facility right now. Some of the 2013 wine will be bottled in that building if all goes according to plan.   

Day Camp for Adults

Catherine’s approach wine is to make it “festive not exclusive” and maintain a family atmosphere. An example of that approach is the annual Harvest Party.  It started out as a family and friends activity. Chantal – the winery’s Office Manager offered to come in from Montreal to help and cook lunch. The experience was so enjoyable it was repeated and expanded on – big time! Now the event sees upwards of 450 people come over 2 weekends to help. A wide range of people from 8 – 88 years old came this year. Catherine feels this helps her customers connect with the wine they drink and make the industry as a whole more approachable. She described it as the following “It’s like a giant day camp for adults and by the end of the day you’ve had fun with the whole group”. It was a recipe for success.  

Cheers & enjoy your Savvy Selections!

 

~ SAVVY SOMMELIER TASTING NOTES ~

Pinot Grigio VQA 2012, $16.95

This full bodied white wine is sure to be a crowd pleaser.  The colour is clear pale straw with a slight tint of pink. The aromas & flavours may remind you of summer but they as you are about to see they are enjoyable any time of year.   

Savvy Sommelier Tasting Notes:  On the nose as well as in the taste, this is a luscious and aromatic wine. There are notes of pear, sweet white flowers and toast. When you take a quaff there is zippy lime and papaya at play that last for a long finish.   

Suggested Food Pairing:  An excellent wine on its own when chilled, but an easy food match as well. The panel agreed on sushi and Thai curry as pairings. Since this is the entertaining season we have a recipe for Vegetable Rice Paper Rolls with Thai Dipping Sauce to try your hand at & pair with this wine. – see a bit further below in this blog.  

Sandbanks French Kiss VQA 2011 $19.95

The brainchild of Catherine’s husband this Cabernet/Merlot blend is a classic French style wine and well worth putting on your holiday wish list. 

Savvy Sommelier Tasting Notes: A beautiful plum coloured wine that opens up in the glass to reveal aromas of red berries, roses and Christmas spices (cloves perhaps?) The palate follows through with a pleasant jamminess and fig with a long peppery finish. Our Sommelier tasting panel noticed that aromas changed as the wine breathed in the glass but still remained strong when tasted again the next day

Suggested Food Pairing:  The Savvy Selections tasting panel thought this would be a lovely wine for the traditional Canadian holiday favourite of Tourtière. We’ve found great example with lamb for you to enjoy based on Carlo Rota’s Blog ‘More Than Burnt Toast’.

Cabernet Franc Reserve VQA  2012  $29.95

‘This is the best wine that I have ever made’, states Catherine. From the start, she has wanted to produce full bodied wines at an affordable price and this is one that delivers on both counts.

Savvy Sommelier Tasting Notes: A deep garnet coloured wine chock full of flavor that develops in the glass. Focused  aromas &juicy flavours of raspberries, plum and chocolate. There is a hint of red licorice or cherry pie filling which is a pleasant alternative to some of the green pepper present in some Cabernet Francs. The smooth plush tannins allow this medium full bodied wine to linger for a juicy finish.

Suggested Food Pairing: Giving a nod to the Jewish holiday of Chanukah, we thought this wine would pair well with a beef brisket. Erin shares her Brisket in Cola – a recipe that Erin’s family loves at Chanukah or Christmas. 

Cellaring: This wine is ready now, or can be cellared for 2-4 years

~ RECIPES TO ENJOY WITH YOUR SAVVY SELECTIONS ~

 With Sandbanks Pinot Grigio VQA 2012…

Vegetable Summer Rolls

From Epicurious.com
Serves 8

Ingredients 
For peanut sauce

3 tablespoons finely chopped onion
1 small garlic clove, minced
3/4 teaspoon dried hot red pepper flakes
1 teaspoon vegetable oil
3 tablespoons water
1 tablespoon creamy peanut butter
1 tablespoon hoisin sauce
1 teaspoon tomato paste
3/4 teaspoon sugar

For summer rolls

1 ounce bean thread noodles (cellophane noodles)
1 tablespoon seasoned rice vinegar
4 (8-inch) rice-paper rounds, plus additional in case some tear
2 red-leaf lettuce leaves, ribs cut out and discarded and leaves halved
1/4 cup fresh mint leaves
1/4 cup fresh basil leaves (preferably Thai)
1/2 cup thinly sliced Napa cabbage
1/4 cup fresh cilantro leaves
1/3 cup coarsely shredded carrot (1 medium)

Method

Cook onion, garlic, and red pepper flakes in oil in a small heavy saucepan over moderate heat, stirring, until pale golden, about 4 minutes. Whisk in remaining sauce ingredients. Simmer, whisking, 1 minute, then cool.

Make summer rolls:

Cover noodles with boiling-hot water and soak 15 minutes, then drain well in a sieve. Pat dry between paper towels and toss with vinegar and salt to taste.

Put a double thickness of paper towel on a work surface and fill a shallow baking pan with warm water. Soak 1 rice-paper round (make sure there are no holes) in warm water until pliable, 30 seconds to 1 minute, then transfer to paper towels.

Arrange 1 piece of lettuce on bottom half of soaked rice paper, folding or tearing to fit and leaving a 1-inch border along edge. Spread one fourth of peanut sauce over lettuce and top with one fourth each of mint, basil, cabbage, and noodles. Roll up rice paper tightly around filling and, after rolling halfway, arrange one fourth of cilantro and carrot along crease. Then fold in sides and continue rolling. Transfer summer roll to a plate and cover with dampened paper towels. Serve rolls halved on the diagonal.

Enjoy!

 

With Sandbanks French Kiss VQA 2011 …

Lamb Tourtiere

Based on the recipe from Carlo Rota’s More Than Burnt Toast

Serves 4

Ingredients

Pastry

2 cups flour
1 cup cold butter
pinch of salt
14 tablespoons iced water


Filling

4 onions, finely chopped
2 large baking potatoes, grated
1 large red bell pepper, chopped
1 pound lean ground beef
2 pounds ground shoulder lamb
½ bottle red wine
2 sprigs fresh rosemary, chopped
1/2 – 1 teaspoon grated orange zest
1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
salt and pepper
1/4 pound fresh goat’s cheese
1 egg, beaten

 

Method

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F

To prepare pastry: In food processor pulse flour, butter and salt together. Add iced water and pulse together. Chill.

To Make Filling: In large oven-proof casserole bowl add all ingredients (except goats cheese and egg) and simmer in oven for an hour. Stir mixture well and return to cook for an extra half hour. Let Cool.

To assemble: In 9 inch pie plate, roll out pastry. Spoon cool meat mixture into pie. Crumble goat’s cheese all over the surface. Cover with top layer of pastry and seal edges with fork. Prick pie with fork. Brush with egg and return to 350 degree oven for 25 minutes.

 

With Sandbanks Cabernet Franc Reserve VQA 2012 …

‘Couldn’t Be ANY Easier Brisket with Coke’

From www.TexasCook.com
Serves 6

Ingredients

3-4 lbs. boneless beef brisket
1 bottle chili sauce
1 can Coke
1 packet dry onion soup mix

 

Method

Preheat oven to 300°F.

Combine chili sauce, Coke and soup mix.

Place brisket in a foil-lined baking pan. Pour sauce mixture over brisket and cover with another sheet of foil sealing edges.

Bake at 300°F for 3 to 3-1/2 hours until tender. Carve brisket against the grain and serve the pan juices as a sauce.

Note from Erin: I cook this over thinly sliced onions that carmelize that can then be served on top of the brisket.

 

Enjoy your Savvy Selections over the holidays!

 

Share

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,