Event Details

Wine Tastings

Test your Tastebuds!

A first of its kind event – a blind wine tasting! The Savvy Grapes hosted an interactive & fun evening where each wine was hidden giving guests the opportunity to identify (or guess!) the grape variety.

Viva España!

Accredited Sommeliers Debbie Trenholm & Susan Desjardins hosted a filled evening featuring wineries that Susan discovered on her recent trip to Spain.

Wines to Warm your Winter

It might be a winter wonderland outside, but, The Savvy Grapes helped a sold out crowd take the chill off winter with a Sommelier led wine tasting of full bodied red wines.

You be the Judge!

The Cellars of the World Wine Competition was held in conjunction with the Ottawa Wine & Food Show. Over 400 wines were judged by wine writers, wine industry professionals & Sommeliers. The competition was organized The Savvy Grapes. At this special wine tasting, participants sampled eight of the top medals & the ‘best of show’ winners…BLIND.

Green Wines & Green Thumbs!

The Savvy Grapes featured organic wines while Gardening Guru, Ed Lawrence provided gardening tips during the busiest gardening time of the year.

Hidden Gems

So many wines, so little time!  With stores full of rows upon rows of wines waiting to be enjoyed, it is too easy to just select a wine that you know.

Treasures from Tuscany

Accredited Sommeliers from The Savvy Grapes shared stories about their recent travels to Tuscany while guests sampled regional wines, olive oils & balsamic vinegars.

Red, White & Drunk All Over

Featuring award winning author & Sommelier, Natalie MacLean, who lead our guests chapter by chapter sampling wines featured in her new book.

Discover the Wonderful World of Single Malt Scotch

Scotch whisky is similar to wine as there are different styles, flavours, not to mention a rich heritage. The Savvy Grapes’ guest speaker, Tim Collins, is well known in Ottawa as both a wine expert & as a scotch aficionado.

Tempting Tempranillo

An Evening of Spanish Wine & Tapas

There is a mystery surrounding Spanish wines.  They are rich in heritage & made with indigenous grape varieties.  Yet these wines are often overlooked…but not at this wine tasting!

The World of Ports

Guest speaker, Tony Suarez, President of the Portuguese Wine Society & owner of Lisbon Bakery in Ottawa guided our guests through the World of Ports…and he knows his ports!

Clink & Drink Pink!

A Rosé Wine Tasting

The Savvy Grapes welcomed in the summer with a Rosé wine tasting.  Whether you call this wine Blush, Rosé (French), Rosato (Italian) or Clarete (Spanish) a sold out crowd enjoyed the diverse range of refreshing flavours of these summertime wines.

An Evening with ‘The Prince of Grapes’

Often referred by winemakers as, ‘The Prince of Grapes’, Pinot Noir reigns as the quintessential grape & the world’s most sought after wine.  Guests joined us for a unique wine tasting of Pinot Noir wines from Niagara.

Winemaker’s Dinners

Savvy Supper Series

Launched in 2008 at the new TRIO Restaurant, these special wine and dining events showcase Canadian winemakers and their premium wines. At each event, guests meet and mingle with the people devoted to making premium wines.  During supper, the featured winemaker shares stories and secrets about their winery, winemaking techniques, and their vineyard.  The wine selection is paired with a new gourmet menu that includes a series of ‘tasting plates’ featuring items from TRIO’s menu that changes with each season. During the evening, the featured winemaker, TRIO’s Executive Chef and Sommeliers from The Savvy Grapes visit each guests’ table to answer any wine and food questions. Featured wineries & winemakers include – David Johnson of Featherstone Estate Winery, Frederic Pickard of Huff Estates and Carlo Negri of Colio Estate Winery.

Dining with Winemakers @ Noon

Featuring Niagara and Prince Edward County wineries, guests met winemakers and winery owners who shared stories and secrets about their winery, their vineyard and their wines. Each event was a fascinating experience featuring wines from an established winery, an up and coming winery and a new winery in Ontario’s wine regions.

A Nova Scotia Kitchen Party

What a party! The Savvy Grapes were delighted to host a winemaker’s dinner featuring Hans Christian Jost of Jost Vineyards and Halifax’s renown Sommeliers Sean Buckland & Mark DeWolf.

Due to the overwhelming response to the first Nova Scotia Kitchen Party, The Savvy Grapes, together with Nova Scotia Tourism, hosted the 2nd annual Nova Scotia Kitchen Party at Daly’s Restaurant at the Westin Ottawa Hotel.  Guests met winemaker Gina Haverstock of Gaspereau Vineyard and over dinner were entertained with performances by Acadian dancers, Celtic musicians, bagpipers and Citadel Hill’s infantry.

The Tastes of Tuscany

Mama Mia – What a night! The Savvy Grapes featured Tuscan winemaker, Luca Vitali, from Croce di Bibbiano Winery and Lonardi Winery.  The sold out crowd, had the opportunity to meet the winemaker and sample his Chiantis, Ripasso and Super Tuscan wines with a Tuscan inspired five course meal.

Toasting Talent

A one of a kind evening of Canadian wines and gourmet food featuring not one, but three women winemakers including…Winemaker Natalie Spytkowsky from Angels Gate Winery, Industry Pioneer and Grape Grower Donna Lailey of Lailey Vineyard, and Winemaker Beth Mischuk of Kacaba Winery.

Two Great Winemakers, Two Vineyards…Too Good to Miss!

Winemakers Derek Barnett of Lailey Vineyards and David Johnson of Featherstone Estates Winery educated and entertained guests with their wines and stories to a full house at inFusion Bistro in Ottawa.

An Award Winning Evening

Internationally recognized winemaker, Su-Ann Staff of Pillitteri Estates shared her winemaking passion and her award winning wines at Wine Spectator’s Award Winner Vittoria Trattoria’s Restaurant in Ottawa.

Sommelier led dinners

A Chinese Celebration!

Dennis and Ruby Luc, owners of Mekong Restaurant, hosted two back-to-back dinners where 40 plus guests joined them at their table for a special evening of Chinese food paired with Canadian wines specially selected by The Savvy Grapes Sommelier, Debbie Trenholm.  Mekong Restaurant is one of Chinatown’s landmarks and these special dinners marked 20 plus years in business.

Taste Around the World Dinner Series

Can’t get away? Guests enjoyed the foods & wines of Morocco, France & Italy without leaving Ottawa! Chef Ken Harper of Chop Chop Catering & Sommelier Debbie Trenholm created a fun, educational & enjoyable series of evenings.

A Moroccan Feast

Canadian Living Magazine food editor Elizabeth Baird, along with The Savvy Grapes Sommeliers hosted an exclusive fundraising Sommelier led dinner in support of the Ottawa School Breakfast Program.

Tastes from Sea to Sea

A sold out evening at Lapointe’s Seafood Restaurant, featured the chef’s signature seafood dishes with a selection of wines from Nova Scotia, Ontario & British Columbia.

What goes with Thai?

With its rich flavours and exquisite perfumes, Thai cuisine is one of the most difficult to match. During this six course Thai meal, Sommeliers paired each dish with wines from around the world.

Wine & Food Shows

Cellars of the World Wine Competition

Since 2005, Debbie Trenholm has chaired the annual Cellars of the World Wine Competition associated with the Ottawa Wine and Food Show. Each year, more than 300 bottles of wine have been entered into this prestigious event. Behind closed doors, a panel of 25 plus judges—including representatives of the wine media, professional sommeliers and wine educators—judge the wine entries ‘blind’. Debbie and her Savvy team develop and manage all aspects of the competition leading up to the big day. This involves hours of logging all entries, liaising with wineries and agents, inviting judges and recruiting a team of more than 20 volunteers to make the competition run smoothly and professionally. Debbie oversees every aspect of the competition, leading to the announcement of the medal winners.

Chefs Charity Café

Since its inception in 2002, The Savvy Grapes have been on the organizing team and a lead sponsor for this annual event where executive chefs from Ottawa and Gatineau top hotels created delicious hors d’oeuvres & desserts before your eyes.  Each hotel is elegantly paired with a Canadian winery or brewery for a delicious food and wine experience. This is one of Ottawa’s must attend events with over 500 people participating each year.

An Evening with Maximilian Riedel

This was quite a night!  Maximilian Riedel, the 11th generation Austrian crystal maker, whose family crafts the world’s most famous glassware, was in Ottawa to showcase how Riedel glasses enhances the aromas & tastes of wine.  Mr. Riedel introduced their latest line “Vitis” glassware & shared the podium with renowned Sommeliers Véronique Rivest – Canada’s Best Sommelier 2006 & internationally acclaimed Wine Woman 2007, Debbie Trenholm – President & Founder of The Savvy Grapes, Stephen Beckta – Proprietor of Beckta dining & wine, James Bertrand – President of National Capital Sommelier Guild and Vic Haradine – co-author of Wine Current

Feast of Fields – Canadian Organic Growers Feast of Fields

Since 2006, The Savvy Grapes has been the Sommeliers and a sponsor of this fun Sunday afternoon wine and food event. While 500 plus ticket holders nibbled on appetizers made by top Ottawa chefs using local & organic produce, The Savvy Grapes Sommeliers presented food and wine pairings seminars featuring Ontario wines.  Everyone savoured the year’s harvest fresh from the farm, creatively prepared by Ottawa ‘s top chefs.

Vines to Wine

In 2006, Paul Minaker, owner of Thirty Three Vines invited his more than 400 Founder’s Circle members to his vineyard to help with planting vines and see how the building of the winery was coming along. The Savvy team helped plan and execute this ‘by invitation only’ event, which allowed early supporters of Thirty Three Vines’ to connect to the winery and cement their loyalty. To top it all off, the visitors were invited to an exclusive and private concert featuring the Jim Cuddy Band. The day-long festivities required months of planning, project management, marketing, media profiling and special promotions. The Savvy Team delivered a memorable day with rave reviews. More than 300 people visited the winery and 500 attended the concert.

The BIG Art Event

An Evening of Fine Food, Fine Wine & Fine Art

For two consecutive years, The Savvy Grapes was a sponsor for the Big Brothers & Big Sisters of Ottawa annual fundraising event.  As Sommeliers for the corporate sponsorship wine tasting reception during the art preview and pairing the evening’s dinner with a variety of wines, this evening of fine food, wine and art was a sell out event.

The WBN President’s Holiday Event

The Savvy Grapes and the Women’s Business Network hosted a relaxed, interactive and a unique way to meet business women of Ottawa…over a glass of wine. During the evening, Accredited Sommelier, Debbie Trenholm, provided 300+ participants insight on the wine selection, wine tasting techniques, interesting stories about the winemaker and ‘rules of thumb’ for matching wines with foods.

Ottawa Home & Garden Show

Accredited Sommeliers of The Savvy Grapes hosted daily presentations on the Main Stage with chefs from Ottawa’s acclaimed catering companies to showcase Canadian wines and local cuisine.