Savvy Selections e-Zine featuring Malivoire Wine Company


Featuring Malivoire Wine Company
Canada’s wineries delivered to your doorstep


April is a month of many celebrations.  Not only are we celebrating the arrival of Spring, the Savvy Selections featured winery, Malivoire Wine Company, is celebrating the launch of its new branding.  In fact, you are the first to hold in your hands wines sporting Malivoire’s refreshed look.  The official by-invitation-only launch takes place next week on April 15th in Toronto, hosted by winery owner Martin Malivoire.  While media and wine industry personalities nibble on a menu created by renowned chef Jamie Kennedy, Martin and his winemaking team will unveil the winery’s new ‘alive’ and ‘reflective’ branding.  More on the following pages….


In this month’s Savvy Selections, you will find:

– Chardonnay Musqué VQA 2008– a fun wine! Off dry with a little spritz to put you in the celebration spirit.

– Pinot Gris VQA 2008– chill and have on hand to serve this long weekend.

– Gamay VQA 2006 – a Malivoire signature – delicious, medium bodied red wine that consistently impresses


Recently, I had the pleasure of interviewing Martin Malivoire who reflected on how his winery has lead a number of innovations that are now part of the landscape in the Ontario wine industry.  In this Savvy e-zine, read about Malivoire’s gravity pull winemaking technique (Malivoire was the first winery in Niagara, now there are three), the reason for the new look and design and as always, included are the Savvy Sommelier tasting notes and recipes chosen to enjoy with these wines.


What are you celebrating?

The Savvy Sommeliers selected these Malivoire wines for you to enjoy and we are always interested in your impressions or what occasion you uncorked – or in Malivoire’s case ‘un-twisted’ – this month’s Savvy Selections. We look forward to hearing from you.


Add more bottles to your cellar?

If you would like to order additional Malivoire wines or wines from previously featured wineries in the Savvy Selections, just give me a call….it would be my pleasure to organize a shipment for you.


Cheers & here’s to the arrival of Spring!

Debbie & the Savvy Team


PS – Have you seen the recently released Canadian made movie One Week? Starring Joshua Jackson, his character, Ben Tyler, is confronted with his mortality as he takes a road trip on a vintage motorcycle across Canada. What starts off as an ill-defined venture soon morphs into a quest for the West Coast….with several bottles of Malivoire wines to help ‘fuel’ the journey. Keep a look out for bottles of Malivoire wines on the set. 




Malivoire Wine Company

Presented by Sommelier Debbie Trenholm


My interest in Malivoire began in 2001 while I was enrolled in the Queen’s University Executive MBA Program.  Using this as an entrée to become involved in the wine industry, Malivoire was my first business consulting ‘gig’. This experience gave me an insight to Malivoire’s unique gravity pull winemaking technique, their dedication to organic grape growing and winemaking practices, as well as the fascinating people who make the impressive wines. 


Over the years, Malivoire has been involved in several facets of The Savvy Grapes and Savvy Company.  They were the featured winery in one of our first winemaker’s dinners, were showcased in the Savvy Selections in May 2006 and we continue to showcase their wines in our various events. 


And I helped hand during their icewine harvest! One January evening in 2002, after a day of meetings at the winery, my cell phone rang around 11:30pm.  On the other end was Malivoire’s winemaker at the time, Ann Sperling, inviting to join the team who had just headed into the vineyards to pick icewine grapes because the temperature had reached -8C (the required temperature to pick and crush grapes for icewine). Now, that was a uniquely Canadian experience that I will never forget despite the chilly temperatures!


Whether harvesting during the fall or winter, the gravity pull winemaking technique makes Malivoire a fascinating winery to visit.  Martin Malivoire was inspired by this approach to winemaking while traveling wine regions in France.  The objective is to use natural forces rather than rely on electricity throughout each stage of the winemaking process. 


The location of Malivoire in Beamsville, on the natural slope of the Niagara Escarpment, is ideal. When the grapes are harvested, they are delivered to the Crush Level at the top of the hill.  Then, throughout the winemaking process, the wine naturally flows from tank to tank down to the Press Level. The wines are finished on the Bottling Level where they are bottled and ready to be sampled by the visitors in the Tasting Room, also located on the ground floor.  Winemakers believe that by using gravity to flow the wine from tank to tank, minimizes stress on the wine that could impact on the overall quality.


“Our approach is to under promise while over delivering when making our wines.  It is important to me to make quality wines that are affordable so everyone can enjoy them”, explains Martin. With this in mind, Malivoire has developed a two teir wine portfolio – one that focuses on Malivoire’s ‘main five wines’ – Pinot Gris, Chardonnay, Rosé, Gamay and Pinot Noir. Beginning with the 2008 vintage, wines made with these grape varieties are labeled with the new ‘alive’ logo.  “When the graphic designer presented us with a variety of label mockups, we were amazed when we saw the word alive jump out at us within the name Malivoire when stacked. The word captures everything that I have been trying to create at the winery over the past 10+ years – the spirit of the place, our ongoing commitment as stewards of the land, and the quality of the wines”, Martin says proudly.


The second tier wines are identified with the ‘reflective’ label where the M is mirrored by a W symbolizing Malivoire Wines.  These wines are considered limited editions with a ‘cult like’ following of discerning customers patiently awaiting for the release of these premium wines.  As you would expect these wines – Chardonnay Musqué, Moira Vineyard Chardonnay, Moira Vineyard Pinot Noir and Old Vines Foch – sell quickly as they are not crafted each year. 


We are excited to share with you Malivoire wines sporting the old look as well as the two new labels.




~Savvy Sommelier Tasting Notes ~


Malivoire Chardonnay Musqué VQA 2008, $20

I am thrilled to be able to share this wine with you.  Not to be confused with Chardonnay, this is a unique grape variety – a Muscat clone of Chardonnay (specifically clone 809), that produces grapes with intense aromas.  Malivoire originally intended to use the grapes for blending, yet with the overwhelming aromatics, the idea grew to make a low alcohol, off dry wine with a delicate spritz with similar to Moscato d’Asti made by Italians.  In my opinion, this wine is a great way to usher in the arrival of Spring.


Savvy Sommelier Tasting Notes: Stunning aromas of lemon and lime with a faint sweetness (does it remind you of lemon gelato?) that carries into the taste along with green apple, peach and a zip of grapefruit. This lively wine surprises many and puts a smile on their face as they discover this delicious elegant wine.


I could drink this wine all day long…and with the low alcohol (only 9%) – why not?


Suggested Food Pairing:  Not to be confused with sparkling wine as the spritz naturally disappears after a few minutes, this wine is easily enjoyed on its own. Serve in a flute glass to welcome guests or at a brunch with fresh cuisine such as Thai Salad Rolls with Sesame Ginger Dipping Sauce – recipe follows.


Cellaring:  Best enjoyed now, although Malivoire’s winemaker states that it could cellar until 2011…why wait?



Malivoire Pinot Gris VQA 2008, $19

“One word comes to mind – fresh”, comments Susan during the Sommelier tasting panel for the Savvy Selections. 


In last month’s Savvy Selections we featured Pillitteri’s Pinot Grigio, this month you have Malivoire’s Pinot Gris.  Same grape variety and same vintage (winespeak: harvest year), have a mini wine tasting and try the two wines side by side to compare the differences and note the similarities.


Savvy Sommelier Tasting Notes: An amazing crystal clear in colour, with aromas of stone fruit (think peach, nectarine, pear) and a slight floral nose (daisy perhaps?). The aromas continue as light acidity reminiscent of juicy white grapefruit through to the finish. A vibrant and refreshing wine that is well balanced, crisp & dry.
Bring on summer!  



Suggested Food Pairing: Another contender to sip on its own. If you serve with food, pair with dishes that are not too heavy or complex in flavours. Steamed mussels, poached fish or chicken, pesto pasta would all be enjoyable with this wine. I could not decide which recipe to showcase, so I offer two:

– Malivoire’s Marinated Mussels

– Poached Chicken on Spring Greens.


Cellaring:  Best enjoyed now or before summer is over.

Malivoire Gamay VQA 2006, $17
Consistently an impressive red wine, Malivoire has perfected the art of making a good Gamay!

Savvy Sommelier Tasting Notes: Fire engine red in colour, aromas of red roses, ripe red fruit (think red currant, strawberry and cranberry) with a hint of vanilla and cinnamon that lingers into the taste. This medium bodied wine is elegant and well balanced with soft tannins and lively acidity that makes it easy to drink. This wine is a good example of Martins’ mantra to under promise and over deliver – hard to believe that it is only $17 bottle.  At this price, it can easily be your house wine during the spring and into the summer months.



Suggested Food Pairing: Well timed for a roast of spring lamb, duck, goose (Martin Malivoire offers his roast goose recipe) or pork tenderloin.  Or fire up the BBQ for homemade hamburgers, ribs, shish kebabs and grilled vegetables.  In fact, this Gamay would equally share the table with roast chicken or turkey.  Almost anything goes with this Gamay.



Cellaring: Drink now or if you rather, stash this bottle away into your cellar for 2 to 3 years. As the wines age, the red fruit aromas, flavours and the tannins will continue to soften. 


~ Recipes to enjoy with Savvy Selections ~


With Malivoire Chardonnay Musqué…

Thai Salad Rolls with Sesame-Ginger Dipping Sauce

From Canadian Gardening Magazine, April 2009

Makes 16 rolls


While rice paper wrappers are customarily used to make this refreshing appetizer, this recipe uses young leaf lettuce for the wrapper, resulting in colourful, flavourful finger fare. Substitute chicken or salmon for the shrimp.


Note: A little of the dipping sauce is used to dress the ingredients, so make it first.



For dipping sauce:

1 tsp Asian chilli sauce (or substitute for ¼ tsp dried red pepper flakes)

2 tsp sesame oil

2 Tbsp rice wine

¼ cup orange juice

6 Tbsp soya sauce

1 tsp freshly grated ginger

2 tsp peanut butter (optional)

Combine all ingredients in a small bowl and mix well.


For rolls:

3 oz thin rice vermicelli noodles

20 pieces of leaf lettuce (16 to be used for wrappers and 4 leafs for the filling)

1 carrot, peeled, halved, cut into matchsticks pieces

1-2 green onions, trimmed, halved, cut into matchsticks

½ seedless cucumber, halved, cut into matchsticks

12 fresh sprigs of coriander

12 fresh leaves of each basil and mint

16 shrimp, cooked, halved lengthwise



Soak vermicelli noodles in cold water for 5 minutes. Drain, then cover with boiling water and let sit for 5 minutes. Drain, rinse well, drain again and pat dry.


Stack 4 remaining lettuce leaves, roll them up and slice into thin strips using a chef’s knife.


Top each whole lettuce leaf with a little of the shredded lettuce, a few noodles, pieces of carrot, green onion and cucumber, a bit of coriander, one basil leaf and one mint leaf, arranging in centre. Add two pieces of shrimp and drizzle with a little of the dressing.


Fold up bottom edge of each lettuce leaf and roll tightly to enclose ingredients. Then arrange on a serving platter seam side down. If not serving right away, cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate.


Malivoire Pinot Gris – Recipe #1

Malivoire’s Marinated Mussels

From www.malivoirewine.com

Serves 4 (as an appetizer)



2 lbs cleaned Mussel meat (approx. 10 lbs. with shells) 

1 cup olive oil

2 Tbsp minced garlic

2 Tbsp chopped shallots

½ bunch fresh dill – stripped from stem

1 Tbsp apple cider vinegar 



Steam mussels and cool for about half an hour. 


Once the mussels are cool, carefully remove the meat from their shells with your fingers or a fork.


Mix together remaining ingredients in a bowl. 


Add mussel ‘meat’, toss with marinade to completely coat. 


Cover and marinade for 12 to 24 hours in refrigerator.


Serve as an appetizer on its own or with crackers, sliced bread or wrapped in lettuce leaf.


Malivoire Pinot Gris – Recipe #2

Poached Chicken on Spring Greens

From Canadian Gardening Magazine, April 2009

Serves 4

A simple preparation that features boneless chicken breasts poached in an aromatic liquid. The flavour-infused chicken is then served over young lettuce, and the entire dish is drizzled with a bright Asian-style dressing.



For dressing:

1-2  fresh hot chilies, finely chopped (use rubber gloves when working with chilies; if you remove the membrane and seeds, they will be milder)
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 Tbsp light brown sugar
1 Tbsp rice vinegar
3  Tbsp fresh lime juice
3  Tbsp fish sauce

Whisk together all ingredients in a small bowl to combine well. Set aside.



For chicken:

3 coriander stems, roots intact, ends trimmed
1 Tbsp black peppercorns
4 slices fresh ginger root
2 green onions, coarsely chopped
½ lemon, thinly sliced
1 cup dry white wine (such as Pinot Grigio, Pinot Gris or Sauvignon Blanc)
1 Tbsp salt
4 boneless chicken breasts
4 cups spring lettuce greens
1 cup sugar snap peas or snow peas, blanched, refreshed in ice water
8 asparagus spears, trimmed, blanched, refreshed in ice water



For garnish:
½  cup coriander leaves
¼ cup mint leaves
Fresh lime wedges


Place coriander, peppercorns, ginger, onions, lemon, wine and salt in a large saucepan. Add 8 cups of water and bring to a boil over high heat.

Add chicken breasts and give a quick stir; turn off heat and cover with a tight-fitting lid. Allow chicken to poach for 2 hours.

To serve: Evenly distribute lettuce, peas and asparagus among four plates. Remove chicken, pat dry and slice on the diagonal into ½-inch (1-cm) pieces. Place atop greens and generously drizzle dressing over each serving. Garnish with coriander, mint and lime. Serve immediately.


With Malivoire Gamay…

Peppercorn Thyme Roasted Goose

From the kitchen of Martin Malivoire



1 whole goose, 8 to 10 lbs cleaned
½ cup extra virgin olive oil
¼ cup butter, cubed
1 large onion, quartered
2 carrots, peeled and chopped
2-3 stalks celery, chopped
3 tbsp peppercorns (green peppercorns preferably)
2 tbsp fresh thyme
1 tbsp fresh garlic, chopped
salt and pepper



1.      Begin by mixing the peppercorns, thyme, garlic, and olive oil together in a small bowl. Season with salt and pepper, set aside.

2.      Prepare the goose by adding salt and pepper to the cavity, then brush the peppercorn mix on the outside, reserving any extra for basting.

3.      In a roasting pan, place the goose on top of the onion, carrots, and celery. Roast for 2 to 2 1/2 hours at 350°F. Baste goose with remaining peppercorn mix and drippings until golden brown, and the liquid from the cavity runs clear. Be cautious drippings do not overflow the roasting pan. Some drippings may need to be taken off.

4.      Remove the goose from the oven and let sit 10-15 minutes before carving.

5.      For simple gravy, strain the drippings into a saucepan. Over medium heat mix in butter and thyme, salt and pepper to taste. Carve & enjoy.


Cheers & Enjoy!
When you would like to order additional Malivoire wines or wines from other featured wineries in the Savvy Selections, simply contact the Savvy Team and we will organize a shipment for you.



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