Posts Tagged ‘Accredited Sommelier David Loan’

Drink Rose ALL Day!

Posted by Debbie

Wednesday, June 6th, 2018
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Our team of Savvy Sommeliers have done the ‘tough work’.  We’ve been sipping & sampling the latest Rosé wines made across Ontario & each month during the summer, we will put together an assortment of the most refreshing wines for you to enjoy.

All you need to do is order before the deadline…or simply subscribe for the summer to get a different combo of refreshing Rosés delivered to your dock, deck or desk. Order here>>

 

Time to get your corkscrew ready to Clink & Drink Pink!

We kicked off the summer with a Bouquet of Rosés in May (perfect for Mother’s Day gifts) then we call it Deck Party Packs as all summer long.

To help you enjoy the Rosé wines to the fullest, our Savvy Sommeliers compiled the Rosé Report – below – with tasting notes, food pairing tips & recipes to serve with the wines we picked for the May parcel.  There will be a completely different assortment of wines this month…and next month too!

13th Street Burger Blend Rosé VQA 2017 – from Twenty Valley (Niagara)

Casa-Dea Estates Cabernet Franc Rosé VQA 2016 – from Prince Edward County

Casa-Dea Estates Dea’s  Rosé Sparkling VQA 2015 – from Prince Edward County

Keint-He Vineyards Portage Rosé VQA 2017 – from Prince Edward County

Pondview Cabernet Franc Rosé VQA 2016 – from Niagara-on-the-Lake

Westcott Vineyards Delphine Rosé VQA 2017 – from Twenty Valley

Several of these Rosés have just been released. And if you the coolest part…these wines are not available at the LCBO, rather they came straight from the winemaker to you.

At any time during the summer, you would like to order additional bottles of your favorite Rosés or other hard-to-find Ontario wines (you know we do craft beers & ciders too!), call us on the Rosé Hotline: 613-SAVVYCO (728-8926)

 

 

~ The Rosé Report ~

Our Savvy Sommeliers  – Debbie & David – share their tasting notes for the featured wines.

 

13th Street Winery Burger Blend Rosé VQA 2017

$14.95, Twenty Valley (Niagara Escarpment)

Part of 13th Street’s “Burger Blend” series, these fun and affordable blends are perfect for summer! This barely off-dry rosé combines Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, Merlot & Pinot Noir.

Savvy Sommelier Tasting Notes: Beautiful, summery notes of strawberries and orange with a hint of red cherry. While there’s a bit of sweetness, there’s also bracing acidity – and it’s that sweet and sour affect that real makes this wine a pleaser. It’s crisp and citrusy.

Suggested Food Pairing: Try this with a chilled cucumber soup on a warm day or enjoy it all by itself!

 

 

Casa-Dea Estates Winery Dea Cuvée VQA 2015

$21.95, Prince Edward County

One of the first wineries in Prince Edward County, Casa-Dea Estates Winery is making a big impression with this sparkling rosé wine.  Just released, this bubbly can be enjoyed on any occasion – picnic, Happy Hour, or stash away for Thanksgiving (if you have to!).

Here is a neat golden nugget to drop into conversation: Winemaker Paul Battilana was originally trained as a butcher, before he made the leap to winemaking after his curiosity transformed his career. And the wine industry is taking note as he was named by MacLean’s Magazine last year ‘as one of the Canadian winemakers to watch’.

Savvy Sommelier Tasting Notes: Pretty in the glass, this sparkling wine is refreshing, bright, and reminds us of summer…all throughout the year. Light aromas of strawberry and juicy peaches, the acidity of this wine makes is perfect to start any occasion.

Suggested Food Pairings: Chips.  The salt plays with the bubbles of the wine and fireworks start off in your mouth.  Try it!

 

Casa-Dea Estates Winery Cabernet Franc Rosé VQA 2016

$17.95, Prince Edward County

Care for a round of bocce? If you’re travelling to The County this spring, stop by Casa-Dea and try out this Italian version of lawn bowling on a hand-crafted pitch right beside the vineyards. Made even better with a cool glass of winemaker Paul Battilana’s Rosé.

Savvy Sommelier Tasting Notes: Brilliant clarity in this pinky-peach concoction. Abundant aromas of wildflowers and strawberries, juicy peaches, even a floral whiff that might remind you of the delicate flower of Lily of the Valley.  Top it all off with subtle hints of fresh herbs with a silky texture balanced out with measured acidity and a lengthy finish. Mama Mia – it is good!

 

Keint-He Vineyards Portage Rosé VQA 2017

$22, Prince Edward County

Made from 100% Pinot Noir grapes grown on their estate. Keint-He is a family run winery (Bryan Rogers in photo) focusing on making fine County wines using Pinot Noir & Chardonnay grapes.

Savvy Sommelier Tasting Notes: The colour of candy floss, this is a beautiful, Provençal-style Rosé. Big flavours of strawberry and tobacco with a hint of jam, it’s dry and tart and big. This is a Rosé to serve to any friends who think all pinks are light and sweet.

Suggested Food Pairing: Easily able to stand up to BBQ, try this with your favourite burger.

 

Pondview Estate Winery Cabernet Franc Rosé VQA 2016

$16.95, Four Mile Creek (Niagara-on-the-Lake)

The Pugli family emigrated from Italy bound for Niagara with plans to grow peaches on their large scale farm.  Now 2 generations later, they have transformed the fruit growing business into a winery that it internationally renowned for quality wines.

Savvy Sommelier Tasting Notes: Old World-style in pale peach flecked with bright orange. A nostalgic bouquet brings midway cotton candy and candied apples to mind. The wine’s high acid produces a lively ‘spritz’ effect on the palate, with flavours of mango, passionfruit and white pepper, and lingering herbs on the finish.

Suggested Food Pairing: Crisp summer salads or grilled sausages would make a great match, or try your hand at making Fish Tacos.

 

Westcott Vineyards Delphine Rosé VQA 2017

$16.95, 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.  Last year, they made the Delphine Rosé and it 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 a blend of Cabernet Franc and “just a little” Pinot Noir.

Savvy Sommelier Tasting Notes: Aromatic, dry, and supple, there are notes of strawberries and orange, along with some bracing lemony acidity. The bright pink of the wine is a visual treat, and it looks every bit as mouth watering as it tastes!

Suggested Food Pairing: Serve this with semi-soft cheeses like Gruyère and Havarti.


~ The Rosé Recipe Box ~

A few of our Spring & Summer favorite dishes to enjoy with Rosé wines

 

Fresh Asparagus Tart
From Canadian Living Magazine

Serves 8 (or more)

This is simple to make and stunning to look at.  This spring tart offers a vegetarian option for a picnic, appetizer or even brunch!

 

Ingredients

2 bunches (1 lb each) thin asparagus, trimmed
1 pkg all-butter puff pastry, thawed (usually package includes 2 sheets of pastry)
2 Tbsp Dijon mustard
1½ cups shredded Gruyère cheese
½ tsp coarsely cracked pepper
1 egg
1 Tbsp milk

 

Method

Line 2 rimless baking sheets with parchment paper or grease. Set aside.

In steamer or rack in saucepan, cover and steam asparagus until tender-crisp, 3 minutes. Chill in cold water; pat dry.

Unroll each pastry sheet onto prepared pan. Spread evenly with mustard, leaving 1-inch (2.5 cm) border. Arrange asparagus, side by side and alternating ends, on mustard; top with cheese and pepper.

In small bowl, beat egg with milk; lightly brush over pastry border. Bake in top and bottom thirds of 450°F (230°C) oven, rotating and switching pans halfway through, until puffed and golden and cheese is bubbly, 18 minutes. (Make-ahead: Set aside for up to 6 hours.)

Cut each into 6 to 8 pieces; serve warm or cool.

 

Beet Risotto
Recipe & Photo credits: Food & Wine

Serves 8

Ingredients

7 cups chicken stock
4 Tablespoons unsalted butter
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1 large sweet onion, finely chopped
2 large beets (12 ounces each), peeled and coarsely shredded, plus thinly sliced beets for garnish
3 cups arborio rice
1 ½  cups young pecorino cheese, freshly grated
2 teaspoons poppy seeds, plus more for garnish

Note: “Beets give this creamy risotto stunning colour & delicate sweetness. Grace Parisi suggests wearing rubber gloves and shredding the beets directly into a stainless steel bowl to avoid staining hands and countertops.”

 

Method

In a saucepan, bring the stock to a simmer; cover and keep warm. In a medium enameled cast-iron casserole, melt the butter in the oil.

Add the onion and cook over moderately high heat, stirring, until softened, 5 minutes.

Add the shredded beets and cook, stirring, until the pan is dry, 12 minutes. Spoon half of the beets into a small bowl.

Add the rice to the casserole and cook, stirring, for 2 minutes. Add 1 cup of the warm stock to the rice and cook over moderate heat, stirring, until the stock is nearly absorbed. Continue adding the stock 1 cup at a time, stirring constantly, until the rice is al dente and a thick sauce forms, about 22 minutes.

Stir in the cooked beets, cheese and the 2 teaspoons of poppy seeds. Cook, stirring, until heated through; add a few tablespoons of water if the risotto is too thick.

Spoon the risotto into bowls. Garnish with sliced beets and poppy seeds and serve.

 

 

Turkey Meatballs with Creamy Lemon Pasta
Original recipe & photo credits: Jessica Alba on Martha Stewart’s

 

Ingredients

2 lbs ground turkey
1 cup bread crumbs (Panko crumbs are ideal)
1/4 cup carrots, shredded
1/4 cup onion, shredded
1/4 cup zucchini, shredded
2 large eggs
2 Tbsp Italian seasoning
1 Tbsp sea salt
2 Tbsp olive oil
¾ cup low sodium chicken stock

Your favorite pasta
1/3 to ½ cup goat cheese
¼ to ½ of white or rosé wine
Zest & Juice of 1 lemon 

 

Method

In a large bowl, mix turkey, panko, carrots, zucchini, onion, eggs, Italian seasoning, and salt until well combined; form into 1-inch balls. Heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add meatballs and cook, turning, until browned, about 7 minutes.

Add ½ cup chicken broth, cover and reduce heat to low. Cook until liquid is almost completely absorbed, about 7 minutes. Add remaining ¼ cup broth and increase heat to medium; cook, uncovered, until liquid is absorbed.

In a separate pot, cook your favorite pasta. Once al dante, drain the water & place pasta back into the pot on low heat.  Crumble in goat cheese & stir until melted.  To help the melting, add white wine periodically until a creamy consistency similar to cream sauce that coats the pasta.

To finish the sauce, squeeze the juice of one lemon into the sauce, toss in zest & gently stir.  Plate with a mound of pasta topped with turkey meatballs.

 

 

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 (for the rest of the summer we’re calling them Deck Party Packs, call the Savvy Team 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:

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

Creekside Estate Rosé VQA 2017 – from Niagara-on-the-Lake

Karlo Estates Patio Reserve Rosé VQA 2017 – from Prince Edward County

Redstone Rosé VQA 2016 – from Twenty Valley (a wine only available for restaurants)

Redstone Rosé Sparkling VQA 2015 – from Twenty Valley

Tawse Quarry Road Pinot Noir Rosé VQA 2017 – from Twenty Valley

What is the price for June’s assortment?

$126 for 6 bottles
~ OR ~
$252 for 12 bottles (2 of each of the featured wines)

 

Deadline to order June’s parcel is Saturday June 9th 
www.savvycompany.ca/rose

 

 

Ahhh…life is good!

 

 

 

 

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We’re now delivering BC wines!

Posted by David

Thursday, August 31st, 2017
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There was big news this past Canada Day – we announced that we’re going national! We now deliver wines from coast to coast to your doorstep.  Yes….you can now receive wines from Nova Scotia to British Columbia and all the wine regions in between delivered to your home or office.  Be Savvy and subscribe to Savvy Selections wine of-the-month club and our Sommeliers will introduce you to some amazing Canadian wineries, the owners and of course….outstanding wines.

This month in Savvy Selections, we feature our first BC winery – Noble Ridge Vineyards and Winery – a multiple-award winning winery from the Okanagan region. 100 per cent estate grown, Noble Ridge enjoys a micro-climate providing both north-facing and south-facing vineyards. Their full-bodied, richly flavoured wines will make you want to book a quick trip to BC!

 

Get ready to uncork & enjoy your Savvy Selections…

In your Savvy Selections you will find 3 of our favourite Noble Ridge picks. We love the elegant style and powerful flavours of these wines!

2013 Reserve Chardonnay –Lush tropical fruit and citrus flavours
2014 Reserve Pinot Noir – Supple and fruity with deep berry aromas
2014 Reserve Meritage – This powerful Bordeaux-style wine will knock your socks off!

 

Wines with style

Noble Ridge has a wide selection of wonderful red and white wines that will excite your palate and meet your budget. This is a great opportunity to try some fantastic wines that aren’t available at the LCBO!

Call on us at any time you would like additional bottles of your favourite Noble Ridge wines – or other wineries we have featured in Savvy Selections.  Your Canadian Wine Hotline is 613-SAVVYCO (728-8926) or send me an email to debbie@savvycompany.ca.

Cheers!
-Debbie & Savvy Team

 

 

Introducing…

Noble Ridge Vineyards and Winery

Presented by Sommelier David Loan

Imagine you’re on a family vacation, when your spouse announces that he wants to change the direction of his life and yours. That’s what happened to Leslie D’Andrea, Co-Owner and CEO of BC’s Noble Ridge Vineyards and Winery. “In 1998, Jim and I were on a three month sabbatical through the Mediterranean with our kids when Jim turned to me,” Leslie remembers. “He said he HAD to own a winery. And he wanted to make premium quality wine!”

Leslie continues by recalling, “We came home and started to look through Europe, Ontario, and the West. And after a few false starts, we found this property on January 1, 2001 and bought it a month later.”

 

Unique terroir

Jim and Leslie were impressed with the property’s unique situation. Winemaker Benoit Gauthier described it as, “a unique combination of everything: the land and the climate. It’s really good to have the two slopes of the ridge;  all of the reds are facing south where they get the heat and the sun, and all of the whites face north where they can develop acidity.”  Benoit explains, “The soil is sandy and drains well, meaning we get smaller, more flavourful berries.”

All about the curtain

It isn’t just about the terroir though. The team at Noble Ridge implemented a lesser-used trellis system, called the Geneva Double Curtain. It brings the shoots out into a double canopy so the fruit gets better airflow and sunlight. “We could get twice as much fruit with the Double Curtain,” Benoit said. “But I reduce the fruit to half so we can ripen the grapes really well per each vine.”

“By knowing the vineyard really well, I can select from the individual vineyards and ferment each batch separately, then do a high power blending,” he said. “That way they get the tannins and acidity I want.” Benoit said that he enjoys the end of harvest. “I get the best quality of fruit possible and I choose it for the most powerful and best quality wine,” he said.

 

Cross-border shopping

“One of the things we forget about is that we live in this very beautiful part of the world,” Leslie said. “We try to keep our guest areas close to the vines. We want our guests to walk through the vineyard and enjoy a picnic here. And we hire the very best staff to work here!” she said.

Leslie said that she likes the fact that interprovincial alcohol restrictions are slowly being lifted. “Direct to customer is our favourite way of selling,” she said. “It’s better for us and it’s better for the consumer. Working directly with our consumers is the smartest way and it’s growing.” All of us in the Savvy Team are ecstatic with the changes too because it means that we can broaden our scope to showcase even more hard-to-come by wines from coast to coast.

 

A day in the vineyard

Asked to describe his day at the winery, Benoit said he split into two parts. “Right now, it’s all about the position of the vines,” he said. “We’re positioning shoots and doing canopy management to ensure good airflow and exposure to the sun.  This afternoon in fact, we’re trial tasting our next vintage of The One,” he said, referring to Noble Ridge’s multi-award winning sparkling wine.

Leslie pipes in saying they have some exciting projects coming up. “We’ll have a sparkling rosé made from our Pinot Noir fruit in a couple of years. We’re working on it now from our 2016 vintage,” she said. “And we’ll be bottling some port in March, 2018!”

 

Let’s raise a glass to Leslie, Jim & Benoit and thank them for creating these special, fantastic wines!

 

 

~ SAVVY SOMMELIER TASTING NOTES ~

For your Savvy Selection this month, we’ve chosen three wines – one white and two red – which show the power and finesse of the Okanagan Falls appelation.  Each one demonstrates the micro-climate and terroir of this beautiful wine region, enhanced by talented winemakers.

 

2013 Reserve Chardonnay, $29.90

Savvy Sommelier Tasting Notes: Winner of a number of awards, including a Gold Medal at the prestigious 2016 Pacific Rim International Wine Competition, this full-bodied Chardonnay was was fermented in stainless steel tanks, then aged for 14 months in a mix of old and new French Oak. No malolactic fermentation took place, so the natural acidity remains.

This is a ripe, rich Chardonnay with flavours of lemon curd, green apple, peach and pineapple. The bright acidity balances the vanilla notes, leaving a long, soft tropical fruit finish.

Suggested Food Pairings: Perfect for your summer BBQ, this will pair beautifully with chicken or seafood. Try it with rainbow trout and a mango salsa. (recipe below).

Cellaring:  Drink at 8º C within two years.

 

 

2014 Reserve Pinot Noir, $29.90

Savvy Sommelier Tasting Notes: To get the best flavours and ripeness from their Pinot Noir, Noble Ridge starts in the vineyard. They are one of the few wineries in BC growing Pinot with a trellis system known as the Geneva Double Curtain, which encourages more sunshine and fresh air to reach the fruit clusters. The wine was aged for fourteen months in French Oak barrels, 20 per cent new oak.

This is a complex, medium bodied wine which will stun your palate with candied fruit, red licorice, and sweet spice. The dark cherry flavours dominate, though, balanced with the soft, medium tannins and medium acidity. There’s a hint of balsamic here, too, and we finish long with black cherry and vanilla.

Suggested Food Pairings: There’s lots of oomph! flavour here and it will stand up well to red meats. Try it with beef shish-kabobs in a balsamic marinade (recipe below).

Cellaring: Ready to drink now, this could be cellared for up to 5 years. Serve between 14-16º C.

 

 

2014 Reserve Meritage, $34.90

This big Meritage was a hit at our recent Savvy Oh! Canada event, where guests lined up hoping to get a taste before we ran out (and we did!).

This Bordeaux-style blend is made up of 74% Merlot; 22% Cabernet Sauvignon, 2% Cab Franc, and 2% Malbec. It was fermented for 15 months in French (75%) and American (25%) oak, of which 40% was new. The wine was subsequently bottle aged for an additional 14 months prior to release.

Savvy Sommelier Tasting Notes: Dry, powerful, graceful: the adjectives roll off the tongue as the wine races along it. Loads of dark cherry flavours with hints of Okanagan sage, dark chocolate, leather, and plum. The tannins are supple but big, balanced by the medium acidity.

Suggested Food Pairings: Roast beef or a rack of lamb would pair nicely with this, but we’d like to have it late in the meal, seawith smoked and aged cheeses and Sprucewood Handmade Cookie Co’s savoury shortbread, available with your Savvy Selections order.

Cellaring: Drinking well now, this can cellar 5-7 years. Serve at 17-18º C.

 

 

 

What a view!
Photo credit: The Okanagan Falls Winery Association

 

 

~ RECIPES TO ENJOY WITH YOUR SAVVY SELECTIONS ~

 

With Noble Ridge Reserve Chardonnay…
Rainbow Trout with tropical fruit salsa

Recipe and photo: Epicurious.com
Serves 4-6

Ingredients

6 tablespoons vegetable oil
1/4 cup fresh lime juice
1 tablespoon dark brown sugar
2 teaspoons minced peeled fresh ginger
4 1/8 teaspoons Creole seasoning
1 cup diced pineapple, peeled and cored
1 cup diced peeled pitted mango
½ cup diced red bell pepper
½ cup diced red onion
5 cups mixed baby greens
4 rainbow trout fillets (5- to 6-ounce), skin on

 

Method

Whisk 4 tablespoons oil, lime juice, sugar, ginger, and 1/8 teaspoon Creole seasoning in small bowl to blend. Season vinaigrette with salt and pepper. Combine pineapple, mango, bell pepper, and red onion in large bowl. Add half of vinaigrette; toss to coat. Toss greens in medium bowl with remaining vinaigrette.

Brush trout fillets with 1 tablespoon oil. Sprinkle with remaining 4 teaspoons Creole seasoning, about 1/2 teaspoon per side, then salt and pepper. Heat remaining 1 tablespoon oil in large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add trout fillets and cook until just opaque in center and browned, about 2 minutes per side.

Divide greens among 4 plates. Place trout fillets and salsa alongside.


 

With Noble Ridge Reserve Pinot Noir…
Beef Shish-kabobs with balsamic marinade

Recipe and photo: Melskitchencafe.com
Serves 4

Ingredients

3/4 cup balsamic vinegar
1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil
3 tablespoons Dijon mustard
5 garlic cloves, finely minced
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon black pepper
1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
2 tablespoons chopped fresh rosemary
2-3 pounds sirloin roast, cut into 1-inch cubes (or same amount of chicken breasts, cubed)
1 red onion, cut into squares (optional)

Method

In a small bowl, whisk together the vinegar, oil, mustard, garlic, salt, pepper and red pepper flakes. Measure out 1/3 cup of the mixture and set aside for basting later.

Add the rosemary to the remaining marinade. Place the beef or chicken in a large, gallon-size ziploc bag and pour in the marinade. Seal and refrigerate for 4-8 hours (or as little as 20 minutes, although the flavor won’t be quite as pronounced).

Preheat a grill to medium heat.

If using wooden or bamboo skewers, soak in cool water for 15-20 minutes. Thread red onion onto the skewer followed by meat and then a few red onions to finish off.

Whisk the reserved basting sauce to recombine. Grill the kebabs, turning every couple of minutes and basting with the sauce, until the beef is cooked to desired doneness (chicken should be cooked all the way through), 10-12 minutes.

Transfer the kebabs to a platter or plate and tent with foil to let rest for 5 or so minutes. Season with salt and pepper to taste and serve.

 

 

With Noble Ridge Reserve Meritage…
Rack of lamb with garlic and herbs

Recipe and photo: Epicurious.com
Serves 8

Ingredients

For lamb:
2 (8-rib) frenched racks of lamb (each rack 1 1/2 lb), trimmed of all but a thin layer of fat
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
3/4 teaspoon black pepper
1 teaspoon vegetable oil

For herb coating:
1/2 head new garlic or 3 large regular garlic cloves, minced
1/4 cup finely chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh thyme
2 teaspoons finely chopped fresh rosemary
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1 1/2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

Special equipment: an instant-read thermometer

 

Method

Brown lamb:
Heat a dry 12-inch heavy skillet over high heat until hot, at least 2 minutes. Meanwhile, pat lamb dry and rub meat all over with salt and pepper. Add oil to hot skillet, then brown racks, in 2 batches if necessary, on all sides (not ends), about 10 minutes per batch.

Transfer racks to a small (13- by 9-inch) roasting pan.

Coat and roast lamb:
Put oven rack in middle position and preheat oven to 350°F.

Stir together garlic, herbs, salt, pepper, and oil. Coat meaty parts of lamb with herb mixture, pressing to help adhere. Roast 15 minutes, then cover lamb loosely with foil and roast until thermometer inserted diagonally into center of meat registers 120°F, 5 to 10 minutes more. Let stand, covered, 10 minutes. (Internal temperature will rise to 125 to 130°F for medium-rare while lamb stands.)

Cut each rack into 4 double chops. 

 

Enjoy your Savvy Selections!

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Grilling a winemaker with 20 Questions!

Posted by Debbie

Monday, May 15th, 2017
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One of the oldest and best established wineries in Prince Edward County, Huff Estates has blazed the trail for the County’s cool climate techniques. From burying vines in winter to experimenting with sparkling wines, Huff is always at the forefront.

In this month’s Savvy Selections, we’re trying a new format to discover more about what life is like for Huff Estates’ long-serving winemaker, Frédéric Picard, with his answers to our Twenty Questions.

 

Get ready to uncork & enjoy your Savvy Selections…

In your Savvy Selections you will find three of our favorite Huff wines that we chose for you:

2014 South Bay Vineyard Chardonnay Rich and flavourful, with just a whisper of oak.

2013 Gamay – A savoury red that leaves a big impression.

2014 South Bay Vineyard Merlot – Replete with ripe fruit and mouthwatering acidity, this is a great food wine.

 

The Best of the County

Huff Estates has built its reputation on offering dependable, delicious wines that show off Prince Edward County’s unique terroir. These wines are ready to drink, though they could be cellared for a year or two. Our Savvy Sommeliers know you’ll love them as much as we do!

Cheers!

-Debbie & Savvy Team

 

 

Introducing…

20 Questions with Frédéric Picard
Presented by Sommelier David Loan

We are trying something different  for fun &  to keep  digging deeper to get some interesting ‘dirt’ (being a it cheeky here) about  the dynamic people behind the wines that we feature.   Not only are they great winemakers, they are people too with neat stories about how they got into the wine world.

No one likes to be in the hot seat with Twenty Questions being fired at you for quick on-the-spot answers.  Here we present Frederic Picard & his backstory…(imagine said with his French accent!)

 

Location: Huff Estates

Current Job: Winemaker

What drink would you like right this minute?
A beer. I’m a winemaker! (says with a chuckle)

When you were 10, what did you want to be when you grew up?
A mechanic.

What was the very first winery that you ever visited?
A winery in Meursault with my Dad. I was very young.

What wine got you hooked?
Burgundy wines, especially chardonnays.

Take a few minutes and jot down the path to becoming the winemaker you are today:
Adventurous, curious, enthusiast and wine lover!

My winemaking style in 3 words:
Balance, elegance and respectful.

Is there music playing in the cellar right now?
No.

Favorite thing about the local wine industry: 
You can taste and compare with what you make.

Favorite thing about growing grapes:
Making wine with them!

What part of winemaking are you always trying new things?
Fermentation and barrel ageing.

What is the unglamorous thing about winemaking?
Cleaning.

Industry Mentors:
All the winemakers I worked with.

Personal Mentors:
My parents.

What wine region do you want to visit next?
Rioja.

One surprising thing that I’m really good at:
Cleaning!

When is your birthday (no year required!)
May 24th.

My Birthday “Favorite Meal”:
Good cheeses, fresh bread and   wines that I never tasted before.

A funny moment you remember about visitors coming to the winery:
A group of people came a few years ago and started to sing in the middle of the retail store! It was really nice and unexpected!

We hope you love these beautiful Huff wines every bit as much as we do!

~ SAVVY SOMMELIER TASTING NOTES ~

For your Savvy Selection this month, we’ve chosen three wines that beautifully showcase Frederic’s talent. We know that you’ll love the remarkable flavours of these unique wines, along with some delicious recipes that will perfectly match food and drink.

 

South Bay Vineyards Chardonnay VQA Prince Edward County 2014
$30

Savvy Sommelier Tasting Notes: Winner of the 2016 Intervin “Honours” medal and Wine Align 2016 Silver medal, we think you’ll find this a big winner, too! The nose offers classic Chardonnay notes: apricot, green apple, and peach with a hint of minerality. There’s some nice acid on the finish, along with more of that peach and steeliness. But it also offers coconut and nuts, showing the winemaker’s delicate touch with oak.

Suggested Food Pairings: How about a pumpkin ravioli with cream sauce for your après ski supper? This will be perfect! Recipe below.

Cellaring:  Drink at 8-9ºC within two years.

 

 

Gamay VQA Creek Shores 2013,
$25

Savvy Sommelier Tasting Notes: Gamay is a grape that does very well in Ontario’s cool climate, where it often produces lighter bodied wines.

Here’s an exception: Huff’s Gamay has big flavours of candied dark cherries, smoke, and leather in a medium bodied wine. Tannins are soft but chewy, and there’s a hint of black licorice on the lonnnggg finish.

Suggested Food Pairings: Our tasting team had lots of ideas for this one: pork tenderloin, roast chicken, chicken pot pie. But we settled on something a bit more exotic – Mongolian Hot Pot! Recipe follows

Cellaring: Ready to drink now, this could be cellared for up to three years. Serve cool but not cold: 12-14ºC.

 

 

 South Bay Vineyards Merlot VQA Prince Edward County 2014
Savvy Special Price: $32 (regular $40)

Savvy Sommelier Tasting Notes:  Pouring an opaque purple, this full-bodied Merlot was a hit with our tasters! There’s lots of dark fruit and chocolate here, with notes of coffee, plums, leather, and jam. The acidity is on the higher side, so this is VERY food-friendly. Tannins are soft and elegant.

Suggested Food Pairings: Here’s a terrific wine for your Sunday roast beef, served with a traditional Yorkshire pudding. Recipe below.

Cellaring: Drinking well now, this can cellar 3-5 years. Serve at 14-16ºC.

 

 

~ RECIPES TO ENJOY WITH YOUR SAVVY SELECTIONS ~

With Huff South Bay Vineyards Chardonnay …
Pumpkin Ravioli with Sage Cream Sauce

Recipe & Photo credit: Epicurious.com
Serves 4-6

 

Ingredients

1 8- to 9-ounce package refrigerated pumpkin or squash ravioli
1 1/2 tablespoons butter
1/4 cup chopped pecans
1/3 cup finely chopped shallots
1 1/2 tablespoons chopped fresh sage or 1 1/2 teaspoons crumbled dried sage leaves
3/4 cup dry white wine
2/3 cup whipping cream
Parmesan cheese shavings

 

Method

Cook ravioli in large pot of boiling salted water until just tender but still firm to bite, about 8 minutes. Drain well.

Meanwhile, melt butter in heavy medium skillet over medium heat. Add pecans and stir until slightly darker and fragrant, about 3 minutes. Using slotted spoon, transfer pecans to small bowl. Add shallots and sage to same skillet. Sauté until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add wine and cream. Increase heat and boil until sauce is reduced to generous 3/4 cup, about 5 minutes.

Add ravioli to sauce; toss. Season with salt and pepper. Divide between bowls. Sprinkle with pecans and Parmesan.

 

 

With Huff Gamay…
Mongolian Hot Pot

Recipe and photo: Thewoksoflife.com
Serves 4

Don’t get put off by the number of ingredients here. You can as many or as few condiments as you wish, and the list of dipping items is entirely optional to your tastes.

Ingredients

For the soup base:

2 tablespoons oil
6 slices ginger
3-5 bay leaves
10 cloves garlic, peeled
1 cinnamon stick
5 star anise
10 cloves
1 tablespoon Sichuan peppercorns
12 whole dried red chilies
1 package spicy hot pot soup base
12-15 cups chicken stock

 

Optional condiment:

Soy sauce
Sacha sauce
Chili oil or paste
Chinese black vinegar or rice vinegar
Sesame paste or peanut butter
Sesame oil
Sesame seeds
Chopped peanuts
Chopped cilantro
Chopped scallions
Chopped garlic

 

Suggested items for cooking:

Thinly shaved beef or lamb
Sliced chicken
Assorted fish balls (you can buy these pre-made at Asian grocery stores)
Thinly sliced fish fillets (tender white fish like tilapia or sea bass work well for this)
Slices of firm tofu
Soy puffs (fried tofu puffs)
Straw, Shiitake or Wood Ear mushrooms
Fresh noodles
Glass noodles (mung bean vermicelli)
Prepared frozen dumplings or wontons
Chinese rice cakes (like these)
Choy sum or bok choy
Green leaf lettuce
Napa cabbage

 

 

Method

For the soup base:

In a wok over medium heat, add the oil and the ginger. Cook the ginger for about a minute until caramelized, making sure it doesn’t burn. Add the bay leaves, whole garlic cloves, cinnamon stick, star anise, and cloves. Cook for another 2 minutes, until very fragrant.

Add the Sichuan peppercorns, dried chilies (whole), and the spicy hot pot soup base. Cook for another 2 minutes, and then add the chicken stock. Bring to a boil and transfer to the pot you’ll be using for your hot pot meal. You want the pot to be relatively wide and at least 6 inches deep.

To make the dipping sauce, simply combine whatever mix of ingredients you like.

To assemble the hotpot, simply plug in your hot plate, place the prepared pot of broth on top, and bring to a low boil or simmer. Place all your prepared ingredients around it, have everyone mix up their own dipping sauces, and dive in.

Each person just takes whatever they want, adds it to the pot, waits for it to cook, and then dips it into their sauce. As the water evaporates as you’re cooking, add boiling water to the pot as needed. You can also serve rice with hot pot (we do), but it’s not mandatory.

 

 

With Huff South Bay Vineyards Merlot…
Roast Beef with Yorkshire Pudding

Recipe & Photo credits FoodNetwork.ca
Serves  4

 

Ingredients

Fore rib beef (about 4 kg), French trimmed, on the bone, chined
Olive oil
Salt
Freshly cracked black pepper

 

For the Yorkshire pudding:

3 eggs
115g/4oz flour
275ml/½ pint milk
Beef dripping
Salt

 

Method

Preheat the oven to its highest setting.

Rub the beef with the olive oil, salt and pepper all over.

Put a heavy-based roasting tray on the hob and when hot, add the beef. Sear the beef quickly on all sides to colour and crisp the outside.

Transfer the beef immediately to the oven and leave the oven on its highest setting (about 460F) for 20 minutes.

Reduce the heat to 375F and roast for half an hour per kilo for rare, adding another ten minutes per kilo for medium rare, 20 minutes per kilo for medium, and 30 minutes per kilo for well done. Remove the beef from the oven, transfer it to a carving board and cover with foil. Allow it to rest in a warm place for 30 minutes.

For the Yorkshire pudding, mix together the eggs, flour and a pinch of salt. Add the milk, stirring constantly, until you have a runny batter. Leave this to rest, covered, in the refrigerator for up to 12 hours.

Place ½ inch of beef dripping in the bottom of each pudding mould, or if you are using a rectangular roasting tray, place ½ inch of beef dripping across the bottom. Heat the dripping in the oven (at 460F) for about ten minutes, until it is piping hot.

Remove the roasting tray from the oven, pour in the batter, and immediately return to the oven. Bake for 25 minutes, until golden brown and crispy, making sure not to open the oven door for the first 20 minutes.

Serve immediately with the carved roast beef.

 

Enjoy your Savvy Selections!

 

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A Vegan Winery?

Posted by David

Thursday, May 4th, 2017
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What’s in your wine? Many wine drinkers aren’t aware that wines commonly have additives like gelatin, eggs, or milk products added to them to adjust the flavours or help clarify the wine. Most of those additives come out of the wine again before bottling, but some people are still uncomfortable with the idea.

This month in Savvy Selections, we feature award-winning wines from Prince Edward County’s  Karlo Estates. Karlo produces a selection of delicious, food-friendly whites, rosés and reds, and they’re also the only “plant-based” winery in the world. We give you the vegan backstory on the following pages.

Get ready to uncork & enjoy your Savvy Selections…

In your Savvy Selections you will find 3 of our Sommelier’s favourite Karlo Estates wines. 

2015 Niagara Peninsula Riesling Crisp and refreshing!
2015 Patio Reserve Rosé – Proving how flavourful rosé can be.
2013 Triumvirate – Food-friendly, with bracing acidity and wow! flavours.

 

Wines with style

Karlo takes full advantage of Prince Edward County’s unique terroir to make wines that are distinct and elegant. Our Savvy Sommeliers know you’ll love them as much as we do. Call on us at anytime you would like additional bottles of your favourite Karlo Estates wines – or other wineries we have featured in Savvy Selections.

Your Canadian Wine Hotline is 613-SAVVYCO (728-8926) or send me an email to debbie@savvycompany.ca

 

Meet Sherry, Derek & the Karlo Team at Terroir – Wine Celebration in Picton on Saturday May 13 where all of Prince Edward County will be under one roof.  This all day event will be filled with delicious discoveries.  See you there!

Cheers,

Debbie & Savvy Team

 

 

Introducing…

Karlo Estates

Presented by Sommelier David Loan

When Sherry Martin Karlo (in photo) was in university, she noticed two things: she was broke, and she was putting on the dreaded ‘freshman fifteen’. “I started eating mostly vegetables and realized I was losing weight,” Sherry said. “Then I went to a slaughterhouse seminar at the Toronto Veg Food Fest and that convinced me to stick to a plant-based diet.”

 

New opportunities

At that same time, Sherry and her soon-to-be husband Richard Karlo founded Karlo Estates in Prince Edward County in 2005. They built the winery from scratch.

Richard had a passion for making wine and developed his talent and skills through twenty years of very successful home wine making, winning a spectacular number of awards along the way. “When I talked to Richard about diet from an environmental standpoint,” Sherry said, “he realized that he was already making plant-based wines and that it was a growing movement. As a businessman, he realized it was an opportunity he could capture.”

I asked Sherry to explain what she meant by “plant-based” wines. After all, don’t all wines come from grapes? “I like to use a coffee-press analogy,” she starts to explain. “Just like a coffee-press, a vat of wine has a lot of bits of grape and skin and pulp floating around in it. Winemakers add heavier ingredients, like egg whites or milk products or gelatin, which cling to the grape bits and weight them down so they’re easier to remove.”

“At Karlo, we take a different approach.  We use time and gravity to settle out the grape bits.  If we have to intervene to help the process along, we use bentonite clay as a binding agent rather than animal products. We try to avoid the need to adjust the acids or tannins, but if we do, we use potato or pumpkin proteins. It makes it harder to make the wines but people tell us it gives the wine a cleaner profile.”

 

Bridges and turnings

An engineer by trade, Richard led an important side project: building an immense dry-stone bridge over a creek on the property. In addition to being the largest bridge of its kind in North America, the keystone provides Karlo Estates with its iconic logo. Sadly, and with very little warning, Richard was taken by cancer at the end of November, 2014.  The wine community mourned this giant of the industry, who had always lent a helping hand to others. Many – including the Savvy Team – reached out to help.

 

Moving forward

Sherry was able to bring famed winemaker Derek Barnett (right in photo) onboard. Derek had won acclaim at Southbrook Winery and Lailey Vineyards.  “It is a complete pleasure to work with Derek,” Sherry said. “My late husband Richard left huge shoes to fill, and Derek is doing a great job. He’s a big teddy bear and he’s so talented and so nice.

Sherry explained, “2013 was a great vintage. What’s interesting about those wines is that Richard started them but Derek shepherded them into the bottle. 2015 on the other hand was Derek’s first vintage. He joined me at harvest, so they’re his beginning to end.” Sherry said they’re committed to developing great Prince Edward County wines from their own 14 acres of vineyards, but they’re not afraid to bring in Niagara fruit. “We source from Vineland and Niagara so we can get grapes that don’t grow well here, or to do styles that require a different terroir,” she said.

 

Taste of the County

Sherry is proud that The County offers flavours that are unique in the world of wine.   “The County is more nuanced and elegant than other Ontario regions. We have more acidity – it’s a bit more keynote. Our wines are really food friendly because you have the acidity to cut through the fats and the creams. They’re more contemplative.”

We know you’ll agree when you taste these beautiful wines from Karlo Estates!

 

 

~ SAVVY SOMMELIER TASTING NOTES ~

For your Savvy Selection this month, we’ve chosen three wines that demonstrate the powerful elegance of Karlo wines.  We are confident that you’ll love the stunning flavours of these wines, along with some delicious recipes that will perfectly match food and drink.

 

2015 Riesling, $22

Did you know that Ontario produces some of the best Riesling in the world? Or that Riesling is a fantastic, food-friendly wine that shines in summer?

Sommelier Tasting Notes:  Bright straw with a gold hue, this is a wonderful example of dry Ontario Riesling. There are aromas of light petrol (the classic Riesling flavour!), lime, and tart green apple. High acidity. Dry, but with a drop of residual sugar. Tart and puckering with great minerality and just a hint of peach.  The finish is bracing with flavours of limes and green apples.

Suggested Food Pairings: The bright acidity and hint of sweetness on the finish will work well with spicy and fatty foods. Try it with a Thai Red Curry (recipe below).

Cellaring:  Drink at 8ºC within two years.

 

 

2015 Patio Reserve Rosé, $18

Savvy Sommelier Tasting Notes: I mainly drink rosé in the summer. I find the big flavours of a good, dry rosé very satisfying while being refreshed from the well-chilled wine.  Karlo’s Patio Reserve is made from Frontenac Noir grapes blended with a little Vidal. Frontenac was developed to thrive in our cold climate and it offers fruity, satisfying flavours.

This wine tastes of cherry, strawberry, peach, and mint. It’s mostly dry, with a hint of sweetness to balance the bright acidity. Best comparison? Strawberries and rhubarb! There’s a long, tart strawberry finish. Yum!

Suggested Food Pairings: Off-dry wines pair beautifully with spicy food, and this is no exception. Try spicy paella made with a mix of fresh and preserved vegetables (recipe below).

Cellaring: Ready to drink now, this could be cellared for up to 2 years. Serve between 8-10ºC.

 

 

2013 Triumvirate, $28

Named for the Roman practice of three rulers working together, Triumvirate is blended from Cabernet Sauvignon 62.5%, Cabernet Franc 25%, and Merlot 12.5%.

Savvy Sommelier Tasting Notes: Opaque cherry in colour, there area are big, fruity aromas of blackberries, leather, smoke, black cherries, and mint. On the palate, there’s more of a tart cherry presence, with the smoke and mint and a hint of alcohol. Good, chewy tannins and medium-plus acidity, this has a long tannic and tart cherry finish. This wine is meant to go with good food!

Suggested Food Pairings: The mouth-watering acidity and fresh fruit notes make us think Italian. And what better time than spring to try a new way of serving pasta? Serve this bright wine alongside pasta with ramps, fiddleheads, and sausage (recipe below).

Cellaring: Drinking well now, this can cellar 3-5 years. Serve at 14-16ºC.

 

 

~RECIPES TO ENJOY WITH YOUR SAVVY SELECTIONS~

Since we’re having plant-based wine, let’s try some flavourful veg dishes for a warm spring or hot summer’s day or make it a Meatless Monday!

 

With Karlo Estates Riesling…

Veggie Thai Red Curry

Recipe & Photo credit: BBCGoodFood.com
Serves 4-6

Ingredients

200g firm tofu, cubed
4-5 tbsp soy sauce
Juice 3 limes
2 red chillies – minced
1 zucchini – chopped into 1” pieces
1 small eggplant – chopped into 1” pieces
2 tbsp vegetable oil
400ml can reduced-fat coconut milk
½ red pepper – deseeded and chopped into chunks
140g mushrooms, – halved
140g sugar snap pea
20g pack basil leaves – chopped
1 tsp brown sugar
Cooked jasmine rice to serve

 

Paste

Make a fresh spice paste or use your favourite bottled or dry curry spice!

3 red chillies
1 lemongrass, roughly chopped
3 shallots, roughly chopped
½ red pepper, deseeded and roughly chopped
Zest 1 lime
Stalks from 20g pack coriander
Thumb-size piece ginger, grated
2 garlic cloves
1 tsp freshly ground pepper
1 tsp ground coriander

 

Method

Whiz the paste ingredients in a food processor. Marinate the tofu in 2 tbsp soy sauce, juice 1 lime and the chopped chilli.

Heat half the oil in a large pan. Add 3-4 tbsp paste and fry for 2 mins. Stir in the coconut milk with 100ml water, the zucchini, eggplant, and pepper and cook for 10 mins until almost tender.

Drain the tofu, pat dry, then fry in the remaining oil in a small pan until golden.

Add the mushrooms, sugar snaps and most of the basil to the curry, then season with the sugar, remaining lime juice and soy sauce. Cook for 4 mins until the mushrooms are tender, then add the tofu and heat through. Scatter with sliced chilli and basil and serve with jasmine rice.

 

 

With Karlo Estates Patio Rosé…

Paella

Recipe and photo: CrazyVeganKitchen.com
Serves 4

 

Ingredients

2 ½  cups Vegetable Stock
½  teaspoon Saffron Threads
1 ½  Tablespoons Olive Oil
1 large Red Onion – sliced
1 Yellow Bell Pepper – sliced
1 Red Bell Pepper – sliced
1 cup Brown Mushrooms – sliced
3 cloves garlic – minced
1 cup Bomba Rice (or use another short-grain rice)
2 Roma Tomatoes – chopped
1 ½  teaspoons Smoked Paprika
Salt/Pepper
1 cup Green Peas
1 can Artichoke Hearts – drained and chopped
½  cup Parsley – chopped

 

Method

Combine the stock and saffron threads in a medium saucepan and bring to the boil over high heat. Reduce heat to low and maintain a simmer. Meanwhile, heat paella pan on the stove with 1 1/2 tablespoons Olive Oil.

Add Onion to Paella Pan and sauté for 2 minutes. Add sliced red and yellow pepper and continue to sautée till softened, about 5 minutes. Add the mushrooms and garlic and sauté for 5 minutes or until it has softened slightly. Season liberally with salt and pepper.

Increase heat to medium-high. Add Bomba rice, tomato and smoked paprika and cook, stirring, for 1 minute until well mixed through. Reduce heat to medium-low. Add one-third of the saffron infused stock and stir until just combined. Let simmer uncovered for 5 minutes or until liquid is almost absorbed.

Add the next third of the stock and cook for 5 minutes uncovered or until almost absorbed. Add remaining third of stock and cook for 5-10 minutes uncovered.

Sprinkle surface of paella with peas and artichoke hearts. Cover entire pan in tin foil and leave to cook on a low heat for 12 minutes. After 12 minutes, turn heat off but leave the paella pan covered with tin foil for another 10 minutes.

Remove tin foil after 10 minutes and garnish with parsley.

 

 

With Karlo Estates Triumvirate…

Pasta with ramps, fiddleheads & sausage

Recipe and photo: TinyUrbanKitchen.com
Serves: 4

TIP: If you want to veg-ify this recipe, substitute some of the excellent commercial veggie sausages that are widely available from companies such as Field Roast or Tofurky.

Ramps (aka Wild Garlic) and fiddleheads are available at farmers’ markets each spring.

 

Ingredients

Ramps, 1 large bunch (4-6 stalks)
Olive oil, 1 teaspoon
Fiddleheads (optional)
Veggie Sausage, about 6-8 oz
Pasta, 12 oz, fresh, or 8 oz dried
Chili flakes (optional)
Salt and pepper, to taste

 

Method

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. If making dry pasta (8-12 min cook time), add pasta to the pot before beginning to cook the ramps. If using fresh pasta (1-2 min cook time), begin making pasta after the “sauce” part is done.

Cut up the ramp bulbs (white section) into small pieces and separate it from the leaves. Coarsely chop the leaves into 1-2 inch sections. Saute the ramps bulbs in olive oil over medium heat until they soften, about 2-3 minutes.

Add the sausage and break apart the meat with a spatula. Add the ramp greens and the optional fiddleheads. Add salt and pepper to taste.

Once pasta is done cooking, add the cooked pasta and some pasta water (maybe start with ¼ cup?) to the ramps/sausage mixture and stir it all together. If you want it spicy, optionally add red pepper flakes. Since my sausage was spicy I didn’t add any.

 

 

Enjoy the spring with your Savvy Selections!

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Hands up! Outlaws are arriving in town

Posted by David

Tuesday, May 2nd, 2017
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Where would one expect to meet Miss Janie Outlaw and her business partner, Johnny Outlaw? How about a honky-tonk brew pub two blocks from Lake Huron’s sandy shores? Watch out folks, Outlaw Brew Co. has rode into town and things are going to change! Read all about it in this month’s Beer Backstory.

Best of all, the gang at Outlaw are producing tasty, quaffable beers that will make you want to join ‘em.

We sent out Savvy Hip Hops subscribers cans & howlers of these beers from Outlaw…

…in the Quick Picks:

  • The Sheriff IPA
  • Southern Lass Heather and Honey Ale
  • 21 Lagered Ale

…in the Taste Case:

  • The beers above PLUS
  • Bronco Copper Ale

 

Introducing…
Out of the wild (south) west:

Outlaw Brew Co.

by David Loan, Sommelier & member of the Savvy Brew Crew

It started with two very different friends. “Deborah is a firecracker, urban, very hip,” Outlaw Brew Co. co-owner Andrew Woodley (in photo – right) said of his business partner Deborah Leon (in photo – left). “Me…I’m rural, from Southampton.  A down to earth guy.”

“We’re the yin and yang of the business!” The combination seems to be working.  Opening in 2014, Deborah and Andrew  – who also go by Janie and Johnny Outlaw – have built a successful brewery and pub in the small town of Southampton in Bruce County, Ontario.

 

Historic roots

Location was important to Andrew and Deborah, so they looked for a building that reflected their brand. They found it with the Southampton Hotel, built in 1867. “The building’s original owner was a doctor who raised 15 kids in the place,” Andrew said. “It gives us 15,000 square feet for the brewery, pub, and gift shop.” Andrew goes on to explain, “We like the location because it’s right on Highway 21, which follows the shores of Lake Huron from Owen Sound to Sarnia. It’s been everything from a home to a hotel. It even had strippers at one time. This building has a pulse.”

 

A Gateway

Andrew said they want to introduce craft beer to customers who haven’t had it before. “The brewery is in Bruce County,” then he continues with laugh, “Our customers are raised on OV, Busch, Bud Lite, so we needed a gateway into craft beer.”

“Up here, these guys, if they’re going to have a craft beer, they want to sit down to a couple of them. Our beer is very approachable and sessionable.” Outlaw’s core beer is their Bronco, a copper ale which we included in your Savvy Hip Hops.  Hope you too like it!  “It’s a chameleon beer,” Andrew said. “It changes over the course of the pint.”

 

Organic growth

Since opening, Outlaw Brew Co. has already won awards for their well-made beers. And they have two products listed at the LCBO, though they’re still difficult to find in many areas. Andrew credited their success with taking it one step at a time. “We’ve grown very organically. We’re tucked up here in Southampton, kind of off the beaten track. We have a different scene up here,” he said. “We have a big brew pub with food and a nice retail store. We’d love for people to come visit!”

 

When your horse leads you on the path to Southampton, be sure to stop by & say howdy to Janie & Johnny!

Enjoy a glass of Outlaw beer.
They’re bound to go on your most wanted list!

 

Savvy Hip Hops Tasting Notes ~

David shares notes about each beer, along with some picks on what to serve … and some fun recipes too!

 

The Sheriff IPA

There’s a new Sheriff in town! This lightly hopped IPA will be popular with fans of English bitters. It measures up at 6.0% alcohol by volume (ABV.)

Tasting Notes: Unfiltered with a thick, long last foam and amber colour, this lovely IPA has notes of honey, herbs, caramel, and has a long bitter finish.

Suggested Food Pairing: Easily paired with a wide range of foods, we’re thinking a nice, spicy paella would go well (See recipe, below).

 

 

21 Lagered Ale

Named for the highway that runs right past the brewery, 21 is made with ale yeast, but has a secondary fermentation at low temperature. This “lagerring” process makes the beer very smooth. Kölsch is the best-known lagered ale style. This is an easy-drinker, at 4.8% ABV.

Tasting Notes: Our tasting panel loved this easy-drinking session ale, which made us think of summer! Straw coloured with a light head, it’s crisp and approachable with light bitterness on the finish.

Suggested Food Pairing: With summer on our minds, we want to pair this with easy picnic foods. Roast chicken, bread and cheese, or a nice potato salad see recipe below).


 

Southern Lass Heather and Honey Ale

Made with locally sourced wildflower honey and heather tips from Scotland, this was our tasting panel’s favourite! Heather tips have long been used in Scotland as a bittering herb, though they don’t contribute the power of hops. This measures up with a heady 5% ABV!

Tasting Notes: The colour of cloudy clover honey, this has a nice, think foam with fine bubbles. The honey and herbal notes are lovely. There’s only a light bitterness on the finish. We were surprised to find a creamy texture and honeycrisp apple flavour.

Suggested Food Pairing: We want to try this with a Bang Bang shrimp and pasta! (Recipe below.)

 

 

Bronco Copper Ale

Copper ales, made with dark malts, were popular in the 1970s but have largely disappeared. This is a terrific throwback to a lost style. 5.6 ABV.

Tasting Notes: The colour of a shiny new penny with a very heavy foam, this has flavours of toasted malt and caramel with a long hoppy finish.

Suggested Food Pairing: This beer would be terrific at brunch. Try it with a spring leek and asparagus frittata (recipe below).

 

 

 

 

 ~ Recipes to enjoy with the featured Savvy Hip Hops ~

 

With The Sheriff IPA… 

Chicken and Seafood Paella

Recipe and photo: JoCooks.com

Ingredients

2 Tbsp olive oil
4 chicken thighs boneless and skinless cut into 1 inch pieces
2 chorizo sausages cut into 1 inch pieces (I used Italian sausages)
1 large onion chopped
6 cloves garlic minced
1 1/2 cups arborio rice
14 oz can diced fire roasted tomatoes
4 cups vegetable or chicken broth
1 Tbsp hot sauce such as Tabasco or Sriracha
2 tsp smoked paprika
1 tsp saffron
salt and pepper to taste
1 lb large shrimp shelled and de-veined but keep tails on
1 lb clams scrubbed and soaked
1 lb mussels scrubbed and soaked
fresh parsley for garnish
1 lemon cut into lemon wedges

 

Method

In a large paella pan or large skillet heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the chicken and sausage, season with salt and pepper, then cook for about 5 minutes until the chicken is no longer pink. Move the chicken and sausage to one side of the pan, then add the onion to the other half, season with a bit of salt and pepper and cook for 2 minutes until the onion becomes translucent and soft. Add the garlic and cook for another minute.

Add the arborio and fire roasted tomatoes to the pan and stir well. Let the rice cook in the sauce from the tomatoes for about 5 minutes, you will notice it will start to brown on the bottom, which is what you’re looking for. Add the broth, hot sauce, smoked paprika, saffron and season with salt and pepper if needed. Stir everything together and cover with a large lid. Cook for about 15 minutes or until most of the liquid has been absorbed by the rice. The rice will not yet be cooked through.

Turn down the heat and stir the rice around a bit, you will notice the crust on the bottom of the pan, that’s what you’re looking for. Arrange the shrimp, mussels and clams over the rice, cover with a lid again and cook for another 10 minutes or until the mussels and clams open up.

Turn off the heat and garnish with parsley and lemon wedges.

 

With 21 Lagered Ale…

Deep South Potato Salad

Recipe and photo: DeepSouthDish.com

Ingredients

7 medium sized russet potatoes
1 tablespoon kosher salt
1/2 cup minced onion, minced
1 large stalk (rib) celery, chopped
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper, or to taste
3 boiled eggs, chopped
1 cup mayonnaise
1 teaspoon yellow mustard
1 Tablespoon chopped sweet pickle or pickle relish
Paprika to garnish, if desired, optional

 

Method

Rinse and scrub potatoes and place whole in a large pot of salted water; bring to a boil. Boil until tender but still firm, about 15-20 minutes. Test by piercing with a sharp knife.

Remove the potatoes from the hot water and set aside until cool enough to handle, but still warm. Peel and cut into chunks (or cubes if you prefer) and place into a large serving bowl.

Add the onion, celery, salt, pepper and eggs; toss. In a separate small bowl, mix together the mayonnaise, mustard and sweet pickle, and spoon over the potatoes while they are still warm; toss again until all the potatoes are coated. Taste and adjust seasonings as desired. Sprinkle top lightly with paprika, if desired.

 

 

With Southern Lass Heather and Honey Ale…

Bang Bang Shrimp with Pasta

Recipe and photo: ToSimplyInspire.com

 

Ingredients

¾ – 1 lb of thin spaghetti or angel hair pasta
1½ lbs of medium shrimp, peeled and de-veined
1 Tbsp coconut oil
3 cloves garlic, minced
3 tsp paprika
1 Tbsp dried parsley
freshly ground black pepper to taste

Sauce

½ cup mayonnaise
½ cup Thai sweet chili sauce
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 Tbsp of lime juice
⅛ tsp of crushed red pepper flakes

 

Method

Mix the sauce ingredients together in a bowl and set aside.

In a large pot of boiling water, cook the pasta and drain well.

Place the uncooked shrimp in a medium sized bowl and add the paprika, 3 cloves of garlic, pepper. Heat the coconut oil on medium high heat and add the coated uncooked shrimp. Stir constantly while cooking until pink for approx. 7- 10 minutes. Remove from heat and set aside if pasta is not ready

In a large serving bowl, combine the pasta, shrimp and sauce mixture and toss.

Garnish with parsley and serve immediately.

 

 

With Bronco Copper Ale…

Leek and Asparagus Frittata

Recipe and photo: Epicurious.com

Ingredients

2 tablespoons (1/4 stick) butter
1 cup chopped leeks (white and pale green parts only)
1 12-ounce bunch thin asparagus, trimmed, cut on diagonal into 1-inch pieces (about 2 1/2 cups)
1 cup sliced stemmed shiitake mushrooms
8 large eggs
1 cup diced Fontina cheese, divided
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese

 

Method

Preheat broiler.

Melt butter in heavy broiler proof 10-inch-diameter nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add leeks and sautée 4 minutes. Add asparagus and shiitake mushrooms, sprinkle lightly with salt, and sauté until tender, about 6 minutes.

Whisk eggs, 3/4 cup Fontina cheese, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and 1/2 teaspoon pepper in medium bowl. Add egg mixture to skillet; fold gently to combine. Cook until almost set. Sprinkle remaining 1/4 cup Fontina cheese and Parmesan cheese over.

Broil until frittata is puffed and cheese begins to turn golden, about 3 minutes.

Cut into wedges and serve.

 

Enjoy your Savvy Hip Hops!

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Got a Beau’s in hand?

Posted by David

Thursday, March 16th, 2017
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How much do we love Beau’s All Natural Brewing? So much that we go back to them year after year. They aren’t just a maker of beer, but an engine of social change. They’re leading the way, in how they treat their workers, how they buy their ingredients, their commitment to making the world a better place, and especially in their fantastic and creative beers. Read all about it in this month’s Beer Backstory below.

And enjoy these amazing beers. Many of them are brand new releases, and a number involve collaborations with other businesses! We know you’ll love them!!

Open your Savvy Hip Hops & you will find…

…in your Quick Picks:

Polaris Pale Ale
Tyrannosaurus Gruit
80 Shilling Scotch Ale
Iron Shirt
Blood Simple
Strong Patrick
Dunkel
Greener Futures: Castorgeist Belgian Amber

…in your Taste Case you will find the beers above PLUS:

Triceratops Tripel
Greener Futures: Fifty Shades of Gris
Greener Futures: Big Sleepy Belgian Imperial Stout

 

Need more beer?

If you would like additional bottles of any beer featured in Savvy Hip Hops, just call the Savvy Hip Hops Hotline: 613-SAVVYCO (728-8926) or cheers@savvycompany.ca
Cheers & Enjoy!
Debbie & the Savvy Brew Crew

 

Leading the way:

Beau’s Brewing
by David Loan, Sommelier & member of the Savvy Brew Crew

In the ever-growing world of craft breweries, Beau’s is an unqualified success. As a beer lover, you probably already know all about them. But here’s a quick summary:

Founded in 2006 by father and son team Tim and Steve Beauschene (in photo), Beau’s had a buy local-sell local philosophy. The spring water came from a nearby property, and they planned to never sell more than a day’s drive away. Within a couple of years, they were already expanding, both in terms of the size of the brewery and the product line-up. They became one of the first certified organic breweries in Canada and won award after award after award. Add to that they’re annual Oktoberfest – a rollicking two day party with live music and celebrity appearances – and they’re outstanding commitment to giving back to their community…there you have Beau’s history in a nutshell.

 

So, what’s new?

Marketing Director Jacquie Severs said that Beau’s continues to be ground breaking.  To celebrate their 10th anniversary, they announced that all employees would become part owners. It was a very visible strike against a trend of successful craft breweries being bought up by big international  beverage corporations and in the acquisition, losing the unique character that originally made them successful.

At the same time, Beau’s managed to negotiate deals with provincial alcohol regulators across the country, and began national distribution last July. You can now buy Beau’s in every province except Saskatchewan. “A big part of that project is our commitment to contribute a percentage of our profits to each community we’re sold in,” Jacquie said. “That’s how we continue our “local” connection.”

Listen to #613Beer – a podcast hosted by Savvy Brew Crew member Katy Watts who sat down for a beer with a bunch from Beau’s.  Even more ‘dirt’ (aka news).

 

Spreading the love

Perhaps their most exciting project is their support of a craft brewery in Rwanda. Raising $110,400 through Kickstarter, Beau’s is assisting restauranteur Josephine “Fina” Uwineza to start a craft brewery in Rwanda’s capital city of Kigali. They’ve arranged for brewery equipment to be donated and sent their brewmaster over to help find and develop a site. “He learned about traditional Rwandan banana beer,” Jacquie said. “It was a great experience for everyone.”

 

Celebration time!

Named the Official Brewery of Ottawa 2017 (Lugtread was named the Official Beer), Beau’s is sharing the limelight by collaborating with other producers for a monthly release. You’ll get to learn more about those below. “Certified organic is still a core value and that won’t change,” Jacquie said. “But we also value experimentation and innovation, and our FeBREWary program is our opportunity to push the envelope,” she said. Wait until you taste some of these unique creations found in your Savvy Hip Hops!

Lugtread, Beau’s flagship beer, solidly remains at the core of their philosophy. “We try and we taste lots of different products,” Jacquie explained, “but at the end of the day, it’s nice drinking a beer you know. Having a Lugtread is like coming home.”

There’s no brewery like Beau’s…so let’s lift a glass & toast their success!

Savvy Hip Hops Tasting Notes ~

David shares notes about each beer, along with some picks on what to serve, and some fun recipes too!

Polaris Pale Ale

Brewed with wild-harvested spruce tips, organic barley, Québec-grown hops and Ontario wheat. It measures up at 5.0% alcohol by volume (ABV) and 32 International Bitterness Units (IBU).

Tasting Notes: What a lovely and unusual beer! It pours cloudy with just a bit of foam. The spruce note lends a subtle but distinctive balance to the medium hoppiness. The beer has a wheat body, but the fullness of a good ale with a long finish.

Suggested Food Pairing: The big flavours of this beer will match nicely with a rich fish like Arctic char or Pacific salmon, preferably grilled on the BBQ.

 

Tyrannosaurus Gruit

Before the Bavarians passed their famous Beer Purity Law in 1516, brewers often flavoured their beer with pastes of fruit and herbs, making a beverage called “gruit”. Today, brewmasters are experimenting with the flavours that unusual ingredients can bring to non-traditional gruits. Beau’s makes this red gruit ale with beets and hibiscus flowers, organic juniper berries and spruce tips. This is an easy-drinker, at 5.8% ABV and 17 IBU.

Tasting Notes: A deep red beer with a long-lasting head, there are flavours of strawberry and orange with a backdrop of earthiness. There’s black tea, here, too, and delicate spruce notes.

Suggested Food Pairing: A wonderful match with strong cheese, we’d love to have this with a beet and goat cheese salad.

 

Fifty Shades of Gris

We’ve seen beer aged in bourbon or whisky barrels for a few years now. The latest trend is to age it in wine barrels, extracting some of the oak and wine flavours into the beer. This imperial gruit, flavoured with Labrador Tea, bog myrtle, thyme, and yarrow, is aged in Pinot Gris barrels. It measures up with a heady 8.9% ABV!

Tasting Notes: Hazy and opaque, this is a truly unusual beer. Instead of hoppy, we get big herbal flavours, starting with the thyme. There’s also a nice note of orange flowers and just a touch of tannins from the oak.

Suggested Food Pairing: This would be gorgeous with a fresh tomato sauce over your favourite pasta.

 

 

80 Shilling Scotch Ale

Beau’s says that Scotch Ales used to be priced based on their strength. 40 shillings for light beer, 90 shillings for heavy. This one gets it just right. 4.7 ABV and 29 IBUs.

Tasting Notes: This pours a very dark brown with a thick foamy head. There are lovely notes of roasted grain, with nuts and a light bitterness. This is a crowd-pleasing, easy-drinking, whoops-I-had-too-much brown ale!

Suggested Food Pairing: Beau’s recommends trying sausage rolls with this, and we agree (recipe below).

 

 

Iron Shirt (Oak-aged Vidal pale ale)

I think I’ll let Beau’s explain this one: “Beau’s has joined forces with Montréal’s Brasserie et Distillerie Oshlag to create Iron Shirt, a pale ale made with Vidal ice-wine grapes, and aged on oak spirals soaked in Oshlag’s very own hopped Vodka.” 6.8% ABV, 40 IBUs.

Tasting Notes: Unique in the beer world, Iron Shirt pours a hazy straw colour with good, long-lasting foam. It has big citrus flavours, with a strong hops backbone and a stone finish.

Suggested Food Pairing: Beau’s has kindly provided a recipe for a perfect match: Bacon Carbonara Mac n’ Cheese (recipe below).

 

Triceratops Tripel

Tripel is a term used to describe strong pale ales. This gruit-style beer is flavoured with bog myrtle, dried heather flowers, hops, and lavender. It certainly is strong, with 9.0% alcohol!

Tasting Notes: I loved the unusual lavender notes that emerged from the bottle. The beer is golden hay in colour, and offers flavours of orange, mint, and a light medicinal note that balances the florals.

Suggested Food Pairing: There’s a lovely recipe for ham and brie in puffed pastry on the Beau’s web site, and it’s a great match with this (recipe below).

 

Castorgeist Belgian Amber

Take Beau’s well-loved Festivale and age it in wine barrels for 43 months, add it two other barrel aged beers, and you get this unique Belgian-style Amber ale. Another big drinker, this has 8.3% ABV.

Tasting Notes: A thick, foamy head tops this cloudy dark amber ale. It has a wine-like nose, with huge flavours of roasted grain and honey. But there’s more – a tart and tannic flavour that reminds me of aged sherry.

Suggested Food Pairing: Smoked oysters with cream cheese and wheat crackers would stand up to the big flavours of this beer.

 

 

Blood Simple

Made with the juice and peel from blood oranges and Peruvian cacao, this Belgian-style wheat beer gets its body from organic oats. 5.3% ABV.

Tasting Notes: The berry overtones offered by the blood orange make this a very interesting drink. There’s a light bitterness which works well with the chocolate notes.

Suggested Food Pairing: This will pair well with a not-too-sweet dessert like chocolate mousse or with Latin cuisine like chicken enchiladas.

 

 

Strong Patrick Irish-style Red

Beau’s brewmaster, Matthew O’Hara, has gone back to his roots with the Irish Red ale. A portion of it has been aged in whiskey barrels. 6.7% ABV.

Tasting Notes: Deep, hazy red with good foam bodes well as you pour. This a very complex and delicious ale, with flavours of honey, orange, roasted grain, and vanilla. There’s a sherry note on the long finish.

Suggested Food Pairing: Let’s stick with the Irish theme and have this with smoked salmon and soda bread!

 

 

Dunkel

“Dunkel” is German for dark, and in the beer world it refers to dark Bavarian-style lager. 5.7% ABV and 25 IBU.

Tasting Notes: The head doesn’t last long with this one, but neither did the beer! It’s a dark brown colour with brown sugar rising off the pour. The malty, toasted grain flavours are lovely, and they’re balanced with a long, long vanilla finish. This was a tasting team favourite!

Suggested Food Pairing: We’re excited to try Beau’s recipe for Lollipop chicken with tandoori spice (recipe below)!

 

 

Big Sleepy Belgian Imperial Stout

Beau’s took their Matt’s Sleepy Time Imperial Stout and divided it up. Some went into red wine barrels, some into white wine barrels, another portion into whiskey barrels, and yet more into rum barrels – each for 5 months. Finally, hey added some bourbon barrel aged Lug Tread to complete the mix. Fascinating! 8.% ABV.

Tasting Notes: Black and opaque with a brown-tinged foam, this reminds us of Russian black bread with its flavours of coffee and chocolate. The alcohol is apparent here, too – this is a good beer to end the night with!

Suggested Food Pairing: Pair this strong stout with a beef and vegetable stew – it can handle the deep, rich flavours.

 

 

~ Recipes to enjoy with the featured Savvy Hip Hops ~

All recipes and photos: Beau’s

With Iron Shirt Pale Ale…

Bacon Carbonara Mac & Cheese

Ingredients

100 mL. Iron Shirt Pale Ale
1 lb. Pasta, penne or fusilli
1 lb. smoked bacon, sliced and diced.
1 medium onion, sliced
1 lb. mushrooms, sliced
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 medium tomato, diced
250 ml. heavy cream
2 tbsp. butter
1 cup white cheddar cheese, grated
4 tbsp. Fresh Parmesan Cheese

 

Method

In a large pot, boil salted water for pasta; follow pasta manufacturer’s directions and timing. Drain the cooked pasta and toss with 2 tbsp. butter.

In a pan on medium-high heat, cook the sliced bacon until slightly crispy.  Toss the onions into the pan with the bacon. Sauté for 3-4 minutes until the onions become translucent in color. Add the mushrooms to the pan and stir to coat.

Continue to cook the bacon, mushroom and onions, stirring every for 2-3 minute to allow for caramelization of the mushrooms. If you stir them too much, they will release their water and never brown. When the mushrooms begin to brown, stir the garlic into the pan. Continue cooking for 1-2 minutes.

Add the beer and turn the heat to high. Let the beer reduce to half before adding the cream. Add in the cream. Cook for 2 -3 minutes, stirring occasionally. When cream begins to thicken, reduce the heat to medium-low.

Toss in the shredded cheddar cheese, diced tomatoes and pasta. Stir well. Top with Parmesan cheese before serving.

Enjoy alongside a glass of Iron Shirt Pale Ale.

 

 

With Triceratops Tripel…

Ham & Cheese Baked Pastry

Ingredients

1 sheet of puff pastry
250 grams wheel of brie cheese, whole
100 grams of smoked Ham, deli sliced thin.
1 large egg
2 tbsp. Ground/Grainy Mustard*
1 tbsp. Triceratops Tripel
½ tsp. black pepper, freshly ground

 

Method

Thaw pastry in the fridge over night or until pliable but not soft. Roll out pastry lightly. Place on a lined baking sheet.

With a wet knife, slice the cheese wheel through the middle in one slice. Open soft side up. Place one side in the middle of the pastry. In a bowl mix together the mustard and beer. Divide and spread the mustard mixture evenly between both halves of cheese.

Layer and drape the ham over the one half of cheese on the pastry, keeping the slices fluffy. This will give the cheese a space to melt into. Lay the top half of the cheese, mustard side down, on top of the ham. Creating a sandwich.

Trim the edges of the pastry to form a circle. Wrap the pastry up the sides of the cheese and crimp the edges like a pie crust.

In a small bowl, beat the egg and brush over pastry and top of cheese. Refrigerate the pastry-wrapped cheese for 2 hours, to firm up pastry.

Pull the pastry out of the fridge. Sprinkle with the pepper.

Bake at 425° for 15-20 min. Let rest 5 minutes before serving.

 

 

With Beau’s Dunkel…

Lollipop Chicken with Tandoori Spice

Ingredients

1 kg. chicken drumsticks
1 cup plain yogurt
2 Tbsp. tandoori spice, store bought or home-made*
1 Tbsp. lemon juice
2 large onions

 

Method

To make the marinade:

In a small mixing bowl, stir together the yogurt, lemon juice and tandoori spice. Whisk until thick and smooth. Set aside.

To make the chicken lollipop:

Using a small paring knife, make a cut completely around the base of the drumstick just below the knuckle cutting through the skin and tendons. Push the meat down towards the large end. Pull the remaining skin and cartilage off the knuckle.

Place chicken into a sealable bag. Pour the marinade over the chicken in the bag. Zip closed, squeezing out as much air as possible and knead until the chicken is well-coated. Refrigerate 12-24 hours. Knead the marinating chicken once or twice while in the fridge.

Remove from the fridge and remove chicken from marinade. Discard the bag and marinade. Form a ball with the meat at the base of the leg with your hands.

Pre-heat your oven to 425°F with convection fan.

Slice onions into big round rings. Line a large roasting pan with tin foil and spray lightly with non-stick cooking spray.

Use the onion rings as a base for the chicken. Place the rings down on the tin foil and stand the drumsticks up on top of the rings. Avoid overcrowding the pan, you don’t want the chicken to touch.

Once the oven is hot, place the chicken in the oven, and leave the door closed (no peeking!). Roast the chicken for 15 minutes, or until slightly charred on the outside.

While the chicken is roasting, cut a small strip of foil for each drumstick. Big enough to wrap around the bone.

After the chicken has been roasting for 15 minutes, turn down the oven to 300°F. Take out the chicken and wrap the drumstick bone with the foil strips. This will prevent the bones from over charring and becoming brittle.

Return the chicken to the oven and roast for an additional 35 minutes. Turn off the oven and let the chicken rest in the oven for 10 minutes.

Remove the chicken to a warm platter, garnish with a few squeezes of lemon, and enjoy with a glass of Farm Table: Dunkel.


To make your own Tandoori Spice Mix*

Ingredients & Method

2 tsp. cumin seeds

1 tsp. each of:
allspice, whole
black peppercorns
cinnamon stick
coriander seeds
cardamom seeds, pods removed
½ tsp. cloves, whole

Toast all the above spices for 4-5 min, in a medium-hot pan stirring occasionally. Remove from heat, transfer to a bowl to cool. Once cooled, grind spices in a blender or coffee grinder until powder.

Sift out any large bits and re-grind as needed.

Place this ground mixture in a bowl and add:

1 tsp. cayenne pepper
1 Tbsp. smoked paprika
2 tsp. salt
1 tsp ginger, ground
1 tsp granulated garlic

Mix well.  This special Tandoori Spice Mix can be stored in an airtight container for up to 1 year.

Use it for marinades, salad dressings dips and sauces…and Indian recipes like this one.  Be sure to have a beer on hand because all this grinding is hard work!

 

Enjoy your Savvy Hip Hops!

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“Dad…Dad…buy a winery!”

Posted by David

Monday, March 13th, 2017
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When you have generations of winemakers in your family tree, the word “tradition” takes on a new meaning. This month in Savvy Selections, we feature fabulous wines from Niagara’s  Di Profio Wines. A family run operation that specializes in small batch, hand-made wines, Di Profio has quickly built a reputation for their excellent products. You can read all about their approach to winemaking in our Di Profio profile, below.

 

Get ready to uncork & enjoy your Savvy Selections…

In your Savvy Selections you will find 3 of our favourite Di Profio picks. We love how they offer a variety of flavours and styles!

2015 Sparkling Aromatic Gamay Rosie Light and lively are the key words for this bubblegum pink sparkling wine.

2015 Kitchen Zinc – Blended from seven grape varieties, you’ll love how pretty and well-balanced this white wine is.

2013 Zinc-tastic – Here’s an example big red wine Fred Di Profio has become famous for: Cab-Merlot in perfect harmony!

 

Wines with power & elegance

Di Profio is making wines that will entice the most discerning of palates. Each one is unique, offering flavours and aromas that you would expect only from much more expensive products. These wines are read to drink, though most of them can handle cellaring for a few years, too. Our Savvy Sommeliers know you’ll love them as much as we do!

Call on us at anytime you would like additional bottles of your favourite Di Profio wines – or other wineries we have featured in Savvy Selections.  Your Canadian Wine Hotline is 613-SAVVYCO (728-8926) or send me an email to debbie@savvycompany.ca.

Cheers!
-Debbie & Savvy Team

 

 

Introducing…

Di Profio Wines
presented by Sommelier David Loan

“Traditional” is a word we like to use a lot in the wine industry. It calls to mind the ancient history of winemaking, and connects the New World to the Old. But only a few Ontario wineries have the family roots to show that winemaking is a family legacy, a true tradition that forms part of the winery’s heritage.

Deep Roots

At Di Profio Wines, the winemaker’s roots go as deep as his vineyards. “My father’s family for generations were farming in a well-known region of Italy called Abruzzi,” Di Profio’s winemaker Fred Di Profio remembers. “My grandfather, Giuseppe, left and they eventually sold off their vineyards, but he continued making wine as many Italian immigrants do, in his cellar.” Fred’s father, Joseph, watched his own father make wine, but didn’t have much interest in the process when he grew up.

Fred, however, decided to study winemaking and began to work as a “cellar rat” at a variety of wineries in Niagara and elsewhere. He eventually took over as winemaker at Pondview Estates Winery (the winery we featured in Savvy Selections just 3 months ago – December 2016). 

Family Business

That’s when his dad, Joseph, got interested, too. “My father saw how gratifying it was for me to make wine and he thought, I should rekindle my childhood memories of MY father making wine,” Fred said. “He had a great time and learned something new and together we naturally found our family roots.” With Fred’s advice, Joseph bought some vineyards near Jordan Station in the Niagara Escarpment. Of course, he immediately enlisted Fred to run the operation.

Building Up

Joseph spearheaded building a new winery and tasting room. One of his biggest concerns was the bar. “Fred was looking for an interesting material for the tasting bar top,” Joseph said. “And he found a wine bar in Italy with a zinc countertop. Zinc oxidizes in a really neat way. Spilled wine produces a really nice patina – the older and more used, the more personality it develops. Joe got some zinc sheets and used them to cover our beautiful tasting bar.”

Joseph liked the material so much, in fact, that the tasting room is called The Zinc. And some of the wine labels playfully use the word, too.

Ready for Reds

Fred has developed a reputation for making big, bold red wines.  In the cool climate region like Niagara, Cabernet Sauvignon can be challenging for those grapes. Fred explained to me that extra time spent in the vineyard makes all the difference. “We always adapt to the climactic conditions. Even in the cooler growing seasons, there are a number of tools we can use in the vineyard to accommodate to any climate, which can vary from year to year,” he said. “Crop thinning to give the vines a helping hand, canopy management to vary the shade levels – more leaves in hot seasons, less in cooler seasons. The secret is patience and good vineyard practices.”

We’re Convinced!

Since Di Profio Wines opened in 2012, the father and son duo (and mother Carollynn had her hand in it too running the B&B next to the winery), Joseph and Fred have quickly built a reputation for high-quality wines. Dedicated to small batch production, and producing only wines from estate vineyards, they are leading a new movement in Niagara winemaking, one that looks to the future while embracing, yes, the traditional.

We are proud to offer you our favourite picks from the Di Profio portfolio. We’re confident that every bottle in the Savvy Selections that you open will leave you wanting more!

~ SAVVY SOMMELIER TASTING NOTES ~

For your Savvy Selection this month, we’ve chosen three wines that demonstrate the powerful elegance of Di Profio wines.  We know that you’ll love the subtle flavours of these stunning wines, along with some delicious recipes that will perfectly match food and drink.

 

2015 Sparkling Aromatic Gamay Rosie (VQA Creek Shores)
$25

Savvy Sommelier Tasting Notes: Named for Joe’s mother, Rosie (and bearing her image on the label), this Gamay sparkler is perfect for a romantic evening! There’s so much going on here: candied citrus, cherry gumdrops, pink marshmallows. It’s dry and refreshing, and finishes on the palate with watermelon and strawberry notes. The mousse is light, with fine bubbles.

Suggested Food Pairings: Our tasters agreed that this will go well with fish and seafood. We think a nice Trout Almandine will be a perfect pairing. (Recipe below.)

Cellaring:  Drink at 8ºC within a year.

 

2015 Kitchen Zinc (VQA Ontario)
$18

Savvy Sommelier Tasting Notes: Want to know what grapes this is made from: Chardonnay Musque (a cousin of the Chardonnay we know and love); Riesling, Sauvignon Blanc, Muscat, Chardonnay, Vidal, and Pinot Gris.

Pretty and aromatic, it has fresh floral and orange notes, with flavours of rose and honey. Medium acidity balances the light sweetness.

Suggested Food Pairings: Off-dry wines pair beautifully with spicy food, and this is no exception. We suggest a chipotle black bean chili. Recipe follows.

Cellaring: Ready to drink now, this could be cellared for up to 2 years. Serve between 10-14ºC.

 

2013 Zinc-tastic (VQA Niagara Peninsula)
$23

Savvy Sommelier Tasting Notes:  Sixty-four per cent Cabernet Sauvignon and Thirty-six per cent Merlot, the Zinc-tastic showcases Fred Di Profio’s talent with making big red wines.

With loads of dark fruit flavours and aromas of cigar box, coffee, and chocolate, this has medium, elegant tannins and medium acidity. Our tasters all thought that this is a steal at the price!

Suggested Food Pairings: We want to pick up on the fruit and smoky flavours of the Zinc-tastic. So, we turned to one of our favourite culinary regions – Provence – and a very old stew recipe: Daube de Boeuf Jeannette.

Cellaring: Drinking well now, this can cellar 3-5 years. Serve at 14-16ºC.

 

 

~ RECIPES TO ENJOY WITH YOUR SAVVY SELECTIONS ~

 

With Di Profio Sparkling Aromatic Gamay Rosie…

Trout Almandine

Recipe & Photo credit: MarthaStewart.com
Serves 4-6

Ingredients

1/2 cup sliced almonds
1/2 cup flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 cup milk
4 trout fillets
1 Tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
1 Tbsp butter
2 garlic cloves, smashed and peeled

 

Method

Lightly toast the almonds in a saute pan. Reserve. Combine the flour, salt, and cayenne pepper in a small, flat dish. Pour the milk into another one. Place the trout fillets in the milk.

Heat a large saute pan over medium heat. Add the olive oil and butter. Dredge the fillets in the flour mixture on both sides. Add to the pan and increase heat. Put the garlic cloves in the pan and swirl it around.

Turn the trout after 2 minutes and remove the garlic (you don’t want it to brown). Cook until the fish is cooked through and lightly golden brown, about 1 or 2 more minutes. Scatter the almonds over top. Serve immediately.


With Di Profio Kitchen Zinc…

Chipotle black bean chili

Recipe and photo: MyRecipes.com
Serves 4

Ingredients

1 teaspoon olive oil
1 cup finely chopped onion
6 garlic cloves, minced
2 Tablespoons chili powder
1 teaspoon minced canned chipotle chile in adobo sauce
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1/8 teaspoon salt
2 (15-ounce) cans black beans, drained
2 (14.5-ounce) cans whole tomatoes, undrained and chopped
1 (4.5-ounce) can chopped green chiles, drained
Cilantro sprigs (optional)

 

Method

Heat oil in a large saucepan over medium-high heat.

Add onion and garlic; sauté 3 minutes or until tender. Add chili powder and next 6 ingredients (chili powder through green chiles); bring to a boil.

Reduce heat, and simmer 15 minutes. Ladle chili into individual bowls, and garnish with cilantro sprigs, if desired.

Serve with corn chips or corn bread.

 

 

With Di Profio Zinc-tastic…

Daube de Boeuf Jeannette

Recipe: Chicago Tribune
Photo credit: SAQ
Serves 5-6

Ingredients

8-10 canned anchovy fillets, optional
3 1/2 pounds lean beef stew, preferably top round, cut into 1-inch cubes
6 ounces lean bacon, cut into 1/2-inch dice
1/2 cup olive oil
2 medium onions, sliced
3 garlic cloves, mashed

Peel from an orange, dried
1 onion, studded with 3 cloves
2 1/2 cups dry red wine
Beef broth, or water and bouillon cubes
3 Tablespoons tomato paste
Large bouquet garni (2 small celery ribs tied with a bunch of parsley sprigs, a few thyme stalks, and a bay leaf between)
Salt, pepper to taste
4 ounces tiny Nicoise olives, pitted
1 Tablespoon minced basil or parsley

 

Method

If you choose to use the anchovy fillets, insert a small piece in each beef cube, using a pointed knife, then set aside. Plunge the bacon into rapidly boiling water for 6 to 7 minutes, rinse under cold water, then drain and dry on paper towels.

Heat half the oil in a heavy-bottomed skillet. When very hot, add the diced bacon and stir until it begins to brown, then remove and let drain on paper towels.

Without crowding the pieces, add the beef cubes to the hot oil. Turn the pieces when nicely browned. When all sides are evenly browned, remove the beef with a slotted spoon, and reserve. Add more oil and the sliced onions, and cook slowly, stirring, until tender but not browned.

Heat oven to 375 degrees. Return the meat and bacon to the skillet, and add garlic, orange peel, onion with cloves and wine. Heat to boil, then add broth to cover, stir in tomato paste, place bouquet garni in the middle, and season with more pepper than salt, as the olives will provide salt.

When the mixture begins to simmer, cover with parchment paper and the lid. Bake until the meat is tender, at least 1 1/2 hours. Turn the beef cubes halfway through cooking. A few minutes before serving, remove the onion with cloves; add olives, taste and correct the seasoning. Serve in a warmed shallow serving dish, accompanied by boiled potatoes or rice, sprinkled with minced basil or parsley.

 

Enjoy the season with your Savvy Selections!

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Growing like gangbusters!

Posted by David

Thursday, February 9th, 2017
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It’s a cool story: three guys meet, become friends, and cement their friendship by opening a brewery together. That’s the story behind Whitewater Brewing Company, an Ottawa Valley success.  While you read this month’s Beer Backstory Magazine, enjoy a brew from your Savvy Hip Hops parcel containing Whitewater’s popular mainstays and seasonals beers. We know you’ll love them as much as we do!

Open your Savvy Hip Hops & you will find bottles & cans of…

Farmer’s Daughter Blonde Ale
Whistling Paddler English Style Ale
Class V IPA
Midnight Oatmeal Milk Stout
Honey Badger Northern Honey Brown – Seasonal

Need more beer?

If you would like additional bottles of any beer featured in Savvy Hip Hops, just call our Savvy Brew Crew & we’ll do our best to arrange a special shipment for you.  Put us on speed dial – Savvy Hip Hops Hotline: 613-SAVVYCO (728-8926) or cheers@savvycompany.ca

Cheers!
Debbie & the Savvy Brew Crew

 

Rapid growth:
Whitewater Brewing Company

by David Loan, Sommelier & member of the Savvy Brew Crew

One day a few years ago, three young men started their first day on the job. They had been hired as white water rafting guides by Wilderness Tours, along the mighty Ottawa River.

From the beginning, they became fast friends. The three (left to right in pix – photo credits Ottawa Citizen) – Chris Thomson, Chris Thomson (yes, you read that right), and James Innes – were sad to break up the team at the end of the summer, but promised to return the next year.

And they did, meeting over a beer (ok….maybe more than one), and telling stories about their winter adventures.

“We always found ourselves in different areas of the world in the off-season, whenever we grouped back up it was to share a beer and tell stories and catch up,” said Chris.

Plans Brewing

One day, they talked about the future. “We felt there wasn’t any good beer in the area, and we wanted to solve that,” said Chris. “We knew that there was a local hop farm and we decided it would be crazy not to take advantage of that.” And just like that, Whitewater Brewing Company was born.

The company was registered in 2011, but the first brewery, now called the Riverside Brewery, didn’t open until 2014 in nearby Forester’s Falls. A second brewery, the Lakeside, opened last fall in Cobden and is preparing to brew their first batch in next month – February 2017 – and produce thirty times more beer than the first small brewery. Yes 30 times more!

All about the local

“Local” is a word Chris uses often. “When we started, and we are happy to continue to enforce a buy local philosophy,” he said. “We wanted to prioritize supporting the local economy. This means buying from other local suppliers, but also running events for organizations that support local groups.”

“Both our pubs are buying local meat, local vegetables. A huge proportion of what we serve is grown within 75 or 100 km. We’re really proud of that. It comes at a price, but it’s a price we’re willing to pay.”

Embracing their roots

Asked about Whitewater’s brewing philosophy, Chris said, “Our aim is to have four beers that would be true to their style. We wanted something that people could sit down, unwind and enjoy a good beer…then crack open maybe two or three more.” Chris continued, “With our seasonals, we play more and aren’t afraid of wacky flavours. With our coffee beer, we liked a local coffee company so we thought, how can we use this ingredient in our brews?”

Chris simply explained that Whitewater’s motto is down to earth honest and reflects exactly who they are: “Brewed by friends, for friends.”

After sipping through the beer assortment in your Savvy Hip Hops, we think you too will want to be friends with the fantastic team at Whitewater!

Let’s raise a glass to Chris, Chris & James and their rapidly growing brewery!

 

 

Savvy Hip Hops Tasting Notes 

David shares his notes about each beer, along with his picks on what to serve … and some fun recipes too!

Farmer’s Daughter Blonde Ale

This is a real crowd-pleaser! Whitewater Brewing’s flagship ale will go down smoothly after work or with Friday night take-out. International Bitterness Units (IBU) at 22; 5.5% alcohol.

Tasting Notes: A clear blonde ale, it has good carbonation and a crisp texture. Flavours of honey and apricot round out a long finish. There’s a touch of bitterness from the local hops, which balances the honey notes beautifully.

Suggested Food Pairing: This will pair easily with everything from a burger and fries and fries to roast chicken, but we’d like to try it with a spicy Szechuan stir-fry (recipe below).

Whistling Paddler English Style Ale

David’s favourite, this ale is unique, richly flavoured ale that demands a second glass. It’s an easy-drinker, at 4.5% alcohol and 36 IBU.

Tasting Notes: Hazy amber in colour, there’s an immediate note of caramel and roast grain, with just enough bitterness to balance. It finishes with a pretty, toasted marshmallow note.

Suggested Food Pairing: The sweetness calls for something chocolatey, and we debated about cheesecake. In the end, we felt a Mexican chicken mole sauce will be a perfect fit (recipe below)!

Class V India Pale Ale

A best seller in the Whitewater line-up, this is a classic IPA. Don’t get scared by the 72 IBU; the hops are well integrated here. 5.5% alcohol.

Tasting Notes: Despite being unfiltered (like all Whitewater products), this pours a clear amber. The hops are certainly present, but balanced by a light orange citrus note. There’s some minerality, too. The finish is very long and lightly bitter.

Suggested Food Pairing: This is an easy one: BBQ. Whether you do chicken wings, ribs, or a BBQ sauce pizza, the sweet and tangy sauce will be a terrific match to this beer.

Midnight Oatmeal Milk Stout

Milks stouts have lactose added to them. Lactose is unfermentable by yeast, so it adds a sweetness that doesn’t get converted to alcohol. If you’re not sure about trying a heavier beer, this is a terrific one to start with. It won’t fill you up or overwhelm your taste buds. 30 IBU and 4.5% alcohol.

Tasting Notes: This pours an opaque chocolate brown with a long-lasting foam. It smells and tastes of cocoa, toasted malt, and mild hops.

Suggested Food Pairing: Have the Midnight Stout with a black bean chocolate brownie, a surprisingly rich and flavourful spin on the classic (recipe below).

SEASONAL: Honey Badger Northern Honey Brown

Whitewater’s Brew Master Sean Goddard, who hails from the nearby town of Pakenham, believes that seasonals should be playful. This Honey Brown is a great example: smooth, sweet, and toasty.

Tasting Notes: This pours a deep and hazy amber with a light head. Aromas of orange, roasted malt, and that eponymous honey, which gets stronger toward the finish. But the big player here is the malt, which stays in the mouth for minutes afterward.

Suggested Food Pairing: We want French onion soup with this, smothered by a toasted crouton and melted, gooey cheese (recipe below).

Product photo credits: Whitewater Brewing Co.

 

Recipes to enjoy with the featured Savvy Hip Hops

With Farmer’s Daughter…

Szechuan beef stir-fry
Recipe and photo: chinasichuanfood.com

Ingredients

1/2 pound beef
1 cup of celery sections (around 5 cm long) or as needed
5 chili dried pepper, cut into shreds and remove the seeds
2 green onion whites, cut into sections around 5 cm long
1 inch root ginger, shreds
1 Tablespoon doubanjiang (available in Chinatown, or thicken with cornstarch)
1 teaspoon chili pepper powder or as needed
1/2 teaspoon Sichuan peppercorn powder
Sesame seeds for garnish
Salt to taste

Marinating Sauce

2 Tablespoons cooking wine
1 Tablespoon light soy sauce
3 Tablespoons cooking oil

Method

Put the beef in refrigerator for about 30 minutes and cut into small and long shreds.

In a large mixing bowl, well combine beef shreds and marinating ingredients and set aside for 10 minutes.

Heat up your wok or pan firstly for around 2 minutes and then add around 2 tablespoons cooking oil to heat until the oil is really hot. Add beef shreds in. Stir fry for around 1 to 2 minutes over high fire, you will see there is sauce coming out in your wok. Pour the sauce out and transfer the beef shreds to one side of your wok or pan.

Add around 1/2 tablespoon oil to fry the ginger shreds, green onion shreds and dried chili pepper sheds until aroma over medium fire. Add doubanjiang in to stir fry for the red oil. Mix everything well.

Spread chili pepper powder, Sichuan peppercorn powder and sesame seeds. Toss quickly and make sure all the ingredients are combined completely.

Add celery sections in and continue cook for around 1 minute. Transfer out and serve hot!

With Whistling Paddler…

Chicken Mole
Recipe and photo: Epicurious.com

TIP: It’s worth making a trip to a local Mexican grocery for some of the chiles and Mexican chocolate. They’re surprisingly inexpensive and very delicious!

Ingredients

3 Tablespoons (or more) peanut oil (preferably unrefined), divided
5 pounds skinless boneless chicken thighs
3 cups low-salt chicken broth
2 cups orange juice
1 1/4 pounds onions, sliced
1/2 cup sliced almonds
6 large garlic cloves, sliced
4 teaspoons cumin seeds
4 teaspoons coriander seeds
4 ounces dried pasilla chiles, stemmed, seeded, torn into 1-inch pieces, rinsed
1 ounce dried negro chiles, stemmed, seeded, torn into 1-inch pieces, rinsed
1/4 cup raisins
4  strips of 1/2-inch orange peel (orange part only)
1 1/2 teaspoons dried oregano
1 3.1-ounce disk Mexican chocolate, chopped
Chopped fresh cilantro
Warm flour tortillas

Method

Heat 1 tablespoon oil in heavy large pot over medium-high heat.

Sprinkle chicken on both sides with salt and pepper.

Working in batches, add chicken to pot; sautée until lightly browned, adding more oil by tablespoonsful as needed, about 3 minutes per side. Transfer chicken to large bowl.

Return chicken and any juices to pot. Add broth and orange juice; bring just to boil. Reduce heat to medium-low; cover and simmer until chicken is tender and just cooked through, about 25 minutes.

Meanwhile, heat 2 tablespoons oil in heavy large saucepan over medium-high heat. Add onions and sauté until golden brown, about 18 minutes. Reduce heat to medium. Add almonds, garlic, cumin, and coriander.

Sautée until nuts and garlic begin to color, about 2 minutes. Add chiles and stir until beginning to soften, about 2 minutes.

Using tongs, transfer chicken to large bowl. Pour chicken cooking liquid into saucepan with onion mixture (reserve pot). Add raisins, orange peel, and oregano to saucepan. Cover and simmer until chiles are very soft, stirring occasionally, about 30 minutes. Remove from heat; add chocolate. Let stand until chocolate melts and sauce mixture cools slightly, about 15 minutes.

Working in small batches, transfer sauce mixture to blender and puree until smooth; return to reserved pot.

Season sauce to taste with salt and pepper. Coarsely shred chicken and return to sauce; stir to coat.

Chill until cold, then cover and keep chilled. Rewarm over low heat before serving.

Transfer chicken mole to bowl. Sprinkle with cilantro. Serve with warm tortillas.

 

With Honey Badger Brown…

Julia Child’s French Onion Soup
Recipe and Photo: Food.com

Ingredients

5 -6 cups yellow onions, thinly sliced (about 1 1/2 to 2 lbs)
1 Tbsp cooking oil
2 Tbsp butter
12 teaspoon sugar
1 teaspoon salt
3 Tbsp flour
6 cups beef stock (preferably homemade)
1 cup wine (dry red or white)
1 bay leaf
12 teaspoon ground sage
salt and pepper
12 ounces swiss cheese, grated
4 ounces parmesan cheese, grated
12 raw yellow onion
2 -3 tablespoons cognac
8 slices French bread (about 1 inch thick)
4 Tbsp olive oil, for drizzling

Method                                                                                                     

Place heavy bottom stock pot or Dutch oven over medium-low heat.

Add 1 Tbs cooking oil, 2Tbs butter to pot. Add sliced onions and stir until they are evenly coated with the oil. Cover and cook for about 20 minutes until they are very tender and translucent.

To brown or caramelize the onions turn heat under pot to medium or medium high heat.

Add 1/2 tsp sugar and 1 tsp salt and continue to cook uncovered, stirring frequently until the onions have browned and reduced significantly. Once caramelized, reduce heat to medium-low and add 3 Tbs flour to the onions. Brown the flour for about 2-3 minutes trying not to scorch it. (If the flour does not form a thick paste, you can add a bit more butter here). Stir in about 1 cup of warm stock, scraping the bottom of the pan to get all of the cooked-on bits. Add the rest of the stock, wine, sage, and bay leaf to the soup. Simmer for 30 minutes.

To make the “croutes” (toasted bread), heat oven to 325 degrees F.

Drizzle each side of the bread slices with a bit of olive oil and place on baking sheet. Cook the croutes for 15 minutes in oven on each side (30 minutes total).

Check the soup for seasoning and add salt and pepper if needed. Remove the bay leaf (if you can find it). Transfer to a casserole dish. At this point you can add the 2-3 Tbs cognac and grate the 1/2 raw onion into the soup. Add a few ounces of the swiss cheese directly into the soup and stir.

Place the toasted bread in a single layer on top of the soup. Sprinkle the rest of the cheese in a thick layer on top of the bread making sure to cover the edges of the toast to prevent burning. Drizzle with a little oil or melted butter.

Place in a 350 degree oven for about 30 minutes. Turn on broiler and brown cheese well.

Let cool for a few minutes before serving.  Extra sliced baguettes as required.

 

With Midnight Stout…

Black Bean Brownies
Recipe and Photo: MennoniteGirlsCanCook.ca

Ingredients

1-19 oz. can of black beans, drained and rinsed well
3 eggs
1/3 cup of coconut oil*
1/2 cup honey
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
1/3 cup, sifted cocoa
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda

Method

Grease a 9 ” inch pan.  Line with parchment paper.

Place all the ingredients in a blender or food processor and blend until it is all liquid with no lumps. Pour into the cake pan.

Bake in a preheated 350 degree oven for 25-30 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the centre comes out clean. (In my oven it took a full 35 minutes, so make sure to test your brownie).

Cool for 10 minutes.  Remove from pan, and cool completely.

Cover and refrigerate over night.  In my opinion this tastes best cold straight out of the fridge.

*vegetable oil can be used in place of the coconut oil, but I like the hint of coconut flavor it gives the brownie. 

Enjoy your Savvy Hip Hops!

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Niagara College teaches the best in Canada!

Posted by David

Saturday, September 17th, 2016
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Savvy Selections wine of the month club
Featuring Niagara College Teaching Winery
–  September 2016 –

Hard to believe that it was almost six years ago when we first introduced YOU – our Savvy Selections subscribers – to the incredible wines from Niagara College Teaching Winery. Since then, we have watch enrollment into the winemaking program grow in unison to the growth of the Canadian wine industry.  Along the way, the winery has won numerous awards – in Canada and internationally – for their wines.  The college has provided the career opportunities for many of their students in the Canadian and international wine industries.  And their graduates are so well trained and have extensive experience that Niagara College recently hired one of their own alumni – Gavin Robertson – as their winemaker.  Isn’t that a wonderful full circle?

We’re excited to offer outstanding wines from this amazing facility, where students and faculty work together on every stage of winemaking from harvest to packing up the boxes for this month’s deliver.  With the 2016 harvest now underway with grapes picked to make sparkling wine and white wine grapes now being collected this week, the students are getting their hands right into real life vineyard experience!

 

Get ready to uncork & enjoy your Savvy Selections…

In your Savvy Selections you will find these INCREDIBLE wines. They are all food-friendly and ready to drink!

BalaNCe Brut – Sparkling wine made in the traditional method, with subtle fruit and a fine bubbly mousse.

2011 Dean’s List Pinot Noir – an earthy and flavourful, a premium Pinot Noir that WOWed our Savvy Team.

2011 Dean’s List Meritage – Your friends will think that wine came from Napa when they taste this big, well-aged blend!

Chosen by your personal Sommeliers….just for you

With every sip, it is easy to forget that Niagara College Teaching Winery is a classroom. The wines the students make are meticulously hand-crafted, using the best grapes, equipment and barrels available. After all, they aren’t just making wine, they’re teaching students how the best wines are made.

Want to stock up?

Call on us at any time you would like additional bottles of your favourite Niagara College Teaching Winery wines – or other wineries we have featured in Savvy Selections.  We’re your Wine Hotline! Reach us on 613-SAVVYCO (728-8926) or send me an email to debbie@savvycompany.ca.

Cheers!
-Debbie & Savvy Team

 

Introducing…
Niagara College Teaching Winery

Presented by Sommelier David Loan

The beginning of September is a busy time for Ontario winemakers. Grapes are being harvested, the first crush has begun and the weather needs to be watched continually.  Gavin Robertson, though, has double-duty: while overseeing the harvest, he’s also overseeing dozens of new students as they get ready to learn how to make wine.

Gavin is the winemaker at the Niagara College Teaching Winery (NCTW) – Canada’s first and only commercial teaching winery. He makes beautiful wine (as you will discover with your Savvy Selections), all the while he is introducing a new generation of students to the art, science, and work of winemaking.

“I’m here at the outset of their careers,” Gavin says of his students.  “Their first harvest, first time pruning a row, first ice wine harvest.

“When the temperature drops to minus eight in January, all of our first and second year students as well as our faculty are out at 5 am harvesting.  And it’s terribly cold and wonderful  magical all at once!”

Slowing down the pace…

Gavin (in photo left) grew up in Almonte in the Ottawa Valley.“I knew more about maple syrup than wine,” he laughs. He joined a wine tasting club while at university, and later moved to Europe for two years. While there, he got to know the culture of wine in France and Spain. “I worked odd jobs back in Toronto and found I was missing the physical craft of wine. Having been raised in the country, I wanted to slow the pace down a little bit.

“It was a series of fortuitous events. I went for a bike ride through Niagara-on-the-Lake and discovered their wines and how great and developed the industry was. I applied to the Niagara College program and realized it was a mix of science and art and agriculture. It was holistic.”

Loads of Opportunities

Gavin says working at a teaching winery has brought new opportunities. The college has assisted Gavin in working at wineries in Central Otago, New Zealand, and Tasmania, Australia to help refine his wine knowledge and gain experience. While things slow down at other wineries, we’re busy with research projects and cider and beer,” he said.

NCTW has been an active participant in the Canadian Oak Project, which is evaluating the use of Canadian oak wine barrels, and comparing the results with American and French oak. “Canadian oak tends to be a bit robust in terms of taste profile. It has a very fine grain and needs a decently ripe fruit to stand up to it. It really showcases the cooperage”.

Just wait til you try the 2011 Dean’s List Pinot Noir in your Savvy Selections  – it is a fantastic example of Canadian oak-aged wine.

International Impact

Asked what he takes the most pride in, Gavin immediately returns to talking about his students. “You can walk into virtually any winery in Ontario and many in Nova Scotia and British Columbia that have our grads in them. NCTW graduates are working in Portugal, France, even the South of England. “This little school in southern Ontario is having a big impact internationally”, Gavin explained.  “Recently, the goal is to involve the students in the vineyard more. The winemaking is the more romantic side but it’s important to have truly skilled labour in the vineyard. We’ve advanced in terms of science and technology and it’s important that we extend that to the vineyard.

“Any winemaker will tell you that good wine is made in the vineyard. It’s great to be involved in the thirty-three acres we have on the college grounds. “

Here’s to the many hands involved in learning to make great Canadian wines like the ones you have in your Savvy Selections.

Cheers & enjoy your Savvy Selections!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

~ SAVVY SOMMELIER TASTING NOTES ~

Let’s get tasting! We picked a sparkling wine made in the Traditional Method along with two absolutely stunning red wines from the excellent 2011 vintage. The reds were released just this year, so they’ve had lots of time to mellow and age. Just make sure you drink them soon!

BalaNCe Brut VQA Niagara Peninsula $24

Made in the Traditional Method (second fermentation occurs in the bottle as done with making French Champagne), this lovely Pinot Noir and Chardonnay blend  is the perfect accompaniment to a celebration or first course, or just for lovers of good sparkling wine. Notice the label has accentuated the NC in the word Balance…as in Niagara College.  Clever isn’t it?

Savvy Sommelier Tasting Notes: The wine offers a good, fine mousse. It has striking lemon, peach, and wet stone notes, and we detected grapefruit, mint, and apricot on the finish. It’s very dry but very delicate.  An absolute delight!

Suggested Food Pairings: BalaNCe Brut will go well with any of the usual Champagne pairings, such as oysters, lobster, or other seafood. But we think it will work beautifully with a Niagara peach, arugula & prosciutto pizza (recipe below) – oh my!

Cellaring:  Drink at 7-9ºC. Can be cellared for up to a year.

 

Dean’s List Pinot Noir (Canadian Oak Project) VQA Niagara-on-the-Lake 2011 $20

We love the fun report card labels on the Dean’s List wines! These premium wines include notes by famed Canadian wine writer Tony Aspler, who tasted the wine when it was still in the barrel. his report card reveals his tasting notes back then….compare to our notes your impressions to see & taste how aging has changed the wine since Tony first tasted it!

Savvy Sommelier Tasting Notes: “Absolutely Stunning!” said Debbie. We are confident you will same the same thing. A tawny red, it’s load with flavour: sour cherry, cedar, spice, leather, cigar, and blackberries. The tannins are moderately high – more so than we’ve ever tasted from an Ontario wine – and it’s a big, bold wine that’s ready for food.

Suggested Food Pairings: This wine has so much flavour, it can easily stand up to big red meats. How about grilled lamb chops (recipe below)?

Cellaring: Ready to drink now, and don’t try to hold it for more than 12 months. Serve between 11-14ºC.

 

Dean’s List Meritage VQA Niagara-on-the-Lake 2011 $25

Winespeak: Did you know that the wine term “Meritage” is a portmanteau of the words “merit” and “heritage? The word is an American invention, to provide a term that reflects blends similar to those in Bordeaux. It’s pronounced the American way, rhyming with “heritage”.

 A blend of 50% Cabernet Franc, 27% Merlot & 23% Cabernet Sauvignon, we loved this full-bodied, food-friendly, beautifully rich wine. And we loved it’s low price even more. This is a steal – after you taste this wine & you want more bottles…call us to arrange additional bottles for you!

Savvy Sommelier Tasting Notes:  Loads of dark fruit, black pepper, plum, raspberry, and earthy notes balance the high (13.5 per cent by volume) alcohol. It’s velvety smooth, juicy, with soft, warm tannins. The flavours reflect the nose, and add in some fantastic cigar box and black olive notes.

Suggested Food Pairings: We see this with a rich Autumn stew, such as a French hunters’ stew (recipe below).

Cellaring: At its peak right now, we recommend drinking it within two years. Serve at 14-16ºC.

 

~ RECIPES TO ENJOY WITH YOUR SAVVY SELECTIONS ~

With NCTW BalaNCe Brut…

Peach & chevre pizza with arugula & prosciutto

Serves: 2 medium-sized pizzas
Recipe & Photo credits: Five and Spice
Originally adapted from Shutterbean

Ingredients

1 tsp active dry yeast
1 tsp sugar
1⅓ cup warm water (just gently warm to the touch, not hot)
2 Tbsp olive oil
1 tsp. salt
3-4 cups bread flour
¼ cup balsamic vinegar
1 red onion, thinly sliced
4 peaches, pitted and cut into eighths
8 oz chevre (soft goat cheese)
1 Tbsp olive oil
4 cups arugula
slices of prosciutto – as much as you like!
sea salt

Method

Make the pizza dough early in the morning of the day you want to eat the pizza. Or make it the night before. Combine the yeast, sugar, and warm water in the bowl of a standing mixer with a bread hook (or in a large mixing bowl, if you’re going to knead by hand). Let it sit for about 5 minutes until the yeast has started to become foamy.

Add 3 cups of the flour, stir until it’s just sort of mixed together, then let it sit for 10-20 minutes to autolyse (this step is optional, but it helps develop the gluten). Next, add the salt and the olive oil and start the mixer stirring on low speed (or squeeze the olive oil and salt in using your hands, until worked into the dough). Knead the dough with the bread hook, or by hand on a lightly floured surface, for 5 minutes. Add just enough extra flour so that the texture of the dough is lightly tacky, but not completely sticky.

Transfer the dough to a lightly oiled bowl, cover with plastic wrap or a damp kitchen towel, put in the fridge and let rise for 8-12 hours. It should double or even triple in size.

When ready to bake the pizza, heat your oven to 500F, preferably with a pizza stone in it if you have one. Take out your pizza dough and divide it in half. On a well floured surface, stretch each half of the dough into an approximately 12-inch circle (or rectangle, as the case may be), then let it rest for 10-15 minutes.

While the dough is resting, toss the sliced red onion with the balsamic vinegar in a large bowl. Let this sit for 10-15 minutes to lightly pickle the onions. Then, gently stir in the peach slices.

When the dough has finished resting, stretch each half further into a circle as thin as you can make it without breaking the dough – if the dough does tear, just press it back together.

Transfer each stretched piece of dough to a parchment lined baking sheet or a pizza peel sprinkled with cornmeal.

Top each of the pizzas with half of the peaches and onions, making sure to leave the remaining balsamic vinegar in the bowl because you’re going to toss the arugula in there. Break the chevre into small chunks and scatter half of it evenly over each of the pizzas. Sprinkle the pizzas well with sea salt.

Bake each pizza one at a time, either directly on the pizza stone or on the baking sheet you have it on, in the hot oven until the crust is nice and golden brown (mine took only about 8 minutes, but the time depends on how thin your dough winds up being). While the pizzas are baking toss the arugula & prosciutto with the remaining vinegar and the 1 Tbs. olive oil plus a pinch of salt. After each pizza comes out of the oven, top it with half of the arugula. The arugula should wilt a bit with the heat.

Let the pizzas cool at least 5 minutes before slicing, then slice and serve.

 

With NCTW Dean’s List Pinot Noir …

Grilled Lamb Chops

Recipe and photo: FoodNetwork.com
Serves 6

Ingredients

2 large garlic cloves, crushed
1 tablespoon fresh rosemary leaves
1 teaspoon fresh thyme leaves
Pinch cayenne pepper
Coarse sea salt
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
6 lamb chops, about 3/4-inch thick

Method

In a food processor fitted with a metal blade add the garlic, rosemary, thyme, cayenne, and salt. Pulse until combined. Pour in olive oil and pulse into a paste. Rub the paste on both sides of the lamb chops and let them marinate for at least 1 hour in the refrigerator.

Remove from refrigerator and allow the chops to come to room temperature; it will take about 20 minutes.

Heat a grill pan over high heat until almost smoking, add the chops and sear for about 2 minutes. Flip the chops over and cook for another 3 minutes for medium-rare and 3 1/2 minutes for medium.

 

With NCTW Dean’s List Meritage…

Beef Chasseur

Recipe & Photo credit: Food.com
Serves 4-6

Ingredients

3 garlic cloves, crushed, divided
1 1⁄2 teaspoons seasoning salt
1⁄4 teaspoon fresh ground pepper
8 (8 ounce) filet mignon steaks, 1-inch thick
6 Tablespoons butter, divided
2 Tablespoons brandy
1⁄2lb fresh mushrooms, sliced
3 Tablespoons all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons tomato paste
3⁄4 cup dry red wine
1 cup chicken broth
1⁄2 cup beef broth
1⁄2 cup water
1⁄4 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
2 Tablespoons currant jelly

 

Method

Combine half the garlic, the seasoned salt, and the pepper. Pat the meat dry and rub with the garlic mixture.

Sear the steaks in a large skillet with 2 tablespoons of the butter until brown on the outside with the center raw. Arrange the steaks in a 13 X 9 inch baking dish.

Pour the brandy into the skillet and stir over moderate heat, scraping up the brown bits. Add remaining 4 tablespoons of butter. When the butter is foaming, add the mushrooms and cook until browned, about 5 minutes. Stir in the flour and reduce heat to low. Stir in the tomato paste and remaining garlic.

Remove from the heat; whisk in the wine, chicken broth, beef broth, and water. Bring to a boil over moderate heat, stirring constantly. Reduce heat and simmer 10 minutes, until the liquid is reduced by a third.

Add Worcestershire and currant jelly. Adjust seasonings to taste and thin the sauce to a coating consistency.

Cool and pour over steaks. (At this point steaks may be covered and refrigerated overnight. Allow them to come to room temperature before cooking.).

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Bake the filets, uncovered, for 15-20 minutes for rare, 20-25 for medium to medium-well.

 

Enjoy your Savvy Selections!

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