Posts Tagged ‘accredited Sommelier Erin Bolling’

Riverview Cellars – a little winery making BIG wines

Posted by Erin

Monday, June 16th, 2014
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Savvy Selections Ontario wine of the month club

Savvy Selections wine of the month club 
Featuring Riverview Cellars

– June 2014 –

 

Riverview Cellars is boutique winery that is a true family affair. There are 2 generations working together in harmony with a shared vision and passion to create beautiful, approachable wines produced in small batches. The family has been on the land since 1975 starting out with fruit farm. In 1992, the transition began with the first rows of vineyards took shape with Gewürztraminer vines that are now producing award winning vintages – more on that later!

What you need to know now is that the Pillitteri family comprises of Salvatore (Sam) & his wife Angelia (Lina) as well as their 4 children Angela, Maria, Connie & Michael (Mike).  Together this tight knit family fulfilled a dream of opening the winery in 2000 and it has been going gang-busters ever since.

Our Savvy Sommelier Erin Bolling chatted with prodigal son Mike Pillitteri who is the General Manager to catch up with what has been happening at the winery since we last featured them in Savvy Selections (in 2011 – during their 10th anniversary) and to see what he thinks will make his winery THE place to see on your summer wine tour of Niagara.

In your Savvy Selections, you will find:

Angelina’s Reserve Gewürztraminer VQA 2012– $19.95 This wine is so consistent, it wins medals year after year.

Salvatore’s Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon VQA 2011– $24.95 A signature wine & a personal favourite of Mike’s. He is very proud that we selected this wine as it just won a silver medal at the Ontario Wine Awards held in April.

Salvatore’s Reserve Syrah VQA 2012 $29.95 An incredible red wine from Niagara-on-the-Lake that is hard to come by as only 207 cases in produced. These vines did not fare well during the past harsh winter, so Mike is doubtful that there will be any 2014 Syrah wine made.

Where to find those hard-to-find wines…

Due to the small batch nature of wine produced at Riverview, it is rare to find a wide selection of their wines at the LCBO.  If you would like additional bottles of your Riverview favourites – or other featured Ontario wineries – just give me a call on 613-SAVVYCO (728-8926) or send me an email to debbie@savvycompany.cato arrange an additional delivery for you. It is always my pleasure to introduce you to wonderful new Ontario wines!

Do you like Rosés?

Our Savvy Sommeliers have been hard at it, tasting 30+ recently released Rosés from across Ontario to pick out the best of the best for you to enjoy over the summer.  In the upcoming few weeks, we will be launching a new case of wine offering – that will make you think pink all summer long.  Stay tuned…

Cheers & enjoy your Riverview wines!

Debbie & the Savvy Team

 

Introducing…

Riverview Cellars Estate Winery

Presented by Erin Bolling

Now that summer has arrived (fingers crossed) my thoughts are turning to vacation time, patio entertaining and BBQ – right?  The wines from Riverview Cellars suit all palates and foods year round with their style that will impress a connoisseur and make a novice feel comfortable with each bottle they open.  From the winery tasting room, to the glass, Riverview creates wine enjoyment. The following quote on Trip Advisor seems to sum up the experience: “We are tourists, not wine connoisseurs. They made us feel welcome and very comfortable.” Meanwhile, our panel of Savvy Sommeliers was impressed to the point there was debate about which wines to offer this month. Read on to see why Riverview is a must-visit when you plan your next trip to the Niagara wine region.

A family Affair

Mike and familyFirstly allow me to take a line to congratulate Mike and his wife Sarah (in photo on left) on the birth of their second son Leo a few weeks ago. I was amazed and pleased he had so much time for me with all the winery work while juggling fatherhood. The fact that we spoke by phone did not dampen his ability to portray his true passion for what he does and how grateful he is to be part of this family run winery.

His father Sam is his mentor and colleague. Sam focuses on the vineyard while Mike is the General Manager. Mike’s three sisters helped to launch the winery and contributed their artistic talents to developing the Riverview brand. You can still find the family matriarch (and mother) Lina working occasionally in the gift shop. While Mike’s sons are only 3 yearsold and 7 weeks – who knows – perhaps his boys will continue the next generation of the family business.

The Little Winery that Could

Riverview is a ‘boutique’ winery. This may be a buzz word these days, yet Riverview lives up to the image that a boutique winery evokes. The wines are made in small batches and carefully hand crafted by the winemaker. These wines are difficult to find at the LCBO because their production quotas are often not enough; what a loss for those who do not subscribe to Savvy Selections (shameless plug but I can’t help it)!

Mike stressed the personal relationship he & his team strive to establish with each and every customer. Even as a GM, can find Mike in the tasting ready to welcome visitors. For Savvy Selections subscribers, Mike asked me to mention that if you call in advance he’ll be happy to conduct a winery tour himself with you!  Equally, we look forward to introducing you to the Pillitteri family when they participate in an upcoming Savvy Event.

Boutique wineries are often thought to produce better wines, and this is definitely in the case of Riverview. In fact the Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon and the Gewurztraminer reigned over the big wineries with recently having won silver medals at the Ontario Wine Awards. This is certainly impressive – Congrats Mike!

The Elephant in the Room…..

The trees may be in full leaf right now but I’m sure we all remember the harsh winter that just passed. Again, Mike’s candidness with me was a pleasure because of course I’m curious about what we can expect from the 2014 season (as far as he can tell at this point).

Old man winter did not treat all vines equally.  Mike reports that the Syrah vines in Niagara were decimated. Cool climate Syrah is gaining in popularity with its fresh, peppery qualities. When you open this bottle make sure to savour it….this wine is sourced from a trusted farmer in NOTL who was not able to save any of the Syrah after this past winter. The Syrah in your Savvy Selections is a hot commodity (and not even listed on Riverview’s web site).

Overall at Riverview, the vineyards seem to have fared approximately at a 60%-70% survival rate – and this is good news. The Niagara River sub-appellation has an extra pocket of protection and benefits from the lake effect as well as close proximity to the Niagara River. This results in earlier spring warming and moderate temperatures that shelter the vines from frost that result in an overall longer growing season.

Planning a Vacation?

Riverview Cellars barn - low resWith a young family it can be hard to get away. Mike feels Riverview has something to offer the whole family. They grow their own peaches, nectarines, cherries & apples that are often available to enjoy with their special cheese plates to enjoy on the winery patio. In addition to wine, there is grape juice for the kids.

This summer Riverview will be hosting local food trucks and hosting the annual ‘Fontana Party’ in August. Mike told me that since they’re part of the cyclist network he keeps a set of Allen wrenches nearby in case a bicycle breaks down he can help!

The cycling path follows along the river and is across from the winery so plan to bring or rent a bike and enjoy the scenery and great wines. Now that is a great way to explore Niagara-on-the-Lake.

Cheers & enjoy your Savvy Selections!

 

~ SAVVY SOMMELIER TASTING NOTES ~

 

Reserve Gewürztraminer VQA 2012 $19.95

When asked what wine he most often drinks Mike didn’t hesitate in stating this Gewürztraminer is the one! He enjoys the complexity of this wine and its ability to match with Asian and Indian cooking. The Savvy Selections tasting panel has to agree. In fact, Mike shared with us his personal recipe for Pad Thai that he regularly serves for his friends & cooking group ‘Dudes with Food’.

Savvy Sommelier Tasting Notes:  A classic example of Gewürztraminer. The first thing we noticed was the aromatic nose – teasing us with floral roses and ginger spice. The taste follows through with lychee, mango and apricot. The viscous mouth feel is like honey and the finish is satisfying and long, slightly sweet and spicy. Yum!

Suggested Food Pairing: Hands down, Gewürztraminer is one of the best food wines to serve with exotic foods. Whether you’re in the mood for Asian, Indian or Middle Eastern cuisine, you’ll find a happy match with anything spicy.

 

Salvatore’s Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon VQA 2011$24.95

A silver medal winner of 2014 Ontario Wine Awards, Mike is especially proud of this since 2011 vintage was not one of the best years for this grape in Niagara. He felt the upgraded drainage of the vineyard done 5 years ago helped hold in the nutrients that translated to this winning wine.

Savvy Sommelier Tasting Notes:This Cabernet Sauvignon has aromas of strawberry, rhubarb, cranberry and allspice with hints of dark chocolate that follow through on the finish. It is a well integrated wine with a smooth, juicy finish that lasts just long enough.

Suggested Food Pairing:  The Savvy Sommeliers agreed that this would be another great BBQ wine or take a pause to enjoy it with mushroom risotto, a Sunday roast or event pasta with meat sauce. With such a versatile wine, let’s try something completely different and pour a glass to unwind with an artisan cheese plate loaded with Canadian cheeses – just like they serve at the winery.

 

Salvatore’s Reserve Syrah VQA 2012 $29.95

According to the newly released Maclean’s Magazine special edition ‘Wine in Canada’, Syrah may be the new hot grape grown in Canada’s cool climate. Our Savvy Selections tasting panel certainly attests that Riverview may be one of the trail blazers in popularizing this grape in Ontario with this outstanding wine.

Savvy Sommelier Tasting Notes:   “Pow!”,  “Hmm”, and “Aaahh” were heard simultaneously around the table when this wine was poured into the tasting glass. It is a deep red wine with earth, warm spice, fresh pepper, loads of fruit such as pomegranate, raspberry, blackberry and chocolate notes. At 13.1% it is not an overly alcoholic Syrah but it still packs a warm spicy punch and finish to match.

Suggested Food Pairing: There was no question that this is a wine that begs for the BBQ. We bantered back and forth between ideas of grilled duck, ribs or steak…but in the end have settled on steak with a mushroom sauce. No matter what you drink this with the peppery freshness of the Syrah will be a winning combination with anything from your grill.

 

~ RECIPES TO ENJOY WITH YOUR SAVVY SELECTIONS ~

With Angelina’s Reserve Gewurztraminer VQA 2012…

Pad Thai
From Mike’s Kitchen

Ingredients

1 package of pad thai noodles (approx. 400g)
½ white onion (sliced julienne)
1 clove garlic
1 tea spoon of shredded ginger
2 table spoons coconut oil
2 table spoons peanut butter
2 large carrots (sliced julienne)
1 large red pepper (sliced julienne)
12-15 large shrimp uncooked
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 teaspoon of toasted sesame oil
2 tablespoons of sweet chili sauce
2-6 drops of sirachi sauce (depends on desired heat)
1 green onion1 handful of cilantroSalt & pepper

Method

Get large wok ready to a medium heat.

Put vegetable oil and toasted sesame oil in pan while adding onions, garlic, ginger. Sautee until translucent, then add sliced carrots and peppers along with peanut butter, coconut oil, sweet chili sauce, and srirachi .

Boil noodles until soft and add to wok when ready.

Add shrimp into wok and cook with mixture until the shrimp turns pink.  Add salt, pepper and herbs to taste.

Toss frequently and serve, enjoy!

 

With Salvatore’s Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon VQA 2011…

Artisan Cheese Plate

Holiday-Cheese-BoardWhen it comes to pairing wine with cheese there are no hard and fast rules.  It is a world of ‘drink what you like and eat what you like’. As a rule of thumb, Cabernet Sauvignon pairs well with hard cheeses such as Old Cheddar and Parmesan. Additionally, soft Blue Cheese, Gorgonzola or semi-soft Gouda would do the trick.

We turned to our Savvy Cheese Sommelier Vanessa Simmons for specific recommendations of cheeses to match this Cabernet Sauvignon.   For more cheese ideas, read Vanessa’s blog: The Curd on the Street

 

Lankaaster Aged Glengarry Fine Cheese, Alexandria Ontario

Lankaaster from Glengarry Fine Cheese

 

2013 Global Cheese Awards – Supreme Global Champion 

Named for its local region (“kaas” the Dutch word for cheese), aged for 14 to 24 months, this extra old batch of Lancaster is from gourmet artisan cheese maker pioneer Margaret Morris. 

Vanessa’s Notes: Firm to hard cow’s milk cheeses comes shaped in a loaf or wheel, covered in a waxy rind is a Gouda-style after Dutch farmstead cheese. It’s rich, dense & chewy with intense buttery, fruity, caramelized nutty flavors that linger forever.

Bonnechère Back Forty Artisan Cheese, Lanark, Ontario

Bonnechere from Back Forty ArtisanRecently changed ownership, with new & very young cheesemakers at the helm who have in the cheese biz for just over a year, this striking cheese has not changed. If you see this cheese, don’t blink, don’t hesitate, snap it up immediately.  (it is great with craft beer too!)

Vanessa’s Notes: Bonnechère is one-of- a-kind artisan cheese.  It’s a semi-firm, double pressed and unique both inside and out.  A beautiful, chestnut patterned toasted rind covers the interior smooth ivory paste.  Hand torching gives Bonnechère smoky aromas and a very distinct caramel flavor.  As it ages, these characteristics amplify the tangy, sweet, and fruity body of the cheese.  Sour milk lingers with a slight amount of acidity. Produced in very small quantities with seasonal milk, it’s a hot commodity.

Dragon’s Breath Blue Cheese That Dutchman’s Cheese Farm, Nova Scotia

2013 Canadian Cheese Grand Prix finalist

A rare find! Take Note the recipe for this cheese is a closely guarded family secret.

Vanessa’s Notes: Unique in shape and size, these small cylinders are aged only a few weeks then coated with wax for ripening another 2-6 months. The flavor and texture varies by season, more buttery/creamy in the summer months with higher fat content in the milk. Note sharp blue flavor, moist texture with fruity notes, and little blue veining depending on exposure to air. More than worth the shipping charges!

Bleu D’Élizabeth Fromagerie de la Presbytere, Warwick Quebec

Bleu D'Elizabeth, Fromagerie de la Presbytere by Vanessa Simmons2013 Canadian Cheese Grand Prix Category Winner: Blue Cheese& Organic Cheese

2013 Sélection Caseus, Quebec Fine Cheese Awards Best of Show Winner: Gold, Emeritus & Blue-Veined Cheese Category 

Vanessa’s Notes:A beautiful, semi-soft, raw organic cow’s milk blue cheese, it has a natural rind with spots of dark clay.  The creamy, silky, straw-colored paste is speckled with slate & blue-green veins throughout. Rich in flavor, with a hint of sweetness, spice, & salt, it pairs beautifully with iced wine, cider or port.

 

Building a Cheese Board with Pizazz

To create a cheese plate that will undoubtedly create ooohs and aaahs, Vanessa offers these tips in a recent blog: How to create a festive cheese board

Mix it up

Consider taste, style and texture. Choose a theme — region, milk type (cow, sheep, goat, buffalo) or category (fresh, soft, semi-soft, washed, firm, hard, blue). 3-5 cheeses display well on a board or serve one stellar cheese as an appetizer, or dessert. Buying cheeses that look different will offer visual appeal to your table. 5-10gms/cheese/person is a good rule of thumb.

Holiday-Cheese-BoardServe cheese with star treatment

Serve at room temperature. Offer one knife per cheese. Don’t cut up small pieces in advance. Allow breathing room between cheeses so aromas don’t mix. Use an interesting wooden board, cross cut log, plate, slate or marble tiles or tiered trays for visual appeal. Keep it simple and your cheese will shine.

Compliment your cheese

Serve specialty breads, gourmet crackers, fresh seasonal or dried fruits, figs, dates, raw or toasted nuts, olives, caramelized or pickled onions or milder charcuterie items as accompaniments

Store cheese properly

Wrap leftovers of soft, semi-soft and washed rind cheeses in parchment or cheese paper, and pop into a small Tupperware or Ziplock bag. Refrigerate in a container in the vegetable drawer (for high humidity).

Have a cheese tip for us?

If you find a particular good match with the Riverview Cabernet Sauvignon, let us know!  Send us your tip to cheers@savvycompany.ca or Tweet us at @SavvyCompany or directly with Vanessa @SavvyVanessa

 

With Riverview Salvatore’s Reserve Syrah VQA 2012…

Grilled Peppercorn Steak

From Foodnetwork.com
Serves 6

Ingredients

(10 -12 ounce) New York Strip Steaks
1 garlic clove, bruised, peeled
1/4 cup olive oil (or as needed)
1 cup cracked peppercorns, preferably a blend of black and white (approximate amount) or 1 cup fresh coarse ground black pepper (approximate amount)
salt, to taste

Method

Pat steaks dry with paper towels & rub both sides of each steak with garlic, then brush lightly with olive oil.

Line large baking sheet or tray with waxed paper.

Spread thin layer of pepper on plate, lightly coat both sides of steak with pepper, and place on waxed paper. Repeat with remaining steaks and additional pepper.

Meanwhile, prepare charcoal for grilling (or heat broiler); just before grilling, lightly salt both sides of steaks. Grill steaks over hot fire or broil 4 inches from heat until browned and crusty on outside but still pink at center, about 5 minutes each side for medium-rare.

Transfer steaks to serving plates and serve at once.

 

Enjoy your Savvy Selections!

 

 

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Rosehall Run: County pioneer & international champions

Posted by Erin

Tuesday, March 25th, 2014
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Savvy Selections wine of the month club 
Featuring Rosehall RunVineyards

– March 2014 –

 

When you think of the saying “To make a living in wine, you should start with a fortune”, do you think many people would trade in their successful home-reno business in busy Toronto to move to Prince Edward County to start a winery?

vineyardIt sounds like an adventure to me, and perhaps a risky one…especially when at the time, the viability of ‘The County’ as a wine region was still questionable. Now, 15 years later, Dan Sullivan and his partner Lynne have built (and also expanded) their winery – Rosehall Run Vineyards – and have become pillars of The County as they continue to pioneer and champion the wines of their region.  They are certainly amongst the “Go To” people for the culinary and cultural scene in the area.

During a recent trip, our Savvy Sommelier Erin Bolling visited Rosehall Run and chatted with Dan who is the winemaker and co-owner.  Now, let it be said that this was not a quick visit, because I can attest that Dan can talk your ear off about all things involving The County and wines!

In this issue of the Savvy eZine, Erin shares with you some insight into the evolution of Rosehall Run and what has changed at the winery since we last featured them back in March 2010.  And you will read that plenty has changed for Rosehall!

In your Savvy Selections, you will find:

Rosehall Run Pixie Rosé – $17.95 As the name denotes this unique Rosé is purely magical. A light sparkling rosé will add a bit of fun to any mid-winter celebration or add celebration to any mid-winter night!

Rosehall Vineyard Chardonnay JCR  VQA 2011 – $29.95 A terrific example of what Prince Edward County Chardonnay with its tropical aromas and county minerality that make wines from this area so distinct.

Pinot Noir Cuvée County VQA 2010 – $22.65 This Pinot Noir is so consistent and of incredible value at this price that we easily recommended year after year. When we previously featured Rosehall Run in the March 2010 Savvy Selections, subscribers received a bottle of this wine from the 2008 vintage. This 2010 vintage comes from a scorching hot summer and delivers a lovely medium body pinot with a balance of acidity and fruit.

OPTIONAL WINE

rosehall run JCR Pinot NoirPinot Noir JCR Rosehall Vineyard 2010$39.00 – An award winning Pinot Noir reminiscent of Burgundy that is lush and fruity.

Similar to other wineries we have featured in Savvy Selections, some Rosehall Run wines are on the LCBO shelves. However, there are many of their wines that are not. 

If you would like additional bottles of your favourite Rosehall wine – or other featured Ontario wineries – just give me a call on 613-SAVVYCO (728-8926) or send me an email to debbie@savvycompany.ca to arrange an additional delivery for you. It is always my pleasure to introduce you to wonderful new Ontario wines…especially from The County! 

Cheers & Enjoy!

Debbie & Savvy Team

 

Introducing…
Rosehall Run Vineyards

Presented by Erin Bolling

I’m from a culture (and family!) that puts a lot of emphasis on food and we are honestly expected or required to drink wine at certain times of year to mark certain holidays and occasions. As many of you may expect it was an absolute pleasure to speak with Dan Sullivan at Rosehall Run and commune with him about the pleasures of food & wine.

terroir2011v4.cdrDuring our interview…well more like a chat amongst friends, he filled me in on coming plans for his property, as well as some tips for people attending Terroir County Celebration on May 3rd.

A HUGE pat on the back!

Since the Olympics were just on recently and Canada did so well it is easy to understand how great winning awards feels. Dan and I spoke about the numerous awards his wines have garnered over the last decade. Does he like winning awards…of course!

awardsTo his surprise and delight Rosehall Run has recently won recognition for the JCR Chardonnay (that is included in your Savvy Selections) by The Drinks Business  – an international magazine based in the UK. This was surprising since Rosehall Run stepped back from entering competitions in 2013 so that the team could put their energies into their newest event – ‘Red, White & Blues in the County’. That aside it is quite an accomplishment to be one of only 2 Canadian wineries recognized amongst hundreds from around the world.  As you would expect, the Rosehall team are over the moon with this international recognition.

dan and lynnEntering competitions is time consuming and costly…so why do it? Dan, Lynn (in photo) and the entire staff are dedicated to raising the Canadian and ‘County’ flag whenever possible.  They enjoy getting the word out about their wines and helping consumers to understand that the wines offered by Rosehall Run are able to stand up to international competition. For instance, Rosehall Run enters their wines in the Pinot Shoot out and Intervin competitions pinning their wines with international wines. “Competitions are measuring sticks for what the bottle will offer the consumer. A medal will give them a reasonable confidence that the wine is good”, Dan explains.

He also recognized the importance of local competitions. Rosehall Run has been a contender for years in Canadian competitions such as: Wine Access Canadian Wine Awards, Ottawa Wine Challenge and the Artevino Wine Awards. Regardless of the competition or award, Dan says the most rewarding accolades come from personal compliments. He does a lot of winemaker dinners and interacts with customers at every opportunity. I remember Dan’s jubilant personality at a winemakers dinner I worked at back in 2008 and how it inspired me to work more with Savvy Company.

Gourmet Picnics – Yes please!

rosehall run and foodThe Greer Road Grocer is another feature at Rosehall Run. This is the inspiration of JJ Syer who is Rosehall’s hospitality professional. Dan praised her ability to work with local producers and help grow Rosehall’s focus on showcasing local products. You can find everything from local cheeses to charcuterie and chocolate….anyone up for a gourmet picnic? I’ll sure be sharing this travel tip with my family and friends!

If you’re in the market for local art, you’ll find it at Greer Road Grocer as well. Dan especially loves the bottle openers an artist has made out of old spikes from the local train tracks that were ripped up last year. He says they are very functional so get them while you can! This fills a niche for visitors by exposing them to fabulous local products but offers a dine-in option (on site) or to go with you as you continue to drive along the back roads of The County.

Looking Ahead…

As you can tell there is always something changing at Rosehall Run. The winery may be best known for Chardonnay and Pinot Noir but that does not restrain Dan from experimenting and breaking new ground with what is planted. The annual Terroir festival which is the County’s chance to showcase their new wines will see Rosehall release a Méthode Traditionelle Blanc de Blanc Sparkling wine (winespeak: sparkling wine made in the classic French Champagne method using 100% Chardonnay grapes). 

There are also estate grown Pinot Gris and Sauvignon Blanc wines coming soon. In fact Rosehall has the oldest plantings of Sauvignon Blanc in The County. “I am excited to tell you that we have also started to grow Tempranillo. The type of soil in PEC is similar to where this grape is grown in Spain and I am confident the grapes will adapt well” explains Dan. Not surprisingly Tempranillo is one of Dan’s favourite types of wine!

As a parting question I asked what the most memorable reward has been for Dan. Of course there are many he says but bringing his daughter with him to London England in 2010 to showcase Rosehall Run Chardonnays for the European wine critics. Accolades and awards aside, Roshahall Run is a big family run endeavor. Next time you are in PEC drop by and say hello to the team or join the Savvy Bus to visit them at Terroir in May.

Cheers & enjoy your Savvy Selections!


~ SAVVY SOMMELIER TASTING NOTES ~

Rosehall Pixie Sparkling Rosé – $17.95

Sometimes a look says it all. After an initial sniff and sip of this bubbly Savvy Team member Amanda had an almost punch drunk smile! A glass of this wine will makes any person happy.

From the peachy pink colour to the fruity tenure of the wine this blended rose will have you think spring has sprung.

Savvy Sommelier Tasting Notes:   A blend of Riesling, Chardonnay and Zwiegelt grapes combine in this mouthwatering offer. Fruits such as strawberry, watermelon and hints of lime and roses were present. The finish is a lingering crisp and dry one.

Suggested Food Pairing:  Pop open a bottle for any occasion. The panel imagined this as an excellent wine with take-out sushi. It is also a great starter to any meal and therefore we have a watermelon & feta skewer salad to accompany it. Not only will this taste good together but it is colour coordinated!

 

JCR Chardonnay  VQA 2011 – $29.95

This wine is made from the premium lots of Rosehall Run’s North Estate and bears the initials of the winery’s co-founder John Campbell Reston.

Congrats to the winery team on the distinguished recognition of this wine as one of the 2013 Chardonnay Masters of the World….we are thrilled to include this wine in your Savvy Selections.

Savvy Sommelier Tasting Notes: When tasting this wine during a snow-storm in February we were transported to tropical daydreams by toasty hints of coconut, brioche and tropical fruit. The wine is medium to full bodied an slightly sweet with a lovely zesty lemon finish.

Suggested Food Pairing:  The Savvy Selections tasting panel thought a lot about what to match this with. Finally we agreed on a recipe for Coconut crusted chicken with mango ginger mint salsa by Chef Michael Smith.  

 

Pinot Noir Cuvée County VQA 2010 $22.65

It is widely accepted that Prince Edward County is a great place for making Pinot Noir due to its limestone and Burgundy like soils. This particular Pinot is comprised of grapes from all over the county and is the result of an exceptionally hot summer.

Savvy Sommelier Tasting Notes: A typically light translucent garnet colour this Pinot shows the hallmarks of its varietal. The wine is woodsy on the nose with hints of roses, violets, dark cherry, raspberry and sweet spice. These descriptors follow through in the palate as well with a medium mouth feel and balanced acidity. A juicy finish will stick with you.

Suggested Food Pairing: Smoked or baked salmon would be a great match for this wine. Our panel thought that since this is a crowd pleasing wine our subscribers might like a recipe that feeds a crowd – Greek Moussaka from Canadian Living. This recipe calls for lamb which matches the suggestions on the winery site. Let us know what you think of the recipe on our Savvy Selections Facebook page!

There’s an anniversary on the horizon!

rosehall run winesIt seemed almost a surprise to Dan that there is a 10 year anniversary coming up in 2016. Since planning the first acreage in 2001, releasing estate grown wines in 2005 and opening the tasting room in 2006, Rosehall Run has been constantly improving on an already good thing. Dan and Lynn are committed to offering quality wines and experiences to their customers and this dedication will be sure to raise the ratings of Rosehall on Trip Advisor! Dan filled us in on plans to expand the tasting room in order to offer more hospitality. He looks forward to being able to host bigger groups. They will also be covering the crush pad to offer more relaxation space.

 

~ RECIPES TO ENJOY WITH YOUR SAVVY SELECTIONS ~

Rosehall Pixie Sparkling Rosé…

Watermelon Feta Mint Skewers

From ServingSeconds.com
Serves 8

Ingredients

Half of one small seedless watermelon, cut into cubes
8 oz feta cheese, cut into cubes (room temperature)
12 mint leaves
12 skewers or toothpicks

Method

Prepare the ingredients in assembly line fashion.

Skewer watermelon first, then mint then feta.

Repeat as you like.

 

 With Rosehall Run JCR Chardonnay VQA 2011 …

Coconut Crusted Chicken

Recipe courtesy of Chef Michael Smith’s Kitchen: 100 of my favorite recipes

Ingredients

Salsa

1 large ripe mango, peeled and diced
2 green onions, thinly sliced
1/2 cup of finely chopped red bell pepper
1/2 cup of mint sprigs, tightly stacked, rolled, and thinly sliced
The zest and juice of one lime
1 Tbsp of grated frozen ginger
1 Tbsp of honey
1 teaspoon of olive oil
1/4 teaspoon of salt

Coconut Crust

1 cup of all-purpose flour
2 eggs, lightly whisked
2 cups of flaked or shredded coconut, sweetened or unsweetened
A sprinkle or two of salt and lots of freshly ground pepper
4 large boneless skinless chicken breasts, trimmed and patted dry

Method

Make the salsa first by simply tossing together the mango, green onions, red pepper, mint, lime zest, lime juice, ginger, honey, olive oil, and salt. Set aside.

Preheat your oven to 400°F. Lightly oil a baking sheet.

Put the flour, eggs, and coconut into three separate bowls and season the flour.

Working with one breast at a time, dredge the chicken in the flour, coating it evenly and shaking off any excess. Dip the chicken into the egg, coating it evenly and letting any excess drip off. Finally, dip the chicken into the coconut, turning, pressing, and sprinkling as needed so the crust adheres.

Place the crusted breast on the baking sheet. Repeat with the remaining chicken.

Bake until the breasts are golden brown and crusty, approximately 15 to 20 minutes. The chicken is done when a meat thermometer inserted in its thickest part registers 160°F.

Arrange on a serving platter and top with the salsa

 

With Cuvée County Pinot Noir  VQA 2010…

Moussaka

From www.CanadianLiving.com

Ingredients

6 large Yukon Gold potatoes
1 large eggplant
3Tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
1/2tsp salt
1/2tsp pepper
1-1/2 cups shredded kefalograviera cheese or Gruyère cheese

Bolognese Sauce

2 lbs lean ground lamb or lean ground beef
2 onions chopped
4 cloves garlic, minced
4 tsp dried oregano
1-1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
1/4 tsp ground allspice
1 can tomatoes
1 cup red wine
1 can( 2 oz/156 mL) tomato paste

Béchamel Sauce

2 Tbsp butter
1/3 cup all-purpose flour
3 cups milk
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
1 pinch grated nutmeg

 

Method

Bolognese Sauce

In shallow Dutch oven, sautée lamb over medium-high heat, breaking up with spoon, until no longer pink, about 10 minutes. Drain fat from pan.

Add onions, garlic, oregano, cinnamon, salt, pepper and allspice to pan; fry over medium heat until onion is softened, about 5 minutes.

Add tomatoes, mashing to break into small pieces. Add wine and tomato paste; bring to boil. Reduce heat and simmer until space does not fill in after spoon is drawn across bottom of pan, about 30 minutes.

Meanwhile, peel potatoes and eggplant; cut into 1/2-inch (1 cm) thick slices. Arrange in single layer on parchment paper-lined rimmed baking sheets. Brush both sides with oil; sprinkle with salt and pepper.

Roast in 450°F (230°C) oven, turning once, until tender and golden brown, about 30 minutes.

Béchamel Sauce

Meanwhile, in saucepan, melt butter over medium heat; whisk in flour and cook, whisking, for 1 minute. Gradually whisk in milk; cook, whisking often, until boiling and thickened enough to coat back of spoon, about 12 minutes.Add salt, pepper and nutmeg.

To Assemble

Spread 1 cup of the Bolognese Sauce in 13- x 9-inch glass baking dish then layer with half of the potatoes, 2 cups of the Bolognese Sauce, all of the eggplant, 2 cups of the Bolognese Sauce, remaining potatoes and remaining Bolognese Sauce.

Spread Béchamel Sauce over top and sprinkle with cheese.

Bake in 350°F (180°C) oven until browned and bubbly, about 1 hour. Let stand for 10 minutes; cut into squares

Make-ahead: Let cool for 30 minutes. Refrigerate, uncovered, until cold; cover and refrigerate for up to 24 hours. Add 40 minutes to baking time.

 

 

Enjoy your Savvy Selections!

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Closing off the year with award winning wines from Sandbanks

Posted by Erin

Friday, December 27th, 2013
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Savvy Selections - Ontario wine of the month club

Savvy Selections wine of the month club
Featuring Sandbanks Estate Winery

–  December 2013 –

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

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

In your Savvy Selections, you will find:

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

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

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

OPTIONAL WINE:

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

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

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

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

Cheers & have a fantastic holiday season!

Debbie & the Savvy Team

 

Introducing…
Sandbanks Estates Winery

Presented by Savvy Sommelier Erin Bolling

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

Best In Show

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

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

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

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

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

From a Pile of Rocks

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

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

Day Camp for Adults

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

Cheers & enjoy your Savvy Selections!

 

~ SAVVY SOMMELIER TASTING NOTES ~

Pinot Grigio VQA 2012, $16.95

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

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

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

Sandbanks French Kiss VQA 2011 $19.95

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

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

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

Cabernet Franc Reserve VQA  2012  $29.95

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

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

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

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

~ RECIPES TO ENJOY WITH YOUR SAVVY SELECTIONS ~

 With Sandbanks Pinot Grigio VQA 2012…

Vegetable Summer Rolls

From Epicurious.com
Serves 8

Ingredients 
For peanut sauce

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

For summer rolls

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

Method

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

Make summer rolls:

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

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

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

Enjoy!

 

With Sandbanks French Kiss VQA 2011 …

Lamb Tourtiere

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

Serves 4

Ingredients

Pastry

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


Filling

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

 

Method

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F

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

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

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

 

With Sandbanks Cabernet Franc Reserve VQA 2012 …

‘Couldn’t Be ANY Easier Brisket with Coke’

From www.TexasCook.com
Serves 6

Ingredients

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

 

Method

Preheat oven to 300°F.

Combine chili sauce, Coke and soup mix.

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

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

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

 

Enjoy your Savvy Selections over the holidays!

 

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Lighthall Vineyard’s One Man Show

Posted by Erin

Saturday, October 20th, 2012
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Savvy Selections wine of the month club
Featuring Lighthall Vineyards
–  October 2012 –

 

We are heading to Prince Edward County this month to discover a boutique winery that typifies what is meant by a one man show. Lighthall Vineyards is owned by Glenn Symonns who is the winemaker, vineyard manager, Sommelier, chief marketer, distributor, tractor driver, creator and sometimes the delivery guy. It is a stark contrast to his previous career as a pharmacist. While both winemaker and pharmacist are connected through chemistry, it is the ability to create that Glenn enjoys the most. ‘I truly think that I have a great job. I get to play in the cellar and make interesting wines.’ And in this month’s Savvy Selections you will certainly taste exactly what Glenn means.

I first met Glenn not at his winery, but rather when he was serving me wine during his final exam for his Sommelier Accreditation. These role playing practical exams can be un-nerving for the Sommelier ‘students’, yet I succinctly recall that Glenn handled the mock situation with panache. When he began demonstrating the 23 step process and etiquette (or is it a ritual?) of opening a bottle of wine, I could not believe my eyes that in his hands was a bottle of Huff Estates Lighthall Chardonnay VQA 2007 from Prince Edward County. Glenn did not know that I was a huge fan of this wine. I was equally amazed the he was serving a $30 bottle of wine while other Sommelier hopefuls where uncorking sub $10 wines as the judges weren`t going to sip and savour the wine – afterall the exams took place at 10am!

Curious and impressed, I commented about his wine choice and Glenn smiled back and proudly announced, ‘I just bought Lighthall Vineyards and I will be building a winery.’ That is not something you hear every day! Intrigued, I kept a lookout for Glenn on my visits to Prince Edward County. This spring, I visited his winery for the first time and have been enjoying his wines ever since.

In your Savvy Selections, you will find:

Lighthall Progression Sparkling VQA 2011 – an easy drinking Spanish cava style sparkling wine made with Vidal grapes

Lighthall Gewurztraminer VQA 2011 – an absolutely remarkable aromatic white wine – get ready to be impressed

Lighthall Pinot Noir 2010 VQA – one word : Stunning!

OPTIONAL WINE : Lighthall Pinot Noir Reserve Particuliere – Les Grands VQA 2009 – Pinot lovers beware – you will fall in love again with every sip

Stock up on these wines!

Like the sparkling? Stock up because it is almost gone…
Lighthall produces an incredibly small amount of wine. You won’t find them in the LCBO. If you would like more, simply drop me an e-mail at debbie@savvycompany.ca or give me a call at 613-SAVVYCO (613-728-8926). Heads up – the sparkling is almost gone!

Cheers & enjoy your Savvy Selections!

Debbie & Savvy Team

 

Patrick after the crush

Introducing…
Lighthall Vineyards

Presented by Savvy Sommelier Erin Bolling

 

As a lover and student of wine I am excited to have an opportunity to be your Savvy Sommelier and introduce you to Lighthall Vineyards. I think conducting the Savvy Selections tasting panel is a pleasure of the taste buds as well as the mind while we put our heads together to determine recipes to pair with the feature wines. Each time the Savvy Team ‘has to’ work its way through many candidates for the Savvy Selections in order to chose the final selection. Once the wines are chosen, I have the honour to interview the owners and winemakers. This conversation allows me to learn first hand about the wines and am charged with a renewed appreciation for the people behind each bottle of wine.

This month I had the pleasure of meeting Glenn Symons of Lighthall Vineyards. Since 2008, Lighthall has been a one man show. Glenn is the owner, winemaker, field manager and marketing ‘department’. You name he does it! Hearing his story made me exhausted. I can only imagine how he feels each day! In all honesty though, Glenn is overflowing with passion and enthusiasm to be a winemaker.
Pharmacist to winemaker…

Glenn bought Lighthall in 2008 after he sold his Pharmacy – yes you read that right. As a graduate of the Sommelier program at Algonquin College and an amateur winemaker (in his own home), he learned more and more about the wines in Prince Edward County (PEC). Glenn’s temptation to buy a vineyard property in PEC became reality, he dramatically change careers.

Since 2008, Glenn has doubled the size of Lighthall’s property. In addition, he changed the business from a grape growing operation where he grows grapes for other wineries, to a winery in its own right. Since then, Glenn claims that there has been no time to look back!
Being September & October, it took Glenn and I a while to connect since it was in the height of harvest. And this year, harvest was 3 to 5 weeks early. When I did finally reach him, he explained that harvest is his favourite time of year. The last of his Vidal grapes were being picked ‘as we speak’ (these grapes are not for late harvest wines). The Chardonnay and Pinot Noir came in to the crush pad the week before.
There was no doubt in our interview that Glenn was enthused about this past growing season since it was the warmest since 1968. Glenn predicts that 2012 will be an exceptional year for PEC wines and for that matter Ontario too and even broader Canadian wines too.
Overflowing with passion!

As stated earlier Lighthall is a one man show. Other than some seasonal workers, for whom Glenn built a house, Glenn does all the work of vineyard management and winemaking by himself. For the past three seasons he has put in 12 to 18 hour days. In the winter, he can be found tending the 25 acre woodlot which he uses to heat the buildings on the premises. And what comes next? Glenn has plans to try his hand at planting vines. He has his eye on a vineyard of 1 acre of just Gruner Veltliner. This varietal is an Austrian staple and is one of Glenn’s favourite types of wine. While Gruner is not planted in PEC, Glenn explains that it would be well suited to The County’s clay soil and environment. We look forward to his results. Cross your fingers!

Lighthall tasting bar

His passion for his winery is obvious in its design. His tasting bar is located in the middle of his production area. This gives Glenn the ability to share and give his visitors the opportunity to ‘see’ all aspects of the winemaking process. What a terrific experience!
Glenn makes harvest a family affair by involving his children in the crush.
The wine Glenn is most proud of (to date!) is Lighthall Pinot Noir Reserve Particuliere VQA 2009 – Les Grands. Our Savvy Team was impressed too & we offered it as an optional wine. It is hard to believe that this wine was the first red wine that Glenn ever produced…and his two eldest sons helped too!
There is no doubt that Lighthall Vineyards is a small operation with big dreams. The purchase occurred in 2008, the winery was built in 2009, the first Lighthall Vineyard wine was produced in 2009 and last year it opened to the public. When you are next in The County, be sure make a visit.

~ SAVVY SOMMELIER TASTING NOTES ~

 

Lighthall Progression Sparkling 2011 VQA, $20.00

Vidal is a hybrid grape of Ugni Blanc and Rayon d’Or. It’s thick skin and hardiness in cold climates make it an ideal grape to grow in Prince Edward County and Niagara. This particular sparkling wine was made with 100% Lighthall grapes using Charmat method (winespeak: uses a tank second fermentation to create the bubbles).

Savvy Sommelier Tasting Notes: Very pale with aromas of white grapefruit and lime with an undertone of minerality. This dry, light sparkler has persistent light bubbles and flavours that mimic the nose with a bit of white peach and apricot thrown in. It is a refreshing wine with a pleasant mouth coating feeling and persistent zesty finish.

Suggested Food Pairing: This sparkling wine is a great starter wine on its own, or could be paired with seafood such as oysters. The tasting panel recommends it with a prosciutto and arugula pizza.

Cellaring: An excellent sipping wine that could be enjoyed now or it could be cellared for a year or two for a special occasion.

Lighthall Gewurztraminer 2011 VQA, $25.00

A classic Gewurztraminer made with high quality grapes sourced from Vineland. This is one of Glenn’s favourite grape variety.

Savvy Sommelier Tasting Notes: This wine has hallmark Gewurz pale yellow with a hint of pinkish colouring. Its floral and exotic fruit aromas of lychee, rose petals, pineapple and hard candy. “I just want to keep my nose in the glass” stated one of the Savvy Sommeliers during the tasting panel. “I can’t help myself from swirling and sniffing again and again because it smells so good!”

Slightly effervescent, medium to full wine with a complex palate. You may detect lychee, honey and Turkish Delights taste as the finish lingers.

Suggested Food Pairing: This Gewurztraminer would be perfect with spicy foods such as Indian curry or Asian dishes. ‘Or even with smoked salmon’ commented one of the Savvy Sommeliers. It would also make a tremendous accompaniment to dessert. Enjoy with a pear & cream cheese tart – the recipe follows on the next pages.

Cellaring: This well structured wine is enjoyable now. You can cellar it, however the noteable vibrant aromas and tastes will tone down dramatically.

Lighthall Pinot Noir 2010 VQA, $25.00

Although Pinot Noir is known as the heartbreak grape, this red wine will only bring you joy, proudly stated Glenn.

Savvy Sommelier Tasting Notes: A clear pale cherry-red colour with a typical Pinot bouquet of tar, earthiness ripe berries and warm spices. This medium-bodied, dry wine delivers sweet flavours of cherry, blackberries, white pepper and a hint a vanilla with a medium finish.

Suggested Food Pairing: This is a perfect fall food wine and would pair well with classic stuffed turkey, pork tenderloin or a selection of hearty cheeses. Savvy Sommelier Debbie discovered a new recipe of Roasted Califlower and Swiss Chard that she experimented with for her Thanksgiving feast. The recipe is on the following pages.

Cellaring: With 14.5% alcohol this wine is capable of aging another 3-5 years but drinks very well now.

OPTIONAL WINE: Lighthall Pinot Noir Reserve Particulière – Les Grands, 2009 VQA, $50.00

Glenn’s pride and joy. This rich Pinot Noir was part of an extremely low yield and as you can imagine the wine is in VERY short supply. Members of our tasting panel emailed me the following day after our Savvy Selections tasting telling me they were still dreaming about this wine so we had to offer it as an optional wine!

Savvy Sommelier Tasting Notes: A bright ruby colour with a pleasing earthy, smokey, cherry and mushrooms on the nose. The deep flavours give you tart yet ripe cherries, smoke and earthy mushrooms fill your mouth and leaves you with a pleasant woodsy, vanilla finish.

Suggested Food Pairing: Everyone agreed that this wine was a must include for October. It is versatile and would make a lovely ‘meditation’ wine on its own or a great food wine with brisket or game meat. Then when the mushroom risotto was suggested, there were many oohs and aaaahs of delight with this pairing.

Cellaring: This medium bodied wine still has time to develop so feel free to lay it down if you like.

~RECIPES TO ENJOY WITH YOUR SAVVY SELECTIONS~

 

With Lighthall Progression Sparkling VQA 2011…

Prosciutto and Arugula Pizza

From: Epicurious.com
Serves 4

Ingredients
1/2 cup small to medium arugula leaves
3 very thin slices prosciutto
2 ounces mozzarella (preferably fresh)
All purpose flour for dusting
Pizza Dough for one 9-inch pizza (click here for a good recipe)
1/2 cup Pizza Sauce – recipe below

Method for pizza sauce

Take a 28-ounce can crushed tomatoes in puree (about 3 1/2 cups) and mix with 3 Tablespoons of olive oilIn a large non-reactive saucepan bring tomatoes and oil to a simmer uncovered, stirring occasionally, simmer for 20 minutes, or until sauce is reduces to about 2 1/2 cup

Season sauce with salt and cool to room temperature. This sauce keeps, covered and chilled in the fridge for 5 days and freezes well

Assemble the pizza

At least 45 minutes before baking pizza, put a pizza stone or 4 to 6 unglazed “quarry” tiles arranged close together on oven rack in lowest position in oven and preheat oven to highest setting (500°-550°F)

Trim any tough stems from arugula and thinly slice cheese.

On a lightly floured surface pat out dough evenly with your fingers, keeping hands flat and lifting and turning dough over several times, into a 9-inch round. Do not handle dough more than necessary and if dough is sticky, dust it lightly with flour.

Dust a baker’s peel or rimless baking sheet with flour and carefully transfer dough to it. Jerk peel or baking sheet once or twice and, if dough is sticking, lift dough and sprinkle flour underneath it, reshaping dough if necessary. Working quickly, top dough with sauce, spreading with back of a spoon to within 1/2 inch of edge. Arrange mozzarella slices evenly over sauce. Line up far edge of peel or baking sheet with far edge of stone or tiles and tilt peel or baking sheet, jerking it gently to start pizza moving.

Once edge of pizza touches stone or tiles, carefully pull back peel or baking sheet, completely transferring pizza to stone or tiles (do not move pizza).

Bake pizza 6 to 7 minutes, or until dough is crisp and browned, and transfer with a metal spatula to a cutting board. Scatter arugula over pizza and arrange prosciutto slices on top. 

With Lighthall Gewurztraminer VQA 2011…

Pear & Cream Cheese Tart

From: Desserts by Bonnie Stern
Serves 6 to 8

Ingredients
Base
½ cup unsalted butter
1/3 cup granulated sugar
1 cup all purpose flour

Filling
2 ripe pears (preferably Bartlett)
4 oz cream cheese
½ cup granulated sugar
2 eggs
¾ cup cream
½ tsp vanilla
¼ cup sliced almonds

Method

Preheat oven to 425. Butter a 9 or 10” pie plate with removable sides.

For the shortbread base, cream butter and sugar together until light. Beat in flour and pat into pie plate – no need to roll it out.

Peel, halve and core pears and slice and arrange in circular rows on top of base. Stir cream cheese until smooth then beat in sugar, add eggs one at a time, beating mixture smooth after each addition then add cream and vanilla. Pour over pears & Sprinkle with almonds.

If there is any leftover custard, bake separately with any leftover pears or other fruit for a little treat for the chef.Bake for 10 minutes. Reduce heat to 375 and bake for 25 to 30 minutes longer, or until fruit is tender and custard is set.Serve warm or cold.

With Lighthall Pinot Noir VQA 2010 …

Roasted Cauliflower and Swiss Chard Salad

From: Long Nights and Log Fires Cookbook
Serves 4

Ingredients
1/4 cup olive oil
1 small head of cauliflower, separated into large florets
1 tsp ground cumin
6 large Swiss chard leaves, roughly chopped into 1 inch wide strips
1 red onion, cut into wedges
2 garlic cloves chopped
14 oz can chickpeas, rinses and drained
1/4 cup tahini (sesame seed paste)
2 Tbsps freshly squeezed lemon juice
1/4 tsp fresh ground pepper
sea salt

Method

Over high heat in a cast iron pan or large skillet, put in the oil. Add the cauliflower florets and cook for 8 to 10 minutes turning often (you will want some brown or burnt looking marks – this is a good sign!). Then add the cumin and cook stirring for 1 minute, add the Swiss Chard, onion and garlic to the pan and cook for a further 2 to 3 minutes. Add chickpeas and stir. Season to taste with salt.

In a separate bowl, combine the tahini, lemon juice and pepper. Add a little salt to taste. Whisk to combine. Transfer the vegetables into a bowl and drizzle the dressing over the top to serve.

Enjoy as a rustic vegetarian dish or a side accompanying pork cutlets, baked ham or turkey.

With Lighthall Pinot Noir Reserve Particulière – Les Grands VQA 2009 …

Mushroom Risotto

From: The Essential Rice Cookbook
Serves 4

Ingredients
2 Tablespoons dried porcini mushrooms
1 litre (32 fl oz) vegetable or chicken stock
2 Tablespoons butter
1 small onion
2 garlic cloves, crushed
1 ¾ cups risotto rice
Pinch of freshly ground nutmeg
1 cup mushrooms, sliced (a variety of mushrooms would be good)
½ cup freshly grated parmesan cheese
3 Tablespoons finely chopped parsley

Method

Soak the porcini mushrooms in 2 cups (500 ml/ 16 fl oz) boiling water for 30 minutes. Drain, reserving the liquid then chop the porcini and pass the liquid through a sieve. Pour the stock into a saucepan, bring to the boil and reduce keeping it at a low simmer.

Heat the oil and butter in a wide heavy saucepan to cook the onion and garlic until soft but not brown. Stir in the rice until it is well coated.

Add the fresh mushrooms and nutmeg; season and cook, stirring for 1-2 minutes. Then add the porcini and their liquid, increase the heat and cook until the liquid has been absorbed. Add ½ cup (125 ml/4fl oz) of the stock and stir constantly over medium heat until all the liquid has been absorbed. Continue adding stock a bit at a time until all the liquid is absorbed and the rice is tender and creamy – which should take about 25-30 minutes.

Remove from the heat and stir in the Parmesan and parsley and serve

Enjoy your Savvy Selections!

 

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Great stuff from Huff!

Posted by Erin

Monday, February 28th, 2011
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Savvy Selections wine of the month club
features Huff Estates Winery
Canada’s wineries delivered to your doorstep
 

When a wine is complex, it opens up to you bit by bit and offers something new each time. I think that this is a fitting way to describe this month’s our feature winery Huff Estates Winery of Prince Edward County. This marks the third time that we have featured Huff in Savvy Selections. Why? Because as one of the flagship wineries of Prince Edward County – or PEC as it is often referred to –  it is a complex winery with something new to offer each time we return. With the rapid growth of ‘The County’, I find it fascinating to see & taste how the region evolves each year.  When I first visited the region six years ago, there were a mere 7 wineries. Now there are 23 wineries, with more opening this summer! 

 

Prince Edward County was the center of the fruit canning industry in Canada & has transformed itself into the fastest growing wine region in Canada. In addition to the wine, The County is growing its reputation as a culinary weekend getaway with its gourmet restaurants, artisan cheese makers, artists & historic inns. The fertile limestone land bordering Lake Ontario once produced fruits & vegetables.  The landscape continues to change, transforming into impressive vineyards – with Huff Estates as one of the wineries to watch & breaking new ground as this region grows.

 

While the winery opened in 2004, the roots of the Huff family lays claim to PEC back to the 1800s when they settled as United Empire Loyalists. In fact, the winery is located on what used to be an orchard called “Huff Corners” – at the intersection of County Road #1 & Highway 62.

 

On the following pages, our newest Savvy Sommelier Erin Bolling shares with her interview with Huff’s winemaker Frederic Picard & his impression of this year’s harvest.

 

Or watch our video!  
On a recent visit to Huff, I spent some time with Frederic too. Watch us our chat in the vineyard on the Savvy Company YouTube channel at: http://www.youtube.com/user/TheSavvyCompany

 

Cozy up by the fire or celebrate the Chinese New Year with these Savvy Selections wines:

·         Huff Estates Pinot Gris VQA 2009

·         Huff Estates South Bay Vineyards Chardonnay 2008

·         Huff Estates South Bay Vineyards Merlot-Cabernet VQA 2007

·         OPTIONAL WINE: Huff Estates First Frost 2008

 

What did you think?

Our Savvy Team appreciates hearing from you about the wines we selected for your enjoyment.  And if you plan to visit the County soon  – be sure to consider taking in the annual Countyliscious festival that runs March 23 to April 16 featuring prix fixe menus for under $35 at renowned gourmet restaurants featuring local produce. Contact us in advance & we’ll be happy to arrange a tour of Huff Estates or give you our ‘must visit’ list of wineries to help you plan your trip.

 

Want more Huff Estates wines?  It is easy – simply call on us to arrange an order for you.

  

Cheers & Enjoy!

– Debbie & Savvy Team


 

Huff Estates Winery

Presented by Sommelier Erin Bolling

 

Winemaker Frederic Picard hails from Burgundy, France and has travelled from the famed vineyards of his homeland to Italy, Chile, California & France where he gained hands on experience in vineyards & wine cellars. When asked how his vast experience has helped him in the different cool climate growing region of PEC, he explains with a little tone of je ne sais quoi, “to me, all experience is positive. I have learned how to get the most out of what the land & terroir gives me to work with”. As the winery has rapidly grown in the past six years, Frederic now has 40 acres of vineyards to work with, bearing vines that are producing high enough yields & quality grapes for him to make wines that contain 100% County grown grapes. A sidenote: a new vineyard needs to grow 5 to 7 years before the grapes are worthy to use for making wine.  During this time, to help PEC wineries get started, they can purchase grapes from Niagara & bring them to their winery to make wine that they can call their own. It is a true signal of ‘coming of age’, when the winery produces wine using grapes from their own vineyard.  All of the wines in this Savvy Selections are made with County grown grapes.

Frederic has been with the winery since the opening in 2004 during this time has produced wines that are winning notable awards here at home and abroad. Last year, Frederic was part of a team of Ontario winemakers who traveled to London, England on a ‘mission’ to make an impression on the European wine media by showcasing Ontario Chardonnay wines. Huff’s South Bay Vineyard Chardonnay VQA 2007 garnered rave reviews from renowned wine critics including Oz Clarke & Jancis Robinson. Huff’s Chardonnay – made with grapes from their vineyard in PEC’s South Bay area – was touted as a ‘wine to watch’.  Now that is impressive! This wine quickly sold out & we are excited to include the South Bay Chardonnay from the 2008 vintage for you to sip on now or cellar.  We are sure that you too will be impressed with the outstanding quality of this wine.

Interview with Winemaker Frederic Picard
“Respect the grapes you’re making the wine from”, was the repeated message during my interview with Frederic. Luckily, I was able to catch him before he headed off to France. Given the short growing season & cold winters he explained to me that after harvest, he has to hill-up (winespeak: bury the vines). This technique is only practiced in PEC to protect the vines from the harsh winter conditions.  By hilling up, the vines can produce quality fruit in the spring.  As you can imagine, with the arrival of spring, he has to ‘hill down’ by removing the soil from the buried vines. According to Frederic, “the climate in PEC favours excellent ripening of cool climate grape varieties – Merlot, Cabernet Franc, Chardonnay, Riesling & Pinot Gris.

You heard it here first!
While he experiments in the vineyard, Frederic also experiments in the wine cellar.  He let me in on a secret that I am excited to share with you….Frederic has crafted a new wine that will be called Zero DeGris – a late harvest style wine that will be released this spring. That is all that he would divulge, so stay tuned! Frederic is also very excited about what he calls his “baby” – the  sparkling wines he makes at Huff. In fact, he was the first winery in the area to make a bubbly.  Frederic proudly recalled the story that acclaimed Canadian wine critic, Tony Aspler stated that he feels “sparkling wine can be something very special here in the County.”  Huff’s Cuvée Peter F. Huff sparkling won gold at the All Canadian Wine Championship. Speaking of awards, check out the extensive list Huff has received so far:

The verdict of 2010 harvest? As Frederic claims with his charming French accent, “one of the best ever”. We anxiously await to taste the wines of 2010.

Plan a visit to Huff – its a year round destination
I plan to be enjoying a glass of Huff sparkling wine on the winery’s patio when I visit the winery as one of my stops along a cycling tour that I am planning of the County this summer. There are several other reasons to jump in your car to visit Huff – any time of the year:
The Inn – each of the impressive 21 suites are surrounded by vineyards.
Oeno Gallery – Art & wine are perfect partners, especially with PEC becoming a thriving artists’ community, Huff Estates added the gallery to its property in 2009. There are different exhibits featuring contemporary art & sculpture. Did you know that PEC has more artists per capita than Toronto does?

With the stellar 2010 harvest, I’m looking forward to what comes next from Huff.  Until then, enjoy your Savvy Selections. As they say in France…Santé!

 

~ Savvy Sommelier Tasting Notes ~

Pinot Gris VQA 2009, $19.95

This wine is a sure crowd pleaser. All the grapes in this award winning wine are from PEC, specifically the Southbay, East Lake, and Hillier vineyards. The Savvy panel agreed it is lovely on its own or as an aperitif.

Savvy Sommelier Tasting Notes: This white gold wine is complex with intense aromatics of apple, pear, ripe guava and almonds. Savvy Sommelier Doug commented that, ’’there is a lot going on in this glass’’ to the agreement of all involved in the Savvy Selections tasting panel. With a quick sniff, you will find all the aromatic notes repeated on the palate in a medium-full bodied wine with a refreshingly tangy lime finish.

Suggested Food Pairing: As sommeliers we aim to help you find out what you love to drink & eat. This is a versatile wine that will pair with seafood, roast chicken, even porkchops with a chutney.  For those of you who make a full meal out of our suggested recipes, we suggest to serve Asian Avacado Salsa. This wine will meld well with the avocado in this twist on traditional guacamole.

Cellaring: No need to wait! This wine is drinking well now.

South Bay Vineyards Chardonnay VQA 2008 $29.95
This was the Savvy Selections panel hands down favorite. Savvy Sommelier Julie coined this wine as the ‘Golden Baby’ & enthusiastically stated that  “she could write all night about this delicious Chardonnay”. It’s a Chardonnay for any season with enough body that white wine lovers simply need to curl up in front of the fire with a glass. I’m already looking forward to my next glass of this County grown Chardonnay. Congrats Frederic for making such a fine wine!

Savvy Sommelier Tasting Notes: Shimmering gold coloured, this full bodied Chardonnay is a rich wine with notes of tropical fruit, toasted coconut, butterscotch & warm spices. As expected the palate does not disappoint with apple, toast other notes that follow the nose. Savvy Sommelier Debbie was impressed with the long “heavenly’’ finish.  Aged in French oak barrels, this wine is a classic.

Suggested Food Pairing: This wine will pair well with rich foods such as: figs wrapped in prosciutto, salmon wellington, lobster alfredo or a hearty pasta carbonara – see recipe on the following pages.

Cellaring: Drinking well now, the wine could cellar for a couple of years

South Bay Vineyards Merlot-Cabernet VQA 2007 $

29.95
Made exclusively from the Huff vineyard in the South Bay area of Prince Edward County, this Bordeaux blend is a repeat favourite vintage after vintage. It is 70% Merlot, 15% Cabernet Sauvignon & 15% Cabernet Franc, it spent 18 months in new French oak barrels. This is the 5th year its been released & this vintage, Frederic decided to lean heavily on Merlot (a perfect varietal for PEC region). Frederic considers this the best yet rendition of the blend.   

 

Savvy Sommelier Tasting Notes:  Our Savvy Selections tasting panel had a lot to say about this pretty, balanced and medium bodied wine. It greets you with loads of red fruit, chocolate, plum, cedar and violets. The smooth mouth feel does not disappoint and it finishes with a dry cranberry taste that lingers just enough. This wine has limited availability…if you want more, be sure to call on us to help you stock up!

Suggested Food Pairing: Enjoy with tortiere, coq au vin, or the Boeuf Bourguignon recipe that we offer on the following pages.

Cellaring: You will definitely want to taste this wine now to determine if you want additional bottles to cellar for another 3-5 years as Frederic recommends.

OPTIONAL WINE: First Frost 2008 $19.95 (500 mL bottle)
Made with Vidal grapes that have been picked after they have been first ‘kissed’ by the first frost, the result is an elegant combination of sweet & acidity.  This wine is only made at Huff Estates & is neither a late harvest nor an ice-wine.  Our Savvy Selections tasting panel enjoyed this wine so much that we wanted to offer it to you as an optional wine to add to this month’s Savvy Selections delivery.

Savvy Sommelier Tasting Notes: A clear honey gold coloured wine with a medium body. Delicious tropical notes of pineapple, mango & light white floral notes with a touch of clover & honey play in the taste.

Suggested Food Pairing: Savvy Sommelier Julie declared that this wine is ‘simply delicious’ & would be delightful served chilled on its own or with appetizers, fresh fruit desserts or mild cheeses. Savvy Sommelier Erin Bolling ooohhhed& ahhhed & remarked that First Frost would be a great wine with her spicy baked coconut shrimp hors d’oeuvre on the following pages.

 

~ Recipes to enjoy with your Savvy Selections ~

With Huff Estates Pinot Gris VQA 2009…

Asian Avacado Salsa
From Bon Appetit Magazine
www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/Asian-Avocado-Salsa-243002#ixzz1BtmU17KD
Serves 4

Ingredients

1 tablespoon sesame seeds

2 tablespoons unseasoned rice vinegar

1 tablespoon mirin (sweet Japanese rice wine)*

2 teaspoons soy sauce

1 1/2 teaspoons Asian sesame oil

1 teaspoon wasabi paste (horseradish paste)*

2 cups coarsely chopped trimmed watercress (leaves and tender stems from 2 medium bunches)

4 green onions, thinly sliced on diagonal (about 1 cup)

1/2 cup 1/3-inch cubes asian pear

2 large avocados, halved, pitted, peeled, cut into 1/3-inch cubes


Method

1.    Stir sesame seeds in dry skillet over medium heatt until aromatic and golden. Transfer to a small bowl to cool.

 

2.    Whisk next 6 ingredients in large bowl to blend. Add watercress, green onion, and asian pear; toss to coat. Gently stir in avocados & chill in the fridge.  Note: this step can all be done ahead of time.

 

3.    Sprinkle salsa with toasted sesame seeds and serve chilled with fried wonton triangles or chip of your choice.   

 

With Huff Estates South Bay Chardonnay VQA 2008…

Spaghetti Carbonara
A personal recipe from Savvy Sommelier Erin Bolling & Epicurious.com
Serves 4-6

Ingredients

5 oz guanciale (unsmoked cured hog jowl), pancetta or bacon

1 medium onion, finely chopped

1/4 cup dry white wine

1 lb spaghetti

3 large eggs

1 1/2 oz Parmigiano-Reggiano, finely grated (3/4 cup)

3/4 oz Pecorino Romano, finely grated (1/3 cup)

1 teaspoon coarsely ground black pepper

1/4 teaspoon salt


Recipe online at http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/Spaghetti-alla-Carbonara-107810#ixzz1CSBZnygr

 

 

Method

1.    Cut guanciale or pancetta into 1/3-inch dice, then cook in a deep 12-inch heavy skillet over moderate heat, stirring, until fat begins to render, 1 to 2 minutes. Add onion and cook, stirring occasionally, until onion is golden, about 10 minutes. Add wine and boil until reduced by half, 1 to 2 minutes.

2.    Cook spaghetti in a 6- to 8-quart pot of boiling salted water until al dente.

3.    While pasta is cooking, whisk together eggs, Parmigiano-Reggiano , Pecorino Romano (1/3 cup), 1 teaspoon coarsely ground black pepper, and 1/4 teaspoon salt in a small bowl.

4.    Drain spaghetti in a colander and add to onion mixture, then toss with tongs over moderate heat until coated. Remove from heat and add egg mixture, tossing to combine. Serve immediately.

With Huff South Bay Vineyards Merlot-Cabernet VQA 2007…

Classic Boeuf Bourguignon
Recipe from the Tracey Black – chef and co-owner of Epicuria Fine Food & Catering in Ottawa
Serves 4-6

Ingredients

5lb stewing beef (Chuck – well marbled)
1 spanish onion (cut into a ½ inch dice)
2 cloves garlic
½ lb side bacon – cut into lardon
1 cup red wine
1/4 bunch thyme
1 bay leaf
1.5 lbs button mushrooms – kept whole or halved
1 cups pearl onions blanched
cornstarch slurry to thicken

 

 

Method

1.     Cook off lardon in sauté pan until crisp. Reserve bacon fat.

2.     Drain and pat dry stewing beef. Season beef liberally with salt and pepper. Brown beef in sauté pan, careful not to over crowd pan. Use just enough vegetable oil/bacon fat to coat bottom of pan. Place meat into braising pot. Note: flavour of stew is directly related to how well the meat is browned..  

3.     Saute onions in meat browning pan until softened. Add garlic and herbs and sauté until onions are caramelized. Deglaze with red wine.

 

4.     Add bacon, onions and wine to braising pot and add enough stock to bring liquid level one inch below meat. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer until meat is fork tender – approximately 1.5 hours.

 

5.     Sautée mushrooms and pearl onions, separately, and add to braising pot when meat is cooked. To thicken, bring stew to boil and add cornstarch slurry. Can also be thickened with a roux.

 

 

With Huff First Frost 2008…

Spicy Baked Coconut Shrimp Appetizer
A personal recipe from Savvy Sommelier Erin with a little help from www.Epicurious.com
Serves 4-6

Ingredients

3 cups shredded sweetened coconut (lightly toasted)
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup panko* (Japanese-style bread crumbs)
1 teaspoon cayenne pepper, or to taste
Kosher salt, to taste
4 large egg whites
1 pound large shrimp, peeled and deveined, tails intact
Nonstick cooking spray
*NOTE: Panko bread crumbs can be found on the Asian aisle of most major grocery stores or in Asian markets.
Dipping Sauce
3/4 cup apricot jam
1/4 cup mango chutney
1/4 cup finely chopped fresh cilantro
1/2 to 1 jalapeno pepper, seeded and minced, to taste
Freshly squeezed juice of 1 lime
Kosher salt
Freshly cracked black pepper, to taste

Method

 

1.     Preheat the oven to 350°F.

 

2.     Spread the coconut evenly on an ungreased sheet pan and toast in the oven, stirring occasionally, until golden, 8 to 10 minutes.

 

3.     Increase oven temperature to 400°F.

 

4.     To prepare the shrimp, line a sheet pan with parchment paper.

 

5.     In a shallow dish, whisk together the flour, bread crumbs, cayenne pepper, and salt. Place the toasted coconut in another dish.

 

6.     Place the egg whites in a medium bowl and whisk until frothy. Pat the shrimp dry and dip first in the egg whites, then the flour, back in the egg whites, then roll in the coconut.

 

7.     Arrange the shrimp on the prepared pan and spray lightly with cooking spray. Bake 12 to 15 minutes, until cooked through and golden.

 

Cheers & Enjoy this month’s Savvy Selections!

 

 

 
 

 

 

 

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