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Posts Tagged ‘accredited Sommelier’

Fabulous Fromages from Quebec

Posted by Vanessa

Tuesday, August 8th, 2017
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This month’s Savvy Cool Curds, the only cheese-of- the-month club in the country dedicated to featuring hard-to-come- by lovingly handcrafted Canadian artisan and farmstead cheeses celebrates SUMMER with Les Fromagiers de la Table Ronde. For backyard BBQs, cottage country, lake living, patio parties, regional road trips or lazy hazy beach days, #CdnCheese is the easiest, effortless, “whey” to snack, feast or entertain this summer. Grab some good friends, pick a place, crack open a local craft brew, artisan wine or cider and kick back with your Savvy Cool Curds. As temperatures soar, who wants to work any harder than that?

In your Savvy Cool Curds you will find…

… Very special and hard-to- find artisan cheeses including:
La Galette de La Table Ronde 250g
Le Fou du Roy 200g
Le Ménestrel 200g
Fleuron 200g
…and a box of savoury treats from Sprucewood Handmade Cookie Co.

 

Looking for more fabulous Les Fromagiers de la Table Ronde Cheese?

Would you like more cheese from this month’s Savvy Cool Curds? Just call our Savvy Team & we’ll arrange a special shipment for you (if it is still available that is!). Put us on speed dial – Savvy Cool Curds Hotline 613-SAVVYCO (728-8926) or cheers@savvycompany.ca

Cheers!
Vanessa & the Savvy Team

 

Introducing…

Les Fromagiers de la Table Ronde
by Vanessa Simmons, Cheese Sommelier

A road trip almost ten years ago lead me to Les Fromagiers de la Table Ronde in the Laurentians of Quebec, while I was exploring the famous Routes des Fromages fins du Quebec. All this time later, I return regularly as one of my must stops along the way to Montreal, along with a few neighbouring cheesemakers because of the awesome cheese, and the warm hospitality I always receive from owners France Dion and Ronald Alary (in photo below).

It’s an all out family business at the Fromagerie, as a 4 th generation dairy farm, dating back pre-1950’s, with Holstein (and a few Jersey) cows and in 2003, the cheese factory. And today they have an abundance of popular products that can be found across Quebec and in Ontario, while others are only available locally at the shop. If you visit, the fragrant aroma of fresh cheese and milk will immediately strike you as you walk in the door. I highly recommend soft cheeses Le Nymph and La Courtisan and, of course, their flagship all mushroomy all the time Rassembleu. France and Ronald have a special touch with soft and semi-soft cheeses.

All For One

The name Les Fromagiers de la Table Ronde (the cheesemakers of the round table) stems from a family gathering, akin to that back in medieval times of the Knights of the Round Table. The Alarys were seated at a big round family table and discussing ways to viably keep their children involved in the farm and family business (and making money) and thus a Fromagerie where fine organic cheeses could be made was born.  All of the cheese names since relate back to that theme.

Rassembleu is the idea of gathering around a table and the others are for key roles held at court way back when. All of them are quirky but fitting, given the cheese, and the history of their makers. All the cheese production and aging happens on the property. One aging room houses over $100,000 worth of cheese at any given time! Ronald also has a partnership with neighbouring cheese house Fromagerie Fuoco for production of their mouth-watering buffalo milk products.

Committed to Organic

Long before cheesemaking the Alary family had been committed to organic as dairy farmers. Certified organic as of 1999, the same holds true today. Only the fresh, organic milk from their farm is used in their cheesemaking. A traditional process combined with modern day technology allows them to meet the rigorous standards of Quebec Vrai official certification, while producing their fine cheese and being committed to local. “Canadians want Canadian cheese” says Ronald. “They want to know where their food comes from and they will seek it out”. No pesticides or chemicals are used on the property, animals are hormone-free and a special ten-metre barrier separates their farm from neighbouring acreage.

Ronald and family are expanding their horizons, always experimenting. They expect growth in the cheese factory with some renovations over the coming years and a perhaps a new cheese on the block in the future, something much more bold and incredibly robust than any of their current products but we can’t say more than that! Stay tuned for more, or visit them this summer and ask about the secret! Savvy Cool Curds subscribers are always welcome for a tour!

 

~ Cheese Tasting Notes ~

Below are Vanessa’s tasting notes and photos for each cheese in your Savvy Cool Curds, along with additional tidbits of interesting information, suggested food pairings & recipes to try too!

La Galette de la Table Ronde

La Galette de la Table Ronde is an award-winning fan favourite from this cheesemaker. Aged less than a month before distribution, these small, beautiful wheels are enjoyed best at 4-6 weeks as they begin to relax & become ripe/runny.

Tasting Notes: Galette is a pasteurized organic cow’s milk cheese with a delicate soft, bloomy washed rind. Find it rich and creamy, sexy and sinful, especially if you keep it for an extra week! Enjoy lots of mushroomy with a little tang on the finish.

Suggested Pairing: Perfect for two to enjoy on your next picnic with fresh raspberries/blueberries/figs, local honey, topped with fresh market jam or hot pepper jelly on baguette or seed crackers. Pop the cork on a chilled Viognier or Pinot Gris and you’ll be sure to impress!

 

Le Fou du Roy

Keeping along the theme of ancient times, Le Fou du Roy (translated to the King’s Jester) is finalist in a
number of cheese awards and one of La Table Ronde’s most consistently perfect cheeses.

Tasting Notes: Le Fou du Roy is a semi-soft, washed-rind, farmstead, organic cow’s milk and truly a “stinky cheese”. It’s a gorgeous little wheel of just more than a kilo, with a perfect, apricot rind and golden paste interior. Aromas and flavors abound of butter, fresh hay, roasted nuts, and toast.

Suggested Pairing: Grilled artisan sausages (like Seed to Sausage Apple Sage, Caramelized Onion/Peppers or Maple Walnut) come to mind as a perfect partner for Le Fou du Roy. When almost cooked, split down the middle, line with Le Fou du Roy & your fave fixings & crack open a local seasonal microbrew, something hoppy, toasty or nutty.

 

Le Ménestrel

Ménestrel is one of La Table Ronde’s newest cheeses, named after medieval singing musicians. It’s made only occasionally during winter and spring months and ramp up production into end of summer/fall for the following winter/spring. Each wheel is an approximate 6-7 kg of cheesy goodness, aged for 9 months or more. Watch for special releases at Christmas time of reserved 1 or 2-year wheels at the cheese factory. A must for the cheese lover on your list as flavors become more intense over
time. Caseus D’Or (Gold) winner in 2015; this means out of all the cheeses judged, in all the categories it took top prize

Tasting Notes: Ménestrel is a washed rind cheese that has been pressed and cooked, made with pasteurized organic milk from Holstein cows. It has a pale straw to copper colour rind with a smooth paste, which tastes of butter, cream, nut and dried grass.

Suggested Pairing: Ménestrel is a great snacking cheese, perfect for picnics & shared with great company. Enjoy with a local IPA or medium red wine. Pair with nuts, fruit, and locally sliced charcuterie for an easy peasy cheese board!

 

Fleuron

More intense that its sister cheese, Rassembleu, Fleuron is a unique true Quebec bleu cheese as named for its origin region and made artisan-style, aged two to four months. Named a finalist in the Blue Cheese category at this year’s Caseus Quebec Cheese Awards.

Tasting Notes:  A natural grey/white rustic rind covers this tall cylindrical elegant organic cow’s milk blue cheese, hiding a pale ivory paste with slate-grey veining, concentrated closer to the center of the cheese. Earthy, woody & fungal aromas blend nicely with vegetal, creamy & slight salty flavors.

Suggested Pairing: Fleuron is soft and oozy, for summer enjoy with fresh ripe strawberries or cantaloupe drizzled with local honey, or as a surprise stuffing centre to home made burgers. Pair with bubbles such as Lighthall Progression or a Prince Edward County cider, such as Clafeld Smashed Apple Cider.

~ Recipes to enjoy with the featured cheeses ~

With La Galette de la Table Ronde…
La Galette de la Table Ronde Smoked Salmon Bites

Adopted Recipe & Photo Credit: recettesdici.com
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes

Ingredients

1 x 225 g (8 oz.) cheese – La Galette de la Table Ronde
24 rice crackers
4 ¼ oz. smoked salmon
2 tsp. mixture of roasted plain and black sesame seeds
1 tbsp. honey

Method

Cut the cheese into 24 small wedges.
Sprinkle sesame seeds one side of each wedge.
Place the rice crackers on a serving tray.
Spread the smoked salmon on the crackers. Add a wedge of cheese, seed side up.
Sprinkle all with more sesame seeds and drizzle honey over the entire plate.

With Le Fou du Roy…
Fou du Roy Bread

Recipe & Photo Credit: fromagiersdelatableronde.com
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 40 minutes

Ingredients

2 eggs
125 mL (½ cup) milk
30 ml (2 tbsp.) olive oil
180 g (¾ cup) flour
5 mL (1 tsp.) baking powder
Salt and pepper to taste
200 g (7 oz.) Le Fou du Roy cheese, shredded
90 g (cup) smoked turkey, chopped

Method

Beat the eggs, milk and olive oil.
Add flour, baking powder, salt, pepper and cheese. The mixture should be as homogeneous as possible.
Crumble in the smoked turkey.
Preheat oven to 200 ° C (400 ° F).
Butter a bread pan and pour in the mixture. Cook for 40 minutes.

 

With Le Ménestrel…
Eggs Benedictine a Le Ménestrel

Recipe & Photo Credit: fromagiersdelatableronde.com
Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes

Ingredients

15 ml (1 tablespoon) white vinegar
1 pinch of salt
4 eggs
2 English muffins, halved
4 small slices of cooked ham
water for boiling eggs

Cheese sauce:
30 ml (2 tbsp.) butter
30 ml (2 tbsp.) flour
300 ml (1 ¼ cup) warm milk
Salt and pepper
80 ml (cup) Le Ménestrel cheese

Method

Sauce:
In a saucepan, melt the butter. Combine flour and cook for 1 minute, stirring, over medium heat. Add hot
milk, salt and pepper, whisking. Simmer for 6 to 8 minutes, stirring. Stir in cheese and cook for 2 to 3
minutes. Remove from heat and reserve.

In a saucepan, bring to the boil water, vinegar and salt. Lower the heat and simmer.

In a small container, break the eggs and put them gently, one by one, in hot water. Cook for 3 to 4
minutes. Remove the eggs with a holed spatula. Set aside/keep warm.

Roast the English half-muffins and arrange them in two plates. Cover with a little cheese sauce.

Spread a slice of ham and a poached egg on each half-muffin. Cover with sauce. Serve with fresh fruit or small roasted potatoes.

 

With Fleuron…
Blue Cheese Apple Salad

Recipe & Photo Credit: Plaisirs Gourmets
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 0 minutes

Ingredients

2 large apples cut into bite-size pieces
2 large handfuls of toasted nuts – hazelnuts or walnuts
1 tsp. mayonnaise & 1 tsp. yogurt, mixed
1 piece of Rassembleu (substitute Fleuron)
cut into small dice (approximately 75 g)

Method

Mix just before serving.

Enjoy your Savvy Cool Curds!

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We’re expanding! Now featuring BC & NS wines too

Posted by Susan

Sunday, July 30th, 2017
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In this month’s Savvy Selections to celebrate Canada’s 150th, we are expanding our scope to include wineries from across the country – from coast to coast.  We are SUPER excited to start this wine soaked trip across Canada with the acclaimed wines of Benjamin Bridge from the Annapolis Valley in Nova Scotia. The closest town is Wolfville – home of Acadia University.

This family-owned winery dedicates itself to the production of world-class ‘méthode classique’ sparkling wines (winespeak: Champagne style) and aromatic whites.

The vision of Gerry McConnell, the heart of his late wife Dara Gordon, and the commitment of his twin daughters Ashley and Devon melded to create an unparalleled success in ‘The Valley’. The McConnell-Gordon family, with their noted international consulting team of Peter Gamble & Ann Sperling (you’ll recognize her name from our features with Southbrook Vineyards & Malivoire Wines in Niagara), selected a well-protected micro-climate at the head of the Gaspereau Valley. They turned their attention to producing sparkling wines from classic Champagne grapes, unlike the pioneers of the early wine industry, who planted hardy hybrid grape varieties that could withstand the cool climate rigors. The result – Benjamin Bridge Brut Reserve 2004 outscored Roederer Cristal 2004 in a blinding tasting of 15 sommeliers and wine writers hosted by Canoe Restaurant in Toronto in August 2013!

 

World Class Wines

With their partner grape growers, the McConnell-Gordon family has gone on to make wine with other vinifera grapes, including Cabernet Franc and Riesling. They participated in the creation of the Nova Scotia appellation of Tidal Bay, a standard for vibrant aromatic white wines requiring rigorous adherence to quality, blending and taste. The goal of this appellation – to showcase the excellence of Nova Scotia’s best hybrid white blend.  Yes, you get to taste a sampling of all these in this month’s Savvy Selections!

 

Get ready to pop the cork & enjoy your Savvy Selections…

To get the Canada 150 celebration started, we selected:

Brut NVan elegant bubbly wine, reflecting the particular style of Benjamin Bridge, to sip and savour or pair with appetizers, salads and light summer meals.
Riesling 2015 – the sea breeze in a glass, this is silky yet lively and clean.
Tidal Bay 2016 – a blend unique to Nova Scotia, light, bright and refreshing!

 

An optional wine many of our subscribers asked us to include in their delivery is the signature Nova 7 – a lightly effervescent, low in alcohol with clean tangy & sweet fruit flavors that makes it an ideal sipping wine or a match for soft cheese or a lemon tart. This is the only NS wine currently available in LCBO Vintages so we did not include it in the Savvy Selections… however it quickly sells out.  If you can’t find it in Vintages (LCBO product #256289) – let us know and we’ll order it for you… it is hands down delicious!

 

More NS at your table . . . At anytime you would like more Benjamin Bridge wines, call us at 613-SAVVYCO (728-8926) or send me an email to debbie@savvycompany.ca and we will make the special arrangements for you.

 

Introducing…
Benjamin Bridge

Presented by Sommelier Susan Desjardins

Gerry McConnell and Dara Gordon’s move to the Wolfville area in the late 1990s, when their twin daughters Ashley and Devon began high school, meant the commute to their law practices included driving through the Gaspereau Valley. On this daily drive, Gerry noticed Hans Christian Jost – one of the pioneers of the Nova Scotia wine industry – planting his Gaspereau Vineyards estate. Through their work Gerry and Dara, had also been to some of South Africa’s acclaimed wine regions, and had tasted some of the excellent sparkling wines from the Stellenbosch appellation. As he drove, the proud Maritimer mused “What would it take to produce world-class wines in Nova Scotia?” That question was about to be answered when in 1999, they purchased the 60-acre Westcott farm. Located at the head of the Gaspereau Valley, on a south-facing slope beside the river, the family quest began to develop and showcase the best of Nova Scotia wines – with Benjamin Bridge the imprimatur on every bottle.

 

The Early Years

It’s said that it takes a village to raise a child. In the case of Benjamin Bridge wines, it could be said that it took a family, experienced committed experts and a willing local industry to launch this unique venture. Ashley , now a Vice President with Benjamin Bridge, laughs as she says “I remember spending summers of high school clearing the fields and planting vines.”

Gerry sought out Hans Christian Jost, who willingly shared his experiences with grape varieties, local growers, growing conditions and the many other factors influencing the wine industry in Nova Scotia.  Recognizing he needed help to implement his vision, Gerry approached renowned Canadian wine consultants, Peter Gamble and his partner Ann Sperling, to advise on the shape the winery should take. With Ashley and Devon’s help, the first 5 acres were planted in 2001, with a focus on grapes for sparkling wines and aromatic white wines. At the recommendation of the Gamble/Sperling team, Gerry approached renowned Champagne expert Raphael Brisebois to meet with them, tour Nova Scotia wine estates, and assess the potential for making world-class sparkling wines.

Impressed with the potential, Brisebois agreed to consult and in 2002, the first experimental sparklings were made to assess terroir, varieties, structure and aromatics. More acres were planted, more experiments undertaken. 2004 was the coolest growing season in a couple of decades, yet the quality of the grapes met Brisebois’ exacting standards – and this vintage later became the winery’s inaugural release.  And the risks that the Benjamin Bridge team was willing to take opened the door for other Nova Scotia wineries to pursue a sparkling wine program.

 

The Unique Terroir

The Benjamin Bridge estate sits at the relatively sheltered, narrow head of the Gaspereau Valley, a mere 4 kilometres from the Minas Basin. At the heart of a cool, maritime climate, the valley benefits further from the massive tidal shifts in the Minas Basin, which bring cool breezes and moisture to the vineyards in the summer, and create an open body of water in the winter that helps protect the more delicate vinifera varieties grown on the estate. The narrowness of the valley and its slight westward tilt mean that ambient temperatures can be up to 2C higher than other sites, providing more degree days for optimal ripening.

While this is a region of high rainfall, the autumn tends to be dry, causing stress in the vines which leads to better development of chemical components that enhance flavours. Fall temperatures extend the growing season, maximizing the aromatic intensity and the bright acidity of the grapes.

The young alluvial soils include deposits of sand, gravel, pebbles and cobbles, unlike the Champagne region, where chalk is dominant. However, at deeper levels, there is a layer of clay veined with sand and gravel that provides a water-holding capacity similar to the chalk found in the Champagne landscape.

This is, however, a cool climate that challenges growers on a regular basis. At times, humidity in the evening can reach 100%, so downy mildew is a key challenge. And the uncontrollable weather is a major factor. For instance, the extreme cold of the winter of 2006 meant a minimal harvest of the vinifera grapes – there was no classic sparkling wine made during that vintage.

The Team

After a long search, Jean-Benoit Deslauriers (in above photo left with Gord McConnell– credit Chronicle Herald)  )was hired in 2008 to join the winemaking team – he is now head winemaker. Jean-Benoit had prior experience with organic and biodynamic viticulture and winemaking in Chile’s maritime-influenced Casablanca Valley, as well as in Monterrey, California, where cold Pacific Ocean currents have a significant influence on growing conditions and create ideal conditions for growing Pinot Noir and Chardonnay.

During my phone interview, Ashley and viticulturalist Scott Savoy talked about Jean-Benoit’s unique contribution to Benjamin Bridge:

“Jean-Benoit is a genius at what he does. He brought experience with bio-dynamic winemaking, but also a sensitivity to the terroir and a commitment to letting the grapes speak for themselves – a commitment to transparency of the terroir. There’s a sense of craftsmanship to everything he does. He has embraced the brightness, the acidity, and the freshness of the styles of wine produced in Nova Scotia.”

In 2009, Dara had wound down her legal practice and was taking on responsibility for the development and operations of the winery, working closely with Jean-Benoit. But a crushing blow occurred with her terminal diagnosis in that year. Ashley and Devon were just completing university, and rushed back to the estate to be with her. Dara transferred as much knowledge as possible to them prior to her untimely death in the fall of that year. The twins took on the role of partner with Jean-Benoit as the winery prepared for the 2010 release of its inaugural Benjamin Bridge Méthode Classique sparkling wines, the 2004 Brut Reserve and the 2004 Blanc de Noirs.

In 2011, Ontario had its first opportunity to taste a Benjamin Bridge wine – Nova 7 was made available for a private tasting in the spring of that year, and that is when I first learned of this Nova Scotia winery. The room was buzzing as we tasted this unknown wine – winemakers from across Canada couldn’t wait to taste it, amazed at the unique flavours and texture, the quality of the wine. I was delighted to see it released by LCBO Vintages in August, where I reviewed and rated it at 4.5/5. But more accolades were to follow, with an outstanding review of the 2004 Méthod Classique Brut Reserve from Beppi Crosariol of The Globe and Mail, who described the wine as ‘a sparkler that rivals Champagne.’ More accolades followed and, as they say, the rest is history . . .

But not really, because Gerry, Ashley, Devon and the Benjamin Bridge team will never be satisfied with the status quo.

While their sparkling wines often spend 5 or more years on the lees, they continue to experiment with other methods of achieving the distinctive creamy texture and richness of the wines, as an example, testing the use of neutral oak with some small batches to see if aging in this medium will produce comparable texture and richness.

Viticulturalist Scott Savoy, who joined the team in 2015, is working with Chris Westcott (who stayed on as vineyard manager after the McConnell-Gordon family bought his farm in 1999) to push the limits of viticulture in the valley. They have implemented a program of high-density planting that should allow them to crop less, while giving the vines the opportunity to ripen wood and set reserves (making them sturdier and more resistant to climate extremes).

They recently purchased the vineyard of Dr. Al McIntyre, who had been one of their principal growers, providing Chardonnay and Cabernet Franc grapes. While they currently have almost 70 acres planted to vine, their goal is to expand that to 90, with the majority being vinifera plantings.

As Ashley says, “It’s a never-ending process of experimentation, risk-taking and incremental change, with the goal of delivering world-class wines that showcase Nova Scotia’s winemaking potential.”  Enjoy this unique opportunity to sample the clean, fresh taste of Nova Scotia, brought to you by Benjamin Bridge and the McConnell-Gordon family!

In photo: Devon and Ashley walking with Jean-Benoit.
Photo Credit: Wines of Nova Scotia

 

 

~ SAVVY SOMMELIER TASTING NOTES ~

Savour this unique opportunity to sample 3 classic & unique Benjamin Bridge wines from Nova Scotia – the Méthode Classique Sparkling non-vintage presents a blend of wines from vintages reaching back to 2002, with extended periods of time on the lees; the Tidal Bay appellation wine gives you an opportunity to taste the quality of a blend that includes hybrid grape varieties; the Riesling displays the classic features of a grape variety that thrives in a cool climate.

 

Méthode Classique Brut Reserve NV, $27.95

This sparkling brut is made from a proprietary blend of wines crafted from l’Acadie Blanc, Vidal, Seyval, Pinot Noir and Chardonnay grapes. They were all hand harvested from the Benjamin Bridge estate, while the wine spent extended time on the lees (winespeak: on yeast) to achieve the classic creamy texture and richness that characterizes this ‘house’ style.

Sommelier Tasting Notes:  This harmonious blend of vintages and grapes shows lifted aromas of pear, citrus, biscuit, fine herbs and mineral. Underpinned by an expressive honed acidity, its ebullient, creamy texture is accented by the fine, persistent mousse. Refreshing flavours of lemon cream biscuits, grapefruit and lemon zest mingle with subtle notes of sour cherry and green apple. Dry, mid-weight, with a long-lasting slightly pithy finish, this is an impressive signature wine from Benjamin Bridge.

Suggested Food Pairings: Sparkling wine offers such versatility – serve it chilled to whet your guests’ appetites, pair it with a range of appetizers, especially fresh seafood, or enjoy it with poached salmon, grilled white fish, or a chicken Caesar salad.

Cellaring: Enjoy now and cellar up to 10 years.

 

Tidal Bay 2016, $21.95

This wine is a blend produced from unique hybrid grapes (l’Acadie Blanc, Seyval and Geisenheim) known for their resistance to the challenging climatic conditions in Nova Scotia. Wineries across the province producing this wine must meet specified blending requirements: l’Acadie Blanc (the signature grape of Nova Scotia) being the majority grape for the blend, and go through a rigorous technical assessment.

What is L’Acadie Blanc?  It is a Canadian hybrid created in Niagara in the early 1950s by crossing Cascade with Seyve-Villard grapes. While the residual sugar in the wine is relatively high, the vibrant acidity assures that the wine tastes dry.

Savvy Sommelier Tasting Notes:  Displaying an exotic, pungent nose of earthy mineral, tangy citrus and ripe stone fruit, the clean flavours of this light-medium bodied wine are framed by vibrant acidity.   The taste of grapefruit, passionfruit and crunchy apple paired with fine mineral and saline qualities really freshen up your palate.

Suggested Food Pairings: You’ll enjoy this bright, lively Nova Scotia classic wine with a goat-cheese and asparagus quiche, fresh oysters or shrimp, or with pan-fried halibut with a lemon-caper reduction.

Cellaring: Ready to drink now and cellarworthy for a further 5 years.

 

Riesling 2015, $30.95

This is the very first commercial release of a Riesling from Benjamin Bridge. The grapes were sourced from three distinct vineyards on the Bay of Fundy, each lot bringing its unique character from its own microclimate with soils ranging from gravel and clay to deep, sandy loam. The wine is wild fermented, meaning that the indigenous yeasts from the vineyards initiated the fermentation of the wine. Low in alcohol, with a relatively high residual sugar that gives it a nice fruity finish, it nevertheless showcases the cool climate with its clean fresh texture.

Savvy Sommelier Tasting Notes: The ocean and the land blend on the nose, notes of mineral, sea breeze, quince and citrus dominating. Dry on the palate, the first impression is of the silky texture, quickly followed by the bright acidity underlining the lively flavours of citrus, green apple and mineral. The finish is long and zesty, crisp and clean like a bite of a ripe green apple.

Suggested Food Pairings: Pair this wine with smoked trout or salmon canapés or salad, with stuffed pork tenderloin, or with chicken in all its manifestation.

Cellaring: Enjoy now or over the next 5-7 years.


 

~ RECIPES TO ENJOY WITH YOUR SAVVY SELECTIONS ~

Do it the Benjamin Bridge way!  Ashley explains, “We often have a ‘cinq à sept’ with friends (like Happy Hour), where we taste wines & have interesting appetizers.”

Consider preparing these 3 appetizers and inviting a few friends to sample all 3 of these fabulous Benjamin Bridge wines at your own cinq à sept.  If you and friends find some new favorites, call the Savvy Team to order more for you. . . Cheers!

 

With Benjamin Bridge Brut NV…
Roasted Mushroom and Brie Tart

Recipe & Photo credit: FoodlandOntario.ca
Serves 4-8

Ingredients

1 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1 Tbsp balsamic vinegar
1 ½ tsp Dijon mustard
1 clove garlic, minced
½ tsp dried thyme (or 1 ½ tsp fresh)
½ tsp each salt & freshly ground black pepper
12 oz. mixed fresh Ontario mushrooms
½ C thinly sliced Ontario shallots
Half package (375g) frozen puff pastry, thawed
½ C Ontario Brie cheese
2 Tbsp chopped fresh Ontario parsley or Cilantro

Method

Preheat oven to 400F.

In medium bowl, stir together oil, vinegar, mustard, garlic, thyme, salt & pepper. Add mushrooms & shallots; toss to coat. Place in single layer on parchment paper-lined rimmed baking sheet. Roast in 400F oven for 10-15 minutes or until mushrooms soften. Let cool & slice mushrooms. (You can slice the mushrooms first if you wish & roast for slightly less time).

Meanwhile, on lightly floured surface, roll out pastry into 10X12” rectangle. Place on parchment paper-lined baking sheet. Fold dough edges over ½” and crimp with fork. Prick dough inside border every ½”. Bake for 15 minutes or until lightly browned.

Gently flattening baked pastry if necessary, top with mushroom mixture, leaving any liquid behind. Scatter Brie on top. Bake for 15 minutes or until golden brown & cheese is melted. Let cool for 10 minutes. Sprinkle with parsley. Cut into pieces.

Serve warm or at room temperature with a frothy glass of sparkling!

Watch the recipe being prepared on: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ym6gdsm5I80

 

 

With Benjamin Bridge Tidal Bay…
Goat Cheese 
Marinated with Lemon & Herbs

Recipe & Photo Credit: finecooking.com
Serves 4-6

Ingredients

4 oz. log fresh goat cheese, sliced into 6 equal rounds (or you can keep the log whole)
2 tsp loosely packed, freshly grated lemon zest
2 Tbsp finely chopped, drained, oil-packed sun-dried tomatoes
½ tsp minced capers
1 tsp coarsely chopped fresh thyme leaves
Sea salt
3 small rosemary sprigs
½ C extra-virgin olive oil, more if needed
Crostini or good-quality crackers for servings

Method

In a small, shallow dish (about 1 ½ C) capacity, preferably straight sided, arrange the 6 pieces of goat cheese in one layer. Don’t worry if some of the cheese pieces crumble; just tuck them into the dish. Sprinkle the lemon zest, sun-dried tomatoes, capers & thyme over the cheese. Sprinkle a little of the sea salt over the cheese & tuck the rosemary sprigs into the dish.

Pour the olive oil over the cheese so it just covers it (use a little more if necessary). Let the cheese marinate in the refrigerator 2-6 hours (you can serve it sooner if you wish). Bring the dish to room temperature (about 45 minutes) before setting it out with a small hors d’oeuvre knife & a plate of crostini or crackers.

Spread a teaspoon or so of the cheese (with some of the marinade ingredients) over a crostini or cracker to serve.

 

 

With Benjamin Bridge Riesling…
The Oceanaire Seafood Room’s Maryland-Style Crab Cakes

Recipe & Photo Credit: Oceanaire.com
Serves 8

Ingredients

2 eggs
1 C mayonnaise
¾ tsp Dijon mustard
1 ¼ tsp Old Bay Seasoning, divided
¾ tsp chopped fresh tarragon
¼ C finely chopped onion (or shallot)
1 Tbsp finely chopped celery
¼ lb (scant 2 C) crustless cubed white bread, cut into small cubes
1 lb jumbo lump crab meat, drained of any liquid
2 Tbsp butter, a room temperature

Method

Heat oven to 400F.

In a medium mixing bowl, whisk together the eggs, mayonnaise, mustard, ¾ tsp Old Bay Seasoning, tarragon, onion & celery to make a dressing.

In a large mixing bowl, toss the bread with half of the dressing, mixing until the dressing is absorbed by the bread and the cubes are slightly broken up. Add additional dressing if the cubes are too dry.

Gently mix in the crab, being careful not to break up the lump pieces. The mixture should hold its shape when formed into a ball with your hand. If it is too dry, add additional dressing until the mixture comes together. You might not use all of the dressing.

Divide the mixture & form into 8 crab cakes. Place the cakes on a greased cookie sheet or sheet pan.

In a small bowl, stir the butter together with the remaining ½ tsp Old Bay Seasoning. Top each cake with a small dollop of the seasoned butter.

Bake cakes until golden brown, about 10-12 minutes. Serve warm.

 

 

Happy Canada 150!

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Taste the history of Toronto with a Henderson beer

Posted by David

Tuesday, July 18th, 2017
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Henderson Brewing Company has a unique approach to their products: they want to reflect the history, people, and culture of the City of Toronto with their beer. The result is a series of stock and specialty beers with familiar names and labels, and made to be approachable and easy to drink.

We think they’re doing a great job, and we’re proud to offer you this series of delicious beers from Henderson Brewing!

 

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

Ides of March – Truffle Saison
Ides of May – Maple Brown Ale
Food Truck – Blonde Ale
Union Pearson Ale – Imperial Pale Ale
Rube Goldbeer – Belgian Tripel
Old Fashioned – Rye Ale

 

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

 

Taste of Toronto:
Henderson Brewing Company
by David Loan, Sommelier & member of the Savvy Brew Crew

 

What’s in a name? A lot, if you talk to Henderson Brewing’s co-founder and general manager Steve Himel. From their company to their beers, every name tells a story. And that’s the whole idea.

 

Reflections

Steve said he had worked for a large commercial brewery for several years. He often traveled through the U.S., and he noticed something.

“I tasted a lot of beers,” Steve started his story, “so many beers that reflected their city. Portland-style, Boston-style. There was no beer that was  a ‘Toronto-style’. I thought there should be, and suggested it to Mark.”

That’s Mark Benzaquen, who was a well-known brewmaster in Toronto and is one of the founding partners at Henderson.

 

Telling the story of Toronto Beer

“I thought there was an opportunity to kind of get back to our roots,” Steve explained (in photo right).

The first step was naming the brewery. Steve and Mark chose to commemorate Robert Henderson, who opened Toronto’s first brewery in 1800.

“Robert Henderson came to Toronto from Kingston. He saw an opportunity because the garrison soldiers were allowed six pints of beer each day. The beer was shipped from Kingston, so he saw a chance to make it locally. Unfortunately, Robert didn’t have any heirs, so the brewery died with him.”

Steve goes on, “I think that one of things missing from Toronto is the recognition of our history,” Steve said. “We have an honest, real brewing tradition and it’s worth recognizing people like Robert Henderson. It’s his style that we want to channel. We wanted to look forward and backward at the same time.”

 

Inspirations

Henderson Brewing’s labels reflect Toronto in many ways. “We want to take a story that maybe Torontonians don’t know that well and bring that story back to life,” Steve told me. “Our beer names come from five sources: history, locations, events, famous people, and neighbourhood people.  One of the things that I really like with our approach is when I present Mark with a theme and we bring it to life.”

 

Life on tap

The brewery is located in in Toronto’s Junction Triangle district. When you visit, you will see that the taproom is in the heart of the business.   “We intentionally built our brewery around our taproom, so visitors will sitting in the middle of our brewery. We want you to experience our beer, not just taste it.”

Steve, Mark & the brewery team invite all of our subscribers to pop by for a brew.  Roadtrip anyone???

 

You’ll think you’re visiting Hogtown when you quaff these great beers from Henderson Brewing!

 

 

 

 

~ Tasting Notes for the Savvy Hip Hops ~

Usually our Brew Crew provides their tasting notes for the featured beers, but this time havoc ran amuck to that idea.  Sample bottles were broken enroute and time was running short.  So….this month we are providing you Henderson’s tasting notes instead.

 

Ides of March: “The Face of Toronto” Truffle Saison

Celebrating Toronto’s March birthday, this specialty beer invokes the chocolate and spice notes of rich truffles.

Henderson’s Tasting Notes: The use of darker malts as well as cardamon and cocoa nibs blends nicely with the saison yeast to create a crisp session beer.

Suggested Food Pairing: This will go well with ripe, bloomy-rind cheeses like Camembert. Have it with a little baguette, some sliced apple, and a few grapes …ta-da! You have a lovely ploughman’s lunch!

 

 

Ides of May: Maple Brown Ale

BRAND NEW BEER!

Just canned last week in time to be included in your Savvy Hip Hops.  Inspired by Toronto’s signature dish –  peameal bacon sandwich – this beer is made with maple syrup to compliment the salty bacon and sharp mustard.

Henderson’s Tasting Notes: A medium bodied ale brewed with Ontario maple syrup, notes of roasted chocolate and caramel.

Suggested Food Pairing: How could we consider serving this with anything but a peameal bacon sandwich, the meat on a fresh bun with a dollop of good grain mustard.

 

 

Food Truck Blonde Ale

Designed to be an easy-drinking, sessionable ale for everybody, this is one of Henderson’s regular offerings.

Henderson’s Tasting Notes: A light bodied and crisp ale with subtle stone fruit notes. Light straw colour and slight honey on the nose.

Suggested Food Pairing: Contemporary food trucks offer a variety of flavours from around the world and this beer is meant to compliment many of them. We’d love to try it with a Vietnamese-style Banh-Mi! (recipe below)

 

 

Union Pearson Ale – Imperial Pale Ale

The Union Pearson Express train runs right by the brewery, so it’s a natural inspiration for this “always available” IPA!

Henderson’s Tasting Notes: Our Toronto take on the American-style IPA with a creamy finish and notes of strawberry.

Suggested Food Pairing: IPAs are wonderful with grilled meats. Enjoy this with some Garlic and Rosemary Grilled Chicken. (Recipe below)

 

 

Rube Goldbeer Belgian Tripel

Henderson’s tasting bar features a wonderful Rube Goldberg device which, for a small payment, will pour you a beer!

Henderson’s Tasting Notes: Sweet with a light body and a clean finish. A smooth, effervescent triple with fruit and a hint of spice.

Suggested Food Pairing: Belgian Tripels, with their golden colour and dry, sometimes herbal notes, go great with basil. This will be lovely with a fresh basil pesto served over your favourite pasta! (recipe below)

 

 

Old Fashioned Rye Ale

A collaboration with cocktail specialists The Martini Club, this is an ode to the rye whiskey classic.

Henderson’s Tasting Notes:
A strong, spiced rye ale infused with aromatic bitters and botanicals.

Suggested Food Pairing:
The spicy rye in the beer will match nicely with sausages cooked over the BBQ.

Photo credits: Henderson Brewing Co.

 

 

 

~ Recipes to enjoy with the featured Savvy Hip Hops ~

 

With Food Truck Blonde Ale
Rainbow-Stuffed Banh-Mi

Recipe & photo credits: OliveMagazine.com

Ingredients

600g rump roast
1 tbsp fish sauce
3 tbsp sriracha sauce
3 tbsp mayonnaise
1 long, fat sourdough baguette
3 carrots, peeled and juilienned
1 red pepper, sliced into thin rings
2 Lebanese or ridged cucumber, thinly sliced mint leaves or coriander or Thai basil, a handful of each
1 red onion, thinly sliced
125ml lime juice
2 tbsp soft brown sugar
1 garlic clove, crushed
2 tbsp fish sauce
1 red chilli, sliced

Directions:

Heat the oven 240C. Season the beef with the fish sauce and black pepper. Roast for 15 minutes, then lower the oven to to 190C for 25 more minutes for medium rare, or longer if you like. Leave to cool, cover, and chill for at least 2 hours.

Mix the sriracha sauce with the mayonnaise and set aside. Slice the baguette lengthways. Scoop out the inner soft bread so you’re left with a shell about 2cm thick. Spread the spicy mayo sauce in the top and bottom of the bread. Keep the leftovers for serving.

Thinly slice the chilled beef, then add a layer to the bottom of the baguette. Top with the carrot, pepper, cucumbers, herbs, and the red onion. It will be very full, so press the top on and wrap very tightly with clingfilm. Put in the fridge, with a weight on top, for at least an hour.

Mix the dipping sauce ingredients with 2 tbsp water. Stir until the sugar is dissolved then taste, add more fish sauce or lime if you like. Cut the sandwich into four portions and serve with 4 bowls of the dipping sauce and any leftover spicy mayo.

Immediately sprinkle on the diced avocado and plenty of pico de gallo.
Optional: Add dollops of sour cream here and there! Serve immediately!

 

 

 

With Union Pearson Ale
Garlic and Rosemary Grilled Chicken

Recipe & photo credits: Epicurious.com

Ingredients

1 3 1/2–4-pound chicken, backbone removed
Kosher salt, freshly ground pepper
4 sprigs rosemary
2 heads of garlic, halved crosswise
2 bunches red scallions
2 tablespoons olive oil, divided
1 tablespoon onion or chive blossoms (optional)

Directions:

Prepare grill for medium heat. Season chicken with salt and pepper. Place rosemary, garlic, and 1 bunch of scallions in a layer on grill.

Place chicken, skin side up, on top of aromatics. Cover grill and cook until chicken is nearly cooked through, 35–40 minutes (aromatics will be thoroughly charred).

Brush chicken with 1 tablespoon oil and place skin side down, directly onto grates (you can discard aromatics at this point). Grill until chicken is cooked through and skin is crisp, 10–15 minutes longer. Transfer to a cutting board and let rest 10 minutes before cutting into pieces.

Meanwhile, toss remaining bunch of scallions with remaining 1 tablespoon oil on a rimmed baking sheet and grill until tender and lightly charred, about 5 minutes.

Serve chicken with grilled scallions alongside, topped with onion blossoms, if desired.

 

 

 

With Rube Goldbeer Belgian Tripel
Basil Pesto

Recipe & photo credits: FoodNetwork.com

Ingredients

2 cups packed fresh basil leaves
2 cloves garlic
1/4 cup pine nuts
2/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil, divided
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
1/2 cup freshly grated Pecorino cheese

Directions:

Combine the basil, garlic, and pine nuts in a food processor and pulse until coarsely chopped. Add 1/2 cup of the oil and process until fully incorporated and smooth. Season with salt and pepper.

Add all the remaining oil and pulse until smooth. Transfer the pesto to a large serving bowl and mix in the cheese.

 

 

 

Enjoy your Savvy Hip Hops!

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Rosé Report: Legends Pinot Gris

Posted by Debbie

Sunday, July 16th, 2017
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Not labeled as a Rosé, but this white wine has a pink tinge – on purpose!  Pinot Gris grapes are naturally cooper coloured when fully ripened and the winemaker at Legends Estate Winery in Niagara kept the grape skins in contact with the juice after the crush and magically the colouring happened to give it a lovely copper colour in the finished product.  So it looks like a Rosé, but it is a white wine.  Confused?  Trust us…you’ll like it!

Savvy Sommelier Tasting Notes:  A well balanced wine with aromas of freshly baked bread on the nose, hint of Earl Grey tea & reminders of clotted cream & fresh strawberries. Can you find any of this when you swirl & sip on this dry wine?

We discovered this wine last year and were so excited that there is still more available so we can enjoy it this summer too. Another Savvy discovery!

 

Complete Wine Deets:
Legends Estates Pinot Gris VQA 2015

$17.95
Ontario Wine Region: Niagara-on-the-Lake

 

Suggested Food Pairing: Roasted whole chicken, seafood, fish or try with the Classic Bruschetta recipe that we have included.

 

Classic Bruschetta

Recipe: Yummly
Photo Credits: MyBakingAddiction
Serves 6

Ingredients

Image result for bruschetta

1 loaf crusty bread
5 medium tomatoes (chopped)
4 cloves minced garlic
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
1/4 cups extra-virgin olive oil
1 cup grated parmesan cheese (freshly)
1 tablespoon fresh basil
Salt & Pepper

Directions

Allow to stand for several hours to marinate. Slice bread at an angle, brush one side with olive oil, and broil on each side until brown.

Best when served immediately to avoid getting soggy. Ingredients may be adjusted depending on your taste.

Mix diced tomatoes (juice and all), minced garlic, olive oil, lime juice, 3/4 cup Parmesan cheese (keep the rest for later), basil, and salt and pepper (to taste).

Spoon mixture onto bread, and top with reserved Parmesan. Broil until cheese has melted.  Enjoy!

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NEW Deck Party Packs! It’s getting HOT. It’s SUNNY. It’s ROSE wine season!

Posted by Debbie

Saturday, July 15th, 2017
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It’s time to Clink & Drink Pink! Summer is finally here & at Savvy Company HQ…that means relaxing on the deck or dock with a glass of Rosé wine in hand. And like everything we do at Savvy Company…we make it easy to have your fridge full of refreshing Rosé wines all summer long.

Introducing
Deck Party Packs

Choosing & stocking up on Rosé wines to enjoy this summer shouldn’t be a chore.  So we’ve made it absolutely EASY & HASSLE free. Our Savvy Sommeliers have done the “tough work” – we have been sipping & sampling Ontario Rosé wines since the snow melted & have picked the most refreshing Rosé wines for our Deck Party Packs.

In July & August we will deliver different Deck Party Packs – either 6 bottles or a full case of 12 bottles of dry, crisp & delicious Rosé wines that will bust any heatwave & quench your thirst.

The COOLEST part… The Rosé wines we’ll send you AREN’T on the shelves at the LCBO.

Another COOL thing… You don’t have to get out of your lawn chair to buy them – just click here to order online. Your Deck Party Pack will be delivered to you for FREE. Zippo! Nada!

 

Different wines each month! Our Deck Party Packs change every month giving you the best Rosé wines to enjoy all summer long. Here’s the Rosé wines we are featuring in July:

July Deck Party Pack – 6 bottles

Casa-Dea Estates Cabernet Franc Rosé … from Prince Edward County
Kacaba Vineyards Rebecca Rosé … from Niagara
KIN Vineyards Rosé … from Ottawa
The Good Earth Rosé … from Niagara
Vieni Estates Alleria Rosé … from Niagara
Vieni Estates Bruce Trail Sparkling Rosé … from Niagara

Price: only $105!

 

July Deck Party Pack – 12 bottles

All of the Rosé wines above PLUS:

Casa-Dea Estates Sparkling Rosé … from The County
Huff Estates Rosé … from The County
Southbrook Seriously Cool Rosé … from Niagara-on-the-Lake
Southbrook Estate Rosé … from Niagara-on-the-Lake
Vieni Estates Momenti Rosé Sparkling … from Niagara
Westcott Delphine Rosé … from Niagara

Price: all of these wines for under $225!

 

Order by Sunday July 16 & shipping is FREE. Order online & we’ll ship your Deck Party Pack for FREE to your deck, dock…or desk. Summer is short – don’t miss out>> And in August we’ll have a completely different assortment.  Click to see what our Sommelier picked & place your order for August Deck Party Pack>>

 

100% PINK Magic

Stock up by ordering just July’s Deck Party Pack OR choose to auto-magically receive July AND August’s without lifting a finger. FREE shipping to addresses in major cities in Ontario.
Fine Print: if you don’t want sparkling wines in your Deck Party Pack, let us know & we will swap them out for a non-bubbly rosé wine – no problemo! Make room in your cooler! Place your order>

HOT PINK OFFER!

Order 12 & we’ll give you $50!
Order the July Deck Party Pack – 12 bottles and we’ll give you $50 off tickets to our next Taste & Buy event.

Pair like a Pro!

What summertime dishes to serve with Rosé? Our Sommeliers are posting easy-peasy recipes EVERY DAY – until the order deadline of July 16th. Each recipe is paired with an Ontario Rosé wine. Trust me…you’ll be craving for a glass of Rosé from our Deck Party Pack when you read our tasting notes & see the pix of the dishes we paired with Rosé wines. Yum!  Click to read our Rosé Report blog & check out the cool recipes >>

 

Enjoy your summer outside with our Deck Party Pack sharing a delicious glass of Rosé with friends!
-Debbie & the Savvy Team

Savvy Company
613-SAVVYCO (728-8926)
cheers@savvycompany.ca
www.savvycompany.ca

Keep in touch with us…

@SavvyDebbie
@SavvyCompany
@SavvyWines
@SavvyHipHops
@SavvyCoolCurds
www.facebook.com/SavvyCompany
instagram.com/savvycompanyinc

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Announcing… In-Cider Picks Ontario craft cider…delivered

Posted by Debbie

Thursday, July 13th, 2017
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Summer just got cooler for craft cider fans. The Savvy Team is excited to announce that we are making plenty of room in our fridge for ciders made at boutique cideries across Ontario. The craft cider scene is exploding with new flavour combos being released every day – so many that it is hard to keep up.

You asked…we’re going to deliver!

This summer we are working with cidermakers to create Savvy In-Cider Picks to deliver crisp ciders to you – at home, work or your cottage. Each month is a different assortment of refreshing, dry & delicious ciders that are guaranteed to quench your thirst.

Order by July 20th & shipping is FREE

That’s right – deadline to order the July In-Cider Picks is Wednesday July 20th
Get them apples! Order yours now >>

 

What’s our July picks?

From County Cider Company (Prince Edward County)…

County Premium Cider
Blood Orange Cider
Pear Cider
Tortured Path Cider
2 bottles (500mL) of each will be sent

From Tawse Winery (Niagara)…

Sparkling Cider – just released last week!
2 bottles (750mL) will be sent

Mark. Our. Words. These craft ciders are hard-to-come-by & quickly sell out. You won’t find them at the LCBO.

 

Order one bunch OR get deliveries all summer!

What is the cost?

Each month is a slightly different price based on the ciders we picked. For July, the total price of this bushel is $82.00. Shipping is FREE to addresses in major cities in Ontario.

One month or two?

Order just the July In-Cider Picks OR have both July & August assortments delivered to you.

You don’t have to get out of your deck chair.
Order Now >>

 

…and we have Cheese too!

Our Savvy Cool Curds artisan cheese-o-month club has become WILDLY popular! It’s the new whey to discover hard-to-find cheese made across Canada. Each month, we will deliver 4 to 5 outstanding cheeses – hard, soft, fresh or aged – made with various milks – cow, goat, sheep…even buffalo!

These artisan cheeses are perfect for picnics, in summer salads or melted on top of your BBQed burger.

In July we will send you ‘The Best of the Fest’. This is an extra special assortment of 5 different artisan cheeses that wowed our Cheese Sommelier at this year’s Great Canadian Cheese Festival.

 

Try it once…or subscribe!

Exclusively for July you can order Savvy Cool Curds for a one-time price of $60 OR subscribe for 4 or 6 months for $55 per month. Shipping + HST is extra.

It is easy to be cheese-y!
Order up your Savvy Cool Curds >>

 

Cheers & Keep cool,
Debbie & the Savvy Team

Savvy Company
613-SAVVYCO
 (728-8926)
cheers@savvycompany.ca
www.savvycompany.ca

Keep in touch with us…
@SavvyDebbie
@SavvyCompany
@SavvyWines
@SavvyHipHops
@SavvyCoolCurds
www.facebook.com/SavvyCompany
instagram.com/SavvyCompanyInc

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It’s Tonight! Oh Canada! Celebrate Red & White

Posted by Debbie

Thursday, June 22nd, 2017
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The corks will be popping tonight at Oh Canada! Celebrate Red & White. It’s a Taste & Buy event like never before showcasing hard-to-find wines from coast to coast…that’s right from British Columbia all the way to Nova Scotia. There will be Canadian artisan cheeses & gourmet goodies – that you can buy too.

 

It’s sold out!

We’ve had a tremendous response – thanks to you! Everything is all set.  Your name is on the guest list. Either bring a paper copy of your ticket or save it onto your smartphone.

TIP: Have dinner beforehand

The focus of this event is about sampling & shopping. Be sure to have dinner beforehand to ‘fuel up’.  Plan to book at table at one of the restaurants in Lansdowne or The Glebe.

Wear Red & White…get $50!

Show your Canadian colours tonight!  Dress head to toe in red & white and we’ll give you $50 off tickets to our next Taste & Buy event this year. Oh Canada!!!!!

 

Sip, Savour & Stock up…

Tonight’s event is all about sampling Canadian wines that you won’t find at the LCBO.  The cool part is that you can order them at the event or online.  Hurry as the special prices & shipping promos are only on orders placed by Sunday June 26 @ midnight. Tell your wine loving friends that they can order too!

Here is the complete list to DOWNLOAD NOW of all the featured wines to create your ‘gotta try’ or ‘shopping list’.  OR…use our online order form at www.savvycompany.ca/ohcanada

 

There will also be really neat goodies made by cool Canadians that you can buy onsite along with incredible artisan cheese.  Bring a picnic basket to use as you stock up & put some ‘mad money’  in your pocket.  There is no ATM onsite.

 

Pro Tips on ordering from coast to coast  – it’s New & Easy!

All of the featured wines at this  Taste & Buy event can be ordered & delivered to your home or office.  Since the bottles are coming directly from the wineries to you, here are some important details:

Ordering Ontario & Quebec wines – order 6+ wines from these provinces & shipping is FREE
Ordering BC wines – minimum order of 6 bottles PER WINERY.
Ordering NS wines – minimum order of any 6 bottles from the 2 featured wineries.
The BC & NS wines are traveling across the county to your doorstep. The wineries are offering special shipping fees for this event: $25 for 6 bottles or $40 for 12 bottles.

When will your wine order arrive?

Shortly after Canada Day…just in time for the lazy hazy days of summer.  Be sure to let the Savvy Team know if you will be away in July.

 

Order tonight or online www.savvycompany.ca/ohcanada before Sunday June 26 @ midnight!

 

Event Details

Date: Thursday June 22 – tonight 5 to
5 to 7pm: V.I.T Reception – Did you upgrade your ticket with a special V.I.T. Pass (Very Important Tasters)?  You’ll get the red carpet treatment with advance access.
7 to 9pm: Main Event
Location: Horticulture Building, 1525 Princess Patricia Way (Lansdowne Park)
Parking: Ample underground parking

 

NEW: It’s FREE to Ride the Bus

Hop aboard the OC Transpo bus & show a paper copy of your ticket…and the bus fare is FREE.  How cool is that – you can ride the bus to & from the event for $0 (you can’t just show your tix on your phone).

 

Win a trip to Vancouver!

You read that right… the organizers of our favorite wine festival have given us a festival pass AND a $1000 flight voucher on Delta Airlines to attend the Vancouver International Wine Festival in February 2018. Value of this prize is over $1500! When you order wine, we’ll enter your name into the draw. You can win a night out in Ottawa too! Beerocracy – a brand new pub on Somerset – has given us a $50 gift certificate for a door prize. They have great local beers & Ontario wines…we created their list!

 

Before an event, we are often asked:

What is the format of the evening?  ANSWER: Upon arrival, you will be provided a Savvy tasting glass- it is yours for the evening & to take home.

Will I be able to order my favorites?  ANSWER: Absolutely!  This Taste & Buy event features bevvies that you won’t find at the LCBO. Attached is the order form (copies will be available) or you can order online.

What is the dress code?  ANSWER: Dress as you like – this is your evening. Dress head to toe in Red & White and we’ll give you $50 voucher to apply to tickets to our next Taste & Buy event.

Is there WiFi?  ANSWER: This is new!  Select the network called: Taste & Buy.  Password: saVvy2017

Do you Taste & Tweet?  ANSWER: Spread the word by including: #ohcanadasavvy / @SavvyCompany / #RootedinCool / @WinesCanada / Go ahead & tag us on Instagram too!

 

TIP: Join our ‘Clubs’

Keep discovering with us.  Subscribe or give a gift subscription to our Savvy Selections wine-o-month club & receive a delivery of 3 hard-to-find BC, NS, Ontario & Quebec wines every month.  Love craft beer? Suds-cribe to our Savvy Hip Hops craft beer-o-month club. Our Savvy Cool Curds artisan-cheese-o-month club features cheeses from across Canada. Life does not get any better than this.

 

If you have any questions, just let me know….otherwise we look forward to seeing you tonight!

Cheers,
Debbie and the Savvy Team

PS – Found some Savvy wine tasting glasses you no longer want?  Bring ’em back!
For every 4 glasses, we’ll give you a $5 gift certificate you can apply towards tickets to an upcoming Savvy Event.

Savvy Company
613-SAVVYCO (728-8926)
cheers@savvycompany.ca
www.savvycompany.ca

Keep in touch with us…
@SavvyDebbie
@SavvyCompany
@SavvyWines
@SavvyHipHops
@SavvyCoolCurds
#CountyintheCapital
www.facebook.com/SavvyCompany
instagram.com/savvycompanyinc

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Got your tickets? BC, Ont, Quebec & NS wineries are coming to town!

Posted by Debbie

Thursday, June 15th, 2017
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The countdown to Canada150 & Ottawa2017 celebrations is on!  We’re celebrating in a BIG way this year – by showcasing wines from British Columbia, Ontario, Quebec & Nova Scotia at our upcoming event: Oh Canada! Celebrate Red & White in Ottawa on Thursday, June 22 – next week!

100% Canadian wines.  You read that right…wines from British Columbia, Ontario, Quebec & Nova Scotia will be available for you to Taste & Buy….then have your favorites delivered to your doorstep.

 

Don’t miss it!  Celebrate Red & White 

Corks will be popping at this all-Canadian Taste & Buy as we celebrate winemakers who have worked incredibly hard to put our country on the world wine map. Meet these Canadian wine rockstars, taste their wines that are WOWing the world…then order your favs to enjoy at home.

 

It’s THE event you have been waiting for…

The #1 question we get asked: Can you buy from BC, NS & Quebec wineries as well those in Ontario?  YES you can!  Oh Canada! Celebrate Red & White Taste & Buy event is all about ordering wines from BC, NS, Quebec and Ontario…then have them delivered directly to your home or office to enjoy all summer long.

 

Show your colours!  Buy a $80 ticket & bring a friend for FREE OR $150 for a foursome of Canadian wine lovin’ friends

Canadian cheese too!

What goes best with Canadian wines?  Canadian artisan cheese of course! Cheesemakers & our Cheese Sommelier will be serving samples of award-winning cheeses that you can buy onsite too.

 

Look who is coming:

From British Columbia…

Noble Ridge Vineyard & Winery
Sperling Vineyards
Abeego

From Niagara…  

Legends Estates Winery
Reif Estate Winery
The Good Earth Food & Wine Co.
Two Sisters Vineyards
Westcott Vineyards
Vieni Estates 

From Prince Edward County…

Casa-Dea Estates Winery
Huff Estates
Karlo Estates
Keint-he Winery & Vineyards
Kinsip House of Fine Distillers
Trail Estate Winery

From other corners of Ontario & Ottawa…

Copper Tree Creative Studio
Mariposa Dairy
Pure Bread Bakery
Sprucewood Handmade Cookie Co.
St-Albert Cheese Co-op
The Merry Dairy
Top Shelf Preserves

From Quebec…

Ferme Guy Rivest
Fromagerie Montebello
Fromagerie Nouvelle-France
Fromagerie du Presbytere
Vignoble Carone Wines

From P.E.I…

COWS Creamery

From Nova Scotia…

Gaspereau Vineyards
Jost Wines

 

Wine Shopping Heaven! 

At this Taste & Buy event, EVERYTHING is 100% Canadian.

Create your own combo of Canadian wines to have delivered to your home after the event. You won’t find any of the featured wines at the LCBO – the wines will be delivered straight from the winery anywhere in Canada directly to you.  AND…there’s FREE shipping on 6 or more bottles of your top picks.

Bring a picnic basket & fill it up with artisan cheeses & gourmet treats too.

 

TIP: Be a V.I.T!

What’s a V.I.T? A Very Important Taster.  With 100+ wines, cheeses & goodies to try, purchase your tickets then upgrade each person for an additional $25 to get a V.I.T. Pass.   

You’ll enjoy red carpet treatment with advance access from 5 to 7pm to spend more time sipping & meeting the makers.  Stay as long as you like for the main event.

Buy your Ticket & V.I.T. Pass >>

 

Don’t miss this all-Canadian celebration! 

Buy your tickets >>   Event Deets

DATE: Thursday June 22 – next week!
VENUE: Horticulture Building @ Lansdowne Complex in Ottawa

TIMES:
V.I.T. Reception – 5 to 7pm ($25 upgrade pass per person is required)
Main Event – 7 to 9pm

ADVANCE TICKETS ONLY: $80 + bring a friend FREE  OR  Group of 4 people for $150
IDEA: Take the bus.  OC Transpo is FREE – simply show a printout of your ticket.

 

Wear Red & White…Win $50

Be a proud Canadian  – come to this Taste & Buy event dressed head to toe in red & white and we’ll automatically give you $50 off your ticket to our next Savvy Event.

 

Unable to make it, but want to order?

Don’t sweat it!  The Savvy Team will help you stock up on featured wines showcased at this event. Call 613-SAVVYCO (728-8926) or email us & we’ll send you the complete list of wines & online order form.  You too can get FREE shipping – your order needs to be received by midnight on Sunday June 25.

 

WIN TICKETS!  Go on the Savvy Scavenger Hunt…

Find this video on our Facebook or Instagram pages, then…LIKE it & POST the name of your favorite Canadian wine.  On Monday, we’ll pick 2 lucky people to receive a pair of tickets & V.I.T. Passes to join us at Oh Canada! Celebrate Red & White.  It’s easy to win!  On your mark…Get Set…GO!!!

 

Psst…it’s Father’s Day weekend!

Yikes…totally forgot? Our #1 Father’s Day gift is a subscription to our Savvy Hip Hops beer-o-month club.

Click here to subscribe your Dad for 4 or 6 months & his fridge will auto-magically be filled with the best craft beers from a different Ontario brewery each month – bottles, growlers & cans not available at LCBO or The Beer Store.  100% guaranteed to make your Dad smile from beer to beer!

 

We’re hiring…

We have cool summer job opportunities for a high school or university students to work with the Savvy Team at Savvy HQ in Ottawa. We’re looking for creative & savvy students who are keen to learn about Canadian wine, artisan cheese, craft beer & cider.

Interested?  Contact us on 613-SAVVYCO (728-8926) or send your resume to cheers@savvycompany.ca

 

Happy Birthday Canada!
Debbie & the Savvy Team

 

Savvy Company
613-SAVVYCO (728-8926)
cheers@savvycompany.ca
www.savvycompany.ca

Keep in touch with us…
@SavvyDebbie
@SavvyCompany
@SavvyWines
@SavvyHipHops
@SavvyCoolCurds
#CountyintheCapital
www.facebook.com/SavvyCompany
instagram.com/savvycompanyinc

 

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They are ba-a-a-a-ack! Prince Edward County is coming….

Posted by Debbie

Wednesday, May 24th, 2017
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Have you heard? Prince Edward County is coming to Ottawa! For the 6th year in a row we bring you County in the Capital. At this year’s Taste & Buy event, we are adding artisanal spirits along with hard-to-find wines, craft beers & ciders. And there will be cheese & gourmet goodies too.

 

Sip, stock up & get travel tips!

County in the Capital is your chance to get a true taste of The County. Meet the makers, order your favorite bevvies & buy neat treats onsite. Plus get the ‘inside scoop’ on places to visit from Prince Edward County Tourism & those who live there.

Buy a ticket + bring a friend for FREE
until March 31st

 

Returning favorites…

401 Cider Brewery * Barley Days Brewery * Casa-Dea Estates Winery * Clafeld Fruit Winery & Cider House * County Cider Company * Devils Wishbone Winery * Half Moon Bay Winery * Huff Estates Winery * Karlo Estates Winery * Keint-He Winery * Lighthall Vineyards & Dairy * Stanners Vineyard * The Grange * Trail Estate Winery * Traynor Family Vineyard * Waupoos Estates Winery

New this year…

Del-Gatto Estates Winery * Kinsip House of Fine Spirits (formerly 66 Gilead) * Lacey Estates * The Grange of Prince Edward and we are working on more!

 

Make it EXTRA special

Become a V.I.T. – a Very Important Taster. With so many bevvies to try, for an additional $25 you can upgrade your ticket & get a V.I.T. Pass.

You’ll enjoy red carpet treatment & advance access from 5 to 7pm, then stay as long as you like for the main event.

Round up your friends & get your tickets >>
This event always sells out…

 

Event Deets

DATE: Thursday, April 20
COOL NEW VENUE! Horticulture Building (in the Lansdowne Complex near TD Place)
V.I.T. RECEPTION: 5 to 7pm – V.I.T. Passes required
MAIN TASTING EVENT: 7 to 9pm

 

ADVANCE TICKETS ONLY

$80 per person + bring a friend for FREE – only until March 31
A group of 4 for $150
Prices include absolutely everything – all samples, a Savvy tasting glass & good ol’ HST

 

Get a taste of The County

Oh my! There will be so much to try…and buy. Wines of all kinds – sparkling, white, rose, red, even port. Craft beers & ciders too. Small batch gin, rye, rum, whisky….

One thing is for certain: EVERYTHING showcased at County in the Capital is extra special, hard-to-find & not available at the LCBO.

 

Order your faves…shipping is FREE

At this Taste & Buy event, order 6, 12 or more bottles of ANY combo of your favorite bevvies & we’ll hand deliver to your home or office – absolutely FREE.

 

Can’t make it but want to order?

Call the Savvy Team on 613-SAVVYCO (728-8926) to place your order
& take advantage of FREE shipping – to major cities in Ontario.

See you at County in the Capital,
– Debbie and the Savvy Team

PS – Calling all sparkling wine fans! Join us for a neat night out at the Museum of Nature tasting of bubblies from around the world with led by a geologist expert & me as your Sommelier. We are popping corks on Thursday, March 16 – a few tickets left >>

 

Savvy Company
613-SAVVYCO (728-8926)
cheers@savvycompany.ca
www.savvycompany.ca

Keep in touch with us…
@SavvyDebbie
@SavvyCompany
@SavvyWines
@SavvyHipHops
@SavvyCoolCurds
#CountyintheCapital
www.facebook.com/SavvyCompany
instagram.com/savvycompanyinc

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I’ll raise a glass to that!

Posted by Debbie

Wednesday, May 10th, 2017
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Smooth.  Round.  Smells like a field of wildflowers. With descriptors like this, I bet you don’t think that I am talking about gin.  Certainly not the mass produced Heindricks or Gordons gin that is.  Rather, it is exactly how I would describe my first sip of Juniper’s Wit Gin made by Prince Edward County’s first (and only) craft distillery Kinsip House of Fine Spirits.  For fans of The County, you might jump in to correct me, “Hold on…there IS another distillery there.”  Well the big news is that the 66 Gilead distillery was the original business run by a husband & wife team, was recently sold to a sister & brother team with their spouses ready to lend a hand. Jeremiah Soucie is the proud new owner and self taught master distiller with 3 very supportive partners – his wife Sarah Waterston her brother, Michael and his wife Maria.

These two siblings see each other more than I see my own brother…and they live further away! You see, Sarah & Jeremiah live in Ottawa while Sarah’s brother Michael & his wife Maria reside in Toronto.  Both couples have 2 children of the same age: 2 & 6 years old. For years, the two families have been rendez-vousing in The County for weekend getaways and family holidays. “The County is a perfect place to meet in the middle”, acknowledged Sarah.

Their jaunts to Prince Edward County were certainly not with the intent of starting a business there – let alone a distillery. This foursome has busy lives & careers.  In Ottawa, Sarah is a pediatrician and Jeremiah is an Orange Critical Care Paramedic.  Maria is an executive in a high tech company based in Toronto. Michael is also involved in the medical field.

Despite their city addresses, both couples longed for their children to grow up in a rural environment.  And Jeremiah was exploring various avenues in The County to see where he could make a dramatic career move.  He considered being a chef.  He took a cheese making course. “It’s funny, I initially thought in terms of food not the drinks side”, Jeremiah explained in an interview for The County’s ‘Build a New Life’ site that profiles dynamic people leaving the cities for The County.  In this situation, this foursome are calling Ottawa, Toronto AND Prince Edward County home.

“Prince Edward County is a community of people who are committed to excellence of food and drink,” proudly shares Sarah.   “Now with Kinsip, we bring people together in a wonderfully welcoming and beautiful setting.”

 

Handing over the keys….

Encouraged by the craft beer explosion in Ottawa, Jeremiah got his wheels in motion to add to the craft scene with an small batch distillery.  Still in the back of his mind though, he wanted his kids to experience living in the country like he enjoyed during his childhood.  Then fate stepped in.  The owners of 66 Gilead – Sophia Pantazi and Peter Stroz – were selling their business. “They laid the ground work”, explained Sarah. “66 Gilead is the second craft distillery in Ontario.  They have been dealing with all of the uphill battles with alcohol regulators.  They have paved the roads for other craft distilleries to flourish.” Recently, North of 7 Distillery opened its doors in Ottawa and Top Shelf Distillers is established in Perth. “When the opportunity to purchase 66 Gilead presented itself, we were very fortunate for this opportunity.”  Respecting hard work of Sophia and Peter, the foursome have slightly tweaked the recipes of the portfolio and rebranded to Kinsip House of Fine Spirits to put their mark on the product. Dillon Reynolds, the distiller from 66 Gilead, continues to work his magic with the still and lives onsite to manage day-to-day operations.

Small batch vokda, gin, rye and rum remain the core of their portfolio.  Everything is distilled onsite.  They purposely use local ingredients in their concoctions including honey, maple syrup, berries, cherries and black currants. Plans are afoot to grow their own grains on the 40 acre farm. “We have found a secret spot to forage wild juniper berries for our gin.” Sarah says with a I-am-not-going-to-tell-you-anything-more smirk.

 

Bitters make cocktails even better!

While artisanal cocktails rising in popularity, handcrafted bitters are skyrocketing.  Sarah smiles as she pulls out the dozen plus bottles of bitters that Jeremiah makes to give cocktails made with his spirits added pizzazz. The combinations remind me of Baskin & Robbins ice cream flavours – Coffee Pecan, Lavender Lemon, Hibiscus Rosehip, Vanilla Rye and my personal favorite – Chilli Espresso.  Visit the distillery on the weekends and Sarah will teach you her tricks in the Mixology classes she offers onsite. All in the effort to perfect a cocktail with a splash and dash of their magic bitters.

“We came to this adventure from the love of food.  Now we taste together and celebrate life together around the table,” shares Sarah.

Now you have YET another reason to hit the road this summer bound for The County.

 

Travel Info:

Kinsip House of Fine Spirits
66 Gilead Road, located outside of village of Bloomfield
(613) 393-1890
Tasting Room is open from Thursday to Monday 10am – 5pm
www.kinsip.ca

 

 

~ Gin Cocktail Recipe ~

Lit Wit

Serves 2

Ingredients

2 ounces of Kinsip Juniper’s Wit Gin
1 long cucumber
1 ounce of Simple syrup
4 oz. sparkling wine (Preferably from The County!)
Kinsip Lemon Lavender Bitters

 

Method

Using a vegetable peeler, shave thin ribbons from cucumber.

Cut 6″ of cucumber into small pieces. Muddle in a cocktail shaker, then add gin and simple syrup and fill shaker with ice. Shake and strain into 2 ice-filled rocks glasses or large wine glasses.

Top each with 4 oz. of sparkling wine, garnish with 3 cucumber ribbons and gently stir together. Apply 2-3 drops of bitters to the top and serve.

 

 

~ Tasting Notes ~

Kinsip’s Duck Island Rum

Impression from a Rum Fan: A heavy caramel nose laced with citrus overtones when served warmed & no ice. Very light initially on the tongue with gentle vanilla and molasses, it matures to a more robust navy rum feel in the mouth. All the citrus colours and dripping sugars running out to join the party with some hot buttered toast! Delightful sweet and salty finish that lingers pleasantly. When ice is added, the melted water allows more molasses type flavours out in a rounder finish while giving the sip a pleasant maple syrup length. Stunning

 

 

Crimson Rye Whisky

Impression from a Scotch Drinker: Unusually dark.  When poured neat & rolled in the hand, it liberates an intense smokiness reminiscent of Highland peaty malts. When rolled in the mouth, it opens to a wonderful wide palette of flavours, interestingly dried grapes come to mind with characteristics of ice wine (without the sweetness) or Amarone wine. A drier finish than expected but standout good and different. When ice is added, the character shifts delightfully in to something altogether more playful. Some brandy-esque notes are released also allowing am almost port like first taste on the tip of the tongue. This mellows beautifully to sweeter sugars and a light smokiness. Very pleasant.

 

This article appeared in the Ottawa Life Magazine – May/June 2017 issue

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