Posts Tagged ‘award winning wines’

You’re invited to a Wine & Cheese with a TWIST

Posted by Debbie

Thursday, January 10th, 2013

Shake off the winter blues & join our team of Savvy Sommeliers for a fun wine tasting the “coolest” wines from Niagara & Prince Edward County boutique wineries.

These back to back events will take place in small & intimate venues so that you can spend the evening chatting with the winemakers & winery owners about their vineyard, winemaking styles & all the goings on at the winery during the winter months….and stock up on your favorite wines too!



Tuesday January 29 @ 7pm
Rockcliffe Community Hall – 380 Springfield Rd


~ OR~


Wednesday January 30 @ 7pm 
Exposure Gallery
– 1255 Wellington St West (2nd floor of Thyme & Again)



What is the TWIST?  

At these Taste & Buy events, there will be a wide selection of hard-to-find wines that are not available at the LCBO.  This gives you the unique opportunity to a taste a variety of sparkling, white, red & dessert wines that you can order your new favorite wines that will be delivered directly to your home or office – within a week!

Feature wineries include:

Casa Dea Estates Winery (Prince Edward County) – one of the first wineries in The County will showcase their new range of wines.

Fielding Estates Winery (Beamsville Bench – aka Niagara Escarpment)  – from sparkling to reds, their wines are fantastic!

Lighthall Vineyards (Prince Edward County) – one of the newest boutique wineries in The County…and their wines are turning heads!

Palatine Hills Estates Winery (Niagara-on-the-Lake) – one of the oldest vineyards in the region makes spectacular reds, whites & bubblies

Pondview Estates Winery (Niagara-on-the-Lake) – they’ll be serving their Bella Terra Reserve wines

Rosewood Estate Winery & Meadery (Beamsville Bench) – outstanding white wines & a lovely Pinot Noir awaits…and meads too (winespeak for wine made with honey)

Sue-Ann Staff Winery (Beamsville Bench) – international winemaking star will charm you with her vivacious personality & her impressive wines.


You can purchase your favorite artisan cheese too!

And as wine & cheese is a classic pairing, Vanessa – our Cheese Sommelier – will be on hand at the Artisan Cheese Bar serving handcrafted cheeses from Ontario & Québec that may be purchased to take home with you that night.


HELD OVER! $55 per person before January 25 (regular $65)

$200 for a group of 4 people (save $15 per person)

Only 50 tickets available per event.  Click to buy yours …

ROCKCLIFFE PARK event on January 29 >>

WESTBORO event on January 30 >>

Price includes wine tasting, cheeses, HST & a special Savvy wine tasting glass

Share this invitation with your friends – everyone is welcome.


These events are hosted in partnership with:






Drumroll please! The winners are….

Posted by Debbie

Monday, November 2nd, 2009

When you walk into a wine store, there are rows of wines awaiting your discovery.  But how do you to select the right one?  There are many factors to consider, and often the mention of winning a medal at a wine competition can influence your choice and your wallet.  For this reason, wineries compete in wine competitions hoping to win a medal that they can promote in order to influence your purchase.

At this year’s Ottawa Wine & Food Show (dates Nov 6 to 8, 2009 at Lansdowne Park, Ottawa) 100+ medals will be given to shine the spotlight on the winners of the Cellars of the World Wine Competition.  This prestigious wine competition that attracts wineries from all corners of the world, was managed by the Savvy Team including Debbie, Wayne, Erin & Vanessa along with a great group of volunteers.

The weeks leading up to the competition day, required hours of receiving, categorizing and logging 360+ bottles of wines.

On the day of the competition, swirling and sipping took place behind closed doors. This year, a panel of 24 judges, consisting of wine writers, professional wine judges, LCBO and SAQ product consultants and accredited Sommeliers from Ottawa’s acclaimed restaurants, were teamed based on their wine styles preferences.  Each group judged 60 plus wines ‘blind’ without knowledge of the winery, country or vintage year.  The categories for this competition are based on style and grape variety then further broken down into three price points; $0-14.99, $15-19.99 and over $20.  All exhibitors at the Ottawa Wine and Food Show were invited to participate in the competition entering wines that they intend to serve at the show.

And the drumroll please….this year’s winners are….

Download Cellars of the World Wine Competition 2009 – Medal Standings or view the wine competition results online

Interested about wine competitions?  Read Debbie’s article that appeared in the Ottawa Business Journal

Cheers & see you at the Wine & Food Show this weekend.



And the winner is…

Posted by Debbie

Saturday, March 14th, 2009

Gina & I attended the Cuvee Gala and Awards in Niagara on Friday February 26th – billed as the ‘Academy Awards for the Ontario wine industry’, this evening made a big impression on both of us.  I had attended 5 years ago and it was a small black tie affair – more like cocktail reception.  This year was Gina’s first time and she was overwhelmed with the range of wines being served and the size of the venue.  Everything from sparkling to red icewine poured by winemakers in tuxes and cocktail dresses – many people who we did not recognize as we often meet them in the cellar or vineyards donning their finest jeans and t-shirts.

In chatting with Donna Lailey of Lailey Vineyard and one of the wine industry pioneers, she recalled the very first Cuvee event, “it took place in a hotel boardroom and was more of a small party of friends. Now look at this – we are in the grand ballroom at Niagara’s posh Casino.”  There was not enough time to visit every winery!

Cuvee marked a milestone as this evening was the 20th anniversary – a true testament of the rapidly growing industry. During the awards ceremony it gave us great delight to see winemakers who we feature in the Savvy Selections and our winemakers dinners being recognized for their outstanding wines.

And the winners are…
Here is the list of Cuvee winners (those marked with ** are featured in past or upcoming Savvy Selections). Congrats to all and keep up the great work of making fine wines in Ontario!

Red WineThirty Bench Wine Makers, Small Lot Cabernet Franc 2006 GOLD

Limited Edition Red Wine
Creekside Estate Winery , Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon 2005 GOLD **

White WineLegends Estates Winery, Riesling Reserve 2003 GOLD

Limited Edition White Wine(Tied for 1st Place)
Cattail Creek Estate Winery, Barrel Fermented Chardonnay 2007 GOLD **
Creekside Estate Winery, Viognier 2007 GOLD **

General List Red WineDan Aykroyd Winery, Cabernet Shiraz 2007

General List White WineJackson Triggs Niagara Estate Winery, Proprietors’ Reserve Sauvignon Blanc 2007 GOLD

Sparkling Wine 
Hillebrand Estates Winery, Showcase Sparkling Riesling 2006
Maleta Estate Winery, View Old Vines Brut 2006 **

Sweet Wine
Inniskillin Wines, Riesling Icewine 2007 **
Konzelmann Estate Winery, Vidal Icewine 2007 **
Peller Estates Winery, Riesling Icewine 2006

Limited Edition Sweet WineDe Sousa Wine Cellars, Cabernet Franc Icewine 2006

Tawse Winery, Meritage 2006 **
Strewn Winery, Three Terroir 2006

Pinot Noir 
Niagara College Teaching Winery, Dean’s List Pinot Noir 2007 **
Flat Rock Cellars, Pinot Noir 2007

Cabernet Franc
Thirty Bench Wine Makers, Wine Makers Small Lot Cabernet Franc 2006
Cave Spring Cellars, Cabernet Franc Estate 2006
Grange of Prince Edward Estate Winery, Cabener Franc Northfield Block 2007 **

MerlotHarvest Estates Winery, Merlot 2006

Creekside Estate Winery, Broken Press Shiraz 2006 **
Lailey Vineyard, Syrah Niagara River 2007 **

Red AssemblageWayne Gretzky Estate Winery, Shiraz Cabernet 2006

Riesling(Tied for 1st Place)
Legends Estates Winery, Riesling Reserve 2003
Tawse Winery, Sketches of Niagara Riesling 2007 **

GewürztraminerCalamus Estate Winery, Gewürztraminer 2007 **

Chardonnay MusquéCave Spring Cellars, Chardonnay Musqué 2007

Sauvignon Blanc(Tied for 1st Place)
Peninsula Ridge Estates Winery, Sauvignon Blanc Wismer Vineyards 2007 **
Peninsula Ridge Estates Winery, Fumé Blanc 2006 **

Peller Estates Winery, Signature Series Chardonnay Sur Lie 2007
Southbrook Vineyards, Triomphe Chardonnay 2006 **
Vineland Estates Winery, Elevation Chardonnay 2007 **

White AssemblageHillebrand Estates Winery, Trius White 2007

Tony Aspler Cuvée Award of ExcellenceDarryl Brooker, Hillebrand Estates Winery
Darryl Brooker, Hillebrand’s winemaker, who raised the bar of quality for Ontario wines by bringing his extensive experience of winemaking in Australia and New Zealand to Canada and sharing it magnanimously with his peers.

Cuvée Gold Award – Inniskillin Wines, Cabernet Franc Icewine 2007 **

Cuvée Award of Excellence in Viticulture
–  Martin Schuele, Schuele Vineyards