Posts Tagged ‘Canadian Oak Barrels’

Niagara College teaches the best in Canada!

Posted by David

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

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

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

 

Get ready to uncork & enjoy your Savvy Selections…

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

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

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

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

Chosen by your personal Sommeliers….just for you

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

Want to stock up?

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

Cheers!
-Debbie & Savvy Team

 

Introducing…
Niagara College Teaching Winery

Presented by Sommelier David Loan

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

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

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

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

Slowing down the pace…

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

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

Loads of Opportunities

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

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

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

International Impact

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

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

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

Cheers & enjoy your Savvy Selections!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

~ SAVVY SOMMELIER TASTING NOTES ~

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

BalaNCe Brut VQA Niagara Peninsula $24

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

~ RECIPES TO ENJOY WITH YOUR SAVVY SELECTIONS ~

With NCTW BalaNCe Brut…

Peach & chevre pizza with arugula & prosciutto

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

Ingredients

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

Method

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

With NCTW Dean’s List Pinot Noir …

Grilled Lamb Chops

Recipe and photo: FoodNetwork.com
Serves 6

Ingredients

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

Method

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

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

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

 

With NCTW Dean’s List Meritage…

Beef Chasseur

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

Ingredients

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

 

Method

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

Enjoy your Savvy Selections!

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Not just ANY Chardonnay…

Posted by Debbie

Tuesday, July 9th, 2013
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Move over maple syrup, there is a new kid on the block that deserves the spotlight.  Introducing Canadian made wines aged in barrels made from Canadian oak trees.  This is 100% Canadiana just like Beaver Tails, the Bluenose II….these special wines will impress you.

In fact, Canadian Oak Barrels are not brand spanking new, yet in true Canadian style we are not shouting from the roof tops about them.  Not only do the wines taste good, there is a great story how the idea was conceived- let’s just say, some beers were involved!

The story goes…

About 5 years ago (or maybe it was 7), a handful of winemakers were ‘talking shop’ at a backyard BBQ.  Conversations lead to wondering what a barrel made with native Canadian oak would do to their wines. After a lot of research, they found a cooper (barrel maker) in California who would make these one-of-a-kind barrels. Next step was to find native oak trees – luckily found in Brantford, Ontario. The wood staves were cut and shipped in hockey bags (brand new ones of course!).  Their “what if moment” & hard work paid off when several Canadian Oak barrels arrived at the wineries.

From the get go, there were fewer than 10 winemakers across Canada who barrel age some of their wines in this special oak – including Tawse Winery, Featherstone, Malivoire, Strewn, Sandhill Wines to name a couple.  Now there is a cooper in Canada making the barrels  (note the unique maple leaf stamp on the barrel head – right) and over 50 winemakers from coast to coast have experimented with Canadian oak barrels.

Derek Barnett (left), co-owner & winemaker at Lailey Vineyard is a big enthusiast of Canadian Oak.  He barrel ages some of his Chardonnay, Pinot Noir and Meritage wines aged in Canadian oak.  These wines have been receiving rave reviews from day 1.

We introduced our Savvy Selections wine of the month club subscribers to Lailey’s Canadian Oak Chardonnay VQA 2011.  Here’s are our tasting notes (or read our monthly Savvy eZine):

Savvy Sommelier Tasting Notes: “This wine makes me think of buttered popcorn” suggested Eva.  Golden straw colour with aromas of wildflower honey, tropical fruit (think coconut & sweet citrus) with some nuttiness – walnut perhaps?.  Rich & round mouthfeel with flavours of lime, stone fruit & baking spice with minerality & a lengthy warm finish.

Suggested Food Pairing:  Given the rich aromas & flavours of this Chardonnay try the Chicken & Farfalle with Creamy Walnut Sauce recipe.

Be on the lookout!

Now that you are ‘in the know’, seek out wines aged in Canadian Oak barrels.  You will definitely find a range of Chardonnays at next weekend’s Cool Climate Chardonnay Conference (aka i4C) in Niagara.  This 3 day spread give you the opportunity to learn & taste Chardonnays from every corner of the wine world as well as be WOWED by Canadian Oak Chards.

 

 

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A fun bunch at Lailey Vineyard

Posted by Eva

Monday, June 24th, 2013
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Savvy Selections wine of the month club
Featuring Lailey Vineyard
–  June 2013 –

 

Fruit trees & a few hybrid grapes were once farmed along the Niagara Parkway by husband & wife team William & Nora Lailey. Following in their footsteps as farmers, their son, David (a school teacher) and his wife Donna purchased the family farm & after many conversations around the kitchen table, David & Donna decided to replace the fruit orchards with vitis vinifera grapevines. “The orchard is too much work’, Donna explained to me in an interview.  “And a vineyard is easier?” I did not dare say aloud!

Now as grape farmers, David & Donna spent many years buying, processing & reselling grapes to the neighbouring wineries – many who are now considered the pioneers of the Ontario wine industry.  Transforming the grape growing into a winery – Lailey Vineyard – was sealed with the granting of a winery license, followed by Derek Barnett joining them in 2000 as winemaker.  And with Derek came along his wife Judith as a business partner. Derek’s talents were quickly recognized by the industry with the title of ‘Winemaker of the Year’ at the annual Ontario Wine Awards. This is quite a coup for any winemaker, especially interesting as Derek is a son of a brew master in England!

When you ask David about his wines, he still maintains that, “Our wines express the natural characteristics of the grape varietal and the vineyard they come from.” Over the years. the Lailey estate has grown in size while their wines have grown an outstanding reputation.  With every year that the vineyard matures, the quality of the grapes improves and so does the wine.  You are in for a treat as many of the Lailey vines are close to 30 years old.  The richness & complexity of these wines can be tasted with one sip.  And interesting to compare to last month’s Savvy Selections featured winery – DiProfio Estate – which just opened last summer and their vineyards are less than 10 years old.

A ‘must visit’ on your next trip to Niagara-on-the-Lake

The team at Lailey always has something going on at the winery. Their annual Barrel Burning BBQ on July 6th features an afternoon of sausages roasted over “de-commissioned” oak barrels enjoyed with newly released Lailey wines of course!  And for dessert … S’mores! Click here to buy advance tickets or phone the winery at (905) 468-0503. This is just one of the many fun activities hosted by Lailey at the winery.

In your Savvy Selections, you will find:

Sauvignon Blanc VQA 2012 – zippy & fresh New World style ‘Sauv Blanc’ without being over-the-top

Canadian Oak Chardonnay VQA 2011 – a rare white wine that is uniquely aged in barrels from native Canadian oak offers enticing aromas of buttered popcorn & tropical fruit – a Lailey signature!

Cabernet Sauvignon VQA 2010 – this unfiltered beauty with loads of mouth-coating dark berry fruit tastes that you can enjoy now or to hide in your cellar

OPTIONAL WINE: Lailey makes a gorgeous Canadian Oak Meritage VQA 2010 – a blend of Cabernet Franc, Merlot & Cabernet Sauvignon.  If you asked me to add a bottle or two of this multi award winning wine… you are in for a treat!

Similar to other wineries we have featured in Savvy Selections, a small selection of Lailey wines are available at the LCBO. If you would like additional bottles of your new favourite – 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 & Enjoy!

Debbie & Savvy Team


Introducing…
Lailey Vineyard 

Presented by Savvy Sommelier Éva Nagy

 

For over 40 years, David & Donna Lailey have farmed the land, converting the Lailey family fruit farm into a flourishing vineyard & grape growing business. Donna with her ‘roll up her sleeves’ approach to building the business, was a founding member of the Vintners Quality Alliance (VQA) and in 1991 was named the very first “Grape Queen” – a highly sought after annual award designated by the Grape Growers of Ontario for the most impressive & well-maintained vineyard in Niagara – chosen by her peers. The family success lies in the vines telling them what needs to be done to them. With great care, everything is done by hand from grape to glass.

The main man behind the winery – Derek Barnett

Derek (left) began his winemaking career at Southbrook Vineyards originally located north of Toronto.  During visits to Niagara-on-the-Lake, he was attracted to Lailey Vineyard when he saw small parcels of mature vines with potential to be a high quality production facility. Remember 20 years ago, there were not numerous wineries in Niagara as is the case today!  Derek boasts that the success of the winery attributes to the wonderful location of the vineyard & the Lailey family’s commitment to grow only quality fruit. The estate is comprised of seventeen grape varieties and in the winery cellar Derek says he is always experimenting “with two barrels of this & that to keep things fun!”

With 22 years (and counting) in the industry as winemaker, Derek has a deep affinity for the growing Canadian wine industry. He appreciates how wonderful it is having a job you like to do. “Making wine & going out to meet the people who like wine gets me out of bed each morning.”

“The excitement of the growth of the Canadian wine industry generated within by the winemakers is now getting out to the consumers, wine reviewers and even the energy is seen on the retail store shelves”. In the last 10 years, a new generation of wine drinkers has helped proliferate the international message – that Canada makes impressive wines. Coupled with the grass root movement supporting local food & wine, social media is engaging more people to view Ontario & Canada as a wine & culinary destination. The bottom line beams Derek, “We have awesome wine! VQA & the Canadian wine industry is on its way up.” You heard it here first!

A fun bunch – and we’re not talking grapes!

The folks at Lailey are fun & passionate about their winery & wines.  Quick to show you around, anyone jumps in to do a hands-on tour led – including Derek or the resident sommelier.  In the tasting room, it is all about the wine; no trinkets nor t-shirts nor glassware for sale, as they do not want the Lailey team or the visitors to lose focus on the wine.

Considered “old school”, they do not interfere in their winemaking approach. Derek is hands-off, listening to what the wine wants to do. Romantic as it may sound, Derek maintains a hands-off approach, “I bottle wines when they are ready to be bottled”.

Favorites – vintages, wines & harvest

Which wines does Derek enjoy making?  Well that changes every year. Currently, he has a passion for barrel-fermented Chardonnay, “Niagara’s white wine grape” as he calls it. Other varietals that intrigue & inspire him are German Riesling with its bright aromatics, Northern Rhone style Syrah & Ontario varietals too.

Favorite times of year? Derek has 2 favorite periods during the grape-growing season: The green tinge of spring signifies another year of winemaking. Harvest provides the next bottle of wine that he is going to produce. If he has to choose his favorite time of the year, “Harvest!”, he exclaims.

Winemaking for 13 years at Lailey has led to many awards.  Derek is proud of the “stunning” 2007 Syrah and 2002 limited edition Chardonnay: “It was hard to top”.  2012 is a well-balanced vintage, comparing closely to 2002, one of his favourite vintages for good growing.

Derek mentions that there is no one particular ‘proudest moment’ –there are too many! Chardonnay excites him, as he describes it as “stunning”. Syrah, Cabernet Franc & Pinot Noir are great personal challenges too.

A Curious Mind

All of these proud moments led to the creation of Curious Mind label: one-offs available only to loyal Lailey customers. Derek explains that these wines are his ‘toy box’ – he experiments using the any of 17 grape varieties and 9 different barrel brands to play & create very interesting curiosities. These limited edition wines are an absolute steal at $20 – made to order, numbered & signed too.  Are you curious to try these wines?  Call us to arrange a special shipment.

Cheers & enjoy your Savvy Selections!

 

~ SAVVY SOMMELIER TASTING NOTES ~

 

Sauvignon Blanc VQA 2012 $20.00

Interestingly the history of Sauvignon Blanc is rooted in the ‘Old World” wine region of Bordeaux, France.  Today though, it is planted around the world – New World & Old World, resulting in crisp, dry & refreshing white wine. Commonly referred to as ‘Sauv Blanc’, is the main component of the famous French dessert wines of Sauternes & Barsac. Have you had these wines?

Savvy Sommelier Tasting Notes: Zippy aromas & flavours of citrus (think lime & white grapefruit), floral, distinct minerality with a zingy tart gooseberry taste that when Eva had a sip, she immediately mentions ‘Oh my, this reminds me of mother-in-law’s gooseberry pie’.

Reminiscent of a New World style Sauvignon Blanc without being over-the-top. Mint makes an appearance on the palate resulting in a fresh & cleansing long finish. Delicious!

Suggested Food Pairing: A classic pairing is with goat’s cheese/chêvre, asparagus & sushi.  Give the Spanakopita recipe a try on the following pages.

 

Canadian Oak Chardonnay VQA 2011 $20.00

The vineyards feature some of the oldest plantings of Chardonnay in Ontario.

We are excited to include this wine as it has been a long favorite of Debbie’s to showcase at Savvy Events since the ‘what if’ story of making barrels with Canadian Oak has resulted in incredible wine.  It is truly a Canadiana story…move over maple syrup!

The story goes… about 5 years ago, a handful of winemakers were ‘talking shop’ at a backyard BBQ.  Conversation lead to wondering what a barrel made with native Canadian oak would do to their wines. After a lot of research, they found a cooper (barrel maker) in California who would make these one-of-a-kind barrels. Next step was to find native oak trees – luckily found in Brantford, Ontario. The wood staves were cut and shipped in hockey bags (brand new ones of course!).  Their “what if moment” & hard work paid off when several Canadian Oak barrels arrived at the wineries. Today, there are fewer than 10 winemakers across Canada who barrel age some of their wines in this special oak…and now there is a cooper in Canada making the barrels.  Derek is a big enthusiast with his Chardonnay, Pinot Noir and Meritage (an optional wine we offered) wines aged in Canadian oak and constantly receiving rave reviews.

Savvy Sommelier Tasting Notes: “This wine makes me think of buttered popcorn” suggested Eva.  Golden straw colour with aromas of wildflower honey, tropical fruit (think coconut & sweet citrus) with some nuttiness – walnut perhaps?.  Rich & round mouthfeel with flavours of lime, stone fruit & baking spice with minerality & a lengthy warm finish.

Suggested Food Pairing:  Given the rich aromas & flavours of this Chardonnay try the Chicken & Farfalle with Creamy Walnut Sauce recipe that follows.


Cabernet Sauvignon VQA 2010 $30.00

Expect loads of ripe fruit from this award-winning Cabernet Sauvignon.  (Bronze Medal at Canadian Wine Awards 2012 & Bronze Medal at the Intervin International Wine Awards 2012).  This wine is unfiltered meaning that small particles may be found in the bottle, leaving the wine’s aromas & flavours intact. No need to be alarmed if you notice this when you serve the wine.  It is completely natural

Savvy Sommelier Tasting Notes: Verging on opaque in colour, this Cabernet Sauvignon has amazing aromas of ripe fruit  – plum, figs, dates, dark berries – along with red roses, cranberry, rhubarb & vanilla. Flavours of tart red cherry, berry & cassis layered with smoke, earth & tobacco. The balancing acidity keeps the tannins in check in this beautifully structured full-bodied red wine. The long finish begs for another sip. Don’t you agree?

Suggested Food Pairing: Fire up the BBQ! Enjoy with a big steak or, for a change, grilled Portobello Mushrooms.

Cellaring: Ready to drink now or cellar for 5-7 years.

 

OPTIONAL WINE:  Canadian Oak Meritage VQA 2010 $40.00

For all of you big red wine lovers – we did not want you to miss this special treat!

Meritage is the wine name that winemakers outside of France use to call their wines made in the French Bordeaux style.  This is a blend of the best from the highly acclaimed 2010 vintage. It’s a big juicy red wine made with 45% Merlot, 33% Cabernet Franc, 22% Cabernet Sauvignon – all from the Lailey estate.

Savvy Sommelier Tasting Notes: This is a big, bold, almost black coloured wine has aromas of molasses, tar, tobacco, smoke & blueberry with something that smells like “Chinese Five Spice mix”, says Debbie. Beefy with big tannins that will continue to mellow, the flavours of coffee, cocoa & black pepper with an incredible long finish.

Cellaring: Enjoy now or put away in your cellar to mellow for a few more years (5 to 7 years max).

 

~RECIPES TO ENJOY WITH YOUR SAVVY SELECTIONS~

 

With Lailey Sauvignon Blanc VQA 2012 …

Spanakopita

From Chef in You
Serves 4

Ingredients

3 bunches of fresh spinach (about 2 lbs)
1 onion, chopped finely
6-8 spring onions (scallions), chopped
5 oz feta cheese, crumbled
3 oz ricotta cheese
1/3 cup freshly grated vegetarian parmesan
1 Tbsp fresh dill, chopped
1 generous pinch of nutmeg
1/2 cup fresh parsley, chopped (cilantro works well too)
12 sheets of phyllo pastry, thawed
3-4 Tbsp of unsalted butter, melted + some olive oil (or more if required)

 

Method

Trim the stems of spinach & clean them well in cold water. Filling the kitchen sink with lots of water and then submerging & rinsing the spinach works well in cleaning out the mud and debris. Drain. Roughly chop & place in a steamer.  Steam for 5-8 minutes or until the leaves are wilted. Drain. Squeeze out the excess water from the spinach. This step is extremely important to avoid a soggy filling. Set aside.

Take a skillet and heat 1 tsp of olive oil & sauté the onion until tender. Add the spring onions & cook for another 2-3 minutes. Remove from heat & add the spinach, herbs, cheeses & nutmeg. Season with salt & pepper (if required). You can taste it to see if it does not have enough salt from the feta cheese.

Preheat the Oven to 350°F (180°C). Place the 3 sheets of phyllo at a time (keeping others covered to avoid drying out). Mix the butter & 2 tbsp olive oil in a small bowl. Brush each sheet with butter mixture & lay on top of another. Cut into equal thirds lengthwise.

Spoon a little filling on an angle at the end of the each strip. You don’t want to be overzealous here with the portion since it will slip out later. Fold the pastry over to enclose the filling to form a triangle. Now take it upwards to form another triangle.

Repeat this process until you reach the end. You will have a small strip at the end which you can grease with little butter mixture & stick to the pastry. Brush the top lightly with butter mixture.

Grease two baking sheets. Bake the triangles for 20-25 minutes or until the pastry is golden brown.

 

With Lailey Canadian Oak Chardonnay VQA 2011 …

Chicken & Farfalle with Creamy Walnut Sauce

From Eating Well
Serves 2

Ingredients

1/3 cup walnuts
1 small clove garlic, peeled
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
Pinch of cayenne pepper
1/4 cup reduced-sodiumchicken broth
2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh parsley
1/2 teaspoon lemon juice
1 teaspoon walnut oil, or extra-virgin olive oil
8 ounces boneless, skinless chicken breast, trimmed of fat, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
4 ounces whole-wheat farfalle pasta
1 cup small broccoli florets
1/2 red bell pepper, seeded and cut into thin strips

 Method

Put a large saucepan of water on to boil. Combine walnuts, garlic, salt, pepper & cayenne in a blender; pulse until finely chopped. Blend in broth, parsley & lemon juice until smooth & creamy.

Heat oil in a medium nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add chicken & cook, stirring often, until it is no longer pink in the middle, 3 to 5 minutes.

Cook pasta for 5 minutes. Add broccoli & bell pepper, cook, stirring occasionally, until the pasta & vegetables are just tender, about 4 minutes more. Drain, return to the pot.

Add the walnut sauce & chicken, then toss to coat.

 

With Lailey Cabernet Sauvignon VQA 2010…

Grilled Portobello Mushrooms

From allrecipes.com
Serves 4 to 6 – depending on the size of meat

Ingredients

3 portobello mushrooms
1/4 cup canola oil
3 tablespoons chopped onion
4 cloves garlic, minced
4 tablespoons balsamic vinegar

 Method

Clean mushrooms and remove stems, reserve for other use. Place caps on a plate with the gills up.

In a small bowl, combine the oil, onion, garlic and vinegar. Pour mixture evenly over the mushroom caps and let stand for 1 hour.

Grill over hot grill for 10 minutes. Serve immediately.

 

Enjoy your Savvy Selections!

 

 

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