Posts Tagged ‘Chateau des Charmes Winery’

Last chance for Romance! Date night 75′ underground

Posted by Debbie

Thursday, February 11th, 2016
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Valentine’s Day is right around the corner. If you still haven’t found THAT PERFECT GIFT, then we can offer you something really different. We’re hosting our 2nd annual Wine, Craft Beer & Artisan Cheese Tasting at the Diefenbunker.  It’s a date night like no other! Book your tickets & join us for a fun evening exploring the fascinating Cold War Museum while sipping & sampling hard-to-find Ontario wines, craft beers & artisan cheeses.

Only a few spots left – get your tickets now

Tour & Taste 

Diefenbunker Blast Tunnel 72dpiTake it all in! A complementary guided tour of the Diefenbunker will be offered before OR after the tasting event.

Then at 7pm the corks will start popping, the Bunker will be filled with music & Savvy Company’s Cheese Sommelier will serve a variety of Canadian artisan cheeses.  As you mix & mingle in the Bunker’s Cafeteria, our Savvy Sommeliers will lead you through a ‘TOP SECRET’ blind tasting where the bottles of sparkling, white & red wines along with craft beers will be disguised. There’ll be fun guessing the style of wine & craft beer before we unveil the truth.

What’s a blind tasting?

Each bottle – wine & craft beer – will be wrapped in foil so that you can’t see the label. Sip & sample then make your best guess to what it might be.  A Chardonnay? An IPA? Or possibly a Pinot Noir?  At the end of the evening our Savvy Sommeliers will peel back the foil & uncover the truth of each bottle.  Ooohs, ahhs and “I told you so” are guaranteed to be heard.

Featuring amazing wines & craft beers from…

Château des Charmes

Lighthall Vineyards

Fielding Estate Winery

Kichesippi Brewery

Calabogie Brewing Co.

 

Book quickly – this unique event almost sold out!

 

Event Details

DATE: Saturday February 13
TASTING EVENT: 7 to 9pm

BUNKER TOURS – FREE!Diefenbunker-logo
Pre-event: 6 to 7pm
Post event: 9 to 10pm
** Guided tours must be booked in advance **

Advance Tickets Only
$80 per person
$150
per couple
$60
Designated Driver (alcohol free)

10% off for Diefenbunker members & Inner Square cardholders.  Call the museum for your top secret discount code! 613-839-0007.

All ticket prices include wine, craft beer, cheese samples & good ol HST.

See you underground!

The Museum Team & our team of Savvy Sommeliers look forward to seeing you at this one-of-a-kind event.

5 team members standing-001

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Valentine’s Date Night – underground!

Posted by Debbie

Monday, February 1st, 2016
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Have you booked your night out for Valentine’s Day yet? Look no further, back by popular demand, we’re hosting our 2nd annual Wine, Craft Beer & Artisan Cheese Tasting at the Diefenbunker.  It’s a date night like no other!  Book your tickets & join us for a fun evening exploring the fascinating Cold War Museum while sipping & sampling hard-to-find Ontario wines, craft beers & artisan cheeses.

Tour & Taste Diefenbunker Blast Tunnel 72dpi

Take it all in! A complementary guided tour of the Diefenbunker will be offered before OR after the tasting event.

Then at 7pm the corks will start popping, the Bunker will be filled with music & Savvy Company’s Cheese Sommelier will serve a variety of Canadian artisan cheeses.  As you mix & mingle in the Bunker’s Cafeteria, our Savvy Sommeliers will lead you through a ‘TOP SECRET’ blind tasting where the bottles of sparkling, white & red wines along with craft beers will be disguised. There’ll be fun guessing the style of wine & craft beer before we unveil the truth.

What’s a blind tasting?

Each bottle – wine & craft beer – will be wrapped in foil so that you can’t see the label. Sip & sample then make your best guess to what it might be.  A Chardonnay? An IPA? Or possibly a Pinot Noir?  At the end of the evening our Savvy Sommeliers will peel back the foil & uncover the truth of each bottle.  Ooohs, ahhs and “I told you so” are guaranteed to be heard.

Book quickly – this unique  event will sell out

 

Event Details

DATE: Saturday February 13
TASTING EVENT: 7 to 9pm

BUNKER TOURS – FREE!Diefenbunker-logo
Pre-event: 6 to 7pm
Post event: 9 to 10pm
** Guided tours must be booked in advance **

Advance Tickets Only
$80 per person
$150
per couple
$60
Designated Driver (alcohol free)

10% off for Diefenbunker members & Inner Square cardholders.  Call the museum for your top secret discount code! 613-839-0007.

All ticket prices include wine, craft beer, cheese samples & good ol HST.

NEW: Order a ‘Care Package’

Fall in LOVE with the featured wines, craft beers & artisan cheeses? You won’t find them at the LCBO or grocery stores. We’ll make it easy for you to order ANY of your new found favorites to take home with you or to be delivered after the event. You can pre-order a ‘Care Package’ – your personal picks of the featured wines, craft beers & wedges of artisan cheeses & we will have your customized parcel will be ready for you to take home after the event – every Care Package will include a set of 4 tasting glasses too.

See you underground!

The Museum Team & our team of Savvy Sommeliers look forward to seeing you at this one-of-a-kind event.

5 team members standing-001

 

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If I had $100…I would buy these wines at Vintages…

Posted by Susan

Friday, September 12th, 2014
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If you’re a lover of Ontario wines, as many of our Savvy Selections subscribers are, you’ll be delighted with the September 13 LCBO Vintages releases, which showcases the diversity of terroir and wines across the province.

Vintages magazine Sept 13 2014

State of the Art in Ontario

This billion-dollar industry has come into its own over the last 30 years, and we’ve been contributing to it! Most Ontario wine is consumed in Canada, and the shift in consumer tastes away from spirits to dry table wine can only accelerate the growth of the industry.

Old Vines, Part of Our Heritage

The province’s wine industry is located at approximately the same latitude as Burgundy, so we can ripen most Vitis vinifera grapes – Paul Bosc Sr. was one of the first to demonstrate this at Château des Charmes, where the first vines were planted in 1978 – and produce a range of wine styles, from crisp sparkling wines, such as The Grange of Prince Edward County Sparkling Riesling and Peller Estates Ice Cuvée Rosé, through off-dry and dry white or red wines to the iconic ice wine that reintroduced the Canadian wine industry to the world, represented in this release by Château des Charmes’  beautifully crafted ‘Estate Bottled’ Vidal Icewine.

Nature & Nurture

There’s a particular focus in this Ontario feature on the Cabernet Franc grape, which ripens particularly well in Niagara.  Used in Bordeaux blends, and produced as a single varietal wine in the Chinon and Bourgeuil appellations in France, Cabernet Franc has come into its own in Canada’s wine regions. The Ontario feature includes great examples from such producers as Peller Estates, Southbrook, Tawse and Thirty Bench (its Red is built around Cabernet the Cabernet grapes).

Taste the Place

I have visited Prince Edward County and Lake Erie North Shore several times, and usually make at least one annual pilgrimage to Niagara. It never ceases to amaze me how many new wineries are sprouting from the soil, how successful the well-established ones are, and how many wine lovers are stopping in to taste the wines, meet the winemakers, and take home a selection of wines. If your schedule doesn’t allow you to visit one of the regions in person, take advantage of this Vintages release to put together your own tasting party of Ontario wines!

Taste 2011For a real-life taste, come to TASTE 2014.  Come & meet some of the region’s finest chefs, winemakers, beer, spirits and cider masters. Sample the best gourmet food from top local restaurants and artisan food producers. Buy fresh produce and VQA wines in our farmer’s market. Come to Prince Edward County and see why TASTE Community Grown is Eastern Ontario’s most anticipated culinary event of 2014.

Tuscany’s Third Pillar – again

There’s always a secondary feature in the Vintages release, and this one will appeal to lovers of Sangiovese, specifically the Prugnolo gentile clone that is used in the production of Vino Nobile di Montepulciano.  This wine is designed for aging and is known for its firm structure, dark fruit and earthy character. Five producers are represented in the release – take your pick!

And, of course, there are some great values to be had in the general release, a couple of which are included in the selection below.

Cheers,
Susan
susan@savvyselections.ca
Sources:  The Ontario Wine Industry: Provincial Policy at a Crossroads, Pelling & Hira

 

If I had $100, I would buy these wines at LCBO Vintages…

September 13, 2014 

 

Flat Rock RieslingFlat Rock Cellars Riesling 2013

VQA Twenty Mile Bench, Ontario
$16.95 (Vintages 43281) 11.0% alcohol

Fabulous aromas of peach, nectarine, pear, lime and some mineral notes lift from the class of this off-dry white wine. It’s a masterpiece of balance, showcasing a beautifully crisp texture juxtaposed to round, well-ripened fruit flavours and that subtle mineral character. It’s juicy and flavourful to the last drop! Sip well chilled paired with soft cheeses on a warm autumn afternoon.

 

Talmard Macon UchizyMallory & Benjamin Talmard Mâcon-Uzichy 2012

AOC Mâcon-Uzichy, France
$16.95 (Vintages 733956) 13.0% alcohol

This classic white wine of southern Burgundy combines stone and orchard fruit aromas with the scent of sweet woodruff and smoke. Dry, medium bodied, it’s ripe round texture is perfectly matched to a fine seam of acidity. Flavours of apple and lemon-lime dance on the palate, garnished with a touch of toasted nut. Well balanced and absolutely lovely, it’s a match for lemon roast chicken or your choice of seafood. 

 

13th Street Cabernet Merlot13th Street Cabernet/Merlot 2012

VQA Creek Shores, Ontario
$19.95 (Vintages 56598) 13.5% alcohol

Dense and inky, this red wine blend offers lovely aromas of ripe dark fruit, earthy notes and hints of lavender and dried herbs. Dry, medium-full bodied, it’s polished tannins and tangy texture harmonize with dark berry and plum. There’s depth and intensity here, spice and smoky toast complementing the fruit on the extended finish. Enjoy with grilled red meats.

 

Chakana Cabernet SauvignonCkakana ‘Yaguaraté Collection’ Cabernet Sauvignon 2013 

Mendoza, Argentina
$13.95 (Vintages #663161) 14.5% alcohol

Ripe aromas of black currant, spice, toast and licorice lift from the glass of this appealing, full-bodied varietal wine. It offers a warm welcome, round mouth feel, soft tannins and generous ripe fruit accented by spice and tasty notes of coffee bean. This red wine is a crowd-pleaser with a pleasantly dry finish, it’s a great value and made for barbequed meats.

 

Dominio Cepas Viejas MenciaDominio de Tares ‘Cepas Viejas’ Mencia 2009

DO Bierzo, Spain
$29.95 (Vintages #379891) 14.5% alcohol

Subtle aromas—cherry, berry, leather, meaty notes, spice and vanilla—tantalize the nose and offer a well-rehearsed intro to the velvety, round texture of this captivating old-vines wine. It’s produced from Mencia, a grape native to Spain’s northwest and shown, through DNA testing, to be related to a grape native to Portugal.

Dry, combining finesse and power, it showcases great intensity and depth of fruit, a well-defined, refined structure, and the complexity of French and American barrel aging. The dry finish offers warmth and great length. Just fabulous, treat yourself to a bottle and you’ll enjoy tasting this wine before a dinner built around rare grilled meats. 

 

GRAND TOTAL: $97.75

 

 

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Hidden gems of Ontario’s rosé delivered to your doorstep

Posted by Amanda

Wednesday, June 25th, 2014
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What makes you think of summer: fresh strawberries, cycling trips, BBQs and picnics? For the Savvy Sommeliers it’s the crisp, refreshing taste of rosé wine and now they are making it easier for you to enjoy them this summer.

One Dozen Roses - Savvy CompanyBuilding on the success of our wine and craft beer of-the-month-clubs, today we launched One Dozen Rosés, a unique delivery service that brings 12 bottles of the Ontario’s best rosé wines to your home, office or even cottage. Next to the taste, the best part is free delivery.

“Rosé wines unleash the creativity in a winemaker. They can be made from any combination of grape variety resulting in dramatically different styles,” says Savvy Company president & Sommelier Debbie Trenholm. “There are so many exceptional rosé wines made right here in Ontario but not all are available at the LCBO. We’ve launched this service to help Ontarians experience those hidden gems.”

Hand-picked Rosé wines delivered to your door

One Dozen Rosés take the guess work out of which rosé wines to buy and gives the consumer access to hard-to-find wines. The accredited Sommeliers from Savvy Company have sampled countless bottles and hand-picked the finest to be included in One Dozen Rosés, a one-of-a-kind assortment.

Summertime sipping made easy

Each month throughout the summer – July, August and September – Savvy Company will offer a different selection of 12 bottles of rosé wines. You can choose to sign up for all three months or just one.

To further the enjoyment, customers will receive The Rosé Report, a mini-magazine including interesting stories about the winery and winemaker, the Savvy Sommeliers’ tasting notes and summertime recipes perfectly paired with the selection of rosé wines.

Accolades from the wineries

Savvy Company ice bucket of rosesOne Dozen Rosés is brilliant! Tawse has three rosé wines currently available, two that are only available direct from the winery. This is an innovative way for consumers to enjoy our fine wines throughout the summer.” Daniel LaFleur, Sales Manager at Tawse Winery in Niagara. In July, One Dozen Rosés will showcase a not-yet-released rosé from Redstone Winery (Tawse’s newest venture). Tawse rosés will be included in the August assortment.

“I am proud that I have created two high quality rosés right here in Prince Edward County. With Savvy’s new One Dozen Rosés, everyone can enjoy my limited production wines and the convenience of having them delivered,” says Frédéric Picard, winemaker at Huff Estates in Prince Edward County. Huff will be featured in the August collection.

You don’t even have to get up off your lawn chair to take advantage of this offer. One Dozen Rosés can be ordered online at www.savvycompany.ca/rose

In July, One Dozen Rosés will include:

From Niagara…
DiProfio Gamay Rosé VQA 2012
DiProfio Gamay Rosé VQA 2013 (not yet released)
Pondview Cabernet Franc Rosé VQA 2013 – 2 bottles
Redstone Winery Rosé VQA 2013 – 2 bottles (new winery)
The Good Earth Rosé VQA 2012 – 2 bottles

From Prince Edward County…
Harwood ‘Friends’ Rosé 2011
Harwood ‘Friends’ Rosé 2013 (not yet released)
Rosehall Run Just One Rose Rosé VQA 2013
Rosehall Run Pixie Sparkling

The cost, including delivery by courier within Ontario, for July’s One Dozen Rosés is $200 plus bottle deposit. Each month the cost will vary slightly depending on the combined retail price of the wine selection.

In August, One Dozen Rosés will include:

From Niagara…
Sue-Ann Staff Rosé VQA 2012 – 2 bottles (Gold medal winner at Ontario Wine Awards 2013)
Château des Charmes Rosé Cuvée d’Andrée 2013 – 2 bottles
Ravine Vineyard Cabernet Rosé 2012 – 2 bottles
Tawse Winery Rosé 2012
Tawse Winery Growers’ Blend 2013

From Prince Edward County…
Huff Estates Rosé 2013
Huff Estates Cuvée Janine sparkling
Sandbanks Rose 2012 – 2 bottles

Enjoy these crisp & refreshing Ontario’s rosé wines delivered to your doorstep. Oh…and remember to clink & drink pink!

 

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Château des Charmes make Canadian wine history

Posted by Susan

Tuesday, January 21st, 2014
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Savvy Selections - Ontario wine of the month club

Savvy Selections wine of the month club
Featuring Château des Charmes Estates Winery

– January 2014 –

 

The impressive entrance to Château des Charmes Winery with the formal gardens and the classic façade are reminiscent of an ancient French estate. Hardly surprising, as Château des Charmes has a long history of winemaking, dating back seven generations to Alsace. In the 1840s, the Bosc family ancestors were granted land in Algeria, which at that time was a French colony.

Paul Bosc at Chateau des Charmes WineryPaul Bosc Sr. was born in Algeria and built his career in the wine industry, eventually working as General Manager of one of the country’s largest and most successful wine co-operatives. With the revolution that led to Algeria’s independence in 1962, the family was forced to leave all behind and start anew back in France. It was at this time that Paul Bosc Sr. uprooted his family (his son is pictured left) and started a new life in Canada, settling first in Montreal, where he worked at the SAQ. Eventually, he met a senior representative of Château-Gai wines, who invited him to move to Niagara to apply his knowledge as an oenologist.

Working as winemaker and the Director of Research & Development Château-Gai, Paul became convinced that Ontario had to transition from growing native grapes (Concord & others) to planting vitis vinifera (winespeak: common wine grape varieties grown in Europe) to create world-class wines. By the early 1970s, Paul was crafting Ontario wines that surprised many in the wine world. In 1978, he established Château des Charmes as a 60-acre estate winery and planted the first commercial Canadian vineyard growing only vitis vinifera grapes….this is truly Canadian wine history in the making.

We’re pleased to start the year with fine wines from Château des Charmes. For many of you, this winery is a household name, yet with Savvy Selections you will be treated to their wines that you probably have not yet discovered as they are not available at the LCBO.

In your Savvy Selections you will find:

St David’s Bench Vineyard Gewürztraminer VQA 2012 – a soft silky white wine that our tasting panel of Savvy Sommeliers oohed and aahhed over with each sip.

Paul Bosc Estate Vineyard Pinot Noir VQA 2010 – concentrated & highly structured red wine from an incredible vintage & the winery’s top vineyard.

St David’s Bench Vineyard Merlot VQA 2010 – an outstanding complex, round, full bodied red wine.

How does 2013 look?

Our Sommelier Susan Desjardins caught up to the ever busy Michèle Bosc before the holidays to find out how the 2013 vintage is coming along in the early stages. Michèle explains, “Every year Mother Nature throws something new our way. If you were to ask my father-in-law (Paul Sr), he would say no vintage is perfect, but that’s true anywhere in the world. Those like him, with years of experience, can draw on that experience to make the most of any situation.” The talent of the winery team will undoubtedly impress us as they have done in the past 20+ years. Until then, we are confident that you will enjoy the outstanding wines our Savvy Sommeliers have selected for you this month.

On the following pages read more about the Bosc family, find our tasting notes & recipes to use to enjoy when you uncork your Savvy Selections wines. You won’t find these Château des Charmes wines at the LCBO

There are a handful of Château des Charmes wines on the shelves at the LCBO. Yet, many of their wines are not.  If you would like additional bottles from Château des Charmes 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 a special delivery for you. Here’s to a great year filled of delicious wine discoveries together!

Debbie & the Savvy Team


Introducing…
Château des Charmes Estate Winery

Presented by Savvy Sommelier Susan Desjardins 

Twenty years ago, Château des Charmes opened its current winery, creating a unique landmark in the Niagara. Paul Bosc designed the building with a green roof, to pay homage to Canadian landmarks such as the Château Laurier & the Château Frontenac, which embodied strength & perseverance to the young immigrant family.

Bosc Family - Savvy SelectionsA true pioneer of the Canadian wine industry, Paul Bosc Sr. (second from left in photo) was honored for his impact & vision with an Order of Canada in 2005.  Recently he was awarded the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Medal in 2012, recognizing his extensive contribution in putting the Canadian wine industry on the world wine map.

Château des Charmes is truly a family business in every sense of the word. Paul’s wife Andrée (far left) is the winery matriarch & ambassador, while son Paul Jr. (far right) is the president, daughter-in-law Michèle (second from right) is director of Marketing & the third generation – Paul & Michèle’s 7 year old son Alex – is often seen walking the vineyards with his grandfather & father. Everyone at the winery is focused on extending the warm Bosc hospitality to each guest that visits.

Akin to many family-owned businesses, there is always someone ready to help out wherever needed. During my interview with Michèle, she explains, ‘During harvest, Paul Sr. is in and out of the winery at all hours of the day. We’re farmers, after all. We all pitch in to do what has to be done’.

A taste of the place

The wines featured in your Savvy Selections are made with grapes harvested from two of the four vineyards within Niagara-on-the-Lake that comprise of the 280 acres owned by the Bosc family.

The founding property

Chateau des Charmes Vineyard Savvy Company wine of the month clubPaul Bosc Estate Vineyard caught Paul Sr.’s attention due to the land’s proximity to the Niagara Escarpment and the distance from Lake Ontario. He understood these were critical conditions in the area, and recognized that these characteristics were similar to those of the Rhône valley in Burgundy France where he studied oenology.

Spanning 60 acres of clay loam, the vines on this estate were initially planted in the early 1980s, with the first grape harvest in 1988. (Five to 10 years is quite typical for wineries to wait until the grapes grown are of quality to use in winemaking).

In this vineyard there are several classic French grape varieties, including Chardonnay, Pinot Noir, Cabernet Franc, Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot, producing wines described as earthy and masculine. This vineyard is also where Paul Bosc Sr. conducts his research of pioneering new grape varieties, as well as the location of the Bosc family home and horse farm.

And across the street…

St. David’s Bench vineyard is located on the other side of the road from the Paul Bosc Estate Vineyard.  Extending over 85 acres, its silky clay loam (‘Halimand clay loam’) provides excellent growing conditions for a broad range of grapes varieties including Château des Charme’s own Gamay Noir ‘Droit’, (the first vitis vinifera discovered & registered in Canada by Paul Bosc Sr), Viognier, Sauvignon Blanc, Gewürztraminer along with other classic Bordeaux varieties. This property sits at a relatively high elevation – 145 to 150 meters above sea level. Its bluff shelters the north-facing vineyards from cool south-westerly winds that predominate in the spring. While the spring is somewhat warmer on this vineyard, the shelter of the Niagara Escarpment creates a tendency to slightly cooler weather during the late ripening season, providing an opportunity to grow fruit full of character that shows through finely crafted wines.

Several shallow, seasonal streams run through the vineyard that provides drainage for the escarpment ground water, bringing limestone-rich water to the roots of the vines and creating the more mineral character found in the wines from this site. To ensure appropriate drainage at the time the vineyard was planted in 1990, they installed the then most extensive under-vineyard drainage system in the world!

An extension of the family

The Vineyard Manager, Miguel Fontalvo, comes from a family of farmers in Columbia & has a distinguished degree in Agricultural Engineering. He comments, ‘The St. David’s Bench is an incredible site, while the Paul Bosc Estate vineyard has some rare south-facing slopes.’

Stewards of the land

Sustainable agriculture practices are extensively used as part of their commitment to be stewards of the land. These laborious practices include tilling under the weeds between the vines to provide additional nutrients (rather than using herbicides), hand-thinning & hand harvesting the grapes, using geothermal energy in the cellar, ensuring no air conditioning or heating is required.

Let’s raise a glass to pioneering spirit of the Bosc family!

~ SAVVY SOMMELIER TASTING NOTES ~


St. David’s Bench Vineyard Gewürztraminer 2012 VQA, $19.95

The grapes for this wine were hand harvested from vines planted in 1996 on the west side of the Château. This wine is vinified with a touch of residual sugar to, says Paul Bosc, ‘round the mouth feel’. Can you feel it when you sip on this wine?

Savvy Sommelier Tasting Notes: Flourishing that touch of residual sugar, this perfumed ‘Gewürz’ offers lovely floral notes, honey, tropical fruit and sweet spice. It’s silky, well balanced, tangy and slightly pithy, on the finish – as it should be! 

Suggested Food Pairing: Raclette, charcuterie or lightly spiced Asian & Indian foods are classic matches for Gewürztraminer wines.  Susan offers a recipe for Citrus Spiced Chicken to enjoy with this wine.

Cellaring: No need to cellar, uncork & enjoy!


Paul Bosc Estate Vineyard Pinot Noir 2010 VQA $35.00

Produced only in years in which the vintage warrants (2010 was considered a stellar vintage), this big, structured Pinot Noir also benefits from the sustainable practices in the vineyards & use of geothermal energy in the winery’s cellars.

Savvy Sommelier Tasting Notes: Intensively aromatic and structured with the intention to lay down this wine, this red wine displays aromas and flavours of cherry, berry and blackcurrant matched to an underlying earthiness. The tannins make their presence felt, followed by a rush of ripe fruit mingling with notes of spicy toast and dried herbs that persist on the mouth-wateringly long finish. Elegant yet powerful. We recommend to decant for 2-3 hours before serving. 

Suggested Food Pairing: Michèle suggests pairing this with herb-crusted lamb (recipe below) or enjoy with a hoisin-glazed planked salmon. 

Cellaring: This wine will cellar a further 5-8 years. 


St. David’s Bench Vineyard Merlot 2010 VQA $29.95

Akin to the Pinot Noir, this wine is made only in the best vintages.  It is no wonder why this wine is award winning. Fermented in temperature-controlled conditions, aged 12 months in French oak and crafted for you to stash away in your cellar.

Savvy Sommelier Tasting Notes:  This is a robust, complex wine with flavours of black cherry, plum, berries, black licorice, vanilla and a whiff of cedar. Dry, medium-full bodied, it’s round and fruity, yet well-framed by ripe tannins and fresh acidity. There’s a touch of mineral on the palate, clean juicy fruit, pepper and notes of toast and dark chocolate through the long dry finish.

Suggested Food Pairing: Try this with pepper steak (recipe below) or garlic & herb pork loin rack.

Cellaring: This wine is drinking well now & it will cellar a further 5-8 years. 


~ RECIPES TO ENJOY WITH YOUR SAVVY SELECTIONS ~

With St. David’s Bench Vineyard Gewürztraminer…

Citrus Spiced Chicken

Dinner Tonight Cookbook by Lucy Waverman
Serves 4

Ingredients

Grated rind & juice of 1 orange
Grated rind & juice of 1 lime
1 Tbsp Dijon mustard
½ tsp hot red pepper flakes
1 tsp ground cumin
3 Tbsp soy sauce
4 Tbsp chopped fresh coriander (optional)
2 lb. chicken thighs (may use boneless/skinless) or 4 boneless chicken breasts
Salt & freshly ground pepper to taste
2 Tbsp vegetable oil
1 Tbsp honey
1 Tbsp balsamic vinegar
2 Tbsp butter

Method

Combine rind and juice of orange & lime, mustard, hot pepper flakes, cumin, soy sauce & 2 Tbsp coriander.

Place chicken in dish & pour half of marinade over chicken. Reserve remaining marinade.

Marinate in the fridge for 30 minutes to 4 hours.

Preheat oven to 375F & remove chicken from marinade, draining well and season with salt & pepper and discard marinade.

Heat oil in skillet on medium-high heat, then fry chicken, skin side down, for 3 minutes. Turn & fry second side for 3 minutes.

Place chicken in baking dish & bake for 15-20 minutes or until juices run clear. Combine remaining marinade, honey & balsamic vinegar in small saucepan and bring to boil on high heat & simmer 2 minutes. Reduce heat to low & whisk in butter, then stir in remaining 2 Tbsp coriander.

Pour sauce over chicken & serve on rice, couscous, or noodles. 

With Paul Bosc Estate Vineyard Pinot Noir

Herbalicious Rack of Lamb

The Flavour Principle by Lucy Waverman & Beppi Crosariol

Serves 4

Ingredients

1 ½ C fresh bread crumbs
¼ C finely diced seeded tomato
½ C chopped fresh thyme
½ C chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
2 Tbsp chopped fresh rosemary
1 tsp finely chopped garlic
Salt & freshly ground pepper
¼ C butter, melted
1 Tbsp vegetable oil
3 lamb racks (8 chops each), frenched
2 Tbsp Dijon mustard

Method

Combine bread crumbs, tomato, thyme, parsley, rosemary, garlic, salt pepper and melted butter.

Mix well & transfer to a shallow dish then put aside. Preheat oven to 400F.

Heat a large ovenproof skillet over high heat & add oil. Season lamb with salt & pepper. Sear lamb, fat side down, for 2 minutes. Turn over & sear for 2 more minutes. Upend racks & sear meaty ends. Turn racks bone side down & place skillet in oven.

Roast racks for 7 minutes then remove from oven & brush mustard over meat. Roll racks in bread crumb mixture & return to pan, bone side down.

Roast for another 10-15 minutes or until just pink.Let lamb rest 5 minutes before carving.

 

With St. David’s Bench Vineyard Merlot…

Bistecca Fiorentina

The Flavour Principle Cookbook by Lucie Waverman & Beppi Crosariol
Serves 2-3 – Let the wine shine with this simple recipe!

Ingredients

1 porterhouse Steak (2 lb., 2” thick)
2 Tbsp olive oil
Kosher salt & freshly ground pepper

Garnish: 1 Tbsp olive oil (optional) & Maldon, or other finishing salt

Method

Preheat grill to high and brush steak with oil & season with salt & pepper.

Grill for 7-8 minutes per side for rare, turning once then let sit for 10 minutes.

Carve off both the filet & the sirloin. Slice both the filet & the sirloin into ½” slices.

Drizzle a little olive oil on steak if desired & season with Maldon salt.

Bistecca can be finished as follows:
-served with lemon quarters
-drizzled with a drop of balsamic vinegar
-served with an arugula salad, or
-sprinkled with chopped garlic & parsley.

Roast vegetables would make an excellent side dish with this special steak & wine.

 

Enjoy your Savvy Selections!

 

 

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Newsletter Dec 2013 – Savvy gifts just for you

Posted by Debbie

Sunday, December 15th, 2013
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Are you looking for THE perfect gift?  We’ve got it! Savvy Selections wine of the month club is our most popular holiday gift.  The phone is ringing off the hook & our inbox is overflowing with new subscribers joining our discovery of hard to find wines made in Ontario.

 Savvy Selections is as easy to wrap as 1, 2, 3!

#1 –Select a subscription for our 3 months (our special holiday promo!) OR subscribe for 4, 6 or 12 months > >

#2 – When you subscribe for 6 months, you’ll receive 1 month FREE delivery by courier

#3 – Receive a special Savvy Selections gift enclosure card to put under the tree

 Savvy Selections is the gift that keeps on giving every month of the year!

 

 What is Savvy Selections all about?

Savvy Selections has become Ontario’s largest wine of the month ‘club’ featuring Ontario wines not found at the LCBO. Every month, our Savvy Sommeliers select 3 different wines from a different Ontario winery & arrange delivery directly to the recipient’s home or office.  The featured wines range between $15 to $35 per bottle.  In our monthly Savvy eZine, you’ll get to know the winemaker & winery owners, learn more about the wines with our Savvy Sommeliers tasting notes & recipes that we have chosen for each bottle of wine. It is like having your own personal Sommelier!

Savvy Selections is THE perfect gift for the hard to buy for person on your list or any wine lover . . .yourself included!

Here’s the line-up of featured wineries

Savvy elves are standing by!

It’s easy to subscribe online www.savvycompany.ca/selections or to call our Savvy Team on 613-SAVVYCO (728-8926).

 

And there’s even more ways our Savvy elves can help . . .

Scratch ‘buying wine’ off your To Do list

 

We are all pressed for time in the holiday season, so why not order our TGIF – Wines for the Weekend to have an assortment of sparkling, white & red wines from across Ontario that are ready to be uncorked & enjoyed over the holidays! The total cost for this mixed case of 12 bottles is around $250 (December’s selection is $242.65 to be exact).

Order online by noon on Tuesday December 17th & the wines will be delivered to your home or office in time for the holidays.

Our gift to you: we’ll pay for the shipping.

 

Planning a New Years Eve party?

 

Ring in 2014 by popping the corks of an incredible sparkling wine at an INCREDIBLE price of $18.95 (regular $27.95).  This bubbly is top notch – you’d think it is French Champagne.  Our Savvy Team frequently pours this sparkling wine for private events we are called on to host & be Sommeliers.

At this incredible price, why not buy a case to have on hand whenever the moment strikes? After all it is the holidays!

ORDER 6 or 12 bottles of this incredible bubbly > >

 

Our Savvy elves are here to help you during the holidays!

 

Call on our Savvy Team anytime to help make your gift shopping & holiday entertaining a breeze. We are available around the clock during this festive season.  Put us on speed dial: 613-SAVVYCO (728-8926) or email us on cheers@savvycompany.ca.

And after the hectic holidays, you can still call on us anytime to arrange special wine deliveries, or organize Sommelier led wine, artisan cheese & craft beer events for your home or office.  We even have a team building event that involves making wine – it is a riot!

 

Here’s to a fun holiday season!
Debbie & the Savvy Team

 

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Chill out with cool Chardonnays

Posted by Julie

Friday, July 19th, 2013
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Who does not love the dog days of summer?  Flowers are in full bloom, berries and vegetables crowd the market stalls, people are barbequing and in spite of the wet weather, those little grapes of ours are slowly making their way to fruition.

So it is not surprising that the LCBO Vintages release for July 20 focuses on BBQ and Cool Climate Chardonnay wines. I remember a time when Chardonnay wines used to be heavy and oaky which probably gave some weight to the ABC (Anything But Chardonnay) era. Now, there is so much variety in winemaking techniques that Chardonnay has been given a makeover.

In 2011, approximately twenty nine Ontario wineries started the International Cool Climate Chardonnay Association that has done much to return the Chardonnay grape to dignity. While the grape origins may be in Burgundy, France, it has flourished in the cooler climate Ontario soil that offers minerality and difference to the grape. It is still the most popular varietal for people to drink and the only difficulty this release presents, is finding the Chardonnay style that is right for you.

This weekend in time with the Vintages release Chardonnay feature, Niagara is hosting the International Cool Climate Chardonnay Celebration (follow #i4C2013 on Twitter or @coolchardonnay for all of the buzz!) again this year and it is bigger than ever with a Grand Tasting event outdoors, lunches at wineries, intimate winemakers dinners in the vineyards, educational seminars – everything to showcase the best Chardonnays in the world as they come together in Niagara.  Worthy of a roadtrip!

I hope you will join me in picking up a few of my top Chardonnay picks at Vintages and don’t be afraid to pair it with a hamburger or grilled steak.  You will find out how very “cool” Chardonnay can be.

Cheers & Enjoy!

Julie

 

Angel’s Gate Mountainview Chardonnay 2010

VQA Beamsville Bench, Niagara Peninsula
$18.95 (Vintages #116384) 13.5% alcohol

Some wines are just so good, I want to enjoy them on their own and not have to worry about pairing them with food. I’m sure most Europreans would disagree with me, however.  A pale golden coloured medium bodied Chard. with aromas and tastes of stone, pineapple, lemon zest and green apple. It’s fresh, medium bodied and makes for a lovely afternoon sipper. It’s lip-smacking delicious on its own or with salad for a light lunch or white fish at supper.

 

Chateau des Charmes Chardonnay Musqué

VQA Niagara Peninsula
$16.95 (Vintages #640516) 13.5% alcohol

This fresh chardonnay has lots of citrusy expression with aromas of white blossoms and stone; a tad mininerally which is typical of the Chardonnay Musqué clone. This undermining of minerality gives it a fresh and light taste with apricot, grapefruit and green apple on the palate and aftertaste. Another great sipper for mid-afternoon and would match grilled chicken and lighter fare.

 

Papale Linea Oro Primitivo di Manduria 2010

DOP, Varvaglione Vigne & Vini, Italy
$19.95 (Vintages# 261784)  14% alcohol

This wine was a Gold Medal 2012 Mundus Vini winner. Made from the Prinitivo grape in the Puglia region of Italy, also known as Zinfandel in North America. It is no wonder that 115 bottles of the 2008 vintage of this wine was purchased by the Vatican following the election of Pope Francis in 2013. Rich ruby red in colour, almost opaque with aromas and tastes of dark berry pie and a little leather. Full bodied, chewy and smooth with a little sweet spice dancing around the palate; medium tannins leaving a velvety and persisting finish. A handsome and elegant wine to serve with any roasts or tenderloin.

 

The Show Cabernet Sauvignon 2011

California, U.S.A.
$17.95 (Vintages #140715) 13.9% alcohol

Deep dark ripe berries aromas combined with classic pencil shavings waft from the nose of the glass with this Cab. Sauv. An assortment of ripe fruit swirl on the tongue plus, chocolate and mocha flavours, combined with a pinch of sweet spice. It is heady and full bodied layered with flavour and lovely soft tannins. It’s a real “show-stopper” with a long cherry finish.  Would be just fabulous with any grilled meats or ribs in a heavy duty barbeque sauce. Full bodied and well concentrated; stands on its own.

 

Francis Coppola Diamond Collection Blue Label Merlot 2011

California, U.S.A.
$11.95  375 ml (Vintages #250001) 13.5% alcohol

A perfect size for an afternoon picnic!  A medium-bodied Merlot, brimming with aromas of blueberries, violets, dark currants and plums that follow through on the palate. Lovely and smooth, an easy sipper with paté or cheese for a delectable mid afternoon snack under the willow tree.

 

Rosewood Harvest Gold Mead 2011

Niagara Peninsula, Ontario
$14.95 (Vintages# 346767)  12% alcohol

This honey wine also known as InforMead is made from the fermention of honey and water. Honey is flower nectar collected by domesticated honeybees and contains a complex mixture of sugars, enzymes, proteins, organic compounds and trace minerals. These compounds give honey its distinctive flavor and aromas. The wine is light bodied, almost colourless and not at all sweet as one might expect from a honey wine. I detected aromas of beeswax, almost like candles and white blossoms, with tastes of mild yellow baked apple or pear with a delicate aftertaste of those fruits. It could easily be paired with something very spicey, or sushi or even with strawberries for an interesting desert. It is a real conversation piece at a great price point and well worth the pick up.

Grand Total: $100.70 – ooops…I was over by 70 pennies!

 

 

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