Posts Tagged ‘Frédéric Picard’

Grilling a winemaker with 20 Questions!

Posted by Debbie

Monday, May 15th, 2017
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One of the oldest and best established wineries in Prince Edward County, Huff Estates has blazed the trail for the County’s cool climate techniques. From burying vines in winter to experimenting with sparkling wines, Huff is always at the forefront.

In this month’s Savvy Selections, we’re trying a new format to discover more about what life is like for Huff Estates’ long-serving winemaker, Frédéric Picard, with his answers to our Twenty Questions.

 

Get ready to uncork & enjoy your Savvy Selections…

In your Savvy Selections you will find three of our favorite Huff wines that we chose for you:

2014 South Bay Vineyard Chardonnay Rich and flavourful, with just a whisper of oak.

2013 Gamay – A savoury red that leaves a big impression.

2014 South Bay Vineyard Merlot – Replete with ripe fruit and mouthwatering acidity, this is a great food wine.

 

The Best of the County

Huff Estates has built its reputation on offering dependable, delicious wines that show off Prince Edward County’s unique terroir. These wines are ready to drink, though they could be cellared for a year or two. Our Savvy Sommeliers know you’ll love them as much as we do!

Cheers!

-Debbie & Savvy Team

 

 

Introducing…

20 Questions with Frédéric Picard
Presented by Sommelier David Loan

We are trying something different  for fun &  to keep  digging deeper to get some interesting ‘dirt’ (being a it cheeky here) about  the dynamic people behind the wines that we feature.   Not only are they great winemakers, they are people too with neat stories about how they got into the wine world.

No one likes to be in the hot seat with Twenty Questions being fired at you for quick on-the-spot answers.  Here we present Frederic Picard & his backstory…(imagine said with his French accent!)

 

Location: Huff Estates

Current Job: Winemaker

What drink would you like right this minute?
A beer. I’m a winemaker! (says with a chuckle)

When you were 10, what did you want to be when you grew up?
A mechanic.

What was the very first winery that you ever visited?
A winery in Meursault with my Dad. I was very young.

What wine got you hooked?
Burgundy wines, especially chardonnays.

Take a few minutes and jot down the path to becoming the winemaker you are today:
Adventurous, curious, enthusiast and wine lover!

My winemaking style in 3 words:
Balance, elegance and respectful.

Is there music playing in the cellar right now?
No.

Favorite thing about the local wine industry: 
You can taste and compare with what you make.

Favorite thing about growing grapes:
Making wine with them!

What part of winemaking are you always trying new things?
Fermentation and barrel ageing.

What is the unglamorous thing about winemaking?
Cleaning.

Industry Mentors:
All the winemakers I worked with.

Personal Mentors:
My parents.

What wine region do you want to visit next?
Rioja.

One surprising thing that I’m really good at:
Cleaning!

When is your birthday (no year required!)
May 24th.

My Birthday “Favorite Meal”:
Good cheeses, fresh bread and   wines that I never tasted before.

A funny moment you remember about visitors coming to the winery:
A group of people came a few years ago and started to sing in the middle of the retail store! It was really nice and unexpected!

We hope you love these beautiful Huff wines every bit as much as we do!

~ SAVVY SOMMELIER TASTING NOTES ~

For your Savvy Selection this month, we’ve chosen three wines that beautifully showcase Frederic’s talent. We know that you’ll love the remarkable flavours of these unique wines, along with some delicious recipes that will perfectly match food and drink.

 

South Bay Vineyards Chardonnay VQA Prince Edward County 2014
$30

Savvy Sommelier Tasting Notes: Winner of the 2016 Intervin “Honours” medal and Wine Align 2016 Silver medal, we think you’ll find this a big winner, too! The nose offers classic Chardonnay notes: apricot, green apple, and peach with a hint of minerality. There’s some nice acid on the finish, along with more of that peach and steeliness. But it also offers coconut and nuts, showing the winemaker’s delicate touch with oak.

Suggested Food Pairings: How about a pumpkin ravioli with cream sauce for your après ski supper? This will be perfect! Recipe below.

Cellaring:  Drink at 8-9ºC within two years.

 

 

Gamay VQA Creek Shores 2013,
$25

Savvy Sommelier Tasting Notes: Gamay is a grape that does very well in Ontario’s cool climate, where it often produces lighter bodied wines.

Here’s an exception: Huff’s Gamay has big flavours of candied dark cherries, smoke, and leather in a medium bodied wine. Tannins are soft but chewy, and there’s a hint of black licorice on the lonnnggg finish.

Suggested Food Pairings: Our tasting team had lots of ideas for this one: pork tenderloin, roast chicken, chicken pot pie. But we settled on something a bit more exotic – Mongolian Hot Pot! Recipe follows

Cellaring: Ready to drink now, this could be cellared for up to three years. Serve cool but not cold: 12-14ºC.

 

 

 South Bay Vineyards Merlot VQA Prince Edward County 2014
Savvy Special Price: $32 (regular $40)

Savvy Sommelier Tasting Notes:  Pouring an opaque purple, this full-bodied Merlot was a hit with our tasters! There’s lots of dark fruit and chocolate here, with notes of coffee, plums, leather, and jam. The acidity is on the higher side, so this is VERY food-friendly. Tannins are soft and elegant.

Suggested Food Pairings: Here’s a terrific wine for your Sunday roast beef, served with a traditional Yorkshire pudding. Recipe below.

Cellaring: Drinking well now, this can cellar 3-5 years. Serve at 14-16ºC.

 

 

~ RECIPES TO ENJOY WITH YOUR SAVVY SELECTIONS ~

With Huff South Bay Vineyards Chardonnay …
Pumpkin Ravioli with Sage Cream Sauce

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

 

Ingredients

1 8- to 9-ounce package refrigerated pumpkin or squash ravioli
1 1/2 tablespoons butter
1/4 cup chopped pecans
1/3 cup finely chopped shallots
1 1/2 tablespoons chopped fresh sage or 1 1/2 teaspoons crumbled dried sage leaves
3/4 cup dry white wine
2/3 cup whipping cream
Parmesan cheese shavings

 

Method

Cook ravioli in large pot of boiling salted water until just tender but still firm to bite, about 8 minutes. Drain well.

Meanwhile, melt butter in heavy medium skillet over medium heat. Add pecans and stir until slightly darker and fragrant, about 3 minutes. Using slotted spoon, transfer pecans to small bowl. Add shallots and sage to same skillet. Sauté until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add wine and cream. Increase heat and boil until sauce is reduced to generous 3/4 cup, about 5 minutes.

Add ravioli to sauce; toss. Season with salt and pepper. Divide between bowls. Sprinkle with pecans and Parmesan.

 

 

With Huff Gamay…
Mongolian Hot Pot

Recipe and photo: Thewoksoflife.com
Serves 4

Don’t get put off by the number of ingredients here. You can as many or as few condiments as you wish, and the list of dipping items is entirely optional to your tastes.

Ingredients

For the soup base:

2 tablespoons oil
6 slices ginger
3-5 bay leaves
10 cloves garlic, peeled
1 cinnamon stick
5 star anise
10 cloves
1 tablespoon Sichuan peppercorns
12 whole dried red chilies
1 package spicy hot pot soup base
12-15 cups chicken stock

 

Optional condiment:

Soy sauce
Sacha sauce
Chili oil or paste
Chinese black vinegar or rice vinegar
Sesame paste or peanut butter
Sesame oil
Sesame seeds
Chopped peanuts
Chopped cilantro
Chopped scallions
Chopped garlic

 

Suggested items for cooking:

Thinly shaved beef or lamb
Sliced chicken
Assorted fish balls (you can buy these pre-made at Asian grocery stores)
Thinly sliced fish fillets (tender white fish like tilapia or sea bass work well for this)
Slices of firm tofu
Soy puffs (fried tofu puffs)
Straw, Shiitake or Wood Ear mushrooms
Fresh noodles
Glass noodles (mung bean vermicelli)
Prepared frozen dumplings or wontons
Chinese rice cakes (like these)
Choy sum or bok choy
Green leaf lettuce
Napa cabbage

 

 

Method

For the soup base:

In a wok over medium heat, add the oil and the ginger. Cook the ginger for about a minute until caramelized, making sure it doesn’t burn. Add the bay leaves, whole garlic cloves, cinnamon stick, star anise, and cloves. Cook for another 2 minutes, until very fragrant.

Add the Sichuan peppercorns, dried chilies (whole), and the spicy hot pot soup base. Cook for another 2 minutes, and then add the chicken stock. Bring to a boil and transfer to the pot you’ll be using for your hot pot meal. You want the pot to be relatively wide and at least 6 inches deep.

To make the dipping sauce, simply combine whatever mix of ingredients you like.

To assemble the hotpot, simply plug in your hot plate, place the prepared pot of broth on top, and bring to a low boil or simmer. Place all your prepared ingredients around it, have everyone mix up their own dipping sauces, and dive in.

Each person just takes whatever they want, adds it to the pot, waits for it to cook, and then dips it into their sauce. As the water evaporates as you’re cooking, add boiling water to the pot as needed. You can also serve rice with hot pot (we do), but it’s not mandatory.

 

 

With Huff South Bay Vineyards Merlot…
Roast Beef with Yorkshire Pudding

Recipe & Photo credits FoodNetwork.ca
Serves  4

 

Ingredients

Fore rib beef (about 4 kg), French trimmed, on the bone, chined
Olive oil
Salt
Freshly cracked black pepper

 

For the Yorkshire pudding:

3 eggs
115g/4oz flour
275ml/½ pint milk
Beef dripping
Salt

 

Method

Preheat the oven to its highest setting.

Rub the beef with the olive oil, salt and pepper all over.

Put a heavy-based roasting tray on the hob and when hot, add the beef. Sear the beef quickly on all sides to colour and crisp the outside.

Transfer the beef immediately to the oven and leave the oven on its highest setting (about 460F) for 20 minutes.

Reduce the heat to 375F and roast for half an hour per kilo for rare, adding another ten minutes per kilo for medium rare, 20 minutes per kilo for medium, and 30 minutes per kilo for well done. Remove the beef from the oven, transfer it to a carving board and cover with foil. Allow it to rest in a warm place for 30 minutes.

For the Yorkshire pudding, mix together the eggs, flour and a pinch of salt. Add the milk, stirring constantly, until you have a runny batter. Leave this to rest, covered, in the refrigerator for up to 12 hours.

Place ½ inch of beef dripping in the bottom of each pudding mould, or if you are using a rectangular roasting tray, place ½ inch of beef dripping across the bottom. Heat the dripping in the oven (at 460F) for about ten minutes, until it is piping hot.

Remove the roasting tray from the oven, pour in the batter, and immediately return to the oven. Bake for 25 minutes, until golden brown and crispy, making sure not to open the oven door for the first 20 minutes.

Serve immediately with the carved roast beef.

 

Enjoy your Savvy Selections!

 

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Summer is here…Let’s Clink & Drink Pink!

Posted by Debbie

Wednesday, June 17th, 2015
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It’s time to raise a glass of Rosé wine to welcome in summer…our One Dozen Rosés is back!  For the second year in a row, we’re offering an assorted case of refreshing & delicious Rosé wines crafted in Ontario to be delivered to your home, office or even cottage. Our team of Savvy Sommeliers has tasted too-many-to-count bottles to hand-pick this selection for your enjoyment all summer long.  In fact, there were so many great Rosé wines that we’re offering a different One Dozen Rosés  each month.

Grab your corkscrew or crack open the seal on these Rosé wines to enjoy with a picnic, serve with lunch or better yet…watch the sunset as you unwind on your deck or your dock.

You don’t even have to get off your lawn chair!  Click & order >>

Each Rosé wine has a cool story. To add to your enjoyment of the selected wines, our Savvy Sommeliers have compiled this Rosé Report – a different one will appear here each month – with our Sommeliers’ tasting notes for each wine in your assortment along with some easy summertime recipes from our kitchen to yours.

Only $199 & shipping is FREE!

 

In July’s case of One Dozen Rosés you will find…

Huff Cuvee-JanineHuff Estates Cuvée Janine Sparkling

$25.00
Prince Edward County

Winemaker Frederic Picard is true to his French roots when making wines at Huff Estates.  Raised amongst the vineyards and wineries in Burgundy France, this man has wine running through his veins.  Both of the selected wines from Huff are great examples of how Frederic lends his winemaking talent (nurtured in France, South Africa & other parts of the world) to craft elegant wines in Prince Edward County.

A special price on this Bubbly! We were delighted when the team at Huff Estates offered us an extra special price (regular $30) so we could include this bubbly in this month’s assortment.

Savvy Sommelier Tasting Notes: Everything about this wine exudes fun – the colour, the refreshing dry tastes and all of the possibilities for food pairings.  Made with 100% Pinot Noir grapes, the wine is made using the classic French Méthode Champagnoise that is aptly named for the winemaking technique for Champagne. The second fermentation (that creates the bubbles) happens in each individual bottle.

A vibrant cranberry coloured bubbly with a lovely nose of red fruit, a touch of mineral and a hint of sweet citrus (pink grapefruit or blood orange). Very dry and medium bodied, it’s juicy and refreshing with tastes of red cherries, berries and tangy cranberries that play through garnished by a lively touch of white pepper on the finish.

Food Pairing Suggestions:  Put in your fridge for any occasion (we do!) – a beautiful sunset, friends dropping by or why not begin a long weekend with the popping of its cork!  In our Rosé Recipe Box, we share with you a stunning looking (and delicious) Gorgonzola and Strawberry Canapé that is easy to make. Chill & enjoy every sip of this sparkling wine.


Huff Rose 2013Huff Estates Ros
é VQA 2013

$19.00
Prince Edward County

This is one of Huff’s signature wines. Rosé lovers clamour for it every year.

Sommeliers Tasting Notes: Lively, this refreshing wine is bone dry with a light pink hue that resembles classic Rosé wines from Tavel, France. In two words: pink grapefruit.  Added to that, light floral notes with citrus (think lime and mandarin) to create a well-crafted refreshing balance. Made with 100% Cabernet Franc grapes grown in The County, there is the regional characteristic minerality & crisp acidity that makes this a class act wine. Now that you’ve been tipped off about this wine, you’ll be on the lookout for it each year. Always a solid wine.

Food Pairing suggestions: Serve chilled on its own to unwind, with sushi or pack for a picnic.  In our Rosé Recipe Box, we have included the Smoked Salmon Sushi Pizza recipe to make for your next picnic.


Di Profio Gamay Rose 2013
DiProfio Gamay Rosé

$15.70
Niagara-on-the-Lake
This boutique winery has a growing reputation for making outstanding wines. Sandwiched between the 20 Valley region and Niagara-on-the-Lake, this is definitely worth the stop…and they have a wonderful B&B on the estate!

Savvy Sommelier Tasting Notes: A stunning colour in the glass. Aromas of beets, candy floss, it smells sweeter than it is…in fact, it is deliciously dry. Each sip is loaded with tastes of red fruit (cherry, raspberry or strawberry perhaps). This Rosé has a nice refreshing acidity, a long berry finish. Bring on summer with this outstanding wine!

Suggested Food Pairing: Another one to pack for a picnic or serve on the dock. Chill & pack in your basket (no need for a corkscrew) to enjoy with tabbouleh, hummus, quinoa salad. In our Rosé Recipe Box, we have included a Chickpea, Barley & Feta Salad that will do the trick!

 

Kacaba Rebecca Rose 2014Kacaba Vineyard Rebecca Rosé VQA 2014

$14.95
Beamsville Bench (Niagara Escarpment)
Looking for great red wines made in Ontario? Kacaba is definitely one of our top picks. This year’s of rosé wine is made with 100% Gamay grapes grown on the estate, this is ‘not just another summer sipper’ states John Tummon, Kacaba’s winemaker. It is a wine to be enjoyed year round… before or during a meal.

Savvy Sommelier Tasting Notes: Bright cotton candy pink colour. Concentrated aromas of fresh juicy red cherries, ripe red berries and cotton candy of course! These aromas continue into the taste with an added cranberry flavour to give it even more body. A smooth texture in your mouth, this bright and refreshing wine is so easy to enjoy.

Suggested Food Pairing: One definitely to serve during a meal – lunch or dinner. Chicken satay, grilled vegetable kebabs would be delicious. We also think that it would be perfectly paired with pan seared fish – such as the perch recipe that we’ve provided for you from Port Restaurant located in Pickering. The recipe is found in our Rosé Recipe Box. Enjoy!

 

Rosewood Trois Femmes Rose 2013Rosewood Trois Femmes Rosé VQA 2014

$15.00
Beamsville Bench (Niagara Escarpment)
From the family run winery and Ontario’s first Meadery, this year’s Rosé from Rosewood is 100% Pinot Noir grapes. The wine was made with the skins intact with the juice for 3-5 days then fermented until it reached the fruity flavours and the colour that the winemaker wanted to create.

Savvy Sommelier Tasting Notes: One word will describe this wine: STRAWBERRY. From its colour, the aroma and taste, this wine has the wonderful summery taste of fresh strawberries. “It has the zippiness of rhubarb too”, commented Savvy Sommelier Debbie during the Savvy Team tasting of 40+ Rosé wines. A very well-balanced, smooth wine that combines notes of strawberry tastes of watermelon and freshly crushed ripe berries – all things that are iconic about summer.

Suggested Food Pairing: This is a no fuss wine. It would be delicious with anything off the grill, seafood, homemade pizza, charcuterie and light meals. Try something completely different – Beet-zza! We will provide this cool new recipe in our Rosé Recipe Box.

 

Sue Ann Staff Fancy Farm Girl Foxy Pink 2013Sue-Ann Staff Foxy Pink VQA 2013

$17.00
Beamsville Bench (Niagara Escarpment)
This has been an amazing year for our friend Sue-Ann. In April, she decided to finish the chapter of her career where she was making wine at other wineries and focus 100% on her namesake winery – Sue-Ann Staff Estates. And the decision quickly paid off. Her new Fancy Farm Girl wine brand has won label design awards as well as accolades for her wines. This one is the Rosé in her portfolio. Be sure to read the back label to learn more about Sue-Ann’s style – a farm girl who loves to be a diva too!

Savvy Sommelier Tasting Notes: The bright coral pink colour alludes to the style of this wine. Bright vivid aromas of watermelon, strawberry candy, even marshmallows leap from the glass. These aromas continue as you sip on this off-dry wine, then the bright zippy acidity will make your mouth water while prepping your palate for another sip and another.    Enjoy on its own with friends (or not!) or with sushi, tuna, salmon, pizzas, picnics, salads and soooo much more.

Suggested Food Pairing: Keep chilled in your fridge for when friends come over for a spontaneous get together. Call out for sushi or fire up the gill with some salmon steaks or better yet…get fancy with the Grilled Chicken & Strawberries with Balsamic. This simple recipe will be in our Rosé Recipe Box – stay tuned!


Creekside Cabernet Rose 2014Creekside Estates Cabernet Rosé VQA 2014

$14.95
Beamsville Bench (Niagara Escarpment)
Another great winery to visit when you take a summer getaway to wine country. Not only do they make lots of great wines, but their patio overlooking the vineyard is also worth stopping for.

Savvy Sommelier Tasting Notes: Bright neon pink in colour with gorgeous aromas of wild strawberries, flowers& green apple that follows into the taste. This crowd-pleasing wine is juicy yet dry. Medium bodied and well balanced with refreshing acidity…it is summer in a glass.

Suggested Food Pairing: You can’t go wrong with this wine. The colour, the bouquet & the taste…they all will remind you of summer. This versatile wine can be served chilled on its own or with any of the creations in our Rosé Recipe Box. Be sure to have a batch of the Rosemary & White Bean Dip in the fridge at the cottage just in case you feel the urge coming on to crack open this bottle of wine as the sunsets.

 

Clink & Drink Pink all summer long!

Here is a sneak peak of the wines that will be featured in the upcoming months.

In August the One Dozen Rosé will include:

Aure Rose VQA 2011, Beamsville Bench (Niagara)

Casa-Dea Cabernet Franc Rosé, VQA 2014, Prince Edward County

Devil’s Wishbone Pinot Gris Rosé VQA 2014, Prince Edward County

Greenlane Rosé VQA 2013, Beamsville Bench (Niagara)

Vieni Momenti Sparkling Rosé, Beamsville (1 bottle)

– Vieni Alleria Rosé VQA 2014, Beamsville (1 bottle)

Vineland Estates ‘The Game Changer’ Rosé VQA 2014, Beamsville

Order your One Dozen Rosé at
www.savvycompany.ca/rose

 

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Savour, Relax & Explore at Huff Estates

Posted by Patti

Tuesday, January 13th, 2015
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Savvy Selections - Ontario wine of the month club

Savvy Selections wine of the month club 
Featuring Huff Estates Winery

– January 2015 –

 

Prince Edward County – known by many as ‘The County’ – is a quick & easy getaway – for a day or two, even a weekend.  Have you been?  About 2.5 hours from either Ottawa or Toronto, there are 30 plus wineries awaiting your visit.  A must stop is at the junction of Highway 62 & County Rd. 1.  This crossroads is known by the locals as Huff’s Corner.  Wine tourists know this location on their GPS as Huff Estates Winery.

logoHands down, Huff is a destination to SAVOUR fantastic wines, RELAX in the comfort of the boutique inn surrounded by vineyards & to EXPLORE the Oeno Gallery exhibiting contemporary art & a unique sculpture garden on the fringe of the vineyard. And this is just one of The County’s wineries. It is no wonder that MacLean’s Magazine has named this wine region as “One of Canada’s Great Escapes”.

Lanny & Catherine Huff have deep roots in The County as they were both born and raised here.  They also share a passion for fine wines. When apple orchards were being transformed into vineyards at the turn of the century (aka in year 2000), a special opportunity existed for them to return to The County & harmonize their two passions.  Lanny will tell you that, “once you have Prince Edward County in your blood, you are bound to return. It is a very special place with a long tradition of growing & an exciting new future in fine wine production.  When my passion for wine could no longer be put aside, I decided to return to The County.”

Huff BottlesHuff Estates will continue to share its family’s history of the land by producing exceptional wines source from its well-maintained vines & complemented with the wine making expertise of Frederic Picard who was lured to The County from Burgundy France. ”We aim to create a unique destination & provide not only fantastic wine, but also accompany great food, fine art, luxurious accommodations offering a memorable experience”, Lanny explains.

Ready for a roadtrip?

After you enjoy the following bottles in your Savvy Selections, we are certain that you will want to visit Huff:

2012 Cuvée Janine – a rosé sparkling crafted in the traditional French Champagne method

2012 South Bay Chardonnay – a new style for Huff: an unoaked Chardonnay that “dances on your palate”

2012 Gamay  –  a full bodied wine that surprised us with big flavours!

OPTIONAL WINE:
2013 First FrostThe latest release of Huff’s signature “sweet & playful” wine that has become a favorite with the Savvy Team.  If you would like some of this wine, just let us know.

You won’t find these Huff Estates wines at the LCBO

Huff makes such a small amount of these wines that none of them are at the LCBO. If you would like additional bottles of your new favourite Huff wine, call me on 613-SAVVYCO (728-8926) or send an email to debbie@savvycompany.ca to arrange an additional delivery. Savvy Selections is all about introducing you to wonderful Ontario wines!

Cheers!
Debbie & Savvy Team

 

Introducing…

Huff Estates Winery

Presented by Sommelier Patricia Petty

 

This past October, I spent two wonderful weekends exploring the back roads of The County & tasting some incredible wines. There was definitely a buzz in the air wineries were in the midst of harvest. 2014 was an exceptional year for growing grapes & there is expectation that the wines will be fantastic too – stay tuned!

There is a saying amongst wine growers that, “September makes the vintage”.  A burst of sunny, dry weather is what the winemakers hope for…and this year, that is exactly what Mother Nature delivered. An abundance of clean fruit bursting with flavor was picked, and while fermentation continues in the cellars, vineyard crews have hilled up (winespeak: put the vines to bed under a protective layer of soil – only done in PEC) for another winter. Added to that, this week’s snow squall have insulated the vines even more.

Oak trees protect the vineyards

Prince Edward County is a wine region that is less than 10 years old.  Many were skeptical at first, yet the soils & growing conditions of The County lend themselves to crafting great wines. Lanny Huff believed in the region’s potential & wanted to be part of the growing industry.

In addition to the estate on Huff’s Corner, he has 150 acres of land on the quiet South Bay shore guarded by ancient oak trees towering over the vineyard.  Lanny explains that, “Oak & wine are linked together from earliest wine making traditions. We are dedicated to the production of only the finest wines that this age old relationship of oak & grape can create”.

Add experienced people to craft the wines

Success at a winery is created with the vines as well as the individuals who have both the skill & the passion to transform those grapes into great wines. The team at Huff comes to The County with a wealth of worldly experience.

Lanny’s first business is in the plastics industry.  When wineries were breaking ground in The County, Lanny ceased the opportunity to combine his passion for travel & wine along with his desire to return to his roots.

Frederic PicaHuff frederic picardrd (left), Huff’s winemaker has helped put The County on the world wine maps. He studied in Beaune, France & crafted wines in many wine regions around the world before joining Lanny in 2001 to open the doors at Huff. Jason, the General Manager returned to Huff after studying wine in Australia. Alex is the vineyard manager and when not in the fields, he can be found in the cellars assisting Frederic. During my visit, he was feverishly cleaning the tanks in preparation for the harvest.

Brian Hanna, the winery’s Sommelier & Angela Braun, the Retail Manager, will make you feel right at home when stop by. Be sure to ask for a winery tour with Brian – he is passionate about wine, food & most importantly how the marriage of these two can create a unique experience – he certainly “WOWed” me!

Connected to the family

Jason HuffAfter a lovely stay at Huff Estate’s Inn, I spent a good part of the day with Jason (right) & Brian. Jason confessed, ”while he is my uncle, I am proud to call Lanny my mentor”. The property where the winery sits was originally owned by the Huff family. It changed hands many times over the years & reverted back to the family when Lanny purchased it. Jason proudly told me, “Growing up, Lanny introduced me to this industry. He taught me the important lesson of constantly driving the business from the ground up – from farming, through manufacturing to sales.”

Years ago while in the Barolo region of Italy, I remember a young winemaker named Aldo, who told me that in the wine industry, you “learn by the seat of your pants”. Coincidentally, Jason said the same thing, “there is an element of calculated risk yet, you learn best simply by doing.” Going into its 13th year of business, Jason feels the winery is at a sustainable point in its growth & sees the production of new products & innovation as the path to growth on a moderate scale. Jason explained that Frederic is intentionally moving his winemaking style to use less oak for some of their wines. An example would be the unoaked Chardonnay that you have received in your Savvy Selections. 25% of the wine was aged in oak barrels & this is notably significantly less than what has been used in previous vintages. Brian, explains that Frederic wants to showcase the natural characteristics of The County grapes “unencumbered by the straight-jacket of lumber”.

Grab your corkscrew & get ready for a delicious experience. Here’s to you discovering your own perfect pairings with Huff wines.

Cheers!

 

~ SAVVY SOMMELIER TASTING NOTES ~

It is clear that Brian loves what he does in his ‘retirement’. If you enjoy the game of pairing wine with food as much as we do, get ready for a delicious time with Brian when you visit the winery. He often says that the wine would be best paired with “whatever comes out of the kitchen”, meaning no special occasion, fancy meal or complex recipes are needed to enjoy Huff’s wine.  We have featured some of Brian’s wine & food pairings, while others were ‘a-ha!’ moments from the Savvy Sommeliers.

Cuvée Janine, VQA 2012 $29.95

Frivoulous Fizz” is how Huff describes this wine. A sparkling Rosé created with 100% Pinot Noir grapes from nearby Hillier vineyards. Kick up your heels with as glass or two of this beautiful red crabapple hued sparkling wine created in the traditional method and allowed to sit on the lees  (winespeak for the process of leaving the yeast used for fermenting with the wine as it ages to impart more flavours) for 12 months to further develop its flavors.

Savvy Sommelier Tasting Notes: This crab apple coloured bubbly on the nose shows a subtle smoky, sweetness accompanied with slightly salty notes on the palate. In addition, there is a subtle tartness and hints of white pepper on the palate as well as refreshing cranberry/apple, watermelon, strawberry, pomegranate and raspberry notes.

Suggested Food Pairings: This is a refreshing sparkling wine with a perfect affinity for a wide variety of foods. Brian commented that this wine would be fantastic with “whatever comes out of the kitchen.”

Our Savvy Sommeliers agreed with its versatility. We saw this bubbly being served with everything from salmon or crab cakes, smoked trout or Peking Duck or even BBQ spareribs would be a fantastic pairing.  Surprise your dinner guests & serve this rosé bubbly at the end of a meal with a Pavlova dessert with ripe strawberries, raspberries and blackberries or a bowl of beautiful ripe cherries. YUM!

 

South Bay Unoaked Chardonnay, VQA 2012 $21.95

“Vintage after vintage, the quality of the wines have improved remarkably and despite the cold climate and the challenges that growers have to face, the terroir in The County is unique. Elegant, mineral, floral, fresh and linger are the words that now define the wines I make at Huff and these descriptions are fitting for The County wine region too.” Frederic Picard, Huff winemaker. 

Savvy Sommelier Tasting Notes: Bright yellow color and on the nose we find refreshingly ripe fruit with both lemon and tropical notes. There are floral accents, orchard fruit (think apples or pear), fresh baked brioche and roasted almonds. The subtle notes of oak showed through with butterscotch and a distinct creaminess from the lees. Savvy Sommelier Debbie Trenholm commented that the slight oak “gently dances on your palate”. This is an elegant, full, clean, round and smooth wine which truly showcases the winemakers expertise.

Suggested Food Pairings: If you are a lover of seafood, look no further than linguine with lemon garlic shrimp or fettuccine with baby clams in a white wine sauce. Roast chicken with garlic and fresh herbs and a touch of lemon in the accompanying gravy would be delicious as would pork scaloppini with a lemon and caper sauce. Or, once again surprise your guests and serve with desert – a classic French Apple Tarte Tatin.

 

Gamay, VQA 2012 Ontario, $24.95

My New Year’s Resolution: drink more Gamay! This one is a beautiful expression of this varietal that hails from a dry, sunny vintage of 2012.  The grapes were grown in Niagara and shipped to Frederic to work his magic. (note –  Gamay grapes are hard to grow in The County as they are not a hardy grape variety.)  Jason describes this wine as a “Bistro Beauty” and we couldn’t agree more. Certainly a food friendly wine.

Savvy Sommelier Tasting Notes: Cherry-plum in color and with notes of black berry, dark plum, oak, spice, leather and dark chocolate infused with cherry. Gamay wines tend to be light bodied – this one surprised us.  Full flavours & soft tannins provide both structure and roundness to a fresh acidity present that makes it a beautifully food friendly wine. In France, Gamays are typically served slightly chilled, so shock your guests and throw it in an ice bucket for 10 minutes or pop in the fridge to chill slightly (15 mins should do the trick). Have fun with this wine – as the wine warms up to room temperature notice how the tastes & flavours change.

Suggested Food pairings: This Gamay would pair beautifully with a cheese and charcuterie board – include pate, terrines, cold cuts; tomato based pasta dishes; rustic and simple dishes – a simple Shepard’s Pie, Moussaka, your favorite meat loaf or chili, cabbage rolls (my favorite); Spanish-style chicken or sausage dishes; grilled pork in the summer; roast chicken in the winter. I think it is evident that this wine will go with so many of your favorites. 

Cellaring: Drinking well know, can cellar for up to 5 years or more.

 

OPTIONAL WINE

First Frost, VQA Prince Edward County, 2013 $24.95

winter harvestNew Release and a fan favorite at Huff Estates! “This wine teases the palate with white peach and aromas of beeswax, honey and floral notes. A delicate balance of sweetness and acidity, it delivers a thirst quenching finish. Made with Vidal grapes and hand harvested from our estate vineyard…our fruit”

Savvy Sommelier Tasting Notes: This unique wine is created with 2/3 normal dry Vidal wine and 1/3 wine created from grapes harvested after the “first frost” and between 7 – 8 degrees Celsius. The result is a hint of natural sweetness in the wine. Described as “sweet and playful”, lemon in color with a golden hue. It is a light dessert wine that features whit floral notes and honeyed aromas. Baked apple, apricot and stewed stone fruit will fill your glass. There is a perfect acidity that follows through.

Suggested Food Pairings: Easily served with a pan-seared Foie Gras accompanied by poached pears and a simple reduction of the wine accented by fresh thyme. Hungry yet? But, if you want to stick to a dessert theme, how about a simple Vanilla panacotta; a lemon tart; a poached pear with a hazelnut mouse or a nectarine crostata…all desserts which would enhance the flavors found in this very special dessert wine. Or after dinner it would pair well with a light blue cheese!

 

~RECIPES TO ENJOY WITH YOUR SAVVY SELECTIONS~

 

With Huff Estates Cuvée Janine…

Mixed Berry Pavlova

From Ina Garten – The Barefoot Contessa
Serves 6
The components for this dessert can all be prepared ahead of time and assembled just prior to serving. You are going to WOW your guests!

IngredientsHuff icebucket

Pavlova

4 extra large egg whites, room temperature
Pinch salt
1 cup sugar
2 tsp corn starch
1 tsp white wine vinegar
½ tsp vanilla extract
Sweetened whip cream
Fresh strawberries, hulled and sliced
Fresh blueberriesFresh raspberries

Triple Raspberry Sauce

½ pint fresh raspberries
½ cup sugar
1 cup seedless raspberry jam
1 Tbsp raspberry framboise liqueur

 

Method

Pavlova

Preheat oven to 350 degrees

Place a sheet of parchment paper on a sheet pan and draw a 9” circle on the paper using a plate as a guide. Turn the paper over so the circle is on the reverse side.

Place egg whites and salt in a bowl and beat on high speed until firm, about 1 minutes. With mixer on high, slowly add the sugar and beat until it makes fir, shiny peaks, about 2 minutes. Sift the cornstarch onto the beaten egg whites, add the vinegar and vanilla and fold in lightly with a spatula. Pile the meringue into the middle of the circle on the parchment paper and smooth it within the circle, making a rough disk. Bake for 1 ½ hours. Turn off the oven, keep the door closed and allow the meringue to cool completely for about an hour. . It will be crisp on the outside and keep soft on the inside.

Invert the disk onto a plate and spread the top completely with the sweetened whipped cream. Combine the berries and toss with about ½ cup of the raspberry sauce or enough to coat all the berries completely. Spoon berries carefully into the middle of the Pavlova, leaving a border of cream and meringue. Serve immediately in large scoops with extra raspberry sauce.

Triple Raspberry Sauce

Place the raspberries, sugar and ¼ cup water in a small saucepan. Bring to a boil, lower heat and simmer for 4 minutes. Pour the cooked raspberries, the jam and framboise in the bowl of a food processor and process until smooth. Chill.

 

With Huff Estates South Bay Unoaked Chardonnay…

Creamy Parsnip, Celery & Apple Soup

From Canadian Living Magazine 40th Anniversary Edition
Serves 6 to 8

Ingredients

2 Tbsp unsalted butter
1 leek (white & light green parts) sliced
¼ tsp ground ginger
1 pinch salt
1 lb parsnips, peeled and sliced
3 ribs celery, sliced
1 Granny Smith apple, peeled, seeded and chopped
3 cups chicken broth (use low-sodium if desired)
3 cups water
¼ cup whipping cream
2 tsp Dijon mustard
2 tsp cider vinegar 

Method

In Dutch oven melt butter over medium heat; cook leek, ginger and salt, stirring occasionally until softened, about 8 minutes .

Stir in parsnips, celery and apple; cook stirring occasionally for 3 minutes. Add broth and water; bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer until parsnips are tender, about 20 minutes. Let cool for 10 minutes.

In batches in blender, puree soup until smooth; return to pot. Stir in cream, mustard & vinegar. Reheat to serve.

For a definite “Bistro” take on this recipe serve in shallow bowls with Crispy Sage and Proscuitto on top.

To create crispy sage simple heat olive oil in a sauté pan. Add fresh sage leaves and lightly sauté until leaves are crisp; drain on paper towels and reserve.

For the prosciutto, simply slice into thin strips and then sauté in the same pan. Drain and reserve.

To garnish the soup, drizzle a small amount of olive oil on top of the soup, place proscuitto and sage on top of the soup and you have a restaurant-worthy version of this soup!

 

With Huff Estates Gamay…

Pan Seared Duck Breast with Dried Cherry Jus

From Patti Petty’s kitchen
Note from Patti:
Don’t be intimidated by using duck breast. It is an easy preparation with results that will WOW your guests. 

Ingredients

1 Mallard or Muscovy Duck Breast, 450g
4 oz. Roasted Chicken Demi-glaze Jus
1 bottle of medium bodied red wine (Huff Estates Gamay will be perfect!) – go ahead & drink while cooking what you don’t use in the recipe!
3 tablespoons dried cherries

Method

Preheat oven to 425 degrees

Trim some of the fat from the duck breast, leaving about ¼” on. Trim any sinew or silver skin from the meat. Season with salt and pepper.

Using a small frying pan, turn heat to medium high. Place breast in pan, skin side down. Fry for several minutes, until fat is slightly rendered and browning.

Place pan with breast in the oven, still skin side down and roast for 7 minutes.

While the duck is in the oven, macerate the dried cherries in the red wine to allow them to plump slightly and take on the flavours of the wine.

Remove duck from oven, cast off rendered fat. Turn the breast over in the hot pan and let rest for 1 minute (skin side up). After a minute, remove the breast from the pan and let rest.

While the duck rests add cherries with some of the wine and the chicken Demi-glaze to the pan. Over high heat reduce to a sauce like consistency (about ½). Not too runny or too thick.

Before serving, warm duck breast in the oven. Slice thinly against the grain, which runs length-wise down the breast. Fan out on plate, pour sauce over and serve.

This method is per duck breast so multiple by the number of guests you are serving.

Serve with local in-season vegetables for this very simple yet memorable dish.

 

With Huff Estates 2013 First Frost…

Rustic Nectarine and Blackberry Crostata with Cornmeal Crust

From Epicurious
Serves 8

A crostata is simply an Italian free form tart or a type of pie. This recipe can be made with any type of stone fruit in season or what you can find in your favourite store.

Ingredients

Crust

2/3 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 cup polenta (coarse cornmeal)*
3 tablespoons sugar
1 teaspoon (packed) grated orange peel
3/4 teaspoon salt
14 tablespoons (1 3/4 sticks) chilled unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
1/3 cup (or more) ice water

Filling and baking

1/4 cup sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons corn starch
4 medium nectarines, each pitted and cut into 16 slices
1 1/2-pint basket of fresh blackberries
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 egg, beaten to blend (for glaze)
Raw sugar crystals
Peach preserves, heated
Vanilla ice cream

Method

For the Crust

Combine first 5 ingredients in processor and blend 5 seconds. Add butter; using on/off turns, blend just until butter is reduced to pea-size pieces. (To ensure a flaky crust, be careful not to overwork the butter.) Add 1/3 cup ice water. Using on/off turns, blend until dough comes together in moist clumps, adding more water by teaspoonfuls if dough is dry. Gather dough into ball; flatten into disk. Wrap; chill at least 1 hour. (Can be made 1 day ahead. Chill. Let soften slightly at room temperature before rolling out.)

Roll out dough on lightly floured sheet of parchment paper to 14-inch round, turning dough occasionally to prevent sticking. Slide rimless baking sheet under parchment. Transfer dough on parchment to refrigerator. Chill until dough firms slightly, about 30 minutes. 

For Filling and Baking

Stir sugar and cornstarch in medium bowl to blend. Mix in fruit and vanilla. Let stand until juices are released, stirring fruit occasionally, about 30 minutes.

Preheat oven to 375°F. Transfer baking sheet with dough to work surface. Let stand 8 minutes to allow dough to soften slightly if too firm to fold. Spoon fruit and juices into center of dough. Arrange fruit in even 10-inch-diameter layer in center. Brush 2-inch border of dough with egg glaze. Lift about 2 inches of dough border and pinch to form vertical seam. Continue around tart, pinching seam every 2 inches to form standing border. Fold border down over fruit (center 6 inches of fruit remain uncovered). Brush folded border with egg glaze; sprinkle with raw sugar.

Place baking sheet with tart in oven. Bake until crust is golden brown and fruit filling is bubbling at edges, about 55 minutes. Remove from oven; slide large metal spatula under tart to loosen from parchment. Brush fruit with preserves. Slide tart onto rack. Cool 45 minutes. Serve warm or at room temperature with ice cream.

* Available at Italian markets, natural foods stores, and some supermarkets.

 

Bon Appetite & Enjoy your Savvy Selections!

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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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