Posts Tagged ‘great wines from Prince Edward County’

Heavenly wines made at Devils Wishbone

Posted by Patti

Friday, May 16th, 2014
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Savvy Selections wine of the month club 
Featuring The Devils Wishbone Winery & Vineyard

– May 2014 –

 

Did you know there are so many wineries are right in our back yard? It’s true the Savvy Team is always travelling great distances to discover new wine regions for Savvy Selections and yet only 270km from Ottawa and 240km from Toronto we find Prince Edward County (PEC) on the shores of Lake Ontario and seemingly surrounded on all sides by water. This emerging region – a recognized VQA wine region since 2007 – offers a tremendous variety of wines from a new breed of winemakers who have built a community of collaboration to craft fine wines. When speaking to these winemakers and owners about what it is they do, their passion oozes. And, passion creates wonderful wines!

Come & get lost in The County

One of the joys of  Prince Edward County is getting lost on the country roads. A few years ago, I was coming from Some Where, going Some Where-else when low & behold, I came across The Devils Wishbone. Their winery and vineyards sit along County Road 7 and you reach them by wandering along a road with rock and shale outcroppings on one side of the road and views of Adolphus Reach on the other. It truly is a beautiful location.

What’s in a name?

The Devils Wishbone seems like a curious name for a winery but it is one rooted deeply in the history of the county. Back approximately 15,000 years ago when the glaciers retreated from this area they left a soil comprised of clay and loam on a limestone substrata. The amount of soil varies greatly from approximately 2” – 10” and the area where we find The Devil’s Wishbone, when allocated to one of the early settler’s, was actually in the shape of a wishbone. Because the soil was so poor for farming, those settlers called this area “The Devils Wishbone”.

Paul Gallagher, a retired accountant from Toronto, will tell you more of the story when you visit.  Savvy Sommelier Patti Petty had two interviews & remembers Paul stating, “We may be in concert with the Devil but we make heavenly wines”!

Paul calls the vineyards his “children” and the grapes are his “babies”. All of The Devils Wishbone wines are personal to Paul and he won’t pick a favorite…he loves them all. Our Sommeliers tasted them all…and loved them too. But we had to make a choice for you.

In your Savvy Selections you will find:

2012 Riesling VQA, Prince Edward County – a heavenly wine that… Dances with the Devil

2012 Cabernet Franc VQA, Prince Edward County –  a beautiful ruby, ripe and well-balanced wine that will age well. We suggested holding on to it for a couple of years.

2012 Pinot Noir VQA, Prince Edward County“This wine is devilishly delicious.  It makes me smile” I remarked when I first sipped it.

The Devils Wishbone makes such a small amount of wine that none are available at the LCBO. If you would like additional bottles of your favourite Devils Wishbone wine, call me on 613-SAVVYCO (728-8926) or send an email to debbie@savvycompany.ca to arrange an additional delivery. It is always my pleasure to introduce you to wonderful new Ontario wines!

Cheers & Enjoy!

Debbie & Savvy Team

Introducing…

The Devils Wishbone

Presented by Sommelier Patricia Petty 

Paul worked for 35 years as an accountant in Toronto and during those years, between the early 1980’s and the mid 1990’s he traveled frequently to France with restaurateur clients where he would spend time talking to the winemakers. In 1997, while on a trip to Burgundy he tasted Michel Lafarge’s Pinot Noirs from a small single vineyard. And, a passion was born.  

Paul discovered The County in 2002. He was looking for a place to slow down and to get his strength back after suffering a stroke in 1998 and then having open-heart surgery after several heart attacks. Coming to The County felt right for Paul; it was a place to heal, to breathe and to play in the dirt.

The Barn is the cornerstone

Savvy Company - Devils Wishbone barnThe property had an old barn and restoring it was crucial to creating the winery. Paul will tell you it is the cornerstone of the winery and that “he just had to save her”. Interestingly, Paul claims that it was the barn that helped bring his strength and improve his health.

The barn now houses the wine cellars (aka Paul’s domain), the tasting room and retail operation (aka his partner Jennifer’s domain), and a beautiful space upstairs to sit and enjoy the view and sip a glass of their wine. Roy, the vineyard manager, takes care of the farming side of things. And growing grapes after all is just that…farming!

I asked Paul about his approach to crafting his wines.  “It is simple,” Paul explains, “I want to create both approachable and affordable wines that reflect the terroir of The County”. He believes in sustainable practices in the vineyard, yet his vineyards are not organic. That’s a difficult path to follow, yet he confirms that he uses neither insecticides nor pesticides.

Like so many winemakers, he states without any hesitation that, “The grape is the place where it all starts.” He told me he wasn’t striving to be the best there is; he didn’t feel that was doable. What he wanted to do was to create wines that reflected that “sense of place” and ones that his visitors and customers would enjoy and he certainly has achieved that goal.

Farmers First

Paul speaks passionately about being part of a much bigger idea. Prince Edward County is a new frontier for viticulture and winemaking and is growing as a destination for wine lovers. He wanted to be a part of the agricultural environment in The County and not an interloper. These winemakers for the most part were not “farmers first” but have become farmers. And, there is a sense of, “we’re all in this together” amongst all the different wineries…of which there are now almost 40! Even the largest winery in PEC is a boutique producer, so he believes they are all a part of the same fraternity.

16,500 children

Savvy Company - Devil's Wishbone vineyard 2For Paul, his favorite part of the year is now – when the green starts to show in the spring. Paul describes his vines as 16,500 children and the grapes they produce as his babies. And, when he sees that green he knows they have made it through the winter. For him it is a very personal experience. Paul is very much a pragmatist when it comes to growing the grapes. “You take what you get…that’s farming.”

I asked Paul if he had ever made a mistake when crafting his wines and the answer was, “of course”. His most memorable – he let his 2007 Pinot Noir “get away”. He blended two tanks of his Pinot. Although a simple action, it had a bad reaction as the new blend separated. The wine had to be “tossed” and he lost 400–500 litres. What it taught Paul was a lesson he already knew and that was to slow down. As he says, “He learned by doing!”

Paul doesn’t want his operation to grow too large nor too fast. Currently they are producing approximately 1,100 cases of wine. He talks about growing to a 1,500 case threshold to maintain his original concept of affordability and approachability. He sees his whites – Pinot Grigio (to be released in June), Riesling, and Chardonnay as having achieved this point.  For his reds, Pinot Noir, Cabernet Franc, Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot, these wines continue to come along. In Devil’s Wishbone wines, all are made with County grapes (the exception is the Merlot which is sourced from a Niagara grape grower who practices the same sustainable methods as Paul). He creates a few blends – Wicked White, a Cabernet Franc/Merlot blend and a Rosé using Pinot Grigio.

A Perfect Dinner Party

Paul talks about his 4 Keystone Wines. Those are the Pinot Grigio and Riesling whites and the Pinot Noir and Cabernet Franc reds. Those are his “Perfect Dinner Party”. I would love to sit and partake of that party. After tasting his wines I am certain you will agree!

Famous Visitors?

For Paul it was the impressions of his son Sean and his daughter Sara. He sent Sean his 4 Keystone Wines thinking that his son would just “show” them to his Vancouver friends who are all BC wine lovers. Instead Sean served them at a dinner party and when asked where the wines are from, Sean declared with great pride, “My Dad made them”.

And for Sara, those Keystone Wines, along with embossed glasses, were a part of her engagement party. It was with great pride that she served her Dad’s wines to rave reviews.

Definitely stop for a visit!

Savvy Company - Devil's Wishbone - Paul in vineyardPack a picnic lunch or enjoy a glass of wine in the old barn or sit back & relax in one of gazebos on the property overlooking the lake. The Devil’s Wishbone should definitely be on your list of places to visit this summer!  

How does the vineyard look? 

Debbie visited Devils Wishbone last weekend (May 3rd) and Paul had just finished his first pass of ‘Hilling Down’ the vines.  This is the process of removing the 2 foot high mounds of soil around the rootstock to protect them from the harsh temperatures of winter. 

~ SAVVY SOMMELIER TASTING NOTES ~

2012 Riesling VQA PEC $22.00

“Riesling is a variety that is 500 years old. The vines were planted in 2002 and this year we were able to coax out plenty of tanginess balanced with lots of lovely citrus fruits”  – Paul 

Savvy Sommelier Tasting Notes:  We couldn’t agree with Paul more! During our Savvy Selections tasting panel, Sommelier Debbie’s first comment was that it “Dances with the Devil”. Clean, crisp, a full-bodied wine. Notes of pears, ripe peaches, and citrus (think white grapefruit).

This is a refreshing wine with an underlying essence of minerality, perfect for a warm summer evening.

Suggested Food Pairing: Paul loves pickerel and this wine would pair beautifully with any firm white fish. We think it would be lovely with pan-seared scallops as either an appetizer served with micro-greens or as a main. We would also suggest serving this with a chicken curry with a hint of heat.

 

2012 Cabernet Franc VQA, PEC $26.00

“Aged in 2 year old French oak for the past year, imparting a delicate finish”. – Paul

Savvy Sommelier Tasting Notes:  A beautiful ruby color, with light tannins, clean fruit flavors and well balanced. There are aromas of dark red fruit and perhaps roasted red peppers. You will find flavors of cherries, cranberry and a hint of red candy.

 Suggested Food Pairing:  Our Sommeliers agree, this wine is best with food. Paul suggests lamb chops with a herb crust. With its heartiness, we crave pasta tossed simply with olive oil and crumbled blue cheese. Better yet, try our ‘Drunken Pasta’ recipe on the following pages.

 

2012 Pinot Noir VQA, PEC $29.00

“This Pinot offers lingering aromas accompanied by subtle layers of black current, black cherry and a hint of pepper.” – Paul

Savvy Sommelier Tasting Notes: When Debbie first tasted this wine her comment was, “This wine is devilishly delicious. It makes me smile”.   There are aromas of red fruit and cranberries, pepper, and hints of oak. On the palate it is a soft, smooth, luscious and elegant wine. It is an approachable wine and that is something that Paul strives for in all of his wines. 

Savvy Sommelier Tasting Notes: Like so many Pinot Noirs, this wine would pair beautifully with salmon on the grill, grilled portabella mushrooms and grilled asparagus…a perfect summer pairing.  Paul suggests serve this wine with small birds such as a Cornish hen, simply roasted and accompanied with seasonal veggies.

 

~ RECIPES TO ENJOY WITH YOUR SAVVY SELECTIONS ~

 

With The Devils Wishbone 2012 Riesling VQA…

Scallops with Apple Pan Sauce

From Bon Appétit Magazine, May 2013
Recipe by Lake Austin Spa Resort
Serves 4

Ingredients

2 Granny Smith apples
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
2 tablespoons olive oil
12 large sea scallops (about 1 pound), side muscle removed
Kosher salt, freshly ground pepper
1 tablespoonunsalted butter
1/4 cup hearty sprouts (such as daikon or sunflower) or pea shoots

Method

Core 1 apple; cut into 1-inch cubes. Place in a blender with lemon juice and 1/4 cup water; purée until smooth. Strain the juice through a fine-mesh sieve into a small bowl.

Peel, core, and cut remaining apple into 1/4-inch cubes. Add to bowl. Set aside.

Heat oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Season scallops with salt and pepper. Working in batches, cook scallops until golden brown and just cooked through, about 2 minutes per side. Transfer to a plate; tent with foil to keep warm.

Add butter to skillet along with the diced apples. Cook, scraping up browned bits from bottom of pan.

Add reserved apple mixture and cook, stirring often, until juice is thickened and apple pieces are tender, about 4 minutes.

Spoon over scallops; top with sprouts or pea shoots and season with salt and pepper.

Savvy Company - Devils Wishbone - Paul and Jennifer

In photo at left Paul (centre) & Jennifer (right) at Savvy Company’s County in the City Taste & Buy event, held in Ottawa on April 10.

 

 

 

 

With The Devils Wishbone 2012 Cabernet Franc VQA…

Drunken Spaghetti (in Italian: Spaghetti Ubriachi)

From David Rocco’s Dolce Vita Cookbook
Serves 4

Ingredients

1lb. (500 grams) spaghetti
1 bottle red wine (a bold style wine – Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc , Malbec or Merlot)
4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
2 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
2 anchovies, finely chopped (optional)
Chilli pepper flakes to taste
1 small bunch of flat-leaf parsley, finely chopped
½ cup crumbled blue cheese, or to taste

Method

In a large pasta pot, put your wine and bring to boil. Add pasta & a splash of oil so the noodles don’t stick together.

In a frying pan, heat up the olive oil. Add garlic, anchovies and chilli flakes if using and cook on medium heat until the anchovies melt into the oil and the garlic is softened. Set aside.

Now, add your spaghetti to the boiling wine, give it a good stir and finish cooking the pasta until al dente, 10 to 12 minutes.

Savvy Company - Drunken PastaWhen the pasta is ready, the wine will have infused the spaghetti, giving it a gorgeous ruby color. Don’t worry about the wine being too strong for the sauce. The alcohol will burn off and leave a sweet delicate taste.

Drain spaghetti from the wine, toss in the skillet with the garlic, anchovy sauce and finish cooking for 30 seconds. Remove from the heat and sprinkle with a bit of the parsley and the blue cheese. Finish with a few toasted pine nuts if desired.

Note: if blue cheese isn’t for you this dish would work beautifully with a freshly grated pecorino or asiago cheese. Don’t be shy to add vegetables such as grilled asparagus, broccoli or beef it up with thinly sliced grilled meat or sausages.

Serving tip:  This stunning and colourful pasta dish will present well on a simple white plate or pasta bowl, giving it a very bistro style look!

 

With The Devils Wishbone 2012 Pinot Noir VQA…

Roasted Salmon with Lentils

From Bonnie Stern, The Best of HeartSmart Cooking
Serves 6

Ingredients

1 ½ cups dried Puy (green) lentil
4 teaspoons olive oil, divided
1 onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1 teaspoon ground cumin
¼ teaspoon red pepper flakes
1 carrot, finely diced
1 stalk celery, finely diced
1 cup canned plum tomatoes, with juices, pureed
¼ cup chopped fresh parsley
Salt to taste
1 ½ lb. salmon filet, cut in 6 pieces, skin removed
1 teaspoon chopped fresh rosemary

Method

Place lentils in a large pot and cover generously with water. Bring to a boil and cook gently for 25 – 30 minutes, or just until tender. Rinse and drain well.

Meanwhile, heat 1 tbsp. oil in large, deep non-stick skillet on medium heat. Add onion and garlic and cook gently for 5 minutes. Add cumin and hot pepper flakes. Cook for 30 seconds.

Add carrot, celery and tomatoes to skillet. Cook for 8 – 10 minutes or until carrots are just tender and liquid from tomatoes has reduced.

Add drained lentils, parsley and pepper to skillet. Taste and adjust seasonings, adding salt if necessary. Keep warm.

Heat remaining 1 tbsp. oil in separate non-stick skillet on medium-high heat. Pat salmon dry and sprinkle with rosemary. Cook for 1 – 2 minutes per side or until slightly browned and crusty.

Transfer salmon to a baking sheet lined with parchment paper (or leave in skillet if it is ovenproof). Bake in preheated 400-degree oven for 7 – 9 minutes or until just cooked through.

Serve salmon on bed of lentils.

This dish would be equally delicious with a simple grilled salmon served over the lentils. Serve with roasted asparagus as a side dish for either version of the salmon.

 

Enjoy your Savvy Selections!

 

 

 

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Discover why Ravine Vineyard is unique

Posted by Giancarlo

Wednesday, April 30th, 2014
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Savvy Selections wine of the month club 
Featuring Ravine Vineyard Estate Winery

– April 2014 –

 

Back by popular demand, this month we feature Ravine Vineyard Estate Winery of Niagara-on-the-Lake. When we first introduced this winery in December 2011, our Savvy Sommelier Julie Stock shared with you the history & lore of the property.  In this edition, our newest member of the Savvy Team – Giancarlo Nadasio – invites you to get to know contemporary winemaker: Martin Werner, who shares with us his passion, his winemaking style & his lifestyle involved in the process of creating unique wines.  As Giancarlo found out in his interview, Martin makes wine “with an aim to capture what a 22,000 year old soil wishes to express, along with his favorite food recipe to pair with his wine.”

In your Savvy Selections you will find:

Chardonnay Musqué VQA 2012 – Are you ready for spring? This aromatic clone is perfect for enjoying outside – on a deck, a dock or a picnic.  This is the reason for the half bottle format.

Sauvignon Blanc VQA 2012 – Just released: Martin’s signature wine!

Merlot VQA 2011– Get your BBQ ready!

Our newest Savvy Sommelier, Giancarlo has been working in the hospitality business for over 10 years, recently at Ottawa’s Brookstreet Hotel.  To pair these wines, he called on some of his friends ‘in the business’ in Ottawa to share their recipes to match with the wines in this month’s Savvy Selections & please let them know if you tried your hand at their creations!

Clifford Lyness, Executive Chef at Brookstreet Hotel
Josh Gillard, Chef & Owner of MUST Kitchen & Wine Bar
Amy Brown, Brookstreet Hotel Culinarian Professional

Ordering hard-to-find wines is easy!

logoRavine has a broad portfolio of wines including some ‘uber premium’ wines. If you would like to order some of these wines or any of your favorite Savvy Selections, simply email me to make the arrangements for a special wine delivery.

A MUST on your next visit to the Niagara region

winery and restaurantWhen you plan your next visit to Niagara, be sure to stop in at Ravine to discover their full range of wines and try to have lunch or dinner at their award winning restaurant (tip – you will need reservations!)   Or plan ahead & meet the Ravine Winery Team at their annual Harvest Dinner on November 8th 2014.  It promises to be a fun dinner hosted by Martin & the Harber family (winery owners).

Cheers & Enjoy!

Debbie & Savvy Team

 

Introducing…
Ravine Estates Winery

Presented by Giancarlo Nidasio

“What gets me up in the morning? Making the decision to create a nice bottle of wine that I’ve seen from start to finish that will be enjoyed & shared with everyone I care about….It makes my work not feel like work” 

Martin at Ravine VineyardAs a teenager, Marty (in photo as a family man with 2 year old daughter & wife) grew up working on a 60 acre family owned vineyard where he was an avid tractor driver among many other skills.  He got bitten by the travel bug & figured out that a good way to work & explore the world, would be working at wineries.

And so it was…Marty traveled to New Zealand where he worked for a couple of years at Cloudy Bay Winery and for Mahi Winery – both located in the Marlborough area.  It was here where Marty got the hands on experience that eventually lead him to make his own Estate Sauvignon Blanc many years later at Ravine.  Before that, his plane ticket took him to California, where he worked for a year with Justin Winery in Paso Robles.

Now bitten by both the travel & winemaking bug, once back in Niagara, Marty worked at Hillebrand & Hidden Bench wineries before deciding to enroll in to the Winemaking program at Niagara College.  This is where Marty had the opportunity to meet someone that would open his eyes in the winemaking world – Thomas Bachelder.  It was Thomas who was the first person to speak to him about sense of place. “It made me understand that Niagara can do great wines”, recalls Marty.

All this experience has led Marty to create wines that are in tune with both a sense of time & place, that reflect the influence of Lake Ontario & the various types of soils found at Ravine.

Winemaking & the Vineyard

red grapesThe wine making style at Ravine, could be described as having a Burgundian influence for white wines & a Bourdeaux style for the reds; where the assemblage (winespeak: referring to the winemaker’s art of blending) plays a key role.

Marty & his team classify the wines that were made from different batches from either the same or different grape varietals that were planted on different sections of the vineyard, picked at different times depending on their level of ripeness & fermented in different types of barrels made from different types of wood.  This is one of the reasons why Marty really loves the style of Bordeaux Blends (winespeak: A Bordeaux blend is usually referred to the blend of three main grapes: Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc and Merlot and sometimes adding Malbec & Petit Verdot to this blend).  With blends, the winemaker put his own fingerprint onto the wine.

This hard work ties in with the Viticultural & Biodynamic practices of Ravine. These include taking the extra time to do shoot & fruit thinning to gain proper concentration in the grapes while allowing the plant to build its own resistance in order to avoid the use of chemicals as pesticide.  “The goal is to have a vine that is in balance with nature which will bring a fruit that is alive!” explains Marty. 

Out of the entire winemaking process Marty gets most excited (and it’s the most crucial time too) when he makes the decision to pick the grapes.  As he puts it, “this is the make or break your season moment”.  It is the tipping point of the season when Marty can get a perfect snapshot of the vineyard by tasting the grapes every two days (then closer to harvest Marty will taste daily) to determine the acidity & sugar levels. “It’s the most intimate time in terms of a vineyard”

What’s next?

Ravine has its heart in the past & its eyes towards the future and is now preparing for the newest addition to their portfolio with an exclusive 75 case release of a first year 2013 Pinot Noir.  It is a wine with great anticipation, “We are already counting down the days.”  Ravine’s Pinot Noir will feature a limited exposure to new oak so it serves as a complement letting the wine express what the land has to give.

Ask for Marty when you visit!

Marty welcomes all of our Savvy Selections subscribers to stop by & ask for him when you visit the winery. Visit in winter when the ravine on the estate becomes an ice rink where family & friends skate surrounded by the vineyard or in the warmer season when you can simply take a stroll through the vines – just as Marty does with his wife Rachel, his daughter Dani and his two dogs.

Enjoy this month’s Savvy Selections now knowing more about Ravine’s down to earth winemaker.

Cheers & enjoy your Savvy Selections!


~ SAVVY SOMMELIER TASTING NOTES ~

 Chardonnay Musqué VQA 2012, $14.00

What is Chardonnay Musqué? Marty explains: It is an aromatic clone of Chardonnay, with a musky character & a slight spritzness that is achieved during the fermentation process.  We do this by closing the lids of the stainless steel tanks where the wine is being fermented to preserve its freshness. The cooling systems is then turned on in the tanks so the CO2 that is naturally produced as a by product of the fermentation, can be trapped inside the wine where   the cold temperature aids the wine to accept the CO2.For this reason, the Chardonnay Musqué is bottled in a 375 mL format, in order to preserve its spritz once the bottle has been opened.

Savvy Sommelier Tasting Notes:  A bright refreshing crisp wine, with aromas of cantaloupe, lime & tropical fruits (think kiwi) along with a hint of toasty notes.  These continue through onto the taste with added notes of clementine.  A well-balanced refreshing wine with enough acidity to provide structure. 

Suggested Food Pairing:  Created to be shared among friends & family – preferably outside –  at only 9% it is ideal on its own or with light summer salads. Try it with a Spiced & Grilled Shrimp, with Mango Gazpacho, a creation by Amy Brown, culinarian professional at Brookstreet Hotel.  She shares this recipe on following pages. 

Sauvignon Blanc VQA 2012, $32.00

Marty’s signature wine.  This Estate Sauvignon Blanc is aged in oak for 6 to 8 months, developing smoky notes while perfectly matching the linear crispness & freshness that the variety retains in a cool climate region like Niagara. 

Savvy Sommelier Tasting Notes:  A great structured wine, with tropical notes on the nose with hints of pear, green papaya, melon & wildflowers following through the palate with a soft creamy mouth-feel.

Suggested Food Pairing:  It calls for a great aperitif or paired with fresh fish dishes.  Want to roll up your sleeves & let your inner gourmand out? Try the Tuna Carpaccio, diakon cress, fuji apple & ponzu recipe created by Executive Chef Clifford Lyness. The smokiness of the wine makes it a great pairing. 

Cellaring: Ready to be enjoyed now or to be aged for several years up to 2023. This is achievable due to its acidity & the concentration of fruit flavors in the wine that with time will make the wine fade out the tropical flavor profile to evolve in to brighter and biscuity profile, also known as Tertiary Flavors, which develop in the bottle.

 

Merlot VQA 2011 $34.00

Merlot is the most planted varietal at Ravine where they use 4 different clones of Merlot that are planted separately on the Top side and on the Hill side of the Estate.  These are picked in 4 different blocks and then Marty blends them together create the final blend that is finished by aging in barrel for 8 to14 months.

Savvy Sommelier Tasting Notes: Bright red cherry aromas, with hints of tobacco, coffee, molasses & big red ripe berries that follow through the palate with additional hints of chocolate & a smooth minerality almost like wet stone or crushed rock due to the heavy influence of clay soils that lay beneath the vines of the Merlot grapes.

Suggested Food Pairing:  This wine screams smoke & BBQ.  It is a great summer companion for gatherings with dishes like smoked pulled pork, BBQ ribs or lamb shank on the BBQ with a nice reduction sauce on top of mashed potatoes. Superb!!  Why not try MUST Kitchen & Wine Bar Executive Chef & Owner Josh Gillard’s Mint Rubbed Lamb Racks or Chef’s Clifford Lyness free form braised Veal Ravioli, Roast Cipollini with onion jam, seared sweet bread and white truffle and chive butter tension.  These recipes are on the following pages.

Cellaring: With its well integrated tannins, this Merlot is ideal for drinking now or to be cellared up to 2020.

 

~ RECIPES TO ENJOY WITH YOUR SAVVY SELECTIONS ~

With Ravine Vineyard Chardonnay Musqué…

Spiced & Grilled Shrimp, with Mango Gazpacho

Created by Culinarian Professional Amy Brown at Brookstreet Hotel, Ottawa
Serves 6

Ingredients

2 teaspoons ground ginger
2 teaspoons ground cardamon
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground allspice
1 teaspoon ground coriander seeds
1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon ground cayenne pepper
1/2 teaspoon ground anise seeds
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
1/2 teaspoon ground white pepper
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 cup canola oil
12 8″ wooden skewers
2 pounds large shrimp, peeled and deveined
2 mangos, peeled
3 yellow bell pepper, seeded
1 English cucumber, peeled and seeded
1 jalapeño, seeded
1 tablespoon fresh ginger, grated
1 cup orange juice
1/2 cup Greek yogurt
2 tablespoons champagne vinegar
1/2 cup cilantro, chopped
2 limes

 Method

Preheat grill to medium high heat & preheat oven to 400ºF.

Combine ground spices, salt, pepper and oil. Pour over shrimp and set aside.

Roast peppers in oven until tender.

Dice mango, cucumber, peppers, and jalapeno. Mix with ginger, juice, yogurt, vinegar and cilantro. Using a blender or food processor, puree mango mixture until smooth.

Skewer shrimp and grill. Grill until tails are pink and shrimp is firm.

Garnish with any extra yogurt and or cilantro, and a squeeze of lime. 

 

With Ravine Vineyard Sauvignon Blanc…

Tuna Carpaccio, Diakon cress, Fuji apple, Ponzu

chef lioness - brookstreetFrom Executive Chef Clifford Lyness, Brookstreet Hotel, Ottawa (photo at left)
Serves: 4 persons

 

Step One: Pounded Tuna Carpaccio

4oz freshest, most vibrantly red sushi grade tuna you can find and afford
salt and pepper

Method

Ask your fish monger to cut you a piece of tuna, closer to the neck of the fish and further away from the tail. As you move closer to the tail of the fish, more white sinew will marble the flesh. This sinew of silver skin is chewy and unpleasant when eaten raw. Using meat towards the neck of the fish will be free of this connective tissue and provide for a smooth velvet texture. The piece of tuna your fish monger gives you should be rectangular in shape weighing approximately 16 ounces.

Using a sharp knife, slice 4 equal pieces of tuna, each weighing 4 ounces. This can easily be accomplished by cutting the initial piece in half, and then halve the 2 pieces, resulting in 4 equal pieces.

Place 1 piece of tuna in between a piece of Saran wrap. Using a mallet, or a heavy sauce pot, gently begin to pound the flesh flat making sure not to tear the flesh. Rotate the wrap periodically to ensure the tuna is pound equally in all directions and has a common thickness. Place in fridge and keep as cold as possible until ready to assemble dish. Carpaccio and tartare dishes taste profoundly better when chilled to the max.

Step Two: Ponzu sauce

50ml light soy
50ml mirin
50ml freshly squeezed lime juice
50ml sake50ml instant dashi

Method

Mix together all ingredients. Balance should be achieved between salty, sweet, and sour, with an alcohol undertone coming from the sake. Not one flavor should be dominant in a classic ponzu sauce, but this can be altered to cater to individual preferences. Chill until ready to use. 

Step Three: Fuji apple & diakon salad

1 package diakon cress
2 Fuji apple
2 scallions
25 ml pickled ginger
1 teaspoon togarashi
2 Tablespoon tobiko
1 piece of lotus root

Method

Clip diakon cress and place a damp paper towel over top to prevent wilting. Using a Benriner mandoline, shave apple and julienne into matchstick. Do not shave and julienne to thin, you are looking for a pleasant thickness to ensure that there is some crunch and juiciness from the apple. Do this step as close to plate assemble as possible to prevent apple from discoloring.  Julienne scallion on a bias using a very sharp knife and place in ice water. This will dilute some of the strong onion flavor.

Slice a peeled lotus root and fry in oil until crisp. Drain on paper towel and reserve 

Plate Assembly

Drain the scallion and place in a bowl along with the apple, diakon cress, and pickled ginger. Add a small amount of ponzu to the salad and do not toss.

Remove the tuna from the fridge. Remove one piece of Saran wrap, exposing one side of the pounded tuna.

Place the exposed side in the middle of a large white plate, and peel the remaining Saran off.

Toss the salad gently and place in the middle of the tuna. Spoon the ponzu over top of the pounded tuna. Sprinkle with togarshi and tobiko. Drizzle with a really good olive oil, and place a few crispy fried lotus root chips on top.

Garnish with a lime cheek so the guest can squeeze fresh lime.

 

With Ravine Vineyard Merlot…

Individual Lamb Racks, mint rubbed and grilled, with tzatziki &  curry sauce

From Executive Chef and Owner MUST Kitchen & Wine Bar Josh Gilliard

Ingredients for mint rub

3 Tbsp dried mint
1 Tbsp olive oil
1 tsp sea salt
1 tsp pepperpinch of sugar

 Method

Must NewZealandLambRub all above ingredients together

Take a frenched rack of lamb and cut in between each rack to get individual bones. Then apply the bu on both sides of each piece.

Grill on med/high heat until desired level of preparation.

While lamb is cooking, make the sauce:

Ingredients for Tzatziki & curry sauce

4 Tbsp tzatziki
1 Tbsp mild curry paste
1/2 cup Demi or cream
salt and pepper to taste

Serve over top of a pool of mint jelly.        

                     

With Ravine Vineyard Merlot…

Free form braised veal ravioli / roast cipollini onion jam, Seared sweet bread / white truffle and chive butter tension

From Executive Chef Clifford Lyness, Brookstreet Hotel

Step One: Braised veal shank

Ingredients for Braised veal shank

4 veal shanks, about 1 pound each
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
4 Tbsp olive oil
1 large onion, chopped
1 large carrot, peeled and chopped
1 stalk celery, chopped
4 large cloves garlic, finely chopped
1/2 cup dry white wine
Juice of 1/2 lemon
1 liter chicken stock
1 can (14.5 ounces) whole tomatoes,crushed with fingers, with juices
1 bay leaf
1/2 tsp dried thyme
1 tsp dried marjoram
Salt and pepper to taste

Method

Preheat oven to 350° F. Season the shanks with salt and pepper. Dust lightly with the flour. Heat an ovenproof sauté pan large enough to hold the shanks in one layer over high heat then add the olive oil and heat.

Add the shanks and cook until lightly browned, about 3 minutes per side. Remove from the pan and reduce heat to medium-high.

Place the onions, carrots, celery in the pan. Sauté until slightly softened, about 5 minutes then add the garlic and sauté one more minute. Pour in the wine and broth. Return heat to high and bring to a boil, scraping up any browned bits from the bottom of the pan. Add the lemon juice, tomatoes, bay leaf, thyme, marjoram, salt and pepper.

Cook, uncovered, until reduced by about one-third. (There should be enough liquid to come about half way up the sides of the shanks.) Return the shanks, and any accumulated juices, to the pan. Cover tightly and place in oven. Cook until the meat is very tender and starting to fall off the bones, 1-1/2 to 2 hours.

Remove the shanks from the pan. Let stand 10 minutes and pull all the lean away from bone and residual fat. 

Step Two:  Pasta             

Yield about 10 oz of dough, enough for 3-4 servings

Ingredients

1 cup flour
½ cup semolina flour
Pinch salt large eggs
2 Tablespoons olive oil

Method

Add the eggs and olive oil and mix together.

Beginning in the center, mix with a fork in a circular motion until the flour is combined with the eggs. Mix until soft and then you can add more flour if needed. You want your dough not too stiff because then it will be too hard to roll out. Not too wet because it will stick to everything. The best time to roll the pasta is when you let it rest for 1 hour after.                

Step Three: Roast cipollini onion jam

100g butter, cold and cubed
100 mL olive oil
1 tsp sugar
salt and pepper to taste
10 pieces cipollini onions, unpeeled
3oz white wine                 

Method

Place the cipollini onions in a foil pouch with some olive oil & bake in a 370 degree F oven for 20 to 25 minutes. The jackets of the onion should be quiet brown, the insides will be creamy with the sugars inverted. Allow to cool & remove the skin and pestle and mortar the roast onion to a smooth paste.

In a small sauce pot cook the Onion jam along with a touch of sugar, deglaze the pan with white wine reduce to a 1/3.  Finally add the butter (cold and cubed) and slowly incorporate until thickened.  Reserve to the side               

Step Four: White truffle & chive butter tension

100g butter, cold and cubed
150 mL chicken stock
1 piece lemon, juice only
salt and pepper – to taste
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 tablespoon truffle oil
1/2 bunch chives

Method

In a sauté pan sweat the shallots to a translucent state no color. Deglaze the pan with the Riesling wine allow to reduce to a 1/3. Next deglaze  the pan with chicken stock  again reduce to a 1/3.

Start to slowly add the cubed butter to thicken the sauce. Finish the sauce off with the truffle oil, lemon juice, salt and pepper to taste and olive oil.

 

Enjoy your Savvy Selections!

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Newsletter April 2014 -Tickets ON US to County in the City wine tasting

Posted by Debbie

Tuesday, April 1st, 2014
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It might be April’s Fools Day. . . but there’s no foolin’ around here!  The Savvy Team has been hard at work to line up the largest County in the City event that Ottawa has ever seen on Thursday April 10th. This Taste & Buy event features 15 wineries along with The County’s only craft brewery Barley Days Brewery & hard apple ciders made at The County Cider Company.

NEW this year! Cheesemakers from Black River Cheese & Fifth Town Artisan Cheese Co. along with hand made pasta from the region’s new Pasta Tavola will be treating you to gourmet goodies.

Buy 1 ticket & bring a friend – on us! 

We are so excited to host the biggest ever County in the City Taste & Buy event that we don’t want anyone in Ottawa to miss out. We’re not joking! This incredible ticket offer is only available when you buy a ticket for $55 on April 1 & 2. Buy yours now > >

How is this done? For each $55 ticket you purchase online before midnight on April 2nd at www.countyinottawa2014.eventbrite.ca, we will email you a complimentary ticket for your friend. It is that easy!

Meet the cool people from The County. . .

Come & discover over 60 wines, craft beers & ciders that you won’t find at the LCBO. Order any combo of 12 bottles of your County favorites & shipping by courier is FREE. Cheese & pasta will be available for purchase onsite. Discover these delicious delicacies & get insider tips on ‘must visit places’ in The County from those who live there & are involved in growing the reputation of the region.

Here’s a list of all the wineries coming to County in the City:

Round up your friends & get your tickets!

Buy one ticket, you’ll get one ticket on us! Buy 2 tickets, we’ll give you 2 complimentary tickets for your friends. Hurry, this special offer runs out on April 2nd at midnight.

Buy your tickets now > >

EVENT DEETS . . .

Advance Tickets Only

Date: Thursday April 10

Time: 7 to 9 pm

Location: Canada Agriculture & Food Museum – on the Central Experimental Farm, Ottawa

 

More event info at www.savvycompany.ca/events

We look forward to seeing you at County in the City next week!

Cheers,
Debbie & the Savvy Team

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Rosehall Run: County pioneer & international champions

Posted by Erin

Tuesday, March 25th, 2014
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Savvy Selections wine of the month club 
Featuring Rosehall RunVineyards

– March 2014 –

 

When you think of the saying “To make a living in wine, you should start with a fortune”, do you think many people would trade in their successful home-reno business in busy Toronto to move to Prince Edward County to start a winery?

vineyardIt sounds like an adventure to me, and perhaps a risky one…especially when at the time, the viability of ‘The County’ as a wine region was still questionable. Now, 15 years later, Dan Sullivan and his partner Lynne have built (and also expanded) their winery – Rosehall Run Vineyards – and have become pillars of The County as they continue to pioneer and champion the wines of their region.  They are certainly amongst the “Go To” people for the culinary and cultural scene in the area.

During a recent trip, our Savvy Sommelier Erin Bolling visited Rosehall Run and chatted with Dan who is the winemaker and co-owner.  Now, let it be said that this was not a quick visit, because I can attest that Dan can talk your ear off about all things involving The County and wines!

In this issue of the Savvy eZine, Erin shares with you some insight into the evolution of Rosehall Run and what has changed at the winery since we last featured them back in March 2010.  And you will read that plenty has changed for Rosehall!

In your Savvy Selections, you will find:

Rosehall Run Pixie Rosé – $17.95 As the name denotes this unique Rosé is purely magical. A light sparkling rosé will add a bit of fun to any mid-winter celebration or add celebration to any mid-winter night!

Rosehall Vineyard Chardonnay JCR  VQA 2011 – $29.95 A terrific example of what Prince Edward County Chardonnay with its tropical aromas and county minerality that make wines from this area so distinct.

Pinot Noir Cuvée County VQA 2010 – $22.65 This Pinot Noir is so consistent and of incredible value at this price that we easily recommended year after year. When we previously featured Rosehall Run in the March 2010 Savvy Selections, subscribers received a bottle of this wine from the 2008 vintage. This 2010 vintage comes from a scorching hot summer and delivers a lovely medium body pinot with a balance of acidity and fruit.

OPTIONAL WINE

rosehall run JCR Pinot NoirPinot Noir JCR Rosehall Vineyard 2010$39.00 – An award winning Pinot Noir reminiscent of Burgundy that is lush and fruity.

Similar to other wineries we have featured in Savvy Selections, some Rosehall Run wines are on the LCBO shelves. However, there are many of their wines that are not. 

If you would like additional bottles of your favourite Rosehall wine – 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…especially from The County! 

Cheers & Enjoy!

Debbie & Savvy Team

 

Introducing…
Rosehall Run Vineyards

Presented by Erin Bolling

I’m from a culture (and family!) that puts a lot of emphasis on food and we are honestly expected or required to drink wine at certain times of year to mark certain holidays and occasions. As many of you may expect it was an absolute pleasure to speak with Dan Sullivan at Rosehall Run and commune with him about the pleasures of food & wine.

terroir2011v4.cdrDuring our interview…well more like a chat amongst friends, he filled me in on coming plans for his property, as well as some tips for people attending Terroir County Celebration on May 3rd.

A HUGE pat on the back!

Since the Olympics were just on recently and Canada did so well it is easy to understand how great winning awards feels. Dan and I spoke about the numerous awards his wines have garnered over the last decade. Does he like winning awards…of course!

awardsTo his surprise and delight Rosehall Run has recently won recognition for the JCR Chardonnay (that is included in your Savvy Selections) by The Drinks Business  – an international magazine based in the UK. This was surprising since Rosehall Run stepped back from entering competitions in 2013 so that the team could put their energies into their newest event – ‘Red, White & Blues in the County’. That aside it is quite an accomplishment to be one of only 2 Canadian wineries recognized amongst hundreds from around the world.  As you would expect, the Rosehall team are over the moon with this international recognition.

dan and lynnEntering competitions is time consuming and costly…so why do it? Dan, Lynn (in photo) and the entire staff are dedicated to raising the Canadian and ‘County’ flag whenever possible.  They enjoy getting the word out about their wines and helping consumers to understand that the wines offered by Rosehall Run are able to stand up to international competition. For instance, Rosehall Run enters their wines in the Pinot Shoot out and Intervin competitions pinning their wines with international wines. “Competitions are measuring sticks for what the bottle will offer the consumer. A medal will give them a reasonable confidence that the wine is good”, Dan explains.

He also recognized the importance of local competitions. Rosehall Run has been a contender for years in Canadian competitions such as: Wine Access Canadian Wine Awards, Ottawa Wine Challenge and the Artevino Wine Awards. Regardless of the competition or award, Dan says the most rewarding accolades come from personal compliments. He does a lot of winemaker dinners and interacts with customers at every opportunity. I remember Dan’s jubilant personality at a winemakers dinner I worked at back in 2008 and how it inspired me to work more with Savvy Company.

Gourmet Picnics – Yes please!

rosehall run and foodThe Greer Road Grocer is another feature at Rosehall Run. This is the inspiration of JJ Syer who is Rosehall’s hospitality professional. Dan praised her ability to work with local producers and help grow Rosehall’s focus on showcasing local products. You can find everything from local cheeses to charcuterie and chocolate….anyone up for a gourmet picnic? I’ll sure be sharing this travel tip with my family and friends!

If you’re in the market for local art, you’ll find it at Greer Road Grocer as well. Dan especially loves the bottle openers an artist has made out of old spikes from the local train tracks that were ripped up last year. He says they are very functional so get them while you can! This fills a niche for visitors by exposing them to fabulous local products but offers a dine-in option (on site) or to go with you as you continue to drive along the back roads of The County.

Looking Ahead…

As you can tell there is always something changing at Rosehall Run. The winery may be best known for Chardonnay and Pinot Noir but that does not restrain Dan from experimenting and breaking new ground with what is planted. The annual Terroir festival which is the County’s chance to showcase their new wines will see Rosehall release a Méthode Traditionelle Blanc de Blanc Sparkling wine (winespeak: sparkling wine made in the classic French Champagne method using 100% Chardonnay grapes). 

There are also estate grown Pinot Gris and Sauvignon Blanc wines coming soon. In fact Rosehall has the oldest plantings of Sauvignon Blanc in The County. “I am excited to tell you that we have also started to grow Tempranillo. The type of soil in PEC is similar to where this grape is grown in Spain and I am confident the grapes will adapt well” explains Dan. Not surprisingly Tempranillo is one of Dan’s favourite types of wine!

As a parting question I asked what the most memorable reward has been for Dan. Of course there are many he says but bringing his daughter with him to London England in 2010 to showcase Rosehall Run Chardonnays for the European wine critics. Accolades and awards aside, Roshahall Run is a big family run endeavor. Next time you are in PEC drop by and say hello to the team or join the Savvy Bus to visit them at Terroir in May.

Cheers & enjoy your Savvy Selections!


~ SAVVY SOMMELIER TASTING NOTES ~

Rosehall Pixie Sparkling Rosé – $17.95

Sometimes a look says it all. After an initial sniff and sip of this bubbly Savvy Team member Amanda had an almost punch drunk smile! A glass of this wine will makes any person happy.

From the peachy pink colour to the fruity tenure of the wine this blended rose will have you think spring has sprung.

Savvy Sommelier Tasting Notes:   A blend of Riesling, Chardonnay and Zwiegelt grapes combine in this mouthwatering offer. Fruits such as strawberry, watermelon and hints of lime and roses were present. The finish is a lingering crisp and dry one.

Suggested Food Pairing:  Pop open a bottle for any occasion. The panel imagined this as an excellent wine with take-out sushi. It is also a great starter to any meal and therefore we have a watermelon & feta skewer salad to accompany it. Not only will this taste good together but it is colour coordinated!

 

JCR Chardonnay  VQA 2011 – $29.95

This wine is made from the premium lots of Rosehall Run’s North Estate and bears the initials of the winery’s co-founder John Campbell Reston.

Congrats to the winery team on the distinguished recognition of this wine as one of the 2013 Chardonnay Masters of the World….we are thrilled to include this wine in your Savvy Selections.

Savvy Sommelier Tasting Notes: When tasting this wine during a snow-storm in February we were transported to tropical daydreams by toasty hints of coconut, brioche and tropical fruit. The wine is medium to full bodied an slightly sweet with a lovely zesty lemon finish.

Suggested Food Pairing:  The Savvy Selections tasting panel thought a lot about what to match this with. Finally we agreed on a recipe for Coconut crusted chicken with mango ginger mint salsa by Chef Michael Smith.  

 

Pinot Noir Cuvée County VQA 2010 $22.65

It is widely accepted that Prince Edward County is a great place for making Pinot Noir due to its limestone and Burgundy like soils. This particular Pinot is comprised of grapes from all over the county and is the result of an exceptionally hot summer.

Savvy Sommelier Tasting Notes: A typically light translucent garnet colour this Pinot shows the hallmarks of its varietal. The wine is woodsy on the nose with hints of roses, violets, dark cherry, raspberry and sweet spice. These descriptors follow through in the palate as well with a medium mouth feel and balanced acidity. A juicy finish will stick with you.

Suggested Food Pairing: Smoked or baked salmon would be a great match for this wine. Our panel thought that since this is a crowd pleasing wine our subscribers might like a recipe that feeds a crowd – Greek Moussaka from Canadian Living. This recipe calls for lamb which matches the suggestions on the winery site. Let us know what you think of the recipe on our Savvy Selections Facebook page!

There’s an anniversary on the horizon!

rosehall run winesIt seemed almost a surprise to Dan that there is a 10 year anniversary coming up in 2016. Since planning the first acreage in 2001, releasing estate grown wines in 2005 and opening the tasting room in 2006, Rosehall Run has been constantly improving on an already good thing. Dan and Lynn are committed to offering quality wines and experiences to their customers and this dedication will be sure to raise the ratings of Rosehall on Trip Advisor! Dan filled us in on plans to expand the tasting room in order to offer more hospitality. He looks forward to being able to host bigger groups. They will also be covering the crush pad to offer more relaxation space.

 

~ RECIPES TO ENJOY WITH YOUR SAVVY SELECTIONS ~

Rosehall Pixie Sparkling Rosé…

Watermelon Feta Mint Skewers

From ServingSeconds.com
Serves 8

Ingredients

Half of one small seedless watermelon, cut into cubes
8 oz feta cheese, cut into cubes (room temperature)
12 mint leaves
12 skewers or toothpicks

Method

Prepare the ingredients in assembly line fashion.

Skewer watermelon first, then mint then feta.

Repeat as you like.

 

 With Rosehall Run JCR Chardonnay VQA 2011 …

Coconut Crusted Chicken

Recipe courtesy of Chef Michael Smith’s Kitchen: 100 of my favorite recipes

Ingredients

Salsa

1 large ripe mango, peeled and diced
2 green onions, thinly sliced
1/2 cup of finely chopped red bell pepper
1/2 cup of mint sprigs, tightly stacked, rolled, and thinly sliced
The zest and juice of one lime
1 Tbsp of grated frozen ginger
1 Tbsp of honey
1 teaspoon of olive oil
1/4 teaspoon of salt

Coconut Crust

1 cup of all-purpose flour
2 eggs, lightly whisked
2 cups of flaked or shredded coconut, sweetened or unsweetened
A sprinkle or two of salt and lots of freshly ground pepper
4 large boneless skinless chicken breasts, trimmed and patted dry

Method

Make the salsa first by simply tossing together the mango, green onions, red pepper, mint, lime zest, lime juice, ginger, honey, olive oil, and salt. Set aside.

Preheat your oven to 400°F. Lightly oil a baking sheet.

Put the flour, eggs, and coconut into three separate bowls and season the flour.

Working with one breast at a time, dredge the chicken in the flour, coating it evenly and shaking off any excess. Dip the chicken into the egg, coating it evenly and letting any excess drip off. Finally, dip the chicken into the coconut, turning, pressing, and sprinkling as needed so the crust adheres.

Place the crusted breast on the baking sheet. Repeat with the remaining chicken.

Bake until the breasts are golden brown and crusty, approximately 15 to 20 minutes. The chicken is done when a meat thermometer inserted in its thickest part registers 160°F.

Arrange on a serving platter and top with the salsa

 

With Cuvée County Pinot Noir  VQA 2010…

Moussaka

From www.CanadianLiving.com

Ingredients

6 large Yukon Gold potatoes
1 large eggplant
3Tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
1/2tsp salt
1/2tsp pepper
1-1/2 cups shredded kefalograviera cheese or Gruyère cheese

Bolognese Sauce

2 lbs lean ground lamb or lean ground beef
2 onions chopped
4 cloves garlic, minced
4 tsp dried oregano
1-1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
1/4 tsp ground allspice
1 can tomatoes
1 cup red wine
1 can( 2 oz/156 mL) tomato paste

Béchamel Sauce

2 Tbsp butter
1/3 cup all-purpose flour
3 cups milk
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
1 pinch grated nutmeg

 

Method

Bolognese Sauce

In shallow Dutch oven, sautée lamb over medium-high heat, breaking up with spoon, until no longer pink, about 10 minutes. Drain fat from pan.

Add onions, garlic, oregano, cinnamon, salt, pepper and allspice to pan; fry over medium heat until onion is softened, about 5 minutes.

Add tomatoes, mashing to break into small pieces. Add wine and tomato paste; bring to boil. Reduce heat and simmer until space does not fill in after spoon is drawn across bottom of pan, about 30 minutes.

Meanwhile, peel potatoes and eggplant; cut into 1/2-inch (1 cm) thick slices. Arrange in single layer on parchment paper-lined rimmed baking sheets. Brush both sides with oil; sprinkle with salt and pepper.

Roast in 450°F (230°C) oven, turning once, until tender and golden brown, about 30 minutes.

Béchamel Sauce

Meanwhile, in saucepan, melt butter over medium heat; whisk in flour and cook, whisking, for 1 minute. Gradually whisk in milk; cook, whisking often, until boiling and thickened enough to coat back of spoon, about 12 minutes.Add salt, pepper and nutmeg.

To Assemble

Spread 1 cup of the Bolognese Sauce in 13- x 9-inch glass baking dish then layer with half of the potatoes, 2 cups of the Bolognese Sauce, all of the eggplant, 2 cups of the Bolognese Sauce, remaining potatoes and remaining Bolognese Sauce.

Spread Béchamel Sauce over top and sprinkle with cheese.

Bake in 350°F (180°C) oven until browned and bubbly, about 1 hour. Let stand for 10 minutes; cut into squares

Make-ahead: Let cool for 30 minutes. Refrigerate, uncovered, until cold; cover and refrigerate for up to 24 hours. Add 40 minutes to baking time.

 

 

Enjoy your Savvy Selections!

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Let the wine do what the wine wants to do…at Casa-Dea

Posted by Eva

Tuesday, October 22nd, 2013
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Savvy Selections wine of the month club
Featuring Casa-Dea Estates Winery

–  October 2013 –

It is harvest time! Wineries across Ontario – for that matter across Canada – are all abuzz with harvest.  “Half of the grapes are in” explained Paul Marconi who is one of the principals of this month’s featured winery: Casa-Dea Estates. Visiting wineries during harvest will give you a glimpse of this exciting time of the year & helping with the harvest will give you an even better glimpse.  Getting your hands right into the winemaking process can give you a whole new appreciation that there is little glamour in making wine and a lot of back-breaking work!

Grape-growing pioneers of Prince Edward County

Breaking ground in a new wine region is even more hard work.  Casa-Dea Winery was one of a trio of wineries who pioneered the Prince Edward County wine region.  And since they first opened, the property has switched owners and names too.  The name, Casa-Dea means, “House of the Goddess” and Dea is also the wife’s name of one of the current owner’s.  Casa-Dea is often mispronounced, sounding more like “quesadilla” when, in fact, Dea is properly pronounced as Day-ya.  It is the largest vineyard in Prince Edward County with 65 acres on the property that includes La Pergola restaurant & banquet hall that has been the romantic place for several weddings!

Our Savvy Sommelier Eva Nagy visited Casa-Dea to interview winemaker Paul Battilana & taste through his portfolio of wines to decide which wines to put to the test of the Savvy Selections tasting panel.  In this month’s issue of the Savvy eZine Eva shares with you her conversation with Paul and how winemaking is in fact his 2nd career.  He began as a butcher. Talk about food & wine pairing!

In your Savvy Selections, you will find:

Dea’s Rosé Sparkling VQA 2012 This stunning dry bubbly is perfect to sip on while you baste the turkey or with appetizers before you bring out the ham

Pinot Gris Reserve VQA 2010 –  Not your typical Italian Pinot Grigio! This medium to full bodied white wine has a delicious texture with aromas & tastes of cooked apple, roasted nuts with a delicious long finish. Perfect with roast turkey or turkey left overs! TIP: be sure to open & let this white wine breathe before serving

Cabernet Franc Reserve VQA 2009 –  Rather have red with turkey or ham? This is your wine! Medium red wine bodied with aromas & tastes of cranberry, overripe raspberries with black & white pepper finish.  One of our Savvy Sommeliers – Patti – does not like Cab Francs, but this one blew her away…she bought a case!

OPTIONAL WINE:  –  The winemaker is particularly proud of his Riesling VQA 2011 as it JUST won Gold Medal at Intervin – and you are the first to know!  Zippy & refreshing, this Alsatian style Riesling (aka – not sweet at all) makes this a great white wine to serve before dinner with cheese, light hors d’oeuvres or chilled on its own.

Similar to other wineries we have featured in Savvy Selections, some Casa-Dea wines are on the LCBO shelves. However, there are many of their wines that are not.  If you would like additional bottles of your favourite Casa-Dea wine – 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 & Happy Thanksgiving! 

Debbie & Savvy Team

 

Introducing…

Casa-Dea Estates Winery
Presented by Savvy Sommelier Éva Nagy 

 

Rarely does a day go by at the Savvy Company office without someone making mention of Prince Edward County – affectionately known as “The County”.  Some County wines find their way to the LCBO but many are still only available at the wineries & through Savvy Company – either at our Taste & Buy events or with Savvy Selections.

I have visited The County three times this summer – sometimes for just a day, other times for a weekend.  On each trip I discover new wines, wineries and restaurants.  And I have only just got started – there are so many country roads to wander on & shops to stop in.

The County wineries are different from those in Niagara.  There is something special about the minerality from its limestone terroir. With each sip of County wine, this uniqueness makes its way to your nose & palate, you will see what I mean when you uncork this month’s Savvy Selections.

From butcher to…winemaker 

Growing up in an Italian household, wine was always on the table.  After 15 years as a trained butcher, Paul Battilana (left) was fed up with this trade, so back to school he went!  Paul enrolled in the first graduating class at Niagara College.  However, he claims his real education was gained at his first job at Peninsula Ridge Estates Winery where winemaker Jean-Pierre Colas (transplanted from Burgundy, France) was his first mentor… they remain great friends to this day.  Other winemaking mentors Rob Powers & Craig McDonald from Creekside Estate Winery also had a great influence on Paul’s winemaking career. 

In 2009 everything changed! Paul moved to The County to take on the position of head winemaker at Casa-Dea.  As I mentioned earlier, Paul finds something special about The County’s characteristic limestone soil that creates a unique minerality in the wines.  “Oddly, there is phenolic ripeness (winespeak: physiological ripeness in terms of phenolics – i.e. Tannins – in grape’s skin, seeds & stems) usually before sugar ripeness (the measure of sugar accumulation & breakdown of unpalatable acids)”, explains Paul.  If you are lost in all of this winespeak…be sure to ask for Paul when you visit the winery or at an upcoming Savvy Event. 

Paul is a wealth of knowledge. With each year, he learns even more about what to do as well as what not to do in Casa-Dea’s vineyard. The learning process never stops!  He does not over-think or over-work the wine.  He says,   “My wines are not over-manipulated.  I let wine do what it wants to do.” 

What’s in a wine?

While touring his cellar, Paul explained that yeast selection is important in his winemaking.  And oak is never the dominant characteristic in any of his wines.  “Why hide the flavours of the wine with lots of oak?” 

Paul is very proud of all of his wines.  I put him on the spot asking him to choose is favorite.  “It would be my Cabernet Franc. Cab Franc flavours shine without even a hint of the typical characteristic of green pepper”.  When Savvy Sommelier, Patty Petty, visited Casa-Dea this summer, she told Paul quite frankly, “I don’t like Cabernet Franc because of the green pepper taste.”  After tasting Paul’s Reserve Cabernet Franc – that is included in this month’s Savvy Selections – her opinion has completely changed! And Patti has bought 2 cases of this wine and is on the hunt for more Cab Francs.

Appassimento – the Italian winemaking technique 

And to do something completely different, Paul honoured the Italian connection at the winery (the owners are Italian too), by making the first appassimento-style wine in The County using Cab Franc (winespeak: Italian winemaking technique using partially dried grapes to concentrate sugars & flavours.  Amarone & Ripasso wines are made in this fashion).  Paul put 5 cases aside before he went away for a week.  Upon his return, they were all gone!  Now completely sold out, Paul admitted that he will continue to use this winemaking technique with other grape varieties. 

Loving every moment

It took a number of years for Paul to realize that his father was right in saying, “do what you enjoy doing.”  Paul now enjoys going in to work.  Every Monday, he tastes through the wine in the barrel to see how it has evolved.  He jokes that “this is the tough part of the job!”  Rest assured, he has many offers of help…even I offered my assistance when I visited Paul at the winery! 

Tomato vines to grape vines

When I interview winemakers, I make a point to ask for their favorite story about visitors to the winery.  Paul explained that one summer he gave a tour of the winery & vineyard to a grandfather, father & son with ages ranging 14-90.  As a boy, the grandfather recalled that his job was to pick rocks from a property that is now Casa-Dea’s vineyard. At the time, the site was a tomato farm – with rows of tomato plants as far as the eye could see.  The grandfather explained that the farming had dried up but he was now overjoyed to see the farm land being used again as a vineyard.

Cheers & enjoy your Savvy Selections! 

 

~ SAVVY SOMMELIER TASTING NOTES ~ 

 

Dea’s Rosé VQA 2012 $24.95

This unique sparkling rosé is made with 100% Gamay grapes.  The colour is a beautiful coral pink.  The aromas & flavours will remind you of the days of summer.

Savvy Sommelier Tasting Notes:   On the nose & in the taste, this crisp & dry bubbly exudes sweet aromas of citrus (pink grapefruit perhaps?), white flowers, minerality (I told you that it is a County characteristic!), juicy berries & rhubarb. There is lovely mousse (winespeak: tiny bubbles) with a long yet delicate finish. 

Suggested Food Pairing: This is a great sipping wine & can be enjoyed on its own after being chilled for 30 minutes in the fridge.  Pair with oysters or sushi.  For something a little different, match with Beet Risotto (recipe follows). 

Pinot Gris Reserve VQA 2010 $24.95

The characteristics of grapes grown in their vineyard shine through in this Pinot Gris Reserve. Enjoy!

Savvy Sommelier Tasting Notes: Delightful aromas of floral, sweet ripe apple go hand in hand   with a waft of something a bit smoky. On the palate, you will find tart citrus, green apple, minerality (there it is again!), nuttiness & spice (ginger perhaps?). Our Sommelier tasting panel noticed that aromas changed as the wine breathed in the glass.  Give it a swirl & see if you notice any difference from sip to sip!

Suggested Food Pairing:  Wondering what to do with leftover Thanksgiving turkey?  Why not try turkey quesadillas?!  I simply could not miss the opportunity to play on the oft mispronunced winery’s name – Casa-Dea – with ‘quesadilla’.  

Cabernet Franc Reserve VQA 2009 $24.95

Fun Fact: this wine was featured at the 2013 Toronto International Film Festival!  A signature wine at Casa-Dea, Paul is very proud how this wine is evolving

Savvy Sommelier Tasting Notes: A beautiful garnet coloured Cabernet Franc. Concentrated aromas & flavours of ripe red fruit & raspberries leading to a lovely jamminess without a trace of Cab Franc’s usual green pepper characteristic.  The ripe red fruit replays on the palate with a hint of spice & tartness. The long finish keeps you coming back for more.

Suggested Food Pairing: Cabernet Franc pairs well with earthy dishes made with wild game or lamb.  Here is a recipe that will be delicious: Lamb Chops with Moroccan Barbeque Sauce. 

Cellaring: This wine is ready now, or can be cellared for 2-4 years

 

~RECIPES TO ENJOY WITH YOUR SAVVY SELECTIONS~

 

With Dea’s Rosé VQA 2012 …

Beet Risotto

From Food & Wine
Serves 8 

Ingredients

7 cups chicken stock
4 tablespoons unsalted butter
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oi
l
1 large sweet onion, finely chopped
2 large beets (12 ounces each), peeled and coarsely shredded, plus thinly sliced beets for garnish
3 cups arborio rice
1 1/2 cups young pecorino cheese, freshly grated
2 teaspoons poppy seeds, plus more for garnish 

Note: “Beets give this creamy risotto stunning colour & delicate sweetness. Grace Parisi suggests wearing rubber gloves and shredding the beets directly into a stainless steel bowl to avoid staining hands and countertops.” 

Method

In a saucepan, bring the stock to a simmer; cover and keep warm.

In a medium enameled cast-iron casserole, melt the butter in the oil. Add the onion and cook over moderately high heat, stirring, until softened, 5 minutes.

Add the shredded beets and cook, stirring, until the pan is dry, 12 minutes. Spoon half of the beets into a small bowl.  Then add the rice to the casserole and cook, stirring, for 2 minutes. Add 1 cup of the warm stock to the rice and cook over moderate heat, stirring, until the stock is nearly absorbed. Continue adding the stock 1 cup at a time, stirring constantly, until the rice is al dente and a thick sauce forms, about  22 minutes.

Stir in the cooked beets, cheese and the 2 teaspoons of poppy seeds. Cook, stirring, until heated through; add a few tablespoons of water if the risotto is too thick.

Spoon the risotto into bowls. Garnish with sliced beets and poppy seeds and serve. 

VQA With VQA Pinot Gris Reserve 2010…

Turkey Quesadillas

Star-tested by Jennifer Bain, thestar.com
Serves 8 (24 pieces) 

Ingredients

4 cups shredded, cooked turkey
1 red or green bell pepper, finely diced
35-g package fajita seasoning mix
1/4 cup (60 mL) water
8 large tortillas (each about 9 inches/23 cm), preferably whole grain
2 cups (500 mL) shredded cheddar cheese
Salsa (optional)
Sour cream (optional) 

Method

In large non-stick skillet, combine turkey, bell peppers, fajita mix and water over medium-high heat. Simmer, uncovered, 3 to 5 minutes, stirring frequently until turkey is warm and peppers soften slightly.

Evenly divide turkey mixture over top half of each tortilla (about 1/2 cup/125 mL per serving). Sprinkle each serving with 1/4 cup (60 mL) cheese. Fold over to make half-moon shape, pressing lightly to evenly distribute turkey and cheese.

Wipe out skillet. Return to medium heat. Cook quesadillas, in batches, 3 to 4 minutes per side or until tortilla is browned and crisp and filling is hot. Let stand 2 minutes before cutting each into 3 wedges.

Serve with salsa and sour cream for dipping, if desired.

 

With Cabernet Franc Reserve VQA 2009 …

Lamb Chops with Moroccan Barbeque Sauce

From myrecipes.com

Ingredients

8 lamb loin chops (each about 1 in. thick and 4 oz.), fat trimmed
Mint chutney (recipe follows)
Salt & pepper

Moroccan barbecue sauce (recipe follows)

Method

Photo credit: myrecipes

Rinse lamb chops; pat dry. Place chops in a bowl with about 1/4 cup mint chutney; turn to coat. Cover and chill at least 4 hours or up to 1 day.

Lift lamb chops from bowl (discard any chutney in bowl) and sprinkle all over with salt and pepper. Place on a grill over a bed of medium-hot coals or medium heat on a gas grill (you can hold your hand at grill level only 3 to 4 seconds); close lid on gas grill. Cook chops, turning once, until browned on both sides but still pink in the center (cut to test), 9 to 12 minutes total. 

Place chops on plates and drizzle with Moroccan barbecue sauce; offer remaining chutney and sauce alongside. 

Mint chutney 

In a blender, whirl 1 cup lightly packed rinsed fresh mint leaves, 1/2 cup olive oil, 1/2 cup chopped green onions (white and pale green parts), 3 tablespoons parsley leaves, 1 tablespoon lemon juice, 1 peeled clove garlic, 1 teaspoon salt, 1/2 teaspoon curry powder, and 1/4 teaspoon cayenne until smooth. Makes about 1 cup. 

Moroccan barbecue sauce 

In a 2- to 3-quart pan, combine 3/4 cup honey, 1/2 cup fresh cilantro sprigs, 1/3 cup lemon juice, 1/4 cup rice vinegar, 1/4 cup ketchup, 1/4 cup soy sauce, 1 clove garlic, 1 whole star anise, 1 cinnamon stick (3 in. long, broken into pieces), 3/4 teaspoon black peppercorns & 1/4 teaspoon each ground ginger, ground cardamom, whole cloves, hot chili flakes & salt. 

Bring to a simmer over medium-high heat; cook, stirring occasionally, until sauce is reduced to about 1 1/4 cups, about 15 minutes. Pour through a fine strainer into a bowl. 

Makes about 1 1/4 cups. 

Enjoy your Savvy Selections!

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Having a party? Make it a wine, craft beer & artisan cheese tasting

Posted by Debbie

Monday, August 12th, 2013
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Looking for a different party idea for friends or for a business networking event?  We have some wonderful Savvy Sommeliers on our Team and we are called on frequently to create a special gathering for family & friends or businesses call us to design a way to thank clients & employees. No matter what the occasion the events we create are fun.

A few weeks ago we hosted a client appreciation event for a local business to celebrate summer. It was one of those sweltering, steamy days during the mid-July heat wave that you really need to have a chilled Ontario rosé in your hand, or better yet an ice-cold craft beer to help unwind after a busy day. Held at the picturesque Ottawa Rowing Club overlooking the Ottawa River, our guests were treated to the latest & greatest wines from across Ontario in addition to some thirst-quenching craft beers made in Ottawa.

Our guests enjoyed summertime hors d’oeuvres made by The Mixing Bowl Catering that were paired with the various drinks.  And we had a Savvy Cheese Bar with a variety of artisan cheeses from Ottawa & Quebec  that our Cheese Sommelier Vanessa especially selected.

To tempt your tastebuds & give you an idea for your next party, here’s what we served…and we continue to receive rave reviews!

~ On Arrival: Sparkling Wine ~ 

Palatine Hills Romeo Blanc de Noir Sparkling VQA

Special Savvy Bin Ends price $22.95 (regular $29.95)

Popping the cork is a great way to begin any event. This sparkling wine made in Niagara-on-the-Lake is our top selling Savvy Bin Ends wine. Your guests will be Wowed with the light salmon colour & outstanding taste. Made with 100% Pinot Noir grapes, this bubbly is a perfect way to celebrate summer. Refreshing with the zippy acidity & elegant mousse (winespeak: bubbles) with citrus, strawberry & apple notes.

Suggested food pairings: Served well chilled, this wine is lovely on its own, with shrimp or paired with light appetizers.

Chef Scott Lucas at The Mixing Bowl created a Chili citrus marinated watermelon with garlic feta cheese & pickled rind to go with this bubbly.


~ Refreshing White, Rosé Wines & Craft Beers ~

FEATURED WINES:

Keint-He Voyageur Vidal VQA 2011

One of Prince Edward County’s hidden gems! This boutique winery is so small that you won’t find them at the LCBO. We are delighted to showcase their wines in our Savvy Selections wine of the month club.

Vidal is the same grape that is often reserved to make icewine. In this case, this wine is not sweet at all, rather it is dry, crisp & refreshing.  There are loads of delicious aromas & tastes that may remind you of fresh fruit salad in a glass!  Our Savvy Sommeliers picked this wine for our Savvy Selections subscribers to enjoy as it is perfect to unwind in a deck chair at the cottage or back yard deck with a good book.

Suggested food pairings: BBQed pork tenderloin

 

Daniel Lenko White Cabernet VQA 2011 

A unique wine using grapes from some of the oldest vineyards in Niagara, especially a unique Rosé made with Cabernet Franc & Cabernet Sauvignon grapes!

Suggested food pairings: Aromas of wild strawberry, pink grapefruit & peach that follows into the taste. Delicious chilled on its own, with grilled salmon or beef & strawberry spinach salad.

 

Daniel Lenko wines are hard to find & we are delighted to offer them this month for Savvy Selections – our wine of the month club – the best way to have Ontario wines delivered to your door every month! 

  Our Savvy Sommeliers chose 3 wines that are ready to drink now – at the cottage, at a campsite or on a deck chair in your backyard.   In addition to this unique Rose, our subscribers received bottles of these delicious Daniel Lenko wines:

Old Vines Chardonnay VQA 2010 – a classic, finely-balanced Chardonnay barrel aged in French oak
Old Vines Merlot 2008 – a BIG fruit filled red wine.

Sign up now & have great Ontario wines…delivered! 

 

FEATURED CRAFT BEERS:

Beyond the Pale Pink Fuzz

This is a refreshing wheat beer that the brewmaster (who remarkably doesn’t like fruit of any kind!) concocted by adding grapefruit zest and pulp at different points in the beer making process to insert a zippy character of grapefruit into the beer.  The hops were carefully selected to specifically emphasize the citrus notes in each pint.

Photo credit: Debbie Trenholm

Big Rig Raspberry Ale 

Brewmaster Lon Lodell tapped the keg of his first-of-its-kind creation at Big Rig in time for us to showcase at this corporate event.  Our guests were treated to this brand new wine!  A refreshing cold one with subtle raspberry – we heard many ‘yum’ followed by nodding heads of approval were heard at the event. This brew certainly made an impression

HORS D’OEUVRES SERVED:

Roasted asparagus-risotto cake with herb mascarpone cream
Honey date chicken roulade on a sweet potato coin

~ Red Wines & Craft Beers ~

FEATURED WINES:

Lailey Vineyard Canadian Oak Pinot Noir VQA 2008

There is a fantastic story about how winemakers where talking shop over beers at a summer backyard BBQ & created a new way of aging wine…with native Canadian oak.  Read this story in our Savvy eZine – our mini magazine for our Savvy Selections subscribers. 

When plans were made for Bank of Canada’s Mark Carney’s final Board of Governors dinner, I was called on to be the Sommelier for this VIP event & it was easy to select this truly Canadian wine crafted in Niagara-on-the-Lake by Lailey’s renowned winemaker Derek Barnett.

Suggested food pairings: Pinot Noir could be served lightly chilled (10 mins in the fridge) with BBQed salmon, pork chops or portabello mushrooms.


Kacaba Cabernet-Syrah VQA 2011

Now this is a BIG red wine! Whenever I am asked to find a bold red wine from Ontario…Kacaba Vineyards of Beamsville Bench (aka Niagara Escarpment) will always impress. They are consistently crafting outstanding red wines that turn heads & win awards. Few of their wines are available at the LCBO, so we showcased their big red wines in our Savvy Selections wine of the month club early this year.

Suggested food pairings: Fire up the BBQ & uncork this wine to enjoy with steak, lamb, burgers…and ribs too!

FEATURED CRAFT BEERS:

Kichesippi Hell or Highwater

This is the summer seasonal beer from Ottawa’s first brewery. Only brewed until mid-August, be sure to visit the brewery to get some of this Bavarian Lager.  Brewed with a combination of German malts, German noble hops and a genuine Munich yeast, this is a good example of the ‘session beers’ enjoyed in Bavarian beer gardens…or your back deck in Ottawa!

Beyond the Pale Hop on your Face

A uber hoppy beer, this brew has strong aromas & tastes of hops.  This big beer loaded with high alcohol at 7% is the cold one you want to have with heavier foods – think BBQed steak, ribs or thick pork chops.

HORS D’OUEVRES SERVED:

Olive stuffed meatball crusted with parmesan & tomato coulis
Wild mushroom gallette with avocado pesto

~ Savvy Artisan Cheese Bar~ 

Have you had cheese & wine – absolutely!  How about cheese & beer?  Our Savvy Cheese Sommelier Vanessa selected these cheeses from across Canada that she thinks are great to nibble on during the summer:

Bonnechere

Raw sheep’s milk made by Back Forty Artisan Cheese located in Lanark County, Ontario

Interesting Fact: Pressing a cheese during the cheesemaking process expels more whey and gives the paste a firm, dense texture as found in Bonnechere. 

Migneron de Charlevoix

Pasteurized cow’s milk made by Madison D’Affinage Maurice Dufour, Baie-Ste.-Paul, Quebec

Interesting Fact:  Washed rind cheeses age or ripen from the outside in, and the inside out, contributing to both the complexity of the aging process as well as the flavors and aromas of the cheese itself.

Avonlea Clothbound Cheddar

Raw cow’s milk made by Cow’s Creamery, Charlottetown, PEI

Interesting Fact:  Roughly 100 liters of Holstein cow milk goes into making 1 wheel of Avonlea Clothbound Cheddar

Chèvre Fatale

Pasteurized goat’s milk made by Fromagerie Les Folies Bergères, Sainte-Sixte, QC 

 

Need a hand planning your party?

Call on us anytime.  Whether you’re planning a surprise birthday celebration, a family get-together, a client appreciation event or corporate team building, we can make all of the arrangements for you.  Whether wine, beer, cheese or catering is required, every event we design is customize & will suit your budget.

Give us a call at 613-SAVVYCO (728-8926) to talk to Amanda our event manager extraordinaire or email her on amanda@savvycompany.ca .  We are ready to help make your next event a memorable one!

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A warm County welcome at Karlo Estates

Posted by Debbie

Monday, April 29th, 2013
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Savvy Selections wine of the month club
Featuring Karlo Estates
–  April 2013 –

 

The month of April has been all about Prince Edward County for us at Savvy Company.  We are delighted to be hosting the 2nd annual County in the City wine tasting showcasing a number of County’s winemakers and their latest wines.  In addition to this Taste and Buy event, in this month’s Savvy Selections, we are shining the spotlight on the rapidly growing County winery: Karlo Estates

In your Savvy Selections, you will find:

Pinot Gris VQA 2012 you are the first to enjoy this wine as it was bottled just in time to be included in Savvy Selections.

Cabernet Franc VQA 2011 Christen your 1st BBQ of the season by uncorking this red wine.

Quintus VQA 2010 – a unique blend of five Old World grape varietals; Cabernet Franc, Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Malbec & Petit Verdot. This can be cellared for 5+ years.

OPTIONAL WINES: Karlo makes The County’s only port wines.  If you requested a bottle or two of the VanAlstine Red or White port in your delivery…you’re in for a treat!

During the harvest last year, we were hired by a corporate client to organize a day tour of The County.  Many of the Sommeliers in our Savvy Team have visited ‘The County’, so, I invited our Marketing Co-ordinator Amanda Jackson to join me on this day trip as she hadn’t visited yet. Enthusiastic & enchanted by the place & the people we visited, I also invited Amanda to write this month’s Savvy eZine with me.

On the following pages, Amanda gives you her first impressions of The County & of her visit to Karlo Estates.  You will find my sommelier tasting notes along with recipes from my  kitchen that would pair with the featured wines.

Cheers & Enjoy!

Debbie & Savvy Team

 

Introducing…
Karlo Estates Winery 

Presented by Amanda Jackson

 

Rarely a day goes by at the Savvy Company office without someone mentioning Prince Edward County…or ‘The County’ as it is also fondly known.  This rapidly growing wine region is flourishing with many family run & boutique wineries.  Due to the small supply of wines made (at the moment!), it is not common to find County wines in the LCBO, unless you come to our Savvy Events or occasionally you might see them on a restaurant wine list. Personally, I have not tasted many County wines so when Debbie invited me to join her on a private tour, I jumped at the chance – I like meeting new people and tasting new wines, so this was a real day out for me!

My first impression of The County

I was AMAZED. Starting with the brief & beautiful ferry ride across the Bay,  driving along the main streets of the quaint town of Picton, enjoying the scenic countryside , meeting the down-to-earth winemakers who welcomed us at each stop….and of course the impressive wines.

Karlo Estates was the last winery we visited during our action-packed tour.  Debbie often talks about Karlo Estates and now I understand why it’s on her ‘must visit’ list when clients ask her for trip tips.

“Watch out, Richard’s laugh is infectious! You will hear him before you see him.” Debbie described the larger-than-life and genuine character of none other than winery owner and winemaker Richard Karlo.

This wine maker started young

Richard grew up making wine – literally.  He began at the young age of 8 watching his father make wine at home.  Fast forward many years, Rich joined the Amateur Winemakers of Ontario (AWO) knowing far too well that crafting wine would become more than just a hobby.  While the group is called “Amateur” they are really anything but.  The AWO is where like-minded winemakers get together to learn new techniques from one another & exchange ideas about the winemaking process.  And Richard did not stop there.  He has gone on to achieve the designation of Master Winemaker – his father must have been proud.

…and became a wine achiever!

During our visit, I learned that Richard has been winning awards for his wines long before he had his own winery.  He turned heads when his first release of the 2008 Van Alstine Port was named by Master Sommelier John Szabo as one of the “Top 10 Cutting Edge Wines of the World”. What an honour!  If you had requested a bottle of this port to be included in this month`s delivery – enjoy this world class wine. It is a favorite in my home and I make a point of recommending it to my friends who enjoy port And Richard is winning awards for his business too.  While we were on the tour, he was excited to  share his most recent news: he was just named a 2012 finalist of the Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year Award. Obviously Karlo Estates Winery is one to watch on many levels!

The pride that everyone involved in the winery has for their wines, as well as their growing business is evident.  The large red barn, dating to the Loyalist settlement in the early 1900s, has wine barrels tucked into every corner.  The warm lighting in the barn was inviting, and made me feel more like going into someone’s living room because the ambiance that Richard and his partner Sherry Martin made us feel so welcome to be in this beautifully preserved barn that they have lovingly revitalized over the years.  “We intentionally left the barn rustic because we didn’t want to change the character and charm of the building”, Sherry explained as she lead our group up to the second floor into her art studio that doubles as a private tasting bar.

Tasting our way through the Karlo wine list

As we sipped & enjoyed each and every one of the wines on Karlo’s wine list (all eight of them!), Sherry had a personal story for each wine as well as offering us tips of her never fail wine appreciation how to’s using our Eyes, Nose and Mouth.

My first wine tour of The County including our lovely afternoon spent visiting Karlo Estates was definitely a  memorable one – and soon to be repeated!.  I couldn’t wait to share stories with friends & family and others in the Savvy Team of allf the new discoveries we had made that day. I am confident that you too will enjoy your Karlo wines that Debbie and our Sommeliers selected for you.  I highly recommend you visit Karlo Estates on your next getaway to The County.

An accomplished winemaker and bridge builder

When you visit Karlo, be sure to take a walk to the middle of the vineyard to admire the bridge that arches over the creek running between two vineyards. This bridge was a ‘weekend project’ hand built by Rich, stonemasons & friends in 2007. And as if one project was not enough, they also built the stone wall around the heritage barn using pieces of limestone from the property. Both were constructed using a technique known as dry stone construction – hand built by fitting stones together – no mortar (or glue) is used. This is the connection to the keystone with the ‘K’ on the top of each cork & on the wine label.

 Cheers & enjoy your Savvy Selections!

 

 

~ SAVVY SOMMELIER TASTING NOTES ~

Pinot Gris VQA 2011, $21.00

This wine is not even available yet at the winery! Bottled just in time to be included in your Savvy Selections, this is a delicious spring time sipping wine. If you see a light copper hue to the wine, don`t be alarmed as more winemakers are crafting Pinot Gris leaving them on their skins for a bit longer than typical for making white wine.

Fully ripened Pinot Gris grapes have a bronze like colour to them, so winemakers sometimes leave the juice in contact with the skins for longer than usual white wine making techniques to extract a warm hued colour that adds to the character of the wine. Taking this approach, you find Pinot Gris from clear pale white to those that will remind with a salmon colour of a Rosé wine. Either way it comes in the glass you will enjoy the crisp, dry & refreshing taste.

Savvy Sommelier Tasting Notes: Refreshing aromas of crunchy apple (or perhaps it is apple sauce?), fresh juicy pear with a warmth of nutmeg. With each sip, the apple & pear continues with honey, bees wax & a nice acidity in the texture that gives it a zip in the finish. And that finish doesn`t go away! It lingers forever.

Suggested Food Pairing: As mentioned before, this is a great sipping wine & can be enjoyed on its own after being chilled for 30 minutes in the fridge.  Serve with hors d’oeuvres, pork chops or the Pistachio Crusted Sea Scallops – recipe follows.


Cabernet Franc VQA 2011 $24.00

From the outstanding 2010 vintage, this wine will not disappoint. Rich shows his talent in this wine as it is delicious & extremely well crafted. Enjoy!

Savvy Sommelier Tasting Notes: ‘This wine makes me hungry’, Savvy Sommelier Debbie declared as she swirls & sips this Cabernet Franc.  Plush aromas of dark plums, warm spices & wood that carries into the taste adding in dark chocolate, ripe juicy cherry with some roasted red pepper. There are subtle tannins that will fall into the background as soon as you introduce food – especially grilled meats hot off the BBQ.  This is a well balanced medium bodied wine with a long finish that begs you to have another sip…and another…and another.

Suggested Food Pairing:  Winter is behind us, it is time to fire up the BBQ and grill everything under the sun! Debbie offers her Coffee Steak Rub recipe to kick start your BBQ season.  Yes…coffee! Double the recipe & keep in a jar in the fridge for anytime you fire up the BBQ.

Cellaring:  This wine is ready to be enjoyed now or will continue to soften if you lay down in your cellar for 2 to 3 more years.  But why wait?

 

Quintus VQA 2010 $35.00

Ready for something BIG? Made with grapes that Rich sources from vineyards throughout the province (this is why it states VQA Ontario on the label), this is a unique blend of grapes from the impressive 2010 vintage.  This is a blend of 40% Merlot, 20% Cabernet Sauvignon, 15% Cabernet Franc, 15% Petit Verdot and 10% Malbec. This wine has the staying power to last in your cellar for many years to come.

Savvy Sommelier Tasting Notes:  Everything about this wine in black – ink in colour then continues into the heavy aromas of black fruit (think dried figs, prunes, dates) with tastes of fresh earth (the smell of turning over the soil in your garden in the spring), freshly ground black pepper, Austrian black licorice with a punch of blackberry cassis. Full bodied with good tannins and a long deep & warm finish.  Gorgeous!  A real treat to drink.

Suggested Food Pairing:  Bring on the beef! Prime rib or roast beef with all of the trimmings.

Decanting & Cellaring:  Recommend to decant for 2 hours before serving.  Drinks well now & it will also cellar 4-6 years.

 

~RECIPES TO ENJOY WITH YOUR SAVVY SELECTIONS~  

With Karlo Estates Pinot Gris VQA 2011…

Pistachio Crusted Sea Scallops

From the kitchen of Savvy Sommelier Debbie Trenholm 
Serves 4

Ingredients

8 Large Sea Scallops (size U-10)
200g unsalted pistachios, shelled and lightly toasted
150g fresh bread crumbs
4 sprigs fresh thyme, chopped fine
1 lemon, juiced
75 ml grainy mustard
75 ml sour cream
Ground black pepper, to taste
Sea salt – to taste
100ml Canola oil

 

Method
Preheat oven to 375 F

Place chilled scallops on a paper towel for 2 minutes to absorb any surface liquid.  Season liberally with salt and pepper and let sit for 10 minutes.

Blend toasted pistachios in a food processor until fine.  Mix with bread crumbs and thyme and season with salt and pepper.

Coat pan with oil and heat until very hot.  Sear scallops on one side until brown and crisp (2 minutes).  Remove scallops from pan and place on parchment lined baking sheet, seared side up.

Mix sour cream, mustard and lemon juice and spoon over each scallop.

Press the seared side into the bread mixture to form a crust.  Bake for 2-3 minutes.

Serve as an entree or over a salad of spring greens.

 

With Karlo Estates Cabernet Franc VQA 2010

Coffee Rub for BBQ steak

From the kitchen of Savvy Sommelier Debbie Trenholm 
Serves 4

Savvy Sommelier Debbie first enjoyed this recipe at a backyard BBQ at Charlie Pillitteri (of Pillitteri Estates Winery in Niagara-on-the-Lake). Think coffee on steak is strange? Think again! The coffee beans caramelized while BBQing, offering a rich earthy flavour that will be enhanced with this robust wine.

Ingredients

½ cup whole coffee beans
¼ cup black peppercorns
¼ cup Montreal Steak spice
Steaks – any type of cut – as you like them!

 Method

With an electric coffee grinder, whiz coffee beans and peppercorns lightly.  The result should be a coarse mixture.
In a bowl add ground mixture with Montreal Steak spice. This recipe can be doubled and stored in a jar or Ziploc container in the fridge.
When ready to BBQ, rub ample amount of mixture on both sides of steak.Set aside for 20-30 minutes before putting on the grill.
Cook steak to your liking & serve with grilled asparagus & other springtime vegetables.

 

With Karlo Estates Quintus VQA 2010…

Dijon Herbed Prime Rib

Farm Boy weekly recipes
Serves 4 to 6 – depending on the size of meat

Ingredients

1Tbsp Balsamic vinegar
1/4 tsp ground cloves
4 Tbsp grainy Dijon mustard
2 Tbsp fresh thyme leaves, chopped
2 Tbsp fresh rosemary leaves, chopped
Salt and pepper ,to taste
1 bone in rib roast (2.5KG/6LB)
6 medium garlic cloves, quartered lengthwise

Method

Pre-heat oven to 400 F
Make small incisions all over the roast & insert the garlic into the holes. Then place the roast in a roasting pan.
Mix the remaining ingredients into a paste and rub enire roast evenly.
Roast for 25 minutes then reduce heat to 350 F and continue cooking for about 1 and a 1/2 hours or until internal temperature reaches 135 F(for rare).
Transfer roast to a cutting board and allow to rest for 15 minutes before carving. Serve with your favorite mashed potatoes recipe or buttered beets!

 

With Karlo Estates VanAlstine Ports…

Hazelnut Torte

It is not often that we include a dessert recipe, yet both the Karlo Estates ports would be great with this nut & slightly sweet dessert.

From Debbie’s kitchen – a perfect make ahead dessert that adds WOW factor to any dinner party
Serves 8 to 10
This recipe doubles well & cake layers can be frozen until needed.

Ingredients

Torte

4 eggs
¾ c white sugar
2 T flour
2 ½ tsp baking powder
1 c hazelnuts

Mocha filling

2 T butter
½ t vanilla
1 c icing sugar
1 tsp cocoa – heck, put more in!
2 T strong hot coffee

Icing

325 mL container of 35% cream – whipped with a drizzle of Tia Maria (or white sugar) folded in at the end to lightly sweeten.

 

Method – Torte

In processor/blender whirl eggs & sugar until thoroughly mixed.
Add flour, baking powder and hazelnuts.  Whirl away.
Chop nuts – but not too fine! Keep some chunky bits.
Pour into 2 well greased & floured layer pans (circular) and bake at 350 for 20 mins.

 

Method – Filling & Finishing

Cream icing sugar & butter.  Add strong coffee, cocoa & vanilla and mix until smooth
Spread between layers. (Lick beaters until absolutely clean that you don’t need to wash them!)
Cover top & sides with whipped cream. Decorate as you like
TIP: Best if cake is made a day ahead to allow flavours to mellow.

 

 Debbie’s tasting notes for the unique ports made in The County…

WHITE Van Alstine Port 2010 – A unique wine is a blend of Frontenac Blanc & Gewürztraminer grapes, this lightly sweet wine has aromas of fresh apricots, mandarin & flowers leap from the glass that continues through in the taste with a refreshing acidity combined with toasted nuts (hazelnut perhaps?). Serve slightly chilled with light & refreshing desserts such as fruit salad, lemon tart or pound cakes…or this torte!

 

RED Van Alstine Port 2009 – A delicious dark colour with concentrated aromas of black cherry, blackberry, dark fruit cake & warm spices that continue along with tastes of red liquorice & cedar. Aged in French & Hungarian oak barrels, this delicious port has a finish that warms you up with each sip.  Bring on desserts with dark chocolate or enjoy with a plate of artisan cheeses & roasted nuts.  This torte has just the right combination of nut and chocolate tastes without going overboard with sweetness.  You might want to chill the port for 15 minutes in the fridge before serving.  Notice how the taste changes as the port warms up.

  

Enjoy your Savvy Selections!

 

 

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Lighthall Vineyard’s One Man Show

Posted by Erin

Saturday, October 20th, 2012
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Savvy Selections wine of the month club
Featuring Lighthall Vineyards
–  October 2012 –

 

We are heading to Prince Edward County this month to discover a boutique winery that typifies what is meant by a one man show. Lighthall Vineyards is owned by Glenn Symonns who is the winemaker, vineyard manager, Sommelier, chief marketer, distributor, tractor driver, creator and sometimes the delivery guy. It is a stark contrast to his previous career as a pharmacist. While both winemaker and pharmacist are connected through chemistry, it is the ability to create that Glenn enjoys the most. ‘I truly think that I have a great job. I get to play in the cellar and make interesting wines.’ And in this month’s Savvy Selections you will certainly taste exactly what Glenn means.

I first met Glenn not at his winery, but rather when he was serving me wine during his final exam for his Sommelier Accreditation. These role playing practical exams can be un-nerving for the Sommelier ‘students’, yet I succinctly recall that Glenn handled the mock situation with panache. When he began demonstrating the 23 step process and etiquette (or is it a ritual?) of opening a bottle of wine, I could not believe my eyes that in his hands was a bottle of Huff Estates Lighthall Chardonnay VQA 2007 from Prince Edward County. Glenn did not know that I was a huge fan of this wine. I was equally amazed the he was serving a $30 bottle of wine while other Sommelier hopefuls where uncorking sub $10 wines as the judges weren`t going to sip and savour the wine – afterall the exams took place at 10am!

Curious and impressed, I commented about his wine choice and Glenn smiled back and proudly announced, ‘I just bought Lighthall Vineyards and I will be building a winery.’ That is not something you hear every day! Intrigued, I kept a lookout for Glenn on my visits to Prince Edward County. This spring, I visited his winery for the first time and have been enjoying his wines ever since.

In your Savvy Selections, you will find:

Lighthall Progression Sparkling VQA 2011 – an easy drinking Spanish cava style sparkling wine made with Vidal grapes

Lighthall Gewurztraminer VQA 2011 – an absolutely remarkable aromatic white wine – get ready to be impressed

Lighthall Pinot Noir 2010 VQA – one word : Stunning!

OPTIONAL WINE : Lighthall Pinot Noir Reserve Particuliere – Les Grands VQA 2009 – Pinot lovers beware – you will fall in love again with every sip

Stock up on these wines!

Like the sparkling? Stock up because it is almost gone…
Lighthall produces an incredibly small amount of wine. You won’t find them in the LCBO. If you would like more, simply drop me an e-mail at debbie@savvycompany.ca or give me a call at 613-SAVVYCO (613-728-8926). Heads up – the sparkling is almost gone!

Cheers & enjoy your Savvy Selections!

Debbie & Savvy Team

 

Patrick after the crush

Introducing…
Lighthall Vineyards

Presented by Savvy Sommelier Erin Bolling

 

As a lover and student of wine I am excited to have an opportunity to be your Savvy Sommelier and introduce you to Lighthall Vineyards. I think conducting the Savvy Selections tasting panel is a pleasure of the taste buds as well as the mind while we put our heads together to determine recipes to pair with the feature wines. Each time the Savvy Team ‘has to’ work its way through many candidates for the Savvy Selections in order to chose the final selection. Once the wines are chosen, I have the honour to interview the owners and winemakers. This conversation allows me to learn first hand about the wines and am charged with a renewed appreciation for the people behind each bottle of wine.

This month I had the pleasure of meeting Glenn Symons of Lighthall Vineyards. Since 2008, Lighthall has been a one man show. Glenn is the owner, winemaker, field manager and marketing ‘department’. You name he does it! Hearing his story made me exhausted. I can only imagine how he feels each day! In all honesty though, Glenn is overflowing with passion and enthusiasm to be a winemaker.
Pharmacist to winemaker…

Glenn bought Lighthall in 2008 after he sold his Pharmacy – yes you read that right. As a graduate of the Sommelier program at Algonquin College and an amateur winemaker (in his own home), he learned more and more about the wines in Prince Edward County (PEC). Glenn’s temptation to buy a vineyard property in PEC became reality, he dramatically change careers.

Since 2008, Glenn has doubled the size of Lighthall’s property. In addition, he changed the business from a grape growing operation where he grows grapes for other wineries, to a winery in its own right. Since then, Glenn claims that there has been no time to look back!
Being September & October, it took Glenn and I a while to connect since it was in the height of harvest. And this year, harvest was 3 to 5 weeks early. When I did finally reach him, he explained that harvest is his favourite time of year. The last of his Vidal grapes were being picked ‘as we speak’ (these grapes are not for late harvest wines). The Chardonnay and Pinot Noir came in to the crush pad the week before.
There was no doubt in our interview that Glenn was enthused about this past growing season since it was the warmest since 1968. Glenn predicts that 2012 will be an exceptional year for PEC wines and for that matter Ontario too and even broader Canadian wines too.
Overflowing with passion!

As stated earlier Lighthall is a one man show. Other than some seasonal workers, for whom Glenn built a house, Glenn does all the work of vineyard management and winemaking by himself. For the past three seasons he has put in 12 to 18 hour days. In the winter, he can be found tending the 25 acre woodlot which he uses to heat the buildings on the premises. And what comes next? Glenn has plans to try his hand at planting vines. He has his eye on a vineyard of 1 acre of just Gruner Veltliner. This varietal is an Austrian staple and is one of Glenn’s favourite types of wine. While Gruner is not planted in PEC, Glenn explains that it would be well suited to The County’s clay soil and environment. We look forward to his results. Cross your fingers!

Lighthall tasting bar

His passion for his winery is obvious in its design. His tasting bar is located in the middle of his production area. This gives Glenn the ability to share and give his visitors the opportunity to ‘see’ all aspects of the winemaking process. What a terrific experience!
Glenn makes harvest a family affair by involving his children in the crush.
The wine Glenn is most proud of (to date!) is Lighthall Pinot Noir Reserve Particuliere VQA 2009 – Les Grands. Our Savvy Team was impressed too & we offered it as an optional wine. It is hard to believe that this wine was the first red wine that Glenn ever produced…and his two eldest sons helped too!
There is no doubt that Lighthall Vineyards is a small operation with big dreams. The purchase occurred in 2008, the winery was built in 2009, the first Lighthall Vineyard wine was produced in 2009 and last year it opened to the public. When you are next in The County, be sure make a visit.

~ SAVVY SOMMELIER TASTING NOTES ~

 

Lighthall Progression Sparkling 2011 VQA, $20.00

Vidal is a hybrid grape of Ugni Blanc and Rayon d’Or. It’s thick skin and hardiness in cold climates make it an ideal grape to grow in Prince Edward County and Niagara. This particular sparkling wine was made with 100% Lighthall grapes using Charmat method (winespeak: uses a tank second fermentation to create the bubbles).

Savvy Sommelier Tasting Notes: Very pale with aromas of white grapefruit and lime with an undertone of minerality. This dry, light sparkler has persistent light bubbles and flavours that mimic the nose with a bit of white peach and apricot thrown in. It is a refreshing wine with a pleasant mouth coating feeling and persistent zesty finish.

Suggested Food Pairing: This sparkling wine is a great starter wine on its own, or could be paired with seafood such as oysters. The tasting panel recommends it with a prosciutto and arugula pizza.

Cellaring: An excellent sipping wine that could be enjoyed now or it could be cellared for a year or two for a special occasion.

Lighthall Gewurztraminer 2011 VQA, $25.00

A classic Gewurztraminer made with high quality grapes sourced from Vineland. This is one of Glenn’s favourite grape variety.

Savvy Sommelier Tasting Notes: This wine has hallmark Gewurz pale yellow with a hint of pinkish colouring. Its floral and exotic fruit aromas of lychee, rose petals, pineapple and hard candy. “I just want to keep my nose in the glass” stated one of the Savvy Sommeliers during the tasting panel. “I can’t help myself from swirling and sniffing again and again because it smells so good!”

Slightly effervescent, medium to full wine with a complex palate. You may detect lychee, honey and Turkish Delights taste as the finish lingers.

Suggested Food Pairing: This Gewurztraminer would be perfect with spicy foods such as Indian curry or Asian dishes. ‘Or even with smoked salmon’ commented one of the Savvy Sommeliers. It would also make a tremendous accompaniment to dessert. Enjoy with a pear & cream cheese tart – the recipe follows on the next pages.

Cellaring: This well structured wine is enjoyable now. You can cellar it, however the noteable vibrant aromas and tastes will tone down dramatically.

Lighthall Pinot Noir 2010 VQA, $25.00

Although Pinot Noir is known as the heartbreak grape, this red wine will only bring you joy, proudly stated Glenn.

Savvy Sommelier Tasting Notes: A clear pale cherry-red colour with a typical Pinot bouquet of tar, earthiness ripe berries and warm spices. This medium-bodied, dry wine delivers sweet flavours of cherry, blackberries, white pepper and a hint a vanilla with a medium finish.

Suggested Food Pairing: This is a perfect fall food wine and would pair well with classic stuffed turkey, pork tenderloin or a selection of hearty cheeses. Savvy Sommelier Debbie discovered a new recipe of Roasted Califlower and Swiss Chard that she experimented with for her Thanksgiving feast. The recipe is on the following pages.

Cellaring: With 14.5% alcohol this wine is capable of aging another 3-5 years but drinks very well now.

OPTIONAL WINE: Lighthall Pinot Noir Reserve Particulière – Les Grands, 2009 VQA, $50.00

Glenn’s pride and joy. This rich Pinot Noir was part of an extremely low yield and as you can imagine the wine is in VERY short supply. Members of our tasting panel emailed me the following day after our Savvy Selections tasting telling me they were still dreaming about this wine so we had to offer it as an optional wine!

Savvy Sommelier Tasting Notes: A bright ruby colour with a pleasing earthy, smokey, cherry and mushrooms on the nose. The deep flavours give you tart yet ripe cherries, smoke and earthy mushrooms fill your mouth and leaves you with a pleasant woodsy, vanilla finish.

Suggested Food Pairing: Everyone agreed that this wine was a must include for October. It is versatile and would make a lovely ‘meditation’ wine on its own or a great food wine with brisket or game meat. Then when the mushroom risotto was suggested, there were many oohs and aaaahs of delight with this pairing.

Cellaring: This medium bodied wine still has time to develop so feel free to lay it down if you like.

~RECIPES TO ENJOY WITH YOUR SAVVY SELECTIONS~

 

With Lighthall Progression Sparkling VQA 2011…

Prosciutto and Arugula Pizza

From: Epicurious.com
Serves 4

Ingredients
1/2 cup small to medium arugula leaves
3 very thin slices prosciutto
2 ounces mozzarella (preferably fresh)
All purpose flour for dusting
Pizza Dough for one 9-inch pizza (click here for a good recipe)
1/2 cup Pizza Sauce – recipe below

Method for pizza sauce

Take a 28-ounce can crushed tomatoes in puree (about 3 1/2 cups) and mix with 3 Tablespoons of olive oilIn a large non-reactive saucepan bring tomatoes and oil to a simmer uncovered, stirring occasionally, simmer for 20 minutes, or until sauce is reduces to about 2 1/2 cup

Season sauce with salt and cool to room temperature. This sauce keeps, covered and chilled in the fridge for 5 days and freezes well

Assemble the pizza

At least 45 minutes before baking pizza, put a pizza stone or 4 to 6 unglazed “quarry” tiles arranged close together on oven rack in lowest position in oven and preheat oven to highest setting (500°-550°F)

Trim any tough stems from arugula and thinly slice cheese.

On a lightly floured surface pat out dough evenly with your fingers, keeping hands flat and lifting and turning dough over several times, into a 9-inch round. Do not handle dough more than necessary and if dough is sticky, dust it lightly with flour.

Dust a baker’s peel or rimless baking sheet with flour and carefully transfer dough to it. Jerk peel or baking sheet once or twice and, if dough is sticking, lift dough and sprinkle flour underneath it, reshaping dough if necessary. Working quickly, top dough with sauce, spreading with back of a spoon to within 1/2 inch of edge. Arrange mozzarella slices evenly over sauce. Line up far edge of peel or baking sheet with far edge of stone or tiles and tilt peel or baking sheet, jerking it gently to start pizza moving.

Once edge of pizza touches stone or tiles, carefully pull back peel or baking sheet, completely transferring pizza to stone or tiles (do not move pizza).

Bake pizza 6 to 7 minutes, or until dough is crisp and browned, and transfer with a metal spatula to a cutting board. Scatter arugula over pizza and arrange prosciutto slices on top. 

With Lighthall Gewurztraminer VQA 2011…

Pear & Cream Cheese Tart

From: Desserts by Bonnie Stern
Serves 6 to 8

Ingredients
Base
½ cup unsalted butter
1/3 cup granulated sugar
1 cup all purpose flour

Filling
2 ripe pears (preferably Bartlett)
4 oz cream cheese
½ cup granulated sugar
2 eggs
¾ cup cream
½ tsp vanilla
¼ cup sliced almonds

Method

Preheat oven to 425. Butter a 9 or 10” pie plate with removable sides.

For the shortbread base, cream butter and sugar together until light. Beat in flour and pat into pie plate – no need to roll it out.

Peel, halve and core pears and slice and arrange in circular rows on top of base. Stir cream cheese until smooth then beat in sugar, add eggs one at a time, beating mixture smooth after each addition then add cream and vanilla. Pour over pears & Sprinkle with almonds.

If there is any leftover custard, bake separately with any leftover pears or other fruit for a little treat for the chef.Bake for 10 minutes. Reduce heat to 375 and bake for 25 to 30 minutes longer, or until fruit is tender and custard is set.Serve warm or cold.

With Lighthall Pinot Noir VQA 2010 …

Roasted Cauliflower and Swiss Chard Salad

From: Long Nights and Log Fires Cookbook
Serves 4

Ingredients
1/4 cup olive oil
1 small head of cauliflower, separated into large florets
1 tsp ground cumin
6 large Swiss chard leaves, roughly chopped into 1 inch wide strips
1 red onion, cut into wedges
2 garlic cloves chopped
14 oz can chickpeas, rinses and drained
1/4 cup tahini (sesame seed paste)
2 Tbsps freshly squeezed lemon juice
1/4 tsp fresh ground pepper
sea salt

Method

Over high heat in a cast iron pan or large skillet, put in the oil. Add the cauliflower florets and cook for 8 to 10 minutes turning often (you will want some brown or burnt looking marks – this is a good sign!). Then add the cumin and cook stirring for 1 minute, add the Swiss Chard, onion and garlic to the pan and cook for a further 2 to 3 minutes. Add chickpeas and stir. Season to taste with salt.

In a separate bowl, combine the tahini, lemon juice and pepper. Add a little salt to taste. Whisk to combine. Transfer the vegetables into a bowl and drizzle the dressing over the top to serve.

Enjoy as a rustic vegetarian dish or a side accompanying pork cutlets, baked ham or turkey.

With Lighthall Pinot Noir Reserve Particulière – Les Grands VQA 2009 …

Mushroom Risotto

From: The Essential Rice Cookbook
Serves 4

Ingredients
2 Tablespoons dried porcini mushrooms
1 litre (32 fl oz) vegetable or chicken stock
2 Tablespoons butter
1 small onion
2 garlic cloves, crushed
1 ¾ cups risotto rice
Pinch of freshly ground nutmeg
1 cup mushrooms, sliced (a variety of mushrooms would be good)
½ cup freshly grated parmesan cheese
3 Tablespoons finely chopped parsley

Method

Soak the porcini mushrooms in 2 cups (500 ml/ 16 fl oz) boiling water for 30 minutes. Drain, reserving the liquid then chop the porcini and pass the liquid through a sieve. Pour the stock into a saucepan, bring to the boil and reduce keeping it at a low simmer.

Heat the oil and butter in a wide heavy saucepan to cook the onion and garlic until soft but not brown. Stir in the rice until it is well coated.

Add the fresh mushrooms and nutmeg; season and cook, stirring for 1-2 minutes. Then add the porcini and their liquid, increase the heat and cook until the liquid has been absorbed. Add ½ cup (125 ml/4fl oz) of the stock and stir constantly over medium heat until all the liquid has been absorbed. Continue adding stock a bit at a time until all the liquid is absorbed and the rice is tender and creamy – which should take about 25-30 minutes.

Remove from the heat and stir in the Parmesan and parsley and serve

Enjoy your Savvy Selections!

 

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