Posts Tagged ‘hard to find wine’

It’s delicious when it’s 13 degrees below zero

Posted by Eva

Friday, July 20th, 2012

13th Street Winery has been crafting outstanding wines in their own way for a number of years.  Located in Twenty Valley wine region in Niagara Peninsula, their beginnings was simple: 4 amateaur winemakers pooling their equipment & land to try their hand at making wines in an industrial-looking garage.  Their customers were family, friends and neighbours…but then the word started to spread and total strangers arrived wanting to pay for their experimental wines!  Now expanded & with new owners and housed in a converted farm house, they are no longer located on 13th Street, yet around the corner.  Their reputation continues to grow, most notably for their array of sparkling wines, dry Riesling white wine and Gamay medium bodied red wines.

At 13th Street, riesling grapes are used to make sparkling wine, table wine and this unique off-dry (winespeak: lightly sweet) wine.

13 Degreets Below Zero 2010

$19.95 (375 mL bottle)

Your sweet tooth will be raging with a sip of this unique dessert wine from 13th Street Winery.  It’s not late harvest wine, nor is it icewine, rather a special creation that only the team at 13th Street Winery can mark as their own.  Made with Riesling grapes that have been lightly touched by frost creating a naturally sweet wine that is far from the typical cloying texture of icewine or late harvest dessert wines.

Savvy Sommelier Tasting Notes: With each sip, you will notice the layers of acidity, yellow apple & minerals aromas & tastes that make this a refreshing wine with its acidity.

Food Pairing Suggestion:  Serve chilled as an apperitif, with a meal of lobster, chicken with a tarragon & cream sauce or enjoy a small glass after meal with artisan cheeses, roasted nuts, fresh fruit salad, butter tarts or apple pie.


Want to buy this wine?  We can arrange for it to be delivered!

13th Street Winery will be a feature winery in our Savvy Selections wine of the month club. Like this wine? Subscribe & it’ll be delivered to your home or office!


An uber premium Pinot

Posted by Eva

Tuesday, July 17th, 2012

Klaus Reif (pronounced ry-fe) is one of the pioneers of the Canadian wine industry.  He immigrated from Germany in 1977 & transformed an orchard into a vineyard.  By 1983, Reif Estates Winery opened.

When Savvy Sommelier Derek interviewed Andrea Kaiser, Reif’s Director of Retail Operations and Promotions when Reif was the feature winery for our Savvy Selections wine of the month club, she stressed the importance of Reif’s First Growth collection of wines,  “These wines are our über premium wines that showcase the terroir of the Niagara River sub-appellation”.  For wines to carry the distinctive First Growth label, Reif established early on that the following criteria must be met:

1. The wines must be produced from fruit that comes from Reif’s older vineyards

2. The wines are only produced in exceptional vintages

3. The wines are made under stricter conditions and with greater TLC such as handpicked fruit.

“Reif’s First Growth collection of wines is one of Klaus’ &  winemaker Roberto (aka Rob) DiDomenico, dream come true & it is something that they are completely proud of”, beams Andrea.

To date, only four First Growth wines have been crafted by Reif Estate’s (2001, 2002, 2007 & recently, 2010 has been named exceptional). You are in for a treat with this wine!

Cheers & Enjoy!

First Growth Pinot Noir

Reif Estates First Growth Pinot Noir 2007 VQA


Savvy Sommelier Tasting Notes:  Bright ruby red with enjoyable aromas of cherries, raspberries, leather & pencil shavings waft from the glass.  The palate will totally blow you away with flavors of sour cherries, ripe raspberries & dark chocolate.  With a velvety mouth feel & a long lingering cherry finish, this is an incredible wine.

Suggested Food Pairing: Peking duck or BBQed lamb chops with a rosemary rub, even grilled salmon would pair very well.

Cellaring: Drinking well now through to 2015.


Want to buy this wine?  We can arrange for it to be delivered!

Reif Estates Winery has been a feature winery in our Savvy Selections wine of the month club. Read more about Reif & their wines in our Savvy eZine.

Want to purchase this uber premium wine? Simply contact us to arrange a special delivery of this wine or a mixed case of other Reif wines that we recommend.  Or better yet, subscribe to Savvy Selections & wines will be delivered to your home or office!


Celebrate Canada Day with a bubbly!

Posted by Eva

Saturday, June 30th, 2012

Growing grapes on the farm and making wine at the winery are viewed as independent successes in their own right at Palatine Hills. Because of the weather conditions and the potential for developing vines that produce premium grapes with high acidity and good sugars, Palatine Hills’ acreage is renowned in the Canadian wine industry to producing some of the best Gewürztraminer vines in Canada. So much so, that other wineries purchase vines and/or grapes from Palatine for their own wines and vineyards.

Part of the successful business is due to the foresight and courage that owner John Neufeld exhibited in 1975 when he decided to completely replant the entire 187 acres of his established vineyards the with vinifera vines (winespeak: single grape varietal rather than hybrid grapes). Now, over 30 years later, Palatine has some of the oldest vines deeply rooted in the Niagara region.  Older vines draw untapped nutrients resulting in rich, luscious grapes for making premium wine.

Expanding from grape growing to include a winery in his business, John opened the winery in 1998. Winemaker David Hojnoski, was formerly the Executive Winemaker for Bright’s Wines for 30+ years.  Ten years later, Jeff Innes departed The Grange of Prince Edward Winery to join Palatine as cheif winemaker.  With each sip of his wines, you can taste that he continues the reputation of impressive wines at Palatine – like the Romeo sparkling wine reviewed by our team of Savvy Sommeliers

Cheers & Enjoy!

Romeo Blanc de Noir Sparkling VQA 2008

Savvy Sommelier Tasting Notes: Why wait for a special occasion to pop open a bubbly?  Our Savvy Sommelier Debbie, believes that we don’t drink enough sparkling wine.  With the simple POP of the cork, is an easy way to set the fun mood of any gathering.  Blanc de Noir means that this wine is made Pinot Noir grapes made in the ‘methode traditionale’ style as French Champagne is crafted.  The result is a elegant light  pink colour in the glass with delicate mousse (winespeak: bubbles).  Romeo is crisp, dry with apple & citrus aromas that follows into the taste.

Suggested Food Pairings: Absolutely anything! Great sipped on its own, with light fare. For some fun, Debbie recommends to serve salt ladened potato chips (like Ms Vickie’s original chips) with sparkling wine.  The salt plays with the bubbles in your mouth & explodes like fireworks!



Want to buy this wine?  Subscribe & it will be delivered!

Palatine Hills Estate Winery is the feature winery all this month (July 2012) in our Savvy Selections wine of the month club. Like this wine? Subscribe & it’ll be delivered to your home or office!