Posts Tagged ‘Klaus Reif’

“Reif for Life” is a story of 13 generations of winemakers

Posted by Debbie

Monday, October 27th, 2014
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Savvy Selections wine of the month club 
Featuring Reif Estate Winery

– October 2014 –

 

All of us in the Savvy Team hope your Thanksgiving was a great one!  To celebrate the bounty of this year’s harvest, this month’s Savvy Selections features a variety of wines from Reif Estate Winery.  Located in the heart of Niagara-on-the-Lake, this winery is one of the pillars of the Ontario wine industry. Reif PortfolioThere are many hidden gems at Reif – in particular those wines that are only available at the winery – or with your Savvy Selections!

There are so many to enjoy that Reif’s winemaker Roberto (Rob) DiDomenico says with a laugh, “I honestly have lost track of exactly how many wines we have in our portfolio!” Our Savvy Sommeliers specifically have chosen this trio of fine Reif wines for you to enjoy:

In your Savvy Selections, you will find:

Reserve Gewürztraminer VQA 2012– this refreshing wine will be delicious with appetizers before dinner or enjoyed with ham & your family’s favorite trimmings

Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon VQA 2012– you are the first to receive this red wine from the incredible 2012 vintage.  If you are taking a break from turkey this weekend, this red wine is ready for prime rib or a leg of lamb…or put away in your cellar for your next family feast!

The Magician VQA 2012 – This is our red wine pick for Thanksgiving turkey (yes red wines pair well!)

How does this year’s harvest look?

As the season changes, typical long weekend plans involve getting together with family & friends, tackling long to do lists to close down the cottage & pack away the pool.  Not so for winery owners and winemakers.  They are busy with one thing: the grape harvest.  With the warm September days we have enjoyed, 2014 harvest in Ontario has just started in the last few days and by all accounts looks promising.  “This spring was slow.  Then with the cool summer we had, we will give the grapes a long hang time so that they can ripen as much as possible with the autumn heat.

This extra time will show in the aromas & flavours of the final wine,” explains Rob.  And Rob knows.  He has over 30 grape harvests under his belt – all at Reif Estates. Read more about Reif and this year’s harvest in the following pages.  You will also find some delicious autumn recipes that our Savvy Team have chosen for each of the featured wines to consider including in your Thanksgiving feast (or enjoy with leftovers).

You won’t find these Reif wines at the LCBO

Reif Estate WinesEach month we delight in introducing you to new Ontario wineries & their hard to find wines. While Reif has a handful of wines available at the LCBO, call on us if you would like additional bottles of your favourite Reif wines – or other wineries we have featured in Savvy Selections – simply give me a call on 613-SAVVYCO (728-8926) or send me an email to debbie@savvycompany.ca.  It is always my pleasure to introduce you to new Ontario wines!

Cheers & Happy Thanksgiving to you & your family!

Debbie & Savvy Team

Introducing…
Reif Estate Winery

Presented by Savvy Sommelier Debbie Trenholm

‘Reif for Life’.  This great slogan showcases the longevity of the wines as well as a subtle reminder of the correct pronunciation of the name of the winery.  “We’ve heard it all,” says Rob DiDomenico (right in the photo) with a laugh & shaking his head.  “The best is when a visitor to the winery corrected me, stressing that the winery’s name is R-E-E-F.  He proceeded to tell me that he personally knows the winery owner.”

Reif Estates - Klaus and Roberto 2With over 200,000 visitors each year to the winery, everyone – including the winemaker – are all hands on deck in the tasting room to ensure that everyone has a memorable wine & food experience. “We put so much effort into making the tasting room a safe place to learn about our wines rather than feel like a store”, explains Rob.

“We have an interactive Sensory Garden full of herbs where people can go smell different aromas that they will find in our wines. We also have a Sensory Wine Bar to give our visitors the opportunity to enjoy our wines along with plates of artisan cheeses, charcuterie, even chocolate while watching all the-goings-on at the winery.”

Breaking new ground…

The Reif tradition of winemaking can be traced back to 1636 in Germany’s Rheinphalz region where winemaking is generations deep…to be precise, 13 generations. The story is told that as an agriculture student in Germany, Ewald Reif listened with great interest as one of his instructors spoke of his travels to Niagara.

Years later, in the 1960s, intrigued by Canada, Ewald followed his teacher’s footsteps & embarked on a trip to Niagara to specifically visit orchard fruit and grape growers. In 1977, Ewald was invited back to Niagara by Karl Kaiser (one of the founders of Inniskillin Winery & a forefather of the Canadian wine industry).  On this trip, Ewald bought a former fruit orchard on the fertile banks of the Niagara River.  Here, he planted select grape varieties, along with some French hybrids.

Then 6 years later, in 1983, Reif Estate Winery opened its doors to the first of its visitors. Ewald’s nephew – Klaus Reif – visited & spent the summer of 1978 planting some of those first vines with his uncle.  Fast forward to today, Klaus (left in the above photo) is now the President of this winery that now comprises of over 130 acres planted with more than 17 grape varieties.

Impressively small yet big

Reif logo“There are 5 of us managing everything in the wine cellar” explains Rob.  This is pretty impressive when you consider that their current portfolio amounts to over 50 wines. In the wine industry, a winemaker’s career often involves working at several wineries around the world.

In Rob’s case, he began his career at Reif on a co-op term while studying in University of Guelph.  “My eyes were opened to the Canadian wine industry by my prof at Guelph while I was studying Microbiology.  Keep in mind this was in the late 80s & there were not many wineries in Niagara nor specialized oenology programs that there are today.” His co-op experience evolved  into a job offer, and Rob has stayed ever since. “We continue to do research with my prof at Guelph University on many levels.

Recently, we worked on developing the appassimento method (winespeak: making wine with dried grapes – a method used in Italy for Ripasso & Amarone wines) using modified tobacco kilns from Southern Ontario.”  Now in addition to Reif, a handful of Ontario wineries are making wines using this new process.  You will taste & enjoy the fruits of their research with The Magician red blend wine in your Savvy Selections as it was made using the appassimento method.

An Italian at a Germany winery

Rob is first generation Canadian.  While his Italian roots are strong, he shares that, “the Reif wine business has existed for 13 generations. The Reif family have always treated me like one of the family. In fact, this carries on to the staff too – most have worked here for many years. I think that this speaks volume of our company.” Seems that the ‘Reif for Life’ applies to the business culture too!

What’s for dinner?

I always like to ask: If I came over for dinner, what would you make?  I have discovered that many winery owners & winemakers are good cooks too when they have time to take charge in the kitchen. Rob explained that Thanksgiving is not a big celebration in his Italian family, “It’ll be a feast of Italian proportions!  There will be 30 relatives with lots of food & wine.  For us, wine is food.  We have at every occasion; it’s not an alcoholic beverage.”

~ SAVVY SOMMELIER TASTING NOTES ~

Once our Sommelier Team chose the 3 wines for your enjoyment, Rob was delighted.  All of the wines are from the 2012 vintage. “2012 was one of the most impressive years we ever had.” 

Reserve Gewürztraminer VQA 2012 $19.95 

Savvy Sommelier Tasting Notes:Gorgeous classic Gewurz.  Off-dry with concentrated aromas of lychee, pear, apricot, beeswax & flowers.  These aromas continue in the taste with a summer-is-not-over-yet refreshing zip of acidity & a lime (or is it white pepper?) finish.

Suggested Food Pairings: Gewurz is usually paired with spicy foods – Mexican, Indian curry (made with leftover turkey perhaps?) or Pad Thai (a great recipe follows).  The Savvy Selections tasting panel thought that it will be remarkable with a roast turkey feast & the trimmings.  Or take a break from the harvest laden fare and serve with garlic shrimp or BBQed pork tenderloin with mango chutney.  

Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon VQA 2012 $25.95
special Savvy Selections price (Reg $29.95)

Reif Charcuterie Red Wine Experience LRMark my words…you will thank me for including this in your Savvy Selections!  And if you don’t believe me, then hear it from Rob “just released, this is an absolutely beautiful wine – great texture, lots of cellaring ability.  I am blown away with it.” 

Savvy Sommelier Tasting Notes:  A BIG red wine that shows how incredible the 2012 vintage is.  You are the first to try this wine as it not even released yet. It is ready to be enjoyed now, or cellared for 5 years.  No real reason to wait! This is a complex wine with aromas of warm spices (nutmeg, cloves, cinnamon), black plums, blackberries & figs that carry through the taste.

Suggested Food Pairings: The smooth velvet texture will mellow even more with age or with food…like prime rib or as Rob says, “Lamb, lamb, lamb!”

The Magician VQA 2012 $29.95

You will be amazed with this wine as it is a one-of-a-kind blend of Shiraz & Pinot Noir.  It is an experiment that Rob tried in 2009 and turned A LOT of heads.  He was playing with blending & different drying techniques to create a unique appassimento style wine with concentrated aromas & flavours.  “Remarkably, Pinot Noir & Syrah seem to be feeding off each other.” The percentage varies each year depending on the grape harvest.  In 2012, the blend is 70% Shiraz & 30% Pinot Noir. 

Savvy Sommelier Tasting Notes: Warm aromas of campfire, field berries & smoke that provokes fall like weather.  When you have a sip, everything about it reminds me of black – black currants, blackberries, figs, even licorice.

Suggested Food Pairings: The jam like texture this medium bodied wine would be great with lamb burgers, bacon wrapped meatloaf or a pork tenderloin roast (recipe follows).  Looking for a red wine to serve with your turkey?  This is it!

~RECIPES TO ENJOY WITH YOUR SAVVY SELECTIONS~

 With Reif Reserve Gewürztraminer…

Pad Thai

From Debbie’s kitchen
Serves 4

A good friend of mine taught me how to make Thai food and now I always make sure that have the ingredients for Pad Thai on hand….including a bottle of Gewurztraminer like this one from Reif.

Pad Thai Sauce 

Ingredients

1 cup water
1 ½  cups sugar  (less if you rather not as sweet)
2 tablespoons white vinegar
1 teaspoon salt
1 piece of tamarind (approx 1″ x 1″)
½ cup ketchup

Method

Combine ingredients in a saucepan, stir and bring to boil. Lower heat and simmer for approx. 30 minutes.

Strain sauce to collect remaining bits of tamarind (pits, skins etc).  Makes about 2 cups.

This sauce can be stored in the fridge for weeks.  Reheat when ready to make Pad Thai dish.

Pad Thai noodle mixture

Ingredients

1 package of rice noodles (medium width)
1 tablespoon oil
1 clove of garlic minced
2-3 teaspoons of fish sauce
1 lime
1-2 eggs
2 chicken breasts cubed (TIP: try with leftover cooked turkey too!)
a couple of handfuls of bean sprouts (washed)
2-3 green onions finely chopped
1/2 cup chopped peanuts or cashews
2-5 sprigs of fresh coriander (chopped – by scissors is easiest)

Optional
1 cup of cubed deep fried tofu
10-15 shrimp (cooked or raw)

Method

Soak noodles in warm water to soften. (approx 30 minutes or longer); this part of the assembly takes on 8-10 mins so have everything chopped and ready to go!

Heat wok. Add oil and garlic. Break eggs into oil and scatter fry then add chicken and stir until cooked.  If using raw shrimp add when chicken is almost done.

Drain water from noodles and add to wok. Toss continuously.

Pour Pad Thai sauce onto noodles.  Add green onions, tofu and cooked shrimp (if using) then add fish sauce to taste.

Keep tossing noodles until completely coated with sauce and food is really hot.

To Serve

Place a handful of bean sprouts on side of plate.

Mound noodles beside sprouts.

Sprinkle with chopped peanuts, coriander and squeeze lime juice over top.

Serve immediately with spring rolls.

Reif Estate Wines

 

Klaus Reif tending to the vineyard throughout the growing season

 

 

With Reif Cabernet Sauvignon Reserve…

Rack of Lamb with Chimichurri Sauce

From the kitchen of Chef Roger Weldon
Serves 2 or 3 people

Ingredients

1 frenched 6-rib rack of fresh local lamb (Chef Roger prefers Lanark County lamb)

For the chimichurri sauce:

1/4 cup (125 ml) olive oil
2 tablespoons (25 mL) fresh lemon juice
1 tablespoon (15 mL) red wine vinegar
1 clove garlic, minced
1 clove shallot, minced
1/2 teaspoon (2 mL) kosher salt
1 teaspoon (5 mL) crushed black peppercorns
1 bunch fresh spinach, well washed
1/2 bunch each fresh parsley, cilantro, mint and basil

Method

Process sauce ingredients in food processor until minced. Let rest at least 2 hours before serving.

Place lamb rack on hot barbecue grill about 2 minutes per side to sear surface. Reduce heat or move rack to a cooler part of grill to roast about 10 to 15 minutes per side, using meat thermometer for rare (about 120 F/50 C) or medium (about 150 F/65 C).

Serve with sauce drizzled over the rack of lamb & serve.  

With The Magician…

Marinated Pork Loin Roast

From Fare for Friends Cookbook
Serves 10 (recipe can be halved)

Ingredients

4 to 5 pork tenderloins
½ cup soy sauce
½ cup sherry
2 cloves of garlic, minced
1 Tbsp dry mustard
1 teaspoon ginger
1 teaspoon thyme, crushed

Sauce

1 10 ounce jar of black currant jelly
1 Tbsp soy sauce
2  Tbsp sherry  

Method

Place meat in a plastic bag.  In the bag, add soy sauce, sherry, garlic, mustard, ginger & thyme. Seal bag & massage meat with sauce ingredients until completely covered. Marinate for 5 hours or overnight

When ready to cook remove from plastic bag & place meat in a roasting pan. Preheat oven to 325 F.

Roast uncovered with any extra marinade on the bottom of the pan for 1 hour basting frequently until testing shows the meat is done.

To make sauce, combine all the ingredients & heat for 2 minutes.  Drizzle over top of meat & serve with vegetables

TIP: try putting fresh apple wedges on the bottom of the pan while meat cooks.  Serve roasted apples with meat.  

 

Happy Thanksgiving & enjoy your Savvy Selections!

 

 

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Tee off for a round of golf & wine at Rockway Vineyards

Posted by Susan

Monday, September 22nd, 2014
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Savvy Selections wine of the month club 
Featuring Rockway Vineyards

– September 2014 –

 

If your passion is golf and you love to spend the 19th hole with a fine glass of wine paired with a delicious lunch, Rockway Vineyards is the place for you. This property has a fascinating history that starts with founder Bruce Strongman’s love of golf and wine.

Enter the entrepreneur…

Bruce started making paint in his family-run paint store in Toronto, and built the business into the largest paint and wallpaper chain in Canada – Colour Your World. Bruce had time for more golf when the company was sold, and like many entrepreneurs, he followed his dream. It wasn’t just about shooting a perfect round, his dream included owning a golf course.

Take one golf enthusiast…

Rockway VineyardsYears of travelling to his golf course through vineyards along the Niagara Wine Route, which was increasing in popularity, led Bruce and his son Reid to hatch the idea of establishing a golf course associated with a vineyard and winery. The current property – originally a Concord grape vineyard – was purchased and construction of the course began in 1982, with the official opening in 1984. The father and son team were convinced that many of the 25,000 golfers coming to the Niagara region would too be interested in purchasing a bottle or two of wine.

Buy grape juice…

In 2000, they set the wheels in motion, purchasing juice from Reif Estate Winery and gaining the helpful winemaking expertise of Klaus Reif.  Right from the get go, it paid off as their first ice wine was selected as the ‘best of the best’ on the menu at Royal York Hotel in Toronto. Now that is impressive!

Planting of the vines began on a 50-acre vineyard adjacent to the winery.

And last but not least, purchase the vineyard!

wine-hero1When the vineyard across the street was for sale, Bruce purchased it to provide a total of 150 acres. The rapidly growing business became the only 18-hole championship golf course with a fully functional estate winery in Ontario. Bruce is now 92, and can still be seen out at Rockway for his weekly golf game, followed by lunch and a glass of wine in the restaurant. Reid continues to be involved in the business, as are several other family members.

We’re delighted to have this opportunity to offer to you a collection of Rockway Vineyards wines, crafted by winemaker David Stasiuk’s signature ‘minimalist touch’.

In your Savvy Selections, you will find:

Small Lot Block 12-110 Wild Ferment Chardonnay VQA 2013 – a well-balanced wine with complex nose & flavours.  You are the first to receive this wine as it is not yet released at the winery.

‘The Outcast’ VQA 2011– a red Rhône-style blend that will intrigue you as it is Syrah blended with Riesling. Daring, peppery and flavourful

Small Lot Block 11-140 Cabernet Franc VQA 2011 – perfectly well-ripened, smooth, sauve & showcasing all that Cab Franc can be.

If you’re an avid golfer like our Savvy Sommelier Susan Desjardins, after visiting Rockway for both the winery and the golfing – you will make this a regular stop when you visit Niagara. Be sure to make time for a round, wines tasting, lunch or dinner at the excellent restaurant, then take a stroll through the Rockway museum, that includes a selection of authentic French winemaking antiques.

Cheers & Enjoy!

Debbie & Savvy Team 

Introducing…
Rockway Vineyards

Presented by Savvy Sommelier Susan Desjardins

 

Rockway Vineyards family photoAs I talked to Bryce Carruthers (far right in photo) – Rockway’s Sales Manager as well as Bruce’s nephew – he emphasized the recent transition that has taken place at Rockway. With tee off bookings at the golf course being steady and the banquet hall is regularly booked with weddings and golf tournaments, the family wanted to shift the focus to growing the winery and the creation of distinctive wines.

In 2009, the name was changed to Rockway Vineyards, and Bruce (centre with white shirt) instructed his then-wine consultant to find the best possible winemaker in the region. “If it’s not the best wine we can make, we’re not going to bottle it!”

Enter David Stasiuk . . . and the accolades keep coming. (David is middle of left group in photo)

David’s excitement at his role is palpable. A graduate of the Niagara College Winery & Viticulture program, he came to winemaking through the hospitality industry. “In the various roles I held in the restaurant industry, I met many winemakers, attended tastings and played a role in the selection and management of wines for the restaurants. I quickly realized that my passion for wine was too great to play second fiddle to opening a restaurant!”

Attracted to the practical components of the Niagara College program, he initiated his studies in 2007, soon realizing that the scope of a winemaker’s duties is broad.  At Rockway, David is a grower, a chemist, a taster, a people manager, a marketer, a media relations agent and, as he says, a life-long student.

Hands-on experience across Canada & beyond

During and after the College program, he ventured to gain hands on experience locally and around the world. At Le Clos Jordanne (in Niagara), he worked with Thomas Bachelder, learning the importance of site and terroir and how that translates into each wine. “Thomas was a great mentor. I learned so much—that passion for winegrowing is a must and plays a key part in the impression left on every wine crafted; the methods of wild yeast fermentation, barrel program design and so much more—I could go on forever”, explained David.

He wanted to experience winemaking in Canada’s other major winegrowing region, and was able to secure a position at Sumac Ridge. What better place for David to cut his teeth in the industry, than at this seminal Okanagan property, where Harry McWatters established his first vineyard by planting vines on what were the first few holes of his golf course! Through this experience, David worked with Sumac Ridge’s signature product –  sparkling wine – as well as still wines and developed an understanding of the BC wine industry.

Next, David moved on to Australia and New Zealand, staying true to his cool-climate roots, working at Moët Chandon in Australia’s Yarra Valley and with Villa Maria Estate in Marlborough, New Zealand. Here, he worked with grapes varieties such as Pinot Noir and Syrah, Sauvignon Blanc and Chardonnay – all highly relevant to the Ontario wine industry.

Europe was his next destination, yet life and his wife’s career intervened, so he headed to BC to work with Darryl Brooker at Cedar Creek, before moving back to Niagara. “Darryl’s approached to winemaking really affected how I look at things—always a focus on the highest quality with an honest hands-off approach, and the determination to go the distance to achieve the best results, no matter what”, tells David. 

5 years and counting…

David Stasiuk - taken by Savvy CompanyWhen David joined Rockway Vineyards 5 years ago, he combined his love for food and golf with his passion for wine.

He was given a clean slate and the opportunity to re-define the style of Rockway wines. Asked what he feels gives his wines their unique style, he focuses on two keys factors: the site and state-of-the-art equipment.

“We are located on the furthest eastern border of the Twenty Mile Bench sub-apellation. We are farther away from the lake than the bench wineries (winespeak: wineries along the Beamsville Bench), yet still benefit from the lake-effect wind and temperature modulation. Because of the way the escarpment wraps around our site, we tend to have funneling winds that promote good air flow through the grapevine canopies.” David continues, “we have diverse soils and are on a gradual slope that, with the winds, helps reduce the risk of settling frosts. Most of our vines were planted 10-30 years ago, so we have some mature vines and are focused on Chardonnay and Riesling, as well as Cabernet Franc and Syrah.”

With the winery onsite, there is minimal time from picking to processing and the winemaking equipment includes state-of-the-art cooling tanks and processing equipment.

Making wines he likes

When I asked about his philosophy and the type of experience he would like you to have when you taste his wines, David is poetic. “We try to preserve the flavours developed in our vineyards by being gentle with the fruit and not obscuring the taste of the vineyard by over oaking. I want people who taste our wines to have the same experience I look for in a wine”. David shares his personal impression, “I want to be intrigued at the first smell from the glass. I want to sense depth and layers of aromas. Then I want the wine to have life on the palate. I want it to be fresh and approachable but firm, with a distinct personality.”

Let me ask you…what more could YOU want!?!

Cheers & Enjoy your Savvy Selections!

 

~ SAVVY SOMMELIER TASTING NOTES ~


‘Small Lot Block 12-110’ Wild Ferment Chardonnay 2013 VQA, $32.00

The fruit for this wine was hand harvested, a portion of the juice placed in a warm room to start a natural inoculant, then was tasted and added back to the barrels. The wine was aged in French oak for 7 months.

Savvy Sommelier Tasting Notes: Attractive notes of butter, vanilla and toasted nut mingle with aromas of ripe orchard fruit. This dry, medium-bodied wine offers a tantalizing taste experience, showing complexity & verve with sound fruit flavours, good structure and a pleasant touch of buttery toast on the finish.

Suggested Food Pairing:  Enjoy the creamy texture  & lively acidity of this wine with roast chicken, pork or grilled salmon.

Cellaring: Drinking well now or cellar 2-3 years.

 

‘The Outcast’ 2011 VQA, $19.95

Move over Shiraz/Viognier blends, David is introducing his own creation: Syrah/Riesling. It’s common practice in Australia to add 5% Viognier to Shiraz for aromatics and minerality. David in turn, is adding 5% Riesling to this northern Rhône-style Syrah for the subtle acidity and residual sugar it brings to the texture.

Savvy Sommelier Tasting Notes:Dry, medium bodied, this unique blend has a firm structure and fresh texture, with a peppery nose, spicy floral notes and lovely red & black fruit.The spicy peppery notes mingle with a hint of earthiness and juicy ripe fruit, while a subtle note of coffee bean (resulting from the Syrah juice that spent 18 months in oak) lingers on the finish.

Suggested Food Pairing:Lamb is a classic pairing or enjoy with other roast meat are a perfect match.

Cellaring: This wine will cellar a further 2-3 years.

 

‘Small Lot Block 11-140’ Cabernet Franc 2011 VQA $24.95

The fruit for this wine benefited from ideal ripening conditions – warm days and cool nights heading into harvest, assuring depth of flavor and smooth tannins. Fermented with a native Bordeaux yeast, then aged 18 months in French barrels.

Savvy Sommelier Tasting Notes: Here’s a well-ripened Cabernet Franc offering a fine nose of spicy chocolate, lavender, dried herbs, ripe berry and plum. Dry, medium-full bodied, it has great presence on the palate, a fresh yet rich texture, well-defined structure and flavourful fruit flavours. Attractive peppery notes & a hint of mocha persist on the finish.

Suggested Food Pairing:  Serve with Beef Bourguignon, Coq au Vin or leg of lamb.

Cellaring:  Ready now, it will cellar 3-5 years.

 

~ RECIPES TO ENJOY WITH YOUR SAVVY SELECTIONS ~


With Rockway Wild Ferment Chardonnay…

Salmon with Lemon Quinoa & Corn Salsa

From Radius Café, Hamilton Ontario
Serves 4

Ingredients

2 cups dried quinoa
2 lemons
6 Tbsp olive oil
½ C chopped flat-leaf parsley
2 cobs corn
½ red pepper, chopped
1 shallot, finely chopped
2 Tbsp white wine vinegar
1 tsp cracked black pepper
4 portions fresh Atlantic salmon

Method

In 2 litres of boiling water, cook quinoa until tender, 8-10 minutes. Strain in a colander & transfer to large bowl. While it’s still hot, add zest & juice of 2 lemons & 2 Tbsp olive oil. Stir & let cool in refrigerator. Once cool, add 2 Tbsp parsley & set aside.

Husk corn & grill on high, rotating cobs until nicely charred on the outside. Stand corn upright on cutting board & run knife along cob to remove kernels. (alternatively, do the same process by boiling corn)

Transfer kernels to bowl. Add red pepper, shallot, remaining olive oil, white wine vinegar & remaining parsley. Season this corn salsa with half the salt & pepper & set aside.

Season salmon with remaining salt & pepper & brush lightly with oil. On hot grill, cook salmon for about 6 minutes per side or until moist & flakey.

Make a bed of quinoa on each plate. Lay grilled salmon on it & top with corn salsa. 


With Rockway ‘The Outcast’

Leg of Lamb with Syrah Marinade

Adapted from Cooking with BC Wine Cookbook, T & C-L Townsin
Serves 6

Ingredients

1 leg of lamb
1 cup Syrah
2 tsp minced horseradish
2 cup ketchup
2 cup olive oil
4 garlic cloves, minced
1 Tbsp oregano
1 Tbsp Worcestershire sauce
2 Tbsp shallots, minced
2 Tbsp parsley, chopped
1 bay leaf
1 Tbsp rosemary, chopped

Method

David Stasiuk in cellar - taken by Savvy CompanyCombine all marinade ingredients in a large bowl or plastic container. Trim excess fat from lamb and marinate overnight for best results. There should be extra marinade to be saved for later.

Preheat oven to 350F. Remove lamb from marinade and sear on all sides in pan over medium high heat.

Transfer lamb to ovenproof dish, cover and roast for 45 minutes for rare or 1 hour for well done. Or grill on barbeque. Serve with baby roast potatoes and seasonal fall vegetables.

 

 

What a treat! David gave us a barrel tasting of his 2012 red wines of Syrah & Cabernet Franc. Not ready just yet, but they will be worth the wait!

 

With Rockway Cabernet Franc…

Grilled Hanger Steak with Smoky Corn & Tomato Salsa

From The Flavour Principle Cookbook, L. Waverman, B. Crosariol
Serves 6

Ingredients for Steak

2 Tbsp Dijon mustard
2 Tbsp red wine vinegar
1 Tbsp chopped fresh thyme
1 tbp chopped garlic
1 tsp chili powder
1 tsp honey
¼ cup olive oil
one 2 lb. hanger steak
salt & freshly ground pepper

Ingredients for Salsa

3 ears corn, shucked
3 plum tomatoes, cut in half lengthwise
1 red pepper, cut in quarters
3 Tbsp olive oil
salt & freshly ground pepper
¾ cup chopped red onion

Ingredients for Dressing

3 Tbsp olive oil
1 Tbsp lemon juice
1 tsp coriander seeds
¾ tsp smoked paprika
2 Tbsp chopped fresh cilantro

 

Method for Steak

Combine mustard, vinegar, thyme, garlic, chili powder & honey in a small bowl. Whisk in olive oil. Pour marinade over steak & marinate in refrigerator for 4 hours or overnight. Remove steak from refrigerator 1 hour before grilling to bring it to room temperature.

Preheat grill to high. Season steak with salt & pepper & grill for 4-6 minutes per side for medium-rare (depending on thickness) or until desired degree of doneness.

Remove from grill & let rest for 5 minutes. Slice against grain & serve with Smoky Corn & Tomato Salsa.

Method for Salsa 

Preheat grill to high. Brush corn, tomatoes & red pepper with oil. Season with salt & pepper.

Grill corn for about 3 minutes per side or until kernels are golden. Also grill tomatoes until skin is shriveled and flesh is soft, about 2 minutes per side. Peel charred skin from tomatoes & discard; then grill peppers for about 4 minutes per side or until skin is blackened. Set aside & cool. Peel skin from pepper & discard. Dice pepper & transfer to medium bowl.

Slice corn from cobs & add to pepper with red onion.

Place tomatoes in food processor with oil, lemon juice, coriander seeds & paprika. Process until smooth. Stir in cilantro. Toss vegetables with dressing.

 

Enjoy your Savvy Selections!

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Über premium wines WOW our Savvy Selections subscribers

Posted by Derek

Tuesday, April 10th, 2012
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Savvy Selections wine of the month club
Featuring Reif Estate Winery

– March 2012 –

March definitely came in “like a lion” & I hope that it leaves “like a lamb” because I am looking forward to touring wineries in Niagara and Prince Edward County this spring.

Since their debut in November 2009, we are delighted to feature Reif Estate Winery again in this month’s Savvy Selections.  In this Savvy eZine, our Savvy Sommelier Derek Vollrath interviews Andrea Kaiser, Reif’s Director of Retail Operations and Promotions to learn how this long established winery continues to grow.

While you may be familiar with Reif’s already, we are sure you will be more than please with this month’s choices of wines.  Looking back to 2009 when we previously featured Reif, the winery owner Klaus Reif & winemaker Roberto (aka Rob) DiDomenico were tempting us with rave reviews on the development of their 2007 vintage & in particular their First Growth Pinot Noir. While at the time back in 2009, the Pinot Noir was still in barrel.  Klaus & Rob gave us specific ‘instructions’ (aka wine tip) to be on the lookout when the Pinot Noir is released.  Well, guess what… The 2007 First Growth Pinot Noir is part of this month’s Savvy Selections! And to top it off, our subscribers are given a special Savvy Selection price of $35 (regular $50 per bottle). Derek & I know that you will be “wowed” by this outstanding Pinot Noir – we certainly were!

In your Savvy Selections wine delivery, you will find these premium wines from Reif Estate Winery:

  • Reif Estate Reserve Chardonnay VQA 2009 – a mix of tropical with ripe tree fruit aromas & tastes  
  • Reif Estate Meritage (White) VQA 2009 – food friendly
  • Reif Estate First Growth Pinot Noir VQA 2007 – an outstanding Pinot Noir!
  • OPTIONAL WINE: Reif Estate Vidal Ice Wine VQA 2005

Read on to find our Sommelier’s tasting notes for the selected wines along with Derek’s favorite recipes to try your hand at in the kitchen.

You won’t find these wines at the LCBO
If there is a particular wine from Reif Estates – some from this month’s Savvy Selections or other favorites – that you would like to have additional bottles on hand or for your cellar, simply contact me to arrange a shipment for you. Did I already mention that you might want to consider ordering another bottle or two of the First Growth Pinot Noir?

Cheers & Enjoy!

– Debbie & Savvy Team
debbie@savvycompany.ca

Reif Estate Winery

Presented by Sommelier Derek Vollrath

 

As one of Ontario wine industry pioneers, we are excited to show you how Reif Estate Winery has grown over the years – both by their ever expanding winery & quality of their wines.

Even in March, it is a busy time at the winery.  Icewine is in production & attention is being paid to the most recent vintage of white wines that will be in the final stages of winemaking.  At the time of the interview, Klaus Reif – winery owner (in above photo) & winemaker Roberto (aka Rob) DiDomenico were busy in the cellar. I caught up to Andrea Kaiser – Director of Retail Operations & Promotions – who is at the heart of everything at the winery. I learned that frankly, Andrea runs the place!

An Estately Winery
I started off the interview (which turned into a friendly chat) by asking Andrea what Reif does differently then other wineries. “Our focus is on making estate wines”. In Ontario under the Vintner Quality Alliance (VQA) rules, wines that are labeled as “estate bottled” must come from wineries that have control over everything in the winemaking process – from the vineyard, all throughout production and then with the final bottling.  This is absolutely the case as 98% of the wines produced by Reif are labeled as ‘estate’. This means that Klaus, Rob & their teams control every aspect from growing & managing the fruit on the vine to bottling the wine as well as every step in between.  This approach ensures that Klaus & Rob can “produce a consistently exceptional product”, Andrea explains.  This is evident by the number of awards that Reif’s wines have won, especially the array of Canadian & international medals for their ice wines.

Über Premium
Andrea stressed the importance of Reif’s First Growth collection of wines (enjoy the Pinot Noir in your Savvy Selections).  “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, Klaus & Rob 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’ & Rob’s dreams come true & it is something that they are completely proud of”, beams Andrea.

Go Local – Living the Mantra
Everything they do at the winery is based on local relationships with culinary groups within the peninsula.  Andrea explained to me that at Reif they have absolutely embraced the concept of “living local”.  “Our team really works hard to partner with local suppliers in order to showcase the culinary arts that have developed in the Niagara area, our Sensory Wine Bar is an excellent example of our commitment.”

Upcoming Events at Reif
If you are planning a trip to Niagara, Andrea proudly explains why Reif is a ‘must stop’ especially with the unique Sensory Wine Bar. “It is an amazing as our visitors can enjoy a flight of our wines with a selection of artisan cheese, charcuterie plates & even chocolate”.

If you happen to be in Niagara-on-the-Lake on April 21st,  join Rob as he hosts a luncheon where he will be giving visitors a sneak peek of the 2010 First Growth Collection.  This vintage marks the fourth time in which Klaus & Rob deemed the conditions ideal enough to create.

As our interview wraps up, Andrea’s parting words about the winery, “We work in a great place, people love coming to Niagara because it is Ontario’s wine country & what’s not to like about wine and food? When they come to visit they are in a great mood & that rubs off on all of us at the winery”.

Reif Estate Winery will definitely be on my list of wineries to visit this summer.

Cheers & Enjoy your Savvy Selections wines…especially the First Growth Pinot Noir!

~ Savvy Sommelier Tasting Notes~

Chardonnay Reserve VQA 2009
$19.95

The 2009 Chardonnay Reserve is made from some of Reif’s oldest Chardonnay vines, some dating back to 1982.  This wine has seen only oak – from fermentation all the way to barrel ageing & everything in between.

Savvy Sommelier Tasting Notes:  Bright gold in colour with notable aromas of banana & melon leap from the glass along with hints of vanilla & warm spice, (can you find cinnamon?).  The palate is exceptionally rewarding & complex with flavours of brown sugar, hazelnut, green apple & ripe pear.  This is a dry, full-bodied white wine with an incredibility rich & buttery mouth feel.  It is topped off with a long apple pie finish.

Suggested Food Pairing: Our Savvy Sommelier Debbie Trenholm simply stated that “this wine is gorgeous on its own”.  If you decide to serve with a meal, Derek offers a recipe for Roasted Salmon Salad Niçoise.

Cellaring: This wine can definitely be enjoyed tonight or it can be cellared for up to 18 months.

Meritage (White) VQA 2009
$19.95

The wine term Meritage is usually reserved for red wines made with a Bordeaux blend of grapes outside of Bordeaux. However; in this case it is cleverly used for the white Bordeaux grape varietals of Sauvignon Blanc & Semillon.  For the 2009 vintage Sauvignon Blanc accounts for 56% of the blend, while Semillon makes up 44%.

Savvy Sommelier Tasting Notes:  Pale gold in colour with a brilliant luster & sheen.  On the nose there are definite aromas of cut grass & green apple courtesy of the Sauvignon Blanc while the Semillon provides honey & floral aromas.  Dry on the palate this white wine offers flavours of citrus, green apple & white pepper.  This full-bodied wine is well balanced with a medium length green apple finish.

Suggested Food Pairing:  This Meritage is definitely a food friendly wine as it would go well with spinach & goat’s cheese risotto or gnocchi in a gorgonzola sauce.  The Savvy Selections tasting panel immediately thought this wine would accompany seafood exceptionally well. Derek shares his Seafood Stew recipe is tasty & he says that the best part is that you only need one pot to make it!

Cellaring: Again, the wine is ready to enjoy tonight or you can cellar it for up to 12 months.

First Growth Pinot Noir VQA 2007
$35.00 – a special price for Savvy Selections subscribers. (Regular $50)

As explained earlier, Reif’s First Growth series of wines are ultra premium wines produced only during years of exceptional vintage.  To date only four First Growth wines have been crafted by Reif Estate’s (2001, 2002, 2007 & recently, 2010 has been named exceptional).

Savvy Sommelier Tasting Notes:  The core of this wine (winespeak: its centre) is bright ruby red in colour that gradually fades to a thin watery rim.  The nose is thoroughly enjoyable as 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 and a long lingering cherry finish, this incredible wine is a sure-fire crowd pleaser.

Suggested Food Pairing: Peking duck or barbequed lamb chops with a rosemary rub would pair very well.  Derek recommends to pair this Pinot Noir with a cherry sauce over pan fried pork tenderloin cutlets – a yummy recipe follows!

Cellaring: You can open it now or if you prefer you can hold onto this wine as it will be drinking well now through to 2015.

Serving Tip: To make this wine that more special, Derek recommends to decant for 45 minutes before serving.

~ Recipes to enjoy with your Savvy Selections ~

 

With Reif Estate Winery Chardonnay Reserve…

 

Roasted Salmon Salad Niçoise
From Heart Smart – the Best of Heart Smart Cooking, Bonnie Stern
Serves 8

Ingredients
4 tbsp olive oil, divided
1 tbsp chopped fresh rosemary or ½ tsp dried
½ tsp salt
½ tsp pepper
2 lbs baby potatoes, cleaned and halved
6 plum tomatoes cut in wedges or 2 cups cherry tomatoes
2 head garlic
1 lb asparagus, trimmed
2 lbs salmon fillet in one piece, skin removed
⅓ cup balsamic vinegar
8 cups mixed organic greens
2 tbsp chopped fresh tarragon or shredded basil or ½ tsp dried
4 hard-cooked egg whites, coarsely chopped
1 small bunch chives

Method

  1. Combine 2 tbsp oil, rosemary, salt and pepper.  Toss potatoes with half this mixture
  2.  Arrange tomato wedges, skin side down and potatoes in a single layer on a parchment-lined baking sheet.  Cut top quarter off heads of garlic and wrap in foil.  Roast potatoes, tomatoes and garlic in a preheated 400° F oven for 40 minutes.  Remove baking sheet from oven and scatter asparagus over potatoes and tomatoes.  Roast for 10 to 15 minutes longer, or until potatoes and garlic are tender and asparagus is bright green.  Tomatoes should be browed on bottom.
  3.  Meanwhile, coat salmon with remaining oil/rosemary marinade.  Place salmon on another baking sheet lined with parchment.  About 20 minutes before vegetables are ready, place salmon in oven and roast for 15 to 18 minutes or until just cooked through.
  4.  To prepare dressing, squeeze roasted garlic into vinegar and whisk until pureed.  Whisk in remaining 2 tbsp of oil.
  5.  Arrange greens over bottom of a large platter.  Arrange potatoes down center and tomatoes and asparagus along sides.  With a large spatula, place salmon on top of potatoes.  Drizzle dressing over salad.  Sprinkle with tarragon and egg whites.  Cut chives into 2-inch lengths and sprinkle over top.

 


With Reif Estate Winery Meritage White…

Seafood Stew
From Love Food.com
Serves 4-6

Ingredients
Large pinch of saffron threads
4 tbsp almost boiling water
6 tbsp olive oil
1 large onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1 ½ tbsp chopped fresh thyme leaves
2 bay leaves
2 red bell peppers, seeded and coarsely chopped
1 can (28 oz / 796 mL) canned & chopped tomatoes
1 tsp smoked paprika
1 cup fish stock
1 cup blanched almonds, toasted and finely ground
Salt and pepper
12-16 live mussels
12-16 live clams
1 lb 5 oz / 600 g thick boned hake or cod fillets, skinned and cut into 2-inch chunks
12-16 raw shrimp shelled and deveined
Thick crusty bread, to serve

Method

  1. Place the saffron threads in a heatproof bowl with the water and let stand for at lease 10 minutes to infuse.
  2.  Heat the oil in a large, heavy-bottom flameproof casserole over medium-high heat.  Reduce the heat to low and cook the onion, stirring occasionally, for 10 minutes, or until golden but not browned.  Stir in the garlic, thyme, bay leave and red bell peppers and cook, stirring frequently for 5 minutes or until the bell peppers are softened and the onions have softened further.  Add the tomatoes and paprika and simmer, stirring frequently for an additional 5 minutes.
  3.  Stir in the stock, the saffron and its soaking liquid, and the almonds and bring to a boil, stirring.  Reduce the heat and simmer for 5-10 minutes, or until the sauce reduces and thickens.  Season to taste with salt and pepper.
  4. Clean the mussels and clams, discard any with broken shells
  5. Gently stir the hake into the stew so that it doesn’t break up, then add the shrimp, mussels and clams.  Reduce the heat to very low, then cover and simmer for 5 minutes or until the hake is opaque the mussels and clams have opened and the shrimp have turned pink.  Discard and mussels or clams that remain closed.  Serve immediately with plenty of thick crusty bread for soaking up the juices

 

With Reif Estate Winery First Growth Pinot Noir…

Pork Tenderloin with Cherry Sauce
allrecipes.com/recipe/tenderloin-with-cherry-sauce
Serves 4

Ingredients
1-2 tablespoon cornstarch, depending on your desired thickness of the sauce
1 1/2 cups cranberry juice
2 teaspoonsDijonmustard
1 (1 1/2 pound) pork tenderloin, thinly sliced
2 teaspoons lemon-pepper seasoning
3 tablespoons butter
1 cup dried cherries
3 tablespoons cherry preserves

Method

  1. In a small bowl, combine the cornstarch, cranberry juice and mustard until smooth; set aside.
  2.  Sprinkle pork with lemon-pepper. In a large skillet, cook pork in butter for 4-5 minutes on each side or until no longer pink. Remove pork and keep warm.
  3.  Stir cornstarch mixture and add to the skillet. Bring to a boil.
  4. Add cherries and preserves; cook and stir for 2 minutes or until thickened. Return pork to the pan; cook for 2 minutes or until heated through. Serve on a bed of rice with fresh vegetables or assorted grilled mushrooms.

 Cheers & Enjoy this month’s Savvy Selections!

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