Posts Tagged ‘Lailey Vineyard’

Derek Barnett is back…with his own winery

Posted by Monique

Friday, August 26th, 2016
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Savvy Selections wine of the month club
Meldville Wines
–  August 2016 –

Every month we delight in bringing you some of Ontario’s most exclusive wines…and this month is extra special. We are delivering to you the very first release of Derek Barnett’s Meldville Wines. These wines were only just released at the winery a few weeks ago, so this is quite the opportunity to get first dibs on such an exclusive release!

Derek Barnett is no stranger to Savvy Company as he is a long-time friend. You may have fond memories of Derek gleefully pouring samples of his beautifully crafted Lailey Vineyard wines at our special portfolio tastings in Ottawa and Toronto. Derek is non-stop always attentively responding to inquiries about his wines, his work and his travels.

Open your Savvy Selections & be ready to uncork these wines

– 2015 First Edition Meldville ChardonnayA crowd pleasing cool climate Chardonnay with abundance of freshness, crisp acidity and alluring floral notes.

– 2015 First Edition Meldville Sauvignon Blanc – a vibrant white wine with an enticing texture and a bouquet of fruity and zesty notes.

– 2013 First Edition Meldville Cabernet Franc – a scrumptious well-rounded red wine with lovely fruit concentration, acidity and aging potential.

Meldville Wines showcases an exciting new expression of Derek’s winemaking talent. His humbled journey to such an achievement is quite the story as well. It is exciting to taste his new wines, but we have “unlocked a little bit of Derek’s world” in the following pages that we think you will enjoy.

 

You definitely won’t find these wines at the LCBO!

FB Savvy Selections bottleEvery month, our Savvy Sommeliers seek out wines with you in mind. Meldville Wines are a small batch of hand-crafted wines in VERY limited quantities. If you find a new favorite wine and would like to stock up, call our Savvy Team any time at 613-SAVVYCO (728-8926) for additional bottles. Also call us even if you have a yearning for wines from other wineries we have featured in Savvy Selections.

 

Cheers & enjoy your summer!

Debbie & Savvy Team

 

Introducing…
Meldville Wines

Presented by Sommelier Monique Sosa

Life is nothing but constant and for Derek (in photo), this is no exception. He has been a hands-on winemaker throughout his entire career. Recent changes in his career have sparked quite the new beginning in his life – the decision to start crafting wines under his very own label! In this month’s Savvy Selections we get to tap into what motivates Derek, we get to learn about Derek’s pursuit to owning and operating his own winery, and of course, we get to enjoy the exclusive inaugural release of Meldville Wines. So…

…who is Derek Barnett after all?

A question to which Derek politely responds, “Wow! I really dislike talking about myself.” After we both nervously chuckled, the ice cracked and Derek came to admit that he is simply a guy who loves to drink wine and loves being a winemaker.derek

“I feel lucky to have the opportunity to do what I do for work every day and I simply enjoy making wines for people who love to drink wine.”

Derek hails from a deep background in agriculture. Both his grandparents owned farms in rural central England where his first job in the business was milking cows. When Derek immigrated to Canada, he worked as a dairy farmer at Don Head Farms, north of Toronto. During the 1980s, Derek was proactive in the evolution of Don Head Farms from dairy farming to a thriving fresh local produce hub. By the early 1990s, as appreciation for local gourmet foods and fine wine spiked amongst Derek and his colleagues in the Greater Toronto Area, the owners of Don Head Farms seized the opportunity to obtain a license to operate a boutique winery. They sought to source the finest grapes from key quality producers in the Niagara Escarpment with Derek as their winemaker. In 1991, the doors to their winery – Southbrook Winery – opened with a small but proud inventory of 2000 cases of wine.

Visualizing what became the first breaths of Derek’s dream career path, I asked him if it was challenging for him to take on such a role? “Not really,” he responded. Derek is proud to admit that he nurtured his craftsmanship on the job. He may not have been educationally trained but he enjoyed drinking wine, he had a trusted palate, and he understood how to make table wine that people enjoyed drinking. Vintage after vintage, as his skills and reputation expanded, while Derek recognized that being a winemaker meant far beyond just turning grape juice into wine. He recognized that being a standout winemaker included growing grapes, making wine with those grapes, and successfully selling the wine made from those grapes. “To achieve these goals, you need to connect with people,” explained Derek.

“Understanding consumers, what they like and how to connect with them is what motivates a winemaker to make great wines.”

Welcome to Meldville Wines…

With several decades of experience in winemaking at Southbrook Winery and Lailey Vineyards – and currently Karlo Estates in Prince Edward County – Derek came face to face with another career first, owning and operating his own virtual winery.

Meldville Wines, the name itself, was actually conceived by Derek some five years ago while on a road trip with his wife. From time to time, they imagined what life would be like if they owned their own winery someday.

Meldville was the name of his family homestead in Swinford, England. It was coined by his family from combining the first initials in each of their names:

– M for Malcolm (Derek’s brother)
– E for Edward (Derek’s father)
– L for Lucy (Derek’s mother)
– D for Derek

Ever since Derek committed this name to his imaginary winery, it became a constant twinkle in his eye.

What finally sealed the deal? “Well, after Lailey, I felt like it was too soon for me to retire. Suddenly, with an abundance of free time that fell on my plate, I thought to myself, there’s no time like the present,” Derek explained.

At present, Meldville Wines is a virtual winery producing wines under the license of Legends Estate Winery. The three grape varietals in this inaugural release are sourced from the Lincoln Lakeshore sub-appellation in the Niagara Escarpment. Derek chose to work with Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc and Cabernet France because he finds these wines to be very textural, flavourful and showcases attractive levels of acidity. Derek has had experience working with Legends Winery during his years as the head winemaker at Lailey and he appreciates that he still has the support of his community and the opportunity to continue to work with such fine fruit.

What’s on the bottle?

Something to note about the wine, aside from the excitement of getting to enjoy expressions of Derek once more, are the stories behind the labels. The front and back labels both depict symbols that are important to the conceptualization of Meldville Wines.   The layout of the front label depicts the first page of the first edition of the Meldville Wines story, i.e. Derek’s story.   The symbolism behind the skeleton key represents an invitation to unlock a little bit Derek into your glass.   On the back label, you will find a photo of what once was the Meldville homestead back in England.   Altogether, it is a unique welcome symbolizing the inaugural release of Meldville Wines.

He is only getting started! Derek has many plans and ideas for his winery. Some that include plans to expand his portfolio of grapes to include Pinot Noir and Riesling. He also loves working with small lot vineyards so we can definitely expect to find rare reserve releases in the future as well. Watch out…this is just the beginning!

meldville

 

So, is Derek really only about wine?

“Mostly!” says Derek with a grin. To which I asked, “what do you tend to keep in your cellar Derek?” Derek responds, “I am a huge fan of Riesling.” He lit up when he described all the enticing German Rieslings he grew up drinking. Chardonnay is another top grape for Derek along with Sauvignon Blanc from the Marlborough region in New Zealand. As for red wines, Derek loves Northern Rhone reds. He says he has quite the coveted collection in his cellar. Aside from wine, Derek is a ‘mega fan’ of craft beer and whisky. He shared with me warm stories of how he enjoyed spending many hours touring the highlands of Scotland while tasting a dram or two along his journey.

We then segued into what off-duty Derek is like.   When asked what his top three things to do on a day off were, Derek shared that his number one pastime was spending time with the many women in this life – i.e. his wife, his two daughters and two granddaughters. He is a gentleman with lots of ladies in life! Derek then shared with me his passion for gardening, and from time to time, he looks forward to playing a round or two of golf.

Last words?

We came full circle! When I asked Derek what he considers being his legacy, this topic took him right back to the “I hate talking about myself” moment. I admire Derek’s humility. Instead of listing off accolades and piecing together his proudest moments on a whim, Derek opted to reiterate his sincere appreciation of his journey so far. “It has been an amazing ride being a winemaker and I am simply proud of everything I have put in a bottle.”

Derek also wanted to share that he loves visiting Ottawa.   He appreciates the fans he has in Ottawa and looks forward to visiting us again soon.

Here`s to Derek & realizing his dream of Meldville Wines.

 

~ SAVVY SOMMELIER TASTING NOTES ~

 

2015 First Edition Meldville Chardonnay
meld_site_bottle_chardonnay

Savvy Sommelier Tastings Notes: This Chardonnay immediately grabs your attention with a surge of fresh fruit and floral aromas. The key flavours show pronounced notes of honeysuckle, young pineapple, Asian pear, and honeydew melon. Sip after sip, you will note a lively mouth-watering acidity, a crisp mouth feel and a refreshingly dry finish on the palate. This is no doubt a fantastic crowd-pleasing expression of a cool climate Chardonnay.

Suggested Food Pairings: Enjoy this medium bodied white wine with a range of hearty meals including seafood linguine, butternut squash risotto or even crispy fried chicken.

 Cellaring: Drinking well now. Can cellar for 1-2 years. Serve chilled between 10⁰-12⁰C

 

 

2015 First Edition Meldville Sauvignon Blanc meld_site_bottle_sauvignon

Savvy Sommelier Tastings Notes: This Sauvignon Blanc showcases a pleasant tropical fruit note upfront and a zesty herbaceous note on the finish. As you pour yourself a glass, notice the bursting aromas of guava, kiwi, lemongrass, and orange blossom. The palate is a noticeably rounder and fuller in style with impressive fruit concentration, length of flavours, and body; even though it was fully fermented in stainless steel tanks. This white wine also shows an attractive balance of fruit flavours, dryness, and high mouth-watering acidity.

 Suggested Food Pairings: Enjoy pairing this vibrant and refreshing Sauvignon Blanc with green leafy salads, lemon-garlic marinated shrimp skewers or basil pesto based dishes.

 Cellaring:Drinking well now. Can cellar for 1-2 years. Serve chilled between 10⁰-12⁰C

 

2013 First Edition Meldville Cabernet Franc meld_site_bottle_cabernet

Savvy Sommelier Tastings Notes: This Cabernet Franc pours with an attractive deep ruby red appearance and an explosion of plum, berry fruit, and savoury aromas. Dominant notes include raspberries, blackberries, fresh cranberries and hints of spearmint, clove, and dried herbs. The palate shows a lovely integration of red berry notes, high acidity, young tannins, and long enticing tart cranberry note.

Suggested Food Pairings: Enjoy this medium bodied Cabernet Franc with slow roasted beef tenderloin, a gamey venison stew or simple pork chops on the BBQ.

 Cellaring: Drinking well now. Can cellar for 5-7 years. Serve chilled between 16⁰-18⁰C

 

 

 

RECIPES TO ENJOY WITH YOUR SAVVY SELECTIONS ~

 

With the Meldville Chardonnay…

A Butternut Squash Risotto

Recipe and photo credit to thepioneerwoman.com
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour
Serves: 8

Ingredientssquash rissoto

1/2 whole Butternut Squash, peeled, seeded & diced
3 Tablespoons butter
1 Tablespoon olive oil
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
Black Pepper – to taste
1/4 teaspoon chili powder
1/2 whole diced onion
1-1/2 cup Arborio rice
6 cups (approximately) vegetable or chicken broth (low sodium is recommended)
Salt & Pepper – to taste
1/8 teaspoon turmeric
1/4 cup heavy cream (less if desired)
1/2 cup parmesan shavings – for garnish
Finely Minced Parsley – for garnish

 

Method

Heat 1 tablespoon butter and olive oil in a large skillet over high heat. Add squash and sprinkle with salt, pepper, and chili powder. Cook for several minutes, turning gently with a spatula until squash is deep golden brown and tender (but not falling apart.) Remove to a plate and set aside.

Heat broth in a saucepan over low heat. Keep warm.

Add 2 tablespoons butter to the same skillet over medium-low heat. Add onions and cook for 2 to 3 minutes, or until translucent. Add Arborio rice and stir, cooking for 1 minute.

Reduce heat to low. In 1-cup increments, begin adding broth to the skillet, stirring to combine and gently stirring as the broth is absorbed. As soon as the liquid disappears, add in another cup to cup-and-a-half of broth. Continue this process, stirring gently as the broth incorporates and the rice starts to become tender. Add salt, pepper along the way.

Taste the rice after about 5 cups of broth have been absorbed and see what the consistency is. Add another 1 to 2 cups of broth as needed to get the rice to the right consistency: it should be tender with just a little bit of “bite” left to it.

When the rice is tender, add the cooked squash and turmeric and stir it in gently. Add the cream and Parmesan shavings and stir until it’s just combined. Taste and add more salt and pepper as needed.

Sprinkle minced parsley over the top and serve immediately!

 

With Meldville Sauvignon Blanc…

Lemon Garlic Shrimp

Recipe and photo credit to eatingwell.com
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Serves: 2-3

shrimps w wineIngredients

3 tablespoons minced garlic
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1/4 cup lemon juice
1/4 cup minced fresh parsley
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1 1/4 pounds cooked shrimp

Method

Place garlic and oil in a small skillet and cook over medium heat until fragrant, about 1 minute.

Add lemon juice, parsley, salt and pepper.

Then toss over (thawed) cooked shrimp in a large bowl and serve.

 

With Meldville Cabernet Franc…

Roasted Beef Tenderloin

Recipe and photo credit to thepioneerwoman.com
Prep Time: 25 minutes | Cook Time: 25 minutes
Servings: 8

Ingredientsbeef meldville

1 whole (4-5 lbs.) Beef Tenderloin
4 Tablespoons salted butter – more to taste
1/3 cup whole peppercorns more to taste
Seasoning salt (or your favorite blend with ingredients such as salt, garlic powder, onion powder, and paprika…among other things!)
Lemon Pepper Seasoning
Olive Oil

 

Method

Preheat oven to 475 degrees.

Rinse meat well. Trim away some of the fat to remove the silvery cartilage underneath. With a very sharp knife, begin taking the fat off the top, revealing the silver cartilage underneath. You definitely don’t want to take every last bit of fat off—not at all. As with any cut of meat, a little bit of fat adds to the flavor. (Hint: you can also ask the butcher to do this trimming for you if the process seems intimidating.)

Sprinkle meat generously with seasoning salt. You can much more liberally season a tenderloin because you’re having to pack more of a punch in order for the seasoning to make an impact. Rub it in with your fingers. Sprinkle both sides generously with lemon & pepper seasoning. (There are no measurements because it depends on your taste, but be sure to season liberally.)

Place the peppercorns in a Ziploc bag, and with a mallet or a hammer or a large, heavy can, begin smashing the peppercorns to break them up a bit. Set aside.

Heat some olive oil in a heavy skillet. When the oil is to the smoking point, place the tenderloin in the very hot pan to sear it. Throw a couple of tablespoons of butter into the skillet to give it a nice little butter injection before going in the oven. A minute or two later, when one side is starting to turn nice and brown, flip and repeat.

Place the tenderloin on an oven pan with a rack. Sprinkle the pummeled peppercorns all over the meat. Press the pepper onto the surface of the meat. Put several tablespoons of butter all over the meat. Stick the long needle of the thermometer lengthwise into the meat. Place it in a 475-degree oven until the temperature reaches just under 140 degrees, about fifteen to twenty minutes. Stay near the oven and keep checking the meat thermometer to make sure it doesn’t overcook.

Let meat stand ten minutes or so before slicing, so the meat will have a chance to relax a bit.

To serve, you can spoon the olive oil/butter juices from the skillet onto the top of the meat for a little extra flavor.

Note: if you live outside of America and can’t get Lawry’s, any good salt blend will do. (For the record, I think Lawry’s has salt, garlic powder, onion powder, and paprika in it, among other things.)

 

 Enjoy your Savvy Selections!

 

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All set! New Year’s Eve Dinner with Wine Shopping List

Posted by Debbie

Thursday, December 25th, 2014
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You’ve been planning, shopping, baking, cooking, decorating, and mailing (phew!) to get ready for the Holidays…so let us help you create a great dinner for the last day of the year. This take-home New Year’s Eve Dinner from Thyme & Again is an elegant menu prepared by their creative chefs using local ingredients. All you have to do is call the great folks at Thyme & Again by noon on Monday December 29th. Avoid the crowds, the kitchen and the stress!

Includes a Wine Shopping List too…

To make your New Year’s festivities extra easy, our Savvy Sommeliers  have provided wine recommendations from fine Ontario wineries to pair with these festive dishes. All of these wines are available at various LCBOs in Ottawa. For more wine recommendations from Savvy Sommeliers, call 613-SAVVYCO (728-8926) www.savvycompany.ca

Here’s to a delicious dinner & exciting 2015!

 

 

Special New Year’s Eve Menu with Wine Pairings

 

 

sparkling wine closeup of glasses

HORS D’OEUVRES

Coffee Poached Pears; Chèvre with Candied Walnut & Orange on Seed Crackers (V, GF)

Mini Perogie with Braised Shortrib & Cheese Curds

North of Seven Vodka Flambée Lobster stuffed Gruyère Profiterole

Kick off the festivities with a bubbly! Savvy Sommeliers recommend:

Casa Dea Dea’s Cuvée Sparkling, Prince Edward County $18.95
13th Street Cuvée Sparkling Brut Rosé, Niagara $24.95
Henry of Pelham Cuvée Catharine Brut, Niagara $29.95

 

ED wine bottle and corkscrewSTARTERS

Acorn Creek Sunchoke, Apple and Chestnut Soup with fresh Thyme

Bluegrass Farms Baby Arugula; Smoked Tofu “Bacon”; Parmesan Tuille; Crouton;Lemon Garlic Dressing (V, GF)

Confit Duck and Shiitaki Mushroom Phyllo Pastry, Baby Greens and Honey Soy Drizzle

Crowd pleasing wines recommended by Savvy Sommeliers:
Rosewood Süssreserve Riesling, Niagara $14.95
Malivoire Gamay, Niagara $16.95
Kacaba Cabernet Merlot Syrah, Niagara $18.95

 

MAIN COURSESED glasses of wine

Oil Poached Striploin with Le Coprin Mushroom Tapenade
Rosti Potato with Zucchini Ribbon
Wine to serve: Huff Estates South Bay Merlot, Prince Edward County $29.95
*Will be featured in Savvy Selections wine of the month club in January 2015

~

Shrimp and Alliums stuffed Roasted Chicken Breast and Sherried Tomato Cream
Duck Fat “Confit” Fingerling Potatoes with Thyme Roasted Carrots
Wine to serve: Lailey Sauvignon Blanc, Niagara-on-the-Lake, $19.95

~

Seared Black Cod with Lemongrass and Scallions
White and Bamboo Rice Pilaf with Miso Glazed Bok Choy
Wine to serve: Pondview Bella Terra Chardonnay, Niagara-on-the-Lake $24.95

~

Mixed Wild Mushroom and Brandy Ragout Stuffed Portobello with Cauliflower Purée (V, GF)
Rosti Potato with Thyme Roasted Carrots
Wine to serve: Rosehall Run Defiant Pinot Noir, Prince Edward County $18.95

~

Pork Two Ways: Hall’s Apple Cider Braised Pork Belly and Pan Seared Chard Stuffed Pork Tenderloin Medallion with Calvados Apple Butter
Duck Fat “Confit” Fingerling Potatoes with Miso Glazed Bok Choy
Wine to serve: Fielding Estates Pinot Gris, Niagara $18.95

DESSERTS

dessert Thyme & AgainSalted Caramel Crème Brûlée with Smoked Chili Truffle, Triple Chocolate Biscotti, Fresh Raspberries (GF available without biscotti)

Callebaut Dark Chocolate Mousse Cakelette with Drunken Cherries, Toasted Marshmallow, Espresso Cream, Fresh Strawberries (GF)

Key Lime & White Chocolate Cheesecake with Dulce de Leche, Parisian Macaron, Fresh Blueberries (GF)

Lemon & Raspberry Tart with Raspberry Coulis, Ginger Biscuits, Meringue Kisses, Fresh Blackberries

Our Savvy Sommeliers recommend to serve with these delicious desserts:
Southbrook Vineyards Framboise, Niagara $15.95 (dessert wine made with raspberries)
Cave Springs Indian Summer Select Late Harvest Riesling VQA 2008, Niagara $24.95
Tawse Riesling Icewine VQA 2009, Niagara $34.95

 

Menu codes:
N = Contains Nuts or Seeds
V = Vegetarian
GF = Gluten Free 

Your dinner order includes:

hors d’oeuvre
starter
entrée
locally baked bread
dessert


Price per person:

Beef: $48
Chicken: $45
Pork: $48
Cod: $45
Vegetarian: $38

Please contact Thyme & Again Creative Catering directly to place your order.
1255 Wellington St W.
Ottawa ON  Tel: 613-722-0093
www.thymeandagain.ca

Have a very happy New Year’s Eve with friends & family, from all of us at Savvy Company.
Debbie & the Savvy Team

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The drumroll please….2014 wine winners

Posted by Amanda

Monday, November 3rd, 2014
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HOT OFF THE PRESS!

The winners of this year’s Ottawa Wine Challenge – the wine competition associated to the annual Ottawa Wine & Food Festival – have been announced.  We are thrilled that for the first time in ever that the Best of Show winning wines are all made in Canada!  Move over France, Australia & Italy…Canadian wines are taking top marks and the owning the podium at this challenge.

Ottawa wine challenge
The Savvy Team seizes every opportunity to wave the Canadian flag & we are excited that several of the wineries that we feature in our Savvy Selections wine-of-the-month-club as well as our Taste & Buy events won medals in this wine competition.  <Insert big round of applause!>.

Those Canadian wineries we have featured are highlighted.  Be sure to visit the winemakers & winery owners at this weekend’s show or subscribe to Savvy Selections to have award winning wines delivered year round!

Best of Show…

WHITE WINE – Strewn Winery Cottage Block Riesling 2012 – Ontario, Canada
RED WINE – Southbrook Vineyards Triomphe Cabernet Sauvignon 2010 – Ontario Canada
SWEET WINE – Domaine Pinnacle Ice Cider 2012 – Quebec, Canada

Gold Medal Winners…

Konzelmann Estate Vidal Icewine 2010 – Ontario, Canada
Konzelmann Estate Cabernet Sauvignon Icewine 2012 – Ontario, Canada
Palatine Hills Estate Prestige Sparkling Wine – Ontario, Canada
Oyster Bay Sparkling Rose Cuvee Brut Hawke’s Bay/Marlborough – New Zealand
Sideroad Twenty Cellars Red Tractor Cabernet Franc 2012 – Ontario, Canada
Rosewood Estates Origin Cabernet Franc 2012 – Ontario, Canada
Rosewood Estates Sussreserve Riesling 2013 – Ontario, Canada
Strewn Winery Cottage Block Riesling 2012 – Ontario, Canada
Southbrook Vineyards Triomphe Cabernet Sauvignon 2010 – Ontario, Canada
Domaine Pinnacle Ice Cider 2012 – Quebec, Canada

Silver Medal Winners….

Wither Hills Wairau Valley Sauvignon Blanc 2013 – New Zealand
Stoneleigh Sauvignon Blanc 2014 – New Zealand
Viticoltori d’Acqui Brachetto de’Acqui Sparkling Rose NV – Italy
Konzelmann Estate Special Select Late Harvest Vidal 2013 – Ontario, Canada
Mission Hill Family Estate Diabolica Red 2012 – British Columbia, Canada
Cantina Negrar Amarone 2010 – Italy
Domain Martin Plan de Dieu 2011 – France
Family Wine Merchants Sangre de Toro 2013 – Spain
Rosewood Estates Select Merlot 2012 – Ontario, Canada
Mission Hill Family Estate Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon 2012 – Canada
Alpine Valley Alpine Valley Sauvignon Blanc 2013 – New Zealand
Loosen Brothers Villa Wolf Riesling 2013 – Germany
Pelee Island Winery Alvar Pinot Noir 2012 – Canada
Konzelmann Estate Shiraz 2013 – Canada
Rancourt Winery Merlot 2009 – Canada (a new winery that we have not featured yet!)

Bronze Medal Winners…

Konzelmann Estate Unoaked Chardonnay 2013 – Ontario, Canada
Palatine Hills Estate 1812 Unoaked Chardonnay 2013 – Ontario, Canada
Lailey Vineyards Old Vines Chardonnay 2012 – Ontario, Canada
The Wine Group Chloe Chardonnay 2012 – USA
Oyster Bay Marlborough Chardonnay 2013 – New Zealand
Mission Hill Reserve Chardonnay 2012 – Canada
Bodgas Santa Julia Santa Julia Chardonnay 2013 – Argentina
Stoneleigh Chardonnay Malborough 2013 – New Zealand
Vina Santa Rita Reserva Chardonnay 2013 – Chile
Coyote’s Run Red Paw Vineyard Pinot Gris 2013 – Ontario, Canada
Pondview Estate Winery Bella Terra Pinot Gris 2013 – Ontario, Canada
Sandbanks Winery Pinot Grigio 2013 – Ontario, Canada
Mondo del Vino Barone Montalto Pinot Grigio 2013 – Italy
Oyster Bay Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc 2014 – New Zealand
Babich Wines Sauvignon Blanc 2013 – New Zealand
Brancott Estate Letter Series B Sauvignon Blanc Malborough 2012 – New Zealand
Sacred Hill White Cliff Sauvignon Blanc 2013 – New Zealand
Veramonte Winery Sauvignon Blanc 2013 – Chile
GA Schmitt Clean Slate Riesling 2013 – Germany
Rosewood Estates Mima’s Block Riesling 2012 – Ontario, Canada
Konzelmann Estate Canada White Riesling 2011 – Ontario, Canada
Lailey Vineyards Late Harvest Riesling Dry 2013 – Ontario, Canada
Konzelmann Estate Pinot Blanc 2012 – Ontario, Canada
Sandbanks Winery Dunes White 2013 – Ontario, Canada
Laroche Laroche de la Chevaliere Viognier 2013 – France
LGCF Chateau Cleray Muscadet 2012 – France
Willm Gewurztraminer 2013 – France
Torres Vina Esmerelda Moscatel Gewurztraminer 2013 – Spain
Diamond Estates 1914 Honour White 2013 – Ontario, Canada
Fuzion Wines Fuzion Alta Torrontes Pinot Grigio 2013 – Argentina
Brumont Gros Manseng Sauvignon Blanc 2013 – France
Coyote’s Run Estate Winery Black Paw Vineyard Pinot Noir 2012 – Ontario, Canada
Konzelmann Estate Pinot Noir 2012 – Ontario, Canada
Konzelmann Estate Reserve Pinot Noir 2012 – Ontario, Canada
Gnarly Head Cellars Pinot Noir 2012 – USA
Don Sebastiani & Sons Aquinas Napa Valley Pinot Noir 2012 – USA
Rosewood Estates Origin Pinot Noir 2012 – Ontario, Canada
Lailey Vineyards Syrah 2012 – Ontario, Canada
Deakin Shiraz 2013 – Australia
Lailey Vineyards Unfiltered Merlot 2012 – Ontario, Canada
Palatine Hills Neufeld Vineyard Merlot 2012– Ontario, Canada
Oyster Bay Hawke’s Bay Merlot 2013 – New Zealand
Irony Wines Merlot 2011 – USA
Noble Vines 181 Lodi Merlot 2012 – USA
Pelee Island Winery Vinedresser’s Cabernet Sauvignon 2010 – Ontario, Canada
Pondview Estate Winery Bella Terra Cabernet Sauvignon 2011 – Ontario, Canada
Torres Gran Coronas Cabernet Sauvignon 2010 – Spain
Gnarly Head Cellars Gnarly Head Cabernet Sauvignon 2011 – USA
Don Sebastiani & Sons Smoking Loon Cabernet Sauvignon 2012 – USA
Fuzion Wines Fuzion Alta Reserva Cabernet Sauvignon 2012 – Argentina
Bodgas Santa Julia Reserva Cabernet 2012 – Argentina
Rodney Strong Alexander Valley Cabernet Sauvignon 2011 – USA
Wente Vineyards Southern Hills Cabernet Sauvignon 2012 – USA
Maison Louis Latour Gamay 2011 – France
Bodegas Trivento Fair Trade Malbec 2013 – Argentina
Fuzion Wines Fuzion Alta Reserva Malbec 2013 – Argentina
Campo Viejo Tempranillo 2012 – Spain
Coyote’s Run Rare Vintage Cabernet Franc 2012– Ontario, Canada
Pondview Estate Winery Bella Terra Cabernet Franc 2012 – Ontario, Canada
Sandbanks Winery Reserve Baco Noir 2012 – Ontario, Canada
Torres Coronas Tempranillo 2011 – Spain
Costa Mediana Valpolicella Ripasso 2011 – Italy
Southbrook Vineyards Triomphe Cabernet Franc 2012 – Ontario, Canada
Bodegas Portia Faustino VII Rioja 2011 – Spain
Don Sebastiani & Sons Smoking Loon Old Vine Zinfandel 2012 – USA
Coyote’s Run Rare Vintage Cabernet Syrah 2012 – Ontario, Canada
Konzelmann Estate Family Reserve Cabernet Merlot 2012 – Ontario, Canada
Konzelmann Estate Heritage Red 2012 – Ontario, Canada
Lailey Vineyards Impromptu 2012– Ontario, Canada
Pelee Island Winery Singing Moon Cabernet Merlot 2012 – Ontario, Canada
Sandbanks Winery Shoreline Red 2013 – Ontario, Canada
Sandbanks Winery Mouton Noir 2013 – Ontario, Canada
Torres Infinite Red 2011 – Spain
Diamond Estates 1914 Valour 2013 – Ontario, Canada
Palatine Hills Estate Cabernet Merlot 2012 – Ontario, Canada
Rancourt Winery Meritage 2009 – Ontario, Canada
Mondo del Vino Barone Montalto Nero d’Avola Cabernet 2013 – Italy
Bodegas Piqueras Castillo de Almansa Reserva 2010 – Spain
Fuzion Wines Fuzion Shiraz Malbec 2013 – Argentina
Fuzion Wines Fuzion Organico Malbec Cabernet 2013 – Argentina
Distell Inception 2011 – South Africa
Rosewood Estates Lock, Stock & Barrel 2012 – Ontario, Canada
Southbrook Vineyards Connect Red 2012 – Ontario, Canada
Cellier des Dauphins Cellier des Dauphins Rouge 2012 – France
Palatine Hills Estate Gamay Noir Rose 2013– Ontario, Canada
Chivite Chivite Gran Feudo Rosado 2013 – Spain
Konzelmann Estate Sparkling Riesling NV – Ontario, Canada
Konzelmann Estate Sparkling Rose NV – Ontario, Canada
Pelee Island Winery Secco 2012 – Ontario, Canada
Freixenet Cordon Negro Brut Cava NV – Spain
Henkell Cavas Hill NV – Spain
Segura Viudas Segura Viudas Cava NV – Spain

Now how is that for a shopping list!!

Cheers!
Debbie & the Savvy Team

 

 

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Celebrate Red & White! Get your shopping list ready…

Posted by Amanda

Friday, July 11th, 2014
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O Canada! Prepare to be amazed. We’re putting the final touches on Celebrate Red & White!  An All-Canadian Night Taste & Buy event that will take place on Wednesday July 16.  A record number of wine lovers from the nations capital will be treated to wines from coast to coast as they nibble made in Canada gourmet goodies too. (more…)

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A spring time wines shopping list…

Posted by Julie

Saturday, April 12th, 2014
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The LCBO Vintages is sure pulling out all the bells and whistles for it this weekend’s (April 12) release to coincide with Easter celebrations. Regardless of religious beliefs, countries all over the world seem to celebrate Easter in various ways. Some people deliver chocolate or real eggs & live bunnies, throw pots of water out of windows, fly homemade kites or ski. Regardless the tradition, Easter is a symbol of spring and fertility. Albeit, as I write this I have not seen many sprouting daffodils but regardless of country, most cultures bring out wine, spirits and their best ethnic food for the occasion.

LCBO Vintages magazine April 12Whether you having a traditional Easter feast of turkey, ham, fish, lamb, all or any of the above (invite me please!) you certainly need some wine to help wash it down. To help decide which ones, I have made this weekend’s shopping list for a spring time feast that would be great to serve with any of the above dishes.  And a splash of little icewine is always a nice finale to any meal – I recommend Reif Vidal Icewine 2012 (Vintages #3544791) as it would not break the bank at $24.95.

Spring always cheers us on and with these releases we’re well on our way to bunny hopping.

Happy Easter!
Julie

 

If I only had $100, I would buy at LCBO Vintages
April 12th, 2014

 

Cathedral Cellar Brut SparklingCathedral Cellar Brut Sparkling 2010

Méthode Cap Classique, WO Western Cape, South Africa
KWV
$16.95 (Vintages #296426) 12% alcohol

Sparkling wine is an elegant start to any event and impossible to go wrong with this Chardonnay and Pinot Noir blend. Light, moussey bubbles abound, fine texture with a chalky base, slightly toasty with lemon, pear flavours and a touch minerality. A fabulous price point for this bone dry beautiful bubbly.

 

Lailey Chardonnay 2012Lailey Chardonnay 2012

VQA Niagara Peninsula
$19.95  (Vintages #193482)  13.5% alcohol

Winemaker, Derek Barnett must sleep well at night. On 20 acres of premium Niagara land, and from 100% Ontario grown grapes the end result is an absolutely magnificent white wine. I am a huge Lailey fan and this is a beautiful Chardonnay. Smooth as silk on the palate with ripe yellow apple and honeydew melon flavours, a pinch citrus and a clean refreshing finish. It is a tantalizing white wine, sending you back for more. It would food pair with all the usual Chardonnay partners but it is so delicious, I recommend it on its own. 

 

Newton Johnson Pinot NoirNewton Johnson Pinot Noir 2012

WO Upper Hemel en aarde Valley, Walker Bay
South Africa
$26.95 (Vintages # 660878)  13.5% alcohol

This new Pinot on the block does not disappoint. Lovely smooth red cherry flavour with soft herbs and tannins. This red wine has quite a respectable length and is a wine with finesse. A perfect accompaniment to turkey or ham.

 

SkuttlebuttStella Bella Skuttlebutt Shiraz/Cabernet 2009

Margaret River, Western Australia
$19.95 (Vintages # 58131) 14% alcohol

After I taste 30-40 bottles of wine, my handwriting becomes skewed and I shorten words that I can only guess later, however my notes on this were clear and when I place mega stars, that’s a definite that I must pick up a couple of bottles. Rich berry flavours deep garnet purple a little woodsy with loads of flavour and texture. Medium bodied red wine with soft tannins; a great drinking wine and as for food – lamb stew to anything grilled would more than work and be enjoyed.

 

Featherstone RoseFeatherstone Rosé 2013

VQA Niagara Peninsula
$14.95 (Vintages # 117861) 13% alcohol

Years ago I took pictures of the Featherstone winery with sheep nibbling at the grape leaves to help ripen the grapes.  Fond memories. Nothing says spring like a beautiful glass of salmon coloured rosé. In my opinion, most rosés have flavours of strawberries, and often rhubarb, which is true for this rosé however I also found some savoury, vegetal elements with juicy acidity, This rosé wine is medium bodied with a longer finish than many others. Makes for a great appertif and has enough structure to match any lighter fare dishes.

 

 I’m ready for Easter – Grand Total: $ 98.75

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Wine class #3 – What’s the story behind these bunches of grapes?

Posted by Amanda

Monday, September 9th, 2013
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From working with the Sommeliers at Savvy Company, I have noticed that there seems to be a story behind every bottle of wine and history about the thousands of different grape varieties too.  In this Wine 101 blog, we share with you the background on some interesting wines & grape varieties.  These are tidbits that you can drop into any dinner party conversation!

In fact, over a glass of wine, Savvy Sommelier Debbie Trenholm told her friend Dale Morris of Ascribe Marketing about these 4 grape varieties.  Here are the notes Dale captured in her napkin!

Wine 101 – A few white grapes with a story

Viognier

Viognier (pronounced Vee-on-yeah!) is a grape variety that has a deeply rooted heritage in France. Debbie fell in love with this unusual white while at wine school (aka the Sommelier accreditation program). Expecting to find some while she touring France, Debbie was disappointed there was no Viognier to be had: it seems the French enjoy it so much they often keep it for themselves. Now that word has gotten out about this hidden gem, winemakers in Argentina, California, Australia and Canada are taking up the cause, growing and crafting elegant wines full of delicious aromas.

In Australia, Viognier is often blended with Shiraz to add a little body and sweetness to reds. Some winemakers have told Debbie that Viognier could become the next it white – “If only people could pronounce it correctly.”

Only a few wineries in Niagara are growing this varietal. Prepare to be WOWed by Fielding’s wine. But be warned: if you like it, you’ll be hooked!

TIP: Fielding Winery in Niagara currently has their Viognier wine on sale for $19.95 (that is $5 off per bottle). This special price is only available through our Savvy Bin Ends.  Click here to order >>

Sauvignon Blanc

Lailey Vineyard’s Sauvignon Blanc (pronounced So-veen-yon Blah-nk) – is a family affair – sort of. Created by winemaker Derek Barnett, the son of a brewmaster, from Kent, England, Derek is renowned throughout the Canadian wine industry for his innovative styles and impressive flavours.

To achieve them, Derek takes the unusual step of a ‘double-harvest’ of grapes. The first picking is done when the grapes are just ripe – this gives his wine its refreshing and crisp aromas and tastes. Derek then lets the remaining ‘Sauv Blanc’ grapes hang on the vines until they‘re well over-ripe – almost brown – before picking the bunch. This gives them nice tropical-fruit notes. Grown from the same patch of vines, these two diverse grapes are blended together for a very complex and delicious summer sipping wine.

 Wine 101 – A few red grapes with a story

Pinot Noir

Pinot Noir (pronounced PEE-no Nwar) is often referred to as the “Prince of Grapes” or the “heartbreak grape.” Why? This grape varietal needs care and nurturing around the clock. It’s difficult to grow, and the wine it produces has a tendency to actively evolve in the cellar. As a result, crafting a good Pinot Noir is the pinnacle of any winemaker’s personal achievement.

In New Zealand, some winemakers go so far as to have helicopters hover over their vineyards to warm the air on cool nights! Many also babysit their barrels, 24/7.

There are two classic styles of Pinot – cherry or earthy. Depending on the winemaker’s preference, the Pinot can be crafted to emphasize the terroir.

For a classic combination, you can lightly chill a Pinot Noir and enjoy a glass with grilled salmon. 

Carmenère

Carmenère (CAR-men-yere) is a relative newcomer to North American palates. Recently, it was determined to be a long-lost grape varietal from Bordeaux, France, and not just a Merlot, as was previously believed. Grown only in Chile, it has quickly become the region`s signature wine, with winemakers using it to craft excellent, big and bold flavours. Once you’re exposed to Carmenère, you’ll be hooked.

This wine is begging to be served with something hearty off the barbecue – steak, lamb, burgers and grilled mushrooms come to mind.

Savvy Sommelier Debbie recommends you save your last sip for desert, to enjoy with some dark chocolate cake.

 

Reviewing the Week’s ‘Wine’101 Lessons

 

I hope you had a little fun with our 3 back-to-back Wine 101 ‘Classes’ in what can be a stressful time for everyone. You can consult our Wine 101 – Pairing Food & Wine to help you with some quick & easy meals all year long; check the rules & regs in Wine 101 – Tasting, Storing & Ordering Wine and lastly in Wine 101 – The Story Behind the Grapes you can now pass the test when it comes to grape varietals.

I hope you have enjoyed being back at school this week with Savvy Company– and perhaps learned a thing or two!

Cheers!

Amanda

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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 fun bunch at Lailey Vineyard

Posted by Eva

Monday, June 24th, 2013
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Savvy Selections wine of the month club
Featuring Lailey Vineyard
–  June 2013 –

 

Fruit trees & a few hybrid grapes were once farmed along the Niagara Parkway by husband & wife team William & Nora Lailey. Following in their footsteps as farmers, their son, David (a school teacher) and his wife Donna purchased the family farm & after many conversations around the kitchen table, David & Donna decided to replace the fruit orchards with vitis vinifera grapevines. “The orchard is too much work’, Donna explained to me in an interview.  “And a vineyard is easier?” I did not dare say aloud!

Now as grape farmers, David & Donna spent many years buying, processing & reselling grapes to the neighbouring wineries – many who are now considered the pioneers of the Ontario wine industry.  Transforming the grape growing into a winery – Lailey Vineyard – was sealed with the granting of a winery license, followed by Derek Barnett joining them in 2000 as winemaker.  And with Derek came along his wife Judith as a business partner. Derek’s talents were quickly recognized by the industry with the title of ‘Winemaker of the Year’ at the annual Ontario Wine Awards. This is quite a coup for any winemaker, especially interesting as Derek is a son of a brew master in England!

When you ask David about his wines, he still maintains that, “Our wines express the natural characteristics of the grape varietal and the vineyard they come from.” Over the years. the Lailey estate has grown in size while their wines have grown an outstanding reputation.  With every year that the vineyard matures, the quality of the grapes improves and so does the wine.  You are in for a treat as many of the Lailey vines are close to 30 years old.  The richness & complexity of these wines can be tasted with one sip.  And interesting to compare to last month’s Savvy Selections featured winery – DiProfio Estate – which just opened last summer and their vineyards are less than 10 years old.

A ‘must visit’ on your next trip to Niagara-on-the-Lake

The team at Lailey always has something going on at the winery. Their annual Barrel Burning BBQ on July 6th features an afternoon of sausages roasted over “de-commissioned” oak barrels enjoyed with newly released Lailey wines of course!  And for dessert … S’mores! Click here to buy advance tickets or phone the winery at (905) 468-0503. This is just one of the many fun activities hosted by Lailey at the winery.

In your Savvy Selections, you will find:

Sauvignon Blanc VQA 2012 – zippy & fresh New World style ‘Sauv Blanc’ without being over-the-top

Canadian Oak Chardonnay VQA 2011 – a rare white wine that is uniquely aged in barrels from native Canadian oak offers enticing aromas of buttered popcorn & tropical fruit – a Lailey signature!

Cabernet Sauvignon VQA 2010 – this unfiltered beauty with loads of mouth-coating dark berry fruit tastes that you can enjoy now or to hide in your cellar

OPTIONAL WINE: Lailey makes a gorgeous Canadian Oak Meritage VQA 2010 – a blend of Cabernet Franc, Merlot & Cabernet Sauvignon.  If you asked me to add a bottle or two of this multi award winning wine… you are in for a treat!

Similar to other wineries we have featured in Savvy Selections, a small selection of Lailey wines are available at the LCBO. If you would like additional bottles of your new favourite – 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 & Enjoy!

Debbie & Savvy Team


Introducing…
Lailey Vineyard 

Presented by Savvy Sommelier Éva Nagy

 

For over 40 years, David & Donna Lailey have farmed the land, converting the Lailey family fruit farm into a flourishing vineyard & grape growing business. Donna with her ‘roll up her sleeves’ approach to building the business, was a founding member of the Vintners Quality Alliance (VQA) and in 1991 was named the very first “Grape Queen” – a highly sought after annual award designated by the Grape Growers of Ontario for the most impressive & well-maintained vineyard in Niagara – chosen by her peers. The family success lies in the vines telling them what needs to be done to them. With great care, everything is done by hand from grape to glass.

The main man behind the winery – Derek Barnett

Derek (left) began his winemaking career at Southbrook Vineyards originally located north of Toronto.  During visits to Niagara-on-the-Lake, he was attracted to Lailey Vineyard when he saw small parcels of mature vines with potential to be a high quality production facility. Remember 20 years ago, there were not numerous wineries in Niagara as is the case today!  Derek boasts that the success of the winery attributes to the wonderful location of the vineyard & the Lailey family’s commitment to grow only quality fruit. The estate is comprised of seventeen grape varieties and in the winery cellar Derek says he is always experimenting “with two barrels of this & that to keep things fun!”

With 22 years (and counting) in the industry as winemaker, Derek has a deep affinity for the growing Canadian wine industry. He appreciates how wonderful it is having a job you like to do. “Making wine & going out to meet the people who like wine gets me out of bed each morning.”

“The excitement of the growth of the Canadian wine industry generated within by the winemakers is now getting out to the consumers, wine reviewers and even the energy is seen on the retail store shelves”. In the last 10 years, a new generation of wine drinkers has helped proliferate the international message – that Canada makes impressive wines. Coupled with the grass root movement supporting local food & wine, social media is engaging more people to view Ontario & Canada as a wine & culinary destination. The bottom line beams Derek, “We have awesome wine! VQA & the Canadian wine industry is on its way up.” You heard it here first!

A fun bunch – and we’re not talking grapes!

The folks at Lailey are fun & passionate about their winery & wines.  Quick to show you around, anyone jumps in to do a hands-on tour led – including Derek or the resident sommelier.  In the tasting room, it is all about the wine; no trinkets nor t-shirts nor glassware for sale, as they do not want the Lailey team or the visitors to lose focus on the wine.

Considered “old school”, they do not interfere in their winemaking approach. Derek is hands-off, listening to what the wine wants to do. Romantic as it may sound, Derek maintains a hands-off approach, “I bottle wines when they are ready to be bottled”.

Favorites – vintages, wines & harvest

Which wines does Derek enjoy making?  Well that changes every year. Currently, he has a passion for barrel-fermented Chardonnay, “Niagara’s white wine grape” as he calls it. Other varietals that intrigue & inspire him are German Riesling with its bright aromatics, Northern Rhone style Syrah & Ontario varietals too.

Favorite times of year? Derek has 2 favorite periods during the grape-growing season: The green tinge of spring signifies another year of winemaking. Harvest provides the next bottle of wine that he is going to produce. If he has to choose his favorite time of the year, “Harvest!”, he exclaims.

Winemaking for 13 years at Lailey has led to many awards.  Derek is proud of the “stunning” 2007 Syrah and 2002 limited edition Chardonnay: “It was hard to top”.  2012 is a well-balanced vintage, comparing closely to 2002, one of his favourite vintages for good growing.

Derek mentions that there is no one particular ‘proudest moment’ –there are too many! Chardonnay excites him, as he describes it as “stunning”. Syrah, Cabernet Franc & Pinot Noir are great personal challenges too.

A Curious Mind

All of these proud moments led to the creation of Curious Mind label: one-offs available only to loyal Lailey customers. Derek explains that these wines are his ‘toy box’ – he experiments using the any of 17 grape varieties and 9 different barrel brands to play & create very interesting curiosities. These limited edition wines are an absolute steal at $20 – made to order, numbered & signed too.  Are you curious to try these wines?  Call us to arrange a special shipment.

Cheers & enjoy your Savvy Selections!

 

~ SAVVY SOMMELIER TASTING NOTES ~

 

Sauvignon Blanc VQA 2012 $20.00

Interestingly the history of Sauvignon Blanc is rooted in the ‘Old World” wine region of Bordeaux, France.  Today though, it is planted around the world – New World & Old World, resulting in crisp, dry & refreshing white wine. Commonly referred to as ‘Sauv Blanc’, is the main component of the famous French dessert wines of Sauternes & Barsac. Have you had these wines?

Savvy Sommelier Tasting Notes: Zippy aromas & flavours of citrus (think lime & white grapefruit), floral, distinct minerality with a zingy tart gooseberry taste that when Eva had a sip, she immediately mentions ‘Oh my, this reminds me of mother-in-law’s gooseberry pie’.

Reminiscent of a New World style Sauvignon Blanc without being over-the-top. Mint makes an appearance on the palate resulting in a fresh & cleansing long finish. Delicious!

Suggested Food Pairing: A classic pairing is with goat’s cheese/chêvre, asparagus & sushi.  Give the Spanakopita recipe a try on the following pages.

 

Canadian Oak Chardonnay VQA 2011 $20.00

The vineyards feature some of the oldest plantings of Chardonnay in Ontario.

We are excited to include this wine as it has been a long favorite of Debbie’s to showcase at Savvy Events since the ‘what if’ story of making barrels with Canadian Oak has resulted in incredible wine.  It is truly a Canadiana story…move over maple syrup!

The story goes… about 5 years ago, a handful of winemakers were ‘talking shop’ at a backyard BBQ.  Conversation lead to wondering what a barrel made with native Canadian oak would do to their wines. After a lot of research, they found a cooper (barrel maker) in California who would make these one-of-a-kind barrels. Next step was to find native oak trees – luckily found in Brantford, Ontario. The wood staves were cut and shipped in hockey bags (brand new ones of course!).  Their “what if moment” & hard work paid off when several Canadian Oak barrels arrived at the wineries. Today, there are fewer than 10 winemakers across Canada who barrel age some of their wines in this special oak…and now there is a cooper in Canada making the barrels.  Derek is a big enthusiast with his Chardonnay, Pinot Noir and Meritage (an optional wine we offered) wines aged in Canadian oak and constantly receiving rave reviews.

Savvy Sommelier Tasting Notes: “This wine makes me think of buttered popcorn” suggested Eva.  Golden straw colour with aromas of wildflower honey, tropical fruit (think coconut & sweet citrus) with some nuttiness – walnut perhaps?.  Rich & round mouthfeel with flavours of lime, stone fruit & baking spice with minerality & a lengthy warm finish.

Suggested Food Pairing:  Given the rich aromas & flavours of this Chardonnay try the Chicken & Farfalle with Creamy Walnut Sauce recipe that follows.


Cabernet Sauvignon VQA 2010 $30.00

Expect loads of ripe fruit from this award-winning Cabernet Sauvignon.  (Bronze Medal at Canadian Wine Awards 2012 & Bronze Medal at the Intervin International Wine Awards 2012).  This wine is unfiltered meaning that small particles may be found in the bottle, leaving the wine’s aromas & flavours intact. No need to be alarmed if you notice this when you serve the wine.  It is completely natural

Savvy Sommelier Tasting Notes: Verging on opaque in colour, this Cabernet Sauvignon has amazing aromas of ripe fruit  – plum, figs, dates, dark berries – along with red roses, cranberry, rhubarb & vanilla. Flavours of tart red cherry, berry & cassis layered with smoke, earth & tobacco. The balancing acidity keeps the tannins in check in this beautifully structured full-bodied red wine. The long finish begs for another sip. Don’t you agree?

Suggested Food Pairing: Fire up the BBQ! Enjoy with a big steak or, for a change, grilled Portobello Mushrooms.

Cellaring: Ready to drink now or cellar for 5-7 years.

 

OPTIONAL WINE:  Canadian Oak Meritage VQA 2010 $40.00

For all of you big red wine lovers – we did not want you to miss this special treat!

Meritage is the wine name that winemakers outside of France use to call their wines made in the French Bordeaux style.  This is a blend of the best from the highly acclaimed 2010 vintage. It’s a big juicy red wine made with 45% Merlot, 33% Cabernet Franc, 22% Cabernet Sauvignon – all from the Lailey estate.

Savvy Sommelier Tasting Notes: This is a big, bold, almost black coloured wine has aromas of molasses, tar, tobacco, smoke & blueberry with something that smells like “Chinese Five Spice mix”, says Debbie. Beefy with big tannins that will continue to mellow, the flavours of coffee, cocoa & black pepper with an incredible long finish.

Cellaring: Enjoy now or put away in your cellar to mellow for a few more years (5 to 7 years max).

 

~RECIPES TO ENJOY WITH YOUR SAVVY SELECTIONS~

 

With Lailey Sauvignon Blanc VQA 2012 …

Spanakopita

From Chef in You
Serves 4

Ingredients

3 bunches of fresh spinach (about 2 lbs)
1 onion, chopped finely
6-8 spring onions (scallions), chopped
5 oz feta cheese, crumbled
3 oz ricotta cheese
1/3 cup freshly grated vegetarian parmesan
1 Tbsp fresh dill, chopped
1 generous pinch of nutmeg
1/2 cup fresh parsley, chopped (cilantro works well too)
12 sheets of phyllo pastry, thawed
3-4 Tbsp of unsalted butter, melted + some olive oil (or more if required)

 

Method

Trim the stems of spinach & clean them well in cold water. Filling the kitchen sink with lots of water and then submerging & rinsing the spinach works well in cleaning out the mud and debris. Drain. Roughly chop & place in a steamer.  Steam for 5-8 minutes or until the leaves are wilted. Drain. Squeeze out the excess water from the spinach. This step is extremely important to avoid a soggy filling. Set aside.

Take a skillet and heat 1 tsp of olive oil & sauté the onion until tender. Add the spring onions & cook for another 2-3 minutes. Remove from heat & add the spinach, herbs, cheeses & nutmeg. Season with salt & pepper (if required). You can taste it to see if it does not have enough salt from the feta cheese.

Preheat the Oven to 350°F (180°C). Place the 3 sheets of phyllo at a time (keeping others covered to avoid drying out). Mix the butter & 2 tbsp olive oil in a small bowl. Brush each sheet with butter mixture & lay on top of another. Cut into equal thirds lengthwise.

Spoon a little filling on an angle at the end of the each strip. You don’t want to be overzealous here with the portion since it will slip out later. Fold the pastry over to enclose the filling to form a triangle. Now take it upwards to form another triangle.

Repeat this process until you reach the end. You will have a small strip at the end which you can grease with little butter mixture & stick to the pastry. Brush the top lightly with butter mixture.

Grease two baking sheets. Bake the triangles for 20-25 minutes or until the pastry is golden brown.

 

With Lailey Canadian Oak Chardonnay VQA 2011 …

Chicken & Farfalle with Creamy Walnut Sauce

From Eating Well
Serves 2

Ingredients

1/3 cup walnuts
1 small clove garlic, peeled
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
Pinch of cayenne pepper
1/4 cup reduced-sodiumchicken broth
2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh parsley
1/2 teaspoon lemon juice
1 teaspoon walnut oil, or extra-virgin olive oil
8 ounces boneless, skinless chicken breast, trimmed of fat, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
4 ounces whole-wheat farfalle pasta
1 cup small broccoli florets
1/2 red bell pepper, seeded and cut into thin strips

 Method

Put a large saucepan of water on to boil. Combine walnuts, garlic, salt, pepper & cayenne in a blender; pulse until finely chopped. Blend in broth, parsley & lemon juice until smooth & creamy.

Heat oil in a medium nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add chicken & cook, stirring often, until it is no longer pink in the middle, 3 to 5 minutes.

Cook pasta for 5 minutes. Add broccoli & bell pepper, cook, stirring occasionally, until the pasta & vegetables are just tender, about 4 minutes more. Drain, return to the pot.

Add the walnut sauce & chicken, then toss to coat.

 

With Lailey Cabernet Sauvignon VQA 2010…

Grilled Portobello Mushrooms

From allrecipes.com
Serves 4 to 6 – depending on the size of meat

Ingredients

3 portobello mushrooms
1/4 cup canola oil
3 tablespoons chopped onion
4 cloves garlic, minced
4 tablespoons balsamic vinegar

 Method

Clean mushrooms and remove stems, reserve for other use. Place caps on a plate with the gills up.

In a small bowl, combine the oil, onion, garlic and vinegar. Pour mixture evenly over the mushroom caps and let stand for 1 hour.

Grill over hot grill for 10 minutes. Serve immediately.

 

Enjoy your Savvy Selections!

 

 

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A Special Double Header: Rare Wines & Recent Releases

Posted by Debbie

Sunday, May 5th, 2013
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 The Wineries of Niagara-on-the-Lake are returning to Ottawa to treat their ever-loyal fans to a double billed evening of a Rare Wines Tasting, followed by One Unforgettable Taste & Buy.  Hosted by Savvy Company, these back-to-back events will take place Tuesday May 28th in the new Canadian Agriculture and Food Museum located in the Central Experimental Farm, 861 Prince of Wales Drive, Ottawa.

New this year, the Rare Wines Tasting will feature a selection of hard-to-find wines dating back to the early 1990s.  “Winemakers are dusting off bottles from their private cellars to showcase how their finest wines have evolved.  This is truly a unique experience for any Ontario wine enthusiast”, says Derek Barnett of Lailey Vineyard. Only 50 tickets will be available for this special first-of-its-kind event taking place from 5pm to 7pm, meeting winery owners and winemakers as guests enjoy the finest wines of Niagara-on-the-Lake.

 

The evening will continue with One Unforgettable Taste & Buy from 7pm to 9pm featuring wines from the 2012 vintage.  “2012 provided us with spectacular conditions for growing grapes”, explains Lailey’s Barnett .  “Ottawa will be the first to try these excellent wines.”

Returning to Ottawa for its 3rd year, One Unforgettable Taste & Buy provides the opportunity for guests to order any combination of their favorite wines.  The featured wines are not available at the LCBO or Vintages.  As an extra bonus, free shipping by courier will be offered for orders of 12 bottles or more.  This is a perfect opportunity to stock up for summer entertaining.

Wineries to be featured at both events:

Advance Tickets Only

$75 per person for the back-to-back events of Rare Wines Tasting and One Unforgettable Taste & Buy. Only 50 tickets are available.

Admission to One Unforgettable Taste & Buy only is $55 per person when purchased before May 20, 2013 (regular $65).

Ticket price includes HST.  Visit www.savvycompany.ca/events to purchase tickets and for event details.

What is a Taste & Buy event?

Event goers can sample featured wines and order directly from the winery.  None of the wines are available at the LCBO or Vintages.  Exclusive at this event, orders can be placed for ANY combination of wines from ANY of the wineries and the wines will be delivered by courier within a week.   Savvy Company’s Sommeliers will be on hand to share wine recommendations and guide event goers to ‘must try wines’ based on their personal preferences.

 About Wineries of Niagara-on-the-Lake

Every day, the Wineries of Niagara-on-the-Lake welcome guests into their Wine Country to savour the richness of the region and to experience the 27 distinct wineries, each with its own personality reflected in the wines they craft.  Visit www.wineriesofniagaraonthelake.com. Follow on Twitter @NiagaraWine or find on Facebook at www.facebook.com/wineriesofniagaraonthelake

 About Savvy Company

Savvy Company, www.savvycompany.ca, specializes in creative social experiences –  making the enjoyment of wine accessible to all, exploring the worlds of craft beer and discovering artisan cheeses.  Their team of accredited Sommeliers delight in designing wine, beer and food events and shining the spotlight on the people who make them.  Savvy Selections  is Ontario’s largest Wine of the Month Club featuring Ontario wines not available in the LCBO and delivered directly to the subscriber’s home or office.   Follow on Twitter @SavvyCompany or find on Facebook at www.facebook.com/savvycompany

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Media who are interested in attending the One Unforgettable Taste & Buy,  please contact Debbie Trenholm to be added to the guest list.

Media Contact

Debbie Trenholm
President & Sommelier
Savvy Company
debbie@savvycompany.ca
613.SAVVYCO (613.728.8926)
cell: 613-851-1785
@savvydebbie

 

 

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Sip, Savour & ‘Selebrate’ with these wines on Thursday

Posted by Debbie

Tuesday, November 6th, 2012
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There are many reasons to raise a glass at Sip, Savour & ‘Selebrate’! Ontario wineries have just finished picking this year’s stellar grape harvest (predicted to be the best vintage yet!), the Ontario craft beer industry is booming with impressive varieties of craft brews…and Savvy Company is celebrating its 10th year in business.  Bring your dancing shoes as there will be a jazz band too!

 

Casa-Dea Estates Winery – Prince Edward County
2009 Chardonnay $15.95
2010 Pinot Gris $18.95
2010 Gamay $14.95
2009 Cabernet Franc $18.95

Cattail Creek Family Estate Winery – Niagara-on-the-Lake
2009 Estate Sauvignon Blanc 2009 $10.95
2009 Estate Merlot 2009 $16.95
2007 Estate Cabernet Merlot $14.95
2009 Select Late Harvest Cabernet Sauvignon $24.95

Château des Charmes – Niagara-on-the-Lake
2008 Sparkling Rosé $28.95
2008 Gewurztraminer $19.95
2010 Equuleus $40
2007 Late Harvest Riesling $12.95
(Special price! Regular $21.95)

Closson Chase Winery – Prince Edward County
2010 Chardonnay $29.95
2011 Rosé $19.95
2010 Pinot Noir $39.95

Diamond Estate Wines – Niagara-in-the-Lake
2008 Lakeview Cellars GMR Sparkling Reserve $24.95
2007 Lakeview Cellars Merlot Reserve $19.95
2007 Lakeview Cellars Gewurztraminer Icewine (200mL) $34.95
Seasons Port $39.95

Kacaba Vineyards – Beamsville Bench
2011 Barrel Fermented Chardonnay $22.95
2009 Cabernet Franc $18.95
2009 Syrah $29.95
2009 Cabernet Sauvignon $24.95

Keint-He Winery and Vineyard –Prince Edward County
2009 Chardonnay $20
2009 Foxtail Pinot Meunier $27
2009 Little Creek – Closson Pinot Noir $32
2008 Pineaux Sauvage (375mL) $50

Lailey Vineyard – Niagara-on-the-Lake
2011 Unoaked Chardonnay $15
2011 Sauvignon Blanc $20
2010 Chardonnay Brickyard $30
2010 Cabernet Franc $25
2010 Syrah $27
2010 Cabernet Sauvignon $30

Lighthall Vineyards -Prince Edward County
2011 Progression Sparkling $20
2011 Gewurztraminer $25
2009 Chardonnay Réserve $25
2010 Pinot Noir $25

Marynissen Winery and Estates – Niagara-on-the-Lake
2010 Road Block Chardonnay $15
2011 100Marks White Merlot $25
2009 Bottoms Up! $18
2010 Solstice $22
2010 100Marks Pinot Noir $45

Palatine Hills Estate Winery – Niagara-on-the-Lake
2011 Lakeshore White $13.95
2010 Neufeld Vineyard Chardonnay $22.95
2010 Cabernet Merlot $15.95
2010 Neufeld Vineyard Meritage $29.95

Pondview Estate Winery – Niagara-on-the-Lake
2010 Riesling $16.95
2010 Bella Terra Chardonnay $24
2010 Cabernet Sauvignon $34.95
2010 Meritage $39.95

Rosehall Run Vineyard & Winery –Prince Edward County
2011 Unoaked Chardonnay Cuvée County $17.95
2010 Canadian Barrel Chardonnay Cuvée County $24.95
2010 Cabernet Franc Cuvée County $24.95
2010 ‘The Swinger ’Syrah Cuvée County $34.95

Sandbanks Winery –Prince Edward County
2011 Love Cassis Aperitivo $14.95
2011 Sauvignon Blanc $16.95
2011 Gewurztraminer $16.95
2010 French Kiss $24.95

 Strewn Winery – Niagara-on-the-Lake
2010 Strewn Merlot Terroir $16.95
2011 Strewn Riesling Terroir $25.80

AND… new this year, Ontario craft breweries are joining us to ‘Selerate with their award-winning brews:
Ashton Brewing Company – Ashton
Clocktower Brewpub –Ottawa
Hockley Valley Brewing Company– Orangeville
Kichesippi Beer Co –Ottawa
Mill Street Brewery –Ottawa &Toronto

 

Cheers!

Debbie & the Savvy Team

 

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