Posts Tagged ‘Niagara’s wine country’

Wines from the Bosc family to you

Posted by Bethany

Wednesday, February 17th, 2016
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Savvy Selections Ontario wine of the month club

Savvy Selections wine of the month club
Featuring Château des Charmes Winery
–  February 2016 –

 

Type ‘Château des Charmes’ into a Google search and you’ll find yourself being redirected to fromtheBoscfamily.com. That’s because everything about this celebrated Niagara winery—from designing labels to trimming the vines—is a labour of love on the part of the entire Bosc family.

paul stPaul Bosc Sr. started out in the 1970s with a vision to craft top-shelf, European-style wines from vitisvinifera grown right here in Ontario. He was undeterred by naysayers and equally deaf to any words of caution about what he should & shouldn’t plant in the hard, stony soil, in a country known for its bitterly cold winters & short growing season. He toyed with different varietals, re-imagined vineyard structure and rolled the dice on how consumers would receive his wines.

A pioneer of the Canadian wine industry

To say he succeeded would be an understatement. Over the course of two decades, his wines have garnered widespread acclaim (and hardware) at the national &international levels, including the Ontario Wine Awards, the National Wine Awards of Canada and the internationally renowned Vinexpo.

That doesn’t mean the Bosc family is resting on their laurels. Far from it: read more about what they’re up to at the winery, including details about the largest renovation in its history.

paul jr and micheleWe are confident that this month’s Savvy Selections from Château des Charmes will surprise and delight you. We even went so far as to ask Michele (in photo at left with her husband Paul Bosc Jr) which wine she thought was the best.“It’s like asking someone with two kids to choose a favourite – it’s not fair!” she laughs. “That’s the thing about our wines that I love. No matter what mood I’m in, or what I’m feeling, or eating or not eating, there’s a wine for that. Sorry for stealing the Jackson-Triggs line, but it really is true.”

Our Savvy Sommeliers have shared their tasting notes with you, along with some pairing tips and recipes to help you enjoy each wine to its fullest.

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In your Savvy Selections you will find…

Gewürztraminer VQA 2013 St. David’s Bench Vineyard – A fragrant & succulent sipper that will have you dreaming of spring.

Chardonnay VQA 2012 Paul Bosc Estate Vineyard– A hands down classic.

Cabernet Franc VQA 2012 St. David’s Bench Vineyard – Full, ripe red fruit explodes out of the glass.

Most not at the LCBO

Your Savvy Selections, along with many other gems from Château des Charmes, are not stocked at the LCBO. If you would like to order additional bottles or other Ontario wines, call me at 613-SAVVYCO (613-728-8926)or drop me a line at debbie@savvycompany.ca. We’ll be happy to arrange a special delivery for you!

Enjoy this great selection of wines from Château des Charmes.

Cheers,
Debbie & Savvy Team

 Introducing…

Château des Charmes Estate Winery

Presented by Sommelier Bethany Harpur

 

weddingIt was late in the day when my husband and I stopped at Château des Charmes in Niagara-on-the-Lake. Ten minutes before the tasting room was due to close. The harried server at the bar gave us a look; we flashed a few guilty smiles as we quickly sniffed and swirled.

Then the door opened, and a silver-haired gentleman walked in, wearily removing dusty work gloves. He pulled a bottle out from under the counter and poured some of its deep purple contents into a glass. Just before it touched his lips, he saw us. “Would you like to try some of this, while you’re here?”

A captivating man

That “quick stop” turned into a long, leisurely hour of sampling off-the-menu wines and engaging in deep discussion with none other than Paul Bosc Sr. himself (left in photo below), the patriarch of the Bosc family and the pioneering winemaker of Château des Charmes.

bosc familyIt’s no surprise to find the elder Bosc chatting up visitors at the impressive building on York Road. Hospitality and approachability are key in this thriving family business, where job titles tend to be malleable, depending on the season, event schedule or guest experience.

Bosc’s daughter-in-law, Michele (in black blouse in photo), wears several hats at the winery: marketing director, social media guru, welcoming committee, wedding planner. “I get to do a lot of different, fun things,” she says. “I think it’s great to interact with customers, to hear what they have to say, whether it’s on social media or live and in-person. That interaction, it’s about bringing our family story to the consumer.”

Renovations underway

Right now the family is adding a new chapter to the narrative as they expand the Château’s massive cellar. The renovation marks the first major capital investment since the winery opened. It will double the available space for barrels and create more “breathing room” for workers. “We want to be sure we have all the tools we need to make the best possible wine that we can,” says Michele.

reno spaceExpanding the cellar meant digging up the Château’s popular vineyard courtyard, where countless weddings, parties and concerts have been held over the years. “Now’s the opportunity to re-imagine it,” Michele says. “When we first built it and when we first opened, there was no concept of hosting 35 weddings a year, or welcoming 100,000 visitors a year—it just didn’t exist. Now we get to build it the way the business wants it. I can’t wait to see it done.”

A late start to winter and mild temperatures in the Niagara region have kept the renovation running on schedule, with the revamped space scheduled to open in May of this year.

Even better than before

After two decades, the Bosc family is eager to get people excited about their brand again—and get new Château des Charmes fans on board. “Our wines have never been better,” Michele proclaims. “We’ve been around a long time, we know what we’re doing. If you haven’t tasted our wines in a while, try us again. I think you might be surprised.”

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Here’s to Château des Charmes team!

 

~ SAVVY SOMMELIER TASTING NOTES ~


St David’s Bench Gewürztraminer VQA 2013 $19.95

“We planted these vines in 1996 &we feel they are just now hitting their peak, flourishing, producing fantastic, hand-harvested grapes that are making very interesting wine”, Vineyard manager Miguel Fontalvo.

Savvy Sommelier Tasting Notes: A brilliant, clear pale-gold shines in the glass. Wave after wave aromas of clover honey, nectarines, grapefruit and honeysuckle inundate the senses. A bit of sweetness carries evenly with lingering acidity on the palate, to balance out the creamy mouthfeel. That same acidity lingers a bit on the finish, where subtle hints of woody smoke come through.

Suggested Food Pairing: Gewurztraminer is always a classic match for spicy dishes. Pair this with Mexican, Thai or Indian food, like the Quick Chicken Korma recipe included below.A perfect meal for a wintery day.

Cellaring: This beautiful wine has gorgeous aromas & flavours that are ready to enjoy right now!

 

Paul Bosc Estate Vineyard Chardonnay VQA 2012, $21.95

A classic Chardonnay for even the pickiest ABC (Anything But Chardonnay) enthusiast. It’s the very definition of balance: all the aromas, flavours and textures carry through on an even keel from start to finish, without any sudden spikes or dips in the quality, making for an all-around elegant wine.

Savvy Sommelier Tasting Notes: Up front, creamy butterscotch and exotic coconut, followed by butter and brioche on the palate. Finishes with subtle almost restrained oak and a muted essence of dried herbs.

Suggested Food Pairing: The smooth texture of oaked Chardonnay lends itself well to dishes dripping with butter, cream and cheese.A delicious wine to enamour your sweetheart over a Valentine’s Day meal with seafood, Pasta Alfredo, cheese fondue or cuddled by the fireplace enjoying a cheese platter and roasted nuts. For something completely different, try Roasted Chickenpeas recipe that we offer.

Cellaring: Ready to drink, but has the staying power to evolve further in the bottle over the next 2-3 years.

 

St. David’s Bench Vineyard Cabernet Franc VQA 2012 $25.95

This special parcel of land – St David’s Vineyard – is located high up against the Niagara Escarpment, the fruit has more time to mature and ripen in the summer sun. 2012 was spectacular vintage in Niagara, so with these 2 elements – the location of the land plus the ideal grape growing season – this red wine is outstanding.

Savvy Sommelier Tasting Notes: Complex nose of blackberry, dark chocolate and dried cherries with a lifted note of violets and rosewater. The powerful fruit carries right through the finish, buoyed by velvety tannins and a soft texture.

Suggested Food Pairing: Cabernet Franc is a winner with all kinds of red meats – beef, lamb, game. Try it out with this Venison Ragout recipe from Bearbrook Farms.

Cellaring: Can be opened now, but if you have will power & patience, this red wine will age nicely over the next 5-10 years.

 

~RECIPES TO ENJOY WITH YOUR SAVVY SELECTIONS~

 

With St David’s Bench Vineyard Gewürztraminer …

Quick Chicken Korma

Recipe & photo credits: Canadian Living Magazine

Ingredients

Quick-Chicken-Korma13811536451/3 cup unsalted raw cashews
4 teaspoons vegetable oil
3 onions, sliced
2 green hot OR jalapeño peppers, seeded and diced
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 tablespoon grated fresh ginger
1 ½teaspoons each ground coriander and garam masala
¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper
Pinch each ground nutmeg, salt and saffron (optional)
450 grams boneless skinless chicken thighs, quartered
1 ½ cups no-salt-added chicken broth
3 tablespoons fat-free plain Greek yogurt
1 ½ teaspoons lime juice

Method

In large skillet, toast cashews over medium heat, stirring often, until golden, 3 to 5 minutes.

Transfer to food processor. In same skillet, heat half of the oil over medium heat; cook onions, stirring occasionally, until golden brown, 12 to 15 minutes. Add to food processor; puree until smooth.

Combine hot peppers, garlic, ginger, coriander, garam masala, cayenne pepper, nutmeg and salt. Add chicken; toss to coat.

Heat remaining oil in same skillet over medium-high heat; brown chicken, stirring occasionally, about 5 minutes. Stir in 2 Tbsp water, scraping up browned bits. Stir in broth, saffron (if using) and cashew puree; simmer, stirring occasionally, until thickened and juices run clear when chicken is pierced, about 5 minutes.

Stir in yogurt and lime juice; heat until warmed through but not boiling.

 

With Paul Bosc Vineyard Chardonnay…

Crispy Cider Vineyard & Sea Salt Roasted Chickpeas

Recipe & photo credits:Constantly Cooking

Light, crispy and full of flavour, these protein packed snacks are great on their own or as a garnish for soups or salads. Play around with other spices if you like – a few shakes of chili powder or smoked paprika, for example. You can use dried chickpeas, which you’ll need to soak and cook, but for this recipe, the canned ones are just as good plus a whole lot faster and easier.

Ingredientsroasted chickpeas

1 can (19 oz / 540 mL) chickpeas, rinsed well
1 ½ cups (375 mL) cider vinegar
1 ½ Tablespoons (22 mL) olive oil
1 ½ teaspoons (7.5 mL) coarse sea salt
½ teaspoon (2.5 mL) freshly ground pepper

Method

Pour the vinegar into a medium-sized saucepan. Cover pot with a lid and place on high heat. As soon as the vinegar is boiling, add the rinsed chickpeas to the pot and remove from heat. Let stand 30 minutes.

Preheat oven to 400F.

Drain chickpeas, discarding vinegar. Pour chickpeas out onto a clean dish towel and roll them around gently to dry thoroughly.

Put chickpeas in a clean bowl and drizzle with olive oil. Toss gently to coat evenly.

Spread chickpeas out onto a baking sheet. Sprinkle with salt and pepper.

Roast in oven for 40 to 45 minutes, jiggling the baking sheet occasionally.

The chickpeas will turn a dark golden brown and get crunchy. If you take them out of the oven too soon, you can always put them back in the oven for a few more minutes later.

Serve warm or at room temperature. These will keep for 2 weeks in a Ziploc bag stored in the fridge.


With St David’s Bench Vineyard Cabernet Franc

Venison Ragout in Red Wine

Recipe Source: Bearbrook Farms
Photo Credit: Chart Farm

Ingredients

venison1 shoulder/leg (2-3 lbs) venison
5 tablespoons olive oil
Salt and pepper to taste
1 teaspoon thyme
4 slices bacon, cut into strips
10 juniper berries
1 tablespoon tomato paste
4 tablespoons flour
2 tablespoons red wine vinegar cup dry red wine
1 cup game or beef stock
3 tablespoons cranberry or red currant jelly

Method

Cut meat into bite-sized pieces.

Heat oil in heavy saucepan over medium-high heat.Brown meat on all sides. Do 1/3 at a time and remove from pan. Season with salt and pepper.

Fry bacon a few minutes and add thyme, juniper berries, tomato paste and flour. Fry for 2 minutes longer.

Pour in vinegar and red wine. Bring to boil, scraping solids from bottom. Add stock and cook until sauce is thickened.

Add meat with juices, cover and simmer for 2 hours.

Add jelly and adjust seasoning with salt and pepper & serve over mashed potatoes or with wild rice.

 

Enjoy your Savvy Selections!

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Warm welcome & amazing wines from Fielding Estate Winery

Posted by Debbie

Friday, November 6th, 2015
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Savvy Selections wine of the month club
Featuring Fielding Estates Winery
–  November 2015 –

 

This year marks the big 1-0 milestone for a handful of wineries in Ontario. We helped Stratus Vineyard celebrate in July and now it is time to pop the corks for Fielding Estates Winery as they ‘Cheers for 10 Years!’

At Fielding, the front door is always open at the winery (aka the Lodge) and the Muskoka chairs are dotted around the grounds awaiting you to relax and unwind as you soak up the sunshine and enjoy the view of the vineyard…while sipping on fine wines made by Fielding’s winemaker Ritchie Roberts.

heidi and curtisI have said it before…one of the occupational hazards of this business is that people who work at wineries often become friends. Certainly not a bad thing, rather, it makes working together to grow each other’s business even easier and more enjoyable. Curtis and Heidi Fielding (in photo) are two wonderful people that it is easy and natural to become fast friends. And that friendly nature is evident to all who walks through the glass doors at the Lodge.“We want everyone to feel welcome and at ease when they visit our winery”, comments Heidi. And true to form, that is exactly what they do.

Too many fine wines!

Selecting only 3 bottles of wine for you this month was probably the hardest that the Savvy Team has encountered. I believe that this is a telling sign of quality & most of all maturity of the vineyards…and the talented winemaking team can’t go unnoticed either.

After great deliberation, the Savvy Team chose:

grapesSparkling Rose–light & elegant bubbly made with Chardonnay and Pinot Noir using the same winemaking method as French Champagne. Naturally suited to celebrate the 1-0 milestone!

Gamay VQA 2013 – easy drinking, full of red fruit & well balanced. A wine that is becoming a signature wine at Fielding…and best of all, it tastes like it should be $25+.

Syrah VQA 2012– you had us at hello!WOW – this is a heart stopping red wine that you can taste the talent in each sip.

Can you spot the difference?

While there was a party at the winery to mark the occasion, the marketing team at Fielding decided that the labels would get a touch up. Put the three bottles of your Savvy Selections side-by-side to see if you can spot the new improvements to the label design. Extra points if you see something more welcoming about the Muskoka chair!

Looking for a F.E.W. more? Fielding Estates Wines that is!

heidi at doorFielding takes pride in making small lots of their wines. Several wines only have 400 cases (4800 bottles). There are a handful of Fielding wines that you will regularly find on the LCBO shelves, yet if you have found a new favorite in your Savvy Selections, give us a call to quickly re-order. With a limited number of cases made and many Fielding fans clamoring to get the latest release, their finest wines don’t last very long! The Savvy Hotline is 613-SAVVYCO.

Cheers & Enjoy!
Debbie & Savvy Team

Introducing…

Fielding Estate Winery

Presented by Sommelier Debbie Trenholm

 

Remember when Yellow Tail wines first bombarded the shelves at the LCBO? This is the same time when Fielding Estates opened their doors. Critter labels donning cats, dogs, lizards and penguins were all the rage and smack-them-over-the-head red wines loaded with overripe fruit were flying off the shelves.

Dfielding-logoespite all of this distraction, husband and wife team – Heidi & Curtis Fielding found their footing in Niagara. Located part way up the Beamsville Bench (aka Niagara Escarpment) with neighbouring wineries – Angels Gate, Thirty Bench and Rosewood Estate Winery & Meadery – Fielding set out to create a different story and culture at their winery.

Everyone has a story

Fielding familyFielding Winery began with subs…yet you read that right! Submarine sandwiches. Marg & Ken Fielding own a significant number of Subway franchises in Eastern Ontario. Drawn to Niagara & intrigued by the new Canadian wine industry, this husband & wife savvy business team soon were bitten by the bug as well saw the business potential. They lured their son Curtis off the race car track where he was starting his career as a competitive driver, to come home to gain hands on experience in the wine industry in preparation that would be integral their new family venture.

In 2000, the family purchased a 20‐acre orchard of peaches and pears on the Beamsville Bench and replaced all the trees with high‐quality vinifera vines during the summer of 2001. In keeping with the Muskoka feel that they wanted to create, the unique Wine Lodge opened its doors in May 2005, and has quickly established itself as one of the finest wineries in Ontario.

muskoka chairWhy the Muskoka chair?

The family is from the area and has a house that brings everyone together. “It was a natural fit to extend that relaxing, unpretentious your-are-part-of-the-family feeling to our winery”, explains Heidi.

10 years later, Ken & Marg are now arm’s length business advisors while the Heidi and Curtis run the business and day to day operations. Coincidentally this dynamic duo are also a husband and wine team. “And our 5 and 7 year old boys love helping us at the winery”, says Heidi.

Slow and steady…

“Fielding has grown little by little over the last 10 years”, recalls Heidi as laughs remembering that in the first couple of years before the winery doors opened, the winery offered:

In 2002: 400 cases of Cabernet Merlot, 50 cases of Chardonnay

In 2003: bad crop yielded a measly 60 cases of Chardonnay

In 2004: significant growth to 6000 cases

Now in 2015, they have grown to full capacity to 20,000 cases – mostly in last 2 years.

Select Fielding wines are now readily available at the LCBO and can also be found in Alberta, Florida and served by the glass at restaurants at Walt Disney World…yes Disney!

Highlights of the last 10 years

cellar room“It is an awesome business to be in”, says Heidi with delight. “We have a great team at the winery and all of us work extremely hard – we can’t let anything slide!”

This dedication has been recognized by their peers in the industry. Curtis was crowned Grape King in 2012 by Ontario Grape Growers. “Everyone involved in the winery are so proud of this recognition”, explained Heidi. “It is a huge honour when your mentors and industry leaders select you from all of the others wineries in the province as the top vineyard of the year. When they announced Curtis’ name, all of the hard work that Ritchie, Curtis and the rest of the team have put into the vineyard instantly paid off. This was definitely a highlight of the last 10 years.”

Grape king“This is a huge honour,” says Curtis in the press release about the prestigious achievement. “Look at some of the names who have been Grape King in the past. They are big names with world‐class vineyards. They are people that our industry really respects and looks up to. It is amazing to have my name associated with them.” Did I mention that Curtis became King at the ripe age of 34? Pretty impressive.

“Curtis is an excellent example of the next generation of grape grower, a first‐generation farmer who has quickly embraced sustainable practices while maintaining a beautiful vineyard and producing top quality wines,” stated Kimberly Hundertmark, Executive Director of the Niagara Grape and Wine Festival (and friend too!)

And it does not stop there. Fielding was named one of the Top 10 wineries in Canada for 2009 and again in 2013 by the Canadian Wine Awards.

And all that in their first 10 years…watch out for what the next 10 has in store.

Happy Anniversary to the Fielding team! Enjoy your Savvy Selections!

 

~ SAVVY SOMMELIER TASTING NOTES ~

 

Fielding Sparkling Rosé $29.95

Ritchie winemakerThis is the first traditional method rosé that Ritchie has made. Traditional method is the wine term referring to the sparkling winemaking process as it is done in Champagne, France. The second fermentation – that creates the bubbles – happens inside the bottle (rather than in a tank then bottled) and yeast is added to each bottle. “This is a huge labour of love for Ritchie”, explains Heidi. “He has only made 2 traditional method wines and we are so excited to release this wine.” All of us in the Savvy Team are excited that our subscribers are receiving it first as there is a small amount made!

Savvy Sommelier Tasting Notes: Light salmon in colour that has delicate wild strawberry aromas and taste. Well balanced, smooth mouth feel and very elegant mousse (bubbles). Dry, crisp and delicious. “A rule of thumb is that the finer the bubbles the greater the quality” explains Savvy Sommelier Debbie Trenholm.

Suggested Food Pairing: Chill & serve in tall flute glasses. Sushi, salted nuts, chips or Parmesan Crisps are delicate enough that won’t detract from the wine.

 

2013 GamayFielding Gamay 2013 VQA, $17.95

“These grapes are grown especially for us by wonderful grape growers who have become good friends”, shares Heidi (that theme never seems to go away!). “They are meticulous about their vineyards and it shows in the grapes.”

Savvy Sommelier Tasting Notes:Gamay is growing in popularity, especially with the wines that are being produced in Ontario. Usually light bodied laced with tannins, this one surprised us with its full flavour or red fruit – cherries, plums, raspberries – with warm spices and subtle tannins. Medium bodied and well balanced. This is definitely an impressive wine.

Suggested Food Pairing:“With 2 little boys, we don’t eat fancy at home.” Heidi laughs when I asked what she would pair with this easy drinking wine. Pasta with mushroom, roasted chicken and even grilled salmon. Heidi suggest to serve their Gamay with foods that you would pair with Pinot Noir. We share with you a mushroom risotto recipe to enjoy with this wine as the days get colder.

Cellaring:This wine will cellar a further 3 to 5 years.

 

2012 Syrah_HRFielding Syrah 2012 VQA $35– special Savvy Selections price (regular $39.95)

“This wine is so special to us”, explains Heidi. “We don’t make it every year. Ritchie wants to make a spectacular Syrah and for this one, he only made 250 cases”. Perfectly timed, you are receiving this wine before it is released at the winery…being a subscriber has its benefits! If you would like additional bottles, let us know soon as this wine always sells out…quickly!

Savvy Sommelier Tasting Notes:This inky, powerful wine offers great intensity and extraction. On the nose, the aromas of cassis and berry are rich and ripe, traces of vanilla, dark chocolate and spice merging and mingling with the fruit. Ripe yet firm tannins and refined acidity frame the concentrated dark fruit, hints of smoke, dried herbs, spice and pepper adding depth and complexity. Long and intense on the finish, the wine will cellar well.

Suggested Food Pairing:Serve with rack of lamb or rare prime rib.

Cellaring:Ready now or it will cellar nicely for another 4 to 5 years

 

~ RECIPES TO ENJOY WITH YOUR SAVVY SELECTIONS ~

With Fielding Sparkling Rosé…

Parmesan Crisps

From the kitchen of Savvy Sommelier Julie

parmesan-crisps-2Serves: should yield about 20 small crisps

This is one of the most popular recipes that we are always asked for. With the holiday entertaining season around the corner, have this recipe on the ready! There are so many versions of this recipe but nothing could be simpler, or more delicious to match with this sparkling wine. The bubbles compliment the saltiness in the cheese and just send you back nibbling for more. For a different taste, serve with a little red pepper jelly on the side.

A perfect hors d’oeuvres – beware, folks inhale these!

Ingredients

1-1/2cups of grated Parmesan depending how many crisps you would like to make.

Method

Preheat often to 400 degrees and put a heaping tablespoon of the Parmesan onto aparchment lined baking sheet. I would space the spoonfuls about an inch apart.

Bake about 8 minutes or check them after 5 and they should be just slightly golden.

 

With Fielding Gamay …

Roasted Chickpeas & Tomatoes

Roasted-Chick-Peas-and-Swiss-ChardBy Chef Tonia Wilson
Serves 4
photo credit: www.toniawilson.com

Chef’s tip:

Ingredients

2 cans chick peas, drained and rinsed
5 whole cloves garlic, peeled and halved lengthwise
2 cups (500 mL) whole grape tomatoes
1/4 cup (60 mL) extra virgin olive oil
1 Tbsp (15 mL) fresh thyme, finely chopped
salt and freshly ground pepper to taste

Method

Preheat oven to 400°F (205°C).

Place all ingredients on a large baking sheet. Stir to combine and coat well with oil. Place in oven and roast for 15 minutes, carefully shake pan to move ingredients around and roast for another 15
minutes or until chick peas and tomatoes are golden.

Serve warm or at room temperature.

With Fielding Syrah…

Beef Tenderloin with Dark Mushroom Sauce

from Old Stone Inn & Boutique Hotel in Niagara Falls

Ingredients

2 Tbsp unsalted butter
2 Tbsp vegetable oil
1 strip beef tenderloin (2 to 3lb)
½ cup red wine – don’t you dare cook with the Fielding Syrah…it is better left in your glass!
1 red onion, sliced
1 cup dry wild mushrooms, soaked in 1 cup of red wine
2 cups brown beef or veal stock
½ cup heavy cream

Method

Preheat oven to 450 F.

Heat oil in a cast iron pan. Season the meat with salt and pepper on all sides. When the oil is very hot, sear the
meat, caramelizing all sides evenly. When seared, drain off the fat and add the wine.

Roast the meat in the oven for 15 to 20 minutes. Remove the pan from the oven and let the meat rest for 5
minutes before slicing.

Melt 2 tablespoons butter in a heavy-bottomed pot, add the onions, and cook for 3 to 4 minutes. Squeeze the
mushrooms out of the juice, and add to the onions, cook for another 2 to 3 minutes.

Deglaze the pan with 2 cups of wine, and reduce until almost dry. Then add the mushroom rehydrating liquid, and reduce until almost dry. Add the veal stock and the cream, and reduce at low heat until thick. Check the seasoning, reserve.

To serve, slice the meat in 1/2 to 1/4-inch thick pieces. Place in the middle of a warmed plate. Put the wild mushrooms around the meat and cover with a thin layer of the sauce and serve immediately.

Cheers to 10 years

A little extra treat from Fielding’s kitchen to yours…

Mini Pumpkin Ginger Cheesecake

This is a little treat that we prepared for one of our winery events.

Ingredients

24 ginger snaps
24 ounces cream cheese, softened
1 cup pumpkin purée
3 eggs
1 cup brown sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
½ tsp cinnamon
½ tsp nutmeg
¼ tsp ground cloves
24 baking cups

Method

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

In a large mixing bowl, combine cream cheese, sugar and vanilla. Mix until smooth. Next, add pumpkin puree, eggs, cinnamon, nutmeg and cloves. Mix thoroughly.

relaxing in the chairsLine muffin tin with individual baking cups and drop one ginger snap at the bottom of each cup. Pour filling into
each mold to the top.

Bake for 15-18 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean when inserted into the cheesecake.

Cool to room temperature and lightly brush the tops with maple syrup. Refrigerate overnight. Serve with candied walnuts and whipped topping

Enjoy your Savvy Selections!

 

 

 

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GreenLane Estate Winery

Posted by Susan

Tuesday, October 13th, 2015
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Savvy Selections wine of the month club
Featuring GreeenLane Estate Winery
–  October 2015 –

 

The inviting entrance and patio at GreenLane Estate Winery became even more so when I noticed a large water dish for dogs at the access to the fenced patio. They think of everything here to make their guests – of all kinds – feel welcome. It was a warm, quiet day at the winery, so Dianne Smith, General Manager and Winemaker, insisted that our Brittany Spaniel be taken out of the car and provided a shady spot near that never-ending water dish. Once settled, she shared her dog stories about her rescued red Doberman, who has patrolled the vineyards these last 4 years scaring off the birds. Unfortunately, Oskar (named for Oscar Schindler of the famous Schindler’s list) is recovering from a hind leg injury at the moment, but assistant winemaker, Gavin Paton’s Labradoodle named Barley was in the vineyard ensuring that no small mammals became grape tasters. Having exchanged credentials as dog lovers, we then moved on to sample the full range of GreenLane’s wines in the spacious and beautifully renovated tasting room.

Dianne SmithIndependently owned, GreenLane is a boutique winery that was inspired by a passion for fine wines and a conversation with a childhood friend over a glass of such wine. The vision for creating a local winery producing high quality small-batch fine wines was realized in 2009 with the purchase of the Beamsville property at the intersection of GreenLane and Cherry Avenue in Vineland. Named after the bordering Green Lane, the winery embodies the essence and country charm of the area and the ideals of the vision. Although the site included established vineyards, the early days of winemaking began in a small clapboard farmhouse with newly arrived winemaker Dianne Smith focused on producing outstanding wines.

I visited the winery in its first year of operation, and so impressed with the quality and finesse of the wines that I have spent the last 5 years convincing Dianne Smith to let us introduce her wines to our Savvy Selections subscribers. As a boutique winery, production levels were also so small that the large size of our subscriber base was a challenge. Now however, we are delighted to have the opportunity to introduce you not only to Dianne’s fabulous white wines, but also to her plush reds from the warm 2012 vintage.

In your Savvy Selections you will find…

GreenLane Chardonnay sur Lie VQA 2010 – a creamy full bodied elegant wine

GreenLane Cabernet Franc VQA 2012 – the opulent, fruit-forward red wine

GreenLane Cabernet Sauvignon VQA 2012 – a bold, powerful wine that is definitely ‘cellar worthy’.

Pop in with your pooch…

The team at GreenLane are always at the winery to welcome to you – and your well-behaved pooch – to their small winery. When your travels take you to Niagara, be sure to pop in for a visit to try many of the other wines produced from the fruit of both the original and the new estate, including Pinot ‘Grieving’ from Dianne’s newly introduced band, Betrayed. Due to their size and growing popularity of their wines, you rarely find GreenLane’s wines at the LCBO.

Looking for more wine trip tips?

Our friendly Savvy Team (minus an office dog) is ready to help you with travel ideas and wine tips too. Give us a call anytime on 613-SAVVYCO (728-8926)

Cheers & Enjoy!

Debbie & Savvy Team
debbie@savvycompany.ca

 

 

Introducing…
GreenLane Estate Winery

Presented by Sommelier Susan Desjardins

 

Originally from a small seaside village in North Wales, Dianne Smith travelled the world with her family as her father’s job brought many transfers. “The wine bug hit me while I was studying Geology in Florida…and waiting on tables at a wine bar”, Diane recalls. “I finished up my degree, then looked for a post grad opportunity. The Brock University and Niagara College in their Oenology & Viticulture programs hit the mark. Once graduated, attempted to learn as much about the wine industry as I could, working for the LCBO and wine bars, in marketing and production at other local wineries such as Tawse, Hillebrand and Southbrook Vineyards too.

Saw an ad in the paper…

In March 2010, while working for Southbrook, I answered an ad for winery staff for a new, start up winery in Niagara. Five years later, I run GreenLane, juggling winemaking duties with my amazing assistant winemaker, Gavin Paton, and developing the GreenLane brand into one known for beauty and quality. In such a small, tight-knit team, we all wear quite a few hats!” Spoken like an entrepreneur!

Dianne Smith - in the vineyardGreenLane’s first vineyard location was chosen for its proximity to Lake Ontario, which offers a long growing season with cool evenings that effectively maintains the acidity in the Riesling and Pinot Gris and the quality of its very rocky clay loam soils, benefits the established plantings of Cabernet Sauvignon, Chardonnay, as well as the Riesling and Pinot Gris vines.

The new winery location offers accessibility to visitors meandering through Beamsville and a space five times that of the original old farmhouse.  In addition to a beautiful retail area and extensive production space, the site offers a lovely enclosed patio. The building has been extensively renovated to provide the perfect space for a boutique winery such as GreenLane. The new site is more sheltered, offering temperatures as much as 5F warmer than the original, as well as somewhat rocky clay loam with high iron content. Dianne has planted Merlot, Cabernet Franc and Chardonnay, following the advice of trusted wine industry friends, who indicated the site had an ideal terroir for Bordeaux varieties.

Moving = Surprises

Moving to the new winery has brought many benefits, but also some challenges for the team. Dianne tells an entertaining story of her first vintage at the new site. Hot weather meant that the Pinot Gris had to be harvested. Renovations were barely completed and the newly poured crush pad barely dried. An electrician from Toronto had installed the new press. As the Pinot Gris arrived – picked by a willing crew borrowed from another winery – the grapes sat on the skins as Dianne tried to start the press. Yikes, it wouldn’t work! Frantic calls to winemaker friends and neighbors brought a local electrician who declared, as he brought the press on line, that ‘those Toronto electricians really don’t know anything about winemaking equipment’.

greenlane estate wineryBy this time, the juice was a lovely deep pink colour. Into the fermentation tanks it went, as Dianne brought all her skills as a winemaker to bear to – as naturally as possible – filter the wine to a delicate peach hue. The 2013 Pinot Gris is her most popular wine and, if you’ve seen and tasted it, you’ll agree that she was very successful in her ‘rescue’ of the wine!

Dianne’s prior experience has led her to eschew conventional farming. Organic and biodynamic practices are followed in the vineyards and cellar, while a sustainable/herbicide-free approach is used in the vineyard. Says Dianne, ‘We are proud to farm sustainably and try to loosely follow the biodynamic calendar. We hope to farm the new site organically and to obtain certification in due course.’

Dianne is an enthusiastic host in the tasting room; her commitment to GreenLane and to her craft is almost tangible. Asked to describe her philosophy of winemaking, she says, “‘We pursue a vineyard first philosophy, embracing vintage variations in both aromatic and flavour profiles in our resulting wines. Winemaking is a labour of love. We strive to craft wines that speak truthfully of their vineyard origins by paying close attention to the terroir and allowing the fruit and the vintage to determine how the wines evolve. During harvest, the fruit is our dictator of style and our process allows the true flavours of grapes to shine.”

Love for Mother Nature & Old Man WinterGreenlane estate

Dianne is also true to her philosophy in the new brand she has created, Betrayed. Two brutal winters destroyed portions of both the delicate Pinot Gris and GreenLane’s 25-year-old Cabernet Sauvignon vines. In response, Dianne, “Betrayed by Mother Nature and Old Man Winter, we launched a sassy new line and named it Betrayed. Our first wine, Pinot Grieving, tells this story with the front label denoting Old Man Winter as a shadowy man, lurking in the background, wreaking havoc while the grapes (shown as a woman) weep. The 1950’s Pop Art styled label was designed by Niagara College students.”

Enjoy your Savvy Selections!

 

~SAVVY SOMMELIER TASTING NOTES~

GreenLane Chardonnay sur Lie 2010 VQA, $35.002010 Chardonnay Sur Lie FRONT

Handpicked and sorted, this small-batch wine from the hot 2010 vintage is produced from the fruit of just 3-year-old vines – hard to believe given the depth and intensity of the flavour. This wine spent 22 months in a nearly new barrel and 3 neutral oak barrels, stirred twice weekly to integrate the flavours of the lies.

Savvy Sommelier Tasting Notes: Brilliant gold, the complex aromas include toasted nut, butter pastry, pineapple, spiced vanilla, pear and apple tart. Dry, medium-full bodied, the power and intensity of the fruit is balanced by a creamy yet fresh texture, the flavours of caramel apple, pineapple and subtle nutty notes caressing the palate through a long, spiced finish.

Suggested Food Pairing: Rich and flavourful, it’s a match for Thanksgiving turkey or ham, pasta with a creamy seafood sauce or roast pork.

Cellaring: Drinking well now or cellar 2-3 years

 

GreenLane Cabernet Franc 2012 VQA, $23.95

From the wonderfully warm 2012 vintage, this Cabernet Franc was handpicked from 8-year-old vines in the Antonio ds Silva-Ribeiro vineyard. It was then aged 9 months in French oak, 20% of which was ne2012 Cabernet Franc FRONTw.

Savvy Sommelier Tasting Notes: This opulent Cabernet Franc tantalizes with a whiff of pencil shavings mingling with lifted aromas of roses, dark ripe berries and black cherry, cloves and chocolate. Showcasing ripe fruit on the palate, the wine is harmonious and well integrated, the tannins velvety, the balancing acidity subtle. The chocolate and spice notes join a chorus of lush fruit on the finish.

Suggested Food Pairing: Serve with roast lamb, pork or rare breast of duck.

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

 

GreenLane Cabernet Sauvignon 2012 VQA $32.952012 Cabernet Sauvignon FRONT

Produced from the fruit of 22-year-old vines that was hand harvested and sorted in different stages – some as late as the first week of November during this warm vintage. The wine was then aged 19 months in French oak barrels, gently punched down 4 times per day to increase extraction and intensity.

Savvy Sommelier Tasting Notes: This inky, powerful wine offers great intensity and extraction. On the nose, the aromas of cassis and berry are rich and ripe, traces of vanilla, dark chocolate and spice merging and mingling with the fruit. Ripe yet firm tannins and refined acidity frame the concentrated dark fruit, hints of smoke, dried herbs, spice and pepper adding depth and complexity. Long and intense on the finish, the wine will cellar well.

Suggested Food Pairing:  Serve with rack of lamb or rare prime rib.

Cellaring: Ready now or it will cellar nicely for another 4 to 5 years

 

~RECIPES TO ENJOY WITH YOUR SAVVY SELECTIONS~


With GreenLane Chardonnay sur Lie…

Sausage & Exotic Mushroom Turkey Stuffing
By Emily Richards, LCBO Food & Drink Magazine
Serves 8-10

Ingredients

1 lb. fresh pork sausage (consider using 1 chorizo for a smoky flavour)
4 shallots, finely chopped
4 cloves garlic, minced
2 stalks celery, finely chopped
2 small carrots, finely chopped
3 Tbsp chopped fresh sage or 1 Tbsp dried sage
¼ C butter
2 cups sliced oyster mushrooms
2 cups small chanterelle mushrooms or sliced shitake mushroom caps
½ cup dry white wine
Salt & freshly ground pepper
8 cups cubed rustic bread (French or Italian)
¼ cup chopped Italian parsley
¾ cup chicken stock

Method

Preheat oven to 325F.

Remove casings from sausages. Cook sausage meat in large skillet over medium-high heat, breaking up into small pieces with wooden spatula, for 8 minutes or until cooked through. Drain all but 1 Tbsp of fat from the skillet.

Add shallots, garlic, celery, carrots and sage. Sautée for 8 minutes or until golden. Add butter and stir until melted.

Add oyster and chanterelle mushrooms and sauté until mushrooms are softened. Add white wine and boil until wine evaporates. Season with salt & pepper. Scrape into a large bowl. Add bread and parsley. Toss to combine.

Drizzle chicken stock over stuffing mixture to moisten. Pour into greased 10 cup casserole dish. Cover with foil and bake for 45 minutes. Uncover and bake for 15 minutes or until crisp and golden.

 

With GreenLane Cabernet Franc

Duck Breasts with Blood Orange Salsa
By Lucy Waverman, The Flavour Principle
Serves 4
photo credit: www.ricardocuisine.com

Ingredientsblood oranges

3 duck breasts (about 12 oz. each)
1 tsp cracked fennel seeds
1 tsp cracked coriander seeds
Salt & freshly ground pepper

Salsa

½ cup chopped fennel
½ cup chopped blood orange flesh (or use Cara Cara oranges)
2 Tbsp chopped red onion
2 tsp chopped, seeded jalapeño pepper, or to taste
2 Tbsp olive oil
2 Tbsp blood orange juice
2 Tbsp lemon juice
2 Tbsp chopped chives
2 Tbsp chopped fresh cilantro
¼ tsp granulates sugar
Salt

Method

Combine fennel, blood orange flesh, red onion, jalapeño, olive oil, blood orange juice, lemon juice, chives, cilantro, sugar and salt to taste. Reserve

Preheat oven to 450F.

Score skin of duck breasts at 1” intervals (do not cut into meat). Rub with fennel and coriander seeds. Season with salt & pepper.

Place skin side down in a cold ovenproof skillet & place over medium heat. Cook for 2 minutes. Reduce heat to low and cook for 15 minutes or until fat is rendered & skin is beginning to crisp.

Pour off fat & place skillet in oven. Bake for 10-12 minutes or until duck is medium-rare. Remove from skillet & let rest 5 minutes.

Slice breasts into ½ “ slices. Serve topped with salsa.

 

With GreenLane Cabernet Sauvignon…

Herbalicious Rack of Lamb
By Lucy Waverman, The Flavour Principle
Serves 4
photo credit: www.LucyWaverman.com  

 Ingredientsrack of lamb

1 ½ cups fresh bread crumbs
¼ cup finely diced seeded tomato
½ cup chopped fresh thyme
¼ cup chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
2 Tbsp chopped fresh rosemary
1 tsp finely chopped garlic
Salt & freshly ground pepper
¼ cup butter, melted
1 Tbsp vegetable oil
3 lamb racks (8 chops each), frenched
2 Tbsp Dijon mustard

Method

Combine bread crumbs, tomato, herbs, garlic, salt, pepper and melted butter. Mix well & transfer to a shallow dish. Reserve.

Preheat the oven to 400 F.

Heat a large ovenproof skillet over high heat & add oil. Season lamb with salt & pepper. Sear lamb, fat side down, for 2 minutes. Turn over & sear for 2 more minutes. Upend racks & sear meaty ends. Turn racks bone side down & place skillet in oven. Roast racks for 7 minutes.

Remove from oven & brush mustard over meat. Roll racks in break crumb mixture & return to pan, bone side down. Roast for another 10-15minutes or until just pink. Let lamb rest for 5 minutes before carving. 

Bonus Recipes…


GreenLane’s red wine & Chocolate Brownies!


GreenLane’s big bold red wines would be delicious with dark chocolate.  The winery team think that they have died and gone to heaven when Dianne makes these brownies to enjoy with GreenLane’s big red wines.

Old Fashioned Cocoa Brownies
From Dianne’s kitchen to yours
photo credit: www.simplyscratch.com

Ingredientsbrownies

1 cup unsweetened Dutch-processed cocoa powder
¾ tsp baking soda
1 ½ cups all-purpose flour
½ cup double-strength hot brewed coffee
¼ cup light corn syrup
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 cup natural unsweetened applesauce
½ tsp salt
2 cup sugar
½ cup plain nonfat yogurt

Method

Preheat oven to 350F.

Sift the cocoa powder, baking soda and salt together into a large bowl. Add the coffee and corn syrup – whisk until mixture is smooth and glossy. Add applesauce, sugar and vanilla extract. Whisk until completely blended.

Add flour and fold in yogurt with wooden spoon just until it is incorporated.

Fold batter into an 8×8” nonstick baking pan. Bake for 30 minutes or until mixture begins to separate from the edges of the pan and centre is firm to touch.

Remove from oven, place on rack, leave in pan to cool completely. 

Spicy Chocolate-Cayenne Truffle Brownies

www.simplyscratch.com

 Ingredients

8 oz. bittersweet chocolate, broken into pieces
1 stick unsalted butter, cut into pieces (+ more for greasing pan)
4 large eggs at room temperature
¾ cup dark brown sugar
1 cup white sugar
1 ¼ cup all-purpose flour
1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder (+ more for dusting)
¾ – 1 tsp cayenne pepper
½ tsp baking powder
½ tsp kosher salt

Method

Preheat oven to 350F.

Prepare pan with butter and line with parchment.

In sauce pan, melt broken chocolate and butter over low heat, stirring often. Once melted, remove from heat and add both sugars, stir and set aside.

Sift flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, salt and cayenne into large bowl and set aside.

Add eggs one at a time to the slightly warm chocolate, whisk after each.

Add spoonfuls of the flour/cocoa mixture and stir with a spatula until smooth.

Pour batter into 8×8” pan (bake for 35-40 minutes) or 9×13” pan (bake for 20-25 minutes).

Let cool and remove from pan. Sprinkle with cocoa powder and cut as desired. Note: For more fudgy brownies, tester should come out slightly coated.

 

Enjoy your Savvy Selections!

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Stratus Vineyards – Toasting 10 Years

Posted by Monique

Monday, September 14th, 2015
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Savvy Selections wine of the month club
Featuring Stratus Vineyards Winery

–  September 2015 –

 

The kids are back in school, so folks we must accept it…our summer holiday has come to an end, yet the summer sun is still shining! The leaves have already begun changing colour and grape harvest has started in various regions, so there is no point in denying it…autumn is here. I promise not to mutter the W-word yet!

Stratus WineryThis month we are thrilled to introduce to you, Stratus Vineyards! It is a big year for Stratus as they are celebrating their ten year anniversary throughout 2015. Two key attributes that have stood out for Stratus throughout the past ten years are: being renowned as the world’s first fully LEED-certified (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) winery and for having the bold vision and track record of producing outstanding and age-worthy assemblage wines.

Suzanne Janke, Director of Hospitality & Retail, Stratus Vineyards explains assemblage:

“Assemblage is a centuries-old tradition in the a rt of combining several grape varieties to make a single wine. Not according to any preset formula, but through carefully selecting and balancing the best the vineyard has to offer each season – using taste, judgment and feel – to craft a wine that uniquely captures the essence of vintage and vineyard.”

Your Trio of Stratus wines…

Truth be told, it was not an easy job that our Savvy Team had when they sampled the wines. All of the choices impressed our Sommeliers. We took into account the change of seasons to determine this delectable trio crafted by Stratus’ gifted French-trained winemaker J-L (Jean-Laurent) Groux.

2011 Stratus Sémillon – A unique dry white wine that will prolong the days of patio season! This is a classic white grape variety from the Bordeaux region with loads character and is highly complementary to a world of dishes.

2012 Stratus Gewürztraminer – Luscious, floral and fun! With layers upon layers of character & flavours, wait until you try this wine with your fall food favorites.

2012 Stratus Merlot – A bold and robust red wine from one of the most sought after Niagara vintages and vineyards!

OPTIONAL WINE: 2013 Stratus Mosaic – this distinctive blend of Viognier and Gewurztraminer is neither icewine nor late harvest. Being somewhat sweet, but perfectly balanced, this will be a crowd pleaser.

You won’t find these Stratus wines at the LCBO

Our Savvy Sommeliers are always on the lookout for wines that you will enjoy absolutely every sip! AsStratus is a small-lot producer, they are rarely available outside of the winery. If you come across a favourite wine from Stratus, either in this month’s selection or in passing, call on us at 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.

Raise a glass of Stratus to celebrate their 10th anniversary!

Debbie & Savvy Team

 

Introducing…
Stratus Vineyards

Presented by Sommelier Monique Ippolito

 

Ten years ago, Stratus Vineyards established themselves as a winery that respected time-honoured traditions while still managing a balance of ‘new traditions.’ This ideology was, and still is, present throughout every aspect their establishment.   From the vineyard management, to the innovative winemaking facility, to the chic resplendent tasting bar, Stratus Vineyards has done a remarkable job of mixing old with new…warm with cold… black with white…all to “make the best possible wine with the smallest possible footprint.”

The virtuoso himself… Stratus winemaker JL

J-L Groux (right) was recruited as chief winemaker for Stratus right from the get go. Originally from the Loire Valley, France, he practically grew up with wine in his veins. He studied oenology in Burgundy, meandered the globe, and then finally found himself captivated by the Niagara region by the late 1980s.

He had previously worked as a winemaker at Hillebrand, crafting Trius’ bold Cabernet blends. J-L’s artisanship for assemblage had transpired. The rest, as they say, is history.

Where does the magic start?

“In many ways, outstanding wines are grown, not made” explained J-L as we walked through the vineyard, “Currently we harvest 11 red grape varietals and seven white varietals. They were each planted in strategic blocs throughout the vineyard.” J-L is a hands on winemaker. He oversees everything – the planting, harvesting and sorting of all of the estates grapes.

Stratus handsortinTo contribute to the quality of their wines, Stratus employs techniques to provide their vines with the best possible mix of sunlight and earthly nutrients by training their vines vertical shoot positioning (winespeak: train the vines to grow upwards while the clusters of grapes hang below). Stratus also practices ‘low yield’ farming, limiting the number of fruit the vines produce to ensure higher quality grapes. All of the vineyards’ grapes are still tended, harvested and sorted entirely by hand.

What happens next…

After the wines are vinified and aged accordingly, the art of assemblage comes to play. When I asked how he prepares for such an arduous task, J-L reveals that he blind tastes twenty to thirty assemblage wines for two to three months almost daily trying to find the best characteristics for the flagship Stratus Red and Stratus White wines.

It is also quite interesting to see how this ancestral art of assemblage ties into the juxtaposed contemporary innovation theme of Stratus’ ideology. J-L explains that assemblage actually helps to overcome nature’s ups and downs by using the best varieties of each vintage. In turn, this actually helps in “keeping consistency in quality year to year even if the wine composition is not always the same.”

Once that task of assemblage is completed, J-L moves on to working on the single varietal wines – like the ones in your Savvy Selections trio – and other labels that Stratus offers: Wildass, Tollgate and Kabang. J-L affirms that while creativity, experience and attention to detail are all key traits of a great winemaker; “the vineyard actually makes the wine,” revealing a great respect for terroir (where the vines grow, breathe and live).

Where it all happens…

It is evident that Stratus exemplifies their commitment to sustainability from their blueprints. Their facility was Stratus barrelsconstructed with reclaimed materials boasting features such as a super-insulated roof and geothermal heating and cooling. They created a winery with a virtual hillside that allows the wine to move solely by gravity flow. Nothing is ever pumped and their only standby pump, which was never used, was sold soon after they opened in 2005.

Commitment to sustainability also extends beyond the winery itself. In the vineyards, Stratus employs innovative practices such as powering their tractors with recycled diesel fuel and using herbal tea blends instead of harmful pesticides to keep insects away from the grapes.

J-L himself was involved in the conception and consulted on construction of the winery, working daily with the engineer and consultant, Peter Gamble. He jokingly claims that, “if something quits working, I am on the hook!” Fortunately, the facility has been functioning excessively well and no major changes to the initial design have to come to pass.

Best part of it all….

J-L and the Stratus family all agree that the most rewarding part of the job is “establishing long lasting trust with their consumers.” After a decade of releases, customers know that they can count on Stratus wines to be consistently well crafted, with an innate respect for the land that is expressed in every glass.

Here’s to Stratus, J-L & the next 10 years!

 

~ SAVVY SOMMELIER TASTING NOTES ~

 

2011 Stratus Semillon $32.00

Savvy Sommelier Tasting Notes: This wine screams ripe orchard fruit (peaches, nectarine and yellow delicious apple). Lovely notes of baking spice (nutmeg), citrus blossom and touch of pine mingle very well with the fresh fruit also. On the palate, citrus, nectarine, nutmeg and white pepper stands out the most. Hold a sip of this Semillon on the tongue and you will feel a flush of luscious acidity along with a slightly oily mouthfeel and a medium long citrus-white-pepper finish.

This is a medium to full bodied dry white can absolutely stand up to a substantial meal. It pours with an attractive golden yellow hue and is pleasing to the palate when served at a slightly warmer temperature than most other whites.

Suggested Food Pairings: Roasted lemon herbed Cornish hens or even Thanksgiving turkey is one route if you plan to save this wine for your fall harvest table. Pan seared halibut, pickerel or mahi mahi with grilled vegetables in another route for enjoying now through your last days of summer.

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

 

2012 Stratus Gewürztraminer $32.00

Savvy Sommelier Tasting Notes:   At first glance, notice a lovely bouquet of fresh flowers, bees wax and honey gust Gwertz_post sign (2)from your glass. Soon after, tropical fruit aromas start to come through: honey dew melon, Asian pear, mango and lychee. These aromas – tropical fruit, honey and beeswax – copy directly onto the palate along finishing layers of baking spice and white pepper.

If you are familiar with old world versions of Gewürztraminers (German or French Styles), you will pin this wine as noticeably ‘Alsatian’ (French wine region) in character. This wine has rich yet luscious mouthfeel. It has ripe tropical fruit characters with noticeable (but balanced) acidity. It is medium to full bodied and it has a medium to long finish.

Suggested Food Pairings: This wine is quite substantial and would pair well with dishes that have a lot of flavours and textures. Moroccan chick pea salad or curried lentil (vegan) chili would make excellent vegetarian dish pairing with this wine. However, if protein is what you desire, try pairing it with a heart (and spicy) beef chili. If you do not wish to disturb the layer upon layers of flavours of this wine, pair with a simple dukkah spice mix (an Egyptian blend of toasted nuts, seeds and spices).

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


2012 Stratus Merlot $32.00

Stratus GrapesSavvy Sommelier Tasting Notes: Rustic came to mind when my senses were first introduced to this Merlot. Lovely red berry fruit, cassis, ripe red plums, red roses and baking spice (cinnamon, clove and anise) notes billow from the glass. Tannins are smooth and acidity is well balanced. Notice a luscious mouthfeel as you take a sip. The red fruit and baking spice stands out the most on the palate with a little bit of sweet smoke presence veering towards a the long warm cinnamon clove finish.

This wine speaks volumes of the level of quality coming out of the Niagara Peninsula. It is sure to be a sure-fire crowd pleaser amongst red wine drinkers. Seeing that the temperatures are still in the double digits, pair with red meats coming off your barbeque!

Suggested Food Pairings: Bison burgers or steak skewers. Perhaps you fancy saving it for some fall comfort food dining, the try it with Beef Wellington.

Cellaring: Drinking well know or has the cellaring potential for up to 5-7 years. Serve between 16⁰-18⁰C. 


OPTIONAL WINE: 2013 Stratus Mosaic
$25.00 (375 mL bottle)

Savvy Sommelier Tasting Notes: A remarkably refreshing dessert wine! To be honest, there is no need to wait for dessert, serve as an aperitif or I would not even wait for dessert to be honest! There are loads of ripe tropical fruit notes in this wine. From guava, lychee and pineapple, to even passion fruit; this wine quite remarkable!

It is a late harvest wine from premium Riesling and Gewürztraminer varietals. It is more on the semi-sweet side, so not as cloying or syrupy as Icewine could be. Acidity is present and contributes to a luscious mouthfeel right through to a long semi-sweet citrus marmalade finish.

Suggested Food Pairings: Passionfruit crème brûlée, Mexican Flan or Pavlova

Cellaring: Drinking well know, can cellar for up to 3-5 years. Serve between 8⁰-10⁰C.

 

~ RECIPES TO ENJOY WITH YOUR SAVVY SELECTIONS ~

 

With Stratus Semillon…

Fish Tacos topped with Mango Pico de Gallo and Salsa Verde

From Monique’s Kitchen
Serves 3-4

Ingredients

For the fish

1 large pickerel fillet (about 500g)
1 tablespoon olive oil
juice from half a lemon
pinch of smoked paprika
pinch of ground cumin
salt and pepper to taste
8 soft corn tortillas

For Mango Pico de Gallo

1 large Roma tomato
1 small-medium onion
1 green bell pepper (optional)
1 semi-ripe mango
2-3 limes, juiced
½ cup fresh chopped cilantro
¼ teaspoon of honey
salt and pepper to taste

For the Salsa Verde

6 tomatillos (green tomatoes)
1 medium onion
1 head of garlic
2 fresh jalapeños
2 tablespoons honey
2 tablespoons red pepper jelly
½ cup fresh cilantro
1 lemon, juiced
1 lime, juiced

Method

Chop tomato, onion, bell pepper and mango into cubes for the Pico de Gallo. Finely chop the cilantro and marinade all the ingredients in juice from limes.

Mix tomatillos, onion, garlic, jalapeños and cilantro in a food processor for salsa verde. After ingredients are coarsely blended, pour into a bowl and stir in honey, red pepper jelly and juice from lime and lemon.

Pat pickerel with a damp paper towel and brush with olive oil. Then season with salt, pepper, smoked paprika and cumin.

Heat your skillet with olive oil on medium-high heat for a couple minutes, then sear fish in the pan. Let it cook on medium low heat from 3-4 minutes per side or until cooked through. After 8-10 minutes, remove fish and let it crumble.

Take your warmed corn tortilla and add cooked fish, Mango Pico de Gallo, and Salsa Verde and enjoy your taco!

With Stratus Gewürztraminer…

Pan Seared Trout with Orange Butter Pecan Sauce

From wickedspatula.com (recipe and photo credit)
Serves 2trout

Ingredients

1 large trout fillet (about 8-10 ounces)
1 tablespoon olive oil
Salt and pepper to taste
1 tablespoon butter (or ghee)
1 orange, zested and juiced
½ cup chopped pecans
Parsley, for garnish

Method

Heat one tablespoon of olive oil in a cast iron skillet over medium high heat.

Season the fillet with salt and pepper and place skin side up in the skillet. Sear for 3-4 minutes until the fish easily flips. Sear another 3-4 minutes until the skin is crispy and the fish flakes easily. Remove and keep warm.

In the same skillet melt one tablespoon of butter. Stir in the pecans scrapping any brown bits up from the bottom of the pan. Allow pecans to toast for about one minute. Stir in the orange juice and allow to reduce just a bit.

Season sauce with a bit of salt to taste and pour over the trout. Garnish with orange zest and parsley.


With
Stratus Merlot…

Steak Skewers with Chimichurri Sauce

From fitnessmagazine.com (recipe and photo credit)
Serves 4

Ingredientssteak skewers

For Chimichurri Sauce

½ cup finely chopped parsley
½ cup finely chopped cilantro
3 teaspoons finely chopped oregano
1 teaspoon finely chopped thyme
1 small shallot, minced
¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
2 teaspoons honey
¼ teaspoon kosher salt (or to taste)
¼ teaspoon ground black pepper

For Steak

1 pound skirt steak, trimmed
2 teaspoons cumin
¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 teaspoon chili powder
¼ teaspoon kosher salt (or to taste)
¼ teaspoon ground black pepper
8-10 soaked wooden skewers (soaked for at least 30 minutes)
nonstick cooking spray for grilling

 Method

Combine all ingredients for chimichurri sauce in a bowl and set aside.

Cut steak crosswise into two equal pieces, then cut each piece lengthwise into one-inch-wide strips (making 8 to 10 pieces).

Season steak pieces in a large bowl with cumin, cayenne pepper, chili powder, and salt and pepper, Then thread season steaks onto skewers.

Lightly coat your grill with cooking spray or line grill with foil. Light grill to high heat.

Place skewers on grill and cook for two to three minutes per side for medium rare or to your desired degree of doneness, depending on thickness. Transfer skewers to a plate and let it sit for five minutes, then serve with chimichurri sauce. 

*Chimichurri sauce can be refrigerated for 2-3 days or stored in freezer for up to 4-5 weeks.

 

Enjoy your Savvy Selections!

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Aure Wines – A Treasure Find

Posted by Monique

Monday, August 17th, 2015
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Savvy Selections wine of the month club
Featuring Aure Estate Winery
–  August 2015 –

 

The heat is on in Ontario folks!  While we cool ourselves off sipping on some crisp cool wines, Ontario’s vineyards are eagerly watching clusters of their little green grapes grow and ripen. (did you know all grapes start as green?).  August is also one of the busiest times of the year for wineries, as tasting rooms are bustling with crowds of visitors anxious to taste and discover the delightful wines they have to offer while in the cellar, they are finishing bottling the wines and making room for the chaotic activities that comes with harvest.

We are thrilled to introduce to you Aure Wines (pronounced oh-rah), a family run winery situated in the VinemountAureWines_color Ridge sub-appellation of the Niagara Escarpment.  Aure Wines is run, hands on, by the Hoare family, originally from London, England; with Dave and Annette at the helm.  This husband and wife team has devotedly enthralled themselves in the splendor of wine and food for countless decades.  They also raised a lovely family with that same unimaginable level of passion.  Together with their sons William, the winemaker; and James, the vineyard manager; and daughter Sarah, they aim to share their passion through handcrafting quality wines.

Ready to uncork & enjoy your Savvy Selections?

In this month’s Savvy Selections you will find 3 remarkable wines, each of which were made from estate grown grapes.  Consider these wines to be a definitive expression of what Aure Wines has to offer!

2014 White Gamay – An irresistible blush pink wine with enticingly fresh strawberry aromas.  This refreshing wine pairs well with…your patio! You will no doubt want to enjoy with a charcuterie platter and cheese.

2011 ‘Old Vines’ Marechal Foch – A customer favourite! This wine comes from a hybrid grape vine (winespeak: cross between a European vinifera grape varietal and a North American grape varietal) that was once very widely planted all over Ontario due to its early ripening and cold hardy nature.  Today, most Marechal Foch vines have been uprooted but the ones that do remain at Aure are over 50 years old!  By the same token, winemaking has certainly improved over the past five decades, allowing these grapes to produce an incredible expression of this wine.

2010 Reserve Cabernet Franc – A silver medal winner at the 2014 Concours International Des Vine in France and the first vintage Cabernet Franc. The layers upon layers of flavours will surely impress.

You won’t find these Aure wines at the LCBO

We have done it again!  Our Savvy Sommeliers have found wines (and great prices) that we are confident you will enjoy…every sip!  Aure Wines produces such small amounts that you won’t find them on the shelves in your LCBO.  Call on us at any time at 613-SAVVYCO (728-8926) for additional bottles of your favourite Aure wines – or other wineries we have featured in Savvy Selections.

Cheers & enjoy your summer!

Debbie & Savvy Team

 

  Introducing…
Aure Wines

Presented by Sommelier Monique Ippolito

 

The Hoare family has always had a strong affinity for wine.  They originally moved to Canada’s east coast for business purposes; later bringing them to Toronto.  That second leap, sending them closer to Ontario’s grape regions, no doubt triggered something in their senses.  After countless visits through Niagara’s wine country, they took the plunge and sought to establish a winery of their own.  Aure was establish in 2007 and officially opened in 2011 with the first vintage coming from 2010 grapes. 2010 was a stellar year…so not a bad way to start!

A winery with an English cottage charm…

The property they finally settled on turned out to be a huge “fixer upper”.  The project involved salvaging as much as they could from an old barn to create what is now a charming Edwardian English _DSC0550Country Estate, adorned with various artifacts, photos and furniture from that era.  What is even more fascinating about this winery is their commitment to sustainability and the environmentally conscious initiatives they applied during the construction of the winery.

The Hoare family reused, recycled and re-purposed as much as they possibly could from the old barn that was on site.  If some of the salvageable items were not useful in the construction of their winery, they were donated to causes that would sure to benefit from it.  Today, a few of the key features of the winery include: a living ‘green’ roof, passive solar heating mechanisms and various methods of water conservation and the re-purposing of rain water.

The name is blowing in the wind

The Hoare family looked into their lineage for the inspiration to pretty much everything about the winery.  The name was no different.  Once they started tracing the name back a few centuries, the surname Hoare was discovered to be somewhat of a derivative of the ancient Greek name Aure, which translates to “a breath of air.”  Since the discovery, the Hoare’s could not resist how fitting the name was considering the location of the winery in addition to having a connection to their lineage.

Meet the winemaker…

William Hoare (photo at right) practically grew up in the hospitality industry and devewilliam_0loped quite an adventurous palate at a very young age.  As a teenager, he was actually thrilled to be washing dishes and bussing tables in a restaurant.  His work experience and penchant for exotic food motivated travels steered him towards studying Hospitality at Niagara College and obtaining a Diploma in Hotel and Restaurant Management.

Soon after, his love and appreciation for wine began to skyrocket. William then sought to educate himself as much as he could on the subject of wine.  He is a quick learner, not to mention a good student, although he feels that he never learnt enough about wine. “there is always more to learn.”

As with any job however there still seem to be little headaches here and there.  For instance William jokingly admits that his least favourite parts of the job are cleaning tanks and, of course, government audits.  However, his proudest moment so far has been winning a silver medal for the 2010 Cabernet Franc at the 2014 Cancours International Des Vine in France.  Luckily, there was enough of this award winning wine to include in your Savvy Selections shipment.  Plus, another fulfilling part of his job is being able to experiment with new/different techniques in wine making; like the impressive wild ferment Pinot Noir and Chardonnays that are available when you visit the winery.

What’s next?

In a span of four short years, Aure has built an incredible portfolio of wines and built several reasons to mark a visit to the winery when you are next in the area.  Be sure to stop in to Silo Bistro for lunch or English high tea.

In the vineyard, David is excited to be the first in the area to grow a new and somvineyard croppedewhat obscure grape called Siegerrebe.  It is an aromatic white grape variety originally from Germany with similar aromas to Gewürztraminer.  “We chose it because of its cold hardy characteristics and it should perform very well in the cool climate that we have in our vineyards”, explains David.

In the wine cellar, William shares the secret that they are planning to make a sparkling Gamay.

Altogether, this winery’s warmth, passion, commitment to environmental sustainability, and strong connection to heritage will no doubt keep producing exciting wines in the future!

 

~ SAVVY SOMMELIER TASTING NOTES ~

 

Being on top of the Beamsville Bench in the Vinemount Ridge, Aure has focused on varietals that perform consistently well in the cool winds that run along the top of the escarpment.  The grapes here generally bud and ripen two weeks later than vineyards located lower on the bench.  Aure’s Gamay Noir, Cabernet Franc, Riesling and over 50 year old vines of Marechal Foch are the varietals the winery began with.  Sadly, this year, the Riesling vines originally planted were uprooted due to the back-to-back harsh winters that damaged the vineyard.  On the flip side, the hardy surviving vines are thriving and producing very well report David and William.

2014 White Gamay, $14.95

Savvy Sommelier Tasting Notes: Mark our words, you will not be able to resist this elegant blush pink wine!  Alluring aromas of ripe wild strawberries, cherry and a touch of lemon grass loom from the glass.  Expressions of strawberry, pink grapefruit and lemon zest come through more on the palate, ending with a crisp refreshing finish.  This wine is light bodied with a well-balanced acidity and a mouthwatering finish.

While called White Gamay, it is strictly speaking, a white wine made from a red grapes.  The Gamay Noir grapes are the signature varietal originating from the Beaujolais appellation in France.  It is traditionally a deep ruby-red hued wine so, naturally, when vinifying this wine with very limited skin contact, some of that pink hue comes through into the juice during the winemaking process.  Take a sip and you’ll find all the qualities of a ripe Gamay grape without the tannins.  Dry and crisp, it is a delicious summer sipping wine.

Suggested   Food   Pairings: Quite versatile!  This wine makes for a terrific pairing with a summer salad.  Try it with strawberry topped Greek salads, or simply enjoy as a plain ol’ 2 o’clock patio wine. 

Cellaring: Drink now.  Serve between 7⁰-10⁰C.

2011 Old Vines Marechal Foch, $19.95

Savvy Sommelier Tasting Notes:  A robust red wine!  Lovely layered notes of ripe blackberries, black currants, Foch_2011black plums, dark chocolate, leather and anise come through as you nose this wine.  Key flavours of  ripe berries, baking spices and a touch of earthy minerality sustain itself on the palate right through to a long finish.  This wine carries a silky smooth mouthfeel with luscious acidity and a medium-plus body.

The Old Vines Foch, being one of the original varietals frown on the property, is harvested from mature vines.  It has so far become the best seller of Aure Winery.  Its rich and bold characteristics make it a versatile comfort food pairing wine.  You do not necessarily have to wait until fall to crack into this bottle though.  I imagine it will pair quite well with Smokey BBQ ribs.

Suggested Food Pairings:  Osso Buco, hearty stews or anything off the BBQ. 

Cellaring: Drinking well now.  Can cellar for another 3 to 5 years.  Serve between 16⁰-18⁰C.

2010 Reserve Cabernet Franc, $35.00

Savvy Sommelier Tasting Notes:   This wine is one of Aure’s inaugural wines and an international prize winner at that!  The 2010 vintage in the Niagara’s wine country was quite phenomenal, so the wine has lovely notes of dates, ripe Reserve_2010_Cabblack plums, some graphite (minerality) and eucalyptus that lingers with each sip.  These aromas directly repeat on the palate with a luscious and satiny mouthfeel.  Tannins are still present but not overpowering.  Other characteristics of dark chocolate and dried cranberries come through more on the finish.

This full bodied wine is quite a proud bottle for Aura Wines.  It is well rounded and packed with complexity.  It is drinking quite nicely right now, but if you have extra bottles cellar them for another couple years.

Suggested  Food  Pairings:  Beef, bison, lamb or venison roasts.

Cellaring: Drinking well now or can cellar for up to 3-5 years.  Serve between 16⁰-18⁰C.

 


~ RECIPES TO ENJOY WITH YOUR SAVVY SELECTIONS ~

 

With The White Gamay…

Blackened Chicken Salad

From Monique’s Kitchen (modified from Whole Foods Market recipe)
Blackening Seasoning Mix from allrecipes.com
Serves 4 side salads or 2-3 large dinner salads

 This dish is fantastic in a sandwich, a wrap or in a pasta salad as well.  Be as creative as you like!

Ingredients

3 chicken breasts
¾ cup mayonnaise (substitute with Just Mayo for egg free mayonnaise)
¼ cup dijon mustard
¼ cup apple cider vinegar
1 large carrot (grated or julienne)
½ of a red onion (sliced)
4-5 scallions (chopped)
1/3 cup blackening seasoning
1-2 tablespoons olive oil (substitute with avocado oil or coconut oil)

Blackening Seasoning Mix

1½ tablespoons of paprika
1 tablespoon garlic powder
1 tablespoon onion powder
1 tablespoon ground dried thyme
1 teaspoon ground black pepper
1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 teaspoon dried basil
1 teaspoon dried oregano
Combine all ingredients in a bowl until evenly mixed.  Store in an airtight container in a cool dry place.

Method

Coat chicken thoroughly with blackening seasoning mix and let it sit for about 15 minutes.  Then, heat olive oil in skillet and stir fry chicken breasts over medium heat for approximately 10-12minutes or until fully cooked and set aside to cool.  Once cooled, slice into ¼ inch thick strips. *Option: Grill chicken breasts on the BBQ. 

Mix together mayonnaise, apple cider vinegar and Dijon mustard; then set aside. Combine chicken strips, carrot, red onion and scallions together in a large bowl. Pour dressing over the chicken mixture and combine thoroughly. Garnish with some extra chopped scallions and enjoy with your White Gamay.

 

With Marechal Foch…

Osso Buco (Braised Veal Shanks)

From www.epicurious.com (recipe & photo credit)
Serves 4-8

Ingredients

8 – 10 large 2 ½ inch thick veal shanks (patted dry & tied securely with string to keep the meat attached to the bone)
All purpose flour for dredging the veal shanks
7 Tbsp unsalted butter, plus additional if necessary
3 Tbsp olive oil, plus additional is necessary
1½ cups white wine (I tend to use Fumé Blanc or unoaked Chardonnay)osso bucco
1½ cups finely chopped onion
¾ cup finely chopped carrots
¾ cups finely chopped celery
4 cloves minced garlic
3-4 cups chicken or beef broth
1½ cups drained canned plum tomatoes (chopped)
1 cheesecloth bag containing 6 sprigs of fresh parsley, 4 sprigs of fresh thyme and 1 bay leaf
½ teaspoon salt & pepper (or to your taste)

Method

Season veal shanks with salt and pepper and dredge them in the flour, shaking off the excess. 

In a heavy skillet, heat 3 tablespoons of the butter and 3 tablespoons of the oil over moderately high heat until the foam subsides.  Then brown the veal shanks in batches, adding some of the additional butter and oil as necessary and, once browned, transfer unto a platter. 

Add the wine to skillet and stir, scraping up the brown bits from the bottom and sides of the skillet.  Boil the mixture until the liquid is reduced to about ½ cup, and set aside in a small bowl.

In a flame proof casserole dish – large enough to hold all the veal shanks in one layer – combine onions, carrots, celery, garlic and remaining tablespoons of butter over moderately low heat, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables are softened; then add shanks with any juices that have accumulated on the platter, the reserve mixture and enough broth to almost cover the shanks.  Spread the tomatoes over the shanks, add the cheesecloth bag and salt and pepper to taste; and bring the liquid to a simmer over moderately high heat.

Braise the mixture, covered, on the middle rack of a preheated 325⁰F oven for two hours, or until veal is tender.

Transfer the shanks with a slotted spoon to an ovenproof serving dish, discard the strings, and keep the shanks warm.  Skim the fat and strain the pan juices into a saucepan, pressing hard on the solids.  Boil the juices for 15 minutes, or until liquid is reduced to about 3 cups.  Baste the shanks with some of the reduced juices and bake (basting 3-4 times) for another 10 minutes, or until they are glazed.

 

With Reserve Cabernet Franc…

Beef Brisket Pot Roast

From www.simplyrecipes.com (recipe & photo credit )
Serves 8-12

Ingredientsbrisket

4-5lbs beef brisket
1-2 Tbsp olive oil
3 large onions
5-6 cloves of garlic (minced)
2-3 large carrots
1 sprig of thyme
1 sprig of rosemary
3-4 bay leaves
2 cups beef sock
1Tbsp mustard (optional)
salt

Method

On one side of the brisket there should be a layer of fat, which you want to keep.  If there are any large chunks of fat, cut them off and discard them.  Large pieces of fat will not be able to render out completely.  Using a sharp knife, score the fat in parallel lines – about ¾ inch apart.  Slice through the fat, not the beef.  Repeat in the opposite direction to make a cross-hatch pattern.  Salt the brisket well and let it sit at room temperature for 30 minutes.

You’ll need an oven-proof, thick-bottomed pot with a cover (Dutch oven or casserole dish) that is just wide enough to hold the brisket roast with a little room for the onions.  Pat the brisket dry and place it, fatty side down, into the pot and place it on medium high heat.  Cook for 5-8 minutes, lightly sizzling, until the fat side is nicely browned.  (If the roast seems to be cooking too fast, turn the heat down to medium.  You want a steady sizzle, not a raging sear.)  Turn the brisket over and cook for a few minutes more to brown the other side.

When the brisket has browned, remove it from the pot and set aside.  There should be a couple tablespoons of fat rendered in the pot, if not, add some olive oil.  Add the chopped onions and increase the heat to high.  Sprinkle a little salt on the onions.  Sauté, stirring often, until the onions are lightly browned (5-8 minutes).  Stir in the garlic and cook 1-2 more minutes.

Preheat the oven to 300°F.  Use kitchen twine to tie together the bay leaves, rosemary and thyme.  Move the onions and garlic to the sides of the pot and nestle the brisket inside.  Add the beef stock and the tied-up herbs.  Bring the stock to a boil.  Cover the pot, place the pot in the 300°F oven and cook for 3 hours.  Carefully flip the brisket every hour so it cooks evenly.

After 3 hours, add the carrots.  Cover the pot and cook for 1 hour more, or until the carrots are cooked through and the brisket is falling-apart tender. At this point, take the pot out of the oven and remove the brisket to a cutting board.  Cover it with foil.  Pull out and discard the herbs.

You can serve as is, or you can make a sauce with the drippings and some of the onions.  To make a sauce, remove the carrots and half of the onions, set aside and cover them with foil.  Pour the ingredients that are remaining into the pot into a blender, and purée until smooth.  If you wish, add 1 tablespoon of mustard to the mix. Put into a small pot and keep warm. Serve with the onions, carrots and gravy. Serve with mashed, roasted or boiled potatoes.

TIP: Notice the lines of the muscle fibers of the roast.  This is the “grain” of the meat.  Slice the meat perpendicular to these lines, or across the grain (cutting this way further tenderizes the meat), in 1/4-inch to 1/2-inch slices.

Enjoy your Savvy Selections!

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