Posts Tagged ‘Ontario VQA wines’

Hop to the LCBO

Posted by Julie

Friday, April 14th, 2017
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So what’s everyone serving for Easter? Today a roast lamb is in the oven, then ham or turkey or perhaps this year will be salmon on Easter Monday.  In my house, it all depends how many are coming for dinner (or how much cooking is involved!).  All to say, whatever is going onto your table, guaranteed you’ll find an elegant wine from my taste tested shopping list below to help celebrate Easter or Passover keeping in mind the best celebration is shared with family and friends.

Beyond the spring-feast friendly wines, the front pages of the Vintages magazine highlights “Visionaries, Innovators and Pioneers (VIP)” and celebrates the lives of several winery owners. No wonder this release features their wines entitled “Industry Influences”.  (I had to say it twice myself.)

Happy hopping into the LCBO.  There are great eggs…bottles…to find in Vintages,

Julie

 

 

 If I only had $100, I would buy . . .
LCBO Vintages Release for Saturday April 1, 2017

 

Tzafona Cellars Cold Climate Unoaked Chardonnay KP 2015

VQA Niagara Peninsula
$22.95 (Vintages #485276)  13% alcohol

Vegan friendly and Kosher (for Passover certified) this elegant vintage hails practically from our backyard in Niagara. Interestingly, Tzafona means northwards in ancient Hebrew. Creamy and soft as silk, ripe melon plays on the palate. It’s medium-bodied with tropical fruit flavours, clean and smooth with some ripe pears and creme caramel on the finish. It’s a mighty fine tasting Chardonnay and would partner with delicacies from turkey to salmon to fresh spring greens salads.

 

 

 

Ken Forrester Old Vine Reserve Chenin Blanc 2016

WO Stellenbosch, South Africa
$17.95 (Vintages #231282)  13.5% alcohol

Although Chenin’s (also known as Pineau de la Loire and many other names) birthplace may be in the Loire Valley, this varietal represents 18% of South Africa’s acreage under vine. White honeyed-floral aromas waft through this golden hued beauty, slightly effervescent, tart but rich yellow apples and apricots play on the palate. Medium-bodied with a light fresh texture, earthy almost nutty flavours on the finish. It’s a stunning wine. It would be great with turkey, fish, curry or to sip on its own when you finally put your feet up after spending the afternoon ‘slaving’ in the kitchen.

 

 

 

Stratus Vineyards Wildass Riesling

VQA Niagara Peninsula
$16.95 (Vintages #129700) 11.6% alcohol

“Bring on the petrol” I heard one product consultant say as she exclaimed she was glad she brought a few cases of this into her store. For those who love a minerally wine, fresh, clean with distinct lemony peach flavours this is your wine.  Medium-bodied and just slightly off-dry, it’s one lovely sipper and very food friendly.  You could pair this baby with just about anything white and light or spicy.

 

 

Dandelion Vineyards Lionheart of the Barossa Shiraz 2014

South Australia
$21.95 (Vintages #167189) 14.5% alcohol

There were so many gold star stickers on this bottle, I stopped counting. A dazzling rich dense purple, assertive dark fruit flavours without being too fruit forward. Some savoury and earthy notes mingle with the mid to full-bodied blueberry, blackberry flavours. Balanced with noticeable tannins and savoury spice on the finish. It’s a gem and going on my table with a roast of lamb.

 

Les Halos De Jupiter Côtes du Rhône

AC, France
$17.95 (Vintages #276956) 15% alcohol

Not a bit of wonder it is featured as wine of the month. When you see AC, you know you are buying a quality French wine whose grapes are grown in a certain appellation in France such as Côtes du Rhône. A delicious blend of Grenache, Syrah and Mourvèdre, rich red velvet in colour and loads of deep dark berries, ripe plums on the palate. The palate is silky, nicely balanced, integrated tannins weave through raspberry flavours with a peppery finish.  Bone dry and smooth with plenty of longevity. I’d pick up a couple for some burgers or steak this summer, when you can put the feet up and just enjoy the heat in more ways than one.

 

 

GRAND TOTAL – $97.75

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This Weekend Only! Order top wines from Savvy Pop-Up Shop

Posted by Debbie

Friday, March 31st, 2017
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Our Pop-Up Wine Shop this week was a HUGE hit! Nine wineries from Niagara uncorked over 50 different wines for fans like YOU to taste & buy.

Sorry that you missed it…but the good news is that you can order online to stock up. Simply go to www.savvycompany.ca/popup & pick any combo of 6+ wines that you would like delivered to your home or office – we’ll ship for FREE. Deadline to order: Sunday April 2nd @ midnight.

 

Let’s go wine shopping!>>

TIP: These wines are exclusively available from us…otherwise you have to go to the winery to buy them. You won’t find these special wines at the LCBO.

 

Top selling wines @ Savvy Pop-Up Wine Shop

Which to wines to buy? Here’s a starting point..and there’s more to order online.

13th Street Winery

2015 Merlot – $19.95
2012 Reserve Cabernet Franc – $29.95

GreenLane Estate Winery

2014 Tenacious C Chardonnay – $19.95
2012 Cabernet Sauvignon – $32.95

Meldville Wines

2015 First Edition Chardonnay – $20.00
2015 Second Edition Cabernet Franc – $27.00

Redstone Winery

2014 Limestone Ridge Riesling – $19.15
2015 Rose – $17.15

Tawse Winery

2015 Red Foot Pinot Gris – $25.15
2012 Cabernet Merlot – $22.15

Two Sisters Vineyards

2016 Rose – $29.00 (pre-release)
2013 Cabernet Franc – $48.00 (pre-release)

Vieni Estates Wine & Spirits

Momenti Sparkling – $13.95
Canada 150 Red Sparkling – $16.95 – YES! A dry, red sparkling for Canada’s birthday
2013 Red Trillium Ripasso – $16.95

Vineland Estates Winery

2014 Cabernet Merlot Growers Blend – $17.95
2014 Gamay Noir – $25.00

Westcott Vineyards

Violette Sparkling Brut – $25.95
2015 Reserve Chardonnay – $32.95

DEADLINE FOR ORDERS: Sunday April 2nd

Order before midnight & shipping will be FREE

 

Just want a couple of bottles?

No problem. Shipping is $15 – hand delivered by courier. IDEA: combine your order with a friend’s to make up a 6+ bottle pack & the cost for shipping will be $0. It’s THAT EASY!

 

Have you heard? The County is coming too!

County in the Capital is happening on April 20th in Ottawa at the hip new Horticulture Building.

Join us at this Taste & Buy where Prince Edward County will be under one roof! Over 20 wineries, cideries, a craft brewery, distillery & cheesemakers along with gourmet goodies will be there.

 

Upgrade & save $25

Our ever-popular promo: Buy a Ticket & Bring a Friend for FREE has been extended until April 15. As a loyal Savvy fan, we are offering you a special promo code to get early access & red carpet treatment (and save $25 too). When you buy your ticket we’ll give you a complimentary V.I.T. (Very Important Taster) pass.

Simply use the promo code: WELOVEPEC …Ta-Da you are upgraded!

 

How to order your tickets:
Click here to order >>

* Select Individual Tickets
* Choose: Buy a Ticket & Bring a friend (this makes each ticket $40 each)
* Add a V.I.T. pass for each person
After you enter the deets for you & your friend, enter Promo Code: WELOVEPEC at the bottom of the order form. Magically you save $25 per person.

Share this with your friends, peeps & others who would like to come to County in the Capital. Hurry…only 82 tickets left before this Taste & Buy event sells out.

Thank you again for ordering from us & see you at County in the Capital.

– Debbie and the Savvy Team
cheers@savvycompany.ca
www.savvycompany.ca

PS – Spring cleaning? Found some Savvy wine tasting glasses you no longer want? Bring ’em back to County in the Capital! For every 4 glasses, we’ll give you a $5 gift certificate you can apply towards tickets to an upcoming Savvy Event.

Keep in touch with us…
@SavvyDebbie
@SavvyCompany
@SavvyWines
@SavvyHipHops
@SavvyCoolCurds

#CountyintheCapital
www.facebook.com/SavvyCompany
instagram.com/savvycompanyinc

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One Night Only! Next Week – Wed March 29th

Posted by Debbie

Monday, March 20th, 2017
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Psst…have you heard? We’re having our 1st ever Pop-Up Wine Shop. It’s happening next week & we invite you to come as our guest – no tickets…no cost…just RSVP!

A bunch of Niagara wineries – big & small – will be serving wines that you can only find in Ottawa at our Pop-Up Wine Shop. This spur-of-the-moment wine shopping event will
feature:
* 13th Street Winery
* GreenLane Estate Winery
* Redstone Winery
* Tawse Winery
* Two Sisters Vineyards
* Vieni Estates Wine & Spirits
* Vineland Estates Winery
* Westcott Vineyards

Hurry to jump on this opportunity to sip, sample & stock up for Spring (try saying that fast!). There will be newly released wines, top-selling wines, refreshing Sparkling & Whites, ready-for-spring Roses & Reds of all kinds.

Be our Guest!

We have designed this Savvy Pop-Up Wine Shop just for you! There is absolutely no cost for you to attend. Bring friends & introduce them to the new Savvy way to shop for outstanding Ontario wines.

Simply RSVP to put your name on our guest list. Use Promo Code: SAVVYSHOPPER

 

Pop-Up Wine Shop Deets

ONE NIGHT ONLY! Wednesday March 29
POP-UP SHOP HOURS: 6 to 8pm
BRAND NEW VENUE: Innovation Centre @ 7 Bayview Road in Hintonburg (Ottawa)

COST: $25 per person….BUT for you, it’s FREE. Use Promo Code: SAVVYSHOPPER

 

ONLY 150 spots

To make this an extra special shopping experience with have lots of one-on-one time to chat with the winemakers, we are limiting our guest list to 150 wine lovers. Be sure to get your name on our guest list – quick! Use Promo Code: SAVVYSHOPPER

 

Stock up!…shipping is FREE

At this Pop-Up Shop order 6, 12 or more bottles of ANY combo of your favorite wines & we’ll deliver by courier to your home or office – absolutely FREE.

 

Can’t make it but want to order?

Call the Savvy Team on 613-SAVVYCO (728-8926) to place your order & take advantage of FREE shipping – to major cities in Ontario.

 

BONUS 50% off & INSTANT upgrades!

Come to the Savvy Pop-Up Shop & when Prince Edward County is in Ottawa on April 20th for County in the Capital, we’ll give you 50% off regular tickets. PLUS we’ll automatically upgrade you to get a FREE VIT (Very Important Taster) pass! This will give you the red carpet treatment & early access to the event so you can spend more time mixing & mingling with the cool folks from The County.

See you at our Pop-Up Wine Shop!
– Debbie and the Savvy Team

Savvy Company
613-SAVVYCO (728-8926)
cheers@savvycompany.ca
www.savvycompany.ca

PS – Spring cleaning? Found some Savvy wine tasting glasses you no longer want? Bring ’em back!  For every 4 glasses, we’ll give you a $5 gift certificate you can apply towards tickets to an upcoming Savvy Event.

Keep in touch with us…
@SavvyDebbie
@SavvyCompany
@SavvyWines
@SavvyHipHops
@SavvyCoolCurds

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They are ba-a-a-a-ack! Prince Edward County is coming….

Posted by Debbie

Thursday, March 9th, 2017
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Have you heard? Prince Edward County is coming to Ottawa! For the 6th year in a row we bring you County in the Capital. At this year’s Taste & Buy event, we are adding artisanal spirits along with hard-to-find wines, craft beers & ciders. And there will be cheese & gourmet goodies too.

 

Sip, stock up & get travel tips!

County in the Capital is your chance to get a true taste of The County. Meet the makers, order your favorite bevvies & buy neat treats onsite. Plus get the ‘inside scoop’ on places to visit from Prince Edward County Tourism & those who live there.

Buy a ticket + bring a friend for FREE… until March 31st

 

Returning favorites…

401 Cider Brewery * Barley Days Brewery * Casa-Dea Estates Winery * Clafeld Fruit Winery & Cider House * County Cider Company * Devils Wishbone Winery * Half Moon Bay Winery * Huff Estates Winery * Karlo Estates Winery * Keint-He Winery * Lighthall Vineyards & Dairy * Stanners Vineyard * Trail Estate Winery * Traynor Family Vineyard * Waupoos Estates Winery

New this year…

Del-Gatto Estates Winery * Kinsip House of Fine Spirits (formerly 66 Gilead) * Lacey Estates * The Grange of Prince Edward …and we are working on more!

 

Make it EXTRA special

Become a V.I.T. – a Very Important Taster. With so many bevvies to try, for an additional $25 you can upgrade your ticket & get a V.I.T. Pass.

You’ll enjoy red carpet treatment & advance access from 5 to 7pm, then stay as long as you like for the main event.

Round up your friends & get your tickets >>
This event always sells out…

 

Event Deets

DATE: Thursday April 20
COOL NEW VENUE! Horticulture Building (in the Lansdowne Complex near TD Place)
V.I.T. RECEPTION: 5 to 7pm – V.I.T. Passes required
MAIN TASTING EVENT: 7 to 9pm

 

ADVANCE TICKETS ONLY

$80 per person + bring a friend for FREE – only until March 31
A group of 4 for $150

Prices include absolutely everything – all samples, a Savvy tasting glass & good ol’ HST

 

Get a taste of The County

Oh my! There will be so much to try…and buy. Wines of all kinds – sparkling, white, rose, red, even port. Craft beers & ciders too. Small batch gin, rye, rum, whisky….

On thing is for certain: EVERYTHING showcased at County in the Capital is extra special, hard-to-find & not available at the LCBO.

 

Order your faves…shipping is FREE

At this Taste & Buy event, order 6, 12 or more bottles of ANY combo of your favorite bevvies & we’ll hand deliver to your home or office – absolutely FREE.

 

Can’t make it but want to order?

Call the Savvy Team on 613-SAVVYCO (728-8926) to place your order & take advantage of FREE shipping – to major cities in Ontario.

See you at County in the Capital,
Debbie & the Savvy Team

PS – Calling all sparkling wine fans! Join us for a neat night out at the Museum of Nature tasting of bubblies from around the world with led by a geologist expert & me as your Sommelier. We are popping corks on Thursday March 16 – a few tickets left >>

Savvy Company
613-SAVVYCO
 (728-8926)
cheers@savvycompany.ca
www.savvycompany.ca

Keep in touch with us…
@SavvyDebbie
@SavvyCompany
@SavvyWines
@SavvyHipHops
@SavvyCoolCurds
#CountyintheCapital
www.facebook.com/SavvyCompany
instagram.com/savvycompanyinc

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Savvy gifts guaranteed to WOW!

Posted by Debbie

Friday, December 16th, 2016
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Santa’s elves & the Savvy Team are working around the clock arranging subscriptions to our of-the-month clubs & gift certificates for wine, craft beer & cheese lovers across the country! Our Holiday Hotline 613-SAVVYCO (728-8926) is ringing off the hook & our web site is buzzing with last minute shopping.

Here’s our Top 3 Savvy Gifts….you can order with just one click!

 

CRAZY for Cheese!

Savvy Cool Curds is the new ‘whey’ to discover hard-to-find Canadian artisan cheeses. Each month, we deliver 4 to 5 wedges or rounds of ready-to-eat cheese from a featured cheesemaker. The assortment is always different – hard, soft, fresh & aged cheeses made using various milks – cow, goat, sheep….even buffalo!

Our Cheese Sommelier Vanessa introduces you to the cheesemaker in each issues of Curd on the Street Magazine along with cheese tasting 101 tips & cheese ladened recipes.

The 3 delicious wheys to order:
#1 – One time purchase: $60 + shipping
#2 – Subscribe for deliveries EVERY month: $55/month + shipping
#3 – Subscribe for deliveries EVERY OTHER month: $55/month + shipping

Special Subscription Promo
$55 per month (usually $60) & shipping>>

We’ll ship across Canada

 

PERFECT for craft beer fans

Give a subscription to our Savvy Hip Hops craft beer-o-month club featuring hard-to-find craft beers made across Ontario. Along with the beers, our Beer Backstory Magazine, will give you the skinny on the brewmaster, tasting tips & recipes with the featured beers.

There are 2 sizes of packages:
#1 – Quick Picks – a small assortment each month
#2 – Taste Case – the full selection from the featured brewery.

NEW! In addition to featuring a different brewery each month, we are including a Special Savvy Summer 2-4 in June & July AND back by popular demand our Hoppy Holidays Craft Beer Advent Calendar in Nov & Dec.

Wrap up a SUDS-cription for 4, 6 or 12 months>>

 

Wine lovers will LOVE this!

Our Savvy Selections wine-o-month club features an assortment of 3 Ontario wines that you won’t find at the LCBO – each handpicked by our Savvy Sommeliers.

Check out the 2017 line up of wineries we’re featuring >>

To further your enjoyment of the wines, you’ll receive our monthly online magazine with the inside scoop on the winery, neat stories about the people who make the wine, our Sommelier tasting notes & recipes paired with each wine.

Special Holiday Promo
Give a 3 month subscription>>

(regularly 4 month minimum)

 

Still can’t decide? Here’s FREE Money!

You read that right! Buy a Savvy Gift Certificate to redeem for tickets to an upcoming Savvy Event & we’ll give you 25% more.

Order a $100 gift certificate & we’ll top it up to $125. Order $150, we’ll make it $190…you get the idea.  Give this gift >>

 

Savvy Elves are standing by…

The Savvy Team…errr…elves are at the ready to help you make your Christmas shopping a breeze. Call us each day leading up to Christmas on 613-SAVVYCO (728-8926) or email cheers@savvycompany.ca

Ho-Ho-Ho & have a wonderful holiday.
– Debbie & the Savvy Team

Debbie Trenholm
Sommelier & Founder
Savvy Company
613-SAVVYCO (728-8926)
cheers@savvycompany.ca
www.savvycompany.ca

Keep in touch with us…

Keep in touch with us…
@SavvyDebbie
@SavvyCompany
@SavvyWines
@SavvyHipHops
@SavvyCoolCurds
www.facebook.com/SavvyCompany
Now on Instagram too! instagram.com/savvycompanyinc

We’ll be enjoying the holidays to the fullest.  Savvy Company will be closed from December 25 to January 11 all set & ready for an exciting 2017.

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Monday DEAL: 50% off wine, craft beer & cider… Thought that would get your attention!

Posted by Debbie

Wednesday, November 23rd, 2016
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At Savvy Company HQ, we’re caught up in the Cyber Monday deal-a-thons & joining in the online madness by offering 50% off TICKETS to our next wine, beer, cider event. Yes, half price tickets to this week’s Savvy Event. Heck, why not?!?

It is our 5th annual Outstanding in their Fields Taste & Buy & we don’t want you to miss it. Quick…buy your half price ticket today & join us for this fun evening tasting & trying hard-to-find wines, craft beers & ciders made across Ontario….the cool part is that you get to meet the dynamic people who make these delicious bevvies.

TODAY ONLY!
Tickets $35 per person

Tick Tock…ends @ midnight

 

There’ll be something for everyone – sparkling, white & red wines, dessert wines, ciders made with apples & pears along with really cool craft brews too…and special prices & deals too.

Everything at this event is OUTSTANDING…you won’t find any of the featured bevvies at the LCBO.

To top it all off…cheesemakers from Quebec & Ontario will be serving & selling their delicious artisan cheeses. And locally made woodworking, festive cookies, handmade preserves & neat gourmet treats – all ready-to-buy as gifts or to serve when you have people drop by during the holidays.

 

Event Deets

DATE: Thursday, December 1st
VENUE: Horticulture Building @ Lansdowne, Ottawa
VERY IMPORTANT TASTER (V.I.T.) RECEPTION: 5 to 7pm – special passes required
MAIN TASTING EVENT: 7 to 9pm

Advance Tickets Only
Buy your tickets >>

 

Check out who is coming….

…from Prince Edward County

Broken Stone Winery * County Cider Company * Karlo Estates * Trail Estates Winery

…from Niagara

Amazing Wines * Aure Winery * Chateau des Charmes * Fielding Estates Winery * Kacaba Vineyards * Legends Estates Winery * Melville Winery * Two Sisters Vineyards * Veini Estates * Vineland Estates Winery

…from even further away

Railway City Brewery (St. Thomas)

…from closer to home

Calabogie Brewing Co. * KIN Vineyards * Tuque de Broue Brewery

 

We’re rolling out the red carpet

Upgrade your ticket with a Very Important Taster Pass (V.I.T.) for only an additional $25. The V.I.T. Pass includes advance access from 5 to 7pm without line ups so that you have more one-on-one time to meet the makers…then stay on as long as you like for the main event. Only 150 V.I.T. passes

 

FREE Shipping

To make your holiday shopping easy, we will give you FREE shipping when you order 6, 12 or more bottles of ANY combo of your favorites bevvies & Santa will hand deliver (aka by courier) to your home or office – absolutely FREE – in time for the holidays!

 

Can’t make it?

You can still order & take advantage of the FREE shipping & special event prices. Email the Savvy Team or call us on 613-SAVVYCO (728-8926) to arrange a special order or to be provided the special web site link for online ordering (we’re getting it ready now!).

LAST CHANCE!
This event is already 85% sold out
Buy your tickets >>

 

Ho-Ho-Ho…we have 4 tickets to give away!

Tell us what goodie is always in your stocking. At my house, Santa always leaves a mandarin in the toe of our stocking. What is your tradition? Send an email to cheers@savvycompany.ca & we’ll enter you into the draw for 4 free tickets to Outstanding in their Fields.

This will be an OUTSTANDING holiday shopping event – don’t miss it!

See you there,
– Debbie & the Savvy Team

Savvy Company
613-SAVVYCO (728-8926)
cheers@savvycompany.ca
www.savvycompany.ca

Keep in touch with us…
@SavvyDebbie
@SavvyCompany

www.facebook.com/SavvyCompany
instagram.com/savvycompanyinc

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If I only had $100…I would buy at LCBO Vintages

Posted by Julie

Thursday, August 18th, 2016
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I’ve got one eye on the Olympics, and the other on my tasting notes. Canada collection of medals is on the rise. I applaud our Olympic athletes; even volleyball never looked like this when I was in high school!

vintages august 20OK…now to focus.

This Vintages release at the LCBO is offering products called “The Next Big Thing” – how catchy is that? Germany gets some spotlight especially on their Riesling wines. Having just been on a trip to Niagara, I have to admit that I find our own Rieslings impossible to beat. And as for the “Next Big Thing”, I’ve found a few wines in this blog that you can sip while watching the final weekend of the Olympic games.

Go Canada Go! We’re cheering you on,

Julie

 

 

 

If I only had $100, I would buy …
LCBO Vintages Release for Saturday August 20, 2016

 

EdelweisssEdelweiss 2014

Cave de Jolimont, Switzerland
$17.95 (Vintages #385021) 11.5% alcohol

 I rarely have the opportunity to taste Swiss wine but this is worth the search if you like a light-bodied, delicate, pretty white wine. I learned that the Chasselas grape is golden in colour and is often referred to by Swiss winemakers as “goldilocks”. The result is a light bodied white wine with floral with tree fruit flavours, some citrus at the end that adds interest to the bone dry skinny finish. It would pair well with raclette or a cheese tray with creamy soft brie type cheeses. Chilled well, it makes a lovely sipper for a hot summer afternoon.

Did you know? The Chasselas grape has a long intriguing history. It’s genesis is in eastern France and the shores of Lake Geneva in Switzerland. Known by different names from Fendant to Valais, this grape variety can be found in monastic records dating before the 1600’s. Although grown in the Pouilly-Fume region in France, it is considered a lowly cousin, but it continues to grow throughout Europe and is by far Switzerland’s most planted varietal. It buds early and has lots of vigor. It is not an acidic grape so it is often blended with other more forthcoming varietals.

 

zenatoZenato Pinot Grigio 2015

IGT Delle Venezie, Italy
$15.95 (Vintages #37648) 12.5% alcohol

 If I had to choose one grape variety for summer sipping, hands down, it would be the versatile Pinot Grigio would steal the show. It will take you from mid-afternoon aperitif to late evening. Chilled down, it’s cool and refreshing. This particular Pinot Grigio is the perfect example. I find it especially aromatic and the dancing zippy flavours on the palate from lemon-lime citrus to green apple are crisp and delicious. There’a little steeliness on the finish – this is a good thing. To be paired with summer salads, fish, chicken or put a bottle in the picnic basket – it’s a great summer wine.

 

tthThe Tragically Hip Fully Completely Grand Reserve Red 2013  

VQA Niagara Peninsula, Ontario
Stoney Ridge Estate Winery
$24.95 (Vintages #411595) 13% alcohol

 The date of this release, 20 August, marks sadly the final concert performance of The Tragically Hip. This limited edition red wine is being released to commemorate The Hip announcement of the re-release of their legendary album Fully Completely and the band’s last North American Tour. This wine is the ideal way to celebrate the band’s rise to stardom and to toast lead singer Gord Downie.

One waft from the glass offers unmistakably fresh Cabernet Franc and luscious aromas of ripe red berries in a traditional Meritage blend. Combined with the Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon grapes the melange is full, rounded and delivers effortlessly, huge juicy dark ripe tree fruit, whispers of blueberries with subtle savoury undertones. A hint of green pepper and black pepper polishes it off. The tannins are soft but noticeable, medium bodied and balanced with tobacco and a little mocha on a juicy finish. The finale is long and memorable.

Did you know? The artistic label on the bottle is a replication of the original artwork that first appeared on the Fully Completely album cover. The wine was also co-created by band members in conjunction with Stoney Ridge Head Winemaker (and Savvy friend), Jeff Hundertmark. For Tragically Hip fans, make sure you grab a few bottles. As I mentioned…this is a limited edition in more ways than one and it’s going to fly off the shelves, literally.

 

MaianaLeone De Castris Maiana Salice Salentino 2014

DOC, Puglia, Italy
$14.95 (Vintages #717959) 13.5% alcohol

Juicy, rich and fresh ripe red fruit with whispers of a little mocha and chocolate. Medium to full bodied with well-integrated tannins and fine tuned acidity. I could not believe the price point and this is also on my hit-list. Easy drinking and well-crafted. It’s more than just a pizza wine. It’s a red wine that would span anything from a charcuterie plate to a prime rib roast. Pick up and store a few bottles for heartier fare this winter (yes, the W word!) or enjoy it now with BBQed portobello or burgers.

Did you know? Straight from Puglia, located in the southeast corner of Italy where there are 25 DOCs, not DOCGs (spot the difference?). The major red grapes are Negroamaro which has been planted since the 6th century and Malvasia grapes which have been known to soften the tannins of the former. The Salice Salentino region vineyards are surrounded by water on three sides allowing cool breezes from the Mediterranean to moderate vineyard temperatures.

 

gerardGérard Bertrand Terroir Corbières 2013

AP, France
$16.95 (Vintages #394288) 13.5% alcohol

 I recommended a Gérard Bertrand Viognier in my last blog, so when I saw this red wine, I was already ready for another quality wine from this winemaker. Full and rounded, black currants spring to the surface with deep dark concentrated black fruit, in the aromas and on the palate. An always robust favourite blend of Grenache, Syrah, Mourvèdre that have been aged 12 months in oak barrels that lends to the rich, easy drinking with a polished texture, a little pepper and friendly liquorce on the finish – loads of personality. A marbled grilled steak would be perfect with a glass of this wine!

Did you know? Gérard Bertrand was awarded the title of Red Winemaker of the Year in 2012 at the International Wine Challenge. He retired from his rugby career to take over the family estate after the accidental death of his father. He has become a renowned wine grower and winemaker in Langedoc-Rousillon region. Clay and limestone soils with a kaleidoscope of climates and temperatures constitute the terroir Corbières that stretches from the Pyrenees to the Montagne Noir. The wine literally comes with a message of the terroir. Plus it’s a pretty nice country to do some sightseeing & wine touring.

 

Grand Total: $ 90.75

Look what I have saved you!

TIP: If you can find an extra $13.00, I recommend to add a bottle of Sunnybrook Estate Series Strawberry Wine 2014 ($22.95- Vintages# ). Made in Niagara, if you love ripe Ontario strawberries, here is a way to enjoy them all year round.

 

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One-man show makes magic!

Posted by Debbie

Monday, April 18th, 2016
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Savvy Selections Ontario wine of the month club

Savvy Selections wine of the month club
Featuring Lighthall Vineyards
–  April 2016 –

The “To Do” list at a winery is long at this time of the year.  Even though the vineyards look bare, winery owners & winemakers like Glenn Symons at Lighthall Vineyards are working flat out.  Bottling white wines, blending the reds, dusting off the tasting bar after hibernating during the winter, hiring labour for the season, de-hilling the vines (a technique primarily used in Prince Edward County), attending events and most of all…selling wine! These are just a few of the items on the never ending list.

Lighthall winery and diaryI am delighted to introduce you to a gem of The County…Lighthall Vineyards, or should I say now Lighthall Vineyards & Dairy.  Our long time fried & Savvy fan Glenn Symons is the owner, winemaker, vineyard manager & one-man-show at this boutique winery.  He has an interesting backstory that you can read while you enjoy a glass of his wine from your Savvy Selections.

In your Savvy Selections you will find….

An easy drinking sparkling wine to enjoy now…along with a bottle of Chardonnay and Pinot Noir to cellar….if you can wait!  Rest assured that the wines are all ready to be served, yet Glenn recommends, “the Chardonnay is delicious now and will continue to get even better with time.  Same goes for the Pinot Noir.  Both wines have so much promise.” If only you have the willpower to leave them alone.

lighthall vineyards bottles on iceLighthall Progression VQA 2013 – fun & fresh.  Mark my words that you will wish that we sent you 2 bottles.

Lighthall Chardonnay VQA 2014 – Glenn declares that it is the best one he has made…yet!

Lighthall Pinot Noir ‘Quatre Anges’ VQA 2014 – complicated & elegant.  One of the best made in The County

Cheers,
Debbie & Savvy Team 

 

Introducing…
Lighthall Vineyards

Presented by Sommelier Debbie Trenholm

 

Edible Ottawa - Glenn SymonsAll of us have 24 hours in our day. It amazes me how people like Glenn Symons (in photo at right – photo credit Edible Ottawa) does it– he spends 1.5 hours roundtrip commuting from his home to the winery, tends to 16 acres of vines year round, manages a team of vineyard workers from Thailand, cares for his 100+ chickens, ducks, turkeys all the while making top rated wines & chops wood from the forest on his 100 acre property.

Oh and just last year he took on the challenge to learn how to make artisan cheeses turning this into a new business, renovated his building to accommodate cheesemaking equipment and for fun, he began growing hops too.  And Glenn is a father of four – including twin boys – he has all of the typical ‘Daddy duties’ too.

Being a one man show for the past 8 years, he has built an amazing reputation for Lighthall’s quality of sparkling, Chardonnay and Pinot Noir wines.  All of his grapes are grown in the vineyard that he has expanded from 8 to 16 acres.  Glenn’s winemaking talent is recognized by his peers in The County as several winemakers call on him to help finish and bottle their wines.

“Some days there is just enough coffee or beer to keep me going”, Glenn laughs.

It all started with a heart attack

It’s an unfathomable beginning.  “I remember that day so clearly”, recalls Glenn. “I turned 36 and I was running a busy pharmacy on Elgin Street in downtown Ottawa.  The day began normal, then the perfect storm hit.” One of his long time staff members resigned, his largest client – a nursing home – called with complaints and CRA (yes – Canadian Revenue Agency) did a surprise audit. While these fires raged, Glenn remembers downing 2 double double coffees to help with the situation.

“After work I took my daughter to her final ringette game of the season. We inadvertently went to the wrong arena. Miraculously we made it to the right place before the whistle blew. It was a special season closer where parents played against the girls.” When Glenn tied up his skates, he felt the tell-tale sign of tightening of his chest and he had a heart attack on the ice. “The doctors at the Heart Institute told me that it was the type of attack where 50% survive”, Glenn remembers with a punctuated sigh.

After his heart attack, Glenn decided to make changes to his lifestyle.  He had been experimenting with winemaking since he was 19 and he was constantly intrigued by its chemistry.  Still a busy father and businessman, he enrolled in the Sommelier Program at Algonquin College to specifically learn more about the world of wine.

He raised my eyebrows!

Coincidentally, this is where I met Glenn.  I was an industry judge for his final Sommelier service exam.  While his classmates were white knuckled as they role played a restaurant scenario of patrons ordering wine with their meals, Glenn breezed through the exam with confidence & ease.  He also served a bottle of Huff Estates Lighthall Vineyard Chardonnay while his classmates were using Fat Bastard & Mouton Cadet for practicing the professional 21-step bottle opening etiquette. Struck by the fact that Glenn was using a $40 bottle of wine to showcase his serving skills, I commented, “Interesting choice of bottles to practice on.” He replied with a huge smile, “I bought this vineyard last week.”

From Pharm-acist to Farm-er

lighthall vineyard buildingGlenn considered only 2 vineyards when deciding to get involved in the wine industry.  A developed vineyard of 8 acres in Prince Edward County already called Lighthall Vineyards or a well-established vineyard in Chateauneuf-de-Pape France. “Had I gone to France, I probably would have been creamed & out of business by now. I have learned so much on the fly here, that I doubt France would have been that forgiving!”

“I learned everything about winemaking from Frederic Picard.  He taught me the basics and gave me the confidence to refine these skills into my own style.  I am also indebted to Dave Frederick who was my assistant winemaker in the early days. Both men are friends, my mentors and my go-tos.” Fred Picard is the chief winemaker at Huff Estates Winery who came from Burgundy, France to The County.  Dave Frederick has been an assistant winemaker at several wineries in the region and is soon to open Strange Brewing Co near Picton.

And to pair with the success of his winery, last year Glenn ventured into making artisan cheese.  Will he ever stop?

Here’s to Glenn & his adventures at Lighthall.

~ SAVVY SOMMELIER TASTING NOTES ~


Lighthall Progression VQA 2013, $20.00

“This is the wine that I can’t stop drinking”, says Glenn with a giggle. And the Savvy Team agrees!

Glenn planted Vidal vines with the full intention (like many Canadian winemakers) of making the grapes into icewine and exporting into China.  The Chinese connection fell through and we was stuck experimenting what he can do with these grapes.  Luckily he concocted Progression!

Savvy Sommelier Tasting Notes: So easy to drink, uncomplicated, fun & refreshing.  There’s a dry delicious refreshing acidity with aromas of citrus, pear & crunchy green apple with a nicely balanced crisp finish. 

Suggested Food Pairing: Served well chilled, this wine is lovely on its own, with runny cheese like Brie, fresh oysters, or paired with light appetizers or even pizza with Pear, Carmelized Onion & Brie (recipe to follow).  Simply put – keep a bottle in your fridge for any occasion to pop off the cap! 

 

Lighthall Chardonnay VQA 2014, $25.00

lighthall vineyards bottles - bestThis is Glenn’s best Chardonnay yet.  “It is exactly what I want to be making.  I fermented one third in oak barrels with the remaining two thirds in stainless steel.”

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau certainly thinks so! Enjoyed before he hit the campaign trail, Glenn told me that he received a cheque in the mail from Sophie Grégoire for the amount to pay for 2 cases of this Chardonnay. “There was no note, no shipping instructions, just the cheque!” 

Savvy Sommelier Tasting Notes: Elegant with delicate limestone minerality that a typical characteristic of The County, combined with a judicious amount of oak. There`s aromas and tastes of apples & Asian pear. It’s rich & buttery with a little nip of acidity on the tongue that lures you to have another sip.

Suggested Food Pairing: “Sweetbreads with this Chardonnay is mind-numbing”, declared Glenn. Pan seared scallops, wild mushroom risotto or Turkey Meatballs topped on a creamy lemon pasta (recipe follows).

Cellaring: This wine is ‘nervous’ explains Glenn.  Although delicious now, this wine will relax and mellow with time – approximately 5 more years.

 

Lighthall ‘Quatre Anges’ Pinot Noir VQA 2014 $30.00

The Quatre Anges (4 Angels) refers to Glenn’s 4 children. Each have been involved in the winery in some way as they have grown into teenagers. Each harvest they get together to help with the crush.  You can imagine siblings during the chaos of harvest – oh my! Now with the eldest in university, this is quite possibly the last time the foursome will be involved in the making of this wine.

2014 was an epic growing season with incredible ripening that shows through in the fruit.

Savvy Sommelier Tasting Notes: Deep coloured for a Pinot Noir, this one is rich & full of red & black cherry tastes. Barrel aged for over a year adds in notes of rosemary, leather with a warm smoke characteristic that rounds off the mouthfeel.  An amazing wine that will only get better with some more time.

Suggested Food Pairing: One pairing – Duck! “I am raising duck at the winery, simply because I love the pairing with Pinot,” states Glenn.  A favorite duck recipe includes Black Truffles. Be on the lookout for fresh or frozen in a gourmet food shop.

Cellaring: This is ready to enjoy, yet it will benefit from being untouched for another 10 years…if you can wait that long.

 

~RECIPES TO ENJOY WITH YOUR SAVVY SELECTIONS~

 

With Lighthall Progression…

Pear, Carmelized Onion & Brie Pizza

Recipe & photo credits: Dinner with Julie 

Ingredients

Pear-Brie-PizzaCanola or Olive oil – for cooking
1 large onion, halved & thinly sliced
1 ripe but firm pear, thinly sliced
4 oz Brie, sliced salt & freshly ground black pepper
extra virgin olive oil

Dough

1 package (2 tsp) active dry yeast
pinch of sugar
2 ½ to 3 cup all-purpose flour
2 Tbsp (or a good glug) olive oil
1 teaspoon salt 

Method

Put 1 cup warm water into a large bowl, add the sugar and sprinkle the yeast overtop; let stand for 5 minutes, until it gets foamy. Add 2 ½ cups all-purpose flour, the olive oil and salt and stir until you have a shaggy dough. Let rest for 20 minutes, then knead until smooth and elastic, adding more flour if you need it – the dough should be tacky, but not too sticky.

If you like, place the dough in an oiled bowl and turn to coat all over. Cover with a tea towel and set aside in a warm place – if you’re in a hurry, it only needs to wait for about an hour, until it’s doubled in bulk. If you have time, leave it. When it gets too big, punch it down. If you’re going out or to bed, cover it and put it in the fridge, which will slow the rise. Or freeze it. Take it out to thaw or warm up before you use it.

When you’re ready for pizza, heat a generous drizzle of oil in a medium skillet set over medium-high heat and sauté the onion for 5 minutes, or until soft and turning golden. Preheat the oven to 450F.

Divide the dough in half and roll or stretch each out into a 9-inch circle or oval. Place each on a parchment-lined or floured baking sheet and top with half the caramelized onions, half the pear slices and half the Brie. Sprinkle with salt and pepper and drizzle with olive oil.

Bake for 15-20 minutes, until deep golden. Let rest for a few minutes, then drizzle with honey before slicing.

 

Lighthall Chardonnay VQA 2014…

Turkey Meatballs with Creamy Lemon Pasta

Recipe & photo credits: Jessica Alba 

Ingredients

meatballs-mslb7071_vert2 lbs ground turkey
1 cup bread crumbs (Japanese Panko crumbs are ideal)
1/4 cup carrots, shredded
1/4 cup onion, shredded
1/4 cup zucchini, shredded
2 large eggs
2 Tbsp Italian seasoning
1 Tbsp sea salt
2 Tbsp olive oil
¾ cup low sodium chicken stock
Your favorite pasta
1/3 to ½ cup goat cheese
Zest & Juice of 1 lemon
¼ to ½ of white wine – use something other than Lighthall Chardonnay! 

Method

In a large bowl, mix turkey, panko, carrots, zucchini, onion, eggs, Italian seasoning, and salt until well combined; form into 1-inch balls.

Heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add meatballs and cook, turning, until browned, about 7 minutes.

Add ½ cup chicken broth, cover and reduce heat to low. Cook until liquid is almost completely absorbed, about 7 minutes.

Add remaining ¼ cup broth and increase heat to medium; cook, uncovered, until liquid is absorbed.

In a separate pot, cook your favorite pasta. Once al dante, drain the water & place pasta back into the pot on low heat.  Crumble in goat cheese & stir until melted.  To help the melting, add white wine periodically until a creamy consistency similar to cream sauce that coats the pasta.

To finish the sauce, squeeze the juice of one lemon into the sauce, toss in zest & gently stir.

Plate with a mound of pasta topped with turkey meatballs.

Enjoy!

 

With Lighthall ‘Quatres Anges’ Pinot Noir VQA2014

Roast Duck Breast with Shaved Black Truffles

Recipe Source: Thyme in our Kitchen & adapted from Epicurious
Photo Credit: Thyme in our Kitchen

Ingredients

Duck and black truffle1 Tbsp olive oil
1 ½ pounds chicken wings
1 cup diced peeled carrots
1 cup diced celery
2 ¼ cups beef broth
2 cups low-salt chicken broth
2 ounces fresh black truffles or frozen, unthawed
3 boneless duck breast halves
2 Tbsp (1/4 stick) butter, divided
¼ cup finely chopped shallots
1 cup apple juice

Method

Heat oil in heavy large skillet over medium-high heat. Add chicken wings and sauté until deep brown, about 15 minutes. Add carrots and celery to skillet; sauté 5 minutes. Add both broths; bring to boil. Reduce heat, cover, and simmer 1 hour. Strain, reserving broth and discarding wings and vegetables. If necessary, return broth to skillet and boil until reduced to 1 cup; reserve for sauce.

Using small brush, scrub fresh or frozen truffles under cold running water. Using sharp thin knife, remove peel from truffles and reserve for sauce. Thinly shave truffles using V-slicer or truffle shaver; cover and set aside.

Pat duck breasts dry with paper towels. Cut off any sinew from breast meat. Place breasts on work surface. Using fingers or small sharp knife, pull or cut skin with fat away from meat from both long sides of duck breast almost to center, leaving 1-inch-wide strip of fat attached to meat in center (do not cut through center strip). Lift up flaps of duck skin and fat and arrange sliced truffles over breast meat under fat on each, dividing equally. Press skin flaps down over truffles to cover completely. Using sharp knife, score top of duck skin in 1/2-inch diamond pattern, being careful not to cut through fat. (Can be made 1 day ahead. Cover broth, duck, and truffle peel separately and chill.)

Preheat oven to 400°F. Heat heavy large ovenproof skillet over medium heat. Sprinkle duck breasts with salt and pepper. Place duck, skin side down, in skillet. Cook until skin is deep golden and crisp and fat renders, occasionally pouring off accumulated drippings from pan, about 10 minutes. Turn duck breasts over; place pan in oven and roast just until duck is cooked to desired doneness, about 8 minutes for medium. Transfer duck to platter; cover and let rest 10 minutes. Reserve skillet. Finely chop reserved truffle peel.

Drain remaining fat from skillet. Add 1 tablespoon butter to skillet and melt over medium-high heat. Add shallots; sauté until golden, about 2 minutes. Add juice and boil until almost evaporated, about 4 minutes. Add reserved broth and any accumulated juices from duck; simmer until mixture is reduced to 1 generous cup. Strain mixture into small saucepan; add reserved chopped truffle peel. Season sauce to taste with salt and pepper. Stir in remaining 1 tablespoon butter.

Thinly slice duck breasts crosswise. Arrange duck slices on plates; drizzle with sauce and serve.

Bon appetit & 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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Ontario wines to WOW your Valentine….

Posted by Debbie

Tuesday, February 12th, 2013
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Thyme & Again Creative Catering called on the expertise of our Savvy Team of Sommeliers to provide wine recommendations that would deliciously pair with their Valentine’s menu.     As Thyme & Again and Savvy Company are both members of Savour Ottawa it was only natural to select Ontario wineries to enjoy with the special meal made with local products & artisan foods.

All of the recommended wines are available at the LCBO.

Begin with Bubbles!

  • Flat Rock Cellars ‘Riddled’ Sparkling VQA 2008 (Twenty Valley) $29.95
  • Featherstone JOY Premium Cuvée Sparkling Wine VQA 2008 (Twenty Valley – aka Niagara Escarpment) $34.95
  • Peller Estates Ice Cuvée Rosé Sparkling (Niagara) $34.95

 

White Wines

  • Coyote’s Run Red Paw Pinot Gris VQA 2011 (Niagara) $17.95
  • Fielding Estates Riesling VQA 2011 (Twenty Valley)  $18.95
  • Vineland Elevation Sauvignon Blanc VQA 2007 (Twenty Valley) $19.95
  • Stratus Gewürztraminer VQA 2011 (Niagara-on-the-Lake) $29.95
  • Closson Chase Vineyard Chardonnay VQA 2009 (Prince Edward County) $29.95

 

Red Wines

  • Malivoire Guilty Men Red VQA (Twenty Valley) $14.95 – this wine is sure to provoke a fun dinner conversation!
  • Kacaba Vineyards Cabernet/Syrah VQA 2008 (Twenty Valley) $18.95
  • Pondview Cabernet Merlot VQA 2010 (Niagara-on-the-Lake) $19.95
  • Huff Estates Merlot VQA 2011 (Prince Edward County) $19.95
  • 13th Street Cabernet Merlot VQA 2010 (Twenty Valley) $21.95

 

A Sweet Finish

  • Sandbanks LOVE Cassis Aperitivo $14.95 – great to make Kir Royal cocktails
  • Megalomaniac Coldhearted Riesling Icewine VQA 2008 (Twenty Valley) $29.95
  • Peninsula Ridge Cabernet Franc Icewine VQA 2001 (Twenty Valley) $29.95

 

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