Posts Tagged ‘Preston Street BIA’

Savvy Company in the News….

Posted by Debbie

Thursday, January 3rd, 2013

The team of Savvy Sommeliers are often called on by the media to be included in TV segments, featured in columns & blogs or interviewed on radio.  Here is a quick list of where you would recently seen and heard Savvy Company in the news.

In 2014

Debbie on CTV News at Noon

Wine & Cheese or should it be Beer & Cheese?  Debbie takes CTV News at Noon host Leanne Cusack on a delicious discovery of Ontario wines AND craft beers that pairs well with locally made artisan cheeses. Watch the 2 part segment >>

The Urbanite headlines ‘Craft beer-of-the-month-club puts beer in your mailbox’. Food & Drink columnist Natasha Marar interviews Debbie about Savvy Company’s newest venture – Savvy Hip Hops. Read the article>>


daytimeDebbie joined the airwaves to co-host with Derick Fage on Daytime Ottawa on Rogers TV.  Debbie & Derick have been in front of camera countless times before so it was undoubtedly be a fun show! Watch the host chat


Metro Ottawa News does a spread about the launch of our Savvy Hip Hops Craft Beer of the Month Club. Thanks to the Metroland team for always promoting local businesses! Read the article

The Ottawa Citizen showcased our  Savvy Selections wine of the month club as one of the ‘go to sources’ where you can buy wines that you have enjoyed at a restaurant.  Read the article>>


In 2013

Debbie continues to be called on as a guest contributor to Weekly Wine Chat each Thursday at 2pm.  Join her along with other wine industry expert panelists chiming in from coast to coast.  Read the online chat

Vanessa is the ‘Grande Fromage’. French TV station Ruby TV went shopping for artisan cheese with our Cheese Sommelier Vanessa – toute en francais!   Watch the segment  Bravo Vanessa!

Debbie was nominated and selected by the Embassy of the United States in Canada to be one of six Canadian women to participate in the International Visitor Leadership Program (IVLP) focusing on Women in Trade and Entrepreneurship.  She blogged along the way:  3 week, 5 cities, 6 women & 8 suitcases



In 2012

CBC Radio’s Fresh Air featured our Savvy Selections wine of the month club as one of the top gift ideas for those hard-to-buy-for people on your shopping list.  Listen to the segment.

Renowned wine writer Konrad Ejbich features our Savvy Selections wine of the month club in his ‘Gift for Geeks and Normal People too!’ blog for last minute wine gift ideas.

Savvy Company’s Outstanding in their Fields taste & buy events is one of Where Ottawa  Magazine’s Best Bets Weekend Roundup…alongside with Bruce Springsteen concert!

CBC Radio Ottawa Morning Karla Hilton states that Vanessa has the COOLest job as Cheese Sommelier.  Listen to  interview with Vanessa about local artisan cheese.

Blogger 2nd Ferment declares to its readers, “forget about the stock market & invest in Future wines from Lailey Vineyards”.  Great comments about a special taste & buy event hosted by Savvy Company.

Shari Goodman from Whisk: a food blog shares her food & wine discoveries at Ottawa’s first annual Winterlude Winemaker’s Brunch.

The Yummy Mummy Club was in Ottawa to take in Winterlude festivities.  While they were in town, Savvy Sommeliers Vanessa & Derek hosted a Blind Wine & Cheese tasting for them at the Lord Elgin Hotel.  Twitter was all a buzz during this fun evening.  See & read all about it!

Debbie & Vanessa were called in to host the Savvy Wine & Craft Beer Bar along with a Savvy Artisan Cheese Bar to give guests a taste of Ottawa for the Ottawa Tourism & Roots Canada media launch of  ‘Let’s Go Outside’ contest.  Media was all abuzz with photos, videos, blogs & Tweets including:

CBC Radio All in a Day called on Debbie to offer sparkling wine tips to usher in 2012. While on air, she explained how to WOW your New Year’s eve guests by sabering a bottle of bubbly!

In 2011
A BIG media day! On Thursday December 22,  Debbie appeared on CTV Morning Live Ottawa with 12 Savvy Gift Ideas.  Then on the CTV Ottawa News at 6, anchor Michael O’Byrne featues Savvy Selections wine of the month club as one of the hottest new gifts.  The phones continue to ring off the hook!

Wine Out Loud blogger Holy Bruns, highlights our Savvy Sommelier Julie’s blog about Cava wine.

Vanessa joins CBC Radio In Town & Out  host Michael Bhardwaj with her list of cheese-y gifts for everyone on your shopping list!

Ottawa Start highlights Debbie‘s involvement as co-host & auctioneer at Music & Beyond’s Holiday Wine Auction fundraiser

MoneySense Magazine calls on Debbie to provide Sommelier insider’s tips & tricks for feature article: A brilliant wine, everytime that appears in September/October issue.  Read article online

Ottawa Sun published a special Lifestyle Magazine where journalist Simon Forsyth interviewed Debbie for her insight & impressions on the winery owners who are pioneering a new wine region in Ottawa & surrounding areas.  Read article online

Sit.Sip.Savour. blogger Éva Nagy shares her delicious experience at the Great Canadian Cheese Discovery where Savvy Cheese Sommelier Vanessa showcased artisan cheeses from British Columbia, Nova Scotia & Prince Edward Island.

PRESS RELEASE: A Renaissance in Ottawa’s Little Italy. Preston Street is alive with this year’s celebration of Wine, Food & Art.

Articles written by Debbie & Kathryn appear in the special La Vendemmia edition of Metro Ottawa

Vanessa shares her story about a Friday night date with an Italian…Italian cheese that is! CBC Radio In Town & Out  host Michael Bhardwaj hears about the moving sensation when a wheel of Parmasean cheese is cut.

Debbie appeared on Rogers Daytime TV with tips on buying wines at a Music & Beyond’s upcoming Fine Wine Auction.

Debbie interviewed Canada’s popular Chef Michael Smith when he visited Ottawa to launch his new cookbook – Chef Michael Smith’s Kitchen.  Cooking tips & tricks were shared, while Michael encouraged us all to spend time with family at the kitchen table.

PRESS RELEASE: Preston Street BIA selects Savvy Company as Marketing Partner for annual La Vendemmia harvest festival.  Mark your calendars Sept 22-25 to join us for fun wine & food events.  More…

Vanessa joined CBC Radio’s In Town and Out host Michael Bhardwaj in studio to talk about artisan cheeses, cheesemaking & tasting tips. Listen

Debbie appeared on Rogers Daytime TV with tips on Ontario wines & craft beers to chill & enjoy in the shade during Ottawa’s record breaking heat wave.

Our Cheese Sommelier Vanessa  was on Rogers Daytime TV showcasing delicious Ontario artisan cheese offered tasting tips. Watch video 

Blogger Katy Watts joins our Savvy Cheese Sommelier Vanessa to learn the ‘whey’ about artisan cheeses from BC, Ontario and the Maritime provinces.  Katy reports that she was nervous at first, yet leaves full & with a greater appreciation for what goes into making cheese.

Debbie was on Daytime Ottawa show (Rogers TV) profiling a variety of newly released wines from Niagara-on-the-Lake wineries who will be in Ottawa on June 1st for the 52 New Wines from One Unforgettable Place wine tasting.

We were finalists in the Ottawa Tourism Partnership of the Year Award for our culinary events in partnership with Thyme & Again Creative Catering

Debbie was named Ottawa’s Entrepreneur Businesswoman of the Year Award finalist. With media coverage in the Ottawa Citizen, METRO Ottawa & EMC news

Agritourism Guide blogger Lara Bender showcases two upcoming Savvy Events in

Vanessa showcased Ontario artisan cheeses on A Morning Show.  TV host Kurt Stoodley couldn’t stop nibbling on the cheese curds!

Savvy Company is named ‘Top 50 Sommelier & Master of Wine blogs’ as reported by Cindy Cullen, Culinary Arts College.

Launched in March, read weekly columns by Savvy Sommeliers in Metro Ottawa newspaper on Thursdays.  Susan shares wine shopping tips with “If I only had $100, I would buy at Vintages” while Vanessa showcases local artisan cheeses in her “The Curd on the Street” column.

Sit. Sip. Savour. blogger Éva Nagy just received her month Savvy Selections delivery featuring Creekside Estates Wine.

Debbie graces the pages of the Feb 14th issue of Hello! Canada Magazine featuring the Canadian Celebrity Chef Event that Savvy Company sponsored & were the Sommeliers for this first of its kind sold out event.

Get a taste of the wonderful experience with this YouTube video of the Canadian Celebrity Chef event.  Savvy Company was proud be involved.

Debbie hosts “Wine Shopping with a Sommelier” on A Morning Ottawa.  In the 4 TV segments, she offers tips on navigating through Vintages, picks good value wines and pairs wine with Food & Drink magazine recipes.

Vanessa shares her favorite cheese discovery in Outstanding Cheese Bites of 2010.  Quebec artisan cheese Le Foin d’Odeur “is like licking buttered popcorn from your fingertips!”

Rave reviews from the media …
“Savvy Company’s craft beer tasting was a superlative event” – Ron Eade, Food Editor of the Ottawa Citizen 

“Thank you for hosting last night’s BC wine tasting event. I was particularly struck by the easy interactions between the Savvy Team and the participants (“not stuck up” is the way one person explained your events which is, I think, high praise for you and your team).  Of course, the highlight was the wine and the wonderful intro by the Sommeliers. I’ll be writing my blog tonight.”  – Clare Fowles, FoodiePrints

“The Great Canadian Cheese Discovery is a must do while in Ottawa. The class is a dinner party atmosphere, led by cheese sommelier Vanessa Simmons, who is openly fanatical about artisan cheeses.”Reb Stevenson Travel Writer, Toronto Star




What is La Vendemmia?

Posted by Debbie

Friday, September 9th, 2011

What is La Vendemmia?

Wherever there’s a planted field there’s a harvest, and around the world that time is bustling with activity in the community. The work isn’t done, but the bounty of hard labour is being reaped and everyone can imagine how good it tastes.

In Italy, “la vendemmia” refers to the fall grape harvest, a time that’s difficult to predict since it’s not something that can be scheduled, it happens when the grapes are ready at the peak of their ripeness. In every region of Italy, the focus is on getting the grapes off the vine and into the vats. When the work is done there are large tables filled with food, wine and hungry friends who worked hard with the promise of the season’s best meal waiting for them.

In Ottawa’s Little Itlay neighbourhood, you will find other nationalities represented in addition to Italian.  Here is what harvest is in their language:

China: Zhongqiu ??? (CHONG-choh)
France: la récolte (RAY-colt)
Germany: Ernte (URN-tuh)
India: Pongal (PAHN-gah-leh)
Italy: la vendemmia (VEN-dem-mee-ah)
Ireland: fómhar
South Africa: oes (OOS)
Turkey: hasat (hah-SAHT)
Vietnam: thu ho?ch (THO-whah)

How do these countries celebrate the harvest? In Germany, aside from the famous Oktoberfest, is the world’s largest wine festival called Winemarkt. Originally a meeting place for farmers and winemakers in Bad Dürkheim, the wine & food sales attracted pilgrims and eventually grew into a celebration. In Southern India, the Pongal festival celebrating harvest in January is both a festival of bounty and rebirth – old clothes are burned alongside overflowing rice pots. For the mid-autumn Zhongqiu, also known as the Moon festival, in China, family members gather to celebrate the harvest moon and share moon cakes, sweet pastries filled with red beans and almond paste.

No matter where the harvest celebration takes place, it centres on gratitude for bounty and coming together in community. We invite you to come to Ottawa’s Preston Street to experience La Vendemmia – a fun filled four day festival from Thursday September 22 to Sunday September 25th. Up and down the street, the neighbourhood will be alive with activities for everyone.  

The complete festival schedule for Ottawa’s La Vendemmia is at

We look forward to seeing you!


There’s a Renaissance in Ottawa’s Little Italy

Posted by Debbie

Wednesday, September 7th, 2011



A Renaissance in Ottawa’s Little Italy
Preston Street is alive with this year’s celebration of Wine, Food & Art

OTTAWA (Wednesday September 7, 2011) – A Renaissance is sweeping through Ottawa’s Little Italy neighbourhood.  Several languages are now overheard at the various international restaurants.  Artwork and statues line the new streetscape, each week local farmers bring the bounty of their harvest and music of all kinds fills the air.  Your host, the Preston Street BIA, invites you to celebrate this vibrant spirit of renewal at this year’s La Vendemmia harvest celebration.

From Thursday September 22 to Sunday September 25, La Vendemmia offers a fun filled itinerary of free and ticketed events as well as charity activities – something for everyone to enjoy. 

“The Renaissance in Europe fostered a very prolific period for artists. The BIA was looking to create more events that would appeal to the whole family, and it seemed only natural that art should be an important component of our village’s rebirth” says Mario Giannetti, Chairman of the Preston Street BIA. “The Plein Air Art Show and Sale makes space in our pedestrian-friendly sidewalks, where artists will be able to create and present their work. This open air art gallery fosters the connection between our visitors and our local artists”.

The festival kicks off on Thursday with the ever-popular Moveable Feast, a gourmet meal where diners visit various Preston Street restaurants for each course. On Friday night, a unique charity wine auction at Trattoria Caffe Italia complete with a Sommelier led wine tasting will benefit the Music and Beyond Festival. Over the weekend, up and down the street, there will be cultural seminars and activities including Preston Hardware with winemaking demonstrations, and at Divino Wine Studio there is an Olive Oil tasting and Italian language lessons. Learn about the importance of art in the neighbourhood with guided walking tours “Postcards from the Piazzas” led by artist, cj fleury, as well as tours of Little Italy’s landmarks led by entertaining local historian Luciano Pradal. C’est Bon Cooking will lead a delicious discovery in English and French sampling signature ingredients at various food shops. The Little Italy Farmers’ Market will bring local produce to the festival with demonstrations of how to make the most of the bounty, while the streets will be lined with an outdoor Plein Aire Art Paint-out and Sale. The festival’s grand finale event –  Taste of Preston Street Food and Wine Show – will showcase the breadth of the talent in Little Italy featuring both Italian as well as international food and wine.

For the complete listing of harvest celebrations, visit



Media Contacts
Lori Mellor
Executive Director
Preston Street BIA

Debbie Trenholm
Accredited Sommelier & President
Savvy Company
613-SAVVYCO (728-8926)



Preparing celebrations for the harvest with Italian Wine, Food & Art

Posted by Debbie

Tuesday, July 26th, 2011

Preparing celebrations for the harvest with Italian Wine, Food & Art
Preston Street BIA Selects Savvy Company as Marketing Partner for Annual Festival

OTTAWA, ON (July 26, 2011) This September marks Preston Street Business Improvement Area’s (BIA) La Vendemmia’s 15th anniversary. This four day festival runs September 22 to 25, 2011 and celebrates the bounty of the harvest set amidst the community of Ottawa’s Little Italy. This year the Festival selected Savvy Company to manage the events and market to each corner of the Ottawa region, bringing the community at large to Preston Street.


“Preston Street is enjoying a renaissance with the completion of our beautification project that is attracting new businesses and residents to the area. As the naming sponsor of this event we are very pleased with the choice of Savvy Company to provide new ideas and approaches to this well established festival,” says Mario Giannetti, President of the Preston Street BIA.


The ever-popular Moveable Feast, a multicourse gourmet discovery of signature Preston Street restaurants, the riotous Grape Stomp a fundraiser for the Ottawa Regional Cancer Foundation and the signature Taste of Little Italy Food & Wine Show are the cornerstones of the festival. This year will see the launch of a new Plein Aire Art Paint-out and Sale, an outdoor art show that will feature 60 artists set-up along the boulevard, creating new art pieces inspired by the recent beautification of the street. The Little Italy Farmers’ Market brings the harvest to the festival with demonstrations of how to make the most of the local bounty. Several businesses will offer workshops & culinary events, including Preston Hardware who will be hosting winemaking demonstrations. And there will be guided walking tours of the public art project “Postcards from the Piazzas” led by the artist, cj fleury, as well as tours of Little Italy’s landmarks led by local historian Luciano Pradal. Visit


“All of us at Savvy Company are excited to partner with La Vendemmia. Our team of Sommeliers & marketing professionals are looking forward to lending our wine, artisan cheese & craft beer expertise to the programming of La Vendemmia this year. Our goal is to create delicious discoveries and experiences on Preston Street,” says Debbie Trenholm, Accredited Sommelier & President of Savvy Company.

Preston Street also known as Corso Italia – is the heart of Ottawa’s Little Italy.  The area is famous for its Italian heritage and events, while also offering a variety of cuisines from all around the world and catering to the needs of vegan and food sensitive clientele.  Ottawa’s best food is prepared in restaurants noted for top quality service and cuisine. The majority of the businesses are family operated with “an owner in the store” approach to customer service.


Savvy Company specializes in creative social experiences – whether making the enjoyment of wine accessible to all or exploring the worlds of craft beer and discovering artisan cheeses. Their team of accredited Sommeliers design wine, beer and food events shining the spotlight on the people who make them. Their Savvy Selections wine of the month club is Ontario’s largest featuring Ontario wines not available at the LCBO and delivered directly to the subscriber’s home or office. Visit or Savvy Company’s Facebook page for more information. Follow Savvy Company’s Debbie Trenholm on Twitter @savvydebbie




Media Contacts:

Lori Mellor
Executive Director
La Vendemmia Festival Inc.


Debbie Trenholm
Accredited Sommelier & President
Savvy Company

613.SAVVYCO  (728.8926)
Cell: 613.851.1785

To participate in La Vendemmia contact:

Debbie Trenholm
Accredited Sommelier & President
Savvy Company

613.SAVVYCO  (728.8926)
Cell: 613.851.1785