Posts Tagged ‘Prince Edward County wine’

Winner of a Pinot Noir shootout!

Posted by Eva

Tuesday, July 10th, 2012
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Pinot Noir is known around the world by winemakers as the “heartbreak grape”.  This grape variety needs care & nurturing around the clock. Difficult to grow in the vineyard & always changing in the cellar, crafting a good wine of Pinot Noir is the pinnacle of any winemaker’s personal achievement.

Rosehall Run Vineyard has a growing reputation of producing some of the best Pinot Noir wines in Prince Edward County (aka ‘The County’). This past March, Rosehall won a gold medal in the international Pinot Noir shootout in San Francisco, California – now that is impressive!

Cheers & Enjoy!

Rosehall Run Pinot Noir County Cuvée VQA 2009

$21.95
Savvy Sommelier Tasting Notes: This Pinot Noir has delicious aromas & tastes of strawberry, raspberry & red licorice with a dash of vanilla on the long finish.

Suggested Food Pairing: Pinot Noir is a versatile wine – it can be served chilled or at room temperature.  As the wine warms up, aromas, tastes & levels of acidity change too. Classic matches with Pinot are roast duck & mushrooms & grilled salmon too.

Want to buy this wine?  Subscribe & it will be delivered!

Rosehall Run has been a feature winery in our Savvy Selections wine of the month club. You won’t find this outstanding wine on the shelves at the LCBO.  Would you like this wine? Subscribe to our wine of the month club or call on us to make the arrangements for a special delivery to your home or office!

Food & Wine Pairing

Here’s a recipe our Savvy Sommeliers picked to enjoy with the Rosehall Run Pinot Noir.

Grilled Duck Breast with Red Wine Reduction
Everyday Dining with Wine

The key to this recipe are the dried cherries in the sauce which are a classic with duck and a great cherry flavor to match the silky-textured Pinot Noir.

INGREDIENTS
1 cup chicken stock
1 cup pinot noir (or other left over dry red wine)
1 shallot finely chopped
1/3 cup of dried cherries
2 boneless duck breasts about 12 ounces each
Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
1 teaspoon finely chopped fresh sage leaves
1 teaspoon finely chopped fresh thyme leaves

METHOD
Combine the stock, wine, shallot, and cherries in a small saucepan and bring to a boil. Simmer until the sauce is reduced by half and thickened – 15-20 minutes. (The sauce can be made one day in advance and refrigerated, reheat before serving.)

Preheat the grill to medium-high. Split each duck breast into 2 halves.With a sharp chef’s knife trim away any overhanging fat so that only about a strip of skin about 2 inches wide attached to each breast. Sprinkle the breast halfs on both sides with salt and pepper, place on the grill skin side down and grill covered until well browned about 8 minutes. Turn and continue to grill covered about 3-4 minutes more for medium rare, or longer if desired, but be careful not to over-grill or it will be dry. This can also be done in a sauté pan but make sure the pan is very hot before adding a couple of tablespoons of oil so the breasts will brown.

Remove breasts from grill and cover loosely with foil, let stand 5 minutes to rest. Stir the sage and thyme into the sauce and re-warm. Slice each breast to fan out on a plate and serve with the sauce on the side or drizzle over top.

Enjoy!

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Sipping a little history of Prince Edward County

Posted by Susan

Tuesday, May 15th, 2012
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Savvy Selections wine of the month club
Featuring The Grange of Prince Edward Vineyard & Estate Winery
– May 2012 –

A visit to Prince Edward County wineries, or better yet next weekend’s, Terroir Wine Festival  is both an opportunity to taste wines, explore the vineyards and marvel at the historic restored buildings on site; a visit provides a Canadian history lesson too.

The County is one of the areas settled by United Empire Loyalists after the American Revolution. In 1972, Robert Granger purchased the 150-acre home farm on the original Trumpour family patent, including the mill which produced most of the lumber used in the historic barn (built in 1826) which houses The Grange of Prince Edward winery tasting room and barrel cellar.

History tells us that the Trumpour family arrived in Canada after the Revolution, driven from the Thirteen Colonies by their allegiance to the British Crown. Roughly 50,000 Loyalists emigrated, many from disbanded Loyalist regiments, and settled in the upper St. Lawrence valley. They brought with them their customs, British Law and land tenure, and representative government. After lobbying by the Loyalists, the British Parliament passed the Canada Act in 1791, effectively dividing Québec into Upper (Ontario) and Lower (Québec) Canada.

Building on the deep history of this property and region, Robert and his daughter Caroline Granger partnered in 2002 to establish one of the first wineries in the newly developing wine appellation of Prince Edward County (PEC).

Our Savvy Sommelier Susan Desjardins caught up with Caroline on a recent visit to the winery.  From your fist metting, Caroline exudes energy and enthusiasm as she guides you around the property and through the wine cellar and winemaking facilities. Although her father’s career was focused in Toronto, he purchased the property with the intention of giving his children the experience of growing up on a farm. Caroline spent her youth there, leaving at the age of 16 when she was whisked away to Paris and a modeling career that kept her in Europe for 10 years. This career eventually took her to the United States, where she married and began to raise her family. In 1997, she moved back to the farm, looking for a career that would allow her to spend more time with her three children.

Caroline recalls that one wet spring day, she helping plant grape vines at a nearby vineyard.  This prompted her to suggest to her father that they plant 10 acres to vines. “This place has always been a working farm. I saw the vineyard as a way to re-establish a viable, sustainable role for the property.” As part of a college course she was taking at the time, Caroline developed a business proposal to discuss with her father. With his agreement and support, she took the wine technician program at Loyalist College and, in 2001 the first vines were planted. Her initial harvest in 2003 produced Prince Edward County’s first Ontario award-winning wine, the Trumpour’s Mill 2003 Gamay Noir 2003.

Caroline’s vineyards and range of wines have expanded over the years, with a strong emphasis on Pinot Noir. We are delighted to showcase in this month’s Savvy Selections:
– Chardonnay VQA 2007– a creamy, well-balanced wine
– Diana’s Block Pinot Noir VQA 2007 – The Grange’s elegant premium Pinot Noir
– Northfield Cabernet Franc VQA 2007 – a complex wine that we think is ready to enjoy now or can be put in your cellar.

Stock up for the summer…

You won’t find these wines from The Grange at the LCBO.  So, if you found a new favorite wine and would like additional bottles, give me a call and I will take care of ordering more for you.  Simply, call me at 613-SAVVYCO (613-728-8926) or sending me an e-mail at debbie@savvycompany.ca.

Cheers & Enjoy!
– Debbie & Savvy Team

 

The Grange of Prince Edward Vineyards & Estate Winery
Presented by Sommelier Susan Desjardins

 

Not only did Caroline Granger (left) learn about cell biology, fermentation processes and vineyard management at Loyalist College, she learned to drive a tractor and cultivate fields. She has maintained that hands-on approach through her tenure at The Grange. She exudes intensity as we sit in the tasting room on a cool spring day, discussing winemaking at The Grange and the challenges of viticulture in the County. “Did you know that over a 100-year horizon, PEC is only one degree Celsius cooler than Niagara? And in the summer, we’re actually one degree warmer.” She describes the Hillier area (where The Grange is located) as a bit of a “heat sink’; while they don’t benefit from the lake effect, the area has an advantage for ripening in the summer.

What did she learn that has proven true? “The main thing is that Pinot Noir from the County is extra-ordinary”. Other key factors: fans are essential in the vineyard to keep the frost off her vines. And vine spacing has also proven critical to her success. The fairly wide rows and vine spacing ensure a balanced crop load, provide the vines access to the nutrients they need, and permit higher canopies and more leaves to ensure better ripeness. These rows allow high hilling up because, yes, two canes on each vine are buried every fall to guard against freezing – “that’s 170,000 canes we buried in 2011”, remarks Caroline.

Her focus has always been on growing the best possible fruit, and now, with 60 acres under vine, she is able to produce estate-only wines. The vineyard spreads across six blocks, grown on shallow but fertile soils known as Hillier clay gravel. The Northfield block offers the deepest soils, at 36 inches. The underlying bedrock is limestone that fractures naturally, facilitating root growth and bringing a mineral quality to the wines. “When I started planting the vineyard, I focused on the varietals best suited to the alkaline soils we have, and those that would ripen early. So we started with Chardonnay, Gamay and Pinot Noir.” Pinot Noir is her passion, with 17 acres devoted to this varietal, used in sparkling wine, rosé and both The Grange and Trumpour’s Mill varietal wines. She’s added Pinot Gris, Riesling, Cabernet Franc (that you received this month) and an experimental block of Sauvignon Blanc, which is the longest ripening varietal. The first 12 acres were planted in 2001, an additional 32 acres established between 2002 and 2004, with the most recently planted vines dating from 2007.

The Grange’s initial production started small in 2003 at 1600. Now Caroline has her eye on producing 12,500 cases this year – organic growth that has allowed her to maintain a strong focus on style and quality.

Her role at the winery is definitely hands on, “I’m the vineyard manager, the winemaker, the CEO, the CFO . . . !” Asked how she became a winemaker, Caroline’s sense of humour ignites—‘Well, I started growing 150 tonnes of grapes!”. While she trained academically in college, with her first harvests she used consulting winemakers, working closely with them. “Winemaking is part art, part science. You start with the healthiest possible grapes, and then you create the best possible conditions for healthy fermentation, which include clean fruit, quick processing, carefully selected yeast strains, and ongoing monitoring through the vinification process.” Her daughter Maggie has started working with her in winemaking and is showing both talent and enthusiasm. While talking to Maggie as she guides us through a tasting, it’s clear she is actively involved in winery decisions, putting forward the research and rationale behind The Grange’s decision to continue using cork rather than migrating to Stelvin closures (winespeak: screwcaps). It’s definitely a family affair, with son Brandon (currently studying at Trent University) working in the tasting room over the summer, and youngest son Quinton the ‘IT wizard’.

With each visit to the winery, you will always find something new.  This summer, Maggie is leading an organic market garden to supply produce for the restaurant and the vineyard workers. Caroline has hired an all-female crew this year and plans to provide 3 healthy meals each day for her staff. “I want my workplace to be more accessible for women.” It is clear that Caroline never stands still!

Cheers & Enjoy your Savvy Selections!

~ Savvy Sommelier Tasting Notes ~

Trumpour’s Mill Chardonnay 2007 VQA, $16.00

Chardonnay was among the first varietals planted on the Granger estate. A grape which lends itself to a range of styles, this exemplar is unoaked and displays the texture and complexity of extended lees contact.

Savvy Sommelier Tasting Notes: Offering tantalizing aromas of jasmine, honeyed stone fruit, pear and mango, this is a balanced creamy yet dry wine, weighty with flavourful fruit and kissed with a touch of toasted nuts. It finishes slightly warm and gently spiced.

Suggested Food Pairing: Enjoy this wine with pasta in a cream-based sauce, with crab cakes or lobster, or with savoury roast chicken.

Cellaring:  Delightful now or over the next couple of years!

 

Diana’s Block Pinot Noir 2007 VQA, $35.00

Produced from the fruit of a vineyard planted in 2001 and named after Caroline’s mother, the driving force behind the well-kept grounds, this wine is produced only in years of exceptional fruit. Hand tended and pruned, hand sorted, aged in French barriques (winespeak: small oak barrels), only the best barrels are included in this limited production release. This is a very special wine.

Savvy Sommelier Tasting Notes: “Oh my, oh my, it’s hard to stop sniffing and savouring the enticing aromas”, remarks Susan during the Savvy Selections tasting panel. Sweet spice, subtle smoke, earthiness and ripe cherry and raspberry! Medium bodied with a fine silky texture, the lively acidity and fine tannins frame tangy red fruit which mingles with white pepper, sweet spice and a hint of capsicum. Great balance and a lively fruity finish! Can you tell that we love this wine?

Suggested Food Pairing:  A match for roast duck, pork with a burgundy sauce, or wild coho salmon.

Cellaring:  Enjoy now or over the next couple of years.


Northfield Cabernet Franc 2007 VQA $35.00

Planted in 2003, this vineyard benefits from the high plateau on which it is located, protected from frost and exposed to maximum seasonal sunshine, assuring full even ripening of the fruit. Once again, only the exceptional barrels were selected for this Grange wine. We are excited that Caroline had ‘just enough’ bottles of this wine to be included in Savvy Selections.  There are only 2 cases left!  If you would like more – contact Debbie sooner than later!

Savvy Sommelier Tasting Notes:  Dry, medium bodied, this wine offers subtle aromas, ranging from floral, vanilla, cigar box and campfire smoke through dried cherries, berries and plum. Subtle notes of roasted red pepper and herbs mingle with vibrant red berry flavours. The well integrated tannins and lively acidity provide the structure for further aging, while appealing notes of sweet spice linger on the finish.

Suggested Food Pairing: Simply put – Lamb anyone?

Cellaring: Delicious now, this wine will cellar a further 3-4 years

~ Recipes to enjoy with your Savvy Selections ~


With Trumpour’s Mill Chardonnay…

Perfect Lemon Roasted Chicken
Adapted from Anna & Michael Olson, Cook at Home
Serves 6

Ingredients
1 4 lb. roasting chicken
1 onion, sliced
2 lemons, sliced
2-4 cloves garlic, peeled, sliced
4 sprigs fresh rosemary
Extra virgin olive oil for basting
Coarsely ground salt & pepper

Vinaigrette
2 Tbsp fresh lemon juice
½ tsp Dijon mustard
1 tsp finely chopped fresh rosemary
2-4 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil

Method

  1. For chicken, preheat oven to 350F. Arrange half the onion slices, lemon slices and 1-2 cloves of garlic in a roasting pan just a few inches larger than the chicken. Place the chicken on top of the vegetables and fill its cavity with the remaining onion, lemon and garlic. Insert rosemary sprigs into cavity. Baste chicken with olive oil and sprinkle generously with salt & pepper.
  2.  Cover pan and roast for about 1 hour. Remove cover, baste chicken with juices from bottom of pan and continue roasting until an internal temperature of 175 F is reached (about 30-45 minutes more). Remove pan from oven and let chicken rest for 10 minutes before carving.
  3. While chicken is resting, prepare vinaigrette. Strain onion, lemon and garlic from bottom of pan, saving juices to return to pan (discard vegetables). Place pan over medium heat and add lemon juice, stirring to pull up any caramelized bits. Stir in Dijon mustard and rosemary and remove from heat. Whisk in olive oil slowly and season to taste. Carve chicken and spoon vinaigrette over chicken.

 

With Diana’s Block Pinot Noir

Smoked Grilled Salmon
Lucy Waverman & James Chatto, A Matter of Taste
Serves 4-6

Ingredients
2 lb salmon fillet
1 Tbsp maple syrup
1 Tbsp dry mustard
2 tsp kosher salt
1 tsp cracked peppercorns
Soaked cedar plank

Method

  1. Combine the maple syrup, dry mustard, salt & pepper and spread over salmon fillet. Marinate 30 minutes.
  2. Place a smoker basket with wood chips on BBQ coals. Heat grill over high heat until you see smoke.
  3. Place a soaked cedar plank on grill and leave for 3-4 minutes, or until you smell smoke. Immediately turn plank and place fish on top.
  4. Cover grill and cook salmon for 10-15 minutes, or until fish is just cooked. Cut salmon into serving portions on plank and slide off onto serving plates.

 

With Northfield Cabernet Franc…

Grilled Lamb Loin with Sundried Tomato Vinaigrette
Anna & Michael Olson, Cook at Home
Serves 12

Ingredients
12 boneless lamb loins, 6-7oz. each
6 garlic cloves, crushed
1 Tbsp chopped fresh thyme
2 tsp cracked black pepper
¼ C extra virgin olive oil
2 tsp coarse salt

Vinaigrette

2/3 C diced sundried tomatoes
2/3 C chopped Italian flat leaf parsley
¼ C extra virgin olive oil
¼ C balsamic vinegar
¼ C water
Coarse salt & ground black pepper

Method

1.  For vinaigrette, purée all ingredients in a food processor & season to taste. Chill until ready to serve.

2.  For lamb, preheat grill to highest setting. Marinate the lamb in the garlic, thyme, pepper and oil at room temperature for 20 minutes. Add salt & place on grill. After 4 minutes, turn lamb over & reduce heat to medium. Cook 5 minutes for medium doneness.  

3.  To serve, slice the lamb loin into 5 pieces diagonally across the grain of the meat. Fan out them out, overlapping the slices on the plate and top with vinaigrette. Serve with boiled new potatoes and roasted root vegetable medley.

 Cheers & Enjoy this month’s Savvy Selections!

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The coolest wine tasting room – a red caboose!

Posted by Julie

Tuesday, August 3rd, 2010
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Savvy Selections wine of the month club
features 33 Vines Winery
Canada’s wineries delivered to your doorstep
 

 

Owner and winemaker of 33 Vines Winery, Paul Minaker, says “there is nothing like the excitement of tasting fermented grapes straight from the barrel to have the first sip of new wine”. Making wine along with driving his tractor keeps him ‘close to the land’ – his vineyard that is located on the Loyalist Highway #33 in the north eastern part of Prince Edward County, or ‘The County’.

 

The Savvy Team is delighted to introduce you to 33 Vines this month as we have had a deeply rooted connection to this winery.  In 2006, Paul called on us to be the Sommeliers for a VIP event he was having for the winery’s ‘Founders Circle’ members – friends, family & wine enthusiasts who were watching this property transform from a corn field into a vineyard.  Members were invited to sample County wines, provide feedback on the 33 Vines label designs, plant vines and see the renovations of the heritage barn as it readies for the first harvest.  Then in 2008, the Savvy Team were involved in the grand opening of the winery complete with winery tours, Sommelier led wine tastings in the barrel room and the evening continued with a celebration private concert featuring the Jim Cuddy Band.  Now with the winery in its second year, the wines are turning heads and the winery has become a ‘must visit’ stop with its tasting room housed in the red CN caboose.

 

When not devoting his life to being a winemaker, Paul is a network designer in his spare time or maybe it’s vice versa?  Hard to tell depending on the season however there is no doubt that the lure of the land is embedded in his blood, his upbringing and as he says, where he calls home.

 

This month, your Savvy Selections includes:

– 33 Vines Pinot Noir VQA 2008 – take note how this wine evolves in your glass

– 33 Vines Merlot VQA 2007 – a crowd pleaser

– Red Caboose Rosé VQA 2008 – medium bodied with a natural sweetness that keeps you salivating & wanting another sip!

 

You won’t find these wines at the LCBO! 

33 Vines is the smallest winery that has been a Savvy Selections feature. With its limited supply 2000 cases of wines handcrafted each year, their wines are only available at the winery.  To stock up on more bottles of your favorite wine, simply call on us to arrange a special delivery for you.

 

Watch a Savvy video on 33 Vines!

Get a taste of 33 Vines and meet Paul by watching a video that I created on a recent tour to the winery.

 

Cheers & Enjoy!

Debbie & the Savvy Team


 

Introducting…
33 Vines Winery

Presented by Sommelier Julie Stock

 

Paul Minaker says he does not have a particular winemaking philosophy nor a magic formula, rather his challenge as a winemaker is basically to make a good quality wine. Sounds simple enough?

 

In 2003, Paul purchased his property just east of Adolphustown on Loyalist Highway 33 (near Glenora Ferry) and immediately planted Riesling, Chardonnay, Pinot Noir and Cabernet Franc grapes. This was not a spur of the moment purchase. Rather, Paul spent years of researching, analyzing vineyard growth and wine history in the area, talking to other winemakers to find the right spot for planting his vineyard. While Paul had the advantage of being born in and growing up in Picton (aka The County), he says that he devised a checklist of all the pre-requisites required for the vineyard before endeavouring on such a purchase. His check list included such items as: first and foremost, the proper soil, secondly; being close to water, third; the land had to have the right slope and elevation, to name only a few. This brings to mind the concept of terroir, which aside from land and soil and which way the wind blows, is part and parcel of the heart and soul of the person who farms the land and harvests the crop.

 

Paul’s first harvest was in 2006 with and his first release of wine in 2007. On his 15 acres of premium clay loam soils – similar to the soils in Burgundy, France – this small boutique winery produces a zippy Riesling, an impressive Chardonnay, an award winning Cabernet Franc, a notable Pinot Noir.  In 2007, he added Merlot to his portfolio. While one of Paul’s favorites is his Chardonnay, he is also passionate about Pinot, and he laughs saying “it can sometimes take getting used to the aromas” but with conviction, “a velvety smooth Pinot is like no other wine”.

 

In 2008, the focal point for the winery’s grand opening was the private concert at Crystal Palace in Picton headlining Jim Cuddy Band (Jim is Paul’s cousin and the lead singer in the popular Canadian band Blue Rodeo). With celebrity status entertainment, coupled with first rate wines, the celebration drew attention to the new boutique winery and attracted more attention to already growing popularity of Prince Edward County.

 

Working in the vineyard

Despite its small size, Thirty Three Vines requires the same workhorse management as larger wineries. The Thirty Three team includes a full time vineyard manager, two workers on the land, a person with tasting room expertise and additional grape pickers during harvest.

 

“One of the advantages of a small winery is that during harvest, grapes can be picked in the morning and crushed in the afternoon – the winemaking process begins immediately.” How does Paul decide when the are grapes ready?  “Weather can be of influence, coupled with the Ph (acidity) in the grape, the brix (sugar levels) and ultimately the taste of the grapes. Pinot Noir grape ripens first, then typically followed by Chardonnay, Riesling, Cabernet Franc and Merlot and by the time we’ve entered well into October, five to seven tons of grapes have been harvested.”

 

Grapevines usually have a 30 year lifespan. However, due to the harsh winter conditions in The County, unique to this wine region, winemakers must “hill up” whereby the grapes are literally buried down to the cordon – the main branch in a grapevine. Hilling up is often done by tractor, which can be pretty hard on the vines. The exact timing to hill up takes place is tantamount to their growth and success the following year since if the vines are hilled too early in November, any significant rain that follows causes rot and vines do not like to be wet. Subsequently, the vines are “hilled down” in the spring – meaning the protective soil is removed. This too is time sensitive because hilling down too early exposes the plant to frost or leaving too late could cause the vines to shoot branches too low.  Paul and other County winemakers will attest that winemaking is neither for the short-lived or faint of heart.

 

The love of winemaking is sometimes juxtaposed with issues of the Federal and Provincial rules, regulations and sales that ultimately dictate what is sold at the Liquor Control Board of Ontario (LCBO). While this may be considered as a disadvantage to wine enthusiastis, it also makes a visit to small wineries worth seeking out. Highway 33 also known as the Loyalist Parkway offers blue lake on one side and vast green country farmland on the other.  Stop in to say hello at the red CN caboose and sample the variety of 33 Vines wines. It’s not only worth the stop; it’s worth the drive. After all, finding a great new wine is in part, the journey. 

 

Cheers & Enjoy!


 

~ Savvy Sommelier Tasting Notes ~

33 Vines Pinot Noir VQA 2008, $24.95
Paul is passionate about Pinot Noir and he laughs saying “with this one, give it some times to get used to the aromas.” Then he continues with conviction, “a velvety smooth Pinot is like no other wine.” With that type of determination, we are sure that Paul will indeed create a great Pinot Noir.  Take note how this wine changes and evolves in your glass.

Savvy Sommelier Tasting Notes: This young light to medium bodied beauty has aromas of sour cherries, violets, raspberries, a hint of tobacco and sweet spice; all the delicious aromas often found in a well balanced pinot noir. With its medium tannins, acidity and slight peppery finish it makes a perfect summer pinot noir. 

Suggested Food Pairing: The Savvy Selections tasting panel all agreed that a vast selection of foods could accompany this easy drinking pinot from pork roast to salmon or turkey and we decided it was definitely a year round wine to have on hand.

SOMMELIER TIP: lightly chill your Pinot Noir wine (10-15 min in the fridge) for a different wine experience. As the wine warms up to room temperature, you will experience an array of aromas and tastes.

Cellaring: Best enjoyed now, or cellared for up to 2 years.

33 Vines Merlot, $19.95
The eyes of our Savvy Selections tasting panel lit up when we sampled this wine. It is no doubt that Sommeliers at some of Ottawa’s restaurants agree that this wine is a crowd pleaser.

Savvy Sommelier Tasting Notes: Medium garnet coloured, this Merlot is polished and practically glistens in the glass. Juicy red fruits, cranberry and a hint of blueberry penetrate the nose and follow through with silky elegance on the palate. The medium tannins and acidity play into a lingering finish of plums and dusty dark chocolate. 

Suggested Food Pairing: We were all in agreement that this wine would be a great complement to BBQed burgers, game or pasta with tomato sauce. The wine is balanced, smooth and friendly. Anyone on for making a new friend? 

Cellaring: Best enjoyed now, or cellared for up to 2 years.


33 Vines Red Caboose Rosé VQA 2008, $16.95   
Savvy Sommelier Julie declares that this is my a favourite Thirty Three Vines wine for the summer. A unique blend of Riesling and Cabernet Franc – none of the Savvy Selections tasting panel had experienced anything like this before. While rosé wines can range from bone dry to sweet, this one falls somewhere in the middle. Perfect to sip on its own, serve before a meal or do as Paul does when tasting the range of Thirty Three wines at the tasting bar – serve this Rosé chilled after enjoying red wines.
 
 

 

Savvy Sommelier Tasting Notes: It has a crisp clean strawberry and cranberry looking appearance that tastes great on its own or with everything from grilled fish to our featured watermelon and feta salad. It is light weight in body and aside from red berries, displays slight aromas of mineral and an earthiness that can only come from the soil in Lennox and Addington County. 

Suggested Food Pairing: The Savvy Selections tasting panel was unanimous that this was lunch or afternoon wine and by the time we agreed to brunch, it was unanimous that one glass is not enough to enjoy its refreshing characteristics! A great sipper not to mention a great match to food including roast turkey, grilled shrimp, BBQed pork chops or picnic fare.

Cellaring: Ready to drink now, ripe but not overly sweet.

 

 

~ Recipes to enjoy with your Savvy Selections ~

 

With 33 Vines Pinot Noir … 

Peppered Pork Tenderloin with Cherry Salsa

From: www.Epicurious.com

Serves 2 

This is an easy but elegant summer dinner, can be served at room temperature.

                

Ingredients

1/2 pound dark sweet cherries, pitted and chopped (about 1 cup)

2 teaspoons fresh lime juice

1/4 teaspoon freshly grated lime zest

1 tablespoon finely chopped red onion

1 teaspoon finely chopped seeded fresh jalapeño chili pepper (tip: wear rubber gloves while chopping)

1 1/2 teaspoons finely chopped fresh coriander

3/4 pound pork tenderloin, trimmed of excess fat

2 tablespoons crushed black peppercorns

1 tablespoon olive oil

 

Method

1.     Preheat oven to 425°F.

 

2.     In a bowl stir together cherries, lime juice, zest, onion, jalapeño, and coriander.

 

3.     Season pork with salt and press peppercorns into it. In a large heavy skillet heat oil over moderately high heat until hot but not smoking and brown pork on all sides.

 

4.     Transfer pork to a shallow baking dish and roast in oven until a meat thermometer registers 155°F., about 20 minutes. Transfer pork to a cutting board and let stand 5 to 10 minutes. Slice pork into 1/2-inch-thick medallions and serve with salsa.

 

With 33 Vines Merlot …

 

Capellini (aka Angel hair pasta) with Tomatoes and Basil 

From: Barefoot Contessa

Serves 6 

A great celebration of summer – fresh basil and cherry tomatoes from the market!

 

Ingredients

½ cup good olive oil, plus extra for the pasta pot

2 tablespoons minced garlic (6 cloves)

4 pints small cherry tomatoes or grape tomatoes

18 large basil leaves, julienned

2 tablespoons chopped fresh curly parsley

2 teaspoons chopped fresh thyme leaves

1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

½ teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes

¾ pound dried capellini or angel hair pasta

1½ cups freshly grated Parmesan cheese

Extra chopped basil and grated Parmesan for serving

 

Method

1.     Bring a large pot of water to a boil and add two tablespoons of salt and a splash of oil to the pot.

 

2.     Meanwhile, heat the ½ cup of olive oil in a large (12-inch) sauté pan. Add the garlic to the oil and cook over medium heat for 30 seconds. Add the tomatoes, basil, parsley, thyme, two teaspoons salt, the pepper, and red pepper flakes.

 

3.     Reduce the heat to medium-low and cook for five to seven minutes, tossing occasionally, until the tomatoes begin to soften but don’t break up.

 

4.     While the tomatoes are cooking, add the capellini to the pot of boiling water and cook for two minutes, or according to the directions on the package. Drain the pasta, reserving some of the pasta water.

 

5.     Place the pasta in a large serving bowl, add the tomatoes and Parmesan, and toss well. Add some of the pasta water if the pasta seems too dry. Serve large bowls of pasta with extra basil sprinkled on top and a big bowl of extra Parmesan on the side.

 

 

With 33 Vines Red Caboose Rosé …

 

Watermelon, Feta and Black Olive Salad

From Nigella Lawson’s Forever Summer Cookbook and her recipe web site

This is one great summer salad!

 

Ingredients

1 ½ kg sweet ripe watermelon

250 g feta cheese

Bunch of mint and parsley chopped

1 small red onion

2-4 limes depending on juiciness

3-4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

100 g black olives

Black pepper

 

Method

1.     Peel and half the red onion, cut into fine half moon shapes and put in small bowl with lime juice.

 

2.     Remove rind and pips from the watermelon, and cut into triangular chunks (bite-size)

 

3.     Cut feta into similar sized pieces and put both into a wide shallow bowl.

 

4.     Tear off sprigs of parsley so that it is used like a salad leaf rather than a garnish; add to bowl along with the chopped mint.

 

5.     Sprinkle or tip the glowing onions along with the now pink lime juice over the salad in the bowl; add the oil and olives then using your hands toss the salad gently so that the melon and feta do not lose their shape.

 

6.     Add a grinding of black pepper and taste to see if any more lime is required, to taste.

 

 

Cheers & Enjoy this month’s Savvy Selections!

 

 

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Sipping wines with the Black Prince

Posted by Susan

Thursday, June 11th, 2009
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Savvy Selections wine of the month club
Featuring Black Prince Winery

Canada’s wineries delivered to your doorstep

This month brings royalty to the Savvy Selections featuring Black Prince Winery from Prince Edward County.  If you have not visited yet, ‘The County” is an easy weekend getaway 2 to 3 hour drive from Ottawa or Toronto, Ontario.  With rolling countryside, large farms, quaint Loyalist architecture, orchards, vineyards and the white beaches of Sandbanks Provincial Park on Lake Ontario.

 

The County has become Canada’s fastest growing wine region boasting 17 wineries awaiting your visit. Hand in hand, more boutique inns and gourmet restaurants are opening with renowned chefs from the Toronto area moving from the bustle of the city to the leisurely pace of the towns of Picton and Bloomfield.  The County has been settled for centuries and there is evidence of grape growing as early as 1850. In fact, local history notes that a winemaker from the County won a medal and diploma at the 1867 International Exhibition in Philadelphia. 

 

Not surprising then, that wine lovers are flocking to build their dream of a winery in this picturesque area.

 

We are excited to feature one of County’s wine industry pioneers – Black Prince Winery. This is indeed a dream of wine die-hards that became reality when the winery opened its doors in 2003.  In this month’s Savvy Selections, we feature:

– Chardonnay VQA 2007 – a crisp, refreshing wine – perfect as a summer sipping wine

– Melon de Bourgogne VQA 2008 – a unique white wine that was just released in time to be included in the Savvy Selections

– Cabernet Franc Reserve VQA 2007 – an impressive red wine that is growing in popularity & winning awards!

 

Fire up your BBQ, set out the deck chairs, uncork a bottle of wine and read this Savvy e-Zine blog, about the winery’s connection with the Opimium Society, the story of the name and its crest. As always, you will find our Savvy Sommelier tasting notes and summer recipes chosen to pair with your wines.

 

Stock up for the summer…

Summer entertaining requires plenty of good wine on hand.  Rather than fighting traffic to shop, have an assortment of wines delivered to your home or office by calling on Savvy Company to make the arrangements for more bottles of your favorite Black Prince wines or bottles from previously featured wineries in the Savvy Selections.  It is that easy!   Put us on speed dial! Savvy Company 613-SAVVYCO (728-8926)

 

Visiting wine country this summer?

Our Savvy Sommeliers continuously travels and we compile lists of ‘must visit’ wineries with wine recommendations and tips on restaurants to include in your trip.  Let us before you head off to any wine regions across Canada, call on us to map out your trip and to arrange a special tour of the winery for you.

 

Cheers!

Debbie
Follow me: www.twitter.com/savvydebbie



 

Introducing….
Black Prince Winery

Presented by Sommelier Susan Desjardins


Standing on the sun-drenched deck of the Black Prince Winery, sipping a glass of Chardonnay (included in your Savvy Selections) and admiring the just-budded vineyards in the distance, the winery’s general manager Geoffrey Webb, pointed out to me that the warm temperatures of late April brought on bud break sooner than usual. Spoken like an avid gardener, “there’s still a risk of frost through to the full moon”. You can’t control the weather, yet, Geoff has taken all possible measures to produce 100% Prince Edward County wines that express the local terroir as well as the typicity of the varietal. 

 

Originally from Montreal, Geoff attended Queens University and often visited Sandbanks Provincial Park to windsurf. He established a wine business in Toronto that led him to meet John Sambrook – the general manager of the Opimian Society.

 

Geoff was invited to get involved in several aspects of Opimian Society including finding a vineyard to invest in when the Society repatriated an investment it had made in a vineyard in Napa, California.

 

Formerly a horse farm, the 50-acre property is now the location of Black Prince Winery with a gently rolling south-facing slope where the vines are planted in deep sandy loam over limestone. The existing farm buildings were transformed into winery operations and there are have plans for new buildings in the near future. 

 

As one of the pioneers in the County, much experimenting was required to figure out what grapes would grow best.  When the vineyards were first planted in 2002, varietals included Pinot Noir, Riesling, Chardonnay, Cabernet Franc, Marechal Foch, Vidal and Chambourcin.  After a few years, it was decided to tear out the Pinot Noir and Riesling vines.  “We just couldn’t get the quality of wine we wanted from these grapes”, explained Geoff. 

 

In addition to grape varieties, weather plays a huge part in the winemaking.  For many varietals, the County tests their hardiness.  As we wandered through the vineyard, Geoff explained to me that all of the work in his vineyards is done manually, so that vigilance can be maintained during the growing season and the quality of the grapes can be maintained through harvest. Unlike other wine regions in Ontario, after harvest, winemakers have one more job to do before wine.  The vines are “hilled up” (grape growing term: buried under a foot of soil) to protect them from the harshness of winter. 

 

In an excellent vintage like 2007, when growing conditions throughout the spring, summer and fall, the grapes were healthy with high flavor concentration, and winemakers left the fruit hang on the vines to optimum sugar levels.  In 2008, the warm dry late summer weather compensated for the wet conditions in spring and early summer. Winemakers are used to working with Mother Nature to grow the best wine possible in the vineyard before harvest.

 

Since inception, Black Prince had a consulting winemaker.  Originally, from California, but more recently they have benefited from the expertise of a Niagara-based consultant, who is transferring knowledge to the local associate winemaker, John Fricker.  John is an award-winning amateur winemaker turned professional involved in winemaking in the County for many years.  

 

John monitors the Black Prince vineyards, and works closely with the growers who supply grapes for the other labels produced by Black Prince in their winery site – Harwood and Bella Vigne. This co-operative concept helps incubate new wineries. Geoff is enthusiastic with this approach as it provides the opportunity to showcase the terroir of other areas of the County with wines made from grapes of smaller growers who have yet to established their own wineries.  “We get excellent quality from these partner vineyards, and our winemaker is actively involved in the management of their vineyards.  We’re proud of our slogan – one winery, many terroir.”

 

Another addition to terroir, is the arrival of a cooper (winespeak: barrel maker) in the County.  Excited to make wine with County grapes barrel aged in County oak, Black Prince purchased 5 of 6 available County oak barrels and are currently aging a reserve Chardonnay.  Geoff offered me a barrel sample- mark my word, it promises to be a beautifully balanced wine. Be on the watch for it in a few years.

 

About the regal name…

Geoff explained that the owners wanted something linked to Prince Edward.  After searching in the history books about all of the royal “Prince Edwards”, they settled on Edward the Black Prince, who was a successful military commander and ruled over a large section of Aquitaine, France – an area that included Bordeaux – a perfect wine connection! 

 

You may be interested to know that the Black Prince winery escutcheon, like those of yore, depicts the history of its founders.  In the top left and bottom right quadrants pertain to the Opimian Society, while the top right and bottom left quadrants recognize the founders and the families which have contributed to the success of Black Prince Winery.

 

Click here to watch Black Prince Winery’s video
 

 

 

~ Savvy Sommelier Tasting Notes ~


Black Prince Chardonnay VQA 2007, $14.75
The fruit was sourced from three County vineyards, including the Wicked Point vineyard.  The fermentation in stainless steel tanks brings out the crisp minerality and zesty fruit, similar to the French styled unoaked Chardonnay – Chablis.  Black Prince Winery is excited that this wine won a bronze at the “Chardonnay du Monde” in Burgundy, France. 

Savvy Sommelier Tasting Notes: A lovely pale gold, this dry wine has delightful aromas of ripe fruits, with a hint of pineapple and citrus.  The fruit flavors are carried through on the palate with a refreshing acidity.  The wine is well-balanced with a crisp finish.

 

Suggested Food Pairing: Served well-chilled, this medium-bodied wine will go well with smoked salmon, a chicken salad, or a light cream-based dish.  Or, sip it on it’s own as you enjoy the lazy days of summer on your backyard or cottage deck!

 

Cellaring: No need to wait…this wine is ready to drink now.

 

 

Black Prince Melon de Bourgogne VQA 2008, $16.75 

We are excited to hear what you think of this unique wine.  To our ‘savvy’ knowledge, only two wineries in Ontario craft a Melon de Bourgogne – and both are from the County!

When we first tasted the 2007 vintage of Black Prince’s Melon de Bourgogne, we were impressed with this lush wine – and so was everyone else who tasted it, as it is now sold out.  With some arm twisting and sweet talking (wink-wink), we convinced Geoff to release the just-bottled 2008 vintage first, to you, our Savvy Selections subscribers! 

2008 was a challenging vintage all around, with heavy rain in the early summer, yet the winemaker has done an outstanding job creating this unique white wine. 

 

Savvy Sommelier Tasting Notes: Also known as Muscadet, Melon de Bourgogne is most commonly grown in the Loire Valley of France.  However, it has found a home in Ontario, partly due to its winter hardiness, and to its ability to “let the terroir sing”, to quote Geoff Heinricks (author of A Fool and Forty Acres a great book about the history of the Prince Edward County as well as first-hand recounts of the trials and tribulations establishing a vineyard in this new region).  Our Savvy Selections tasting panel found Black Prince’s Melon to be aromatic and fresh, with hints of honey, melon and citrus.  Bright citrus and apple peel carry through on the palate of this medium-bodied wine.  Hints of pithy grapefruit and minerality bring a cleansing and pleasant bitter note to the long finish.   

Suggested Food Pairing: made from grapes grown by the sea in France, and in this case by the Lake Ontario in the County, this wine is ideally paired with seafood.  To keep it local, enjoy the wine with the Fifth Town Artisan Cheese Cape Vesey cheese from the County, or a creamy Sauvagine cheese from Québec.  During my tour of the County this spring, I enjoyed tasty crab cakes at the Merrill Inn, and the owners have kindly (yes, more arm twisting and sweet talking was involved…what we do for our subscribers!!) provided the recipe below.

NOTE! Since this wine was literally just bottled in late May, we recommend you don’t open it for 4-6 weeks so that it has a chance to recover from “bottle shock” (winespeak for the change in the wine having quietly rested in tanks for months then moved onto the bottling line & shipped from the winery).  Chill & enjoy it this summer.

 

Black Prince Cabernet Franc Reserve VQA 2007, $15.75 

To produce this approachable Cabernet Franc with softer tannins, the grapes were lightly pressed, the free run juice was captured separately and then blended back into the pressed juice.  The result is a wine that was recognized with a Grand Champion award at the Royal Winter Fair, as well as a Bronze Medal at the Finger Lakes International Wine Competition. Bravo!

 

Savvy Sommelier Tasting Notes: A bright ruby hue, this Cab was a favorite amongst our Savvy Selections tasting panel for its ripe cherry aromas and hints of red peppers, sweet herbs and spices.  Made with 100% County grapes from the spectacular 2007 vintage, the flavors include red cherry, pepper…and even roasted red peppers!  The wine is well-balanced, with moderate acidity and integrated tannins.  The fruit and pepper notes carry through on the medium-long finish.

 

Suggested Food Pairing:  This wine is ideally paired with barbequed or roasted red meat, such as lamb, or with herbed roasted pork.  Enjoy with the exotic recipe we offer below: Lamb with Garlic & Dark Chocolate Sauce.

 

Cellaring: This wine is drinking well now, but could be appropriate for short-term (1 or 2 years) in the cellar.

 

Listen to CBC Radio interview about the award this wine won


  

~ Recipes to enjoy with your Savvy Selections ~

 

With Black Prince Chardonnay…

Argentinean Garlic Chicken with Corn, Tomato & Parsley Salsa

Adapted from the Ottawa Citizen
Serves 6

Ingredients

For the salsa:

1 bunch (~2 C) Italian parsley leaves, chopped
½ shallot, finely chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
¼ c white vinegar
1 tsp dried oregano, or to taste
5-6 drops Tabasco sauce
¼ tsp ground pepper
½ c olive oil
1 pint cherry tomatoes, roasted
2 c corn kernels (from can, drained, or cut from fresh cobs)

For the chicken:

1 tsp each pepper, dried oregano, finely chopped garlic, ground cumin (optional)
1 Tbsp olive oil
6 boneless, skinless chicken breasts

 

Method

1.     First, cut the tomatoes in half, place on baking sheet cut side up, drizzle with olive oil, and roast in oven at 375F for about 30 minutes.

 

2.     Meanwhile, to make the sauce, in a food processor, combine the parsley, shallot, garlic, vinegar, oregano, Tabasco, pepper.  Process until finely chopped.  With motor running, slowly add oil and process until well blended but with coarse texture.  Pour into a bowl.  Stir in the corn kernels.  Once the tomato halves have cooled, add them and stir.

 

3.     To prepare the chicken, combine the pepper, oregano, cumin, garlic and olive oil.  Brush each chicken breast with these ingredients.  Grill on BBQ 3-5 minutes each side, or until chicken is not pink inside.

 

4.     Serve the parsley sauce on the side or spooned over each breast, along with small roasted potatoes.  Enjoy with Black Prince’s summer crisp Chardonnay!

 

 

With Black Prince Melon de Bourgogne…

Merrill Inn’s Crab Cakes
Recipe kindly provided by Chef Michael Sullivan, Merrill Inn
Serves 6 (12 2 oz. patties)

Many thanks to Amy Shubert, owner and innkeeper at the Merrill Inn for providing
this delicious recipe which we enjoyed during our stay.

Ingredients
1 lb. crab meat
½ C white bread crumbs
1 stalk celery, diced
½ red pepper, diced
½ medium onion, diced
1 egg, beaten
1 tsp Old Bay Spice (or ½ tsp Cajun spice) cheese
pepper, to taste
Dash of lemon juice
2 Tbsp olive oil
1 Tbsp butter

 

Method

1.   Sauté peppers, onion, celery and Old Bay Spice in 1 Tbsp oil until soft.

 

2.   Stir in bread crumbs followed by crab meat.  Add egg and mayonnaise, pepper and lemon to taste.
Chef’s tip: Don’t stir too much to avoid breaking down crab meat. 

 

3.   Refrigerate immediately for about 1 hour.

 

4.   Form the mixture into 2 oz. patties (2 ½ ” wide by ¾” thick).

 

5.    Preheat oven to 400F.  Preheat a cast iron pan with a light coating of vegetable oil on medium heat until the oil just starts to smoke.  Place patties in the pan.  Add a small piece of butter and gently sauté for 1 minute.  Place the pan in the preheated oven for 4-5 minutes.  Take the pan out of the oven, turn over the patties, and brown the other side on the stovetop over medium heat.

 

6.    Serve 2 patties over mixed dressed greens. Garnish with Cajun mayo if desired.

 


With Black Prince Cabernet Franc…

Peppered Lamb Loins with Garlic & Dark Chocolate Sauce
Recipe adapted from LCBO Food & Drink Magazine, Winter 2009
Serves 4

Ingredients
1 Tbsp freshly ground pepper (or to taste)
1 tsp herbes de Provence
2 boneless lamb loins (about 1 lb.)
2 Tbsp olive oil
1 Tbsp finely chopped garlic
2 cloves garlic, chopped
1 c unsalted or low-salt lamb or chicken stock
½ oz. dark bittersweet chocolate (70-80% cocoa), chopped
 

Method

1.    Combine pepper, herbes de Provence and 1 Tbsp olive oil.  Brush lamb loins with mixture.

 

2.    Preheat oven to 200F.  Heat 1 Tbsp oil in a small pan on medium heat.  Add chopped garlic, lower heat and cook until the garlic is just golden.  Remove pan from heat.  Add stock and return to heat.  Bring stock to a boil and reduce to ¼ -1/3 C.  Add chocolate, stirring until melted.  Reduce heat to minimum.

 

3.    While the stock is being reduced, grill lamb on BBQ 12-15 minutes, or until pink inside.  Transfer to a dish and keep warm in the oven as you finish the sauce.

 

4.    Once the sauce is ready, slice the lamb into thick slices and pour over a tablespoon of sauce.  Timing is everything with this recipe, as you don’t want the chocolate sauce to overcook!

 

5.    Taste your Black Prince Cabernet Franc alone, and then with the lamb.  Do you notice a difference?

 

 

Cheers to the arrival of summer!

 

 

Would you like to subscribe to Savvy Selections
It is simple…and delicious. 
Register online for 4, 6 or 12 month subscription and get ready to discover what Canadian wineries have to offer.

 

 

Already a Savvy Selections subscriber?  
We hope that you are enjoying the wines as much as our Sommeliers enjoy finding them for you.  When you have found wines that you would like a few more bottles, simply contact the Debbie and she will gladly organize a special shipment for you.

 

 

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