Posts Tagged ‘Recipe for Coquilles St. Jacques’

Born to make fine wine

Posted by Melanie

Tuesday, May 17th, 2016
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Savvy Selections Ontario wine of the month club

Savvy Selections wine of the month club
Featuring 13th Street Winery
–  May 2016 –

In Canada, the month of May means warmer weather, vines begin to bud, more time spent outdoors and most importantly, a glorious long-weekend Victoria Day (or, as most Canadian refer to it: “May 2-4”) is a federal statutory holiday celebrating Queen Victory’s birthday on the Monday before May 25th.  Queen Victoria has ruled the U.K. and British Empire for 63 years, and in her honour, we celebrate this long-weekend often with friends or family, possibly at a cottage (or someone’s backyard) with food grilling on the BBQ, enjoying delicious libations. This May 2-4, I encourage you to put beer aside for a moment and instead reach inside your Savvy Selections for a lovely bottle from 13th Street Winery.

A winemaker who knows what he likes

winemakerWhat was my favourite quote from 13th Street’s winemaker Jean-Pierre Cola when we recently spoke over the phone? When talking about using the wrong barrel for the wrong grape: “It’s like trying to put a nail in with a screwdriver.  It won’t work out.” And he’s right. I’m sure like me, you’ve all tasted a wine or two where the use of oak (whether too much, or too aggressive) just left you feeling sad.

Jean-Pierre has many beliefs and advice when it comes to winemaking, and his years of experience, his love and passion for the end result (that tasty wine in your glass!) shine through.  Here you’ll read about how and why he became a winemaker along with some of his core beliefs when it comes to making wine.

This month’s Savvy Selections from 13th Street Winery will no doubt leaving you wanting more. These wines are the perfect sidekicks for any upcoming family gatherings or BBQ’s with friends you may have planned leading up to the May long-weekend.

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

2013 Pinot Gris– A medium body floral and fruity white wine.

2010 Essence Pinot Noir – Aged beautifully, smooth and ready to drink now.

2012 Meritage – A deliciously fruity Bordeaux blend perfect for BBQ season.

Most not at the LCBO

Your Savvy Selections, along with many other gems from 13th Street Winery, are not stocked at the LCBO. If you would like to order additional bottles or other Ontario wines, call me at 613-SAVVYCO (613-728-8926) or drop me a line at debbie@savvycompany.ca. We’ll be happy to arrange a special delivery for you!

Enjoy your Victoria Day long-weekend with a glass of wine from your Savvy Selections.

Cheers,
Debbie & Savvy Team  

Introducing…
13th Street Winery

Presented by Sommelier Melanie Allen

 

13th Street Winery

13th Street Winery started out in 1998 on 13th Street in St. Catherine, Ontario.  By 2008, their business was booming and they moved to their current location on Fourth Street, with larger retail and production space.  As Sales and Marketing Manager, Ilya Rubin explained to me “In our first 10 years we were making roughly 2000-3000 cases/year and now we are making 10,000 to 12,000 cases depending on the vintage.  We needed space in order to grow.”

Winemaker will travel…

Jean Pierre Colas winemakerI spoke with Winemaker Jean-Pierre Colas over the phone and was excited to learn more about him, how his passion for winemaking came about and have him share specific details about his approach to making wines at 13th Street.

Jean-Pierre’s passion for wine has taken him all over the world, starting out first in Chablis (France) where he worked at Domaine Laroche for 10 years.  In 1996, his Chardonnay took top honours as Wine Spectator Magazine’s White Wine of the Year (it scored 99 points out of 100 in a blind tasting!). He has also spent time in Chile, and prior to joining 13th Street, he was winemaker at Peninsula Ridge (located in Beamsville, Ontario).

Born to follow this path…

jean pierre with tanksIt is by no accident that Jean-Pierre became a winemaker.  One could say that he was born to take this path in life.  His grandparents grew grapes in Chablis (France) and as Jean-Pierre explains “I learned to walk in those vineyards”.  At 5 and 6 years of age, he was learning to prune the vines, which then led later to him participating in the harvest as well as working in the underground barrel cellars.

Although grapes were a big part of his family history, it took some time for him to realize that his history would also become his future: “in University, I was into competitive sports, but it (the family business) was always there and I would help on weekend”.  He may even have occasionally skipped the odd class or assignment in order to help out with the vines.  He would share some of this wine with his fellow classmates and one day, I realized that he needed to follow this passion.  He had already gained so much natural experience in all aspects of winegrowing and winemaking that he decided to study oenology.  

Respect the varietal and the soil

13th_street_winery_harvest-5821__thumbJean-Pierre is very direct about his views on winemaking and his approach, “the wines are an expression of my tastes and preferences. I believe that the wines should speak for themselves”.

He is very passionate when describing the winemaking process and believes that above all else, a winemaker must respect the varietal as well as the soil in order to properly showcase a winegrowing region.  In comparison to working in France, Jean Pierre explains some of the challenges with working in New World wineries: “winemaking history is very different here.  It is still a baby, still in it’s infancy in North America, but I always try to work from the bottom, what nature is giving you”.

He does also recognize some similarities, and compares Ontario, Quebec and the East Coast of Canada as having more of an old-world feeling.  

New World grapes with Old World style

After having tasted several of 13th Street Winery’s wines, it’s evident that although the grapes were grown in Niagara, the end result has many similarities to wines from Burgundy.  Elegance, longevity minimal sweetness were words that Jean-Pierre repeated often when describing his wines, and the proof of this was in each glass.  As to his decision of becoming a winemaker: “I don’t know what else to do in life, I was made for this”.  And we should all be thankful that Jean-Pierre Colas is making beautiful and elegant wines for us all to enjoy.

As they say in France – A votre santé! 

Enjoy your Savvy Selections!

Barrel party

  

~ SAVVY SOMMELIER TASTING NOTES ~

 

13th Street Pinot Gris VQA 2013 $19.95

“My background is Chablis and Sauvignon Blanc, so I was very interested in tackling this grape. It is not a classical style of Pinot Gris, but it is balanced, dry with good acidity and not a lot of sweetness”, Winemaker Jean-Pierre Colas.

Savvy Sommelier Tasting Notes: Pale yellow and viscous, this complex Pinot Gris hit so many lovely notes: stone fruit, ginger, lime, beeswax, floral and white peaches (almost candied).  Medium acidity with a nice, long finish.

Suggested Food Pairing: Pinot Gris contains similar characteristics to Gewurztraminer (fruity and floral), so creamy dishes would work well here.  Pair this with a Seafood Chowder, a creamy Sheep cheese, or Coquille St Jacques (a creamy French dish made with scallops and cream).

Cellaring: This wine is beautiful and a delight to drink now but could also be kept for a few years. 

 

13th Street Essence Pinot Noir VQA 2010 $34.95 (regular $44.95)

essence“I was not originally confident about making Pinot Noir in Canada but I changed my mind when I made the first in 2009.  The 2010 is elegant, balanced, fruity, with little oak flavour. The key for this wine was to use the right barrels for the grape” Winemaker Jean-Pierre Colas.

Savvy Sommelier Tasting Notes:  Light medium ruby and oh so smooth.  Notes of cherries, strawberries, and cranberry are all there, followed by roses, pepper and a meatiness that just aches to be paired with grilled meat.  Medium body, with fruit and pepper on the finish.  A gorgeous Pinot Noir.

Suggested Food Pairing: Meat – and lots of it! Grilled lamb chops, roasted duck with a cranberry sauce or grilled pork tenderloin with cherry sauce (see recipe below).

Cellaring: Pinot Noirs often require a bit of time to soften (I prefer to drink most New World Pinot’s 5 years or so after bottling), and this one is ready to enjoy now.

 

13th Street Meritage VQA 2012 $34.95

“2012 provided intensity to the grapes due to warm weather and lots of tannins were extracted during maceration.  There is balance, freshness and richness in this blend, and this Meritage is very similar to a South American Bordeaux blend” Winemaker Jean-Pierre Colas.

Savvy Sommelier Tasting Notes: A beautifully complex wine, dark ruby red with a purple hue, and tons of fruit.  Blackberry and blueberry on the nose followed by black plums, cassis and white pepper.  Vanilla from the oak ageing comes through but is not overpowering.  Medium + acidity and tannins, very round, full and well balanced.  A very well made wine.

Suggested Food Pairing: Another great wine to be paired with meat during this start of BBQ season.  Grilled leg of lamb, venison or other game meats would do very well, but I am a big fan of classics, so I suggest simple grilled steaks with great simple sides to showcase this wine (recipe below).

Cellaring: Can be opened now, but if you want to see how this will do with a bit more age, it could easily sit for another 2 to 4 years.

 

~RECIPES TO ENJOY WITH YOUR SAVVY SELECTIONS~


With 13th Street Winery Pinot Gris…

Coquilles St. Jacques

Recipe & photo credits: www.ricardocuisine.com 

Ingredients for the mashed potatoes

2 cups Russet potatoes, peeled and cubed
2 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons 35% cream
Salt and pepper to taste

Ingredients for the scallop filling

2 tablespoons shallot, finely chopped
2 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour½ cup of milk (2% fat or more)
¼ cup of white wine (preferably Pinot Gris)
11 oz. medium scallops (size 15-25) drained and patted dry
1 cup of grated Gruyère cheese
Salt and pepper to taste 

Method

In a saucepan, bring the peeled and cubed potatoes to a boil in salted water and cook until tender.  Remove from heat and drain.  Add the butter and coarsely mash.  Using a mixer, puree the potatoes smooth while slowly adding the cream.  Season with salt and pepper to taste.  Transfer potatoes into a pastry bag fitted with a large star tip and set aside.

Melt butter in a fry pan over medium heat.  Add the scallops and cook until softened.  Remove the scallops and set aside.  Add the flour and cook for 1 minute while stirring constantly.  Add the milk and wine and bring to a boil, whisking constantly.  Cook for 1 minute and add salt and pepper to taste.  Add the scallops back to the pan along with ½ cup of the cheese and stir to combine.  Remove pan from heat.

Spoon the scallop filling into four scallop shells or gratin dishes.  Garnish the rim of the dishes with the mashed potatoes. Sprinkle remaining cheese overtop of the filling.  Bake for about 10 minutes at 350 degrees and finish under the broiler until cheese and potatoes are golden brown.

Serve as an appetizer, or as a main course alongside a simple green salad and fresh French baguette. 

 

With 13th Street Essence Pinot Noir …

Grilled Pork Tenderloin with Fresh Cherry Sauce

Recipe credit: www.epicurious.com
Photo credit: www.seasonsandsuppers.ca         

IngredientsRecipe for grilled pork tenderloin & cherry sauce

¾ cup cherry preserves (jam or fruit spread acceptable)
3 Tablespoons balsamic vinegar
¾ teaspoon ground allspice
1 Tablespoon vegetable oil
1 large onion, chopped
2 cups fresh cherries, pitted
¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 ¼ pound pork tenderloin 

Method

Heat up your BBQ (medium heat).

While the BBQ is heating up, mix together the cherry preserves, vinegar, and allspice in a medium bowl. Set aside ¼ cup of this mixture in a separate bowl for glazing later.

Heat oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat.  Add onion and sauté for 1 minute.  Add cherries, cayenne, and preserves mixture. Boil until thick, stirring often, for about 8 minutes.  Season with salt and set aside.

Sprinkle pork with salt and pepper and brush with some glaze.  Cook over hottest part of grill until brown. Move to coolest part and grill until thermometer inserted into thickest part of pork reaches 145°F, turning often and brushing with glaze, about 25 minutes total.

Transfer pork to a platter and let rest 10 minutes. Re-warm the reserved chutney.

Serve with wild rice & fresh vegetables (fiddleheads or asparagus anyone??)

 

With 13th Street Winery Meritage

Gary’s Best Steak Dinner

Recipe Source: Gary Allen (Melanie’s husband!)
Photo Credit: www.thekitchn.com

Ingredients

2 of your favourite cuts of beef
2 medium to large Russet potatoes, scrubbed clean
Arugula
Shaved Parmegiano Reggiano
Good quality olive oil (personal favourite: Arbequina)
Good quality balsamic vinegar
Extra-virgin olive oil

Tips for buying, prepping and cooking steak

Choose your favorite cut of meat.  At our house, the go-to favorite is a Rib steak.  Why you ask?  Fat.  Fat equals flavor.  Leaner steaks (like a Filet Mignon or Sirloin) must be cooked very carefully to ensure they don’t dry out.  Rib steaks are normally on the pricier side, but highly recommend as a “treat yo’ self steak!”  If your feeling adventurous and want a less expensive, but extremely flavourful cut, ask your butcher about flank steak and how to prepare and serve them (hint, cook them rare and cut in thin strips across the grain. Melts in your mouth!).

Nothing says tender steak like a relaxed steak.  Let it come to room temperature before cooking for at least an hour.  Sprinkle liberally with sea salt and freshly ground pepper and let them sit there under some plastic wrap for an hour.  For less expensive cuts, also add a splash a touch of Worcestershire sauce and Montreal Steak Spice to add some of the flavour.  Don’t be shy with the salt; it is very important to ensure that the outside of the steak dries out a bit, that’s going to help you get the nice crusty outside you’re looking for.

Time to Grill!

High heat, sear steak and then rotate 45 degrees after about a minute. 1 minute later, flip it.  Repeat on the other side. This process puts a lot of nice color and hash marks on your steak. Afterward, brush it with a little butter and flip it often until your desired doneness and a nice crust has appeared on the outside.  (Editorial side bar: I used to only eat my meat well done, until my husband came along and got me to try steak done rare.  Beef is so much more intense and satisfying when rare, the mouth feel of the meat is rich and supple and you taste all the wonderful beefy goodness!)

Side dishes

For the baked potato, rub some EVOO and sea salt all around.  Place on a metal baking sheet and cook at 350 degrees for an hour.  For the salad: lightly drizzle arugula with olive oil and balsamic vinegar.  Toss and shave the parmesan over top just before serving.

tasting table

Enjoy your Savvy Selections this summer!

 

 

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