Posts Tagged ‘Recipes to Enjoy with your Savvy Selections’

We’re expanding! Now featuring BC & NS wines too

Posted by Susan

Sunday, July 30th, 2017
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In this month’s Savvy Selections to celebrate Canada’s 150th, we are expanding our scope to include wineries from across the country – from coast to coast.  We are SUPER excited to start this wine soaked trip across Canada with the acclaimed wines of Benjamin Bridge from the Annapolis Valley in Nova Scotia. The closest town is Wolfville – home of Acadia University.

This family-owned winery dedicates itself to the production of world-class ‘méthode classique’ sparkling wines (winespeak: Champagne style) and aromatic whites.

The vision of Gerry McConnell, the heart of his late wife Dara Gordon, and the commitment of his twin daughters Ashley and Devon melded to create an unparalleled success in ‘The Valley’. The McConnell-Gordon family, with their noted international consulting team of Peter Gamble & Ann Sperling (you’ll recognize her name from our features with Southbrook Vineyards & Malivoire Wines in Niagara), selected a well-protected micro-climate at the head of the Gaspereau Valley. They turned their attention to producing sparkling wines from classic Champagne grapes, unlike the pioneers of the early wine industry, who planted hardy hybrid grape varieties that could withstand the cool climate rigors. The result – Benjamin Bridge Brut Reserve 2004 outscored Roederer Cristal 2004 in a blinding tasting of 15 sommeliers and wine writers hosted by Canoe Restaurant in Toronto in August 2013!

 

World Class Wines

With their partner grape growers, the McConnell-Gordon family has gone on to make wine with other vinifera grapes, including Cabernet Franc and Riesling. They participated in the creation of the Nova Scotia appellation of Tidal Bay, a standard for vibrant aromatic white wines requiring rigorous adherence to quality, blending and taste. The goal of this appellation – to showcase the excellence of Nova Scotia’s best hybrid white blend.  Yes, you get to taste a sampling of all these in this month’s Savvy Selections!

 

Get ready to pop the cork & enjoy your Savvy Selections…

To get the Canada 150 celebration started, we selected:

Brut NVan elegant bubbly wine, reflecting the particular style of Benjamin Bridge, to sip and savour or pair with appetizers, salads and light summer meals.
Riesling 2015 – the sea breeze in a glass, this is silky yet lively and clean.
Tidal Bay 2016 – a blend unique to Nova Scotia, light, bright and refreshing!

 

An optional wine many of our subscribers asked us to include in their delivery is the signature Nova 7 – a lightly effervescent, low in alcohol with clean tangy & sweet fruit flavors that makes it an ideal sipping wine or a match for soft cheese or a lemon tart. This is the only NS wine currently available in LCBO Vintages so we did not include it in the Savvy Selections… however it quickly sells out.  If you can’t find it in Vintages (LCBO product #256289) – let us know and we’ll order it for you… it is hands down delicious!

 

More NS at your table . . . At anytime you would like more Benjamin Bridge wines, call us at 613-SAVVYCO (728-8926) or send me an email to debbie@savvycompany.ca and we will make the special arrangements for you.

 

Introducing…
Benjamin Bridge

Presented by Sommelier Susan Desjardins

Gerry McConnell and Dara Gordon’s move to the Wolfville area in the late 1990s, when their twin daughters Ashley and Devon began high school, meant the commute to their law practices included driving through the Gaspereau Valley. On this daily drive, Gerry noticed Hans Christian Jost – one of the pioneers of the Nova Scotia wine industry – planting his Gaspereau Vineyards estate. Through their work Gerry and Dara, had also been to some of South Africa’s acclaimed wine regions, and had tasted some of the excellent sparkling wines from the Stellenbosch appellation. As he drove, the proud Maritimer mused “What would it take to produce world-class wines in Nova Scotia?” That question was about to be answered when in 1999, they purchased the 60-acre Westcott farm. Located at the head of the Gaspereau Valley, on a south-facing slope beside the river, the family quest began to develop and showcase the best of Nova Scotia wines – with Benjamin Bridge the imprimatur on every bottle.

 

The Early Years

It’s said that it takes a village to raise a child. In the case of Benjamin Bridge wines, it could be said that it took a family, experienced committed experts and a willing local industry to launch this unique venture. Ashley , now a Vice President with Benjamin Bridge, laughs as she says “I remember spending summers of high school clearing the fields and planting vines.”

Gerry sought out Hans Christian Jost, who willingly shared his experiences with grape varieties, local growers, growing conditions and the many other factors influencing the wine industry in Nova Scotia.  Recognizing he needed help to implement his vision, Gerry approached renowned Canadian wine consultants, Peter Gamble and his partner Ann Sperling, to advise on the shape the winery should take. With Ashley and Devon’s help, the first 5 acres were planted in 2001, with a focus on grapes for sparkling wines and aromatic white wines. At the recommendation of the Gamble/Sperling team, Gerry approached renowned Champagne expert Raphael Brisebois to meet with them, tour Nova Scotia wine estates, and assess the potential for making world-class sparkling wines.

Impressed with the potential, Brisebois agreed to consult and in 2002, the first experimental sparklings were made to assess terroir, varieties, structure and aromatics. More acres were planted, more experiments undertaken. 2004 was the coolest growing season in a couple of decades, yet the quality of the grapes met Brisebois’ exacting standards – and this vintage later became the winery’s inaugural release.  And the risks that the Benjamin Bridge team was willing to take opened the door for other Nova Scotia wineries to pursue a sparkling wine program.

 

The Unique Terroir

The Benjamin Bridge estate sits at the relatively sheltered, narrow head of the Gaspereau Valley, a mere 4 kilometres from the Minas Basin. At the heart of a cool, maritime climate, the valley benefits further from the massive tidal shifts in the Minas Basin, which bring cool breezes and moisture to the vineyards in the summer, and create an open body of water in the winter that helps protect the more delicate vinifera varieties grown on the estate. The narrowness of the valley and its slight westward tilt mean that ambient temperatures can be up to 2C higher than other sites, providing more degree days for optimal ripening.

While this is a region of high rainfall, the autumn tends to be dry, causing stress in the vines which leads to better development of chemical components that enhance flavours. Fall temperatures extend the growing season, maximizing the aromatic intensity and the bright acidity of the grapes.

The young alluvial soils include deposits of sand, gravel, pebbles and cobbles, unlike the Champagne region, where chalk is dominant. However, at deeper levels, there is a layer of clay veined with sand and gravel that provides a water-holding capacity similar to the chalk found in the Champagne landscape.

This is, however, a cool climate that challenges growers on a regular basis. At times, humidity in the evening can reach 100%, so downy mildew is a key challenge. And the uncontrollable weather is a major factor. For instance, the extreme cold of the winter of 2006 meant a minimal harvest of the vinifera grapes – there was no classic sparkling wine made during that vintage.

The Team

After a long search, Jean-Benoit Deslauriers (in above photo left with Gord McConnell– credit Chronicle Herald)  )was hired in 2008 to join the winemaking team – he is now head winemaker. Jean-Benoit had prior experience with organic and biodynamic viticulture and winemaking in Chile’s maritime-influenced Casablanca Valley, as well as in Monterrey, California, where cold Pacific Ocean currents have a significant influence on growing conditions and create ideal conditions for growing Pinot Noir and Chardonnay.

During my phone interview, Ashley and viticulturalist Scott Savoy talked about Jean-Benoit’s unique contribution to Benjamin Bridge:

“Jean-Benoit is a genius at what he does. He brought experience with bio-dynamic winemaking, but also a sensitivity to the terroir and a commitment to letting the grapes speak for themselves – a commitment to transparency of the terroir. There’s a sense of craftsmanship to everything he does. He has embraced the brightness, the acidity, and the freshness of the styles of wine produced in Nova Scotia.”

In 2009, Dara had wound down her legal practice and was taking on responsibility for the development and operations of the winery, working closely with Jean-Benoit. But a crushing blow occurred with her terminal diagnosis in that year. Ashley and Devon were just completing university, and rushed back to the estate to be with her. Dara transferred as much knowledge as possible to them prior to her untimely death in the fall of that year. The twins took on the role of partner with Jean-Benoit as the winery prepared for the 2010 release of its inaugural Benjamin Bridge Méthode Classique sparkling wines, the 2004 Brut Reserve and the 2004 Blanc de Noirs.

In 2011, Ontario had its first opportunity to taste a Benjamin Bridge wine – Nova 7 was made available for a private tasting in the spring of that year, and that is when I first learned of this Nova Scotia winery. The room was buzzing as we tasted this unknown wine – winemakers from across Canada couldn’t wait to taste it, amazed at the unique flavours and texture, the quality of the wine. I was delighted to see it released by LCBO Vintages in August, where I reviewed and rated it at 4.5/5. But more accolades were to follow, with an outstanding review of the 2004 Méthod Classique Brut Reserve from Beppi Crosariol of The Globe and Mail, who described the wine as ‘a sparkler that rivals Champagne.’ More accolades followed and, as they say, the rest is history . . .

But not really, because Gerry, Ashley, Devon and the Benjamin Bridge team will never be satisfied with the status quo.

While their sparkling wines often spend 5 or more years on the lees, they continue to experiment with other methods of achieving the distinctive creamy texture and richness of the wines, as an example, testing the use of neutral oak with some small batches to see if aging in this medium will produce comparable texture and richness.

Viticulturalist Scott Savoy, who joined the team in 2015, is working with Chris Westcott (who stayed on as vineyard manager after the McConnell-Gordon family bought his farm in 1999) to push the limits of viticulture in the valley. They have implemented a program of high-density planting that should allow them to crop less, while giving the vines the opportunity to ripen wood and set reserves (making them sturdier and more resistant to climate extremes).

They recently purchased the vineyard of Dr. Al McIntyre, who had been one of their principal growers, providing Chardonnay and Cabernet Franc grapes. While they currently have almost 70 acres planted to vine, their goal is to expand that to 90, with the majority being vinifera plantings.

As Ashley says, “It’s a never-ending process of experimentation, risk-taking and incremental change, with the goal of delivering world-class wines that showcase Nova Scotia’s winemaking potential.”  Enjoy this unique opportunity to sample the clean, fresh taste of Nova Scotia, brought to you by Benjamin Bridge and the McConnell-Gordon family!

In photo: Devon and Ashley walking with Jean-Benoit.
Photo Credit: Wines of Nova Scotia

 

 

~ SAVVY SOMMELIER TASTING NOTES ~

Savour this unique opportunity to sample 3 classic & unique Benjamin Bridge wines from Nova Scotia – the Méthode Classique Sparkling non-vintage presents a blend of wines from vintages reaching back to 2002, with extended periods of time on the lees; the Tidal Bay appellation wine gives you an opportunity to taste the quality of a blend that includes hybrid grape varieties; the Riesling displays the classic features of a grape variety that thrives in a cool climate.

 

Méthode Classique Brut Reserve NV, $27.95

This sparkling brut is made from a proprietary blend of wines crafted from l’Acadie Blanc, Vidal, Seyval, Pinot Noir and Chardonnay grapes. They were all hand harvested from the Benjamin Bridge estate, while the wine spent extended time on the lees (winespeak: on yeast) to achieve the classic creamy texture and richness that characterizes this ‘house’ style.

Sommelier Tasting Notes:  This harmonious blend of vintages and grapes shows lifted aromas of pear, citrus, biscuit, fine herbs and mineral. Underpinned by an expressive honed acidity, its ebullient, creamy texture is accented by the fine, persistent mousse. Refreshing flavours of lemon cream biscuits, grapefruit and lemon zest mingle with subtle notes of sour cherry and green apple. Dry, mid-weight, with a long-lasting slightly pithy finish, this is an impressive signature wine from Benjamin Bridge.

Suggested Food Pairings: Sparkling wine offers such versatility – serve it chilled to whet your guests’ appetites, pair it with a range of appetizers, especially fresh seafood, or enjoy it with poached salmon, grilled white fish, or a chicken Caesar salad.

Cellaring: Enjoy now and cellar up to 10 years.

 

Tidal Bay 2016, $21.95

This wine is a blend produced from unique hybrid grapes (l’Acadie Blanc, Seyval and Geisenheim) known for their resistance to the challenging climatic conditions in Nova Scotia. Wineries across the province producing this wine must meet specified blending requirements: l’Acadie Blanc (the signature grape of Nova Scotia) being the majority grape for the blend, and go through a rigorous technical assessment.

What is L’Acadie Blanc?  It is a Canadian hybrid created in Niagara in the early 1950s by crossing Cascade with Seyve-Villard grapes. While the residual sugar in the wine is relatively high, the vibrant acidity assures that the wine tastes dry.

Savvy Sommelier Tasting Notes:  Displaying an exotic, pungent nose of earthy mineral, tangy citrus and ripe stone fruit, the clean flavours of this light-medium bodied wine are framed by vibrant acidity.   The taste of grapefruit, passionfruit and crunchy apple paired with fine mineral and saline qualities really freshen up your palate.

Suggested Food Pairings: You’ll enjoy this bright, lively Nova Scotia classic wine with a goat-cheese and asparagus quiche, fresh oysters or shrimp, or with pan-fried halibut with a lemon-caper reduction.

Cellaring: Ready to drink now and cellarworthy for a further 5 years.

 

Riesling 2015, $30.95

This is the very first commercial release of a Riesling from Benjamin Bridge. The grapes were sourced from three distinct vineyards on the Bay of Fundy, each lot bringing its unique character from its own microclimate with soils ranging from gravel and clay to deep, sandy loam. The wine is wild fermented, meaning that the indigenous yeasts from the vineyards initiated the fermentation of the wine. Low in alcohol, with a relatively high residual sugar that gives it a nice fruity finish, it nevertheless showcases the cool climate with its clean fresh texture.

Savvy Sommelier Tasting Notes: The ocean and the land blend on the nose, notes of mineral, sea breeze, quince and citrus dominating. Dry on the palate, the first impression is of the silky texture, quickly followed by the bright acidity underlining the lively flavours of citrus, green apple and mineral. The finish is long and zesty, crisp and clean like a bite of a ripe green apple.

Suggested Food Pairings: Pair this wine with smoked trout or salmon canapés or salad, with stuffed pork tenderloin, or with chicken in all its manifestation.

Cellaring: Enjoy now or over the next 5-7 years.


 

~ RECIPES TO ENJOY WITH YOUR SAVVY SELECTIONS ~

Do it the Benjamin Bridge way!  Ashley explains, “We often have a ‘cinq à sept’ with friends (like Happy Hour), where we taste wines & have interesting appetizers.”

Consider preparing these 3 appetizers and inviting a few friends to sample all 3 of these fabulous Benjamin Bridge wines at your own cinq à sept.  If you and friends find some new favorites, call the Savvy Team to order more for you. . . Cheers!

 

With Benjamin Bridge Brut NV…
Roasted Mushroom and Brie Tart

Recipe & Photo credit: FoodlandOntario.ca
Serves 4-8

Ingredients

1 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1 Tbsp balsamic vinegar
1 ½ tsp Dijon mustard
1 clove garlic, minced
½ tsp dried thyme (or 1 ½ tsp fresh)
½ tsp each salt & freshly ground black pepper
12 oz. mixed fresh Ontario mushrooms
½ C thinly sliced Ontario shallots
Half package (375g) frozen puff pastry, thawed
½ C Ontario Brie cheese
2 Tbsp chopped fresh Ontario parsley or Cilantro

Method

Preheat oven to 400F.

In medium bowl, stir together oil, vinegar, mustard, garlic, thyme, salt & pepper. Add mushrooms & shallots; toss to coat. Place in single layer on parchment paper-lined rimmed baking sheet. Roast in 400F oven for 10-15 minutes or until mushrooms soften. Let cool & slice mushrooms. (You can slice the mushrooms first if you wish & roast for slightly less time).

Meanwhile, on lightly floured surface, roll out pastry into 10X12” rectangle. Place on parchment paper-lined baking sheet. Fold dough edges over ½” and crimp with fork. Prick dough inside border every ½”. Bake for 15 minutes or until lightly browned.

Gently flattening baked pastry if necessary, top with mushroom mixture, leaving any liquid behind. Scatter Brie on top. Bake for 15 minutes or until golden brown & cheese is melted. Let cool for 10 minutes. Sprinkle with parsley. Cut into pieces.

Serve warm or at room temperature with a frothy glass of sparkling!

Watch the recipe being prepared on: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ym6gdsm5I80

 

 

With Benjamin Bridge Tidal Bay…
Goat Cheese 
Marinated with Lemon & Herbs

Recipe & Photo Credit: finecooking.com
Serves 4-6

Ingredients

4 oz. log fresh goat cheese, sliced into 6 equal rounds (or you can keep the log whole)
2 tsp loosely packed, freshly grated lemon zest
2 Tbsp finely chopped, drained, oil-packed sun-dried tomatoes
½ tsp minced capers
1 tsp coarsely chopped fresh thyme leaves
Sea salt
3 small rosemary sprigs
½ C extra-virgin olive oil, more if needed
Crostini or good-quality crackers for servings

Method

In a small, shallow dish (about 1 ½ C) capacity, preferably straight sided, arrange the 6 pieces of goat cheese in one layer. Don’t worry if some of the cheese pieces crumble; just tuck them into the dish. Sprinkle the lemon zest, sun-dried tomatoes, capers & thyme over the cheese. Sprinkle a little of the sea salt over the cheese & tuck the rosemary sprigs into the dish.

Pour the olive oil over the cheese so it just covers it (use a little more if necessary). Let the cheese marinate in the refrigerator 2-6 hours (you can serve it sooner if you wish). Bring the dish to room temperature (about 45 minutes) before setting it out with a small hors d’oeuvre knife & a plate of crostini or crackers.

Spread a teaspoon or so of the cheese (with some of the marinade ingredients) over a crostini or cracker to serve.

 

 

With Benjamin Bridge Riesling…
The Oceanaire Seafood Room’s Maryland-Style Crab Cakes

Recipe & Photo Credit: Oceanaire.com
Serves 8

Ingredients

2 eggs
1 C mayonnaise
¾ tsp Dijon mustard
1 ¼ tsp Old Bay Seasoning, divided
¾ tsp chopped fresh tarragon
¼ C finely chopped onion (or shallot)
1 Tbsp finely chopped celery
¼ lb (scant 2 C) crustless cubed white bread, cut into small cubes
1 lb jumbo lump crab meat, drained of any liquid
2 Tbsp butter, a room temperature

Method

Heat oven to 400F.

In a medium mixing bowl, whisk together the eggs, mayonnaise, mustard, ¾ tsp Old Bay Seasoning, tarragon, onion & celery to make a dressing.

In a large mixing bowl, toss the bread with half of the dressing, mixing until the dressing is absorbed by the bread and the cubes are slightly broken up. Add additional dressing if the cubes are too dry.

Gently mix in the crab, being careful not to break up the lump pieces. The mixture should hold its shape when formed into a ball with your hand. If it is too dry, add additional dressing until the mixture comes together. You might not use all of the dressing.

Divide the mixture & form into 8 crab cakes. Place the cakes on a greased cookie sheet or sheet pan.

In a small bowl, stir the butter together with the remaining ½ tsp Old Bay Seasoning. Top each cake with a small dollop of the seasoned butter.

Bake cakes until golden brown, about 10-12 minutes. Serve warm.

 

 

Happy Canada 150!

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A Vegan Winery?

Posted by David

Thursday, May 4th, 2017
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What’s in your wine? Many wine drinkers aren’t aware that wines commonly have additives like gelatin, eggs, or milk products added to them to adjust the flavours or help clarify the wine. Most of those additives come out of the wine again before bottling, but some people are still uncomfortable with the idea.

This month in Savvy Selections, we feature award-winning wines from Prince Edward County’s  Karlo Estates. Karlo produces a selection of delicious, food-friendly whites, rosés and reds, and they’re also the only “plant-based” winery in the world. We give you the vegan backstory on the following pages.

Get ready to uncork & enjoy your Savvy Selections…

In your Savvy Selections you will find 3 of our Sommelier’s favourite Karlo Estates wines. 

2015 Niagara Peninsula Riesling Crisp and refreshing!
2015 Patio Reserve Rosé – Proving how flavourful rosé can be.
2013 Triumvirate – Food-friendly, with bracing acidity and wow! flavours.

 

Wines with style

Karlo takes full advantage of Prince Edward County’s unique terroir to make wines that are distinct and elegant. Our Savvy Sommeliers know you’ll love them as much as we do. Call on us at anytime you would like additional bottles of your favourite Karlo Estates wines – or other wineries we have featured in Savvy Selections.

Your Canadian Wine Hotline is 613-SAVVYCO (728-8926) or send me an email to debbie@savvycompany.ca

 

Meet Sherry, Derek & the Karlo Team at Terroir – Wine Celebration in Picton on Saturday May 13 where all of Prince Edward County will be under one roof.  This all day event will be filled with delicious discoveries.  See you there!

Cheers,

Debbie & Savvy Team

 

 

Introducing…

Karlo Estates

Presented by Sommelier David Loan

When Sherry Martin Karlo (in photo) was in university, she noticed two things: she was broke, and she was putting on the dreaded ‘freshman fifteen’. “I started eating mostly vegetables and realized I was losing weight,” Sherry said. “Then I went to a slaughterhouse seminar at the Toronto Veg Food Fest and that convinced me to stick to a plant-based diet.”

 

New opportunities

At that same time, Sherry and her soon-to-be husband Richard Karlo founded Karlo Estates in Prince Edward County in 2005. They built the winery from scratch.

Richard had a passion for making wine and developed his talent and skills through twenty years of very successful home wine making, winning a spectacular number of awards along the way. “When I talked to Richard about diet from an environmental standpoint,” Sherry said, “he realized that he was already making plant-based wines and that it was a growing movement. As a businessman, he realized it was an opportunity he could capture.”

I asked Sherry to explain what she meant by “plant-based” wines. After all, don’t all wines come from grapes? “I like to use a coffee-press analogy,” she starts to explain. “Just like a coffee-press, a vat of wine has a lot of bits of grape and skin and pulp floating around in it. Winemakers add heavier ingredients, like egg whites or milk products or gelatin, which cling to the grape bits and weight them down so they’re easier to remove.”

“At Karlo, we take a different approach.  We use time and gravity to settle out the grape bits.  If we have to intervene to help the process along, we use bentonite clay as a binding agent rather than animal products. We try to avoid the need to adjust the acids or tannins, but if we do, we use potato or pumpkin proteins. It makes it harder to make the wines but people tell us it gives the wine a cleaner profile.”

 

Bridges and turnings

An engineer by trade, Richard led an important side project: building an immense dry-stone bridge over a creek on the property. In addition to being the largest bridge of its kind in North America, the keystone provides Karlo Estates with its iconic logo. Sadly, and with very little warning, Richard was taken by cancer at the end of November, 2014.  The wine community mourned this giant of the industry, who had always lent a helping hand to others. Many – including the Savvy Team – reached out to help.

 

Moving forward

Sherry was able to bring famed winemaker Derek Barnett (right in photo) onboard. Derek had won acclaim at Southbrook Winery and Lailey Vineyards.  “It is a complete pleasure to work with Derek,” Sherry said. “My late husband Richard left huge shoes to fill, and Derek is doing a great job. He’s a big teddy bear and he’s so talented and so nice.

Sherry explained, “2013 was a great vintage. What’s interesting about those wines is that Richard started them but Derek shepherded them into the bottle. 2015 on the other hand was Derek’s first vintage. He joined me at harvest, so they’re his beginning to end.” Sherry said they’re committed to developing great Prince Edward County wines from their own 14 acres of vineyards, but they’re not afraid to bring in Niagara fruit. “We source from Vineland and Niagara so we can get grapes that don’t grow well here, or to do styles that require a different terroir,” she said.

 

Taste of the County

Sherry is proud that The County offers flavours that are unique in the world of wine.   “The County is more nuanced and elegant than other Ontario regions. We have more acidity – it’s a bit more keynote. Our wines are really food friendly because you have the acidity to cut through the fats and the creams. They’re more contemplative.”

We know you’ll agree when you taste these beautiful wines from Karlo Estates!

 

 

~ SAVVY SOMMELIER TASTING NOTES ~

For your Savvy Selection this month, we’ve chosen three wines that demonstrate the powerful elegance of Karlo wines.  We are confident that you’ll love the stunning flavours of these wines, along with some delicious recipes that will perfectly match food and drink.

 

2015 Riesling, $22

Did you know that Ontario produces some of the best Riesling in the world? Or that Riesling is a fantastic, food-friendly wine that shines in summer?

Sommelier Tasting Notes:  Bright straw with a gold hue, this is a wonderful example of dry Ontario Riesling. There are aromas of light petrol (the classic Riesling flavour!), lime, and tart green apple. High acidity. Dry, but with a drop of residual sugar. Tart and puckering with great minerality and just a hint of peach.  The finish is bracing with flavours of limes and green apples.

Suggested Food Pairings: The bright acidity and hint of sweetness on the finish will work well with spicy and fatty foods. Try it with a Thai Red Curry (recipe below).

Cellaring:  Drink at 8ºC within two years.

 

 

2015 Patio Reserve Rosé, $18

Savvy Sommelier Tasting Notes: I mainly drink rosé in the summer. I find the big flavours of a good, dry rosé very satisfying while being refreshed from the well-chilled wine.  Karlo’s Patio Reserve is made from Frontenac Noir grapes blended with a little Vidal. Frontenac was developed to thrive in our cold climate and it offers fruity, satisfying flavours.

This wine tastes of cherry, strawberry, peach, and mint. It’s mostly dry, with a hint of sweetness to balance the bright acidity. Best comparison? Strawberries and rhubarb! There’s a long, tart strawberry finish. Yum!

Suggested Food Pairings: Off-dry wines pair beautifully with spicy food, and this is no exception. Try spicy paella made with a mix of fresh and preserved vegetables (recipe below).

Cellaring: Ready to drink now, this could be cellared for up to 2 years. Serve between 8-10ºC.

 

 

2013 Triumvirate, $28

Named for the Roman practice of three rulers working together, Triumvirate is blended from Cabernet Sauvignon 62.5%, Cabernet Franc 25%, and Merlot 12.5%.

Savvy Sommelier Tasting Notes: Opaque cherry in colour, there area are big, fruity aromas of blackberries, leather, smoke, black cherries, and mint. On the palate, there’s more of a tart cherry presence, with the smoke and mint and a hint of alcohol. Good, chewy tannins and medium-plus acidity, this has a long tannic and tart cherry finish. This wine is meant to go with good food!

Suggested Food Pairings: The mouth-watering acidity and fresh fruit notes make us think Italian. And what better time than spring to try a new way of serving pasta? Serve this bright wine alongside pasta with ramps, fiddleheads, and sausage (recipe below).

Cellaring: Drinking well now, this can cellar 3-5 years. Serve at 14-16ºC.

 

 

~RECIPES TO ENJOY WITH YOUR SAVVY SELECTIONS~

Since we’re having plant-based wine, let’s try some flavourful veg dishes for a warm spring or hot summer’s day or make it a Meatless Monday!

 

With Karlo Estates Riesling…

Veggie Thai Red Curry

Recipe & Photo credit: BBCGoodFood.com
Serves 4-6

Ingredients

200g firm tofu, cubed
4-5 tbsp soy sauce
Juice 3 limes
2 red chillies – minced
1 zucchini – chopped into 1” pieces
1 small eggplant – chopped into 1” pieces
2 tbsp vegetable oil
400ml can reduced-fat coconut milk
½ red pepper – deseeded and chopped into chunks
140g mushrooms, – halved
140g sugar snap pea
20g pack basil leaves – chopped
1 tsp brown sugar
Cooked jasmine rice to serve

 

Paste

Make a fresh spice paste or use your favourite bottled or dry curry spice!

3 red chillies
1 lemongrass, roughly chopped
3 shallots, roughly chopped
½ red pepper, deseeded and roughly chopped
Zest 1 lime
Stalks from 20g pack coriander
Thumb-size piece ginger, grated
2 garlic cloves
1 tsp freshly ground pepper
1 tsp ground coriander

 

Method

Whiz the paste ingredients in a food processor. Marinate the tofu in 2 tbsp soy sauce, juice 1 lime and the chopped chilli.

Heat half the oil in a large pan. Add 3-4 tbsp paste and fry for 2 mins. Stir in the coconut milk with 100ml water, the zucchini, eggplant, and pepper and cook for 10 mins until almost tender.

Drain the tofu, pat dry, then fry in the remaining oil in a small pan until golden.

Add the mushrooms, sugar snaps and most of the basil to the curry, then season with the sugar, remaining lime juice and soy sauce. Cook for 4 mins until the mushrooms are tender, then add the tofu and heat through. Scatter with sliced chilli and basil and serve with jasmine rice.

 

 

With Karlo Estates Patio Rosé…

Paella

Recipe and photo: CrazyVeganKitchen.com
Serves 4

 

Ingredients

2 ½  cups Vegetable Stock
½  teaspoon Saffron Threads
1 ½  Tablespoons Olive Oil
1 large Red Onion – sliced
1 Yellow Bell Pepper – sliced
1 Red Bell Pepper – sliced
1 cup Brown Mushrooms – sliced
3 cloves garlic – minced
1 cup Bomba Rice (or use another short-grain rice)
2 Roma Tomatoes – chopped
1 ½  teaspoons Smoked Paprika
Salt/Pepper
1 cup Green Peas
1 can Artichoke Hearts – drained and chopped
½  cup Parsley – chopped

 

Method

Combine the stock and saffron threads in a medium saucepan and bring to the boil over high heat. Reduce heat to low and maintain a simmer. Meanwhile, heat paella pan on the stove with 1 1/2 tablespoons Olive Oil.

Add Onion to Paella Pan and sauté for 2 minutes. Add sliced red and yellow pepper and continue to sautée till softened, about 5 minutes. Add the mushrooms and garlic and sauté for 5 minutes or until it has softened slightly. Season liberally with salt and pepper.

Increase heat to medium-high. Add Bomba rice, tomato and smoked paprika and cook, stirring, for 1 minute until well mixed through. Reduce heat to medium-low. Add one-third of the saffron infused stock and stir until just combined. Let simmer uncovered for 5 minutes or until liquid is almost absorbed.

Add the next third of the stock and cook for 5 minutes uncovered or until almost absorbed. Add remaining third of stock and cook for 5-10 minutes uncovered.

Sprinkle surface of paella with peas and artichoke hearts. Cover entire pan in tin foil and leave to cook on a low heat for 12 minutes. After 12 minutes, turn heat off but leave the paella pan covered with tin foil for another 10 minutes.

Remove tin foil after 10 minutes and garnish with parsley.

 

 

With Karlo Estates Triumvirate…

Pasta with ramps, fiddleheads & sausage

Recipe and photo: TinyUrbanKitchen.com
Serves: 4

TIP: If you want to veg-ify this recipe, substitute some of the excellent commercial veggie sausages that are widely available from companies such as Field Roast or Tofurky.

Ramps (aka Wild Garlic) and fiddleheads are available at farmers’ markets each spring.

 

Ingredients

Ramps, 1 large bunch (4-6 stalks)
Olive oil, 1 teaspoon
Fiddleheads (optional)
Veggie Sausage, about 6-8 oz
Pasta, 12 oz, fresh, or 8 oz dried
Chili flakes (optional)
Salt and pepper, to taste

 

Method

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. If making dry pasta (8-12 min cook time), add pasta to the pot before beginning to cook the ramps. If using fresh pasta (1-2 min cook time), begin making pasta after the “sauce” part is done.

Cut up the ramp bulbs (white section) into small pieces and separate it from the leaves. Coarsely chop the leaves into 1-2 inch sections. Saute the ramps bulbs in olive oil over medium heat until they soften, about 2-3 minutes.

Add the sausage and break apart the meat with a spatula. Add the ramp greens and the optional fiddleheads. Add salt and pepper to taste.

Once pasta is done cooking, add the cooked pasta and some pasta water (maybe start with ¼ cup?) to the ramps/sausage mixture and stir it all together. If you want it spicy, optionally add red pepper flakes. Since my sausage was spicy I didn’t add any.

 

 

Enjoy the spring with your Savvy Selections!

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Southbrook has a ‘Dynamic’ story!

Posted by Debbie

Tuesday, May 19th, 2015
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Savvy Selections wine of the month club
Featuring Southbrook Vineyards

–  May 2015 –

I don’t know where to start… This month we are featuring Southbrook Vineyards of Niagara-on-the-Lake & they have quite a story to tell. I’ll admit that I was first introduced to Southbrook with a sip of their Framboise raspberry wine. Fruit wine you say – yes!  As the expression goes…’you have come a long way baby!’ Southbrook is now less known for their fruit wine and they are more recognized for their commitment to biodynamic practices at every level in their business. They are also the only winery that we have featured in Savvy Selections who has appeared on Dragon’s Den….more about that on the following pages!

What is Biodynamic you ask?
“It’s extreme organics!” explains Southbrook’s winemaker Ann Sperling.  Her vineyard & winemaking Southbrook winery at nightteam creates wines that express the story both of the grapes & the ground that nourishes them.  Mark our words, with each sip of any wine from Southbrook, you’ll taste their commitment to the biodynamic grape growing & winemaking practices. “We want people to taste the purity in the wines we make,” explained owner Bill Redelmeier.

In your Savvy Selections parcel  you will find an amazing assortment from Southbrook:

Triomphe Chardonnay VQA 2013, $22.95 – an absolutely easy drinking Chardonnay with the refreshing fruit showing through interlaced with oak

Triomphe Cabernet Franc VQA 2013, $21.95 – fire up the BBQ!

Whimsy! Married Young VQA 2009 – $34.95 – this 6 year old wine has aged at the winery & is now ready for you to enjoy.

This selection shows that organic does not need to be expensive.  Our Savvy Selections tasting panel were impressed with the quality & readiness of these wines.  No need to cellar or decant, just twist the cap or pull the cork to enjoy fine Ontario wine.  “I simply want people to say – these wines have character,” states Bill. Let us know what you think.

Read all about it in your Savvy eZine!
While you relax on your dock or deck chair waiting for your BBQ to warm up, flip through the following pages to learn more about biodynamic grape growing & winemaking (I promise not to get technical!), the winery’s fascinating architecture, our Savvy Sommeliers’ tasting notes & recipes provided from Southbrook’s kitchen.

Want more Southbrook wines?
You may have noticed a few Southbrook wines in the LCBO, yet there is so much more available through us or when you visit the winery.  To stock up on any of the Savvy Selections wines, simply call the Savvy Team on 613-SAVVYCO (728-8926) to make a special delivery for you.

Cheers & Enjoy!

Debbie & Savvy Team

 

 

Introducing…
Southbrook Vineyards

Presented by Sommelier Debbie Trenholm

“I thinkBILL AND MARILYN of wine like a talking stick”, shares Bill (right in picture). “You buy the wine because there is a story that you are eager to share with friends.” Bill & I have known each other for many years, yet during our phone conversation we commented that most of the time spent together was seeing each other at wine shows, in meetings at the winery or when Bill flies in to participate in a Savvy Taste & Buy event.  “Let’s make a point to go out for beers next time we see each other”, we said in unison.  It is a well-known fact that the drink of choice by most in the wine industry is beer!

On Dragon’s Den…

After a few beers I will endeavor to real dirt about Bill’s experience on Dragon’s Den in 2012. He explained the audition process and how one hour of filming with 8 cameras was unnerving enough then boiled down into 5 quick minutes we see on TV.  “Over 9,000 people audition and 200 pitches were selected to go before the Dragons,” explains Bill. “I was really hoping that Arlene or Jim would say – I’m in!” While the winery was mentioned several times, Bill’s focus was on pitching Bioflavia –a health bioflaviaproduct used made from the dried and crushed skins of red grapes from their organic vineyards.  This ‘wine waste’ contains high levels of natural and powerful antioxidants.  Bioflavia can be added as an ingredient in smoothies, cooking or baking.  “With the snap of Jim’s fingers, the dough of every Boston Pizza made could be enriched with a teaspoon of our product.” What happened in the Den?  Click to watch the video>>

Biodynamics 101

Bill & Marilyn are the driving force behind the winery’s organic and biodynamic practices. They are the first to tell you that they are fundamentally agriculturalists. Bill explained that his grandfather had a Jersey dairy farm in Richmond Hill.  Growing up, he’d always been surrounded by farmers.  Initially, Bill wanted to start an ice cream company using the rich Jersey milk from his grandfather’s dairy.  grapesThe hurdle came when he discovered that his family’s milk could not be separated out from other Jersey farms – unlike a winery. Long story shortened, Bill shelved the ice cream idea and ventured into the winery business.  “I wanted people to taste the terroir – the exact place where the fruit was grown.”

“We were drawn to biodynamics as it is a way to fully express the vineyard’s character in our wines. I did not want to make low end wines. There is no appeal or talking stick in making 2 buck chuck!”

If biodynamic is a new wine term for you, Southbrook’s winemaker Ann Sperling, puts it simply: ‘extreme organics’.  Biodynamic agricultural promotes the ecological self-sufficiency and internal harmony of the land while taking into account the cycles of nature (ie. various stages of the moon) and there is a philosophical and spiritual aspect woven in too.

Our Sommelier Susan Desjardins (also a trained horticulturalist) explains more.  Growing practices are quite similar to organic agriculture, but a specific calendar is followed to help determine when activities such as pruning and fSouthbrook sorting grapesertilizing should be undertaken in the vineyards. In addition, a variety of treatments are applied to the soil, generally using ingredients that are derived from plants or animals that are integral to the property. Other approaches include planting cover crops between the vines that attract beneficial insects and using lambs to ‘mow’ these areas. Southbrook has 80-90 ewes in their herd.

Ann explained to Susan, “Biodynamics says the farm is an entire ‘living system’. The resulting practices are about quality – quality in the bottle and quality of life.”

Southbrook is the first biodynamic winery in Canada.  They keep company of other well-known wineries including Chapoutier and Domaine Leflaive of France. “Many of the wineries in the great wine regions of France are biodynamic”, Bill explains. “Like Southbrook, their wine labels do not herald their biodynamic certification.  You can tell just by the taste that the wine has soul.”

What is in Bill & Marilyn’s cellar?

There’s about 1800 – 2000 bottles mainly old Bordeaux, ports and Chardonnay. “Nothing fancy to look at but it is well organized with IKEA shelving and like most cellars, there are always cases of wine on the floor.”

 I’ll raise a glass to that! Enjoy your Savvy Selections.

 

~ SAVVY SOMMELIER TASTING NOTES ~

Since 2008, all of the yeast used in the winemaking process is natural yeast.  “We sold all of our commercial yeast and now use what is naturally in the air. Our vineyard is alive!” proudly explains Bill.

 

Triomphe Chardonnay 2013 VQA, $22.95southbrook chardonnay

Made with Chardonnay grapes picked at various times throughout October from 5 different organic vineyards in Niagara.

Savvy Sommelier Tasting Notes: Our tasting panel raved about this lively Chardonnay.  Notes of fresh juicy peach, grapefruit & apples follow through into the taste with a hint of nutmeg & vanilla.  A rich wine that is beautifully balanced, laced with subtle oak with a zip of acidity.  The soul of the wine definitely shines through!

Suggested Food Pairing: This wine is simply delicious on its own (I am enjoying as I write this eZine!), with pork tenderloin, sushi, crabcakes or fish. The Savvy Selections tasting panel had so many good recipes to share and so did the winery, that we have not one…but three recipes that hit the mark! Peach Pizza, Sunshine Salmon & a unique recipe for Banana Leaf Tilapia with Lemon Beurre Blanc Egg Noodles.

Cellaring: Drinking well now or cellar 3-5 years.

Triomphe Cabernet Franc VQA 2013, $21.95triomphe cabernet franc

Ontario continues to impress us with Cabernet Franc wines.  And this one is a fine example of how a big red wine can be made in a cold climate wine growing region. This wine contains 95% Cabernet Franc with a splash (5%) of Merlot to give it finesse.

Winemakers Tasting Notes: The wine presents a nose of red currant with notes of raspberry, savoury herbs and cedar wood. The palate echoes the fruit aromas supported by medium toast and firm tannins. The finish is of medium length and is driven by both fruit and savoury notes.

Note: our Savvy Selections panel tasted a different vintage, so the above notes are provided by the winery.

Suggested Food Pairing: Fire up the BBQ!  Ribs, burgers or spring lamb chops would be a perfect pairing.

Cellaring: Ready now or can be cellared a further 3-5 years.

 

Whimsy! Married Young 2009 VQA $34.95Southbrook married young

As you might imagine, there is no end to experimenting at Southbrook. The Whimsy label is where Ann and the winemaking team stretches their talent and winemaking techniques to play!  Wines are made in small lot batches (so there are no big mistakes).  On the label, each dab of paint represents a different varietal in the Southbrook palette to make an interesting design element that is…simply whimsical.

Winemaker Notes: This blend is 67% Cabernet Sauvignon, 33% Cabernet Franc.  The juice of the two varieties were fermented separately, then blended prior to barrel aging (in French oak) in order to “marry” and create a wine of more complexity, depth and completeness.  Released in February 2015 after several years aging at the winery. 138 cases were produced….and Savvy Selections subscribers took many of them!

Savvy Sommelier Tasting Notes: Gorgeous! A smooth, delicious deep red wine that has blackberry, boysenberry, black licorice, leather, cedar and forest floor (think of walking in the woods after a rain). Tannins have mellowed with age, with a zip of acidity that will smooth out with food (we tried it with old cheddar), and long lingering smoky finish.

Suggested Food Pairing:  Beef, beef, and beef! If you are vegetarian, then grilled mushrooms will be delish!

Cellaring: Ready now, no need to wait any longer.

 

~ RECIPES TO ENJOY WITH YOUR SAVVY SELECTIONS~

 

With Southbrook Triomphe Chardonnay

Peach Pizza

From Southbrook’s Kitchen
Serves 4

Ingredients

flatbread
fresh peaches – from Niagara of course!
goat cheese
2 tbsp organic honey
½ tsp balsamic vinegar
olive oil
fresh basil

Method

Combine balsamic vinegar and organic honey with olive oil to taste. Stir until combined.

Half peaches and lightly brush with oil, to prevent sticking on the BBQ.

Place flesh side down on BBQ on medium heat for 5 minutes.

Brush flatbread with olive oil and kosher salt. Put on BBQ on medium heat for a couple minutes.

Remove peaches and flatbread.

Cut peaches onto the flatbread and sprinkle cheese onto pizza. Drizzle balsamic honey dressing on top.

Cook on top rack until cheese is melted. Remove and sprinkle chopped basil on top.

Cut and enjoy!

 

Another recipe to serve with

Southbrook Triomphe Chardonnay

Sunshine Salmon

From Kitchen at Publix
Serves 4

Ingredientssunshine salmon - Publix

2 teaspoons garlic, finely chopped
1 Tbsp fresh dill, finely chopped
2 oranges
½ cup sweet white wine (or chicken broth)
4 (6-oz) salmon fillets, skin removed
1/4 teaspoon pepper
2 Tbsp orange marmalade
1 Tbsp Dijon mustard
1 Tbsp unsalted butter

Method

Cut ½ orange into ¼ inch-thick slices (rounds), then cut slices into quarters. Squeeze remaining 1 ½ oranges for juice (about ½ cup).

Place wine, orange juice, garlic, dill, and orange slices in large sauté pan and cover; bring to a boil on medium-high. Reduce heat to low; simmer uncovered 7 minutes.

Check fish for bones. Season salmon on both sides with garlic seasoning and pepper. Add salmon to wine mixture; simmer 3–4 minutes on each side or until salmon is opaque and separates easily. Transfer salmon to serving dish.

Add marmalade and mustard to wine mixture; cook and stir 1 minute or until marmalade dissolves and sauce thickens. Remove pan from heat; stir in butter (being gentle while stirring, so fruit stays intact). Pour sauce over salmon & serve.

 

Even more recipes to serve with Triomphe Chardonnay!

Spicy BBQ’d Banana Leaf Tilapia with Lemon Beurre Blanc Egg Noodles

From Southbrook’s Kitchen
Serves 4

 Ingredients for Tilapia

4 pieces of tilapia
4 pieces of banana leaves
¼ Spanish onion
3 cloves garlic
1 red chili
1 tsp tumeric
½ tsp sea salt & cracked pepper
2 stalks of lemon grass
1 Tbsp of vegetable oil
¼ cup butter
8 wood skewers

Ingredients for Lemon Beurre Blanc Egg Noodles

½ cup white wine
1 cup 35% cream
2 lemons – juiced
1 cup butter
4 pieces of baby bok choy
egg noodles
1 cup of sliced cherry tomatoes

Method for Banana Leaf Tilapia

Finely dice Spanish onion, garlic, red chili (seeds removed) and lemon grass. Add salt, pepper, tumeric, vegetable oil and butter. Mix well.

Place tilapia on the banana leaf and spread marinade over fish. Wrap the banana leaf around the tilapia and secure with skewers.

Heat one side of the BBQ to high. Place wrapped fish on direct heat. Sear 2 minutes per side and then move wrapped fish off direct heat and finish cooking for 10 minutes with BBQ closed. Should reach 375°F.

Method for Lemon Beurre Blanc Egg Noodles

In a large sauce pan, combine wine, cream and lemon juice. Bring to a boil, stirring constantly. Reduce heat and simmer until ½ of the volume remains.

Add 1 cup of butter. Stir constantly. Sauce will thicken with the addition of butter. Continue stirring until desired consistency is reached.

In a separate pot, steam baby bok choy. At the same time, cook egg noodles. Drain noodles.

Add baby bok choy and uncooked, diced cherry tomatoes. Slowly add Beurre Blanc and stir. Serve with Banana Leaf Tilapia on top of the noodles.


With Southbrook Triomphe Cabernet Franc

BBQ Smoky Pork Ribs with Asian Slaw

From: Regan Kapach – Southbrook’s Assistant Winemaker

Serves several rib lovers!

Ingredients for RibsWINERY

1 side pork ribs
1 onion, roughly chopped
3 cloves garlic, halved
1 to 2 litres beer
1 to 2 litres water
1 bay leaf
1 Tbsp each salt & pepper
1 Tbsp Chinese five spice
1 tsp cloves
2 inches fresh ginger
1 cup homemade BBQ sauce

 Method for Ribs:

Portion ribs into ‘four-rib’ pieces for easier cooking and serving.

Parboil the ribs for 2 hours in mixture of half water/half beer (enough of each to just cover the ribs), plus the onion, garlic, ginger, bay leaf and spices. Remove from pot and refrigerate for half and hour.

Leftover boiling mixture can be strained and reduced to make an amazing beef/pork stew stock!

Fire up the barbie! Cook ribs until done to your liking.

Ingredients for Slaw

½ head of Chinese cabbage, shredded
1 good sized carrot, grated
1 handful of sweet peas, julienned
3 green onions, julienned
1 Tbsp toasted sesame seeds
fresh cilantro to garnish

Mix all ingredients together in a large bowl.  Toss with dressing.  Refrigerate until ready to serve.

 Ingredients for Dressing

2 Tbsp mayonnaise
¼ cup olive oil
1 Tbsp sesame oil
1/3 cup rice wine vinegar
salt & pepper to taste
Whisk together the dressing ingredients and pour over slaw.

 

 Enjoy your Savvy Selections!

 

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Mama Mia! Unique Italian-styled wines from Ontario

Posted by Derek

Monday, April 23rd, 2012
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Savvy Selections wine of the month club
Featuring Colaneri Estate Winery

– April 2012 –


It wasn’t too long ago that people would often cringe at the thought of Ontario wines. However, being a Sommelier and wine marketing business owner involved in the Ontario wine industry, I now revel in pride with how the growing wine industry in Ontario and across Canada too, has flourished and is turning heads with impressive wines. Kudos to our talented winemakers. Now, wine enthusiasts like you, look forward with anticipation when discovering Ontario wines.

A large part of this change is due to those brave entrepreneurs and talented winemakers coming from all parts of the wine world to participate in putting Canada on the wine map. A case in point is the Colaneri family.

Our Savvy Sommelier Derek Vollrath met up with the Betty Colaneri, the family matriarch. The story of the Colaneri family and their wines was one of the most interesting and touching stories that Derek has ever come across.

In this Savvy eZine, Derek introduces you to the Colaneri Estate Winery as well as the family. Also, he provides you with a little “Savvy University” wine education (don’t worry Derek assured me that there is no test!). Deeply rooted in their Italian heritage, in this month’s feature, you are being treated to three different styles of Italian wines crafted right here in our own backyard.

The Savvy Selections tasting panel had several Colaneri wines to sample and it was a difficult job to only pick three wines as we were impressed by the intensity of the aromas and distinctive flavours of each wine. In the end, we selected for your enjoyment – and discovery too! – the following wines:

  • Fumoso Bianco VQA 2009 – rich & fruity, definitely not a typical Sauvignon Blanc
  • Corposo VQA 2009 – this blend of Cabernet Sauvignon & Cabernet Franc, this medium bodied wine is easy to drink with its long cherry finish
  • Insieme VQA 2009 – a big bold & beautiful blend of dried Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot & Syrah
  • OPTIONAL WINE: Profondo Mistera Recioto VQA 2010 – a sweet & succulent dessert wine made with dried Gewürztraminer 


In the last couple of pages in this Savvy eZine, Derek has recipes matched to complement the wines. He highly recommends the stuffed pork recipe that he paired with the Fumoso Bianco (Sauvignon Blanc) wine. “Delicious – pretty much sums it up for me”, reports Derek.

Love these unique wines?

All of us in the Savvy Selections tasting panel agree the Colaneri wines are absolute gems. You won’t find these wines 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. That goes for any of the previous Savvy Selections featured wineries too. Simply, call me at 613-SAVVYCO (613-728-8926) or sending me an e-mail at debbie@savvycompany.ca.

Cheers & Enjoy! – Debbie & Savvy Team
Savvy Company


debbie@savvycompany.ca

Colaneri Estate Winery


Presented by Sommelier Derek Vollrath


The first time I talked with Betty, I was so enchanted by her story that I found myself just listening, forgetting to take notes and ask questions. The second time we talked, I was more prepared.

A Passion for Everything they do 
…
Passion! That is the only word that can be used to describe how the Colaneri family feels about everything from their family, their winery and their wines. Betty explained, “We Italians do everything with passion, we’re a passionate people.”

The story of the Colaneri Estate Winery begins in 1967, when Joseph & Maria Colaneri came to Canada from Italy with their two sons Michele (Mike) and Nicola (Nick). Several years after their arrival here one of the sons, Mike married Angiolina (Angie), while the other son Nick, married Liberina (Betty).  What is touching about this is that two brothers (Mike and Nick) married two sisters, (Angie and Betty).

The Colaneris have been growing grapes in the Niagara region for 34 years. However, they did not become directly involved in the wine making business until 2003. I chuckled as Betty told me that the family agreed to take advantage of an opportunity and replant their grape vines, ”it was either grape vines or Christmas trees”, she recalls. Now, having tasted their wines, I am glad that the family agreed on the grapes!

With the vineyard planted, each family member selected a grape varietal that they felt personified them. Betty chose the Gewürztraminer as she fell in love with the sweet and spiciness of the wine. Once their grape had been chosen, each family member sat with a local artist and had a label designed to reflect their personality. It is definitely intentional that all of the labels have a Leonardo Da Vinci look and feel to reflect the family’s Italian heritage.

During our interview, I remarked to Betty that they sent a large number of wines for the Savvy Team to sample. “The wine is our family; we feel the need to showcase all of them, as it is not right to choose one over the other.”

The family recruited renown winemaker Andre Lipinksi, and although he is not Italian, he was a natural fit because he had experience in producing wines crafted in the appassimento style (read below for an explanation). The Colaneris specifically wanted to focus on styles that emphasized their Italian heritage.

A Sister now watches over …
Betty’s sister and Mike’s wife, Angiolina was a huge part behind the winery. “She was larger than life”, Betty recalls. Although she was able to see the beginnings of the family’s dream during the construction of the winery, she was not able to see it to completion as she unfortunately passed away before it was finished. Betty paused and shared, “Angie’s presence is still felt today”.

As we ended the interview, Betty told me that, “Italy is the inspiration for our wines, while family is the inspiration of the winery. Having family work together to create a legacy that can be passed down to other generations is something that Angie would have wanted.”


Savvy University – Italian Wine Styles 101


Italian wines are as diverse and as unique as the people and the country. Given this, I thought I would dedicate a portion of this article to provide you with basic information about the styles you will be enjoying.

Appassimento: A style of wine in which some or all of the grapes are partially dried before they are fermented into wine. By drying the fruit, there is more sugar, less water and therefore a greater concentration of flavour with the finished wine.

Ripasso (pronounced ree-PAH-soh): In Italian ripasso literally means “re-passed”. After the wine is fermented in the usual way, it is placed in casks containing the lees (winespeak for grape skins) from a prior batch of wine. Usually, the lees of an Amarone wine are used. This process, which lasts from 2 to 3 weeks, adds colour, tannins, body and complexity of flavors to the new wine.

Recioto (pronounced reh-CHEE-oh-toh): This is a distinctive style of wine from the Veneto Region located in northeastern Italy. Grapes are dried in a cool, airy room for up to 4 months until semi-dry, which produces concentrated sugars and flavors. This is like a sweet dessert wine, along the lines of a late harvest.



~ Savvy Sommelier Tasting Notes ~


Fumioso Bianco VQA 2009

$24.95

Colaneri’s Sauvignon Blanc was crafted in the appassimento style with 45% of the grapes being kiln dried before being fermented. In addition to including the dried fruit, this Sauvignon Blanc was both barrel fermented and then barrel aged in French Oak. The combination of these two winemaking techniques resulted in a Sauvignon Blanc that is rich in body and fruit forward in taste. This is definitely not your typical New Zealand style Sauvignon Blanc!

Savvy Sommelier Tasting Notes: Vibrant gold in colour with powerful aromas of apricot, ripe apple and peach. The palate is very fruit forward with banana, peach and ripe pear. The use of dried fruit and oak during the vinification process (winespeak for winemaking) has resulted in a dry wine with a rich mouth feel and a long ripe fruit finish.

Suggested Food Pairing: BBQ chicken with a lemon-tarragon sauce or ravioli stuffed with butternut squash would pair quite well with this Sauvignon Blanc. Derek highly recommends pork tenderloin stuff with ricotta cheese, baby spinach and artichokes. The recipe below is super easy for a main course!

Cellaring: This wine can most certainly be enjoyed now or it can be cellared for up to 18 months.


Corposo VQA 2009

$18.95


This is a blend of 60% Cabernet Franc and 40% Cabernet Sauvignon. It is made in a ripasso style where the wine was re-fermented using Cabernet Sauvignon skins which were used in the production of Colaneri’s signature Amarone wine.

Savvy Sommelier Tasting Notes: A beautiful deep garnet colour. Your nose will be drawn in by intense aromas of white pepper, eucalyptus and dried fruit (can you detect dried cherries?). The palate is a complex array of red currants, dark cherries, tobacco leaf and white pepper. Dry, medium bodied in nature, with a relatively long finish of dried cherries. Try decanting this wine 30 minutes to an hour before serving to allow it to breathe.

Suggested Food Pairing: Crispy duck with spice plum chutney or venison stew would pair well with this wine. The Savvy Selections tasting panel suggests that you pair this wine with roasted garlic lamb leg and rosemary potatoes. A recipe for this crowd pleasing wine follows.

Cellaring: Give it 2 to 3 years in the cellar or enjoy it tonight while watching your favourite movie or show!


Insieme VQA 2009

$34.95

Insieme is named in honour of Joseph & Maria Colaneri, the original matriarch and patriarch that came to Canada from their home country of Italy. In Italian, the word “insieme” means together and as Betty explained, insieme is so fitting a name because Ma and Papa Colaneri did everything together. This wine is an equal blend of Syrah, Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot. It too was made in the appassimento style with 50% of the Syrah and Merlot along with 100% of the Cabernet Sauvignon was kiln dried before fermentation.

Savvy Sommelier Tasting Notes: Garnet red in colour with captivating aromas of warm spices, dried figs and cooked fruit. The palate is loaded with layers of red and black fruit, dried fig accompanied by subtle hints of mocha. The wine is medium to full-bodied with a long and intriguing black cherry finish.

Suggested Food Pairing: This rich wine would pair well with strip loin roast or pasta with a bolognese sauce. We are recommending that you pair this wine with crusty barbequed beef with a horseradish mayonnaise. The recipe for this dish can be found on the following pages.

Cellaring:This wine is drinking well now or if you so desire allow it to evolve in your cellar over the next 5 years.


OPTIONAL WINE: Profondo Mistera VQA 2010

$29.95

Savvy Sommelier Tasting Notes:
Rich, honey gold in colour, with an intense and extreme complex nose. Floral aromas (violets perhaps?
) along with sweet aromas as lychee, ripe pear, honey and sweet spice are definitely detectable. These wonderful aromas follow through on the palate as you will enjoy flavours of honey, brown sugar along with lychee and ripe pear. This is a definite sweet wine, with a cloying mouthfeel and a long pleasantly sweet finish.

Suggested Food Pairing: The food pairing possibilities with this wine are endless. Given the Italian style of you can’t go wrong if you serve this wine slightly chilled accompanied by a traditional Italian antipasto platter of Genoa salami, Capacola ham, thinly sliced prosciutto, roasted red peppers, marinated artichoke heart, stuffed green olives rounded out with Gorgonzola, mozzarella and Parmesan cheeses. Another great pairing would be melon wrapped in prosciutto, the combination of the sweet from the wine along with the saltiness from the prosciutto or antipasto platter is what makes this a classic pairing.

Cellaring: This would make wine can be enjoyed now. As a result of the fruit and acidity in the wine it can easily cellar for 3 to 5 years.

 

~ Recipes to Enjoy with your Savvy Selections ~


With Colaneri Estates Fumoso Bianco

Super-Stuffed Tenderloin
From
Men’s Health Nutrition Guide
Serves 4

Ingredients:
2 lbs pork tenderloin
1 cup reduced-fat ricotta cheese
2 cups chopped fresh baby spinach leaves
½ tsp dried basil
1 small jar artichoke hearts, drained and diced
Olive oil
Salt and pepper to taste

Method:

  1. Butterfly the loin by splitting it down the centre, cutting it almost but not all of the way through and the opening the two halves so that they lie flat.
  2. Stir the cheese, basil, spinach and artichoke hearts together and spread the mixture on the inside of the cut loin.
  3. Roll the loin closed and tie it with cord in approximately five places.
  4. Place the pork in a roasting pan, brush it lightly with oil, and sprinkle it with salt and pepper.
  5. Preheat the oven to 400°F and roast it for 35 to 45 minutes.

 

With Colaneri Estates Corposo

Roasted Garlic Lamb Leg with Rosemary Potatoes
From
Cooks.com
Serves 6-8

Ingredients:
4 lb leg of lamb, bone-in, trimmed
2 heads garlic, halved
3 tbsp olive oil
salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
2 tbsp Rosemary, chopped
3 lbs small red potatoes, halved
grilled asparagus or preferred vegetable, to serve

Method:

  1. Cut off the tips of the heads of garlic and brush the cut sides with 1 tablespoon of the olive oil. Set garlic cut-side down on a sheet pan and roast until it is soft to the touch, about 30 minutes. Let garlic cool for 5 minutes, and then squeeze the roasted cloves out of the garlic and into a bowl. Mash with a fork and spread over the top of the lamb (see tip).
  2. Meanwhile, place the lamb in a large roasting pan and season with salt, pepper and half of the rosemary. Allow to stand at room temperature for 30 minutes to an hour. Place the potatoes in an oven-proof dish and toss with the remaining oil and rosemary. Set aside.
  3. Roast lamb for about 1 hour 40 minutes, until it registers 130-135°F on a meat thermometer for a medium-rare roast, or until the juices run clear when a sharp knife or skewer is inserted in the thickest part of the meat.
  4. When the lamb has been roasting for 40 or 50 minutes, place the potatoes in the oven and bake until well browned and tender.
  5. Transfer the lamb to a warm platter and let rest for 15 minutes. (It will continue to cook as it rests.) Carve and serve with the potatoes and asparagus.


TIP:
The garlic can be roasted and mashed the day before. Store in a tightly sealed container in the refrigerator. You could also spread over the lamb the day before and marinate overnight for a real garlic flavor. Just remember to cover well, and bring lamb to room temperature before roasting.


With Colaneri Estates Insieme …


Crusty Barbecued Beef with Horseradish Mayonnaise
From
The Canadian Living Entertainment Cookbook
, Carol Ferguson
Serves 12

Ingredients:
2 round steaks, 2ibs each

½ cup red wine vinegar
¼ cup olive oil
1 onion chopped
2 cloves garlic, chopped
½ tsp hot pepper flakes
1 cup mayonnaise
⅓ cup chopped fresh chives
⅓ cup chopped fresh parsley
4 tbsp prepared horseradish
2 tbsp Dijon mustard
2 tbsp mustard seeds

Method:

  1. To make the marinade; in a large shallow glass dish or heavy plastic bag set in a bowl, combine vinegar, oil, onion, garlic and hot pepper flakes. Add steaks turning to coat all over; cover tightly. Marinate for 24 to 48 hours in refrigerator, turning occasionally.
  2. To make the horseradish mayonnaise, combine 2 tbsp of mayonnaise, chives, parsley and horseradish. Refrigerate until serving time.
  3. To prepare the coating; mix together the remaining 2 tbsp of horseradish, mustard and mustard seed. Remove steaks from marinade; spread half of the coating over one side of each steak.
  4. Cook in covered barbeque, coated sides up over medium heat for 12 minutes.
  5. Turn meat and spread remaining mustard mixture on cooked side. Barbeque for about 15 minutes or until meat thermometer registers 140°F for rare or to desired doneness.
  6. Let meat stand for at least 10 minutes before carving into thin slices.
  7. Serve with horseradish mayonnaise.

 

Cheers & Enjoy this month’s Savvy Selections!

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