Posts Tagged ‘red wines’

6 wines under $100 – total!

Posted by Julie

Monday, January 11th, 2016
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2016 is off to a great start.  The LCBO Vintages kicks off the year with their annual ‘Smart Buys’ issue. This is always a time to introduce wine drinkers to some new finds under $15 or $20 that will give you the best bang for your buck – quality to price ratio. I tried many and found lots that I could not wait to recommend.

160104-NewArrivals01_enBefore the LCBO fills the Vintages shelves, I have the opportunity to taste too many to count wines and this time I found all kinds of gems at literally, thrilling price points. Even I was amazed at all that I could find for my budget of $100 – that doesn’t happen often!

So as winter settles in, bundle up, venture out to Vintages and load up your shopping cart with my picks of Smart Buys to uncork or stash away.

Happy New Year,

Julie

 

 

 

If I only had $100, I would buy these wines at LCBO Vintages…
Saturday January 9, 2016

 

sparklingLoosen Bros. Dr. L. Sparkling Riesling
Mosel, Germany
$14.95 (Vintages #296095) 12.5% alcohol

I hadn’t planned to do a sparkling wine after featuring several in the last release but after tasting this and at this under $15 price point, I had to share the news. Light, fruity, and fragrant moussey bubbles, made using the Charmat method (winespeak: the second fermentation is done in a pressurized tank to preserve the bubbles), it is an absolutely fabulous sparkling wine. Crisp with orange-lime fruit flavours flowing on the palate and while bone dry, there’s a pinch of sweet lemon curd in the soft mousse (bubbles) that burst in the mouth. A great brunch wine or afternoon delight. It’s too good to be true – stock up!

 

 

fielding chardonnay unoakedFielding Unoaked Chardonnay 2014
VQA Niagara Peninsula, Ontario
$14.95 (Vintages #164491) 12.5% alcohol

Always a fan of the Fielding wines and the family, I couldn’t resist putting this delicate Chardonnay in my basket. It is the kind of wine that would change the minds of folks who say they don’t like Chardonnay. (Not that I personally know many!) Light to medium bodied, fermented in stainless steel, it has soft fruit aromas and flavours of tropical fruits: green apples and apricots. It tastes fresh and pure and is a great sipper on it’s own or with some pasta in a creamy sauce. Again, another steal under $15!

 

Estancia Pinot Grigio 2014bottle-estancia-contemporary-pinot-grigio
California, USA
$16.95 (Vintages #418285) 13.5% alcohol

Warm days and cool nights, give this wine its depth of character. Aromatic and crisp, lots of yellow apple, cantaloupe and ripe pear on the palate. There’s some flinty lemon lime in the aftertaste and very pale in colour so be sure to serve it in a stem glass, otherwise it could be mistaken for water! While that in itself may not appeal to some, I found the wine deliciously fresh. Perhaps better suited for a summer’s day, but if you like or plan on serving a white wine as an aperitif or sip in the afternoon, this is sheer delight at any time of year.

 

sisters run cabernetSister’s Run Bethlehem Block Cabernet 2013
Barossa Valley, South Australia
$15.95 (Vintages #360636) 14.5% alcohol

Talk about a crowd pleasing beauty. Plush, dark, inky layered with red and dark berry fruits that keep you going back for one more sip. Soft tannins mingle in the mouthfeel with something slightly herbaceous at the end. It’s juicy, with a long, fruity, plum ending.

It had so many gold seals on the bottle, I didn’t keep track of the numbers, but more than one wine judge loved this…and I did too!

 

Don’t Hesitate Shiraz 2013dont hesitate
McLaren Vale, South Australia
$17.00 (Vintages #434159) 14% alcohol

You have to wonder where these names come from! As the name suggests…don’t hesitate to pick this up. TIP: pick up more than 1 bottle! It’s another fruity crowd-pleaser, smooth texture makes it easy sipping. Intense dark berry and plum flavours, rich, creamy and velvety with a pinch of sweet spice and pepper on the long finish. If you enjoy Shiraz, this one delivers 100%!

 

felinoFelino Malbec 2014
Mendoza, Argentina
$19.95 (Vintages #118067) 14.9% alcohol

When I have many wines to taste, I’ve starting playing a little star game. Obviously self explanatory but I go back and review – price dependent of course – to offer you as many of my 5 star wines as possible. This was no exception; I had stars and circles that made this sure fire hit jump out of my notes! I did not want to miss sharing this tip with you. Smooth as silk, blackberries and blueberries and other dark berry fruit are layered and bursting with flavours, a little leather and tobacco on the finish. Medium to full bodied with soft tannins, excellent balance and strong Argentinian character. Grilled meats, ribs slathered with spicy sauce, hearty burgers or the finest of roasts, this is one well-made wine….and tastes more than the price tag.

 

GRAND TOTAL: $99.75

6 wines for under $100 – that’s the best yet!

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If I only had $100…I would buy these Canadian wines!

Posted by Julie

Friday, June 20th, 2014
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It’s time to head to LCBO Vintages to stock up on fine Canadian wines to celebrate Canada Day. Oh Canada!!  In this blog, I pay tribute to our young – but rich in history – country with a selection of all-Canadian wines. Whether you are on Parliament Hill, at a cottage, on a golf course or just sitting back in a deck chair, this is our time to shine.

LCBO Vintages June 21As we all know, Canada Day is our national day celebrating the anniversary of the July 1, 1867, enactment of the British North America Act. I’d best not get on my history train, but it seems that in the past couple of weeks, we have seen many milestone commemorations including the 70th year anniversary D-Day invasion.  Raise a glass of European wine that are featured in this release to honour our Canadian veterans.

I had not planned to review 3 rosés but these are just so outstanding, I hope you pick up at least one to help make your Canada Day sparkle.  From coast to coast, thank you to our wineries and winemakers who have given us such outstanding selections.

With true patriot love of all our Canadian wines & Happy Canada Day from coast to coast to coast!

Julie

If I only had $100, I would buy these wines
at LCBO Vintages…
June 21st, 2014 

 

Norman Hardie Riesling 2012

Prince Edward County, Ontario
$21.00 (Vintages 131169)  10.2%

Norman Hardie does not make huge amounts of wine so when this wine comes to Vintages, I would grab a few bottles. Many of his wines are only available to enjoy at a handful of restaurants in Prince Edward County, Kingston, Ottawa and in Toronto. This white wine is light-bodied, crisp clean and delicious, with tastes of limestone and citrus with a great seam of minerality . A more than perfect summer afternoon sipper with a modest alcohol content. If you are having a crowd, stock-up, since I guarantee, it will literally disappear before your eyes.

 

Union Squared RedUnion Squared Red 2012

VQA Niagara Peninsula
$17.95 (Vintages #292359) 13.8% alcohol

This is a perfect wine for juicy burgers – lamb, beef, even vegetarian. It is bright cherry in colour, a blend of Cabernet, Merlot, Syrah, Pinot Noir and Gamay Noir. You can never go wrong with these persistent grape varieties since they grow so well in Ontario soil. This red wine boasts ripe red fruits with grippy tannins which is why is would soak up a juicy rare burger and is bone dry. There’s also a little pepper floating on the palate and makes for an interesting blend.

 

Mission Hill Five Vineyards RoséMission Hill Five Vineyards Rosé 2013

VQA Okanagan Valley, British Columbia
$14.95 (Vintages # 229716) 13.5% alcohol

Years ago, my husband and I visited Mission Hill and it is as memorable as any chateau in France. Lush expanses of vineyards, a tasting room reminiscent of a high end department store and a terrace to lunch which has more view than any room. Despite strong watermelon and strawberry flavours, this rosé could stand up to any grilled chop. Crisp, dry with lots of fruit on the finish. Yum.

 

Tawse Sketches RoséTawse Sketches of Niagara Rosé 2013

VQA Niagara Peninsula
$15.95 (Vintages# 172643) 12.5% alcohol

I’m sorry but some wines are just worth repeating! Winery of the year for three years running – 2010, 2011, 2012 – would indicate to anyone that Tawse makes premium VQA wines. This Sketches Rosé just bursts with red fruit flavours of multiple grape varieties. I find it just slightly off-dry with structure and strength to offer versatility to many foods. Refreshing ripe cherries, cranberries and plums with a great squirt of acidity to keep you coming back for more. Definitely a partner for salmon or pork tenderloin.

 

Pondview Cabernet Franc RoséPondview Cabernet Franc Rosé 2013

VQA Niagara Peninsula
$14.95 (Vintages #241802) 13% alcohol

Many decades ago, as the story goes, winery owner Lou Puglisi was wandering about his property and said to his wife “what a great view of the pond”- hence the name Pondview.  Winemaker, Fred Di Profio allowed the grape skins to remain in contact with the grape juice for several hours creating this beautiful light cranberry colour.  Whether it is the power of suggestion, I taste lots of tart cranberry flavours with hint of pink grapefruit. Bone dry, great acidity and very crisp this medium bodied wine would be fabulous with a charcuterie or just on its own.  Does the yum never end?

 

I totalled my price & realized I had $15.20 left in my $100 budget, so here is a non-Canadian choice of a great summer sipper.

 

Alamos TorrontésAlamos Torrontés 2013

Catena, Argentina
$13.95  (Vintages #81539)  13.5% alcohol

This white wine frequently finds its way to my shopping basket. Torrontes is Argentina’s signature white grape varietal and a great price point. Pale in colour, white blossom aromas, lots citrus, lemon-lime flavour, a little grassy on the finish. It kind of reminds me of a Sauvignon Blanc but is short on the finish. What you taste is what you get, but I love the refreshing clean taste and it’s a great summer wine.

 

GRAND TOTAL – $98.75

 

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Are you going to Taste 3 Remarkable Terroirs?

Posted by Debbie

Wednesday, March 19th, 2014
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Wine lovers…we are in for a treat!  We are excited to host Ann Sperling & Peter Gamble – the husband & wife team who, in my opinion, are rockstars in the wine world.

gamble_sperlingWhen Ann called me to talk about hosting this event I was thrilled.  Make that THRILLED! I first met Ann one cold January night in the vineyard when she called on me to help her with the ice wine harvest at Malivoire (she knew that I was in Niagara as we were going to meet the next day!). Since then, I have been an ‘Ann fan’ enjoying many wines that she has crafted at various wineries – CedarCreek, Malivoire, Southbrook & Sperling Vineyards to name a few where she worked as winemaker or as wine consultant.

And I have marvelled at all that Peter has been involved in too.  He’s a behind the scenes man integral in building winery projects (wine industry speak for wine businesses). Recently he has used his ‘Midas touch’ to help establish one of Nova Scotia’s finest wineries Benjamin Bridge. Knowing that every wine region around the world looks for a signature style of wine, he has been the driving force in the creation of Tidal Bay – Nova Scotia’s a premium white wine that is turning many heads in the wine world.grapes

And if they weren’t busy enough already, this dynamic duo has a project Versado in Argentina where they have been tending to some of the country’s oldest vines of Malbec & crafting incredible wines.

Ann & Peter never seem to stop!

They are making a quick trip to Ottawa (before they head to Argentina for this year’s harvest) to showcase their latest wines. Join us on Thursday March 20th for Taste 3 Remarkable Terroirs – a Taste & Buy event to enjoy & order wines from:

Sperling Vineyards – Ann’s family business that has transformed from being a grape growers & now is a winery making remarkable Okanagan wines.

Benjamin Bridge – one of Nova Scotia’s wineries specializing in uber-premium sparkling wines.

Versado – an amazing Malbec vineyard planted nearly 100 years ago that Ann & Peter have been restoring.

 

Try the wine…buy the bottle

At this Taste & Buy event you’ll have the unique opportunity to order the wines from these wineries to be delivered to your home or office. Special rates on shipping will be offered.

Join us or place your order online >>

BB logo

2009 Brut Méthode Classique $44.50 (new release)
2013 Nova 7 Sparkling $24.95 (new release)
2013 Tidal Bay $21.95
Wine Futures – barrel samples will be tasted at the event.  Wine to be released in June
2013 Vero $21.95
Wine Futures – barrel samples will be tasted at the event.  Wine to be released in June
2009 Borealis Icewine $39.95

 

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2008 Sparkling Brut $39.95
2012 Pinot Gris
$19.00
2011 Old Vines Riesling
$34.95
2013 Rosé of Pinot Noir $22.00 (released last week in time for this event!)
2012 Pinot Noir $26.00
2011 Old Vines Foch $26.00
2011 Late Harvest Gewurztraminer $24.95

 

Versado_logo

2012 Versado Classic Malbec  $24.95
2010 Versado Reserva Malbec
$59.95

Don’t miss this event!

We look forward to having you join us to meet Ann & Peter while you discover their remarkable wines from 3 different terroirs.
Advance tickets only $25 >>

 

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Having a party? Make it a wine, craft beer & artisan cheese tasting

Posted by Debbie

Monday, August 12th, 2013
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Looking for a different party idea for friends or for a business networking event?  We have some wonderful Savvy Sommeliers on our Team and we are called on frequently to create a special gathering for family & friends or businesses call us to design a way to thank clients & employees. No matter what the occasion the events we create are fun.

A few weeks ago we hosted a client appreciation event for a local business to celebrate summer. It was one of those sweltering, steamy days during the mid-July heat wave that you really need to have a chilled Ontario rosé in your hand, or better yet an ice-cold craft beer to help unwind after a busy day. Held at the picturesque Ottawa Rowing Club overlooking the Ottawa River, our guests were treated to the latest & greatest wines from across Ontario in addition to some thirst-quenching craft beers made in Ottawa.

Our guests enjoyed summertime hors d’oeuvres made by The Mixing Bowl Catering that were paired with the various drinks.  And we had a Savvy Cheese Bar with a variety of artisan cheeses from Ottawa & Quebec  that our Cheese Sommelier Vanessa especially selected.

To tempt your tastebuds & give you an idea for your next party, here’s what we served…and we continue to receive rave reviews!

~ On Arrival: Sparkling Wine ~ 

Palatine Hills Romeo Blanc de Noir Sparkling VQA

Special Savvy Bin Ends price $22.95 (regular $29.95)

Popping the cork is a great way to begin any event. This sparkling wine made in Niagara-on-the-Lake is our top selling Savvy Bin Ends wine. Your guests will be Wowed with the light salmon colour & outstanding taste. Made with 100% Pinot Noir grapes, this bubbly is a perfect way to celebrate summer. Refreshing with the zippy acidity & elegant mousse (winespeak: bubbles) with citrus, strawberry & apple notes.

Suggested food pairings: Served well chilled, this wine is lovely on its own, with shrimp or paired with light appetizers.

Chef Scott Lucas at The Mixing Bowl created a Chili citrus marinated watermelon with garlic feta cheese & pickled rind to go with this bubbly.


~ Refreshing White, Rosé Wines & Craft Beers ~

FEATURED WINES:

Keint-He Voyageur Vidal VQA 2011

One of Prince Edward County’s hidden gems! This boutique winery is so small that you won’t find them at the LCBO. We are delighted to showcase their wines in our Savvy Selections wine of the month club.

Vidal is the same grape that is often reserved to make icewine. In this case, this wine is not sweet at all, rather it is dry, crisp & refreshing.  There are loads of delicious aromas & tastes that may remind you of fresh fruit salad in a glass!  Our Savvy Sommeliers picked this wine for our Savvy Selections subscribers to enjoy as it is perfect to unwind in a deck chair at the cottage or back yard deck with a good book.

Suggested food pairings: BBQed pork tenderloin

 

Daniel Lenko White Cabernet VQA 2011 

A unique wine using grapes from some of the oldest vineyards in Niagara, especially a unique Rosé made with Cabernet Franc & Cabernet Sauvignon grapes!

Suggested food pairings: Aromas of wild strawberry, pink grapefruit & peach that follows into the taste. Delicious chilled on its own, with grilled salmon or beef & strawberry spinach salad.

 

Daniel Lenko wines are hard to find & we are delighted to offer them this month for Savvy Selections – our wine of the month club – the best way to have Ontario wines delivered to your door every month! 

  Our Savvy Sommeliers chose 3 wines that are ready to drink now – at the cottage, at a campsite or on a deck chair in your backyard.   In addition to this unique Rose, our subscribers received bottles of these delicious Daniel Lenko wines:

Old Vines Chardonnay VQA 2010 – a classic, finely-balanced Chardonnay barrel aged in French oak
Old Vines Merlot 2008 – a BIG fruit filled red wine.

Sign up now & have great Ontario wines…delivered! 

 

FEATURED CRAFT BEERS:

Beyond the Pale Pink Fuzz

This is a refreshing wheat beer that the brewmaster (who remarkably doesn’t like fruit of any kind!) concocted by adding grapefruit zest and pulp at different points in the beer making process to insert a zippy character of grapefruit into the beer.  The hops were carefully selected to specifically emphasize the citrus notes in each pint.

Photo credit: Debbie Trenholm

Big Rig Raspberry Ale 

Brewmaster Lon Lodell tapped the keg of his first-of-its-kind creation at Big Rig in time for us to showcase at this corporate event.  Our guests were treated to this brand new wine!  A refreshing cold one with subtle raspberry – we heard many ‘yum’ followed by nodding heads of approval were heard at the event. This brew certainly made an impression

HORS D’OEUVRES SERVED:

Roasted asparagus-risotto cake with herb mascarpone cream
Honey date chicken roulade on a sweet potato coin

~ Red Wines & Craft Beers ~

FEATURED WINES:

Lailey Vineyard Canadian Oak Pinot Noir VQA 2008

There is a fantastic story about how winemakers where talking shop over beers at a summer backyard BBQ & created a new way of aging wine…with native Canadian oak.  Read this story in our Savvy eZine – our mini magazine for our Savvy Selections subscribers. 

When plans were made for Bank of Canada’s Mark Carney’s final Board of Governors dinner, I was called on to be the Sommelier for this VIP event & it was easy to select this truly Canadian wine crafted in Niagara-on-the-Lake by Lailey’s renowned winemaker Derek Barnett.

Suggested food pairings: Pinot Noir could be served lightly chilled (10 mins in the fridge) with BBQed salmon, pork chops or portabello mushrooms.


Kacaba Cabernet-Syrah VQA 2011

Now this is a BIG red wine! Whenever I am asked to find a bold red wine from Ontario…Kacaba Vineyards of Beamsville Bench (aka Niagara Escarpment) will always impress. They are consistently crafting outstanding red wines that turn heads & win awards. Few of their wines are available at the LCBO, so we showcased their big red wines in our Savvy Selections wine of the month club early this year.

Suggested food pairings: Fire up the BBQ & uncork this wine to enjoy with steak, lamb, burgers…and ribs too!

FEATURED CRAFT BEERS:

Kichesippi Hell or Highwater

This is the summer seasonal beer from Ottawa’s first brewery. Only brewed until mid-August, be sure to visit the brewery to get some of this Bavarian Lager.  Brewed with a combination of German malts, German noble hops and a genuine Munich yeast, this is a good example of the ‘session beers’ enjoyed in Bavarian beer gardens…or your back deck in Ottawa!

Beyond the Pale Hop on your Face

A uber hoppy beer, this brew has strong aromas & tastes of hops.  This big beer loaded with high alcohol at 7% is the cold one you want to have with heavier foods – think BBQed steak, ribs or thick pork chops.

HORS D’OUEVRES SERVED:

Olive stuffed meatball crusted with parmesan & tomato coulis
Wild mushroom gallette with avocado pesto

~ Savvy Artisan Cheese Bar~ 

Have you had cheese & wine – absolutely!  How about cheese & beer?  Our Savvy Cheese Sommelier Vanessa selected these cheeses from across Canada that she thinks are great to nibble on during the summer:

Bonnechere

Raw sheep’s milk made by Back Forty Artisan Cheese located in Lanark County, Ontario

Interesting Fact: Pressing a cheese during the cheesemaking process expels more whey and gives the paste a firm, dense texture as found in Bonnechere. 

Migneron de Charlevoix

Pasteurized cow’s milk made by Madison D’Affinage Maurice Dufour, Baie-Ste.-Paul, Quebec

Interesting Fact:  Washed rind cheeses age or ripen from the outside in, and the inside out, contributing to both the complexity of the aging process as well as the flavors and aromas of the cheese itself.

Avonlea Clothbound Cheddar

Raw cow’s milk made by Cow’s Creamery, Charlottetown, PEI

Interesting Fact:  Roughly 100 liters of Holstein cow milk goes into making 1 wheel of Avonlea Clothbound Cheddar

Chèvre Fatale

Pasteurized goat’s milk made by Fromagerie Les Folies Bergères, Sainte-Sixte, QC 

 

Need a hand planning your party?

Call on us anytime.  Whether you’re planning a surprise birthday celebration, a family get-together, a client appreciation event or corporate team building, we can make all of the arrangements for you.  Whether wine, beer, cheese or catering is required, every event we design is customize & will suit your budget.

Give us a call at 613-SAVVYCO (728-8926) to talk to Amanda our event manager extraordinaire or email her on amanda@savvycompany.ca .  We are ready to help make your next event a memorable one!

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Say ‘Si’ to Argentina!

Posted by Susan

Friday, June 7th, 2013
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The spotlight is shining on Argentina’s Mendoza region – the country’s major grape-growing area – in the June 8 LCBO Vintages release. This is a great opportunity to stock up on value wines, many under $20. The selection includes a creamy Chardonnay from Alamos (only $13.95),  the country’s signature white grape – Torrontes – and a range of varietal red wines and blends showcasing classic red wine varieties such as Malbec and Bonarda. A good example of this red blend is Familia Mayol ‘Quatro Primos’. Look for loads of flavour, attractive complexity, warmth and balance in the wines.

Mendoza – The ‘Wine Capital’

Mendoza, the city, is known as Argentina’s ‘Wine Capital’ and anchors the wine region at the heart of Argentina’s wine production. Wines in Mendoza benefit from the intense sunlight of high altitudes, cool night temperatures that ensure retention of acidity, and dry air that mitigates against disease. Warm temperatures produce well-ripened grapes with plenty of sugar, leading to softer tannins and higher alcohol. The soils are sandy, and flood irrigation has been used for many years (although drip irrigation is making inroads), with the result that phylloxera has not posed a significant threat and many vines can be grown on their own rootstock.

Malbec is perhaps the best known grape of Argentina, a variety that was relatively insignificant as a part of Bordeaux blends in France but has come into its own in Argentina. The deep-coloured, flavourful Bonarda is increasingly making its presence felt in the export market, either in varietal wines or as a significant part of blended red wines.

Looking for a Father’s Day idea?

In addition to wines from Argentina, this Vintages release focuses on high-end Scotch and wines for Father’s Day, including a fine Chardonnay from Coyote’s Run, approachable red wines such as the deLoach Zinfandel, and wines to be cellared such as the Ridge Estate Cabernet Sauvignon. My personal choice would be the Duckhorn Cabernet Sauvignon, a wonderful wine at a very reasonable $29.95.

Rosé wines are here!

For those of us who love rosé for its versatility, and for sipping on a warm summer’s day, peruse the Local Talent feature for some delicious Ontario wines; two of my favorites—Château des Charmes ‘Cuvée d’Andrée’ Rosé and Pondview Cabernet Franc Rosé, appear in our selection at only $14.95!

More great value wines…

And to top it all off, there are more great values, several of which are included among the six wines I have selected below in my shopping list. And if you have some spare change, add to your shopping cart these extras: the full-bodied Côtes du Rhône blend, Les Halos de Jupiter, Rocca delle Macie’s  Chianti Riserva,  the Tedeschi Appassimento, and Lealtanza Crianza, a finely balanced Tempranillo from the Rioja.

Cheers and Enjoy!

Susan

 

Luigi Bosca Pinot Noir 2010

Mendoza, Argentina
$17.95 (Vintages #143420) 12.6% alcohol

With just six months in barrel, this is a very attractive mid-weight Pinot Noir showcasing vibrant red fruits, dried herbs, a hint of cedar and an elusive floral note. Dry and quite juicy in texture, the delicate tannins and lively acidity complement lovely red fruits—cranberry, raspberry and cherry. Touches of spice, toast and earth add complexity through a lengthy dry finish. A versatile wine offering great value, pair it with lighter meat dishes, grilled vegetables or salmon.

13th Street  Winery White Palette 2011

VQA Niagara Peninsula, Ontario
$14.95 (Vintages #207340) 12.5% alcohol

A blend of several perfumed grape varieties, the aromas of Gewürztraminer and Riesling shine through on the nose with notes of spicy tropical fruit, citrus and white flowers. Dry, medium bodied, the wine is fleshy yet fresh, fruity and spicy with a nice slightly pithy note on the vibrant, clean finish. Sip on the patio, or serve with salads or seafood.

 

Château des Charmes Rosé ‘Cuvée d’Andrée’ 2012

 VQA Niagara-on-the-Lake, Ontario
$14.95 (Vintages #333260) 12.5% alcohol

The depth and character of this Pinot Noir rosé is suggested to reflect the personality of matriarch Madame Andrée Bosc. An electric deep rose, it’s wonderfully fragrant with notes of apple blossom, red berry and cherry. Dry, vibrant and mid weight, notes of dried herbs and white pepper add complexity to the luscious red fruit—strawberry, red currant and raspberry. Tangy acidity offers a nice balance to a well-crafted wine that finishes crisp and fruity. A versatile choice that has the heft to pair with a range of foods from strawberry balsamic spinach salad to grilled meats. Stock up and enjoy!

 

Pondview Cabernet Franc Rosé 2011

 VQA Four Mile Creek, Ontario
$14.95 (Vintages #241802) 13.5% alcohol

Lou Puglisi has done it again, creating a salmon-hued beauty that offers amazing complexity—sweet cherry/berry aromas, honey and toasted coconut—as well as outstanding value. Just off-dry, medium bodied, this is a rosé with presence and a fine tension between crisp acidity and tangy, juicy red fruit. There’s a light touch of spritz on the palate, warmth and intense flavour through the extended finish. Savour it well chilled on the screened porch this summer.

 

Sileni ‘The Triangle’ Merlot 2010

Hawkes Bay, New Zealand
$16.95 (Vintages #586081) 14.0% alcohol

Aged in French and American oak, this is an impressive, value-laden wine serving up complex aromas and flavours. On the nose, dark and dried fruit, vanilla, dried lavender, sandalwood and cocoa. Displaying a firm yet subtle structure, it grabs your attention with a tangy peppery note followed by a rush of dark plummy fruit, notes of licorice and earth. Tasty, well crafted, and well worth cellaring, you’ll want to pick up a few bottles.

 

 

Les Vignes ‘Bila-Haut’ Côtes du Rousillon-Villages 2011

 AOC Côtes du Rousillon-Villages, France
$14.95 (Vintages #168716) 14.5% alcohol

This blend of Grenache and Syrah from Chapoutier is a remarkable value and consistently good from vintage to vintage. Deep ruby, fruit forward, with a kiss of spice and vanilla, it’s dry, round and full bodied. Very approachable, loaded with luscious dark fruit, notes of licorice, pepper and spice add interest and allure. There’s the structure to balance the fruit and a big lip-smacking finish that says ‘bring on the barbequed meat’.

 

Load up  your shopping cart!

Grand Total: $94.70

 

 

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27 wineries from Niagara-on-the-Lake are coming to Ottawa!

Posted by Debbie

Monday, May 13th, 2013
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We are so excited that all of the wineries from Niagara-on-the-Lake are coming to Ottawa for our 3rd  annual One Unforgettable Taste & Buy.  That means that there will be over 50 wines for you to discover! 

Many of the wineries will be serving wines from the highly awaited 2012 vintage.  Remember that incredible spring, summer & fall we had?   “2012 provided us with spectacular conditions for growing grapes. Ottawa will be the first to try these excellent wines.”  Derek Barnett – winemaker & co-owner of Lailey Vineyard

Have a look at all of the wineries who will be featured at this event:

 

Taste, Discover & Order…

As you sip & savour the wines, mix & mingle with the award winning winemakers & winery owners.  You will have the unique opportunity to taste, discover & order your new favorite wines – none that are available at LCBO. Stock up on your favorites wines & they will be delivered to your home or office – within a week! 

BONUS:  You can order ANY combination of outstanding wines from ANY of the featured wineries at this event & they will be delivered by courier for FREE  when you order 12 bottles or more!

Where to start?  No problem! Our Savvy Team of Sommeliers will be on hand to share recommendations of ‘must try wines’ to match your personal preferences.

 This Taste & Buy event will  sell out again this year, so avoid disappointment.  Order your tickets on www.unforgettablenotlwines.eventbrite.com  Use promo code: BESAVVY & you’ll get an additional $10 off each ticket!

 

Event Details

DATE: Tuesday May 28, 2013
EVENT TIME: 7 to 9 pm

LOCATION: The NEW Canadian Agriculture & Food Museum Located at the Central Experimental Farm, 861 Prince of Wales Drive, Ottawa
Plenty of free parking available.

 

ADVANCE TICKETS ONLY

Savvy Special! $55 per person when purchased before Saturday May 25, 2013 Regular ticket price: $65

$200 for a group of 4 people (save $15 each)

Price includes wine tasting, artisan cheeses, Savvy wine tasting glass & HST.   

Click to order online now >> 

 

Can’t make it but want to order Niagara-on-the-Lake wines?

No problem! Simply email our Savvy Team or call us on 613-SAVVYCO (613-728-8926) & we’ll make the arrangements for you.  Place your order before May 30th to take advantage of the FREE shipping offer on a case of wine.

 

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Discovering wines from ‘The County’…

Posted by Debbie

Monday, April 15th, 2013
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Back by popular demand, for the 2nd year in a row, we are hosting the County in the City wine tasting, giving you the opportunity to Taste & Buy wines from Prince Edward County.   If you haven’t heard, ‘The County’ – as it is known – is Canada’s fastest growing wine region with over 30 wineries and counting…and it is only a 3 hour drive from Ottawa  & Toronto.

This event is almost sold out.  Buy your tickets >>

 

 

This event is about tasting, discovering & ordering …  

Have a look below at the large selection of outstanding wines that will be uncorked to enjoy.  None of these wines are available at the LCBO.

Exclusive at this event: you can order ANY combination of outstanding wines from ANY of the featured wineries & they will be delivered by courier to your home or office. Free shipping on all orders of 12 bottles or more!

Featured wineries & wines:

Casa Dea Estates Winery

2011 Dea’s Cuvée Sparkling Wine $18.95

2009 Riesling $16.95

2009 Chardonnay Reserve $24.95

2009 Cabernet Franc $18.95

2010 Pinot Noir $19.95

 

County Cider Company – showcasing their hard apple ciders

Waupoos Premium Cider (4 x 341ml) $13.35

County Cider (1L) $7.85

Waupoos Peach Cider (1L) $9.95

Waupoos Feral Cider (1L) $9.95

Tortured Path Cider (500ml) $7.95

Prince Edward Ice Cider (375ml) $29.95

 

Devil’s Wishbone Winery

2012 Pinot Grigio $23.00

2012 Pinot Gris Rosé $22.00

2011 Merlot $24.00

2010 Cabernet Sauvignon $26.00

 

Exultet Winery

2012 Cru X White Light $25.00

2010 Cru X Pinot Noir $29.95

 

Harwood Estates Vineyards

2011 Pinot Gris $18.00

2010 Gewürztraminer $20.00

2011 Chardonnay $32.00

2009 Friends Rosé $18.00

2010 The Admirals Blend (Pinot Noir) $25.00

2009 Just Desserts (Late Harvest Style) $25.00

 

Karlo Estates

2010 Riesling $22.00

2010 Chardonnay CHOA $25.00

2011 Frontenac Gris Rosé $16.00

2010 Cabernet Merlot $24.00

2010 Merlot $24.00

2010 Pinot Noir $29.00

2010 Quintus $35.00

2010 The 5th Element $39.00

2010 VanAlstine White Port $29.00

2009 VanAlstine Red Port $29.00

 

Keint-He Winery & Vineyards

2009 Chardonnay $20.00

2011 Voyageur Rosé $15.00

2011 Portage Pinot Noir – $25

2009 Pinot Noir, Little Creek – Closson $29.00

2012 Voyageur Vidal $17.00

2008 Pineaux Sauvage (a Botrytis Affected Pinot Noir) $25.00 – Special price.  Regular $50.00

 

Lighthall Vineyards

2012 Progression Sparkling $20.00

2009 Chardonnay $25.00

2010 Chardonnay $25.00

2011 Gewürztraminer $25.00

2010 Pinot Noir $25.00

 

Long Dog Winery

2008 Bella Riserva Chardonnay $18.00

2009 Bella Riserva Chardonnay $22.00

2009 Otto Pinot Noir $24.00

2007 Otto Pinot Noir $30.00

2008 Top Dog Pinot Noir $24.00

2009 Top Dog Pinot Noir $30.00

 

Rosehall Run Vineyards

2011 Pinot Gris Cuvée County $19.95

2010 Cabernet Franc Cuvée County $24.95

2010 JCR Chardonnay Rosehall Vineyard $29.95

2010 JCR Pinot Noir Rosehall Vineyard $39.00

 

Sandbanks Estate Winery

2011 Gewürztraminer $16.95

2012 Dunes Red $14.95

2010 French Kiss (Cabernet Merlot) $24.95

201 LOVE Cassis Aperitivo $14.95

 

Stanners Vineyard 

2011 Riesling $23.00

2010 Chardonnay $25.00

2009 Cabernet Franc $22.00

2010 Pinot Noir $30.00

 

The Grange of Prince Edward County Vineyard & Estate Winery

2011 Estate Chardonnay $15.95

2011 GPE Fumé Blanc $24.95

2009 Select Gamay Noir $15.95

2009 Estate Cabernet Franc $17.95

 

 

County in the City – details

DATE: Thursday April 18th
EVENT STARTS: 7pm
EVENT ENDS: 9pm
LOCATION: Panorama Room – 2nd floor at National Arts Centre, 53 Elgin Street, Ottawa

Buy your tickets >>

 

Can’t make it but want to order wines?

No problem! Simply call our Savvy Team on 613-SAVVYCO (613-728-8926) to make the arrangements for you.  Place your order before April 20th and you can take advantage of the free shipping offer on a case of wine.

We look forward to seeing you at County in the City.
Everyone is welcome to join us!

 

Contact Savvy Company for more information about other Savvy Events
www.savvycompany.ca
613.SAVVYCO
613.728.8926
Cheers!


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Dear Debbie…Answering your questions about wine

Posted by Debbie

Thursday, November 15th, 2012
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Corks were continuously popping last week with non-stop celebrations on all around Ottawa.  Restaurant birthdays (congrats Atelier on 4 years!), Savvy Company marked 10 years in business, Unquenchable, the book by Ottawa writer Natalie MacLean was honoured at the Taste Canada Food Writing Awards and the Ottawa Wine and Food Festival had record breaking attendance and back-to-back delicious events!

Throughout the week, I was asked many interesting questions that I am sharing with you in a ‘Dear Abby’ style.  Send me your wine related questions to cheers@savvycompany.ca and I will publish them in this column.

Don’t be shy!
-Debbie

 

Dear Debbie….
What wines did you discover at the Ottawa Food and Wine Festival?

From Wanna a Wine Tip

 

Dear Wanna a Wine Tip,

I went on Sunday (tip – no crowds or line up then) and was on the hunt for wines I have heard of, but never actually tried.  Some highlights:

Yellow Tail Pink Bubbles (Australia) – crisp, dry, pretty in the glass. I can see why this sparkling rosé won a medal.

Stanner Vineyard Chardonnay (Prince Edward County) – O.M.G… Delicious!  Truth be told, I went back to their booth several times for a top up of this beautifully crafted oaky wine that reminded me of Cracker Jack – caramel crunch popcorn.  Decadent. I even posed for the Style Magazine cameras with a bottle of it in my hand (and Savvy Cheese Sommelier Vanessa was at the photo shoot with a round of Québec cheese!)

Lailey Vineyard Cabernet-Merlot (Niagara) – Only available at restaurants – all the more reason for a night out.  Promise me that you’ll look for it (or request it!) – it’s the only way you will get another chance to enjoy this big, bold & smooth red wine from Niagara.

-Debbie
PS – my favorite food discovery…chocolate cheese made by renowned Chef Clark Day fromKingston.  Now I have yet another reason for quick trip to K-town!

 

Dear Debbie…
Lots of winemakers were talking about 2012 being the best harvest ever.  When will the wines be ready to buy?

From Ready to Shop

Dear Ready to Shop,
I too have heard the same thing about this year’s stellar harvest. Now with all of the grapes picked (except for icewine as it has not been cold enough), the juice is fermenting in stainless steel tanks in the winery cellars.  White wines are usually ready to be bottled and sold the following spring – watch for white wines in April and May 2013.  Red wines typically need more time.  Usually, reds are released in the summer/fall or the following year. My tip, when you see a Canadian wine with 2012 on the label, stock up quick.  It’ll be a sure bet – I’ll put my money on it!
-Debbie

 

Dear Debbie…
I’m confused.  I saw many labels with the word Meritage – what is it?

From Label Looker

Dear Label Looker,

Ever had a Bordeauxwine from France?  Meritage is the same thing (but not from France) – a blend of any proportion of Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon and Cabernet Franc grapes to make a medium to full bodied red wine.  The word Meritage (pronounced to rhyme with Heritage) is the term the wine industry outside ofFrance established to refer to the same blend of grapes as used to make Bordeaux wines.  Like Champagne, wineries from the renowned Bordeaux region of France will put Bordeaux on their label.  The rest of the wine world uses ‘Meritage’.  Hope this isn’t too confusing!
-Debbie

Dear Debbie…
When a wine goes on sale, is the wine still OK?

From Dollars and Cents

Dear Dollars and Cents,

You may have noticed that wines don’t often go ‘on sale’. When they do, it is usually because the winery has remaining inventory and they want to move it to make room for the next vintage that is ready to be enjoyed.  Certainly the discounted wine is fine to drink. In fact, it is usually at its prime, so it is a good idea to stock up and drink up!  In the wine world, wine on sale is called ‘Bin Ends’.  If you are looking for a good deal on wine, Savvy Bin Ends has a different Ontario wine ‘on sale’ every 2 weeks. Check it out www.savvycompany.ca OR email me on debbie@savvycompany.ca to be the first to get the inside scoop on deals and discounts.
-Debbie

 

 

 

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Theatre in the Vineyards!

Posted by Susan

Saturday, August 4th, 2012
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Rosehall Run Vineyards continues to support theatre in Prince Edward County, hosting the production of ‘Harvest’ set amongst their estate vineyards. Festival Players is the County’s professional theatre company, and ‘Harvest’ is a funny, fast-paced story of an older farm couple who retire, move to town and rent out their old farmhouse to what seems to be a ‘nice young man’—can you guess that all is not what it seems!

Performances run from Wedensday, August 9 through Saturday, August 25. Plan to include this unique production in your late-summer trip to Prince Edward County. Rosehall Run’s award-winning wine, examples of which are highlighted below, will be available during the performance. For more information, contact Lynn Sullivan at Rosehall Run Vineyards (1-888-399-1183) or visit www.countytix.ca.

While you watch this fun performance, have a sip of one of these newly released wines from Rosehall Run Vineyards.

Cheers!

– Susan

Rosehall Run Pinot Gris 2011

VQA Prince Edward County $21.95
12.5% alcohol
Floral notes, ripe orchard fruit and a hint of tangerine drift from the glass. Dry, light-mid weight and lively, this is a vibrantly textured fresh wine with a fine backbone of acidity, tangy citrus and green apple flavours, and a nice mineral note. Balanced, refreshing, it hits just the right note for the dog days of summer.

Rosehall Run ‘Liberated’ Chardonnay 2011

VQA Ontario $15.95
12.7% alcohol
Pale yellow green, offering fresh notes of green apple, pear and yellow plum, this wine is free of any oak influence, clean and lively on the palate. Tangy apple and slightly pithy citrus notes ride the wave of fresh acidity through a fresh juicy lip-smacking finish. A great example of Ontario’s cool-climate Chardonnay!

Rosehall Run ‘Cuvée County’ Chardonnay 2010

VQA Prince Edward County
13.5% alcohol
Apple, toasted hazelnut and candied lemon tantalize, the apple and nutty notes coming through on the palate. The lovely creamy texture delights, lively citrusy acidity balancing well-integrated oak and ripe orchard fruit flavours. It finishes fresh and flavourful.

Rosehall Run ‘Cuvée County’ Pinot Noir 2010

VQA Prince Edward County $24.95
13.2% alcohol
Semi-transparent, garnet hued, there’s earth, dried herbs, spice and red cherry/berry  notes on the nose. Dry, mid-weight and silky in texture, the palate is awash with red fruits—currant jam, cranberry, cherry and raspberry. Lively acidity underpins the fruit, subtle tannins provide a fine frame, and the finish is juicy and fruity, while maintaining that underlying earthiness. Serve slightly chilled with grilled salmon.

Rosehall Run ‘Defiant’ 2011

VQA Ontario $18.95
12.5% alcohol
Semi-transparent and rose toned, the wine proffers aromas of sweet cherry/berry fruit, subtle spice and a whiff of vanilla and cedar from aging in French oak. Dry, on the light side of medium bodied, the texture is satin-like, the flavours of cherry and raspberry bountiful. The fruit rides a lovely backbone of crisp acidity, the wine finishing fruity and fresh with a touch of warmth.

 

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Rush out & buy these BC wines!

Posted by Debbie

Thursday, July 5th, 2012
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My heart beats a bit faster when I saw that the LCBO Vintages will have a few more wines British Columbia on their shelves this weekend.  It is a rare occurrence & my tip to you is that they will quickly sell out!  While we patiently await the Senate to put their seal of approval on the new Bill C-311 (to remove inter provincial trade barriers for wine making it easier for Canadians to buy & transport Canadian wines throughout Canada), here’s my wine shopping list of must buy wines this weekend.

Cheers & Enjoy!

-Debbie

 

Mt Boucherie Estate Collection Semillion VQA 2008, British Columbia

LCBO # 279364
$19.95
Brothers Kal and Nirmal Gidda opened Mt. Boucherie Family Estate Winery & recently celebrated their tenth anniversary. They are a true family business success story!  Located in West Kelowna’s Lakeview Heights area, this winery is only a five minute drive from downtown Kelowna across the scenic Okanagan Lake floating bridge. Winemaker Jim Faulkner and his team, have grown Mt. Boucherie over the years to produce a total of 21 reds, whites and Icewines amounting to 25,000 cases!

Semillion is a rare grape variety in British Columbia vineyards, yet Jim has created a stunning wine.  A Full bodied white wine with smooth texture & aromas of fresh apple tart with a shortbread crust, beeswax with some refreshing acidity. Smooth texture in the mouth with a full bodied nutmeg & white pepper finish that goes on forever. Serve with paella, blackened catfish, pan fried scallops or smoke salmon.

 

Blue Mountain Chardonnay VQA 2010, British Columbia

LCBO # 350108
$23.95
Using only grapes grown on their property, the Mavety family has been growing grapes in the Okanagan for over 40 years – true pioneers! For the first 21 years, they supplied premium grapes to commercial wineries when finally the allure of producing quality wines inspired them to craft their own label in 1991. The family has not looked back since!

Today, on their 31-hectare estate, they make limited quantities of complex wines from noble varietals including Pinot Noir, Gamay Noir, Pinot Gris, Pinot Blanc and Chardonnay — the same varietals found in the Champagne, Burgundy and Alsace regions of France.

This is a beautifully crafted wine made with Chardonnay grapes that half have been aged in oak while the other half was aged in stainless steel tanks. The result is a medium bodied white wine with a combo of buttered popcorn, warm spices & a zippy long finish. Reminds me of a dense pound cake or a flaky croissant.  Easy drinking & round in the mouth. Each sips begs you to come back for more.  This wine will go down too easily, so get two bottles & save yourself the disappointment when you reach the bottom of the bottle.

A great match for BBQed pork tenderloin or a heavy fish – tuna or swordfish steaks.

 

Malivoire Musqué Spritz VQA 2011, Ontario

LCBO #189670
$19.95
Savvy Sommelier & founder, Debbie Trenholm’s interest in Malivoire began in 2001 while she was enrolled in the Queen’s University Executive MBA Program.  Using this as an entrée to become involved in the wine industry, Malivoire was her first business consulting ‘gig’. This experience gave her an insight to Malivoire’s unique gravity pull winemaking technique (Malivoire was the first Niagara winery with this technique that has now been adopted by others), their dedication to organic grape growing and winemaking practices, as well as the fascinating people who make the impressive wines.

Over the years, Malivoire has been involved in several facets of The Savvy Grapes and Savvy Company.  They were the featured winery in one of our first winemaker’s dinners, were one of the first to be showcased in the Savvy Selections and we continue to showcase their wines in our various events.  And Debbie helped hand during their icewine harvest!

For Debbie, Musqué Spritz is always a sign that summer has arrived.  This light bubbly fizzy wine with low alcohol (9%) is perfect for a picnic or Sunday brunch with refreshing floral aromas (think delicate sweet pea or daisy aromas) & bright lemon gelato tastes.

 

Emiliana Novas Gran Reserva Cabernet Sauvignon/Merlot 2009, Chile

LCBO #685792
$14.95
I recently met the winemaker at Emiliana and they have a wonderful story about the winery.  All of the workers and their families live on the estate.  Founded on being totally organic and nurturing a community, everyone takes care of the property, vineyard and the operations.  They even have a bee colony that young & old is involved in caring for. Be on the look out for other organic & biodynamic wines in Vintages.  And if you travel to Chile go & visit!

This BIG red wine is loaded with black fruit (think blackberries, figs & plums), vanilla & fresh ground black pepper. It’s begging for a steak or better yet fall of the bone ribs. At this price, there is no reason why not to buy a case!

 

Hickinbotham Shiraz/Cabernet 2009, Australia

LCBO# 159632
$16.95
Very VERY deep purple in colour & as smooth as velvet. This red wine is concentrated with tastes figs, cassis, black olives, tar & tobacco aromas. With one sip you can melt with the rich tastes of dark chocolate, black fruit & medium firm tannins. Where’s my steak mate?

 

GRAND TOTAL: $95.95

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