Posts Tagged ‘Savvy eZine’

We’re now delivering BC wines!

Posted by David

Thursday, August 31st, 2017
Share

There was big news this past Canada Day – we announced that we’re going national! We now deliver wines from coast to coast to your doorstep.  Yes….you can now receive wines from Nova Scotia to British Columbia and all the wine regions in between delivered to your home or office.  Be Savvy and subscribe to Savvy Selections wine of-the-month club and our Sommeliers will introduce you to some amazing Canadian wineries, the owners and of course….outstanding wines.

This month in Savvy Selections, we feature our first BC winery – Noble Ridge Vineyards and Winery – a multiple-award winning winery from the Okanagan region. 100 per cent estate grown, Noble Ridge enjoys a micro-climate providing both north-facing and south-facing vineyards. Their full-bodied, richly flavoured wines will make you want to book a quick trip to BC!

 

Get ready to uncork & enjoy your Savvy Selections…

In your Savvy Selections you will find 3 of our favourite Noble Ridge picks. We love the elegant style and powerful flavours of these wines!

2013 Reserve Chardonnay –Lush tropical fruit and citrus flavours
2014 Reserve Pinot Noir – Supple and fruity with deep berry aromas
2014 Reserve Meritage – This powerful Bordeaux-style wine will knock your socks off!

 

Wines with style

Noble Ridge has a wide selection of wonderful red and white wines that will excite your palate and meet your budget. This is a great opportunity to try some fantastic wines that aren’t available at the LCBO!

Call on us at any time you would like additional bottles of your favourite Noble Ridge 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.

Cheers!
-Debbie & Savvy Team

 

 

Introducing…

Noble Ridge Vineyards and Winery

Presented by Sommelier David Loan

Imagine you’re on a family vacation, when your spouse announces that he wants to change the direction of his life and yours. That’s what happened to Leslie D’Andrea, Co-Owner and CEO of BC’s Noble Ridge Vineyards and Winery. “In 1998, Jim and I were on a three month sabbatical through the Mediterranean with our kids when Jim turned to me,” Leslie remembers. “He said he HAD to own a winery. And he wanted to make premium quality wine!”

Leslie continues by recalling, “We came home and started to look through Europe, Ontario, and the West. And after a few false starts, we found this property on January 1, 2001 and bought it a month later.”

 

Unique terroir

Jim and Leslie were impressed with the property’s unique situation. Winemaker Benoit Gauthier described it as, “a unique combination of everything: the land and the climate. It’s really good to have the two slopes of the ridge;  all of the reds are facing south where they get the heat and the sun, and all of the whites face north where they can develop acidity.”  Benoit explains, “The soil is sandy and drains well, meaning we get smaller, more flavourful berries.”

All about the curtain

It isn’t just about the terroir though. The team at Noble Ridge implemented a lesser-used trellis system, called the Geneva Double Curtain. It brings the shoots out into a double canopy so the fruit gets better airflow and sunlight. “We could get twice as much fruit with the Double Curtain,” Benoit said. “But I reduce the fruit to half so we can ripen the grapes really well per each vine.”

“By knowing the vineyard really well, I can select from the individual vineyards and ferment each batch separately, then do a high power blending,” he said. “That way they get the tannins and acidity I want.” Benoit said that he enjoys the end of harvest. “I get the best quality of fruit possible and I choose it for the most powerful and best quality wine,” he said.

 

Cross-border shopping

“One of the things we forget about is that we live in this very beautiful part of the world,” Leslie said. “We try to keep our guest areas close to the vines. We want our guests to walk through the vineyard and enjoy a picnic here. And we hire the very best staff to work here!” she said.

Leslie said that she likes the fact that interprovincial alcohol restrictions are slowly being lifted. “Direct to customer is our favourite way of selling,” she said. “It’s better for us and it’s better for the consumer. Working directly with our consumers is the smartest way and it’s growing.” All of us in the Savvy Team are ecstatic with the changes too because it means that we can broaden our scope to showcase even more hard-to-come by wines from coast to coast.

 

A day in the vineyard

Asked to describe his day at the winery, Benoit said he split into two parts. “Right now, it’s all about the position of the vines,” he said. “We’re positioning shoots and doing canopy management to ensure good airflow and exposure to the sun.  This afternoon in fact, we’re trial tasting our next vintage of The One,” he said, referring to Noble Ridge’s multi-award winning sparkling wine.

Leslie pipes in saying they have some exciting projects coming up. “We’ll have a sparkling rosé made from our Pinot Noir fruit in a couple of years. We’re working on it now from our 2016 vintage,” she said. “And we’ll be bottling some port in March, 2018!”

 

Let’s raise a glass to Leslie, Jim & Benoit and thank them for creating these special, fantastic wines!

 

 

~ SAVVY SOMMELIER TASTING NOTES ~

For your Savvy Selection this month, we’ve chosen three wines – one white and two red – which show the power and finesse of the Okanagan Falls appelation.  Each one demonstrates the micro-climate and terroir of this beautiful wine region, enhanced by talented winemakers.

 

2013 Reserve Chardonnay, $29.90

Savvy Sommelier Tasting Notes: Winner of a number of awards, including a Gold Medal at the prestigious 2016 Pacific Rim International Wine Competition, this full-bodied Chardonnay was was fermented in stainless steel tanks, then aged for 14 months in a mix of old and new French Oak. No malolactic fermentation took place, so the natural acidity remains.

This is a ripe, rich Chardonnay with flavours of lemon curd, green apple, peach and pineapple. The bright acidity balances the vanilla notes, leaving a long, soft tropical fruit finish.

Suggested Food Pairings: Perfect for your summer BBQ, this will pair beautifully with chicken or seafood. Try it with rainbow trout and a mango salsa. (recipe below).

Cellaring:  Drink at 8º C within two years.

 

 

2014 Reserve Pinot Noir, $29.90

Savvy Sommelier Tasting Notes: To get the best flavours and ripeness from their Pinot Noir, Noble Ridge starts in the vineyard. They are one of the few wineries in BC growing Pinot with a trellis system known as the Geneva Double Curtain, which encourages more sunshine and fresh air to reach the fruit clusters. The wine was aged for fourteen months in French Oak barrels, 20 per cent new oak.

This is a complex, medium bodied wine which will stun your palate with candied fruit, red licorice, and sweet spice. The dark cherry flavours dominate, though, balanced with the soft, medium tannins and medium acidity. There’s a hint of balsamic here, too, and we finish long with black cherry and vanilla.

Suggested Food Pairings: There’s lots of oomph! flavour here and it will stand up well to red meats. Try it with beef shish-kabobs in a balsamic marinade (recipe below).

Cellaring: Ready to drink now, this could be cellared for up to 5 years. Serve between 14-16º C.

 

 

2014 Reserve Meritage, $34.90

This big Meritage was a hit at our recent Savvy Oh! Canada event, where guests lined up hoping to get a taste before we ran out (and we did!).

This Bordeaux-style blend is made up of 74% Merlot; 22% Cabernet Sauvignon, 2% Cab Franc, and 2% Malbec. It was fermented for 15 months in French (75%) and American (25%) oak, of which 40% was new. The wine was subsequently bottle aged for an additional 14 months prior to release.

Savvy Sommelier Tasting Notes: Dry, powerful, graceful: the adjectives roll off the tongue as the wine races along it. Loads of dark cherry flavours with hints of Okanagan sage, dark chocolate, leather, and plum. The tannins are supple but big, balanced by the medium acidity.

Suggested Food Pairings: Roast beef or a rack of lamb would pair nicely with this, but we’d like to have it late in the meal, seawith smoked and aged cheeses and Sprucewood Handmade Cookie Co’s savoury shortbread, available with your Savvy Selections order.

Cellaring: Drinking well now, this can cellar 5-7 years. Serve at 17-18º C.

 

 

 

What a view!
Photo credit: The Okanagan Falls Winery Association

 

 

~ RECIPES TO ENJOY WITH YOUR SAVVY SELECTIONS ~

 

With Noble Ridge Reserve Chardonnay…
Rainbow Trout with tropical fruit salsa

Recipe and photo: Epicurious.com
Serves 4-6

Ingredients

6 tablespoons vegetable oil
1/4 cup fresh lime juice
1 tablespoon dark brown sugar
2 teaspoons minced peeled fresh ginger
4 1/8 teaspoons Creole seasoning
1 cup diced pineapple, peeled and cored
1 cup diced peeled pitted mango
½ cup diced red bell pepper
½ cup diced red onion
5 cups mixed baby greens
4 rainbow trout fillets (5- to 6-ounce), skin on

 

Method

Whisk 4 tablespoons oil, lime juice, sugar, ginger, and 1/8 teaspoon Creole seasoning in small bowl to blend. Season vinaigrette with salt and pepper. Combine pineapple, mango, bell pepper, and red onion in large bowl. Add half of vinaigrette; toss to coat. Toss greens in medium bowl with remaining vinaigrette.

Brush trout fillets with 1 tablespoon oil. Sprinkle with remaining 4 teaspoons Creole seasoning, about 1/2 teaspoon per side, then salt and pepper. Heat remaining 1 tablespoon oil in large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add trout fillets and cook until just opaque in center and browned, about 2 minutes per side.

Divide greens among 4 plates. Place trout fillets and salsa alongside.


 

With Noble Ridge Reserve Pinot Noir…
Beef Shish-kabobs with balsamic marinade

Recipe and photo: Melskitchencafe.com
Serves 4

Ingredients

3/4 cup balsamic vinegar
1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil
3 tablespoons Dijon mustard
5 garlic cloves, finely minced
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon black pepper
1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
2 tablespoons chopped fresh rosemary
2-3 pounds sirloin roast, cut into 1-inch cubes (or same amount of chicken breasts, cubed)
1 red onion, cut into squares (optional)

Method

In a small bowl, whisk together the vinegar, oil, mustard, garlic, salt, pepper and red pepper flakes. Measure out 1/3 cup of the mixture and set aside for basting later.

Add the rosemary to the remaining marinade. Place the beef or chicken in a large, gallon-size ziploc bag and pour in the marinade. Seal and refrigerate for 4-8 hours (or as little as 20 minutes, although the flavor won’t be quite as pronounced).

Preheat a grill to medium heat.

If using wooden or bamboo skewers, soak in cool water for 15-20 minutes. Thread red onion onto the skewer followed by meat and then a few red onions to finish off.

Whisk the reserved basting sauce to recombine. Grill the kebabs, turning every couple of minutes and basting with the sauce, until the beef is cooked to desired doneness (chicken should be cooked all the way through), 10-12 minutes.

Transfer the kebabs to a platter or plate and tent with foil to let rest for 5 or so minutes. Season with salt and pepper to taste and serve.

 

 

With Noble Ridge Reserve Meritage…
Rack of lamb with garlic and herbs

Recipe and photo: Epicurious.com
Serves 8

Ingredients

For lamb:
2 (8-rib) frenched racks of lamb (each rack 1 1/2 lb), trimmed of all but a thin layer of fat
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
3/4 teaspoon black pepper
1 teaspoon vegetable oil

For herb coating:
1/2 head new garlic or 3 large regular garlic cloves, minced
1/4 cup finely chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh thyme
2 teaspoons finely chopped fresh rosemary
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1 1/2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

Special equipment: an instant-read thermometer

 

Method

Brown lamb:
Heat a dry 12-inch heavy skillet over high heat until hot, at least 2 minutes. Meanwhile, pat lamb dry and rub meat all over with salt and pepper. Add oil to hot skillet, then brown racks, in 2 batches if necessary, on all sides (not ends), about 10 minutes per batch.

Transfer racks to a small (13- by 9-inch) roasting pan.

Coat and roast lamb:
Put oven rack in middle position and preheat oven to 350°F.

Stir together garlic, herbs, salt, pepper, and oil. Coat meaty parts of lamb with herb mixture, pressing to help adhere. Roast 15 minutes, then cover lamb loosely with foil and roast until thermometer inserted diagonally into center of meat registers 120°F, 5 to 10 minutes more. Let stand, covered, 10 minutes. (Internal temperature will rise to 125 to 130°F for medium-rare while lamb stands.)

Cut each rack into 4 double chops. 

 

Enjoy your Savvy Selections!

Share

Southbrook has a ‘Dynamic’ story!

Posted by Debbie

Tuesday, May 19th, 2015
Share

 

 

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!

 

Share

Ridgepoint Wines, a brother and sister team!

Posted by Susan

Tuesday, April 14th, 2015
Share

Savvy Selections wine of the month club
Featuring Ridgepoint Wines

–  April 2015 –

At Ridgepoint Wines, it’s a family affair of a brother and sister.  The division of labour between the siblings is clear with Anna recreating her mother’s home-style recipes for the restaurant. Mauro Scarsellone is focused on producing wines that honour his grandparents and his Italian heritage.

signHe laughed when I asked him about his family’s involvement in the making of Ridgepoint wines. ‘Actually, they stay as far away as they can from the whole process.  Anna though, insists on tasting the wines.’ As he hurried toward me in the tasting room, Mauro explained that he was late for our meeting because he was putting out fires.  He was trying to fix a fermenter that had gone into a funk, and was dealing with the issue of having to re-create some labels because his naming proposal to the AGCO had been rejected. “You know, I’m an accountant by training, but I really just want to be a farmer.’

What inspired Ridgepoint’s successful combination of winery and restaurant? Mauro and Anna grew up experiencing their grandparents’ passion for wine and food. “They made wine in Italy from the grapes they grew on a small parcel of land.  When they moved to Canada, they kept making wine. As kids, we were thrilled to help them. I’ll never forget my grandfather’s comments when he started making wine from local Niagara grapes – he couldn’t understand why the wine wamauro and annas so awful’, recounts Mauro. (A side note: Mauro was using Ontario grown Italian Labrusca grapes. Typically, these grapes have a ‘foxy’ taste that results in not the most enjoyable characteristic for a table wine!)

As for Anna, the recipes she uses were learned from her mother, passed down from her grandmother…and they are passing along one to you in this blog.  Eating at Ridgepoint is like going to a typical family-owned ‘trattoria’ in a small town in Italy. The aromas are mouthwatering, the dishes classics of simple, tasty Italian cuisine. Wine and food complement each other, as do Mauro and Anna.

The tasting I did at the winery this past autumn, followed by our Savvy Selections Sommelier panel tasting recently, made it clear we were going to share with our subscribers a selection of the fabulous reds that Mauro crafted from the outstanding 2010 vintage:

In your Savvy Selections, you will find:

Ridgepoint Merlot Cabernet Aglianico VQA 2010 – a unique blend resulting in a velvety Appassimento-style wine

Ridgepoint ‘Reserve’ Merlot VQA 2010 – supple with notions of chocolate-coated cherries

Ridgepoint ‘Reserve’ Meritage VQA 2010 – carefully crafted from the fruit of select low-yield vines

On your next visit to Niagara, be sure to visit Ridgepoint.  You’ll probably find Mauro roaming the vineyards or entertaining in the tasting room. Then wander into the restaurant to meet Anna as you enjoy a meal of her Italian pasta or pizza. You’ll think you were in Italy.

Cheers & Enjoy!

Debbie & Savvy Team

Introducing…
Ridgepoint Wines

Presented by Sommelier Susan Desjardins

For Mauro and Anna, it was a long road from the joy of helping their grandparents to make wine through their traditional business careers to being proprietors of their own winery and restaurant. ‘Our parents discouraged us from having anything to do with farming. They remembered how difficult it was in Italy, and the inevitable dependency on the whims of Mother Nature,’ remembers Mauro. This advice seems particularly prophetic this year, as we emerge from one of the most frigid winters on record.

Battling with Old Man Winter & Mother Nature

Brock University’s Cool Climate Viticulture program does annual assessments of bud survival, and the early results for the 2014/2015 winter are distressing, particularly in vineyards on the escarpment. Bud (on the vines) survival rates may be as low as 10% for some varieties, while others may reach 70-80%. ‘Our most significant challenge has always been trying to get our vines through the winter. While Ontario’s growing season is long enough and warm enough to ensure grapes ripen, the varieties that we most enjoy producing wine with, such as Nebbiolo and Merlot, are the ones with the lowest survival rates’, Mauro explains.

Ridgepoint wineryWith the many sleepless nights he experienced through this past January and February: ‘This year, Lake Erie is frozen, so the strong westerly winds are not moderated in any way as they make their way over the Niagara Escarpment. Those strong winds also make it difficult for us to use our wind machines, which are the usual defense against these conditions. So, sometimes, we just have to pray…’

As we discussed this winter’s impact, Mauro came back to his love of Niagara and winemaking. ‘My sister and I both graduated from York University with business degrees. I went on to become a Chartered Account with Price Waterhouse Coopers. I was on a business trip to the Niagara region when I first experienced the local wine industry. It was love at first sip! I was so impressed with the work being done to improve wine quality. After doing some research, we thought we could contribute something to the industry by planting varieties that we really enjoy drinking, including Nebbiolo.’

mapThe Ridgepoint property was purchased in 1995. ‘We were attracted to the Beamsville Bench partly because this area brings us back to our roots—the hillside vineyards of Italy, where the highest quality grapes are usually grown. We felt the bench offered the same potential.’ The vineyards were planted in 1997, about half of the 18 acres dedicated to Pinot Noir, Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon, the balance to Chardonnay, Riesling, Cabernet Franc and, of course, Nebbiolo.

The first to plant Nebbiolo

Ridgepoint has the distinction of being the first Ontario winery to produce a commercial bottling of Nebbiolo.  Says Mauro, ‘As an artisanal winery, we are passionate about what we do and are involved in every step of the process, from the vineyard to bottling to retailing, and to savouring our wine with typical Italian cuisine. True to our Latin blood, we’re stubborn in our belief that Ontario can make great red wines. To this end, we continue to innovate with the introduction of our Ripasso and Appassimento wines’ (using dried grapes in fermentation to add depth and intensity to the wine).

MauroandSteve2jpegIn this quest for great wines, Mauro has worked with a number of assistant winemakers and winemaking consultants. Steve Byfield, of Nyarai Cellars, worked with Mauro as assistant winemaker earlier in his career. Steve and Mauro re-established their winemaking partnership in 2013, with Steve acting as a consultant. What does Mauro look for in a winemaker? “We desire and appreciate the creativity that Steve offers, helping to research and use new techniques, yeasts and enzymes that will help us create wines with greater fruit, color, structure and balance. We value the opportunity to work with someone who shares our goals and winemaking style.”

Eat, Sleep & Dream about Wine

Mauro and Anna share the characteristics of all entrepreneurs – their absolute commitment to their endeavour, and their willingness to deal with disappointments and move forward. ‘We eat, sleep and dream about Ridgepoint. We are not focused on making wines that critics worship. Rather, we’re excited about making wines that can be enjoyed on any occasion and shared with friends and family. Our pride has taken a few bumps over the years, mainly from Mother Nature as she provides us with yet another harsh winter this year. But we persevere and keep bouncing back to continue to push the envelope.’

While Mauro’s goal may not be to create ‘worshipped’ wines, I know you’ll agree that the wines in this Savvy Selection are worthy of contemplation, cellaring and sharing with your friends.

Here’s to Mauro and Anna… and bring on those great reds!

 

~ SAVVY SOMMELIER TASTING NOTES ~


Ridgepoint Merlot Cabernet Aglianico 2010 VQA, $20.00

Ridgepoint bottlesThis small-batch wine is aged in aged French and American oak for up to 24 months. It’s predominantly Merlot, with a small portion of Cabernet Franc and fully air dried (almost to the point of raisins) Aglianico grapes added for depth and intensity in aromas and flavours.

Savvy Sommelier Tasting Notes: Our tasting panel loved this unique wine, with its rich, ripe berry and plum notes, hints of dried fruit and spice. It’s full bodied, generous and velvety, the texture warm and spicy, the tannins supple, with a clean acidity that lifts the tasty fruit flavours.

Suggested Food Pairing: Serve this unique blend with classic Italian meat pasta dishes.

Cellaring: Drinking well now or cellar 2-3 years.

 

Ridgepoint ‘Reserve’ Merlot 2010 VQA, $25.00

Only in vintages that produce ‘super ripe’ grapes is this Merlot produced. Fermented on the skins for up to 2 weeks, the wine in then aged in French and American oak for up to 24 months. Each barrel is tasted, and only those meeting Mauro’s exacting standards are selected for this Reserve.

Savvy Sommelier Tasting Notes: Aromas of red fruit, plum, cedar, spice and vanilla are predominant on the nose.  “Its outstanding!”, comments Velma during the panel tasting.  Dry, medium-full bodied, the wine shows great integration—supple tannins and fine acidity establish the framework for ripe plum and cherry fruit, notes of chocolate-coated cherry and spiced vanilla adding to the savoury taste experience. Reflecting the excellent vintage, the wine finishes warm, spicy and fruit filled.

Suggested Food Pairing: Serve with duck or pork roast.

Cellaring: This wine will cellar a further 3-5 years.

 

Ridgepoint ‘Reserve’ Meritage 2010 VQA $30.00

Equal parts of the Cabernets and Merlot were harvested at 2 tons/acre from specially selected rows, fermented together, then aged in new French oak for about 14 months to create this powerful, cellar-worthy wine.

Savvy Sommelier Tasting Notes: The special care taken with this wine has created a dry, full bodied wine with great complexity, a velvety texture and beautiful balance of fruit, supple tannins and clean acidity. Cassis, plum and red berry, floral and earth notes, vanilla and spice layer and mingle on the nose and palate. Warm on the finish, the ripe berry flavours shine through.

Suggested Food Pairing:  This wine will sing when it is served with a prime rib or roast with all of the trimmings.

Cellaring: Ready now, it will cellar 3-7 years.

 

~RECIPES TO ENJOY WITH YOUR SAVVY SELECTIONS~


With Ridgepoint Merlot Cabernet Aglianico…

Potato Cake with Soppressata

From www.bcliquorstores.com
Serves 12

Ingredients

4 large eggs
½ C homogenized milk
¼ C ricotta cheese
½ tsp dried oregano, crushed
4 lb. russet potatoes (about 6 large)
1 ½ C freshly grated Parmesano Reggiano, Pecorino or Grana Padano cheese
½ lb soppressata, prosciutto or salami, cut into 1” pieces
¼ C finely chopped flat leaf parsley
4 Tbsp unsalted butter
½ C fresh bread crumbs
¾ lb. fresh mozzarella, cut into ¼” slices

 Method

Preheat oven to 450F. In mixing bowl, lightly beat eggs. Add milk, ricotta and oregano, mix well and set aside. Boil whole potatoes until tender, 30-40 minutes. Drain & peel potatoes. While still warm, pass through a food mill or grate into large mixing bowl. Fold in Parmesan, then stir in soppressata and parsley. Gently mix in egg mixture. Do not over-mix or potato starch will make mixture tough.

Butter 9” springform pan with 2 Tbsp butter & dust with some bread crumbs. Transfer half potato mixture into pan and gently smooth I to edges. Spread mozzarella slices over potato mixture to within ½” of edge. Top with remaining potato mixture and carefully smooth over with wet spatula. Sprinkle with remaining bread crumbs dot with remaining 2 Tbsp butter. Bake until light golden brown on top, about 30 minutes.

Remove from oven and allow to stand 15 minutes before unmolding. Serve in wedges with a green salad. Can be made the day before, covered and refrigerated. Reheat at 350F uncovered for 30 minutes.

 

With Ridgepoint ‘Reserve’ Merlot

Ridgepoint Bolognese

from the Chef at Ridgepoint WineryRidgepoint bolanese
Serves a crowd!

Ingredients

2.5 lbs each ground beef & pork
Canola oil for browning
1 lb. carrots, peeled and diced
2 small white onions, peeled and diced
4 garlic cloves, minced
1 Bay leaf
Salt & pepper to taste
1 ½ cup red wine
Quality Virgin Olive Oil
Balsamic vinegar reduction

Method

Using a large frying pan, heat canola oil on medium-high heat and brown meat, in portions if necessary, until cooked through about 80%.

Add vegetables and wine, reduce heat and simmer until wine is reduced and sauce achieves desired thickness.

Dress your choice of fresh cooked pasta with a light tomato sauce, spoon over the Bolognese, and drizzle with olive oil and balsamic vinegar reduction.

Steve & Mauro in the barrel room

 

With Ridgepoint ‘Reserve’ Meritage…

Garlic Prime Rib

www.allrecipes.com
Serves 8-10

Ingredients

1 10lb. prime rib roast
10 cloves garlic, minced (or to taste)
2 Tbsp olive oil
2 tsp sea salt
2 tsp ground black pepper
2 tsp dried thyme

 Method

Ridgepoint restaurantPlace the roast in a roasting pan with the fatty side up. In a small bowl, mix together the garlic, oil, salt, pepper and thyme. Spread the mixture over the fatty layer of the roast, letting the roast sit out until it is at room temperature, no longer than 1 hour.Preheat the oven to 500 F.

Bake the roast for 20 minutes in the preheated oven, then reduce the temperature to 325F and continue roasting for an additional 60-75 minutes. The internal temperature of the roast should be at 135F.

Allow the roast to rest for 10-15 minutes before carving, so the meat can retain its juices.

Serve with roast potatoes and a medley of roast vegetables.

 Enjoy your Savvy Selections!

 

Share

Big Bold Reds from Kacaba Vineyards

Posted by Debbie

Friday, November 14th, 2014
Share

SS stamp lowest res

Savvy Selections wine of the month club 
Featuring Kacaba Vineyards

– November 2014 –

 

November.  I can’t believe it.  Winter is around the corner.  In vineyards around the northern hemisphere, the grape harvest is almost complete, yet closer to home, stores are overflowing signs of Christmas holidays.  To warm up all thoughts of winter, this month we are featuring Kacaba Vineyards of Niagara’s 20 Valley (aka Beamsville Bench).

In your Savvy Selections, you will find:

This month you will find 3 BIG BOLD red wines. Just the thought of sipping on these wines should melt away thoughts of snow.  Don’t get me wrong, I am an avid skier & I am eager for the snow to fall.  When the Savvy Team tasted these Kacaba wines, I imagined enjoying them by the fire after a day of hard core skiing. However you enjoy this month’s Savvy Selections wines….you are in for a treat and will enjoy the special prices too!

2011 Terrace Vineyard Syrah -a wine we frequently showcase during Sommelier led wine tastings our team hosts 

When I visited Kacaba in August this year, they offered me samples straight out of the barrel.  That is always a treat.  A few months later, I sampled the same wines again and was equally impressed. I am confident that you will like these wines.  You are amongst the first to receive them as they were just released at the winery in time to be included in Savvy Selections. These wines are Just released!

2013 Cabernet Franc A gorgeous wine full of aromas & tastes of red roses, well balanced with a smooth texture.

2013 Merlot Completely different from the Cabernet Franc, this Merlot is jammy loaded with black fruit flavours. 

OPTIONAL WINE

2012 Reserve Syrah $44.95 (reg $66.95).  This wine is not yet released at the winery, but available to Savvy Selections subscribers.  Heralding from the incredible 2012 vintage, it is pure velvet!  Amazingly, it drinks well now or will continue to improve as it is cellared for 10+ years.  This wine & special price is still available – just call us to arrange a shipment for you.

You won’t find these Kacaba wines at the LCBO

We have done it again!  Our Savvy Sommeliers have found wines (and great prices) that we are confident you will enjoy…every sip!  Kacaba has a few wines available at the LCBO, yet as a small winery, there are loads more that are only available from the winery.  Call on us at anytime you would like additional bottles of your favourite Kacaba 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.

Cheers & Enjoy!

Debbie & Savvy Team

 

Introducing…

Kacaba Vineyards & Winery

Presented by Savvy Sommelier Debbie Trenholm

kacaba winery colour

“I love my job”, quietly states Kacaba’s winemaker John Tummon. And making wine is his second career.  John had been an amateur winemaker inspired by those in the Kitchener Waterloo Winemakers Guild.  “With this group, I was able to switch my mind off from my day job in the fitness industry to focus on learning and fine-tuning my winemaking skills.”  As a result, John’s wines won international wine competitions.  Surrounded by many incredible amateur winemakers & wine judges, like John, doors began to open with opportunities to new wineries in Ontario.

Did you say Fitness industry?

john tummonWhen I interview winemakers & winery owners, I always find it fascinating to learn how that person came to the wine world.  In John’s case, in the mid-1970s he established & operated Wynne International – North America’s largest and oldest distributors of fitness equipment including some products you may already own:  BodyCraft, Polar heart rate monitors, Health O Meter, Tunturi rowing machines and the list goes on.  Additionally, Wynne manufactured exercise equipment under its own label too.  30 years later and 600 fitness stores later, at the age of 56, John stepped out of the fitness industry.

Why wine?

It was natural.  John explains, “I grew up on a farm – we grew all of our own vegetables. I began making wine when I was in university all because I wanted to make my own food – wine included.  At Waterloo, I was working on my Honours Science degree and everyday I applied science to making food and wine”.

Fast forward several decades…when John met Michael Kacaba, there was instant synergy.  Kacaba Vineyards had already had completed a couple of vintages.  Michael was on the lookout for a winemaker.  It was a bonus when he found a seasoned businessman who wanted to make wine professionally.  Since then, both men combined their extensive business experience and passion for fine wines to grow the winery…and most importantly build a reputation for quality wines, especially for red wines.

Syrah you say?

Michael had a dream of planting Syrah grapes. Neighbouring winery owners cautioned him, but he was determined to prove them wrong.  Kacaba was one of the first to plant Syrah in Ontario.

The story goes that Michael did extensive research to find vines that should survive the Niagara climate.  He found these vines in California of all places.  He ventured out to west & brought them back in his luggage.  “It gets better,” says John with a laugh, “of all the luggage aboard that flight, the airline lost his suitcase full of ready-to-plant vines.  The suitcase was sent back to California while Michael arrived back in Niagara safe and sound.”  How did this adventure turn out? “Well, it’s a longer story that Michael should really tell.  Let me just say that Michael’s skills as a lawyer came in handy and eventually the suitcase reappeared and the vines were quickly planted”, laughed John.

Today Kacaba has 3 distinct Syrah vineyards and John reports that, “I am happy to say that the vines have survived. Our neighbours who have since planted Syrah have not necessarily had the same success.” He is making particular reference to this past winter.  The harsh conditions and the cold spring wiped out many vineyards of Syrah vines.  Some wineries in Niagara lost upwards to 80% of their vines. Kacaba’s vineyard was not affected.

John explains that the land around the winery slopes along the Niagara Escarpment and weaves by a stream all the while being protected by very large trees forming a microclimate. And of course, coupled with the John’s winemaking magic, Kacaba wines continue to impress.

The high point so far?

Kacaba wines are continuously winning awards & proudly post a road sign announcing their latest medal. Which is the award that means the most to John so far?  “Wine Access Magazine picked our Reserve Syrah 2009 as the best red in Canada.  To me, that is like winning the Stanley Cup.  It was the first time this top award was given to a winery in Ontario for best red wine”.

We are delighted to introduce you to Kacaba’s fine red wines….and at least one Syrah!

Oh and…how do pronounce the winery name?
Ka-sah-ba…or delicious!

 

~ SAVVY SOMMELIER TASTING NOTES ~


Whenever I encounter a person stating that Ontario red wines don’t impress like those from California, Argentina or Chile, I shrug my shoulders and remind them that our vineyards are in cooler climates. Yet Kacaba has shown that they can make red wines using Syrah, Cabernet Franc, Cabernet Sauvignon & Merlot that will turn heads.  Kacaba’s winemaker John (in photo) explains that “growing grapes in temperatures of 28-32C is difficult.  At these high temperatures (like they experience in the southern hemisphere), the vines actually shut down. In cooler climates like Niagara, our grapes actually ripen slower creating greater fruit flavours, violets, black fruit in the wines”.

Terrace Vineyard Syrah VQA 2011

$22.95 special Savvy Selections price
(regular $24.95)

Savvy Sommelier Tasting Notes: This garnet coloured wine has aromas that remind us of a bouquet of red roses.  This elegant smell is further enjoyed with flavours of vanilla, black fruits (think black berry & cherry) with a layer of dark chocolate.  Rich, smooth & well-balanced, during our panel tasting one of our Savvy Sommeliers stated that, ‘this reminds me of a Black Forest Cake’.

Suggested Food Pairings:  “Hands down, this wine is equally good with lamb or saucy ribs”, says John.   It is definitely a meaty wine, also serve with spicy sausage, steak or roast beef…with all the trimmings of course!

Cellaring: It is ready to be enjoyed now, or cellared for 5 years.  No real reason to wait!

 

Merlot VQA 2013

$20.95 special Savvy Selections price
(Reg $24.95)

Savvy Sommelier Tasting Notes: Fire engine red in colour, there are aromas of red & black plums, licorice, pencil shavings, even a bit of molasses. Then when you sip it, “this wine reminds me of boysenberry jam.  There is a sweet fruit & warm spice combo going on”, one of our Savvy Sommeliers remarked during the Savvy Selections panel tasting.

Suggested Food Pairings: Another red wine for BBQed meats, hearty stews or rich cheeses.

Cellaring: This wine has just been bottled.  We recommend to wait a few weeks so that it can settle out the bottle shock.  Additionally, it will continue to evolve if you lay it down for 2 -5 years.

 

Cabernet Franc VQA 2013

$16.95 special Savvy Selections price
(Reg $18.95)

Kacaba Cabernet Franc 2013 Barrel SampleJohn explains that with Cabernet Franc, the trick is to allow the fruit to hang on the vines as long as possible.  In our vineyard, we leave them on 2 weeks or so after our neighbours have already picked.  The benefit is that the wines are bigger & bolder with loads more extraction of ripe fruit.” John reports that in 2013, the Cabernet France vines were very rigorous and that he had 30-40% over regular yields. More ripe fruit means more great wine! 

Savvy Sommelier Tasting Notes:   You are the first to try this wine as this wine was just released in time to be included in your Savvy Selections. The aroma is beautiful full of red roses and different from the Syrah, red cherry.  With each sip, the flavours intensify of juicy pomegranate, smooth texture and some grippy tannins that will subside with food or with more aging in your cellar.

Suggested Food Pairings: Fire up the BBQ and enjoy pork tenderloin, grilled kebabs even hamburgers.  For something completely different, enjoy with a steaming bowl of French Onion Soup – recipe follows.

Cellaring: This wine has just been bottled.  We recommend to wait a few weeks so that it can settle out the bottle shock.  Additionally, it will continue to evolve if you lay it down for 2 -5 years.

 

~RECIPES TO ENJOY WITH YOUR SAVVY SELECTIONS~

 

With Kacaba Cabernet Franc…

Classic French Onion Soup

Fine Cooking Magazine – October 2009
Serves 6

Served with a tartly dressed green salad, this soup is hearty and filling enough for a light supper. I like th convenience of using chicken broth, but if you have a good beef broth on hand, feel free to use it for even deeper flavor.

Ingredients

4 Tbs. unsalted butter
6 large yellow onions (about 3 lb. total), sliced about 1/8 inch thick
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 tsp. all-purpose flour
1 cup dry white wine (not oaky), such as Sauvignon Blanc or Pinot Grigio
8 cups homemade chicken or beef broth, or low-salt canned chicken broth
1 sprig flat-leaf parsley, 1 sprig fresh thyme, and 1 bay leaf tied together with kitchen twine
1 baguette, cut into as many 3/s-inch slices as needed to cover six soup crocks
1 1/2 cups (about 6 oz.) grated Gruyere cheese

Method

In a large, wide soup pot, melt the butter over medium heat. Add the onions and season lightly with salt and pepper. (It might seem like you have far too many onions, but they’ll cook down to about one-quarter of their original volume.)

Cook the onions gently, stirring frequently, until they’re very soft and have beg u n to turn a dark straw color, 35 to 45 min.

When the onions are ready, stir in the flour and cook for 3 to 4 min, stirring frequently. Pour in the wine and increase the heat to medium high, stirring and scraping to loosen any caramelized juices, until the liquid is mostly reduced, 5 to 8 min.

Add the broth, toss in the tied herbs, and bring to a simmer.

Season to taste with salt and pepper and simmer for 20 to 30 minutes to infuse the broth with onion flavor; the onions should be soft but not falling apart.

Remove the herb bundle and taste the soup for seasoning.

The soup can be made ahead to this point and then cooled and refrigerated for a few days.

To serve

Heat the oven to 350°F, put the baguette slices on a rack, and toast lightly (7 to 10 min).  Set aside.

Increase the oven temperature to 450°F. Bring the soup back to a simmer.

Set six ovenproof soup crocks on a heavy baking sheet and ladle the soup into the crocks. Float a few toasted baguette slices on top, enough to cover the soup surface without too much overlap.

Top the bread with a handful (about % cup) of the grated Gruyere. Slide the baking sheet into the oven and bake until the cheese is melted and just browning in spots, 10 to 12 min.  Serve immediately. 

 

With Terrace Vineyard Syrah …

Molasses Rum Grilled Pork Tenderloin

From Chef Michael Smith’s Kitchen Cookbook
Serves 4 to 6

Ingredients

½ cup of molasses
¼ cup of spiced rum
2 Tbs of grainy mustard
1 Tbs soya sauce
1 teaspoon of ground allspice
1 teaspoon of your favorite hot sauce (optional)
2 pork tenderloins (trimmed)salt & pepper to taste

 

Method

In a large Ziploc bag, put in the molasses, rum, mustard, soy sauce, all spice & hot sauce.  Seal bag and with your hands mix ingredients in the bag.

Add to the bag the pork tenderloins. Seal & massage the marinade into the meat, distributing evenly. Refrigerate for atleast 1 hour (or overnight).  At this point, you can freeze the meat with marinade so that it is a snap to cook at a later date.

Prepare your BBQ to the highest setting.

When BBQ (or oven grill) is ready, place the tenderloins diagonally across the grates of the grill.  Grill turning once or twice until done.  This will take about 15-25 minutes depending on the thickness of the meat.

Transfer the pork to a serving platter and loosely tent with foil to let rest for a few minutes.

While meat is grilling, pour marinade into a small saucepan.  Boil on medium heat to reduce to a decadent sauce.

Slice pork and arrange on plates.  Drizzle sauce over each.  Serve with grilled vegetables, rice or couscous.

 

With Kacaba Merlot …

Mom’s Pot Roast & Dumplings

From Debbie Trenholm’s family kitchen
Serves 8 or more

Note from Debbie: This recipe is what my brother & I would always ask Mom to make when we came home from university – a true comfort food. Now we make it for her!

Kacaba Merlot 2013 Barrel SampleIngredients

5 lb blade or cross rib roast
2 Tbs oil
3 or 4 onions, chopped
1/3 cup vinegar
1/3 cup molasses
1 cup water (or more)
1 can (796 ml) tomatoes (diced with spices is good)
1 cup sliced carrots
1 cup raisins
2 to 3 tsp ground ginger
1 tsp celery seeds (or celery salt)
salt and pepper to taste

Method

In a large Dutch oven, brown all sides of meat in oil. Remove meat from pan and brown the onions in the drippings. Add carrots, tomatoes and remaining ingredients including meat. Cover and simmer 5 to 6 hours until tender. Can also be done in a slow cooker: cook for 8 hours or more.

Note: Serve with dumplings (see below) on the first day as it thickens the “gravy”, then serve with potatoes. I also cook my vegetables separately – cabbage, turnip, carrots, cauliflower etc. and serve with pot roast.  After several meals, the leftover roast and gravy makes a wonderful base for soup – just add water to desired consistency, add veggies, lentils/beans, pasta or rice.

My Great Grandmother’s Dumplings

Ingredients

1 cup flour
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp sugar
1/2 tsp salt
1 to 2 tsp fresh or dried parsley (optional – looks nice!)
approx. 1 cup milk

Method

Sift the dry ingredients together. Stir in milk slowly to make the batter thin enough to take up by rounded spoonful with a wet tablespoon.

Bring finished stew or pot roast to the boiling point. The gravy should be shallow enough so that the dumplings rest on the meat or vegetables as they cook. Put spoonfuls of batter on the stew. Cook uncovered for 10 minutes. Cover and cook for an additional 10 minutes without looking.  Makes 6 to 8 dumplings.

 

Enjoy your Savvy Selections!

Share

“Reif for Life” is a story of 13 generations of winemakers

Posted by Debbie

Monday, October 27th, 2014
Share

SS stamp lowest res

Savvy Selections wine of the month club 
Featuring Reif Estate Winery

– October 2014 –

 

All of us in the Savvy Team hope your Thanksgiving was a great one!  To celebrate the bounty of this year’s harvest, this month’s Savvy Selections features a variety of wines from Reif Estate Winery.  Located in the heart of Niagara-on-the-Lake, this winery is one of the pillars of the Ontario wine industry. Reif PortfolioThere are many hidden gems at Reif – in particular those wines that are only available at the winery – or with your Savvy Selections!

There are so many to enjoy that Reif’s winemaker Roberto (Rob) DiDomenico says with a laugh, “I honestly have lost track of exactly how many wines we have in our portfolio!” Our Savvy Sommeliers specifically have chosen this trio of fine Reif wines for you to enjoy:

In your Savvy Selections, you will find:

Reserve Gewürztraminer VQA 2012– this refreshing wine will be delicious with appetizers before dinner or enjoyed with ham & your family’s favorite trimmings

Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon VQA 2012– you are the first to receive this red wine from the incredible 2012 vintage.  If you are taking a break from turkey this weekend, this red wine is ready for prime rib or a leg of lamb…or put away in your cellar for your next family feast!

The Magician VQA 2012 – This is our red wine pick for Thanksgiving turkey (yes red wines pair well!)

How does this year’s harvest look?

As the season changes, typical long weekend plans involve getting together with family & friends, tackling long to do lists to close down the cottage & pack away the pool.  Not so for winery owners and winemakers.  They are busy with one thing: the grape harvest.  With the warm September days we have enjoyed, 2014 harvest in Ontario has just started in the last few days and by all accounts looks promising.  “This spring was slow.  Then with the cool summer we had, we will give the grapes a long hang time so that they can ripen as much as possible with the autumn heat.

This extra time will show in the aromas & flavours of the final wine,” explains Rob.  And Rob knows.  He has over 30 grape harvests under his belt – all at Reif Estates. Read more about Reif and this year’s harvest in the following pages.  You will also find some delicious autumn recipes that our Savvy Team have chosen for each of the featured wines to consider including in your Thanksgiving feast (or enjoy with leftovers).

You won’t find these Reif wines at the LCBO

Reif Estate WinesEach month we delight in introducing you to new Ontario wineries & their hard to find wines. While Reif has a handful of wines available at the LCBO, call on us if you would like additional bottles of your favourite Reif wines – or other wineries we have featured in Savvy Selections – simply give me a call on 613-SAVVYCO (728-8926) or send me an email to debbie@savvycompany.ca.  It is always my pleasure to introduce you to new Ontario wines!

Cheers & Happy Thanksgiving to you & your family!

Debbie & Savvy Team

Introducing…
Reif Estate Winery

Presented by Savvy Sommelier Debbie Trenholm

‘Reif for Life’.  This great slogan showcases the longevity of the wines as well as a subtle reminder of the correct pronunciation of the name of the winery.  “We’ve heard it all,” says Rob DiDomenico (right in the photo) with a laugh & shaking his head.  “The best is when a visitor to the winery corrected me, stressing that the winery’s name is R-E-E-F.  He proceeded to tell me that he personally knows the winery owner.”

Reif Estates - Klaus and Roberto 2With over 200,000 visitors each year to the winery, everyone – including the winemaker – are all hands on deck in the tasting room to ensure that everyone has a memorable wine & food experience. “We put so much effort into making the tasting room a safe place to learn about our wines rather than feel like a store”, explains Rob.

“We have an interactive Sensory Garden full of herbs where people can go smell different aromas that they will find in our wines. We also have a Sensory Wine Bar to give our visitors the opportunity to enjoy our wines along with plates of artisan cheeses, charcuterie, even chocolate while watching all the-goings-on at the winery.”

Breaking new ground…

The Reif tradition of winemaking can be traced back to 1636 in Germany’s Rheinphalz region where winemaking is generations deep…to be precise, 13 generations. The story is told that as an agriculture student in Germany, Ewald Reif listened with great interest as one of his instructors spoke of his travels to Niagara.

Years later, in the 1960s, intrigued by Canada, Ewald followed his teacher’s footsteps & embarked on a trip to Niagara to specifically visit orchard fruit and grape growers. In 1977, Ewald was invited back to Niagara by Karl Kaiser (one of the founders of Inniskillin Winery & a forefather of the Canadian wine industry).  On this trip, Ewald bought a former fruit orchard on the fertile banks of the Niagara River.  Here, he planted select grape varieties, along with some French hybrids.

Then 6 years later, in 1983, Reif Estate Winery opened its doors to the first of its visitors. Ewald’s nephew – Klaus Reif – visited & spent the summer of 1978 planting some of those first vines with his uncle.  Fast forward to today, Klaus (left in the above photo) is now the President of this winery that now comprises of over 130 acres planted with more than 17 grape varieties.

Impressively small yet big

Reif logo“There are 5 of us managing everything in the wine cellar” explains Rob.  This is pretty impressive when you consider that their current portfolio amounts to over 50 wines. In the wine industry, a winemaker’s career often involves working at several wineries around the world.

In Rob’s case, he began his career at Reif on a co-op term while studying in University of Guelph.  “My eyes were opened to the Canadian wine industry by my prof at Guelph while I was studying Microbiology.  Keep in mind this was in the late 80s & there were not many wineries in Niagara nor specialized oenology programs that there are today.” His co-op experience evolved  into a job offer, and Rob has stayed ever since. “We continue to do research with my prof at Guelph University on many levels.

Recently, we worked on developing the appassimento method (winespeak: making wine with dried grapes – a method used in Italy for Ripasso & Amarone wines) using modified tobacco kilns from Southern Ontario.”  Now in addition to Reif, a handful of Ontario wineries are making wines using this new process.  You will taste & enjoy the fruits of their research with The Magician red blend wine in your Savvy Selections as it was made using the appassimento method.

An Italian at a Germany winery

Rob is first generation Canadian.  While his Italian roots are strong, he shares that, “the Reif wine business has existed for 13 generations. The Reif family have always treated me like one of the family. In fact, this carries on to the staff too – most have worked here for many years. I think that this speaks volume of our company.” Seems that the ‘Reif for Life’ applies to the business culture too!

What’s for dinner?

I always like to ask: If I came over for dinner, what would you make?  I have discovered that many winery owners & winemakers are good cooks too when they have time to take charge in the kitchen. Rob explained that Thanksgiving is not a big celebration in his Italian family, “It’ll be a feast of Italian proportions!  There will be 30 relatives with lots of food & wine.  For us, wine is food.  We have at every occasion; it’s not an alcoholic beverage.”

~ SAVVY SOMMELIER TASTING NOTES ~

Once our Sommelier Team chose the 3 wines for your enjoyment, Rob was delighted.  All of the wines are from the 2012 vintage. “2012 was one of the most impressive years we ever had.” 

Reserve Gewürztraminer VQA 2012 $19.95 

Savvy Sommelier Tasting Notes:Gorgeous classic Gewurz.  Off-dry with concentrated aromas of lychee, pear, apricot, beeswax & flowers.  These aromas continue in the taste with a summer-is-not-over-yet refreshing zip of acidity & a lime (or is it white pepper?) finish.

Suggested Food Pairings: Gewurz is usually paired with spicy foods – Mexican, Indian curry (made with leftover turkey perhaps?) or Pad Thai (a great recipe follows).  The Savvy Selections tasting panel thought that it will be remarkable with a roast turkey feast & the trimmings.  Or take a break from the harvest laden fare and serve with garlic shrimp or BBQed pork tenderloin with mango chutney.  

Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon VQA 2012 $25.95
special Savvy Selections price (Reg $29.95)

Reif Charcuterie Red Wine Experience LRMark my words…you will thank me for including this in your Savvy Selections!  And if you don’t believe me, then hear it from Rob “just released, this is an absolutely beautiful wine – great texture, lots of cellaring ability.  I am blown away with it.” 

Savvy Sommelier Tasting Notes:  A BIG red wine that shows how incredible the 2012 vintage is.  You are the first to try this wine as it not even released yet. It is ready to be enjoyed now, or cellared for 5 years.  No real reason to wait! This is a complex wine with aromas of warm spices (nutmeg, cloves, cinnamon), black plums, blackberries & figs that carry through the taste.

Suggested Food Pairings: The smooth velvet texture will mellow even more with age or with food…like prime rib or as Rob says, “Lamb, lamb, lamb!”

The Magician VQA 2012 $29.95

You will be amazed with this wine as it is a one-of-a-kind blend of Shiraz & Pinot Noir.  It is an experiment that Rob tried in 2009 and turned A LOT of heads.  He was playing with blending & different drying techniques to create a unique appassimento style wine with concentrated aromas & flavours.  “Remarkably, Pinot Noir & Syrah seem to be feeding off each other.” The percentage varies each year depending on the grape harvest.  In 2012, the blend is 70% Shiraz & 30% Pinot Noir. 

Savvy Sommelier Tasting Notes: Warm aromas of campfire, field berries & smoke that provokes fall like weather.  When you have a sip, everything about it reminds me of black – black currants, blackberries, figs, even licorice.

Suggested Food Pairings: The jam like texture this medium bodied wine would be great with lamb burgers, bacon wrapped meatloaf or a pork tenderloin roast (recipe follows).  Looking for a red wine to serve with your turkey?  This is it!

~RECIPES TO ENJOY WITH YOUR SAVVY SELECTIONS~

 With Reif Reserve Gewürztraminer…

Pad Thai

From Debbie’s kitchen
Serves 4

A good friend of mine taught me how to make Thai food and now I always make sure that have the ingredients for Pad Thai on hand….including a bottle of Gewurztraminer like this one from Reif.

Pad Thai Sauce 

Ingredients

1 cup water
1 ½  cups sugar  (less if you rather not as sweet)
2 tablespoons white vinegar
1 teaspoon salt
1 piece of tamarind (approx 1″ x 1″)
½ cup ketchup

Method

Combine ingredients in a saucepan, stir and bring to boil. Lower heat and simmer for approx. 30 minutes.

Strain sauce to collect remaining bits of tamarind (pits, skins etc).  Makes about 2 cups.

This sauce can be stored in the fridge for weeks.  Reheat when ready to make Pad Thai dish.

Pad Thai noodle mixture

Ingredients

1 package of rice noodles (medium width)
1 tablespoon oil
1 clove of garlic minced
2-3 teaspoons of fish sauce
1 lime
1-2 eggs
2 chicken breasts cubed (TIP: try with leftover cooked turkey too!)
a couple of handfuls of bean sprouts (washed)
2-3 green onions finely chopped
1/2 cup chopped peanuts or cashews
2-5 sprigs of fresh coriander (chopped – by scissors is easiest)

Optional
1 cup of cubed deep fried tofu
10-15 shrimp (cooked or raw)

Method

Soak noodles in warm water to soften. (approx 30 minutes or longer); this part of the assembly takes on 8-10 mins so have everything chopped and ready to go!

Heat wok. Add oil and garlic. Break eggs into oil and scatter fry then add chicken and stir until cooked.  If using raw shrimp add when chicken is almost done.

Drain water from noodles and add to wok. Toss continuously.

Pour Pad Thai sauce onto noodles.  Add green onions, tofu and cooked shrimp (if using) then add fish sauce to taste.

Keep tossing noodles until completely coated with sauce and food is really hot.

To Serve

Place a handful of bean sprouts on side of plate.

Mound noodles beside sprouts.

Sprinkle with chopped peanuts, coriander and squeeze lime juice over top.

Serve immediately with spring rolls.

Reif Estate Wines

 

Klaus Reif tending to the vineyard throughout the growing season

 

 

With Reif Cabernet Sauvignon Reserve…

Rack of Lamb with Chimichurri Sauce

From the kitchen of Chef Roger Weldon
Serves 2 or 3 people

Ingredients

1 frenched 6-rib rack of fresh local lamb (Chef Roger prefers Lanark County lamb)

For the chimichurri sauce:

1/4 cup (125 ml) olive oil
2 tablespoons (25 mL) fresh lemon juice
1 tablespoon (15 mL) red wine vinegar
1 clove garlic, minced
1 clove shallot, minced
1/2 teaspoon (2 mL) kosher salt
1 teaspoon (5 mL) crushed black peppercorns
1 bunch fresh spinach, well washed
1/2 bunch each fresh parsley, cilantro, mint and basil

Method

Process sauce ingredients in food processor until minced. Let rest at least 2 hours before serving.

Place lamb rack on hot barbecue grill about 2 minutes per side to sear surface. Reduce heat or move rack to a cooler part of grill to roast about 10 to 15 minutes per side, using meat thermometer for rare (about 120 F/50 C) or medium (about 150 F/65 C).

Serve with sauce drizzled over the rack of lamb & serve.  

With The Magician…

Marinated Pork Loin Roast

From Fare for Friends Cookbook
Serves 10 (recipe can be halved)

Ingredients

4 to 5 pork tenderloins
½ cup soy sauce
½ cup sherry
2 cloves of garlic, minced
1 Tbsp dry mustard
1 teaspoon ginger
1 teaspoon thyme, crushed

Sauce

1 10 ounce jar of black currant jelly
1 Tbsp soy sauce
2  Tbsp sherry  

Method

Place meat in a plastic bag.  In the bag, add soy sauce, sherry, garlic, mustard, ginger & thyme. Seal bag & massage meat with sauce ingredients until completely covered. Marinate for 5 hours or overnight

When ready to cook remove from plastic bag & place meat in a roasting pan. Preheat oven to 325 F.

Roast uncovered with any extra marinade on the bottom of the pan for 1 hour basting frequently until testing shows the meat is done.

To make sauce, combine all the ingredients & heat for 2 minutes.  Drizzle over top of meat & serve with vegetables

TIP: try putting fresh apple wedges on the bottom of the pan while meat cooks.  Serve roasted apples with meat.  

 

Happy Thanksgiving & enjoy your Savvy Selections!

 

 

Share

Tee off for a round of golf & wine at Rockway Vineyards

Posted by Susan

Monday, September 22nd, 2014
Share

 SS stamp lowest res

Savvy Selections wine of the month club 
Featuring Rockway Vineyards

– September 2014 –

 

If your passion is golf and you love to spend the 19th hole with a fine glass of wine paired with a delicious lunch, Rockway Vineyards is the place for you. This property has a fascinating history that starts with founder Bruce Strongman’s love of golf and wine.

Enter the entrepreneur…

Bruce started making paint in his family-run paint store in Toronto, and built the business into the largest paint and wallpaper chain in Canada – Colour Your World. Bruce had time for more golf when the company was sold, and like many entrepreneurs, he followed his dream. It wasn’t just about shooting a perfect round, his dream included owning a golf course.

Take one golf enthusiast…

Rockway VineyardsYears of travelling to his golf course through vineyards along the Niagara Wine Route, which was increasing in popularity, led Bruce and his son Reid to hatch the idea of establishing a golf course associated with a vineyard and winery. The current property – originally a Concord grape vineyard – was purchased and construction of the course began in 1982, with the official opening in 1984. The father and son team were convinced that many of the 25,000 golfers coming to the Niagara region would too be interested in purchasing a bottle or two of wine.

Buy grape juice…

In 2000, they set the wheels in motion, purchasing juice from Reif Estate Winery and gaining the helpful winemaking expertise of Klaus Reif.  Right from the get go, it paid off as their first ice wine was selected as the ‘best of the best’ on the menu at Royal York Hotel in Toronto. Now that is impressive!

Planting of the vines began on a 50-acre vineyard adjacent to the winery.

And last but not least, purchase the vineyard!

wine-hero1When the vineyard across the street was for sale, Bruce purchased it to provide a total of 150 acres. The rapidly growing business became the only 18-hole championship golf course with a fully functional estate winery in Ontario. Bruce is now 92, and can still be seen out at Rockway for his weekly golf game, followed by lunch and a glass of wine in the restaurant. Reid continues to be involved in the business, as are several other family members.

We’re delighted to have this opportunity to offer to you a collection of Rockway Vineyards wines, crafted by winemaker David Stasiuk’s signature ‘minimalist touch’.

In your Savvy Selections, you will find:

Small Lot Block 12-110 Wild Ferment Chardonnay VQA 2013 – a well-balanced wine with complex nose & flavours.  You are the first to receive this wine as it is not yet released at the winery.

‘The Outcast’ VQA 2011– a red Rhône-style blend that will intrigue you as it is Syrah blended with Riesling. Daring, peppery and flavourful

Small Lot Block 11-140 Cabernet Franc VQA 2011 – perfectly well-ripened, smooth, sauve & showcasing all that Cab Franc can be.

If you’re an avid golfer like our Savvy Sommelier Susan Desjardins, after visiting Rockway for both the winery and the golfing – you will make this a regular stop when you visit Niagara. Be sure to make time for a round, wines tasting, lunch or dinner at the excellent restaurant, then take a stroll through the Rockway museum, that includes a selection of authentic French winemaking antiques.

Cheers & Enjoy!

Debbie & Savvy Team 

Introducing…
Rockway Vineyards

Presented by Savvy Sommelier Susan Desjardins

 

Rockway Vineyards family photoAs I talked to Bryce Carruthers (far right in photo) – Rockway’s Sales Manager as well as Bruce’s nephew – he emphasized the recent transition that has taken place at Rockway. With tee off bookings at the golf course being steady and the banquet hall is regularly booked with weddings and golf tournaments, the family wanted to shift the focus to growing the winery and the creation of distinctive wines.

In 2009, the name was changed to Rockway Vineyards, and Bruce (centre with white shirt) instructed his then-wine consultant to find the best possible winemaker in the region. “If it’s not the best wine we can make, we’re not going to bottle it!”

Enter David Stasiuk . . . and the accolades keep coming. (David is middle of left group in photo)

David’s excitement at his role is palpable. A graduate of the Niagara College Winery & Viticulture program, he came to winemaking through the hospitality industry. “In the various roles I held in the restaurant industry, I met many winemakers, attended tastings and played a role in the selection and management of wines for the restaurants. I quickly realized that my passion for wine was too great to play second fiddle to opening a restaurant!”

Attracted to the practical components of the Niagara College program, he initiated his studies in 2007, soon realizing that the scope of a winemaker’s duties is broad.  At Rockway, David is a grower, a chemist, a taster, a people manager, a marketer, a media relations agent and, as he says, a life-long student.

Hands-on experience across Canada & beyond

During and after the College program, he ventured to gain hands on experience locally and around the world. At Le Clos Jordanne (in Niagara), he worked with Thomas Bachelder, learning the importance of site and terroir and how that translates into each wine. “Thomas was a great mentor. I learned so much—that passion for winegrowing is a must and plays a key part in the impression left on every wine crafted; the methods of wild yeast fermentation, barrel program design and so much more—I could go on forever”, explained David.

He wanted to experience winemaking in Canada’s other major winegrowing region, and was able to secure a position at Sumac Ridge. What better place for David to cut his teeth in the industry, than at this seminal Okanagan property, where Harry McWatters established his first vineyard by planting vines on what were the first few holes of his golf course! Through this experience, David worked with Sumac Ridge’s signature product –  sparkling wine – as well as still wines and developed an understanding of the BC wine industry.

Next, David moved on to Australia and New Zealand, staying true to his cool-climate roots, working at Moët Chandon in Australia’s Yarra Valley and with Villa Maria Estate in Marlborough, New Zealand. Here, he worked with grapes varieties such as Pinot Noir and Syrah, Sauvignon Blanc and Chardonnay – all highly relevant to the Ontario wine industry.

Europe was his next destination, yet life and his wife’s career intervened, so he headed to BC to work with Darryl Brooker at Cedar Creek, before moving back to Niagara. “Darryl’s approached to winemaking really affected how I look at things—always a focus on the highest quality with an honest hands-off approach, and the determination to go the distance to achieve the best results, no matter what”, tells David. 

5 years and counting…

David Stasiuk - taken by Savvy CompanyWhen David joined Rockway Vineyards 5 years ago, he combined his love for food and golf with his passion for wine.

He was given a clean slate and the opportunity to re-define the style of Rockway wines. Asked what he feels gives his wines their unique style, he focuses on two keys factors: the site and state-of-the-art equipment.

“We are located on the furthest eastern border of the Twenty Mile Bench sub-apellation. We are farther away from the lake than the bench wineries (winespeak: wineries along the Beamsville Bench), yet still benefit from the lake-effect wind and temperature modulation. Because of the way the escarpment wraps around our site, we tend to have funneling winds that promote good air flow through the grapevine canopies.” David continues, “we have diverse soils and are on a gradual slope that, with the winds, helps reduce the risk of settling frosts. Most of our vines were planted 10-30 years ago, so we have some mature vines and are focused on Chardonnay and Riesling, as well as Cabernet Franc and Syrah.”

With the winery onsite, there is minimal time from picking to processing and the winemaking equipment includes state-of-the-art cooling tanks and processing equipment.

Making wines he likes

When I asked about his philosophy and the type of experience he would like you to have when you taste his wines, David is poetic. “We try to preserve the flavours developed in our vineyards by being gentle with the fruit and not obscuring the taste of the vineyard by over oaking. I want people who taste our wines to have the same experience I look for in a wine”. David shares his personal impression, “I want to be intrigued at the first smell from the glass. I want to sense depth and layers of aromas. Then I want the wine to have life on the palate. I want it to be fresh and approachable but firm, with a distinct personality.”

Let me ask you…what more could YOU want!?!

Cheers & Enjoy your Savvy Selections!

 

~ SAVVY SOMMELIER TASTING NOTES ~


‘Small Lot Block 12-110’ Wild Ferment Chardonnay 2013 VQA, $32.00

The fruit for this wine was hand harvested, a portion of the juice placed in a warm room to start a natural inoculant, then was tasted and added back to the barrels. The wine was aged in French oak for 7 months.

Savvy Sommelier Tasting Notes: Attractive notes of butter, vanilla and toasted nut mingle with aromas of ripe orchard fruit. This dry, medium-bodied wine offers a tantalizing taste experience, showing complexity & verve with sound fruit flavours, good structure and a pleasant touch of buttery toast on the finish.

Suggested Food Pairing:  Enjoy the creamy texture  & lively acidity of this wine with roast chicken, pork or grilled salmon.

Cellaring: Drinking well now or cellar 2-3 years.

 

‘The Outcast’ 2011 VQA, $19.95

Move over Shiraz/Viognier blends, David is introducing his own creation: Syrah/Riesling. It’s common practice in Australia to add 5% Viognier to Shiraz for aromatics and minerality. David in turn, is adding 5% Riesling to this northern Rhône-style Syrah for the subtle acidity and residual sugar it brings to the texture.

Savvy Sommelier Tasting Notes:Dry, medium bodied, this unique blend has a firm structure and fresh texture, with a peppery nose, spicy floral notes and lovely red & black fruit.The spicy peppery notes mingle with a hint of earthiness and juicy ripe fruit, while a subtle note of coffee bean (resulting from the Syrah juice that spent 18 months in oak) lingers on the finish.

Suggested Food Pairing:Lamb is a classic pairing or enjoy with other roast meat are a perfect match.

Cellaring: This wine will cellar a further 2-3 years.

 

‘Small Lot Block 11-140’ Cabernet Franc 2011 VQA $24.95

The fruit for this wine benefited from ideal ripening conditions – warm days and cool nights heading into harvest, assuring depth of flavor and smooth tannins. Fermented with a native Bordeaux yeast, then aged 18 months in French barrels.

Savvy Sommelier Tasting Notes: Here’s a well-ripened Cabernet Franc offering a fine nose of spicy chocolate, lavender, dried herbs, ripe berry and plum. Dry, medium-full bodied, it has great presence on the palate, a fresh yet rich texture, well-defined structure and flavourful fruit flavours. Attractive peppery notes & a hint of mocha persist on the finish.

Suggested Food Pairing:  Serve with Beef Bourguignon, Coq au Vin or leg of lamb.

Cellaring:  Ready now, it will cellar 3-5 years.

 

~ RECIPES TO ENJOY WITH YOUR SAVVY SELECTIONS ~


With Rockway Wild Ferment Chardonnay…

Salmon with Lemon Quinoa & Corn Salsa

From Radius Café, Hamilton Ontario
Serves 4

Ingredients

2 cups dried quinoa
2 lemons
6 Tbsp olive oil
½ C chopped flat-leaf parsley
2 cobs corn
½ red pepper, chopped
1 shallot, finely chopped
2 Tbsp white wine vinegar
1 tsp cracked black pepper
4 portions fresh Atlantic salmon

Method

In 2 litres of boiling water, cook quinoa until tender, 8-10 minutes. Strain in a colander & transfer to large bowl. While it’s still hot, add zest & juice of 2 lemons & 2 Tbsp olive oil. Stir & let cool in refrigerator. Once cool, add 2 Tbsp parsley & set aside.

Husk corn & grill on high, rotating cobs until nicely charred on the outside. Stand corn upright on cutting board & run knife along cob to remove kernels. (alternatively, do the same process by boiling corn)

Transfer kernels to bowl. Add red pepper, shallot, remaining olive oil, white wine vinegar & remaining parsley. Season this corn salsa with half the salt & pepper & set aside.

Season salmon with remaining salt & pepper & brush lightly with oil. On hot grill, cook salmon for about 6 minutes per side or until moist & flakey.

Make a bed of quinoa on each plate. Lay grilled salmon on it & top with corn salsa. 


With Rockway ‘The Outcast’

Leg of Lamb with Syrah Marinade

Adapted from Cooking with BC Wine Cookbook, T & C-L Townsin
Serves 6

Ingredients

1 leg of lamb
1 cup Syrah
2 tsp minced horseradish
2 cup ketchup
2 cup olive oil
4 garlic cloves, minced
1 Tbsp oregano
1 Tbsp Worcestershire sauce
2 Tbsp shallots, minced
2 Tbsp parsley, chopped
1 bay leaf
1 Tbsp rosemary, chopped

Method

David Stasiuk in cellar - taken by Savvy CompanyCombine all marinade ingredients in a large bowl or plastic container. Trim excess fat from lamb and marinate overnight for best results. There should be extra marinade to be saved for later.

Preheat oven to 350F. Remove lamb from marinade and sear on all sides in pan over medium high heat.

Transfer lamb to ovenproof dish, cover and roast for 45 minutes for rare or 1 hour for well done. Or grill on barbeque. Serve with baby roast potatoes and seasonal fall vegetables.

 

 

What a treat! David gave us a barrel tasting of his 2012 red wines of Syrah & Cabernet Franc. Not ready just yet, but they will be worth the wait!

 

With Rockway Cabernet Franc…

Grilled Hanger Steak with Smoky Corn & Tomato Salsa

From The Flavour Principle Cookbook, L. Waverman, B. Crosariol
Serves 6

Ingredients for Steak

2 Tbsp Dijon mustard
2 Tbsp red wine vinegar
1 Tbsp chopped fresh thyme
1 tbp chopped garlic
1 tsp chili powder
1 tsp honey
¼ cup olive oil
one 2 lb. hanger steak
salt & freshly ground pepper

Ingredients for Salsa

3 ears corn, shucked
3 plum tomatoes, cut in half lengthwise
1 red pepper, cut in quarters
3 Tbsp olive oil
salt & freshly ground pepper
¾ cup chopped red onion

Ingredients for Dressing

3 Tbsp olive oil
1 Tbsp lemon juice
1 tsp coriander seeds
¾ tsp smoked paprika
2 Tbsp chopped fresh cilantro

 

Method for Steak

Combine mustard, vinegar, thyme, garlic, chili powder & honey in a small bowl. Whisk in olive oil. Pour marinade over steak & marinate in refrigerator for 4 hours or overnight. Remove steak from refrigerator 1 hour before grilling to bring it to room temperature.

Preheat grill to high. Season steak with salt & pepper & grill for 4-6 minutes per side for medium-rare (depending on thickness) or until desired degree of doneness.

Remove from grill & let rest for 5 minutes. Slice against grain & serve with Smoky Corn & Tomato Salsa.

Method for Salsa 

Preheat grill to high. Brush corn, tomatoes & red pepper with oil. Season with salt & pepper.

Grill corn for about 3 minutes per side or until kernels are golden. Also grill tomatoes until skin is shriveled and flesh is soft, about 2 minutes per side. Peel charred skin from tomatoes & discard; then grill peppers for about 4 minutes per side or until skin is blackened. Set aside & cool. Peel skin from pepper & discard. Dice pepper & transfer to medium bowl.

Slice corn from cobs & add to pepper with red onion.

Place tomatoes in food processor with oil, lemon juice, coriander seeds & paprika. Process until smooth. Stir in cilantro. Toss vegetables with dressing.

 

Enjoy your Savvy Selections!

Share

Like Father…like Son…2 become winemakers!

Posted by Eva

Monday, August 18th, 2014
Share

SS stamp lowest res

 

Savvy Selections wine of the month club 
Featuring Stanners Vineyard

– August 2014 –

 

Have you been to Prince Edward County lately?  On your next trip, promise me that you will drop in to visit this month’s feature winery Stanners Vineyard. Located ‘at the top’ of the winery map not far off Hwy 401 at the Trenton exit, the winery is perfectly situated to be your first stop into Prince Edward County or last stop enroute home.  Mark my word…the visit with winery owner & winemaker Colin Stanner & a tasting of his wines will make your County trip complete.

In a life previous to this, both Cliff (father) and Colin (son) Stanners were research scientists: Cliff has a PhD in physical chemistry and Colin a PhD in cell & molecular biology.  The two also had considerable experience in winemaking before embarking on the adventure of owning a vineyard & winery.  In Montréal, Cliff was a force to be reckoned with in an amateur winemaking club.  In the meantime, Colin and his wife (Mary) moved to California in the 1990’s where he took an Intro to Oenology (winespeak: the science & study of all aspects of wine & winemaking) course at the highly acclaimed University of California –  Davis Campus (aka UC Davis)  learning about wines of the world & winemaking basics.

 The attraction of Pinot Noir

Much experimentation ensued in Colin’s basement small-scale winery where he converted local California grapes into well respected wine.  Both Colin & Cliff saw the potential of making high quality wine from Pinot Noir grapes in Prince Edward County (recently named the 4th ‘Designated Viticulture Area’ in Ontario).  While Cliff neared retirement, the father & son team were primed for a new adventure.  They made the leap to turn their passion for nature & premium wine into reality.  The result rivals French Burgundy wines but their goal is not to imitate but bring forth the beauty of the minerality that is characteristic of Prince Edward County wines.

In your Savvy Selections, you will find:

2012 Chardonnay VQA Lincoln Lakeshore $25 – buttery caramel that then turns smoky with a flinty minerality cutting through.  At 15%, you might think it too much but think again.  Stanners Chardonnay is exquisite. I have said it before…I dream of this Chardonnay.

2010 Pinot Noir VQA Ontario $30 –  This is textbook minerality from Prince Edward County in a Burgundian-style Pinot Noir.  Chill this slightly as you would an elegant & delicate Beaujolais-style Gamay.

2010 Cabernet Franc VQA Prince Edward County $25  – WOWza! The aromas leap out of the glass: ripe dark fruit, baking spices, rose and black liquorice.  This will keep in the cellar but let’s be honest….can you really wait?

Award-winning wines …

Stanners Vineyard bottlesStanners Pinot Noir is the most critically acclaimed wine of their portfolio.  The 2010 garnered a Silver medal and judges ranked it right up there amongst the Top 4 Pinot Noirs in Canada!  The Royal Winter Fair voted it the best wine of the show.

And you heard it first…here, WineAlign’s National Wine Awards of Canada announced that Stanners 2011 Pinot Noir VQA Four Mile Creek was awarded Silver in the category of Red Wines & 2012 Chardonnay VQA Lincoln Lakeshore won a Bronze medal.

Where to find Stanners wines?

Similar to other wineries we have featured in Savvy Selections, Stanners wines are not on the LCBO shelves. If you would like additional bottles of your favourite Stanners wine – or other featured Ontario wineries – just give me a call on 613-SAVVYCO (728-8926) or send me an email to debbie@savvycompany.ca to arrange an additional delivery for you. It is always my pleasure to introduce you to wonderful new Ontario wines!

Cheers & Enjoy!

Debbie & Savvy Team

 

Introducing…
Stanners Vineyard

Presented by Sommelier Éva Nagy

 

Colin and his wife, Mary, moved to California in the 1990’s.  Armed with an UC Davis introductory course in general wines of the world & winemaking basics, Colin visited wineries at harvest time to bring home grapes to his basement mini-winery.  He learned by making wine & making mistakes.  He experimented with full cluster fermentation with stems, even ripe stems, resulting in very astringent tannins (think of a mouth-drying sensation like over-steeped black tea).

Stanners Vineyard vinesMeanwhile, Colin’s father Cliff discovered the Hillier area in Prince Edward County (PEC) on a cycling trip.  Cliff & Colin visited and looked at properties & wineries in this area near Trenton.  After lots of research – they are scientists afterall – they chose a property that borders on an environmentally-protected bird area with lots of wildlife.

Their extensive research continued as they tasted wines from neighbouring wineries – By Chadsey’s Cairns Winery, Grange of Prince Edward, Rosehall Run, and Norman Hardie – to learn more about the distinct County minerality.  The father & son team sought advice from Mike Peddlesden, a key figure in PEC wine industry, and Dan Taylor for economic development. Through this research process they recognized the incredible potential of The County & they were excited to become part of it.

So it begins …

In 2003, they purchased the 25 acre property that would become Stanners artisanal, family-owned & operated vineyard & winery.  In the fall of 2004, all hands were on deck to grab a hoe or shovel to help prepare the land for planting in the spring of 2005.  Pinot Noir vines were growing by 2007 but the grapes were not ready to sell until the harvest of 2009.  Then the grand opening of the winery happened at the end of 2010. Ever since their opening we have been contacting them inquiring if they were ‘ready’ to be featured in Savvy Selections.  All of us in the Savvy Team are delighted to introduce you to their wines this month.

Colin Stanner in his vineyardCliff & Colin (pictured on right) sought advice of many people before building their winery.  Their Barrel & Tasting Room are constructed of straw bale which is highly insulated & keeps a constant temperature in a very eco way.  Digging a cave was not an option due to the great amount fractured limestone.  You can actually see this in different parts in the vineyard: the high spots are full of rock, the low spots have less.  This very limestone is perfect for Pinot Noir & Chardonnay.  Their roots have to dip deep through the fractured rock to produce concentrated wines.

Of the 25 acre property, 18,000 vines are intentionally planted densely into 7 to 8-1/2 acres … the number of vines would fit closer to others’ 18 acres.  The first acre was planted 4-1/2 feet between the rows and 3 feet between the plants (not unlike Burgundy France).  They really have to hedge down & keep on top of the canopy.  Now the Stanners plant 6 feet between the rows.  This helps greatly with airflow and the reduction of disease.  As you can imagine, these scientists have good reasoning for this approach.

Colin hopes to make Pinot Noir from parcels of land.  IN his lab, he will make the wines separately then compare results.  Depending on his findings, he may blend them or he may not.  All along, his focus is to really show the characteristics of the grapes & vineyard, to make every sip rewarding & different from the last.  He says, “It’s a matter of not trying to influence it too strongly.  Not hitting it over the head with oak.”

The difference between California grapes and those grown in PEC is the Brix level (winespeak: the natural sugar content of the grape).  In California, grapes had to be so ripe (at 24-25 Brix) to get flavour.  In The County, it takes comparatively only 20 brix to develop phenolic (physiological) ripeness at a much earlier rate.  For now, Stanners produce 1000 cases per year.  The goal is 1500 cases as they grow bigger. This is considered very small by Ontario wine industry standards.

The little things that get done …

”The magic lies in how the grapes are handled from vine to bottle,” explains Colin.  “The grapes are hand-picked into small flat picking bins.  Next the whole berries go into the de-stemmer.  No crushing throughout the winemaking process”.  Pinot Noir & Cabernet Franc go directly into the fermentation bin where whole berries sit longer & at lower temperature than usual.  The must is punched-down by hand then goes into a gentle bladder press.

Stanners Vineyard bottlesAt this time of the year, you will find Colin in the vineyard & working on Pinot Gris in the winery.  There will be only 85-90 cases of this popular, pinkish-salmon coloured beauty.  They will be grabbed up quickly so get it while you can by calling the Savvy Team to arrange a delivery.

“It is somewhat of a quiet time in the vineyard right now.” states Colin.  “Measurements are done, leaf-pulling is all done, the weeds have stopped.  It is the calm before the storm where we have a week or so to relax before we hit the ground running with harvest.”

At the end of August, picking parties will begin.  Although a date is not set, they plan a barrel-racing event with hobby horses.  You will definitely see me at Stanners harvest party/parties most likely the 1st & 2nd weeks of October (a little later than usual).  I am so excited at the thought of picking followed by lunch & wine.  Hope to see you there!

Cheers & enjoy your Savvy Selections!


~ SAVVY SOMMELIER TASTING NOTES ~

 

2012 Chardonnay VQA Lincoln Lakeshore, $25.00

The grapes are sourced from a single vineyard in the Lincoln Lakeshore sub-appellation in the Niagara Peninsula.  When you have a look at the label, it may surprise you that this Chardonnay is 15% abv (alcohol by volume). So perfectly balanced between caramel & flinty smoky minerality that you won’t notice the high alcohol.

Savvy Sommelier Tasting Notes: Buttery & concentrated caramel/butterscotch, ripe green apple & pear,  toasted coconut & wildflower honey.  But wait! … There’s that medium+ acidity & flinty minerality cutting through that full-bodied, buttery character.  As it warms up, white pepper, smoke & vanilla make their appearance.  The finish goes on and on and on….

Suggested Food Pairing: Stanners creamy-textured Chardonnay absolutely beckons Gravlax (recipe follows) or bagel & cream cheese with smoked salmon or trout (like they have at Supply and Demand restaurant in Ottawa), pan-seared scallops, classic French onion tart. The slight smokiness will lend itself to barbeque or roasted poultry as well.

 

2010 Pinot Noir VQA Ontario,$30.00

This is a blend of grapes from Prince Edward County (60%) and Lincoln Lakeshore (40%), hence the VQA Ontario on the label.  Bright, elegant & delicate with a Gamay-esque quality.  Our Savvy Sommeliers recommend to chill ever so slightly as you would a French Beaujolais.  Chilling for 10-15 minutes in the fridge will release the delicate & elegant aromas & flavours.  This is a very Burgundian-style Pinot with that distinctive County minerality we have been talking about since page 1!

Savvy Sommelier Tasting Notes:Decant or let age for a year or so & you will be greatly rewarded for your patience.  It’s coming up roses … the colour, the aroma & flavour.  Roses waft through ripe strawberries & pomegranate.

Suggested Food Pairing: Chill slightly like a French Beaujolais and serve with: duck confit grilled cheese served with cherry shiraz jelly & Bleu Elizabeth artisan cheese, decadent bacon-wrapped dates stuffed with blue cheese,  prosciutto-wrapped figs stuffed with blue cheese; rustic paté, artisanal charcuterie, roast turkey or chicken. This Pinot Noir is very versatile.

 

2010 Cabernet Franc VQA Prince Edward County,$25.00

Ready for a completely different red wine? This one blew all of our Savvy Selections tasting panel away.  And at our recent All Canadian Wine Taste & Buy, some of our ‘loyal & regular’ Savvy Event attendees were tipping Debbie off about this wine.  “Try it & you’ll be amazed!” they promised.

Savvy Sommelier Tasting Notes:And no doubt, they were right…now we’re talking! Aromas & flavours of rip juicy fruit abound.  Chock-full of ripe black fruit, plum, cranberry, floral (think red roses), baking spices (think cinnamon or allspice) and good black liquorice. The acidity & tannins are well-balanced for drinking now or this wine will definitely age for a few years in your cellar.

Suggested Food Pairing:Spans the range of pairings from pulled pork & burgers to duck, cured meats and Creole-blackened fish.

 

~ RECIPES TO ENJOY WITH YOUR SAVVY SELECTIONS ~

 

With 2012 Chardonnay VQA Lincoln Lakeshore …

Easy Salmon Gravadlax (Gravlax)

From Jamie Oliver
Serves 4

Ingredients

1 heaped tablespoon dark soft brown sugar
25 mL vodka
sea salt
½ an orange zest from 2 lemons
a bunch of fresh dill
2 x 150 g salmon fillets, pinboned, skin on
4 tablespoons soured cream
1½ teaspoons jarred grated horseradish
extra virgin olive oil
1 x 250 g vacuum pack of beetroots
balsamic vinegar

Serve with 1 punnet of cress & a loaf of rye bread

Method

Place the sugar, vodka, 3 heaped tablespoons of salt, the orange zest and the zest from 1 lemon into a bowl. Pick the dill leaves and reserve in a bowl of cold water in the fridge, then finely chop the stalks and stir into the mixture so well combined. Pop the salmon fillets into the bowl, turning them over in the marinade until well coated, then cover with cling film and place in the fridge for 5 hours.

Meanwhile, make the horseradish sauce. Add the soured cream, grated horseradish and the juice from ½ a lemon to a small bowl. Mix well, season with a pinch of salt and add a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil, then place in the fridge until needed.

Add the beetroot (including the juices) to a bowl with a splash of balsamic vinegar. Season well with salt, then mash with a fork to a rough paste. Have a taste and add a splash more vinegar if you think it needs it, then set aside until needed.

After around 5 hours, remove the salmon from the bowl, then wipe off and discard any excess salt. Drain and finely chop the reserved dill leaves and rub all over the salmon. If you’re not serving straight away, sandwich the salmon together, with the skin-side outside and wrap in cling film, then return to the fridge, until needed.

To serve, remove the cling film and peel away the salmon skin, then transfer to a board and finely slice. Snip over the cress, then serve alongside the horseradish sauce, balsamic beets, rye bread and lemon wedges for squeezing over. I sometimes like to serve it with a shot of vodka on the side too. Enjoy!

Serve with horseradish sauce & beautiful beets.

 

With 2010 Pinot Noir VQA Ontario …

Duck Confit Grilled Cheese

From the Coffee Window

Ingredients

Duck Confit (recipe below)
whole grain bread
mildly nutty cheese like Emmenthal or Fontina

Method

You can use any basic recipe for duck confit (see below), and then, instead of preserving it, shred the meat, including the crisp skin. (If you are using duck confit made earlier or one that you buy, warm the meat up a bit in a sauté pan.)

Layer the duck onto a slice of nice sandwich bread; seven grain or whole wheat is a good choice.

Top with a few thin slices of a mildly nutty tasting cheese that melts well, like Emmenthaler or Fontina.

Top with the second slice of bread, and press down lightly.

Film a skillet with olive oil (butter burns too quickly), and get it hot (but not smoking) over medium heat.

Brown the sandwich on both sides, and lower the heat under the pan, letting the sandwich steam long enough to melt the cheese and get it all oozy.

Cut on the diagonal, and let ‘er rip.

 

Duck Confit

From Epicurious

Ingredients

3 tablespoons salt
4 cloves garlic, smashed
1 shallot, peeled and sliced
6 sprigs thyme
Coarsely ground black pepper
4 duck legs with thighs
4 duck wings, trimmed
About 4cups duck fat

Method

Sprinkle 1 tablespoon of salt in the bottom of a dish or plastic container large enough to hold the duck pieces in a single layer.

Evenly scatter half the garlic, shallots, and thyme in the container.

Arrange the duck, skin-side up, over the salt mixture, then sprinkle with the remaining salt, garlic, shallots, and thyme and a little pepper. You can cover and refrigerate for 1-2 days.

Preheat the oven to 225°F.

Melt the duck fat in a small saucepan & brush the salt and seasonings off the duck.

Arrange the duck pieces in a single snug layer in a high-sided baking dish or ovenproof saucepan. Pour the melted fat over the duck (the duck pieces should be covered by fat) and place the confit in the oven.

Cook the confit slowly at a very slow simmer — just an occasional bubble — until the duck is tender and can be easily pulled from the bone, 2-3 hours.

Remove the confit from the oven. Cool and store the duck in the fat. (The confit will keep in the refrigerator for several weeks.)

Note: The duck fat can be strained, cooled and reused.

 

With 2010 Cabernet Franc VQA Prince Edward County …

Oven Braised Pork Shoulder with Apple Juice

About.com Southern Food
Serves 6 to 8 with leftovers

Ingredients

1 bone-in pork shoulder roast, about 6 pounds
2 medium onions, peeled and sliced or coarsely chopped
2 1/2 teaspoons of a seasoning blend for pork or chicken or salt and pepper
1 cup apple juice
1 to 1 1/2 cups barbecue sauce

Method

Lightly grease a large covered Dutch oven or casserole.

Heat oven to 300°.

Put onions in the casserole.

Rub the pork with the seasoning blend or sprinkle generously with salt and pepper then place the roast on the onions and add apple juice.

Cover and bake for 5 hours, basting occasionally.

Remove the roast to a large platter and shred or chop the meat. Discard bones and fat. Strain the juices and put the solids back into the casserole or Dutch oven.

Discard the liquids and add the shredded or chopped pork.  Then add barbecue sauce and stir to blend ingredients. Cover and bake for 30 minutes, or until hot and bubbly.

This is delicious served with macaroni and cheese or scalloped potatoes, or serve it in buns with pickles, slaw, and baked beans.

Enjoy your Savvy Selections!

Share

Nyarai Cellars – virtual winery in Ontario

Posted by Cathy

Friday, July 25th, 2014
Share

 

 Savvy Selections Ontario wine of the month club

Savvy Selections wine of the month club 
Featuring Nyarai Cellars

– July 2014 –

In Vino Veritas, in wine there is truth… and truthfully Nyarai wines are to be experienced. Overlooking the Georgian Bay, lounging in an Adirondack chair that is bright red cherry colour reminiscent of Pinot Noir wines, while sipping on a glass of Sauvignon Blanc, Viognier or Veritas from Nyarai Cellars is just about as perfect as it gets! And our Savvy Sommelier Cathy Law did exactly this.

What is a virtual winery?

Steve ByfieldWhile the setting is absolutely glorious, you will not find any of Nyarai vineyards here. Not even a building with a sign stating Nyarai CellarsSteve Byfield (left) is the owner and winemaker of a virtual winery.  Never heard of that? It is essentially a winery within a winery.

In this case, Nyarai resides within the scenic Coffin Ridge Winery near Meaford, Ontario in the Georgian Bay area. In a co-operative manner, Steve uses the facilities at Coffin Ridge to produce his delectable wines. He is a part of a growing industry of winemakers ‘without walls’ who source their grapes from hand selected grape growers to ensure that Nyarai wines are made from the finest quality grapes available. Rather than draining the financial resources to erect beautiful buildings and tasting rooms, winemakers of virtual wineries lease, share or use the equipment and facilities of an already existing winery. No doubt this keeps their overhead low and creativity high.

Our Savvy Sommelier Cathy Law spent a lovely afternoon interviewing Steve who lives in Hamilton and makes a bi-weekly visit to Coffin Ridge to check on his wines.  Steve surprised Cathy with a story about his musical background then serenaded her with Gleeful tales of his winemaking journey. Since his debut with Savvy Selections in 2008, Steve has delighted Ontario wine enthusiasts with a symphony of notable wines.  You will see exactly what I mean when you open one of the bottles in this month’s Savvy Selections.

In your Savvy Selections you will find:

Sauvignon Blanc 20012 $19.95 – the flagship wine  that was awarded Bronze Medal at the National wine Awards of Canada.
Viognier 2012 $21.95 – a hard to find grape variety in Ontario & we were so excited to introduce you to this elegant wine.
Veritas Reserve 2010 $26.95 – a highly sought after wine that we made sure that there was enough to include in the Savvy Selections.  Now it is almost all gone!

Cheers & enjoy your Nyarai wines!
Debbie & the Savvy Team

 

Introducing…
Nyarai Cellars

Presented by Cathy Law

 

Nyarai (Nah-Rye) is a word from a South African dialect that means humility. This aptly named winery epitomizes Steve in every sense of the word.  From my visit with him, I think that he exudes humility in all aspects of his winemaking journey.

Steve explained to me that he chose the name in consultation with his business partner Rod Ingram as it is an expression that encompasses all that he believes in. I can see it in Steve’s eyes that he is humbled by the land and how we should respect what we have by letting nature take its course.  As an aside, Steve mentioned that Nyarai is often a name often given to first born girl in the African American community.

And all that jazz…

Steve’s passion for wine began with a part time summer job while he was studying music. He first worked at one of the “make your own” wine shops.  It was there where he developed an interest in the process and the chemistry of winemaking. Completing his degree in music performanc, all the while beginning a teaching position as well as entertaining people with his jazz band did not diminish his desire to be part of the wine industry.  Steve began a natural progression from entertaining people with music to tantalizing their palates with his burgeoning vintners ability.

In the fall of 2000, Steve joined Southbrook Vineyards (in their original location near Richmond Hill) as a consultant where he began his winemaking career. In 2006, he moved on to the Beamsville Bench region where he has since worked as Assistant Winemaker at Ridgepoint Wines, Calamus Estates Winery and as Winemaker at Thomas and Vaughn Estates Winery (now Wayne Gretzky Estate Winery.  In 2008, through a chain of circumstance and chance meetings with the owners of Coffin Ridge Winery, Nayarai Cellars became a reality. 

Creating a co-operative community

steve-hands_208x198Steve is all about sourcing his grapes from conscientious growers who show respect for the vine and the land. The grapes are sourced from Redfoot Vineyards Beamsville and Watson Vineyards Niagara-on-the-Lake.  Steve explains, “Everything happens in the vineyard. We simply extend the process in the cellar. The goal of Nyarai is to convey a sense of place.”

Steve believes in a minimal intervention from “bud to burst”.  “Ninty percent of the winemaking journey takes place in the vineyard.  From grape, to bottle, to your table, I want you to enjoy what the terroir -land, water, sunshine, region – has to offer.  I strive to create a sense of place”, offers Steve.

Virtual vs. Reality

Steve’s virtual winery allows for an ever expanding exploration in creativity with regards to wine making techniques and varietals. He is striving to continue to grow his wine business in a sustainable way, cautiously without diluting the quality of his product. In the upcoming months, Steve will release Cadence VQA 2011 a delectable red blend. Cadence, a word showing the lineage to music indicates the tempo of song, everything coming together to act as one. Steve tips his musical hat by blending of 42% Cabernet Franc, 33% Merlot, 22% Cabernet Sauvignon and 5% Syrah grapes (different proportions than Veritas).  “It is a bright and full bodied wine.” comments Steve.  Hint: As with all Nyarai wines, this will be a small lot wine (aka limited stock). If you would like some of this wine, simply call the Savvy Team on 613-SAVVYCO (728-8926) to arrange a shipment for you. 

“My passions are music and wine”

One of the most exciting moments in Steve’s winemaking venture was finding out that he was congratulated on his product in the Wall Street Journal. As you would expect, Steve said with a smile, “Now, that was really cool”. 

Here’s to Steve & his wonderful wines!

 

~ SAVVY SOMMELIER TASTING NOTES ~

 

sauv blanc2012 Sauvignon Blanc VQA $19.95

This wine is the essence and flagship wine of Nyarai Cellars. Sauvignon Blanc is Steve’s favorite grape to make into wine.  “Sauvignon Blanc is my passion.”

Savvy Sommelier Tasting Notes:Beautiful aromas,  good acidity with some mineral on the palate. This is a refreshing wine for summertime sipping.  With its long citrus finish, it is a well-balanced and extremely well made wine.

Food Pairing Suggestions:Classic pairings with Sauvignon Blanc include asparagus,  fresh-from-the-garden peasand white fish.  Cathy offers a recipe of Grilled Lemon and Rosemary Chicken  that would do the trick!

Cellaring: This wine is best served young …so open it up now to enjoy the crisp & refreshing tastes.

 

viognier2012 Viognier VQA $21.95

I have a love affair with Viognier, based on what Mother Nature has given us this year should be something special.   This hard-to-find grape variety (in Ontario vineyards) was originally grown in France & is becoming increasingly popular around the world.  Few Viogniers are made in Ontario…and when the Savvy Team finds them, they are shared & are usually met with a big smile.  Once you like Viognier, you will be on the lookout for more – guaranteed.

Savvy Sommelier Tasting Notes:  Made with an interesting & artistic blend of Viognier grapes that 62% were fermented in stainless steel tanks while the remaining 38% was fermented in oak barrels.

The result we all agreed is a well balanced and elegant white wine. Orange peel, lemon and apricot aromas come to mind that continues through into the taste. “this is a humdinger” said our Savvy Selections tasting panel with a smile.

Food Pairing Suggestions: A versatile white wine is delicious on its own, with shellfish, chicken or with the summer classic of Cedar Planked Salmon with a ginger and fruit jam glaze – recipe follows.

 

veritas2010 Veritas Reserve VQA $26.95

“I love the anticipation and expectation just prior to the harvest, walking through the vines, looking at the grapes”, says Steve with a smile.

This one-of-a-kind blend is made with 40% Cabernet Franc, 20% Merlot, 20% Cabernet Sauvignon and 20% Syrah grapes.  This wine showcases the amazing 2010 growing season that Mother Nature provided. “Oh WOW!” was said by everyone in the Savvy Selections Tasting Panel.

Savvy Sommelier Tasting Notes: A full bodied red that is loaded with red and black fruit.  A velvet & plush texture (aka tannins) with every sip. “Fire up the BBQ for this wine” suggested Amanda during the tasting.

Food Pairing Suggestions: “Anything with dark chocolate would be perfect” commented Debbie.  Sunday Roast Beef dinner with all the trimmings, game meats, BBQed ribs or a thick rib eyed steak. Cathy offers the recipe of Mushrooms Stuffed with Parmesan Cheese and Almonds that would be a hit with this wine.

Cellaring: Ready to be enjoyed now or can be cellared for upwards to 5 years…but when it is this good, why wait?

 

 

~RECIPES TO ENJOY WITH YOUR SAVVY SELECTIONS~

 

With Nyarai Sauvignon Blanc….

Grilled Lemon and Rosemary Chicken

From the Canadian Living Light and Healthy Cookbook
Makes 4 servings

Ingredients

2 cups buttermilk (500 ml)or low fat yogurt
¼ cup lemon juice (50ml)
4 chicken quarters
2 ½ pounds-1.25 kg total
Fresh rosemary sprigs
Lemon slices

Method

In a heavy plastic bag, combine buttermilk and lemon juice; add chicken and a few rosemary sprigs. Close bag, pressing out as much air as possible. Refrigerate for at least 2 or up to 8 hours, turning the bag occasionally.

Remove chicken from the buttermilk mixture, scraping off excess. Place on greased grill over medium-high setting; cover and cook for 15 minutes.

Turn the chicken over; top each piece with 2 or 3 lemon slices and rosemary sprigs. Cook for 15 to 20 minutes longer or until juices run clear when chicken is pierced. Serve garnished with more lemon and rosemary.

 

With Nyarai Viognier ….

Cedar Planked Salmon à la Cathy

From Savvy Sommelier Cathy Law’s Kitchen
Serves 4 to 6 (depending on size of filet)

Ingredients

1 fresh fillet of salmon
2 tbsp. fresh ginger chopped
Enough ginger infused peach or apricot jam to spread evenly over the salmon
Cracked pepper and salt fish to taste

Method

Submerge your cedar plank in water with a little of the Nyarai Viognier (if you dare! Alternatively, use another white wine). Let the plank soak for about 2 hours. The longer the plank soaks the better as there will be less burning of the wood.

Heat your BBQ or Smoker to medium high.

Place the salmon on the plank skin side down. Set the plank on the pre heated grill and close the lid.

Grill salmon for 10 to 20 minutes until it starts to flake easily. Carefully remove the plank from the grill.

Serve with your choice of accompaniments and a luscious glass of Nyarai Viognier.

 

With Nyarai Veritas Reserve …

Mushrooms Stuffed with Parmesan Cheese and Almonds

The Wine and Food Lovers Diet Cookbook by Dr. Phillip Tirman, M.D

Ingredients

1/3 cup almonds finely chopped
1 ½ teaspoon olive oil plus more for brushing
¼ cup chopped yellow onions
1 egg
½ cup freshly grated parmesan Cheese
1 Tablespoon Dijon mustard
½ teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
Kosher salt
Freshly ground pepper
8 large button or cremini mushrooms (about ½ pound total ), stems removed

Method

Preheat oven to 350F

Lightly oil a baking sheet. In a small dry skillet over medium heat, toast the almonds, stirring constantly, until they just begin to turn light brown, about 3 minutes. Immediately pour them into a small bowl to allow to cool.

Chop the almonds finely and set aside.

In a skillet over medium high heat, warm the oil until it simmers. Add the onion and cook, stirring constantly, until softened and slightly brown around the edges, about 5 minutes. Remove to a bowl. Stir in the almonds, eggs, Parmesan, mustard, and nutmeg until well combined. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

Brush the mushroom caps all over with oil. Spoon the cheese mixture into the caps, dividing evenly. Arrange the stuffed mushrooms stuffed side up, on the prepared sheet. Bake until the filling is lightly browned and the mushrooms are tender, about 20 minutes. Serve warm.

Enjoy these mushroom delights with a brilliant glass on Nyarai Cellars Veritas.

 

Have some Veritas in your glass left to enjoy with chocolate?

Good dark chocolate (from Belgium especially) is a perfect pairing with this fruit driven red blend. Also, play with this pairing with a chocolate infused with chilli or a cherry truffle filling  – a unique pairing experience!

 

Enjoy your Savvy Selections!

 

Share

Discover why Ravine Vineyard is unique

Posted by Giancarlo

Wednesday, April 30th, 2014
Share

SS stamp lo res

Savvy Selections wine of the month club 
Featuring Ravine Vineyard Estate Winery

– April 2014 –

 

Back by popular demand, this month we feature Ravine Vineyard Estate Winery of Niagara-on-the-Lake. When we first introduced this winery in December 2011, our Savvy Sommelier Julie Stock shared with you the history & lore of the property.  In this edition, our newest member of the Savvy Team – Giancarlo Nadasio – invites you to get to know contemporary winemaker: Martin Werner, who shares with us his passion, his winemaking style & his lifestyle involved in the process of creating unique wines.  As Giancarlo found out in his interview, Martin makes wine “with an aim to capture what a 22,000 year old soil wishes to express, along with his favorite food recipe to pair with his wine.”

In your Savvy Selections you will find:

Chardonnay Musqué VQA 2012 – Are you ready for spring? This aromatic clone is perfect for enjoying outside – on a deck, a dock or a picnic.  This is the reason for the half bottle format.

Sauvignon Blanc VQA 2012 – Just released: Martin’s signature wine!

Merlot VQA 2011– Get your BBQ ready!

Our newest Savvy Sommelier, Giancarlo has been working in the hospitality business for over 10 years, recently at Ottawa’s Brookstreet Hotel.  To pair these wines, he called on some of his friends ‘in the business’ in Ottawa to share their recipes to match with the wines in this month’s Savvy Selections & please let them know if you tried your hand at their creations!

Clifford Lyness, Executive Chef at Brookstreet Hotel
Josh Gillard, Chef & Owner of MUST Kitchen & Wine Bar
Amy Brown, Brookstreet Hotel Culinarian Professional

Ordering hard-to-find wines is easy!

logoRavine has a broad portfolio of wines including some ‘uber premium’ wines. If you would like to order some of these wines or any of your favorite Savvy Selections, simply email me to make the arrangements for a special wine delivery.

A MUST on your next visit to the Niagara region

winery and restaurantWhen you plan your next visit to Niagara, be sure to stop in at Ravine to discover their full range of wines and try to have lunch or dinner at their award winning restaurant (tip – you will need reservations!)   Or plan ahead & meet the Ravine Winery Team at their annual Harvest Dinner on November 8th 2014.  It promises to be a fun dinner hosted by Martin & the Harber family (winery owners).

Cheers & Enjoy!

Debbie & Savvy Team

 

Introducing…
Ravine Estates Winery

Presented by Giancarlo Nidasio

“What gets me up in the morning? Making the decision to create a nice bottle of wine that I’ve seen from start to finish that will be enjoyed & shared with everyone I care about….It makes my work not feel like work” 

Martin at Ravine VineyardAs a teenager, Marty (in photo as a family man with 2 year old daughter & wife) grew up working on a 60 acre family owned vineyard where he was an avid tractor driver among many other skills.  He got bitten by the travel bug & figured out that a good way to work & explore the world, would be working at wineries.

And so it was…Marty traveled to New Zealand where he worked for a couple of years at Cloudy Bay Winery and for Mahi Winery – both located in the Marlborough area.  It was here where Marty got the hands on experience that eventually lead him to make his own Estate Sauvignon Blanc many years later at Ravine.  Before that, his plane ticket took him to California, where he worked for a year with Justin Winery in Paso Robles.

Now bitten by both the travel & winemaking bug, once back in Niagara, Marty worked at Hillebrand & Hidden Bench wineries before deciding to enroll in to the Winemaking program at Niagara College.  This is where Marty had the opportunity to meet someone that would open his eyes in the winemaking world – Thomas Bachelder.  It was Thomas who was the first person to speak to him about sense of place. “It made me understand that Niagara can do great wines”, recalls Marty.

All this experience has led Marty to create wines that are in tune with both a sense of time & place, that reflect the influence of Lake Ontario & the various types of soils found at Ravine.

Winemaking & the Vineyard

red grapesThe wine making style at Ravine, could be described as having a Burgundian influence for white wines & a Bourdeaux style for the reds; where the assemblage (winespeak: referring to the winemaker’s art of blending) plays a key role.

Marty & his team classify the wines that were made from different batches from either the same or different grape varietals that were planted on different sections of the vineyard, picked at different times depending on their level of ripeness & fermented in different types of barrels made from different types of wood.  This is one of the reasons why Marty really loves the style of Bordeaux Blends (winespeak: A Bordeaux blend is usually referred to the blend of three main grapes: Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc and Merlot and sometimes adding Malbec & Petit Verdot to this blend).  With blends, the winemaker put his own fingerprint onto the wine.

This hard work ties in with the Viticultural & Biodynamic practices of Ravine. These include taking the extra time to do shoot & fruit thinning to gain proper concentration in the grapes while allowing the plant to build its own resistance in order to avoid the use of chemicals as pesticide.  “The goal is to have a vine that is in balance with nature which will bring a fruit that is alive!” explains Marty. 

Out of the entire winemaking process Marty gets most excited (and it’s the most crucial time too) when he makes the decision to pick the grapes.  As he puts it, “this is the make or break your season moment”.  It is the tipping point of the season when Marty can get a perfect snapshot of the vineyard by tasting the grapes every two days (then closer to harvest Marty will taste daily) to determine the acidity & sugar levels. “It’s the most intimate time in terms of a vineyard”

What’s next?

Ravine has its heart in the past & its eyes towards the future and is now preparing for the newest addition to their portfolio with an exclusive 75 case release of a first year 2013 Pinot Noir.  It is a wine with great anticipation, “We are already counting down the days.”  Ravine’s Pinot Noir will feature a limited exposure to new oak so it serves as a complement letting the wine express what the land has to give.

Ask for Marty when you visit!

Marty welcomes all of our Savvy Selections subscribers to stop by & ask for him when you visit the winery. Visit in winter when the ravine on the estate becomes an ice rink where family & friends skate surrounded by the vineyard or in the warmer season when you can simply take a stroll through the vines – just as Marty does with his wife Rachel, his daughter Dani and his two dogs.

Enjoy this month’s Savvy Selections now knowing more about Ravine’s down to earth winemaker.

Cheers & enjoy your Savvy Selections!


~ SAVVY SOMMELIER TASTING NOTES ~

 Chardonnay Musqué VQA 2012, $14.00

What is Chardonnay Musqué? Marty explains: It is an aromatic clone of Chardonnay, with a musky character & a slight spritzness that is achieved during the fermentation process.  We do this by closing the lids of the stainless steel tanks where the wine is being fermented to preserve its freshness. The cooling systems is then turned on in the tanks so the CO2 that is naturally produced as a by product of the fermentation, can be trapped inside the wine where   the cold temperature aids the wine to accept the CO2.For this reason, the Chardonnay Musqué is bottled in a 375 mL format, in order to preserve its spritz once the bottle has been opened.

Savvy Sommelier Tasting Notes:  A bright refreshing crisp wine, with aromas of cantaloupe, lime & tropical fruits (think kiwi) along with a hint of toasty notes.  These continue through onto the taste with added notes of clementine.  A well-balanced refreshing wine with enough acidity to provide structure. 

Suggested Food Pairing:  Created to be shared among friends & family – preferably outside –  at only 9% it is ideal on its own or with light summer salads. Try it with a Spiced & Grilled Shrimp, with Mango Gazpacho, a creation by Amy Brown, culinarian professional at Brookstreet Hotel.  She shares this recipe on following pages. 

Sauvignon Blanc VQA 2012, $32.00

Marty’s signature wine.  This Estate Sauvignon Blanc is aged in oak for 6 to 8 months, developing smoky notes while perfectly matching the linear crispness & freshness that the variety retains in a cool climate region like Niagara. 

Savvy Sommelier Tasting Notes:  A great structured wine, with tropical notes on the nose with hints of pear, green papaya, melon & wildflowers following through the palate with a soft creamy mouth-feel.

Suggested Food Pairing:  It calls for a great aperitif or paired with fresh fish dishes.  Want to roll up your sleeves & let your inner gourmand out? Try the Tuna Carpaccio, diakon cress, fuji apple & ponzu recipe created by Executive Chef Clifford Lyness. The smokiness of the wine makes it a great pairing. 

Cellaring: Ready to be enjoyed now or to be aged for several years up to 2023. This is achievable due to its acidity & the concentration of fruit flavors in the wine that with time will make the wine fade out the tropical flavor profile to evolve in to brighter and biscuity profile, also known as Tertiary Flavors, which develop in the bottle.

 

Merlot VQA 2011 $34.00

Merlot is the most planted varietal at Ravine where they use 4 different clones of Merlot that are planted separately on the Top side and on the Hill side of the Estate.  These are picked in 4 different blocks and then Marty blends them together create the final blend that is finished by aging in barrel for 8 to14 months.

Savvy Sommelier Tasting Notes: Bright red cherry aromas, with hints of tobacco, coffee, molasses & big red ripe berries that follow through the palate with additional hints of chocolate & a smooth minerality almost like wet stone or crushed rock due to the heavy influence of clay soils that lay beneath the vines of the Merlot grapes.

Suggested Food Pairing:  This wine screams smoke & BBQ.  It is a great summer companion for gatherings with dishes like smoked pulled pork, BBQ ribs or lamb shank on the BBQ with a nice reduction sauce on top of mashed potatoes. Superb!!  Why not try MUST Kitchen & Wine Bar Executive Chef & Owner Josh Gillard’s Mint Rubbed Lamb Racks or Chef’s Clifford Lyness free form braised Veal Ravioli, Roast Cipollini with onion jam, seared sweet bread and white truffle and chive butter tension.  These recipes are on the following pages.

Cellaring: With its well integrated tannins, this Merlot is ideal for drinking now or to be cellared up to 2020.

 

~ RECIPES TO ENJOY WITH YOUR SAVVY SELECTIONS ~

With Ravine Vineyard Chardonnay Musqué…

Spiced & Grilled Shrimp, with Mango Gazpacho

Created by Culinarian Professional Amy Brown at Brookstreet Hotel, Ottawa
Serves 6

Ingredients

2 teaspoons ground ginger
2 teaspoons ground cardamon
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground allspice
1 teaspoon ground coriander seeds
1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon ground cayenne pepper
1/2 teaspoon ground anise seeds
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
1/2 teaspoon ground white pepper
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 cup canola oil
12 8″ wooden skewers
2 pounds large shrimp, peeled and deveined
2 mangos, peeled
3 yellow bell pepper, seeded
1 English cucumber, peeled and seeded
1 jalapeño, seeded
1 tablespoon fresh ginger, grated
1 cup orange juice
1/2 cup Greek yogurt
2 tablespoons champagne vinegar
1/2 cup cilantro, chopped
2 limes

 Method

Preheat grill to medium high heat & preheat oven to 400ºF.

Combine ground spices, salt, pepper and oil. Pour over shrimp and set aside.

Roast peppers in oven until tender.

Dice mango, cucumber, peppers, and jalapeno. Mix with ginger, juice, yogurt, vinegar and cilantro. Using a blender or food processor, puree mango mixture until smooth.

Skewer shrimp and grill. Grill until tails are pink and shrimp is firm.

Garnish with any extra yogurt and or cilantro, and a squeeze of lime. 

 

With Ravine Vineyard Sauvignon Blanc…

Tuna Carpaccio, Diakon cress, Fuji apple, Ponzu

chef lioness - brookstreetFrom Executive Chef Clifford Lyness, Brookstreet Hotel, Ottawa (photo at left)
Serves: 4 persons

 

Step One: Pounded Tuna Carpaccio

4oz freshest, most vibrantly red sushi grade tuna you can find and afford
salt and pepper

Method

Ask your fish monger to cut you a piece of tuna, closer to the neck of the fish and further away from the tail. As you move closer to the tail of the fish, more white sinew will marble the flesh. This sinew of silver skin is chewy and unpleasant when eaten raw. Using meat towards the neck of the fish will be free of this connective tissue and provide for a smooth velvet texture. The piece of tuna your fish monger gives you should be rectangular in shape weighing approximately 16 ounces.

Using a sharp knife, slice 4 equal pieces of tuna, each weighing 4 ounces. This can easily be accomplished by cutting the initial piece in half, and then halve the 2 pieces, resulting in 4 equal pieces.

Place 1 piece of tuna in between a piece of Saran wrap. Using a mallet, or a heavy sauce pot, gently begin to pound the flesh flat making sure not to tear the flesh. Rotate the wrap periodically to ensure the tuna is pound equally in all directions and has a common thickness. Place in fridge and keep as cold as possible until ready to assemble dish. Carpaccio and tartare dishes taste profoundly better when chilled to the max.

Step Two: Ponzu sauce

50ml light soy
50ml mirin
50ml freshly squeezed lime juice
50ml sake50ml instant dashi

Method

Mix together all ingredients. Balance should be achieved between salty, sweet, and sour, with an alcohol undertone coming from the sake. Not one flavor should be dominant in a classic ponzu sauce, but this can be altered to cater to individual preferences. Chill until ready to use. 

Step Three: Fuji apple & diakon salad

1 package diakon cress
2 Fuji apple
2 scallions
25 ml pickled ginger
1 teaspoon togarashi
2 Tablespoon tobiko
1 piece of lotus root

Method

Clip diakon cress and place a damp paper towel over top to prevent wilting. Using a Benriner mandoline, shave apple and julienne into matchstick. Do not shave and julienne to thin, you are looking for a pleasant thickness to ensure that there is some crunch and juiciness from the apple. Do this step as close to plate assemble as possible to prevent apple from discoloring.  Julienne scallion on a bias using a very sharp knife and place in ice water. This will dilute some of the strong onion flavor.

Slice a peeled lotus root and fry in oil until crisp. Drain on paper towel and reserve 

Plate Assembly

Drain the scallion and place in a bowl along with the apple, diakon cress, and pickled ginger. Add a small amount of ponzu to the salad and do not toss.

Remove the tuna from the fridge. Remove one piece of Saran wrap, exposing one side of the pounded tuna.

Place the exposed side in the middle of a large white plate, and peel the remaining Saran off.

Toss the salad gently and place in the middle of the tuna. Spoon the ponzu over top of the pounded tuna. Sprinkle with togarshi and tobiko. Drizzle with a really good olive oil, and place a few crispy fried lotus root chips on top.

Garnish with a lime cheek so the guest can squeeze fresh lime.

 

With Ravine Vineyard Merlot…

Individual Lamb Racks, mint rubbed and grilled, with tzatziki &  curry sauce

From Executive Chef and Owner MUST Kitchen & Wine Bar Josh Gilliard

Ingredients for mint rub

3 Tbsp dried mint
1 Tbsp olive oil
1 tsp sea salt
1 tsp pepperpinch of sugar

 Method

Must NewZealandLambRub all above ingredients together

Take a frenched rack of lamb and cut in between each rack to get individual bones. Then apply the bu on both sides of each piece.

Grill on med/high heat until desired level of preparation.

While lamb is cooking, make the sauce:

Ingredients for Tzatziki & curry sauce

4 Tbsp tzatziki
1 Tbsp mild curry paste
1/2 cup Demi or cream
salt and pepper to taste

Serve over top of a pool of mint jelly.        

                     

With Ravine Vineyard Merlot…

Free form braised veal ravioli / roast cipollini onion jam, Seared sweet bread / white truffle and chive butter tension

From Executive Chef Clifford Lyness, Brookstreet Hotel

Step One: Braised veal shank

Ingredients for Braised veal shank

4 veal shanks, about 1 pound each
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
4 Tbsp olive oil
1 large onion, chopped
1 large carrot, peeled and chopped
1 stalk celery, chopped
4 large cloves garlic, finely chopped
1/2 cup dry white wine
Juice of 1/2 lemon
1 liter chicken stock
1 can (14.5 ounces) whole tomatoes,crushed with fingers, with juices
1 bay leaf
1/2 tsp dried thyme
1 tsp dried marjoram
Salt and pepper to taste

Method

Preheat oven to 350° F. Season the shanks with salt and pepper. Dust lightly with the flour. Heat an ovenproof sauté pan large enough to hold the shanks in one layer over high heat then add the olive oil and heat.

Add the shanks and cook until lightly browned, about 3 minutes per side. Remove from the pan and reduce heat to medium-high.

Place the onions, carrots, celery in the pan. Sauté until slightly softened, about 5 minutes then add the garlic and sauté one more minute. Pour in the wine and broth. Return heat to high and bring to a boil, scraping up any browned bits from the bottom of the pan. Add the lemon juice, tomatoes, bay leaf, thyme, marjoram, salt and pepper.

Cook, uncovered, until reduced by about one-third. (There should be enough liquid to come about half way up the sides of the shanks.) Return the shanks, and any accumulated juices, to the pan. Cover tightly and place in oven. Cook until the meat is very tender and starting to fall off the bones, 1-1/2 to 2 hours.

Remove the shanks from the pan. Let stand 10 minutes and pull all the lean away from bone and residual fat. 

Step Two:  Pasta             

Yield about 10 oz of dough, enough for 3-4 servings

Ingredients

1 cup flour
½ cup semolina flour
Pinch salt large eggs
2 Tablespoons olive oil

Method

Add the eggs and olive oil and mix together.

Beginning in the center, mix with a fork in a circular motion until the flour is combined with the eggs. Mix until soft and then you can add more flour if needed. You want your dough not too stiff because then it will be too hard to roll out. Not too wet because it will stick to everything. The best time to roll the pasta is when you let it rest for 1 hour after.                

Step Three: Roast cipollini onion jam

100g butter, cold and cubed
100 mL olive oil
1 tsp sugar
salt and pepper to taste
10 pieces cipollini onions, unpeeled
3oz white wine                 

Method

Place the cipollini onions in a foil pouch with some olive oil & bake in a 370 degree F oven for 20 to 25 minutes. The jackets of the onion should be quiet brown, the insides will be creamy with the sugars inverted. Allow to cool & remove the skin and pestle and mortar the roast onion to a smooth paste.

In a small sauce pot cook the Onion jam along with a touch of sugar, deglaze the pan with white wine reduce to a 1/3.  Finally add the butter (cold and cubed) and slowly incorporate until thickened.  Reserve to the side               

Step Four: White truffle & chive butter tension

100g butter, cold and cubed
150 mL chicken stock
1 piece lemon, juice only
salt and pepper – to taste
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 tablespoon truffle oil
1/2 bunch chives

Method

In a sauté pan sweat the shallots to a translucent state no color. Deglaze the pan with the Riesling wine allow to reduce to a 1/3. Next deglaze  the pan with chicken stock  again reduce to a 1/3.

Start to slowly add the cubed butter to thicken the sauce. Finish the sauce off with the truffle oil, lemon juice, salt and pepper to taste and olive oil.

 

Enjoy your Savvy Selections!

Share

Rosehall Run: County pioneer & international champions

Posted by Erin

Tuesday, March 25th, 2014
Share

SS stamp lo res

Savvy Selections wine of the month club 
Featuring Rosehall RunVineyards

– March 2014 –

 

When you think of the saying “To make a living in wine, you should start with a fortune”, do you think many people would trade in their successful home-reno business in busy Toronto to move to Prince Edward County to start a winery?

vineyardIt sounds like an adventure to me, and perhaps a risky one…especially when at the time, the viability of ‘The County’ as a wine region was still questionable. Now, 15 years later, Dan Sullivan and his partner Lynne have built (and also expanded) their winery – Rosehall Run Vineyards – and have become pillars of The County as they continue to pioneer and champion the wines of their region.  They are certainly amongst the “Go To” people for the culinary and cultural scene in the area.

During a recent trip, our Savvy Sommelier Erin Bolling visited Rosehall Run and chatted with Dan who is the winemaker and co-owner.  Now, let it be said that this was not a quick visit, because I can attest that Dan can talk your ear off about all things involving The County and wines!

In this issue of the Savvy eZine, Erin shares with you some insight into the evolution of Rosehall Run and what has changed at the winery since we last featured them back in March 2010.  And you will read that plenty has changed for Rosehall!

In your Savvy Selections, you will find:

Rosehall Run Pixie Rosé – $17.95 As the name denotes this unique Rosé is purely magical. A light sparkling rosé will add a bit of fun to any mid-winter celebration or add celebration to any mid-winter night!

Rosehall Vineyard Chardonnay JCR  VQA 2011 – $29.95 A terrific example of what Prince Edward County Chardonnay with its tropical aromas and county minerality that make wines from this area so distinct.

Pinot Noir Cuvée County VQA 2010 – $22.65 This Pinot Noir is so consistent and of incredible value at this price that we easily recommended year after year. When we previously featured Rosehall Run in the March 2010 Savvy Selections, subscribers received a bottle of this wine from the 2008 vintage. This 2010 vintage comes from a scorching hot summer and delivers a lovely medium body pinot with a balance of acidity and fruit.

OPTIONAL WINE

rosehall run JCR Pinot NoirPinot Noir JCR Rosehall Vineyard 2010$39.00 – An award winning Pinot Noir reminiscent of Burgundy that is lush and fruity.

Similar to other wineries we have featured in Savvy Selections, some Rosehall Run wines are on the LCBO shelves. However, there are many of their wines that are not. 

If you would like additional bottles of your favourite Rosehall wine – or other featured Ontario wineries – just give me a call on 613-SAVVYCO (728-8926) or send me an email to debbie@savvycompany.ca to arrange an additional delivery for you. It is always my pleasure to introduce you to wonderful new Ontario wines…especially from The County! 

Cheers & Enjoy!

Debbie & Savvy Team

 

Introducing…
Rosehall Run Vineyards

Presented by Erin Bolling

I’m from a culture (and family!) that puts a lot of emphasis on food and we are honestly expected or required to drink wine at certain times of year to mark certain holidays and occasions. As many of you may expect it was an absolute pleasure to speak with Dan Sullivan at Rosehall Run and commune with him about the pleasures of food & wine.

terroir2011v4.cdrDuring our interview…well more like a chat amongst friends, he filled me in on coming plans for his property, as well as some tips for people attending Terroir County Celebration on May 3rd.

A HUGE pat on the back!

Since the Olympics were just on recently and Canada did so well it is easy to understand how great winning awards feels. Dan and I spoke about the numerous awards his wines have garnered over the last decade. Does he like winning awards…of course!

awardsTo his surprise and delight Rosehall Run has recently won recognition for the JCR Chardonnay (that is included in your Savvy Selections) by The Drinks Business  – an international magazine based in the UK. This was surprising since Rosehall Run stepped back from entering competitions in 2013 so that the team could put their energies into their newest event – ‘Red, White & Blues in the County’. That aside it is quite an accomplishment to be one of only 2 Canadian wineries recognized amongst hundreds from around the world.  As you would expect, the Rosehall team are over the moon with this international recognition.

dan and lynnEntering competitions is time consuming and costly…so why do it? Dan, Lynn (in photo) and the entire staff are dedicated to raising the Canadian and ‘County’ flag whenever possible.  They enjoy getting the word out about their wines and helping consumers to understand that the wines offered by Rosehall Run are able to stand up to international competition. For instance, Rosehall Run enters their wines in the Pinot Shoot out and Intervin competitions pinning their wines with international wines. “Competitions are measuring sticks for what the bottle will offer the consumer. A medal will give them a reasonable confidence that the wine is good”, Dan explains.

He also recognized the importance of local competitions. Rosehall Run has been a contender for years in Canadian competitions such as: Wine Access Canadian Wine Awards, Ottawa Wine Challenge and the Artevino Wine Awards. Regardless of the competition or award, Dan says the most rewarding accolades come from personal compliments. He does a lot of winemaker dinners and interacts with customers at every opportunity. I remember Dan’s jubilant personality at a winemakers dinner I worked at back in 2008 and how it inspired me to work more with Savvy Company.

Gourmet Picnics – Yes please!

rosehall run and foodThe Greer Road Grocer is another feature at Rosehall Run. This is the inspiration of JJ Syer who is Rosehall’s hospitality professional. Dan praised her ability to work with local producers and help grow Rosehall’s focus on showcasing local products. You can find everything from local cheeses to charcuterie and chocolate….anyone up for a gourmet picnic? I’ll sure be sharing this travel tip with my family and friends!

If you’re in the market for local art, you’ll find it at Greer Road Grocer as well. Dan especially loves the bottle openers an artist has made out of old spikes from the local train tracks that were ripped up last year. He says they are very functional so get them while you can! This fills a niche for visitors by exposing them to fabulous local products but offers a dine-in option (on site) or to go with you as you continue to drive along the back roads of The County.

Looking Ahead…

As you can tell there is always something changing at Rosehall Run. The winery may be best known for Chardonnay and Pinot Noir but that does not restrain Dan from experimenting and breaking new ground with what is planted. The annual Terroir festival which is the County’s chance to showcase their new wines will see Rosehall release a Méthode Traditionelle Blanc de Blanc Sparkling wine (winespeak: sparkling wine made in the classic French Champagne method using 100% Chardonnay grapes). 

There are also estate grown Pinot Gris and Sauvignon Blanc wines coming soon. In fact Rosehall has the oldest plantings of Sauvignon Blanc in The County. “I am excited to tell you that we have also started to grow Tempranillo. The type of soil in PEC is similar to where this grape is grown in Spain and I am confident the grapes will adapt well” explains Dan. Not surprisingly Tempranillo is one of Dan’s favourite types of wine!

As a parting question I asked what the most memorable reward has been for Dan. Of course there are many he says but bringing his daughter with him to London England in 2010 to showcase Rosehall Run Chardonnays for the European wine critics. Accolades and awards aside, Roshahall Run is a big family run endeavor. Next time you are in PEC drop by and say hello to the team or join the Savvy Bus to visit them at Terroir in May.

Cheers & enjoy your Savvy Selections!


~ SAVVY SOMMELIER TASTING NOTES ~

Rosehall Pixie Sparkling Rosé – $17.95

Sometimes a look says it all. After an initial sniff and sip of this bubbly Savvy Team member Amanda had an almost punch drunk smile! A glass of this wine will makes any person happy.

From the peachy pink colour to the fruity tenure of the wine this blended rose will have you think spring has sprung.

Savvy Sommelier Tasting Notes:   A blend of Riesling, Chardonnay and Zwiegelt grapes combine in this mouthwatering offer. Fruits such as strawberry, watermelon and hints of lime and roses were present. The finish is a lingering crisp and dry one.

Suggested Food Pairing:  Pop open a bottle for any occasion. The panel imagined this as an excellent wine with take-out sushi. It is also a great starter to any meal and therefore we have a watermelon & feta skewer salad to accompany it. Not only will this taste good together but it is colour coordinated!

 

JCR Chardonnay  VQA 2011 – $29.95

This wine is made from the premium lots of Rosehall Run’s North Estate and bears the initials of the winery’s co-founder John Campbell Reston.

Congrats to the winery team on the distinguished recognition of this wine as one of the 2013 Chardonnay Masters of the World….we are thrilled to include this wine in your Savvy Selections.

Savvy Sommelier Tasting Notes: When tasting this wine during a snow-storm in February we were transported to tropical daydreams by toasty hints of coconut, brioche and tropical fruit. The wine is medium to full bodied an slightly sweet with a lovely zesty lemon finish.

Suggested Food Pairing:  The Savvy Selections tasting panel thought a lot about what to match this with. Finally we agreed on a recipe for Coconut crusted chicken with mango ginger mint salsa by Chef Michael Smith.  

 

Pinot Noir Cuvée County VQA 2010 $22.65

It is widely accepted that Prince Edward County is a great place for making Pinot Noir due to its limestone and Burgundy like soils. This particular Pinot is comprised of grapes from all over the county and is the result of an exceptionally hot summer.

Savvy Sommelier Tasting Notes: A typically light translucent garnet colour this Pinot shows the hallmarks of its varietal. The wine is woodsy on the nose with hints of roses, violets, dark cherry, raspberry and sweet spice. These descriptors follow through in the palate as well with a medium mouth feel and balanced acidity. A juicy finish will stick with you.

Suggested Food Pairing: Smoked or baked salmon would be a great match for this wine. Our panel thought that since this is a crowd pleasing wine our subscribers might like a recipe that feeds a crowd – Greek Moussaka from Canadian Living. This recipe calls for lamb which matches the suggestions on the winery site. Let us know what you think of the recipe on our Savvy Selections Facebook page!

There’s an anniversary on the horizon!

rosehall run winesIt seemed almost a surprise to Dan that there is a 10 year anniversary coming up in 2016. Since planning the first acreage in 2001, releasing estate grown wines in 2005 and opening the tasting room in 2006, Rosehall Run has been constantly improving on an already good thing. Dan and Lynn are committed to offering quality wines and experiences to their customers and this dedication will be sure to raise the ratings of Rosehall on Trip Advisor! Dan filled us in on plans to expand the tasting room in order to offer more hospitality. He looks forward to being able to host bigger groups. They will also be covering the crush pad to offer more relaxation space.

 

~ RECIPES TO ENJOY WITH YOUR SAVVY SELECTIONS ~

Rosehall Pixie Sparkling Rosé…

Watermelon Feta Mint Skewers

From ServingSeconds.com
Serves 8

Ingredients

Half of one small seedless watermelon, cut into cubes
8 oz feta cheese, cut into cubes (room temperature)
12 mint leaves
12 skewers or toothpicks

Method

Prepare the ingredients in assembly line fashion.

Skewer watermelon first, then mint then feta.

Repeat as you like.

 

 With Rosehall Run JCR Chardonnay VQA 2011 …

Coconut Crusted Chicken

Recipe courtesy of Chef Michael Smith’s Kitchen: 100 of my favorite recipes

Ingredients

Salsa

1 large ripe mango, peeled and diced
2 green onions, thinly sliced
1/2 cup of finely chopped red bell pepper
1/2 cup of mint sprigs, tightly stacked, rolled, and thinly sliced
The zest and juice of one lime
1 Tbsp of grated frozen ginger
1 Tbsp of honey
1 teaspoon of olive oil
1/4 teaspoon of salt

Coconut Crust

1 cup of all-purpose flour
2 eggs, lightly whisked
2 cups of flaked or shredded coconut, sweetened or unsweetened
A sprinkle or two of salt and lots of freshly ground pepper
4 large boneless skinless chicken breasts, trimmed and patted dry

Method

Make the salsa first by simply tossing together the mango, green onions, red pepper, mint, lime zest, lime juice, ginger, honey, olive oil, and salt. Set aside.

Preheat your oven to 400°F. Lightly oil a baking sheet.

Put the flour, eggs, and coconut into three separate bowls and season the flour.

Working with one breast at a time, dredge the chicken in the flour, coating it evenly and shaking off any excess. Dip the chicken into the egg, coating it evenly and letting any excess drip off. Finally, dip the chicken into the coconut, turning, pressing, and sprinkling as needed so the crust adheres.

Place the crusted breast on the baking sheet. Repeat with the remaining chicken.

Bake until the breasts are golden brown and crusty, approximately 15 to 20 minutes. The chicken is done when a meat thermometer inserted in its thickest part registers 160°F.

Arrange on a serving platter and top with the salsa

 

With Cuvée County Pinot Noir  VQA 2010…

Moussaka

From www.CanadianLiving.com

Ingredients

6 large Yukon Gold potatoes
1 large eggplant
3Tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
1/2tsp salt
1/2tsp pepper
1-1/2 cups shredded kefalograviera cheese or Gruyère cheese

Bolognese Sauce

2 lbs lean ground lamb or lean ground beef
2 onions chopped
4 cloves garlic, minced
4 tsp dried oregano
1-1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
1/4 tsp ground allspice
1 can tomatoes
1 cup red wine
1 can( 2 oz/156 mL) tomato paste

Béchamel Sauce

2 Tbsp butter
1/3 cup all-purpose flour
3 cups milk
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
1 pinch grated nutmeg

 

Method

Bolognese Sauce

In shallow Dutch oven, sautée lamb over medium-high heat, breaking up with spoon, until no longer pink, about 10 minutes. Drain fat from pan.

Add onions, garlic, oregano, cinnamon, salt, pepper and allspice to pan; fry over medium heat until onion is softened, about 5 minutes.

Add tomatoes, mashing to break into small pieces. Add wine and tomato paste; bring to boil. Reduce heat and simmer until space does not fill in after spoon is drawn across bottom of pan, about 30 minutes.

Meanwhile, peel potatoes and eggplant; cut into 1/2-inch (1 cm) thick slices. Arrange in single layer on parchment paper-lined rimmed baking sheets. Brush both sides with oil; sprinkle with salt and pepper.

Roast in 450°F (230°C) oven, turning once, until tender and golden brown, about 30 minutes.

Béchamel Sauce

Meanwhile, in saucepan, melt butter over medium heat; whisk in flour and cook, whisking, for 1 minute. Gradually whisk in milk; cook, whisking often, until boiling and thickened enough to coat back of spoon, about 12 minutes.Add salt, pepper and nutmeg.

To Assemble

Spread 1 cup of the Bolognese Sauce in 13- x 9-inch glass baking dish then layer with half of the potatoes, 2 cups of the Bolognese Sauce, all of the eggplant, 2 cups of the Bolognese Sauce, remaining potatoes and remaining Bolognese Sauce.

Spread Béchamel Sauce over top and sprinkle with cheese.

Bake in 350°F (180°C) oven until browned and bubbly, about 1 hour. Let stand for 10 minutes; cut into squares

Make-ahead: Let cool for 30 minutes. Refrigerate, uncovered, until cold; cover and refrigerate for up to 24 hours. Add 40 minutes to baking time.

 

 

Enjoy your Savvy Selections!

Share