Posts Tagged ‘e-Zine for Savvy Selections wine of the month club’

Celebrate with Award Winning Canadian Cheeses!

Posted by Vanessa

Thursday, June 30th, 2016

This month’s Savvy Cool Curds selection pays tribute to the Canadian Cheese Awards, and the best artisan cheeses in Canada. Launched in 2014 by Georgs Kolesnikovs, founder of The Great Canadian Cheese Festival, and staunch supporter of the Canadian artisan cheese industry, the Canadian Cheese Awards are the first of their kind, inclusive of all milk types and all provinces across our nation. AND Georgs is a Savvy Cool Curds subscriber too!

Judging for the Canadian Cheese Awards takes place every second year. Beyond many category winners there is one ultimate champion, named Cheese Of The Year. It was just announced that this year, Avonlea Clothbound Cheddar, from COWS Creamery in Prince Edward Island took home the of Cheese of The Year title. Our long time subscribers will remember Avonlea as we sent you 2 chunks of it in the Savvy Cool Curds February feature.

This month’s selection is from those cheesemakers who only have a few types of cheeses – not enough for a full feature in Savvy Cool Curds. The other award winners will be showcased in upcoming months. Stay tuned!

 In your Savvy Cool Curds you will find…

…hard-to-find and delicious award-winning artisan cheeses including:savvy_coolcurds_Colour

-Sabot de Blanchette (Natural)
-Le Paillasson de L’Isle D’Orléans
-Le Baluchon
-Old Growler
-Dragon’s Breath Blue

Crazy for more medal winning cheeses? 

Would you like more cheese from this month’s Savvy Cool Curds? Just call our Savvy Team & we’ll arrange a special shipment for you (if it is still available that is!). Put us on speed dial – Savvy Cool Curds Hotline 613-SAVVYCO (728-8926) or

Vanessa & the Savvy Team

Canadian Cheese Award Winners

by Vanessa Simmons, Cheese Sommelier

Canada is home to over 1500 different varieties and types of cheeses. While not all of them are considered artisanal, about half make that grade. There are also a handful of cheese awards through a number of industry organizations, recognizing the crème de la crème of cheeses in various categories, however The Canadian Cheese Awards is the first and only cheese competition in this country that considers all milk types such as cow, goat, sheep and water buffalo from all provinces. This means cheeses are made with 100% natural Canadian milk, with no artificial colors, flavours, preservatives and no modified milk ingredients.

Earlier this year, on February 18 & 19th, 12 judges (myself included!) gathered at the University of Guelph, Department of Food Science, for a two-day cheese tasting experience like no other, presided over by Dr. Arthur Hill.

So many cheeses…

vanessaA whopping 301 entries were submitted by artisan cheesemakers from British Columbia to Prince Edward Island, and all the provinces in between. There is an official process for cheese submission, which remains anonymous to both judges and the general public. Cheesemongers and cheese industry professionals manage the reception and storage of cheese to ensure secrecy and that quality is maintained during the judging process. Judges are recognized in the industry for their deep expertise in artisan cheese.

Overall the goals of The Canadian Cheese Awards are to determine and promote the best cheeses in Canada for all milks, to provide honest and constructive feedback to cheesemakers on their cheeses and create a symbol of excellence in Canadian cheese that consumers and the industry alike will recognize.

A winning recipe

Judging happens in teams of two in each of 17 categories, one person evaluating aesthetics and one evaluating the technical aspects of each entry. Both consider aroma, appearance, texture and flavor. Marks are given by the aesthetic judge for superior qualities of those 4 areas. Marks are deducted by technical judges for any faults noticed in the cheese. Both strive to uncover nuances of terroir, character, flavor profile, and differences that make the cheese standout and unique, worth of being best in it’s class. Not just any old cheese makes the grade. This is very similar to how we decide which cheeses and cheesemakers make it to Savvy Cool Curds – we want to WOW you! At the end of two days of tasting over 301 cheeses, 78 finalists rose to the top, in 31 categories including contenders for Cheese of the Year.

The who’s who of the Canadian cheese industry gathered in April at the Time Supper Club in Montreal for the Awards Ceremony, naming all category winners and Cheese of the Year –Avonlea Clothbound Cheddar, followed by a packed-house Awards Tasting Gala for the general public and media (we’ll make sure all Savvy Cool Curds subscribers get an invite for 2018!) and giant cheese tasting party!

CDN cheese awards

Put your tasting hat on!

We’re thrilled to bring you Fromagerie F.X. Pichet Le Baluchon (2014 Cheese of the Year winner) – born of a love story which dates back to when the owners Michel Pichet & Marie-Claude Harvey of Sainte-Anne-De-La-Pérade, Québec were high school sweethearts, and reunited later in life. Fromagerie La Suisse Normande’s Sabot de Blanchette (2016 Best Soft Cheese) is a stunning little goat milk pyramid from Lanaudière, Quebec (a quick stop off Hwy 40 on the way to Montreal). Old Growler and Dragon’s Breath Blue from That Dutchman’s Farm from Upper Economy, Nova Scotia are rare finds in Ontario. Le Paillasson de L’Isle D’Orléans, said to be the first cheese
produced in America, of Fromagerie de L’Isle D’Orléans, Quebec is a fun grilling cheese experience…it is no wonder it was awarded 2016 Best Grilling Cheese.

Cheese Tasting Notes

Below are Vanessa’s tasting notes for each cheese in your Savvy Cool Curds, along with additional tidbits of interesting information, suggested food pairings & recipes to try too!

Sabot de Blanchette

Sabot de BlanchetteBest Bloomy Rind Cheese 2016

Inspired by their European cultures (Swiss & French), this fromagerie’s products are a marriage made in heaven and leaving their mark in Québec.  Cheeses are made from goats raised on the farm, in true “fermier” (farmstead) fashion.

Tasting Notes: This soft-surface-ripened goat’s milk cheese has a unique pyramid shape, with a lovely, natural, slightly wrinkled, soft moldy rind, that on occasion displays spots of blue.  The paste is creamy, velvety & white, firm towards the center, & acidity and yeasty tang on the palate.

Suggested Pairing: Try with a crisp dry white wine such as Sauvignon Blanc or Pinot Gris. Enjoy spread on fruit & nut crackers, smeared with seasonal compote (rhubarb or strawberry).


Le Paillasson de l’Isle D’Orléans

Le Paillasson de l’Isle D’OrléansBest Grilling Cheese 2016

Paillasson is special cheese somewhat like an uncooked marshmallow, its unique character doesn’t fully shine until it’s fried or grilled, lending to its melty (but not melted) properties. Best always served warm.

Tasting Notes: This fresh, unripened semi-soft grilling cheese has milky aromas. When heated in a skillet or over a grill, flavors go from bland to boom becoming all melted butter and toasted nut, complete with the crispy bits we all love (just like your favorite grilled cheese without the bread!)

Suggested Pairing: Enjoy sliced wedges with spicy chorizo on a toothpick as a snack, wrap with prosciutto as an appetizer, serve as a side or centerpiece garnish to a local mixed green salad. 


Le Baluchon

Le Baluchon Best FarmsteadBest Farmstead Cheese 2016
Best Organic Cheese 2016
Cheese of the Year 2014

Le Baluchon is an example of organic products, created through systems and processes that are more sustainable and harmonious with their environments (soil, animals, people, and plants).  Generally lower tech operations and milk sourced from pasture-based farms (if not their own) is used where animals are free of hormones, antibiotics, pesticides, herbicides, synthetic fertilizers or chemicals.

Tasting Notes: Le Baluchon is a farmstead, washed-rind, certified “Québec Vrai” organic raw cow’s milk cheese aged for 60 days.  Notice harvest colors of apricot/orange/terracotta in the rind with a thin white dusty layer that develops as the cheese ages. Inside, a bright golden yellow semi-firm creamy paste showing small holes glistens in sunlight.  Made OKA-style, it has similar characteristics: a gritty textured rind, toasted hazelnut flavors, and pungent barny aromas.

 Suggested Pairing: Melted as Raclette or enjoyed with an oaky Canadian Chardonnay.


Old Growler

Best Gouda Cheese 2016Old Growler

Old Growler is a more mature (and the most popular) of The Dutchman’s Goudas.  Born of a surplus of older cheeses, they decided to name it, and sell it at eighteen months.

 Tasting Notes: Traditional aged Gouda characteristics starting to show – more pale gold hued open paste with eyes (pinholes) and crystals forming, firm to hardening texture, malty aromas developing with much stronger & lingering caramel flavor over milk with a bit of bite.

Suggested Pairing: A favourite pairing with this cheese is Michael Dolce Peach Cardamom Jam, or local stone fruit based marmalade. Enjoy with a Canadian Pinot Gris.


Dragon’s Breath Blue

Best Blue Cheese 2016dragons breathe blue

A rare find and multi-award winner, Dragon’s Breath Blue is a closely guarded family secret.

 Tasting Notes: Unique in shape and size, these small cylinders of blue cheese are aged only a few weeks then coated with wax for ripening another 2-6 months.  The flavor and texture varies by season, more buttery/creamy in the summer months with higher fat content in the milk.  Note sharp blue flavor, moist texture with fruity notes, and little blue veining depending on exposure to air. Tip: Pop a small slice of the top off and leave it uncovered for 24-48 hrs. to develop more blue veining.

 Suggested Pairing: Pair with a Canadian Gamay or Pinot Noir. Melt wedges into phyllo pastry squares and garnish.



 Recipes to enjoy with the featured cheeses


With Sabot de Blanchette

Spring Salad with Honeyed Rhubarb and Goat Cheese

The Ottawa Citizen’s Laura Robin

IngredientsSpring Salad with Honeyed Rhubarb and Goat Cheese

¾ lb. (340 g) rhubarb (about 7 slender stalks),
cut into ¾-inch (2-cm) pieces
¼ cup (60 mL) honey
½ cup (125 mL) walnut halves
2 Tbsp (30 mL) olive oil
2 Tbsp (30 mL) white balsamic vinegar
Coarse salt and ground pepper
2 bunches arugula (about 12 cups/3 L), tough stems removed
1 small fennel bulb, cored and thinly sliced
½ cup (25 mL) goat cheese, crumbled
3 Tbsp (45 mL) fresh snipped chives (optional)


Preheat oven to 450 F (230 C) with racks in upper and lower thirds. On a rimmed baking sheet lined with foil, toss rhubarb pieces with honey. Roast on upper rack until beginning to soften, about 5 minutes.

Meanwhile, on another rimmed baking sheet, toast walnuts on lower rack until fragrant, about 5 minutes.

Let rhubarb cool on pan. Cool walnuts, and then chop coarsely.

In a small bowl, whisk together the oil and vinegar and season with salt and pepper. Toss arugula and fennel with the vinaigrette. Top the salad with the rhubarb, walnuts, goat cheese and chives.


With Le Paillasson de L’Isle D’Orléans…                    

Grilling Cheese with Cranberry & Pistachios

Dairy Goodness All You Need Is Cheese

IngredientsGrilling Cheese with Cranberry & Pistachios

1/4 cup (60 mL) unsalted shelled pistachios
3 Tbsp (45 mL) sugar, divided
1/2 cup (125 mL) frozen cranberries
1/2 cup (125 mL) cranberry juice
8 oz. (250 g) Canadian grilling cheeseLe Paillasson de L’Isle D’Orléans


In a small skillet, toast pistachios on medium heat with 2 tbsp. (30 mL) sugar. Cook until sugar becomes golden brown and sticks to pistachios.

Transfer to a parchment-lined plate. Once pistachios have cooled, coarsely chop.

In a small saucepan, mix cranberries, cranberry juice and remaining sugar. Bring to a boil, cover and cook for 5 minutes or until cranberries are tender. Using an upright or hand blender, purée mixture until smooth.

Heat a non-stick skillet on medium heat. Grill cheeses for 3–4 minutes on each side. You can also place cheeses on a parchment-lined baking sheet and grill in the oven, preheated to 450°F (230°C), for 4–5 minutes on each side.

Serve hot on top of cranberry coulis, garnished with crispy pistachios.


With Le Baluchon…

Tartlets with Baluchon and Caramelized Onions

Les Producteurs de lait du Quebec – Our Cheeses

Tartlets with Baluchon and Caramelized Onions Ingredients

12 Tartlet Crusts (Store-bought)
250 ml (1 cup) Le Baluchon Cheese, rind removed, grated
2 eggs
250 ml (1 cup) of 15% cream
1 pinch of ground nutmeg
Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
Caramelized Onions

45 ml (3 Tbsp) butter
250 ml (1 cup) pearl onions
30 ml (2 Tbsp) sugar
15 ml (1 Tbsp) balsamic vinegar
15 ml (1 Tbsp) fresh rosemary, chopped


Preheat oven to 400° F (200° C).

Bake tartlets for 10 minutes or until crusts are golden.

Whisk cheese, eggs, cream and nutmeg in the food processor until the mixture is smooth. Add salt and pepper.

Fill tartlets with the cheese mixture.

Garnish with caramelized onions.

Bake for 10 more minutes or until the filling is golden.


Caramelized Onions

In a large frying pan, melt the butter and brown the onions for 5 minutes.

Add the sugar and the balsamic vinegar.

Continue cooking for 5 minutes until the onions are caramelized and add the rosemary.


With Old Growler

Gouda Asparagus Pesto

Dairy Goodness All You Need Is Cheese

IngredientsGouda Asparagus Pesto

¼ cup (60 mL) raw almonds
2 cloves garlic
1 bunch of asparagus (about ¾ lb. – 350 g), cut into 1˝ (2.5 cm) pieces
1 1/4 cup (60 mL) olive oil
Salt and freshly ground pepper
1/2 cup (125 mL) Canadian Aged Gouda – Old Growler, finely grated


In a food processor, chop almonds and garlic.

Add asparagus and process until finely chopped.

Continue to process while gradually pouring in oil.

Season generously with salt and pepper, and add cheese.

Transfer to a jar and seal with a lid. Store in the refrigerator for up to a week.


With Dragon’s Breath Blue

Marinated Hangar Steak with Dragon’s Breath Blue Cheese


 IngredientsMarinated Hangar Steak with Dragon’s Breath Blue Cheese

Hangar steak (recipe works great with flank, skirt, tenderloin and any grilling beef you choose).


½ cup red wine
1 Tbsp olive oil
1 Tbsp low sodium soy sauce
2 tsp dry mustard
2 tsp paprika
2 tsp dried thyme or rosemary
2 tsp dried basil
3 large cloves garlic, finely minced
2 tsp freshly ground pepper


Romaine hearts, torn into bite sized chunks
1 sweet red pepper, seeded and cut into chunks
1/2 English cucumber, chunked
Dragon’s Breath Blue Cheese

Chef Craig Flinn’s Awesome Vinaigrette
3 anchovy fillets
1 shallot, very finely minced
1 clove garlic, minced to pulp
2 tsp Dijon mustard
Juice and zest of 1 lemon
1 Tbsp white wine vinegar
Salt & pepper to taste
½ cup extra virgin olive oil


For the vinaigrette:

Smash anchovy fillets in a bowl with a fork and add the shallot and garlic.

Add the mustard, lemon juice & zest, vinegar, salt & pepper and whisk until smooth. Add the oil in a slow steady stream while whisking until the vinaigrette is smooth and emulsified. Makes ¾ cup and will keep refrigerated for a couple of weeks.

For the steak/salad

In a large Ziplock bag, combine all the marinade ingredients and blend well. Add the prepared hanger steak (or whatever other cut you choose), coat well with the marinade and massage. You can let the meat marinate on the counter for a couple of hours before grilling or refrigerate for up to 48 hours. If refrigerating, bring the meat to room temperature before cooking.

To grill with bbq/ grill pan/ electric grill/ broiler… whatever you have – heat to high and grill for 3-4 minutes, turn the meat, lower the temp a bit and continue to grill for 4 minutes for medium rare. That’s how long for flank steak, but hanger steak being thicker will require more time. Turn the heat down to medium so it will not char, and turn every 4 minutes until done to your liking.

Remove from the grill and place on a plate, flipping the hot side (closest to the grill) on top and refrigerate for 5 minutes. Then slice on the diagonal, across the grain to serve.

While the steaks are grilling, place the torn romaine hearts and chunks of red peppers & cucumbers into a large serving bowl. Toss with vinaigrette.

Once the steaks are sliced, place them on top of the salad and crumble the cheese over top.


Enjoy your Savvy Cool Curds!




From a suitcase of dirt: Konzelmann Estate Winery as October’s Winery of the Month

Posted by Susan

Thursday, September 29th, 2011



A successful restaurateur, knowledgeable about food and wine, Friederich Konzelmann was a man of foresight, always willing to try out a new idea. As demand for his homemade wines increased in his restaurants in Germany, he determined it was time to branch out into commercial winemaking creating Konzelmann Estate Winery in 1893, and a storied winemaking family was established.

Friederich was soon producing over 200,000 litres of wine, and the successful business was passed from one generation to the next. Great grandson, Herbert Konzelmann joined the family business in 1958. It continued to grow, almost doubling production levels, but as time went on, grapes became harder to source, urbanization and industry increased the demand for land, and vineyards became more expensive to acquire. As a consequence of a hunting trip to the western Canada, Herbert began planning in the early 1980’s to move Konzelmann Estate Winery to Canada. He returned to Canada – to Niagara this time – asking a real estate agent to show him some available land on the lakeshore. As the agent was regretfully stating there was no available land, Herbert noticed a peach orchard – ‘What about that?’ he said via his interpreter. Herbert took a suitcase of dirt from the intriguing orchard back to Germany for analysis.

The results showed that the combination of mineral-rich soil, available sunlight and heat units far greater than in Germany, convinced Herbert to purchase the property in Niagara and sell his operation in Germany. Similar to other entrepreneursin his family before him, Friederich was breaking new ground in the Ontario wine industry alongside with pioneers Don Ziraldo, Karl Kaiser (both from Inniskillin), Ewald Reif (Reif Estates Winery) and Joseph Pohorly (Joseph`s Wines).

We are delighted to share with you the results of Herbert’s emphasis on quality. Konzelmann Estate Winery has won hundreds of awards for its wines around the world. They were the first Canadian winery to make Wine Spectator’s Top 100 in 2008 with their highly acclaimed Vidal Ice Wine VQA 2006. More recently, the 2008 Vidal Ice Wine was awarded the Gold Best in Class at the International Wine & Spirits Competition in the UK, and the 2008 Gewürztraminer won Silver at the Ontario Wine Awards.

Your Savvy Selections offers you a combination of premium wine, well priced and outstanding quality.We are confident that you will enjoy every sip of:
Pinot Grigio Reserve VQA 2009 – alluring & silky
Four Generations Barrel-Aged Pinot Noir VQA 2007 – big spicy & plush
Four Generations Heritage 2007 – a complex full-bodied red blend
OPTIONAL WINE: Winemaster`s Barrel Aged Chardonnay VQA 2007

Your invitation to these upcoming Savvy Events

September 22-25 – Savvy Company is pleased to be organizing the food & wine events in Ottawa’s Little Italy for La Vendemmia harvest celebration. This 4 day festival is chock o block full of free and ticketed events showcasing art, wine and food . Check out the full event listing, at We will see you there!

Debbie & the Savvy Team

Konzelmann Estate Winery
Presented by Sommelier Susan Desjardins

At 74 years of age, Winemaster Herbert Konzelmann (far left) continues the family tradition of adventure and innovation, planting new varieties, experimenting with different styles of wines and, above all, continuously improving quality from one vintage to the next.

He recognizes that expectations have changed over the generations. “In the old days, there was little competition and wine was made locally using the old methods of our ancestors.” Now, with the wide range of wines available to consumers, wine purchasers expect high quality. Herbert’s focus is on German-style wines with softer structure, as his customers prefer. The acquisition of advanced equipment, the availability of precision instruments and acquired know-how contribute to the quality of the wines. In addition, he has purchased a second property inland, where the growing conditions and terroir favour the big red varietals as well as Riesling. Winemaker Eric Pearson explains, “Rieslings from this particular vineyard display more petrol notes, while those from our lakeshore vineyard are notably fruitier.”

The Winemaster’s Collection wines – in our Savvy Selection – receive particular focus, and are produced only in excellent vintages (winespeak: years). Only vines of a certain maturity are harvested for these wines, cropped to a low yield the equivalent of the fruit of 2 vines per bottle of wine. Using extended skin contact and slow fermentation, these wines offer soft tannins, balance, concentrated fruit flavours and ageability. With each sip of the wines in this month`s Savvy Selections, we anticipate that you will taste the difference.

When Herbert was looking for an assistant winemaker, he approached Eric Pearson, a bio-chem grad from Brock University who had done his thesis under the supervision of the Cool Climate Oenology and Viticulture Program and who had worked in the Konzelmann vineyard during his university years. After 2 years at Stratus, Eric was delighted with the opportunity to rejoin Konzelmann. “I love wine and I love what I’m doing. My nonno made wine and as a child I used to help him. Growing up in St. Catharines, I used to run through the vineyards with my friends having Concord grape fights – our parents weren’t too impressed!”

Since he started working with Herbert, the two of them work as a team. “Our palates are similar, which is critical in this relationship. And Eric’s education in bio-chemistry brings a unique set of skills to our partnership and to experimentation,” Herbert explains. Eric continues, “We taste together, and Herbert always asks my opinion – usually we’re very close in our assessment. And when we discuss how to create a wine stylistically, there’s good compatibility on the direction.”

Eric has grown into the position as winemaker, while he continues to work with Herbert on experiments in the vineyard and in the cellar. For instance, they are trying different techniques of crop thinning to enhance the depth of flavour of their wines while also experimenting with different aging techniques to craft the soft yet structured wines that Herbert wants to create. The 2010 vintage will no doubt offer some assistance! Eric reports, “2010 looks very promising. The aromatic whites are outstanding, and the big reds are looking really powerful. It was a good vintage right across the board.”

Looking back, Herbert explained that he moved his family to Canada was at a time when the wine industry was in its infancy stage. They arrived with ten 40 foot containers brimming over with winemaking equipment plus the family household possessions. “We took a big risk coming here. When I went to the Canadian Consulate for our visas, I explained that we were immigrating to Canada to start a winery in Niagara. The officer laughed and told me to go ahead and help make Canada famous”. Herbert smiled in reflection. “I am very glad I bought our property and have great pride that I have created wines that have helped to put Canada on the world stage.”

Herbert’s Four Generations series wines honor his ancestors, and the future is bright as his grandson returns from Germany later this summer, ready to work alongside his grandfather, just as Herbert did many years ago, to continue to build on Konzelmann’s successful foundations.

Cheers & Enjoy your Savvy Selections!



Pinot Grigio Reserve VQA 2009, $17.20

Produced from fruit harvested from the property located inland, this wine underwent an extensive skin soak to extract body and structure – resulting in a faint hint of peachy pink colour. The fermentation process was designed to create a satiny texture and to bring out the floral, fruity notes.

Savvy Sommelier Tasting Notes:Subtle, alluring and beautifully balanced, this is a dry yet fruity mid-weight wine has loads of pineapple, spiced apple, fresh citrus and a delicate floral note. A silky texture is matched with refreshing acidity and underlying minerality, the persistent finish juicy and fruity.

Suggested Food Pairing:A versatile wine that would pair well with chicken, pork or fish, or just enjoy it on its own!

Cellaring:A great wine to enjoy now or in the next couple of years.

Four Generations Barrel-Aged Pinot Noir VQA 2007, $30.20

The focus on this wine started in the vineyard with the selection of 2 blocks right by the lake of different Pinot Noir clones which are known for delivering complementary characteristics. Longer hang time increased the depth of flavour, while an extended maceration extracted further flavour, pigmentation and structural components.

Savvy Sommelier Tasting Notes: This is a wine with great depth and breadth of flavour. Ruby in colour, its rich, ripe, aromatic, it’s loaded with plush spiced berries, cherries, vanilla and a subtle earthiness. Robust, powerful and satiny, it displays a masterful balance of acidity, fruit and supple tannins, offering lingering notes of dark chocolate on the finish. Wow!

Suggested Food Pairing:This wine calls for a substantial meat dish – our Savvy Sommeliers recommend beef, lamb or duck.

Four Generations Heritage VQA 2007 $25.20

A blend of Syrah, Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon grapes, each varietal was aged separately, with the goal to create a top-tier wine to celebrate the Konzelmann family history. After extensive barrel tasting by Herbert and Eric, the three varietal wines were combined in the proportions deemed to create the desired style, then further aged as a blend.

Savvy Sommelier Tasting Notes: Full bodied and complex, this blend entices with beautifully integrated aromas – plum, cassis, spice and a wisp of smoky toasty herbal notes. Velvety on the palate, it’s plush with rich ripe dark fruit elegantly balanced with ripe tannins and defined acidity. There’s a hint of pepper and cocoa on the long warm finish.

Suggested Food Pairing:This wine would be delicious with a herb encrusted roast leg of lamb, or savour it with aged hard cheeses.

Cellaring: Drinking well now, this wine will cellar for 3-5 years.

OPTIONAL WINE: Winemaster`s Barrel Aged Chardonnay VQA 2007
$14.00 (reduced from $16.00)

We couldn`t believe it when we discovered within the premium portfolio a wine that is outstanding & only $14 – a steal!

Savvy Sommelier Tasting Notes:Dry, medium to full bodied, this elegant wine would be perfect to enjoy as summer rolls gently (I hope!) into fall. In the aroma and taste there are notes of warm spices, fresh baked apple pie and a hint of orange at the finish. Its creamy texture has just-enough-oak that make it an absolutely pleasant wine to enjoy.

Cellaring: Heralding from the outstanding vintage of 2007, this wine is ready to enjoy now.


With Konzelmann Pinot Grigio…

Warm Dijon Salmon Salad
Susan adapted from the original recipe that appeared Ottawa Citizen
Serves 4


2 salmon fillets, approx. 8 oz each
1 C thin green beans, trimmed
½ C toasted slivered almonds
4 C mixed greens
1 Tbsp ground white pepper, or to taste


1 tsp Dijon mustard

½ lemon, juice of
4 Tbsp olive oil

Sea salt to taste


1.Gently poach or grill salmon.


2.Meanwhile, cook beans in boiling water until bright green & tender. Drain & reserve with salmon, keeping both warm.


3.Mix dressing ingredients together. Portion greens on 4 plates and place beans, then salmon on top. Sprinkle with toasted almonds.


4.Drizzle dressing over each salad and serve.

With Konzelmann Four Generations Pinot Noir

Duck Breasts with Dried Cherries
Lucy Waverman & James Chatto, A Matter of Taste Cookbook
Serves 4


4 single boneless duck breasts (approx. 10 oz each)
2 tsp finely chopped gingerroot
1 tsp finely chopped garlic
2 tsp cracked peppercorns
2 tsp cracked coriander seeds
1 Tbsp balsamic vinegar
½ tsp granulated sugar

¼ C red wine

1 ½ C chicken stock

¼ C dried cherries

2 Tbsp butter, diced




1.Score duck at ½” intervals. Combine ginger, garlic, peppercorns & coriander seeds. Rub into duck. Place breasts skin-side down in a large cold skillet. Turn heat to medium & cook for 2 minutes. Reduce heat to low & cook for 15 minutes, or until fat is rendered. Drain fat as it accumulates in pan. Turn duck breasts and cook 2 minutes longer.


2.Preheat oven to 400F. Place breasts skin side up on a rack in a baking pan. Roast for 7-10 minutes, or until pink. Discard fat from skillet while breasts are roasting. Increase heat to high and add vinegar & sugar. Cook for about 30 seconds or until sticky. Add wine & cook 2 minutes longer. Add stock, bring to a boil & boil for 3-4 minutes, or until sauce is thickened & reduced. Add cherries & simmer for a few minutes.


3.Remove skillet from heat & stir in butter.


4.Slice duck & serve with sauce. Enjoy!


With Konzelmann Four Generations Heritage…

Umbrian Slow-Cooked Lamb with Pecorino
Lucy Waverman & James Chatto, A Matter of Taste Cookbook
Serves 6


3 lbs. boned lamb shoulder, cut in 6-oz pieces
1 Tbsp chopped fresh rosemary

2 bay leaves, crumbled

4 cloves garlic, sliced
½ tsp hot red pepper flakes

¼ C olive oil
1 C chopped onions

½ C red wine

1 C beef or chicken stock

Salt & freshly ground pepper

1 C grated Pecorino cheese



1.Toss lamb with rosemary, bay leaves, garlic, red pepper flakes and 2 Tbsp oil. Refrigerate overnight, turning occasionally. Remove garlic & reserve

2.Pre-heat oven to 300F. Heat remaining 2 Tbsp oil in an ovenproof casserole over high heat. Brown lamb in batches for about 2 minutes per side, or until meat is a rich brown color. Remove to a plate.

3.Reduce heat to medium and add onions and reserved garlic slices to casserole. Sauté for 2 minutes. Pour in wine, scraping up any little pieces from bottom of pan. Bring to a boil. Add stock & combine well.


4.Return lamb to casserole, cover & bake for 1 hour. Uncover & continue to bake for 1 hour longer, or until meat is tender & glazed with sauce. Depending on size of casserole, sauce may reduce too much; add more stock if necessary. Sauce should be rich & slightly thickened.


5.Remove lamb & keep warm. Skim any fat from sauce. Strain sauce into a pot, pressing on any solids. Reheat & add salt & pepper if necessary.


6.Serve lamb with a little sauce. Liberally sprinkle lamb with cheese.




Cheers & Enjoy this month’s Savvy Selections!



Savvy Selection for April: Pondview Estates Winery

Posted by Susan

Thursday, May 12th, 2011

Savvy Selections wine of the month club
features Pondview Estate Winery
Canada’s wineries delivered to your doorstep

Following a trip to the Niagara Peninsula early last fall, we are pleased to introduce you to one of Ontario’s newest family-owned wineries, Pondview Estate Winery, located in the Four Mile Creek appellation (in the Niagara-on-the-Lake area). A family business honoring the memory of patriarch Giuseppe Puglisi, you’ll find Luciano (Lou) Puglisi in the vineyard and the barrel cellar; Adriana (Lou’s wife), and Paula (his sister) greeting visitors in the tasting room; while Joseph Barbera, (Lou’s brother-in-law), handles marketing and sales.

On the following pages of this Savvy eZine, read about the story of the Pondview expansion. Joseph recalls, “Lou had saved up enough money to buy a Camaro, his dream car. But his dad (Giuseppe) strongly recommended that he buy land instead . . .” And the rest is history!

The Puglisi family has been growing grapes for more than three decades and selling them to other wineries in the region. In 2008, Lou was crowned Grape King – a highly acclaimed recognition from the Ministry of Agriculture award for the finest vineyard & grape grower in Ontario. In addition to the ‘fame’, the award included a trip to British Columbia, visiting family-owned estates and meeting local winery owners. This experience was just what Lou needed to launch the move from grape grower to winemaker & winery owner. With the assistance from consulting winemaker, Fred di Profio, Lou set out to implement his vision – to offer quality wines from estate-grown fruit that is reflected in Pondview’s philosophy – “Great wine is a harmony of earth and vine.”

Savvy Sommelier Susan Desjardins visited Pondview in September last year – just a few weeks after the official opening of the tasting room. In true Italian tradition, visitors can enjoy Pondview’s food friendly wine with platters of local cheese and antipasto. Although a small winery (approx. 5000 cases produced last year), the quality and value of Pondview’s wines impress: the 2008 Cabernet blend sold out in three weeks, and the outstanding Cabernet Franc Rosé WOWed the buyers at the LCBO & they have bought it all (tip: be on the lookout for this wine in Vintages this spring).

To whet your palate, we are excited to feature the following wines in this month’s Savvy Selections:

Pondview Riesling VQA 2009 – elegant & fresh
– Pondview Bella Terra Barrel-Fermented Chardonnay VQA 2009 –
an award winner (and almost sold out!)
Pondview Bella Terra Cabernet Franc VQA 2009 – the deliciously intense red wine with cellaring potential.

Enjoy this new wine discovery as the days grow longer and spring flowers come into bloom. And if you’re visiting the Niagara area be sure to stop by & visit Lou, Adriana, Paula & Joseph for a taste of true Italian hospitality – let them know that you are a Savvy Selections subscriber!

Cheers & Enjoy!

Debbie & Savvy Team

Savvy Company

Pondview Estate Winery
Presented by Sommelier Susan Desjardins

In 1965, Pondview patriarch, Giuseppe Puglisi, left his native Italy for a better life Canada. He settled in Toronto, but would often drive to Niagara-on-the-Lake on the weekends to see first hand the landscape transforming into vineyards. His Italian roots in the family vineyards in Sicily were calling to him, so when the opportunity arose in 1974, he took the plunge & purchased a 12-acre parcel in Niagara-on-the-Lake (now named as the sub-appellation of Four Mile Creek). Giuseppe planted fruit trees as well as hybrid grape varietals, selling the grapes to local wineries and the fruit in local markets. By the mid-1980s, he decided to convert the hybrid vineyards to vitis vinifera, planting Chardonnay, Cabernet Sauvignon and Cabernet Franc vines as the demand for these varietals increased in the revitalized wine industry.

Over time the estate expanded. Today, the 60-acre property surrounds the winery and includes a broader range of grape varieties selected based on the terroir.

What is special about the terroir?
Situated on a former lake bed, Pondview’s soil has a clay loam base, with some deposits of limestone. Another unique advantage – the Four Mile Creek sub-appellation has the highest heat units in Niagara, ensuring that the Chardonnay and Bordeaux varietals thrive on the property, particularly evident in the notable 2009 vintage – several of the Savvy Selections wines are from this vintage..

What happened in 2009?
Grapes are a crop like any other – they are subject to the vagaries of nature. IN 2009, the weather was challenging, According to VQA Ontario reports, April gave grape growers endless rain while May brought dry yet cool temperatures with a slow steady start to bud break & flowering. June was fairly normal, but July, when farmers are looking for dry heat, was exceptionally rainy with temperatures 2 to 3 C degrees cooler than normal. The rain continued well into August, and as September approached, miraculously the sun and warmth returned ensuring a lengthy period for ripening. Grapes were left to hang longer than usual through the erratic weather in October and early November.

Wine is made in the vineyard
The weather conditions of 2009 were a significant challenge for grape growers and winemakers across Ontario. By mid-summer, Lou and the Pondview team realized that the cool weather and rain were putting the quality of the vintage at risk. With his extensive grape growing experience, Lou focused on low yields and strict canopy management to allow penetration of the sun’s warming rays. They thinned the crop prior to veraison (winespeak: when the grapes begins to change color) to ensure that the remaining grape bunches would ripen earlier, display greater concentration & have a longer period of ripening. These two aspects are critical to ensure optimal ripeness at harvest thereby better quality wine.

VQA Ontario reports the 2009 is a good vintage for all the white varietals at which Ontario excels. Conditions were right for Ontario’s signature Riesling with a clean balance of fruit and racy acidity. . . 2009 was a bit more challenging for the longer-ripening reds—Merlot, Cabernet Franc and Cabernet Sauvignon. These varieties will have benefited from crop thinning & extra care in the vineyard to ensure the grapes were fully mature at harvest – exactly as Lou implemented.

Taste it for yourself!
With this month’s Savvy Selections, taste the natural impact of the 2009 vintage in the Riesling, the skills of the winemaker in balancing fruit and oak in the Chardonnay, and the experience and expertise of the viticulturalist and winemaker in the Cabernet Franc. ‘We are proud to share some of the Old World winemaking tradition in the New World setting’, states Joseph. ‘We are very proud of the unique fertile terroir (in Italian – Bella Terra) that flows through our wines’. From my visit to the winery, it was evident that the Puglisi family has attained a better life in Canada & they are keen to share it with us.

As they say in Italy – Salute!


Pondview Riesling 2009 VQA, $16.20

Cold fermented in stainless steel to dryness, a portion of the Riesling juice was set aside during the winemaking process, then added back after fermentation, creating a touch of residual sugar & intensifying the fruit flavours in the aromas & tastes.

Savvy Sommelier Tasting Notes: A fine & subtle wine with lovely floral & stone fruit aromas (think peach, necatarines), mineral and tantalizing sweet citrus notes. Light to medium-bodied, there’s a taste of, green apple & zesty pink grapefruit that nicely balances a lively seam of acidity. “an absolutely elegant white wine“, states Savvy Sommelier Debbie Trenholm during the Savvy Selections tasting panel.

Suggested Food Pairing: Riesling is such a versatile wine – great sipped on its own, with hors d`oeuvres or a match for veal and pork dishes, spicy Asian cuisine (see Thai grilled shrimp recipe below), or seafood.

Cellaring: No need to wait, it’s delightful – you’ll enjoy it now!

Pondview ‘Bella Terra’ Barrel-Aged Chardonnay 2009 VQA, $24.20

Produced fromThe grapes for this classic Chardonnay were hand-harvested in November. Fermented in French and American oak, it was barrel aged for 9 months, providing great texture and weight on the palate. This impressive wine was a first place winner at the Cuvée Awards this spring (tied for first with Niagara Teaching College Winery – featured in Savvy Selections this past November). Not keen on oaked Chardonnay? Definitely give this wine a chance as the oak is elegantly woven into the taste of the wine.

Savvy Sommelier Tasting Notes: Lovely aromas of butterscotch, pineapple and apple-cinnamon crisp waft from the glass. Medium-full bodied with a creamy texture, the flavours are of biscuit (Arrowroot or shortbread cookies perhaps!), exotic spice and baked apple with a dash of lemon rind. The finish is warm with notes of toasty oak and ripe apple.

Suggested Food Pairing: This weighty Chardonnay would pair nicely with the Easter ham, cheese-laden pasta, roast turkey or chicken. Susan offers a pork tenderloin with leeks & fennel to try your hand at with this wine.

Cellaring: Enjoy now or cellar for 3-5 years

Pondview ‘Bella Terra’ Cabernet Franc 2009 VQA, $28.20

Lou’s focus on quality and concentration of flavour, the Cabernet Franc grapes were hand-picked, then aged in new French and American oak barrels for 12 months & was bottled mid-February just in time to be showcased in this month`s Savvy Selections – you are the first to try this wine.

Savvy Sommelier Tasting Notes: This is a young red wine with enticing aromas of spiced heritage rose, red licorice, plum, black cherry & toast. Dry, medium bodied & well structured, the fruit is vivid—raspberry and cherry. The acidity is vibrant, and the tannins are what Savvy Sommelier Susan Desjardins describes as “chalky“. The finish is dry & warm, with underlying notes of sweet exotic spice, espresso and chocolate. The Savvy Sommeliers all recommend that it is best to give this wine time to knit together.

Suggested Food Pairing: Serve with strongly flavoured meat dishes, such as rare prime rib or herbed rack of lamb.

Cellaring: We recommend holding this wine for a few months, or if you can’t wait to try it, decant for an hour before serving. It is designed to cellar for 3-5 years.


With Pondview Riesling…

Thai Grilled Shrimp

Serves 4 to 5


1 ¼ lbs. raw shrimp, peeled (about 40)
¼ C finely chopped onion

3 Tbsp vegetable oil
1 Tbsp ground coriander
1 Tbsp grated lemon rind
1 Tbsp lemon juice
1 Tbsp soy sauce or Thai fish sauce
1 tsp chili powder

½ tsp finely minced garlic
¼ tsp hot pepper sauce
1 Tbsp chopped fresh parsley
Skewers, soaked


· Peel and de-vein shrimp, leaving on tail. Place in a bowl.

· In a blender, combine all remaining ingredients except parsley. Pour over shrimp, add parsley and toss to coat. Cover and refrigerate for 1 hour.

· Reserving marinade, thread 2 shrimp on each skewer and grill for 2 minutes, brush with marinade, turn and grill for 2 minutes or until shrimp is opaque.

· Savour this tasty appetizer with a glass of Pondview Riesling!

With Pondview Chardonnay….

Pork Tenderloin on a Bed of Leeks & Fennel
From A Matter of Taste Cookbook, by Lucy Waverman & James Chatto
Serves 4


1 Tbsp Dijon mustard
1 Tbsp chopped fresh tarragon
1 tsp cracked peppercorns
2 Tbsp olive oil
1 ½ lbs. pork tenderloin
salt & pepper, freshly ground
1 Tbsp butter
1 bulb fennel, trimmed & thinly sliced
3 leeks, trimmed & thinly sliced
¼ C chicken stock
¼ C white wine
2 Tbsp whipping cream
1 Tbsp lemon juice


· Preheat oven to 400F.

· Combine mustard, 2 tsp tarragon, peppercorns & 1 Tbsp oil. Reserve.

· Heat remaining 1 Tbsp oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Season pork with salt & pepper. Add pork to skillet and brown on all sides, about 4 minutes in total.

· Transfer pork to a baking dish and spread mustard mixture over top & sides. Bake for 17-20 minutes, or until just a hint of pink remains in the pork.

· Prepare vegetables while pork is cooking. Heat butter in a large skillet over medium heat. Add fennel, leeks and remaining 1 tsp tarragon and sauté for 3 minutes, or until crisp-tender.

· Add stock, wine & cream. Cover and cook for 5-7 minutes, or until vegetables are tender.

· Uncover, increase heat and cook for 2-3 minutes, or until liquid is reduced and slightly thickened. Stir in lemon juice. Season with salt & pepper.

· Cut pork into slices ½” thick. Place overlapping slices on leek and fennel mixture.

With Pondview ‘Bella Terra’ Cabernet Franc…

Beef Stroganoff
From Cooking with BC Wine, by Troy & Cheryl-Lynn Townsin
Serves 4

¾ C red wine
4 Tbsp butter
1 lb. beef tenderloin, cut into strips
1 small onion, chopped
1 cup fresh mushrooms, sliced
1 Tbsp flour
½ C beef stock
¼ C sour cream
1 Tbsp Dijon mustard
1 package egg noodles (8 oz.)
Salt & pepper to taste
¼ C fresh parsley, chopped, for garnish


· Melt 2 Tbsp butter in a large sauté pan over medium-high heat. Season meat to taste with salt & pepper and then add to pan. Brown meat & then add onion & mushrooms. Sauté for another 5 minutes, then set aside.

· Prepare egg noodles according to directions on the package.

· In a separate large pan, mix remaining butter with flour over medium heat until well combined. Slowly stir in the stock and red wine. Bring to a boil, then add the beef & mushroom mix. Stir for 1 minute then add sour cream & mustard. Mix through. Remove from heat.

· When egg noodles are al dente, serve on individual plates topped with beef stroganoff mixture. Garnish with chopped parsley.

Cheers & Enjoy this month’s Savvy Selections!


Catching up with the winemaker at Rosehall Run

Posted by Julie

Sunday, March 14th, 2010



Savvy Selections wine of the month club
featuring Rosehall Run Vineyards
Canada’s wineries delivered to your doorstep


Winemaker and winery owner of Rosehall Run, Dan Sullivan, laughs and shakes his head when Savvy Sommelier Julie Stock asked him about his philosophy to winemaking.  “The simple answer is…there isn’t one. Mostly because there is no such thing as a recipe for winemaking – every year is different in the vineyard and the grapes will tell you what kind of wine they will be.” He goes on to explain that winemaking is like shooting footage for a movie with the grapes as the directors – dictating what images to capture. At the core of it all, Dan like all the winemakers that we have featured in the Savvy Selections, he combines the classic fundamentals of Old World vinification methods and winemaking techniques, while farming New World grapes….in his own way.


Julie and her husband Doug (also a Sommelier and a member of the Savvy Team) caught up to Dan at a winemaker’s dinner during the Taste of Winterlude last month.  Dan never misses the opportunity to participate in these interactive dinner events.  In fact, Savvy Company has hosted three lunches and dinners spotlighting Dan and his wines.  “Food and wine events are a more interactive experience rather than the jewelry shop approach commonly taken when people visit a winery. I see it all the time – visitors come in to our winery, sample a taste of wine as if trying on a piece of jewelry and then decide whether to make a purchase. Frankly, you miss out on the opportunity to try and taste many wines and a variety of food that enhances the flavours. By combining wine and food, your taste buds become better educated and you expand your wine knowledge.”


The Savvy Selections tasting panel were provided a dozen Rosehall Run wines to consider for this month’s selection. A majority of the wines have yet to be released – another Savvy Selections subscriber perk! In your delivery this month, you will find:

Rosehall Run Riesling VQA 2008 – a pre-released wine Dan made with grapes from Niagara

Rosehall Run Pinot Noir Cuvée County VQA 2008 – you are the first to receive this wine!

Rosehall Run Cold Creek Cabernet Franc VQA 2007 – a hands down favorite wine


To further enhance your enjoyment of the Rosehall Run wines, in the following pages you will find recipes Julie and our Savvy Selections tasting panel suggested to enjoy with the wines as well as their tasting notes.


Want more wines from Rosehall Run?  It is easy – simply call Debbie to arrange an order for you.


Be part of the Savvy Selections Tasting Panel!

You are invited to join Savvy Sommeliers to sip & swirl premium wines from Kacaba Vineyards to help us choose the 3 wines to be featured in the May Savvy Selections. Kacaba is famous for their BIG red wines! 

Thursday March 18, 6:30pm

Thyme & Again Creative Catering Photography Gallery, 1255 Wellington St W

Space limited to 10 people – RSVP to Debbie by email


Cheers & Enjoy!

Debbie & Savvy Team

Rosehall Run, Prince Edward County
Presented by Savvy Sommelier Julie Stock

Dan recalled the August long weekend in 2000 when he and his wife Lynn were heading to Prince Edward County and nearly turned back to Toronto because of the heavy traffic on Highway 401. Thankfully for us they didn’t since that was the weekend they found the land on which now grows some award winning wines. Having a healthy regard for the gravelly limestone in the county, Dan knew instinctively this was Pinot Noir and Chardonnay grape growing country.

In the fall of 2001, Dan planted one acre of Pinot Noir and Chardonnay, the same year he learned to drive the tractor without killing himself, he said laughingly. Not long after, and on another acre he called his “toy box”; he planted Sauvignon Blanc, Gewurtztraminer, Pinot Gris, Gamay, Riesling and Baco Noir grapes.  


Dan and Lynn gradually left their home renovation business in Toronto and moved to the County. Grape vines can take four to seven years for fruition, and so by 2003 they had committed to preparing for their second harvest. In 2006, they opened their winery to visitors and they now grow grapes on 23 of their 155 acres.


Learning as you grow…

The large amount of rain presented an imposing challenge in 2006. However, their largest crop of many grape varietals was produced the following year.  Dan had tremendous success especially with the Cabernet Franc grapes. Leafy and busy, Dan explained that Cabernet Franc are the most vigorous plant in the vineyard and have to be cut back continually to expose the grapes to the sun thus regulating the grape production. The 2007 Cabernet Franc Cold Creek (included in this month’s Savvy Selections) with its dark berry flavours won the Silver in the Artevino Wine Awards. And yes, a little cold creek runs through the vineyard.  The ‘West Vineyard’ as Dan calls it, compromises of 8 acres, produced winners of the Artevino 2007 County Wine awards for the 2005 Chardonnay – gold medal and 2005 Pinot Noir St. Cindy – silver medal.  


It was also in 2007 that Prince Edward County received Designated Viticultural Area (DVA) status from the provincial government – putting the County firmly on the wine world map.  


Returning to his philosophy on grape growing, Dan said that some years the vines will behave in a certain manner and adjustments have to be made accordingly. Only in the County winemakers practice ‘hilling up’ after the harvest – burying the base of the vines with 2 feet of soil.  Then in the first week (or so) of April, the vines are ‘hilled down’ – pulled out from the covering soil, then pruning begins. At any given time there are 7 to 8 people working in Rosehall’s vineyards from April to November. When asked about the time to harvest, Dan said the flavour of the grapes will tell you when to pick and the logistics with weather means looking at forecasts and sometimes making a call.  You may recall that both 2008 and 2009 were cool summers, yet weather like that is then that is when grapes such as Riesling flourish.  


Dan has an affinity with Chardonnay.  As an amateur winemaker in Toronto, Dan experimented with making all styles of Chardonnay wines. Now with his own winery, Dan’s talent shows through, most notably with his best selling wine – Chardonnay Sur Lie (winespeak: “sur lie” means the grapes rest on yeast particles after fermentation for a creamier and more complex flavour).  “It is one of my favorites – a real crowd pleaser, with just a touch of wood (winespeak: which means it spent some time in an oak barrel) not to mention lots of fruit flavours,” proudly states Dan.


Rosehall’s name game…

When I asked Dan where the name St. Cindy came from that was attached to his award winning Pinot Noir he said it was named after his sister-in-law who, as Dan puts it, “she is truly is a saint”. Similarly, the fun tongue twisting name of Sullyzwicker, is a combination of his family name, Sullivan, and his wife’s family name Zwicker. The Sullyzwicker White is a delicate white wine made from the not common Ehrenfelser grape that is incredibly aromatic, blended with Riesling grown in both PEC and Niagara. A Savvy friend, Heather Maclaclan, owner of Epicuria Fine Food & Catering in Ottawa says that “Sullyzwicker takes you from porch to table regardless of the food being served”. In keeping with the same style of easy drinking wine, Dan crafts a Sullyzwicker Red & Sullyzwicker Rosé wines too.


How about the origin of Rosehall Run?  Dan smiled and with twinkling eyes told me about a little hamlet down the way called Rosehall that has a population of about 80 – animals included. “It runs into the forest that is now just behind our place” and hence the name Rosehall Run was born.  


What a joy this story has been to tell.



~ Savvy Sommelier Tasting Notes ~

Rosehall Run Riesling VQA Ontario 2008, $17.95

It takes 4 to 7 years for vines to grow grapes that are worthy of using for winemaking.  This is a long time for a new business to wait! To help wineries in Prince Edward County get a jump start on producing wines (and business), the Ontario government allows winemakers to purchase grapes from Niagara, bring them to their winery in the County to craft their own wine.  This is exactly what Dan has done to make this Riesling. Note on the label it states: VQA Ontario (meaning grapes sourced in Niagara while the wine crafted in PEC)


Savvy Sommelier Tasting Notes: Polished and pale yellow in colour, this fruity light to medium bodied wine has lovely aromas and tastes of green apple, pink grapefruit, pear and a pinch of honey.  The wine has a citrus-y crisp finish that keeps you coming back for more.  


Suggested Food Pairing: It has low acidity and is slightly off day – making it an easy wine to enjoy on its own or with something spicy, or right off the grill with a dallop of fruit chutney on the side. Julie combines both in her recipe of Curried Skewered Scallops and Mango. Our tasting panel constantly came back to this wine – definitely it will be one of our springtime favorites.  What do you think?


Cellaring: Pop in the fridge and enjoy now. No need to wait.


Rosehall Run Pinot Noir County Cuvée VQA 2008, $21.95

Rosehall Run has a growing reputation of producing some of the best Pinot Noir wines in the County.  We are excited for you to be the FIRST to enjoy this Pinot Noir as this 2008 vintage has not been released into the market yet.  Made with Pinot Noir grapes that Dan has sourced from a variety of vineyards in the County along grapes from his own property, Dan’s masterfully talent for making Pinot Noir continues to impress with every sip of this wine.


Savvy Sommelier Tasting Notes:  A light ruby red colour that is characteristic of Pinot Noir, subtle aromas of strawberry, black cherry, black currant and a whiff of black liquorice waft from the glass (the tasting panel had a great discussion about whether it was Australian black liquorice or more reminiscent of Twizzler and Goodies brand – what do you think?  It is a dry medium bodied wine with just enough acidity and tannins to balance beautifully with tart cherry flavours that lingers into a velvety finish.  


Suggested Food Pairing: Another wine that the tasting panel could not put down! Pinot Noir classic pairings include grilled salmon, roasted duck (Julie offers a recipe below), and wild mushroom dishes.


Cellaring: Best enjoyed now, or can be cellared for 2 to 3 years.



Rosehall Run Cold Creek Cabernet Franc VQA 2007, $29.95

From the stellar 2007 vintage comes one of Dan’s signature wines.


Savvy Sommelier Tasting Notes: This Cabernet Franc shows a bright garnet red colour in the glass, bursting with aromas of ripe red berries, raspberry that packs an impressive punch of dark chocolate.   On the palate it is dry, medium bodied with soft tannins reminded the tasting panel of sour cherry and casis. Yummy!


Suggested Food Pairings: The lingering finish makes this wine a perfect match for hearty grilled sausages, lamb chops and one of the tasters offer a recipe for Moroccan Tagine. Save some of this wine to enjoy with dark chocolate cake or your daily dose of 70% cocoa.  Sky’s the limit for wine and food pairings


Cellaring: This wine is drinking well now but can be cellared up to five years.



~ Recipes to enjoy with your Savvy Selections ~


With Rosehall Run Riesling …



Curried Seared Scallops with Mango Salsa
The Canadian Living Test Kitchen



24 large scallops(for maximum flavour, cook scallops just before serving)
4 tsp curry powder
1/2 tsp each cinnamon and ground coriander
1/4 tsp each salt and pepper
2 tbsp vegetable oil
Mango Salsa
1/2 cup diced peeled ripe mango
1 jalapeno pepper, diced
2 Tbsp diced sweet red pepper
2 tsp lime juice
pinch of each salt and granulated sugar



Mango Salsa

In small bowl, combine mango, jalapeño pepper, red pepper, lime juice, salt and sugar. Set aside.


Remove muscle from side of each scallop; pat dry. Arrange on paper towel–lined baking sheet; cover with paper towel, then baking sheet. Weigh down with two 28-oz (796 mL) cans; refrigerate for 30 minutes.


In bowl, combine curry powder, cinnamon, coriander, salt and pepper. Uncover scallops; coat tops and bottoms with curry mixture.



In cast-iron or nonstick skillet, heat 1 tbsp (15 mL) of the oil over medium-high heat; cook half of the scallops, turning once, until opaque inside, 3 to 5 minutes. Transfer to paper towel–lined plate. Wipe out skillet; repeat with remaining scallops. To serve, top each scallop with 1 tsp (5 mL) salsa.







With Rosehall Run Pinot Noir Cuvée County …


Grilled Duck Breast with Red Wine Reduction
Everyday Dining with Wine, Master Sommelier Andrea Immer

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



1 cup chicken stock

1 cup pinot noir (or other left over dry red wine)

1 shallot finely chopped

1/3 cup of dried cherries

2 boneless duck breasts about 12 ounces each

Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper to taste

1 teaspoon finely chopped fresh sage leaves

1 teaspoon finely chopped fresh thyme leaves



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


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


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



With Rosehall Run Cold Creek Cabernet Franc …


Chicken Tagine with Apricots and Spiced Pine Nuts
Gourmet Magazine – recipe by Farid Zadi, February 2008


For Tagine
1 whole chicken (about 3 1/2 pound)
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided
3 large shallots, finely chopped (1 cup)
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 tablespoon grated peeled ginger
1/4 teaspoon turmeric
1/4 teaspoon sweet paprika
Pinch of saffron threads (optional)
1 cup water
2 tablespoons blood-orange preserves or bitter-orange marmalade
1 (2-inch) cinnamon stick
1 thyme sprig
2 cilantro sprigs
6 dried apricots, chopped
1 tablespoon finely chopped cilantro or flat-leaf parsley


For spiced pine nuts

1 tablespoon olive oil
1/4 cup pine nuts
1/4 teaspoon turmeric
1/4 teaspoon sweet paprika
Pinch of cayenne (optional)  Garnish: lemon wedges



Cut out and reserve wings and backbone from chicken. Cut breast in half through bone, then cut off legs and cut to separate into thighs and drumsticks (for a total of 6 serving pieces, not including wings and backbone). Pat chicken pieces dry and sprinkle with 1 teaspoon salt.

Heat 1 tablespoon oil in a 12-inch heavy skillet over medium heat until it shimmers, then brown chicken breasts, skin sides down, without turning, 5 minutes. Transfer to a plate. Brown thighs and legs, turning once, 8 to 10 minutes, transferring to plate. Brown wings and backbone in same manner.


Cook shallots in butter with remaining tablespoon oil in a 5- to 6-quart heavy pot over medium heat, stirring frequently, until soft, 8 to 10 minutes. Add garlic, ginger, turmeric, and paprika and cook, stirring, 3 minutes.


Add chicken with any juices from plate, saffron (if using), and 1/2 teaspoon salt to shallot mixture and turn chicken to coat. Add water and bring to a boil, covered, then cook at a bare simmer, covered, 30 minutes.


Turn chicken and add orange preserves, cinnamon stick, thyme, cilantro sprigs, and apricots. Simmer, covered, 10 minutes. Uncover and simmer until chicken is very tender, 10 to 15 minutes more.


Brown pine nuts while chicken cooks:

Heat oil in a small heavy skillet over medium heat until it shimmers, then stir in pine nuts, turmeric, paprika, and cayenne (if using) and cook, stirring frequently, until nuts are lightly browned, 1 to 2 minutes (watch carefully; they burn easily). Transfer to a small bowl.


To serve:

Transfer chicken to a platter and keep warm, covered. If sauce is not thick, boil it down, stirring occasionally, until reduced to about 1 cup. Discard herb sprigs, cinnamon stick, wings, and backbone. Stir in chopped cilantro and spoon sauce over chicken. Sprinkle with nuts.


Cheers & Enjoy this month’s Savvy Selections!