Posts Tagged ‘Savvy Team of Sommeliers’

Announcing… In-Cider Picks Ontario craft cider…delivered

Posted by Debbie

Thursday, July 13th, 2017
Share

Summer just got cooler for craft cider fans. The Savvy Team is excited to announce that we are making plenty of room in our fridge for ciders made at boutique cideries across Ontario. The craft cider scene is exploding with new flavour combos being released every day – so many that it is hard to keep up.

You asked…we’re going to deliver!

This summer we are working with cidermakers to create Savvy In-Cider Picks to deliver crisp ciders to you – at home, work or your cottage. Each month is a different assortment of refreshing, dry & delicious ciders that are guaranteed to quench your thirst.

Order by July 20th & shipping is FREE

That’s right – deadline to order the July In-Cider Picks is Wednesday July 20th
Get them apples! Order yours now >>

 

What’s our July picks?

From County Cider Company (Prince Edward County)…

County Premium Cider
Blood Orange Cider
Pear Cider
Tortured Path Cider
2 bottles (500mL) of each will be sent

From Tawse Winery (Niagara)…

Sparkling Cider – just released last week!
2 bottles (750mL) will be sent

Mark. Our. Words. These craft ciders are hard-to-come-by & quickly sell out. You won’t find them at the LCBO.

 

Order one bunch OR get deliveries all summer!

What is the cost?

Each month is a slightly different price based on the ciders we picked. For July, the total price of this bushel is $82.00. Shipping is FREE to addresses in major cities in Ontario.

One month or two?

Order just the July In-Cider Picks OR have both July & August assortments delivered to you.

You don’t have to get out of your deck chair.
Order Now >>

 

…and we have Cheese too!

Our Savvy Cool Curds artisan cheese-o-month club has become WILDLY popular! It’s the new whey to discover hard-to-find cheese made across Canada. Each month, we will deliver 4 to 5 outstanding cheeses – hard, soft, fresh or aged – made with various milks – cow, goat, sheep…even buffalo!

These artisan cheeses are perfect for picnics, in summer salads or melted on top of your BBQed burger.

In July we will send you ‘The Best of the Fest’. This is an extra special assortment of 5 different artisan cheeses that wowed our Cheese Sommelier at this year’s Great Canadian Cheese Festival.

 

Try it once…or subscribe!

Exclusively for July you can order Savvy Cool Curds for a one-time price of $60 OR subscribe for 4 or 6 months for $55 per month. Shipping + HST is extra.

It is easy to be cheese-y!
Order up your Savvy Cool Curds >>

 

Cheers & Keep cool,
Debbie & the Savvy Team

Savvy Company
613-SAVVYCO
 (728-8926)
cheers@savvycompany.ca
www.savvycompany.ca

Keep in touch with us…
@SavvyDebbie
@SavvyCompany
@SavvyWines
@SavvyHipHops
@SavvyCoolCurds
www.facebook.com/SavvyCompany
instagram.com/SavvyCompanyInc

Share

What a fun night! County in the Capital

Posted by Debbie

Sunday, April 23rd, 2017
Share

Thank you for joining us at this year’s County in the Capital. We hope you enjoyed meeting the cool people who have put Prince Edward County on the map AND discovering their delicious bevvies too.

Thinking about ordering?

ACT FAST! You have until midnight tonight to place your order online at www.savvycompany.ca/pec.

All it takes is a few clicks…then TA-DA!…your favorite wines, craft beers, ciders & spirits will be shipped directly to you from The County.

Your parcel will be delivered with a smile by courier to your home or office address. It is that easy…and shipping is FREE when you order 6+ bottles.

Get shopping!

Click to print out the order form.
Order online at www.savvycompany.ca/pec.

BONUS – 4 FREE tickets!

EVERYONE who places an order will auto-magically receive
4 tickets to our next event Oh Canada! Celebrate Red & White on Thursday, June 22.
It’s our way to thank you for ordering from us at County in the Capital.

 

Perfectly timed before Canada Day, this Taste & Buy event will shine the spotlight on wines from coast to coast – British Columbia, Quebec, Ontario, Nova Scotia – there will be 100s of bottles of hard-to-find wine ready for you to sip, sample & stock up.

And there will be loads of Canadian artisan cheeses to buy too.

 

Tickets for Oh Canada! Celebrate Red & White go on sale tomorrow.

Buy a $80 ticket & bring a Canadian flag waving friend for FREE
$150 for a group of 4 Canadian wine fans
Upgrade your ticket with a V.I.T. Pass for early access for an additional $25/person
Prices include absolutely everything…PLUS a Oh Canada! gift.

 

Bookmark the ticket page >>
Don’t wait because this event will sell out red-lightening fast!
www.savvycompany.ca/savvy-events/

Thank you again!

All of us in the Savvy Team enjoyed meeting you at County in the Capital…and look forward to seeing you with a Savvy glass in hand again soon.

Cheers!
– Debbie and the Savvy Team

PS – Thinking of going to Prince Edward County this summer? Plan around these great events:
* Terroir Wine Celebration – Saturday, May 13 (in Picton)
* The Great Canadian Cheese Festival – Saturday, June 3 & Sunday, June 4 (in Picton)

And….here’s our Top Tips of things to do in The County

Keep in touch with us…
@SavvyDebbie
@SavvyCompany
@SavvyWines
@SavvyHipHops
@SavvyCoolCurds
#CountyintheCapital
www.facebook.com/SavvyCompany
instagram.com/savvycompanyinc

Share

Savvy gifts guaranteed to WOW!

Posted by Debbie

Friday, December 16th, 2016
Share

Santa’s elves & the Savvy Team are working around the clock arranging subscriptions to our of-the-month clubs & gift certificates for wine, craft beer & cheese lovers across the country! Our Holiday Hotline 613-SAVVYCO (728-8926) is ringing off the hook & our web site is buzzing with last minute shopping.

Here’s our Top 3 Savvy Gifts….you can order with just one click!

 

CRAZY for Cheese!

Savvy Cool Curds is the new ‘whey’ to discover hard-to-find Canadian artisan cheeses. Each month, we deliver 4 to 5 wedges or rounds of ready-to-eat cheese from a featured cheesemaker. The assortment is always different – hard, soft, fresh & aged cheeses made using various milks – cow, goat, sheep….even buffalo!

Our Cheese Sommelier Vanessa introduces you to the cheesemaker in each issues of Curd on the Street Magazine along with cheese tasting 101 tips & cheese ladened recipes.

The 3 delicious wheys to order:
#1 – One time purchase: $60 + shipping
#2 – Subscribe for deliveries EVERY month: $55/month + shipping
#3 – Subscribe for deliveries EVERY OTHER month: $55/month + shipping

Special Subscription Promo
$55 per month (usually $60) & shipping>>

We’ll ship across Canada

 

PERFECT for craft beer fans

Give a subscription to our Savvy Hip Hops craft beer-o-month club featuring hard-to-find craft beers made across Ontario. Along with the beers, our Beer Backstory Magazine, will give you the skinny on the brewmaster, tasting tips & recipes with the featured beers.

There are 2 sizes of packages:
#1 – Quick Picks – a small assortment each month
#2 – Taste Case – the full selection from the featured brewery.

NEW! In addition to featuring a different brewery each month, we are including a Special Savvy Summer 2-4 in June & July AND back by popular demand our Hoppy Holidays Craft Beer Advent Calendar in Nov & Dec.

Wrap up a SUDS-cription for 4, 6 or 12 months>>

 

Wine lovers will LOVE this!

Our Savvy Selections wine-o-month club features an assortment of 3 Ontario wines that you won’t find at the LCBO – each handpicked by our Savvy Sommeliers.

Check out the 2017 line up of wineries we’re featuring >>

To further your enjoyment of the wines, you’ll receive our monthly online magazine with the inside scoop on the winery, neat stories about the people who make the wine, our Sommelier tasting notes & recipes paired with each wine.

Special Holiday Promo
Give a 3 month subscription>>

(regularly 4 month minimum)

 

Still can’t decide? Here’s FREE Money!

You read that right! Buy a Savvy Gift Certificate to redeem for tickets to an upcoming Savvy Event & we’ll give you 25% more.

Order a $100 gift certificate & we’ll top it up to $125. Order $150, we’ll make it $190…you get the idea.  Give this gift >>

 

Savvy Elves are standing by…

The Savvy Team…errr…elves are at the ready to help you make your Christmas shopping a breeze. Call us each day leading up to Christmas on 613-SAVVYCO (728-8926) or email cheers@savvycompany.ca

Ho-Ho-Ho & have a wonderful holiday.
– Debbie & the Savvy Team

Debbie Trenholm
Sommelier & Founder
Savvy Company
613-SAVVYCO (728-8926)
cheers@savvycompany.ca
www.savvycompany.ca

Keep in touch with us…

Keep in touch with us…
@SavvyDebbie
@SavvyCompany
@SavvyWines
@SavvyHipHops
@SavvyCoolCurds
www.facebook.com/SavvyCompany
Now on Instagram too! instagram.com/savvycompanyinc

We’ll be enjoying the holidays to the fullest.  Savvy Company will be closed from December 25 to January 11 all set & ready for an exciting 2017.

Share

Born to make fine wine

Posted by Melanie

Tuesday, May 17th, 2016
Share

Savvy Selections Ontario wine of the month club

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

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

A winemaker who knows what he likes

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Most not at the LCBO

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

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

Cheers,
Debbie & Savvy Team  

Introducing…
13th Street Winery

Presented by Sommelier Melanie Allen

 

13th Street Winery

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

Winemaker will travel…

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

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

Born to follow this path…

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

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

Respect the varietal and the soil

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

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

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

New World grapes with Old World style

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

As they say in France – A votre santé! 

Enjoy your Savvy Selections!

Barrel party

  

~ SAVVY SOMMELIER TASTING NOTES ~

 

13th Street Pinot Gris VQA 2013 $19.95

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

 

13th Street Meritage VQA 2012 $34.95

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

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

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

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

 

~RECIPES TO ENJOY WITH YOUR SAVVY SELECTIONS~


With 13th Street Winery Pinot Gris…

Coquilles St. Jacques

Recipe & photo credits: www.ricardocuisine.com 

Ingredients for the mashed potatoes

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

Ingredients for the scallop filling

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

Method

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

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

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

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

 

With 13th Street Essence Pinot Noir …

Grilled Pork Tenderloin with Fresh Cherry Sauce

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

IngredientsRecipe for grilled pork tenderloin & cherry sauce

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

Method

Heat up your BBQ (medium heat).

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

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

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

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

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

 

With 13th Street Winery Meritage

Gary’s Best Steak Dinner

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

Ingredients

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

Tips for buying, prepping and cooking steak

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

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

Time to Grill!

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

Side dishes

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

tasting table

Enjoy your Savvy Selections this summer!

 

 

Share

One-man show makes magic!

Posted by Debbie

Monday, April 18th, 2016
Share

Savvy Selections Ontario wine of the month club

Savvy Selections wine of the month club
Featuring Lighthall Vineyards
–  April 2016 –

The “To Do” list at a winery is long at this time of the year.  Even though the vineyards look bare, winery owners & winemakers like Glenn Symons at Lighthall Vineyards are working flat out.  Bottling white wines, blending the reds, dusting off the tasting bar after hibernating during the winter, hiring labour for the season, de-hilling the vines (a technique primarily used in Prince Edward County), attending events and most of all…selling wine! These are just a few of the items on the never ending list.

Lighthall winery and diaryI am delighted to introduce you to a gem of The County…Lighthall Vineyards, or should I say now Lighthall Vineyards & Dairy.  Our long time fried & Savvy fan Glenn Symons is the owner, winemaker, vineyard manager & one-man-show at this boutique winery.  He has an interesting backstory that you can read while you enjoy a glass of his wine from your Savvy Selections.

In your Savvy Selections you will find….

An easy drinking sparkling wine to enjoy now…along with a bottle of Chardonnay and Pinot Noir to cellar….if you can wait!  Rest assured that the wines are all ready to be served, yet Glenn recommends, “the Chardonnay is delicious now and will continue to get even better with time.  Same goes for the Pinot Noir.  Both wines have so much promise.” If only you have the willpower to leave them alone.

lighthall vineyards bottles on iceLighthall Progression VQA 2013 – fun & fresh.  Mark my words that you will wish that we sent you 2 bottles.

Lighthall Chardonnay VQA 2014 – Glenn declares that it is the best one he has made…yet!

Lighthall Pinot Noir ‘Quatre Anges’ VQA 2014 – complicated & elegant.  One of the best made in The County

Cheers,
Debbie & Savvy Team 

 

Introducing…
Lighthall Vineyards

Presented by Sommelier Debbie Trenholm

 

Edible Ottawa - Glenn SymonsAll of us have 24 hours in our day. It amazes me how people like Glenn Symons (in photo at right – photo credit Edible Ottawa) does it– he spends 1.5 hours roundtrip commuting from his home to the winery, tends to 16 acres of vines year round, manages a team of vineyard workers from Thailand, cares for his 100+ chickens, ducks, turkeys all the while making top rated wines & chops wood from the forest on his 100 acre property.

Oh and just last year he took on the challenge to learn how to make artisan cheeses turning this into a new business, renovated his building to accommodate cheesemaking equipment and for fun, he began growing hops too.  And Glenn is a father of four – including twin boys – he has all of the typical ‘Daddy duties’ too.

Being a one man show for the past 8 years, he has built an amazing reputation for Lighthall’s quality of sparkling, Chardonnay and Pinot Noir wines.  All of his grapes are grown in the vineyard that he has expanded from 8 to 16 acres.  Glenn’s winemaking talent is recognized by his peers in The County as several winemakers call on him to help finish and bottle their wines.

“Some days there is just enough coffee or beer to keep me going”, Glenn laughs.

It all started with a heart attack

It’s an unfathomable beginning.  “I remember that day so clearly”, recalls Glenn. “I turned 36 and I was running a busy pharmacy on Elgin Street in downtown Ottawa.  The day began normal, then the perfect storm hit.” One of his long time staff members resigned, his largest client – a nursing home – called with complaints and CRA (yes – Canadian Revenue Agency) did a surprise audit. While these fires raged, Glenn remembers downing 2 double double coffees to help with the situation.

“After work I took my daughter to her final ringette game of the season. We inadvertently went to the wrong arena. Miraculously we made it to the right place before the whistle blew. It was a special season closer where parents played against the girls.” When Glenn tied up his skates, he felt the tell-tale sign of tightening of his chest and he had a heart attack on the ice. “The doctors at the Heart Institute told me that it was the type of attack where 50% survive”, Glenn remembers with a punctuated sigh.

After his heart attack, Glenn decided to make changes to his lifestyle.  He had been experimenting with winemaking since he was 19 and he was constantly intrigued by its chemistry.  Still a busy father and businessman, he enrolled in the Sommelier Program at Algonquin College to specifically learn more about the world of wine.

He raised my eyebrows!

Coincidentally, this is where I met Glenn.  I was an industry judge for his final Sommelier service exam.  While his classmates were white knuckled as they role played a restaurant scenario of patrons ordering wine with their meals, Glenn breezed through the exam with confidence & ease.  He also served a bottle of Huff Estates Lighthall Vineyard Chardonnay while his classmates were using Fat Bastard & Mouton Cadet for practicing the professional 21-step bottle opening etiquette. Struck by the fact that Glenn was using a $40 bottle of wine to showcase his serving skills, I commented, “Interesting choice of bottles to practice on.” He replied with a huge smile, “I bought this vineyard last week.”

From Pharm-acist to Farm-er

lighthall vineyard buildingGlenn considered only 2 vineyards when deciding to get involved in the wine industry.  A developed vineyard of 8 acres in Prince Edward County already called Lighthall Vineyards or a well-established vineyard in Chateauneuf-de-Pape France. “Had I gone to France, I probably would have been creamed & out of business by now. I have learned so much on the fly here, that I doubt France would have been that forgiving!”

“I learned everything about winemaking from Frederic Picard.  He taught me the basics and gave me the confidence to refine these skills into my own style.  I am also indebted to Dave Frederick who was my assistant winemaker in the early days. Both men are friends, my mentors and my go-tos.” Fred Picard is the chief winemaker at Huff Estates Winery who came from Burgundy, France to The County.  Dave Frederick has been an assistant winemaker at several wineries in the region and is soon to open Strange Brewing Co near Picton.

And to pair with the success of his winery, last year Glenn ventured into making artisan cheese.  Will he ever stop?

Here’s to Glenn & his adventures at Lighthall.

~ SAVVY SOMMELIER TASTING NOTES ~


Lighthall Progression VQA 2013, $20.00

“This is the wine that I can’t stop drinking”, says Glenn with a giggle. And the Savvy Team agrees!

Glenn planted Vidal vines with the full intention (like many Canadian winemakers) of making the grapes into icewine and exporting into China.  The Chinese connection fell through and we was stuck experimenting what he can do with these grapes.  Luckily he concocted Progression!

Savvy Sommelier Tasting Notes: So easy to drink, uncomplicated, fun & refreshing.  There’s a dry delicious refreshing acidity with aromas of citrus, pear & crunchy green apple with a nicely balanced crisp finish. 

Suggested Food Pairing: Served well chilled, this wine is lovely on its own, with runny cheese like Brie, fresh oysters, or paired with light appetizers or even pizza with Pear, Carmelized Onion & Brie (recipe to follow).  Simply put – keep a bottle in your fridge for any occasion to pop off the cap! 

 

Lighthall Chardonnay VQA 2014, $25.00

lighthall vineyards bottles - bestThis is Glenn’s best Chardonnay yet.  “It is exactly what I want to be making.  I fermented one third in oak barrels with the remaining two thirds in stainless steel.”

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau certainly thinks so! Enjoyed before he hit the campaign trail, Glenn told me that he received a cheque in the mail from Sophie Grégoire for the amount to pay for 2 cases of this Chardonnay. “There was no note, no shipping instructions, just the cheque!” 

Savvy Sommelier Tasting Notes: Elegant with delicate limestone minerality that a typical characteristic of The County, combined with a judicious amount of oak. There`s aromas and tastes of apples & Asian pear. It’s rich & buttery with a little nip of acidity on the tongue that lures you to have another sip.

Suggested Food Pairing: “Sweetbreads with this Chardonnay is mind-numbing”, declared Glenn. Pan seared scallops, wild mushroom risotto or Turkey Meatballs topped on a creamy lemon pasta (recipe follows).

Cellaring: This wine is ‘nervous’ explains Glenn.  Although delicious now, this wine will relax and mellow with time – approximately 5 more years.

 

Lighthall ‘Quatre Anges’ Pinot Noir VQA 2014 $30.00

The Quatre Anges (4 Angels) refers to Glenn’s 4 children. Each have been involved in the winery in some way as they have grown into teenagers. Each harvest they get together to help with the crush.  You can imagine siblings during the chaos of harvest – oh my! Now with the eldest in university, this is quite possibly the last time the foursome will be involved in the making of this wine.

2014 was an epic growing season with incredible ripening that shows through in the fruit.

Savvy Sommelier Tasting Notes: Deep coloured for a Pinot Noir, this one is rich & full of red & black cherry tastes. Barrel aged for over a year adds in notes of rosemary, leather with a warm smoke characteristic that rounds off the mouthfeel.  An amazing wine that will only get better with some more time.

Suggested Food Pairing: One pairing – Duck! “I am raising duck at the winery, simply because I love the pairing with Pinot,” states Glenn.  A favorite duck recipe includes Black Truffles. Be on the lookout for fresh or frozen in a gourmet food shop.

Cellaring: This is ready to enjoy, yet it will benefit from being untouched for another 10 years…if you can wait that long.

 

~RECIPES TO ENJOY WITH YOUR SAVVY SELECTIONS~

 

With Lighthall Progression…

Pear, Carmelized Onion & Brie Pizza

Recipe & photo credits: Dinner with Julie 

Ingredients

Pear-Brie-PizzaCanola or Olive oil – for cooking
1 large onion, halved & thinly sliced
1 ripe but firm pear, thinly sliced
4 oz Brie, sliced salt & freshly ground black pepper
extra virgin olive oil

Dough

1 package (2 tsp) active dry yeast
pinch of sugar
2 ½ to 3 cup all-purpose flour
2 Tbsp (or a good glug) olive oil
1 teaspoon salt 

Method

Put 1 cup warm water into a large bowl, add the sugar and sprinkle the yeast overtop; let stand for 5 minutes, until it gets foamy. Add 2 ½ cups all-purpose flour, the olive oil and salt and stir until you have a shaggy dough. Let rest for 20 minutes, then knead until smooth and elastic, adding more flour if you need it – the dough should be tacky, but not too sticky.

If you like, place the dough in an oiled bowl and turn to coat all over. Cover with a tea towel and set aside in a warm place – if you’re in a hurry, it only needs to wait for about an hour, until it’s doubled in bulk. If you have time, leave it. When it gets too big, punch it down. If you’re going out or to bed, cover it and put it in the fridge, which will slow the rise. Or freeze it. Take it out to thaw or warm up before you use it.

When you’re ready for pizza, heat a generous drizzle of oil in a medium skillet set over medium-high heat and sauté the onion for 5 minutes, or until soft and turning golden. Preheat the oven to 450F.

Divide the dough in half and roll or stretch each out into a 9-inch circle or oval. Place each on a parchment-lined or floured baking sheet and top with half the caramelized onions, half the pear slices and half the Brie. Sprinkle with salt and pepper and drizzle with olive oil.

Bake for 15-20 minutes, until deep golden. Let rest for a few minutes, then drizzle with honey before slicing.

 

Lighthall Chardonnay VQA 2014…

Turkey Meatballs with Creamy Lemon Pasta

Recipe & photo credits: Jessica Alba 

Ingredients

meatballs-mslb7071_vert2 lbs ground turkey
1 cup bread crumbs (Japanese Panko crumbs are ideal)
1/4 cup carrots, shredded
1/4 cup onion, shredded
1/4 cup zucchini, shredded
2 large eggs
2 Tbsp Italian seasoning
1 Tbsp sea salt
2 Tbsp olive oil
¾ cup low sodium chicken stock
Your favorite pasta
1/3 to ½ cup goat cheese
Zest & Juice of 1 lemon
¼ to ½ of white wine – use something other than Lighthall Chardonnay! 

Method

In a large bowl, mix turkey, panko, carrots, zucchini, onion, eggs, Italian seasoning, and salt until well combined; form into 1-inch balls.

Heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add meatballs and cook, turning, until browned, about 7 minutes.

Add ½ cup chicken broth, cover and reduce heat to low. Cook until liquid is almost completely absorbed, about 7 minutes.

Add remaining ¼ cup broth and increase heat to medium; cook, uncovered, until liquid is absorbed.

In a separate pot, cook your favorite pasta. Once al dante, drain the water & place pasta back into the pot on low heat.  Crumble in goat cheese & stir until melted.  To help the melting, add white wine periodically until a creamy consistency similar to cream sauce that coats the pasta.

To finish the sauce, squeeze the juice of one lemon into the sauce, toss in zest & gently stir.

Plate with a mound of pasta topped with turkey meatballs.

Enjoy!

 

With Lighthall ‘Quatres Anges’ Pinot Noir VQA2014

Roast Duck Breast with Shaved Black Truffles

Recipe Source: Thyme in our Kitchen & adapted from Epicurious
Photo Credit: Thyme in our Kitchen

Ingredients

Duck and black truffle1 Tbsp olive oil
1 ½ pounds chicken wings
1 cup diced peeled carrots
1 cup diced celery
2 ¼ cups beef broth
2 cups low-salt chicken broth
2 ounces fresh black truffles or frozen, unthawed
3 boneless duck breast halves
2 Tbsp (1/4 stick) butter, divided
¼ cup finely chopped shallots
1 cup apple juice

Method

Heat oil in heavy large skillet over medium-high heat. Add chicken wings and sauté until deep brown, about 15 minutes. Add carrots and celery to skillet; sauté 5 minutes. Add both broths; bring to boil. Reduce heat, cover, and simmer 1 hour. Strain, reserving broth and discarding wings and vegetables. If necessary, return broth to skillet and boil until reduced to 1 cup; reserve for sauce.

Using small brush, scrub fresh or frozen truffles under cold running water. Using sharp thin knife, remove peel from truffles and reserve for sauce. Thinly shave truffles using V-slicer or truffle shaver; cover and set aside.

Pat duck breasts dry with paper towels. Cut off any sinew from breast meat. Place breasts on work surface. Using fingers or small sharp knife, pull or cut skin with fat away from meat from both long sides of duck breast almost to center, leaving 1-inch-wide strip of fat attached to meat in center (do not cut through center strip). Lift up flaps of duck skin and fat and arrange sliced truffles over breast meat under fat on each, dividing equally. Press skin flaps down over truffles to cover completely. Using sharp knife, score top of duck skin in 1/2-inch diamond pattern, being careful not to cut through fat. (Can be made 1 day ahead. Cover broth, duck, and truffle peel separately and chill.)

Preheat oven to 400°F. Heat heavy large ovenproof skillet over medium heat. Sprinkle duck breasts with salt and pepper. Place duck, skin side down, in skillet. Cook until skin is deep golden and crisp and fat renders, occasionally pouring off accumulated drippings from pan, about 10 minutes. Turn duck breasts over; place pan in oven and roast just until duck is cooked to desired doneness, about 8 minutes for medium. Transfer duck to platter; cover and let rest 10 minutes. Reserve skillet. Finely chop reserved truffle peel.

Drain remaining fat from skillet. Add 1 tablespoon butter to skillet and melt over medium-high heat. Add shallots; sauté until golden, about 2 minutes. Add juice and boil until almost evaporated, about 4 minutes. Add reserved broth and any accumulated juices from duck; simmer until mixture is reduced to 1 generous cup. Strain mixture into small saucepan; add reserved chopped truffle peel. Season sauce to taste with salt and pepper. Stir in remaining 1 tablespoon butter.

Thinly slice duck breasts crosswise. Arrange duck slices on plates; drizzle with sauce and serve.

Bon appetit & enjoy your Savvy Selections.

 

 

Share

Colchester Ridge Estate Winery celebrates 10 years

Posted by Melanie

Friday, March 11th, 2016
Share

Savvy Selections Ontario wine of the month club

Savvy Selections wine of the month club
Featuring Colchester Ridge Estates Winery
–  March 2016 –

Have you had wines from Lake Erie North Shore?  Find out what you could be missing. In Ontario, most of us know that the largest wine growing region in the province is the Niagara Peninsula. And many of us are quite familiar with Prince Edward County wines, but did you know that there is actually a third viticultural area in the province?

Well there is, and if you head just about as south as you can in Ontario you’ll hit it! Not far from Windsor lies the Lake Erie North Shore appellation. It’s an area surrounded by three bodies of water – Lake St. Clair, the Detroit River and Lake Erie. It boasts the longest growing season in the province with the summer heat and the moderating effect brought on by the surrounding waters.

CREW frontWe are excited to feature Colchester Ridge Estate Winery (CREW), a 12 acre estate owned by Nancy and Bernard Gorski (aka Bernie). It is the first winery from Lake Erie North Shore that we have featured – ever! The winery is located in the town of Harrow, just a 30 minute drive from Windsor. The estate grows Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Chardonnay and Gewürztraminer grapes. They also produce and bottle other wines (such as Riesling and Cabernet Franc), sourcing grapes from the Lake ErieNorthShore area as much as possible.

The little wine region that can…

CREW bottlesCREW produces 3,500 cases of wine annually, making it a small facility in the industry. But they are big in other ways – they have a bottling line, they barrel age all red wines using a blend of 85% French and 15% American oak. To top it all off, they are making interesting wines with the help of a consulting winemaker hailing from New Zealand.Their white wines are crisp and clean, very typical of Ontario white wines, yet by playing with various styles of winemaking, they are diversifying their offerings in effort to help them stand out.

Our Savvy Sommeliers enjoyed discovering CREW and chose these wines for you:

2013 POSH Cuvée – A fragrant &food friendlywhite wine blend, easy drinking, complex, delightful.

2014 Riesling–Medium body with great minerality, fruit and spice.

2011 Cabernet Sauvignon – Smoky and meaty on the nose, with tart red berries and black olive on the palate.

Most not at the LCBO

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

Cheers,
Debbie & Savvy Team

Introducing…
Colchester Ridge Estate Winery

Presented by Sommelier Melanie Allen

 

My husband and I stopped into CREW while visiting family in Windsor, Ontario over Christmas. It was Boxing Day and Michelle Turnbull, CREW’s Sales and Event Manager, very graciously gave up precious holiday family time to meet with us and share the CREW story and its wines. Although I have visited some of the wineries in the area before, this was our first time visiting CREW and sampling their wines.

Michelle was extremely welcoming and started by giving us a tour of the facility while she provided background information. Vines were first planted in 2001, the first harvest was in 2004 and the winery officially opened in July 2006. Michelle joined CREW in 2014 and is notably passionate about wine. She enjoys working in this industry and the challenges that come with her job and thinking of creative was to market the winery (more on that later!).

Bernard - CREWFamily ties…

Owner Bernard Gorski (in photo at right) hails from Harrow and was raised on the family farming business. While attending university, Bernard started making wine using grapes grown by his family; in part as a hobby, but also because his pals would drink all his beer! Upon completing university, he worked for his father (the family also owns a trucking company), hauling grapes from California to Ontario. Through this, he got his first exposure to the wine business, and began gathering knowledge.

It was during this time that Bernard truly got the wine bug and started developing his winemaking technique and style. The estate remains a small, family-owned and run business, and both of Bernard and Nancy’s sons have had a hand in working the vines, and at the winery.

Sailing…takes me away…

When I asked Michelle about the rebranding that is currently underway for the winery (leaving “Colchester Ridge Estate Winery”, to the more nautical “CREW”) she explained that it was almost fated to happen: “Bernie was an avid sailor before he married Nancy…sadly Nancy gets sea-sick. The running joke in the family is that if he ever buys a boat again, he will have to name it “Miss Nancy” because he will indeed miss Nancy! Aside from this great anecdote, the ridge of Lake Erie is nearby which adds to the water theme. When someone noted the acronym of the winery “CREW”. All this came together as a great time to rebrand.

CREW logo

You will notice on the bottles you are receiving that the new wine labels feature a sail, and many of the wines are named with sailing in mind – POSH (nautical acronym for Port Out Starboard Home), Flagship Chardonnay and Red Sky At Night Rosé. You get the idea!

CREW is turning 10!

barrel roomCREW’s 10th anniversary is this July and Michelle and the winery team is busy planning many events to celebrate. Looking for a reason to getaway ‘down south’? Explore Lake Erie North Shore wine region and be sure visit CREW.

The winery is a multipurpose and functional space that is transformed for many events – wine & cheese nights, Christmas crafting and of course sampling wines.

Another reason to visit CREW this summer – SUP & Sip.One of the popular events last summer that will definitely be held throughout this summer is an afternoon of stand up paddle boarding, followed by wine and cheese. Definitely in that order!

star gazingAnd you don’t have to wait until summer to visit! Next month, CREW is hosting a Wine and Paint afternoon, as well as an afternoon of Art, Wine & Cheese . And coming in May, I’m told that a very exciting event including stargazing and wine may be in the works! Please check CREW’s Facebook page for details on all upcoming events. They call friends and fans CREW Mates….and with a glass of their wines, you can easily say that you now join the long list of CREW Mates.

Michelle does not stop! Not only does she organize events for CREW, she also partners with local wineries who are members of EPIC Wineries to draw visitors to the area wineries. Even more reasons to hop in your car or take a Porter flight to discover this neat wine region.

We’ll drink to that…Cheers!

 

 

~ SAVVY SOMMELIER TASTING NOTES ~


CREW Posh Cuvée VQA 2013 $14

posh whiteIn keeping with the sailing theme, this blend of Chardonnay, Riesling, Vidal and Gewürztraminer was named POSH for good reason. “In sailing terms, POSH stands for – Port Out Starboard Home”, explained Michelle. “On the journey from the UK to Indian, a Posh cabin was considered the most luxurious, as it provided the most sunshine and least wind.”

Savvy Sommelier Tasting Notes: Fun in a glass! Medium yellow color, with aromas of green apple, citrus fruit, fresh-cut grass. On the palate, the Granny Apple shines through, as does lemon rind, ginger and lime. Medium + acidity, and medium body with a nice long finish.

Suggested Food Pairing: Sushi comes to mind immediately. Melanie turned to Michael Barlozzari, chef and owner of KOMA Restaurant in South Windsor for the recipe of Tuna Sashimi and Cucumber Slawon the following pages. Also, “Moules et Frites” would be delicious, however food is not mandatory while sipping this delicious white blend. Just chill & sip away….

Cellaring: Ready to enjoy right now!

 

CREW Riesling VQA 2014, $15

This wine exhibits pure and transparent yellow diamond hues with honey and peach on the nose. Its composition opens with the luminous freshness of melon and a hint of lime with a delicate mineral finish.

Savvy Sommelier Tasting Notes: Pale yellow color with medium acidity, typical of an Ontario Riesling. On the nose, lovely minerality as well as peaches, baking spice (think nutmeg) and wet stone. The slightest hint of petrol comes out on the palate, as does a juicy ripe pear and the nutmeg. Medium body with a lovely fruity finish.

Suggested Food Pairing:Baked ham, sautéed scallops or the yummy Pork Chop recipe Melanie shares below. These tastes will play nicely with the fruit and acidity found in this Riesling. I wouldn’t hesitate to serve this alongside a dessert of fruit salad with Angel Food cake.

Cellaring:Ready to drink, but has the acidity required for keeping it aside for another 1-2 years.

 

CREW Cabernet Sauvignon VQA 2011 $22

This wine is making me awesomeA dark garnet wine that delivers black fruit flavours with licorice and spice. Big, soft and round with silky tannins. Long finish with complex characteristics. A big, round wine.

Savvy Sommelier Tasting Notes: Medium ruby red color with acidity and tannins hitting medium levels as well. On the nose, a meaty, slightly smoky aroma, as well as cherry, red fruit. The palate is complex and very interesting with flavors of cola, cherry, red beets, cranberry, pomegranate and black olives.

Suggested Food Pairing: This Cabernet Sauvignon would do well with a variety of fall and winter dishes. Traditional Tourtière, Braised Ox Tail (see recipe below), Chicken Stew with tomatoes and olives or Tagliatella served with Puttenesca sauce would all pair very well with this full-body red. Very versatile and food-friendly.

Cellaring:Can be opened now, but could also age for another year in the cellar.

 

~RECIPES TO ENJOY WITH YOUR SAVVY SELECTIONS~

 

With CREW Posh Cuvée …

Sardella-marinated Tuna Sashimi with Cucumber Slaw

Recipe by Michael Barlozzari, chef and owner of KOMA Restaurant in South Windsor.
Photo credits:www.windsoreats.com   

Ingredients

Sardella-marinated tuna sashimiSardella-marinated tuna sashimi
2 oz sushi grade tuna
1/4 tsp lemon oil
1/2 tsp sardella (salted fish sauce)
1/4tsp extra virgin olive oil
1 small pinch smoked sea salt

Cucumber Slaw

1 cucumber
1/4 tsp diced chives
1/2 tsp extra virgin olive oil
1 pinch tientsin powder (Asian chili powder)
1 pinch smoked sea salt

Method

For the cucumber slaw, wash the cucumbers and use a mandolin to slice it thinly. Mix all the slaw ingredients together in a bowl and marinate the cucumber for a couple minutes.

For the tuna, slice the tuna very thin and marinate it in the ingredients for about 2 minutes.

Plate the tuna and place the cucumber slaw over top to serve and enjoy with a glass of Posh Cuvée.

With CREW Riesling…

Pork Chops with Apples & Riesling Cream Sauce

From the kitchen of Michelle Turnbull at CREW
Photo credit: Melanie Allen

CREW Vineyards in DecemberIngredients

4 meaty pork chops
1 sliced onion
2 peeled and sliced Granny Smith apple
1 cup heavy whipping cream
¾ cup off CREW Riesling + a splash for deglazing
1 tbsp Dijon mustard
Olive oil for frying
Salt and pepper

Method

Sprinkle pork chops with salt & pepper. Heat up the olive oil in a pan on medium heat and brown the pork chops for a few minutes on each side. Remove the pork chops from the pan and set aside.

Deglaze the pan with a splash of Riesling. Toss in the sliced onions and sauté until translucent. Add in the apples and keep sautéing until apples soften. Add the Riesling and bring pan to a boil. Simmer until sauce is reduced slightly, and then stir in the cream and mustard. Bring to a simmer, add the chops until cooked through and sauce is thickened.

To add a healthy and easy side, when chops are almost finished thrown in a giant handful of spinach leaves (more than you would expect – it shrinks!). It will wilt and pair beautifully with the sauce and chops.

Serve with Israeli couscous and of course, CREW Riesling

 

With CREW Cabernet Sauvignon …

Red Wine Braised Short Ribs (or Ox Tail)

From the kitchen of Michelle Turnbull – CREW
Photo credit: Melanie Allen

Ingredients

CREW Vineyards in December1.5 litres of your favourite dry red wine
5-6 lbs English Cut Short Ribs or Ox Tail
Flour for dusting
Salt and pepper
Unsalted Butter1 medium onion, chopped
4 – 5 garlic cloves, crushed
2 cups of chopped root veggies (carrots and parsnip recommended)
Fresh thyme sprigs
Up to 4 cups beef broth

Method

Preheat oven to 325 degrees.

In a sauce pan, bring red wine to a simmer over medium heat and reduce to half while prepping meat.

To prep the meat, pat it dry. Mix the flour, salt and pepper together and then dust the meat.

Heat a large Dutch oven over medium heat,add the butter and brown the meat on all sides. Once browned, transfer the meat into a bowl, and deglaze the Dutch over with a splash of red wine. Add more butter to the pan and sauté onions and garlic until translucent. Add the root vegetables and sauté until softened.

Arrange meat pieces over the root vegetables and add the thyme spring and the reduced red wine. Add enough beef broth to cover contents of the Dutch oven. Bring to a boil, cover with a lid, and then roast in oven for 3 to 3.5 hours.

When done, transfer the meat and solid veggies onto a plate. Pour liquid through a sieve and discard any unwanted solids. Place liquid into a saucepan and bring to a boil until sauce is thickened. Whisk in a tablespoon of butter

Serve with mashed potato and CREW Cabernet Sauvignon.

 

Happy St. Patrick’s Day & enjoy your Savvy Selections!

Share

Wines from the Bosc family to you

Posted by Bethany

Wednesday, February 17th, 2016
Share

Savvy Selections Ontario wine of the month club

Savvy Selections wine of the month club
Featuring Château des Charmes Winery
–  February 2016 –

 

Type ‘Château des Charmes’ into a Google search and you’ll find yourself being redirected to fromtheBoscfamily.com. That’s because everything about this celebrated Niagara winery—from designing labels to trimming the vines—is a labour of love on the part of the entire Bosc family.

paul stPaul Bosc Sr. started out in the 1970s with a vision to craft top-shelf, European-style wines from vitisvinifera grown right here in Ontario. He was undeterred by naysayers and equally deaf to any words of caution about what he should & shouldn’t plant in the hard, stony soil, in a country known for its bitterly cold winters & short growing season. He toyed with different varietals, re-imagined vineyard structure and rolled the dice on how consumers would receive his wines.

A pioneer of the Canadian wine industry

To say he succeeded would be an understatement. Over the course of two decades, his wines have garnered widespread acclaim (and hardware) at the national &international levels, including the Ontario Wine Awards, the National Wine Awards of Canada and the internationally renowned Vinexpo.

That doesn’t mean the Bosc family is resting on their laurels. Far from it: read more about what they’re up to at the winery, including details about the largest renovation in its history.

paul jr and micheleWe are confident that this month’s Savvy Selections from Château des Charmes will surprise and delight you. We even went so far as to ask Michele (in photo at left with her husband Paul Bosc Jr) which wine she thought was the best.“It’s like asking someone with two kids to choose a favourite – it’s not fair!” she laughs. “That’s the thing about our wines that I love. No matter what mood I’m in, or what I’m feeling, or eating or not eating, there’s a wine for that. Sorry for stealing the Jackson-Triggs line, but it really is true.”

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

portfolio

In your Savvy Selections you will find…

Gewürztraminer VQA 2013 St. David’s Bench Vineyard – A fragrant & succulent sipper that will have you dreaming of spring.

Chardonnay VQA 2012 Paul Bosc Estate Vineyard– A hands down classic.

Cabernet Franc VQA 2012 St. David’s Bench Vineyard – Full, ripe red fruit explodes out of the glass.

Most not at the LCBO

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

Enjoy this great selection of wines from Château des Charmes.

Cheers,
Debbie & Savvy Team

 Introducing…

Château des Charmes Estate Winery

Presented by Sommelier Bethany Harpur

 

weddingIt was late in the day when my husband and I stopped at Château des Charmes in Niagara-on-the-Lake. Ten minutes before the tasting room was due to close. The harried server at the bar gave us a look; we flashed a few guilty smiles as we quickly sniffed and swirled.

Then the door opened, and a silver-haired gentleman walked in, wearily removing dusty work gloves. He pulled a bottle out from under the counter and poured some of its deep purple contents into a glass. Just before it touched his lips, he saw us. “Would you like to try some of this, while you’re here?”

A captivating man

That “quick stop” turned into a long, leisurely hour of sampling off-the-menu wines and engaging in deep discussion with none other than Paul Bosc Sr. himself (left in photo below), the patriarch of the Bosc family and the pioneering winemaker of Château des Charmes.

bosc familyIt’s no surprise to find the elder Bosc chatting up visitors at the impressive building on York Road. Hospitality and approachability are key in this thriving family business, where job titles tend to be malleable, depending on the season, event schedule or guest experience.

Bosc’s daughter-in-law, Michele (in black blouse in photo), wears several hats at the winery: marketing director, social media guru, welcoming committee, wedding planner. “I get to do a lot of different, fun things,” she says. “I think it’s great to interact with customers, to hear what they have to say, whether it’s on social media or live and in-person. That interaction, it’s about bringing our family story to the consumer.”

Renovations underway

Right now the family is adding a new chapter to the narrative as they expand the Château’s massive cellar. The renovation marks the first major capital investment since the winery opened. It will double the available space for barrels and create more “breathing room” for workers. “We want to be sure we have all the tools we need to make the best possible wine that we can,” says Michele.

reno spaceExpanding the cellar meant digging up the Château’s popular vineyard courtyard, where countless weddings, parties and concerts have been held over the years. “Now’s the opportunity to re-imagine it,” Michele says. “When we first built it and when we first opened, there was no concept of hosting 35 weddings a year, or welcoming 100,000 visitors a year—it just didn’t exist. Now we get to build it the way the business wants it. I can’t wait to see it done.”

A late start to winter and mild temperatures in the Niagara region have kept the renovation running on schedule, with the revamped space scheduled to open in May of this year.

Even better than before

After two decades, the Bosc family is eager to get people excited about their brand again—and get new Château des Charmes fans on board. “Our wines have never been better,” Michele proclaims. “We’ve been around a long time, we know what we’re doing. If you haven’t tasted our wines in a while, try us again. I think you might be surprised.”

logo

Here’s to Château des Charmes team!

 

~ SAVVY SOMMELIER TASTING NOTES ~


St David’s Bench Gewürztraminer VQA 2013 $19.95

“We planted these vines in 1996 &we feel they are just now hitting their peak, flourishing, producing fantastic, hand-harvested grapes that are making very interesting wine”, Vineyard manager Miguel Fontalvo.

Savvy Sommelier Tasting Notes: A brilliant, clear pale-gold shines in the glass. Wave after wave aromas of clover honey, nectarines, grapefruit and honeysuckle inundate the senses. A bit of sweetness carries evenly with lingering acidity on the palate, to balance out the creamy mouthfeel. That same acidity lingers a bit on the finish, where subtle hints of woody smoke come through.

Suggested Food Pairing: Gewurztraminer is always a classic match for spicy dishes. Pair this with Mexican, Thai or Indian food, like the Quick Chicken Korma recipe included below.A perfect meal for a wintery day.

Cellaring: This beautiful wine has gorgeous aromas & flavours that are ready to enjoy right now!

 

Paul Bosc Estate Vineyard Chardonnay VQA 2012, $21.95

A classic Chardonnay for even the pickiest ABC (Anything But Chardonnay) enthusiast. It’s the very definition of balance: all the aromas, flavours and textures carry through on an even keel from start to finish, without any sudden spikes or dips in the quality, making for an all-around elegant wine.

Savvy Sommelier Tasting Notes: Up front, creamy butterscotch and exotic coconut, followed by butter and brioche on the palate. Finishes with subtle almost restrained oak and a muted essence of dried herbs.

Suggested Food Pairing: The smooth texture of oaked Chardonnay lends itself well to dishes dripping with butter, cream and cheese.A delicious wine to enamour your sweetheart over a Valentine’s Day meal with seafood, Pasta Alfredo, cheese fondue or cuddled by the fireplace enjoying a cheese platter and roasted nuts. For something completely different, try Roasted Chickenpeas recipe that we offer.

Cellaring: Ready to drink, but has the staying power to evolve further in the bottle over the next 2-3 years.

 

St. David’s Bench Vineyard Cabernet Franc VQA 2012 $25.95

This special parcel of land – St David’s Vineyard – is located high up against the Niagara Escarpment, the fruit has more time to mature and ripen in the summer sun. 2012 was spectacular vintage in Niagara, so with these 2 elements – the location of the land plus the ideal grape growing season – this red wine is outstanding.

Savvy Sommelier Tasting Notes: Complex nose of blackberry, dark chocolate and dried cherries with a lifted note of violets and rosewater. The powerful fruit carries right through the finish, buoyed by velvety tannins and a soft texture.

Suggested Food Pairing: Cabernet Franc is a winner with all kinds of red meats – beef, lamb, game. Try it out with this Venison Ragout recipe from Bearbrook Farms.

Cellaring: Can be opened now, but if you have will power & patience, this red wine will age nicely over the next 5-10 years.

 

~RECIPES TO ENJOY WITH YOUR SAVVY SELECTIONS~

 

With St David’s Bench Vineyard Gewürztraminer …

Quick Chicken Korma

Recipe & photo credits: Canadian Living Magazine

Ingredients

Quick-Chicken-Korma13811536451/3 cup unsalted raw cashews
4 teaspoons vegetable oil
3 onions, sliced
2 green hot OR jalapeño peppers, seeded and diced
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 tablespoon grated fresh ginger
1 ½teaspoons each ground coriander and garam masala
¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper
Pinch each ground nutmeg, salt and saffron (optional)
450 grams boneless skinless chicken thighs, quartered
1 ½ cups no-salt-added chicken broth
3 tablespoons fat-free plain Greek yogurt
1 ½ teaspoons lime juice

Method

In large skillet, toast cashews over medium heat, stirring often, until golden, 3 to 5 minutes.

Transfer to food processor. In same skillet, heat half of the oil over medium heat; cook onions, stirring occasionally, until golden brown, 12 to 15 minutes. Add to food processor; puree until smooth.

Combine hot peppers, garlic, ginger, coriander, garam masala, cayenne pepper, nutmeg and salt. Add chicken; toss to coat.

Heat remaining oil in same skillet over medium-high heat; brown chicken, stirring occasionally, about 5 minutes. Stir in 2 Tbsp water, scraping up browned bits. Stir in broth, saffron (if using) and cashew puree; simmer, stirring occasionally, until thickened and juices run clear when chicken is pierced, about 5 minutes.

Stir in yogurt and lime juice; heat until warmed through but not boiling.

 

With Paul Bosc Vineyard Chardonnay…

Crispy Cider Vineyard & Sea Salt Roasted Chickpeas

Recipe & photo credits:Constantly Cooking

Light, crispy and full of flavour, these protein packed snacks are great on their own or as a garnish for soups or salads. Play around with other spices if you like – a few shakes of chili powder or smoked paprika, for example. You can use dried chickpeas, which you’ll need to soak and cook, but for this recipe, the canned ones are just as good plus a whole lot faster and easier.

Ingredientsroasted chickpeas

1 can (19 oz / 540 mL) chickpeas, rinsed well
1 ½ cups (375 mL) cider vinegar
1 ½ Tablespoons (22 mL) olive oil
1 ½ teaspoons (7.5 mL) coarse sea salt
½ teaspoon (2.5 mL) freshly ground pepper

Method

Pour the vinegar into a medium-sized saucepan. Cover pot with a lid and place on high heat. As soon as the vinegar is boiling, add the rinsed chickpeas to the pot and remove from heat. Let stand 30 minutes.

Preheat oven to 400F.

Drain chickpeas, discarding vinegar. Pour chickpeas out onto a clean dish towel and roll them around gently to dry thoroughly.

Put chickpeas in a clean bowl and drizzle with olive oil. Toss gently to coat evenly.

Spread chickpeas out onto a baking sheet. Sprinkle with salt and pepper.

Roast in oven for 40 to 45 minutes, jiggling the baking sheet occasionally.

The chickpeas will turn a dark golden brown and get crunchy. If you take them out of the oven too soon, you can always put them back in the oven for a few more minutes later.

Serve warm or at room temperature. These will keep for 2 weeks in a Ziploc bag stored in the fridge.


With St David’s Bench Vineyard Cabernet Franc

Venison Ragout in Red Wine

Recipe Source: Bearbrook Farms
Photo Credit: Chart Farm

Ingredients

venison1 shoulder/leg (2-3 lbs) venison
5 tablespoons olive oil
Salt and pepper to taste
1 teaspoon thyme
4 slices bacon, cut into strips
10 juniper berries
1 tablespoon tomato paste
4 tablespoons flour
2 tablespoons red wine vinegar cup dry red wine
1 cup game or beef stock
3 tablespoons cranberry or red currant jelly

Method

Cut meat into bite-sized pieces.

Heat oil in heavy saucepan over medium-high heat.Brown meat on all sides. Do 1/3 at a time and remove from pan. Season with salt and pepper.

Fry bacon a few minutes and add thyme, juniper berries, tomato paste and flour. Fry for 2 minutes longer.

Pour in vinegar and red wine. Bring to boil, scraping solids from bottom. Add stock and cook until sauce is thickened.

Add meat with juices, cover and simmer for 2 hours.

Add jelly and adjust seasoning with salt and pepper & serve over mashed potatoes or with wild rice.

 

Enjoy your Savvy Selections!

Share

The difference is in the dirt at Coyote’s Run

Posted by Debbie

Wednesday, January 13th, 2016
Share

SS stamp lowest res

Savvy Selections wine of the month club
Featuring Coyote’s Run Estate Winery
–  January 2016 –

 

We are absolutely delighted to kick off our 9th year of Savvy Selections. This month we are delighted to feature Coyote’s Run Estate Winery that is located in St David’s Bench (in Niagara-on-the-Lake), followed by a Rare Wines portfolio tasting with the winery owners & winemaker. It’s like a one-two-punch!

bottlesNever before have we designed a wine soaked journey like this….read about it here, then experience it in real life by joining us on Wednesday January 20 for the Rare Wines Tasting.

Being a Savvy Selections subscriber has plenty of benefits!

2 complementary tickets with your name on them to this event plus TWO more for your friends to join us.
Use promo code: SAVVYVIP when you register at www.coyotesrun.eventbrite.ca

Let’s take a peak into your Savvy Selections parcel. You will find:

Rare Vintage Chardonnay VQA 2014the acidity combined with a touch of oak makes a beautiful tropical taste that is a break from the harsh winter

Rare Vintage Cabernet Syrah 2012– grab your coat, you’ll be wanting to fire up the BBQ for this one

Black Paw Cabernet Sauvignon 2013 – good thing you cleared out some room in your cellar over the holidays. This wine could be aged a bit longer if you like.

It all started with a fishing trip

The stories behind the winery are the ones that we like to dig up. When I interviewed owner Jeff Aubry, he recalled that the idea of a winery came about up north during a fishing trip…with a boat load of strangers no less. Read about this, the Savvy Sommeliers’ tasting notes and warm-to-the-soul recipes that the Savvy Selections panel paired with the 3 Coyote’s Run wines.

CR_black_w_coyote copyYou may see a Coyote or two in the LCBO…

…but in your Savvy Selections are the Coyote’s Run wines that rarely leave the winery. These wines are called small batch, so if you have a new favorite, you can order them in person at the portfolio tasting event on January 20th or give our Savvy Team a call on 613-SAVVYCO (728-8926) to arrange an order for you. It is easy & only takes a matter of a couple of days for delivery from the winery to you.

I’m feeling that 2016 will be an epic year…I’ll raise a glass to that!

Cheers,
Debbie & Savvy Team

Introducing…

Coyote’s Run Estate Winery

Presented by Sommelier Debbie Trenholm

 

Think back 12 or so years ago – remember the critter label phase? A rare scene now, yet in 2003, when Coyote’s Run opened their doors, kangaroos, turtles, cats & dragons were gracing wine labels….and the name Coyote’s Run was far from joining that pack. In fact the reference of a coyote at this winery was not for a whimsical eye-catching character, rather because wild coyotes frequently traveled across the property & can be heard in the vineyards.

A bush plane, a boat…then a bar!

Dave & Jeff & ChrisDavid Sheppard (centre) & Jeff Aubry (right) are two men with unlikely paths that surprisingly crossed. David grew up in a grape growing family in Niagara & learned winemaking in Germany before joining Inniskillin in its early days. Jeff punched away on keyboards in his high tech job at Nortel before he ever imagined ‘punching down’ the lees while making wine.

It was a love of fishing brought these men together when they escaped in a bush plane for a long weekend. While waiting for the fish to bite, the two explored the idea of breaking ground & building a winery in Niagara. “Not a large one, rather a boutique winery. Something with a soul”, explained Jeff.

Perhaps surviving a fishing trip in close & remote quarters was a sign that the two had interest and compatibility to make it happen.

“We were at the Beacon Bar (in Niagara), tossing around names. We both did not want our family name in the winery. And yet our little piece of heaven didn’t have lakes, streams to include in its name. But coyotes would travel through the property often”. And like that, the decision was made.

Never a boring moment!

“The roof was on in one day, then the tanks arrived the next day. A day later we started to harvest…before you know it we were making wine,” recalls Jeff about the fall of 2003. “We did not have running water or electricity, but that did not matter, we ordered a generator & brought in water.“ And it did not stop there. In the summer of 2004, “on opening day , as I was heading out the door in the morning, when my wife Patti, showed me the pregnancy test results. Sure enough it was blue.” The next day, Jeff shook his head as he explained, “My laptop died. Completely toast.”

Pinot Noir Challenge

Known as the heart break grape, making a fine Pinot Noir is every winemaker’s goal. Receiving accolades & awards is the golden egg. ‘A friend of mine said – You’re not thinking of growing Pinot Noir are you?” And much to his surprise not only did they grow the finicky grapes, Coyote’s Run won gold in the All Canadian Wine Awards for their first vintage of Pinot Noir. Now that is impressive! “It is one of the highlights of the past 13 years,” said Jeff. “And my friend was shocked!”

A vineyard like no other

dirtCoyote’s Run location enjoys more heat than almost anywhere in Ontario. This ripeness factor shows through in the grapes – especially the red ones. In addition, the Coyote’s Run property is really two vineyards with two very distinct soil types – red & black. To honour this unique attribute, they have named the parcels of land as ‘Black Paw Vineyard’ and ‘Red Paw Vineyard’. The soils have tremendous geological differences that are profoundly expressed in the grapes…and the wine.

The winemaking team has planted the same grape variety on each of these soils and they are vinifed separately, resulting in two very unique and distinct wines grown only a few hundred metres apart. Join us at the portfolio event to taste these wines back to back…then you’ll appreciate the difference terroir makes.

Right now in the vineyard

When I interviewed Jeff in the balmy days before Christmas, he explained that with this weird & mysterious weather, the warm temperatures don’t allow vines go dormant. If winter arrives slowly & gradually – that is good. If there is a quick drop in temperature it will be painful. This means that the sap in the buds will freeze & die. Those buds would have become grapes. After last year’s harsh winter, a moderate ‘warm’ winter would be a gift.

Here’s to David, Jeff & the Coyote’s Run team!

 

~SAVVY SOMMELIER TASTING NOTES ~

 

Rare Vintage Chardonnay 2014 $24.95

“We avoid the term Reserved. In our view it is overused and because of that, it’s significance is lessened”, explained Jeff. Rare Vintage wines are only made with exceptional grapes in exceptional years. “The wines are truly the best of the best. We select individual barrels to make the final blend. In 2014 our entire crop of Chardonnay from the Red Paw vineyard was remarkable that we used all of it to make this Rare Vintage wine.”

Savvy Sommelier Tasting Notes: Whether you love Chardonnay or not, we are certain that you will enjoy every drop. Elegant with aromas of toasted almond, tropical fruit (think pineapple & banana) that follows through in the taste. Warm spices, white pepper & vanilla round on the finish makes this medium bodied wine playful in your mouth. An absolutely well balanced wine that lingers forever…and makes you thirsty for more!

Suggested Food Pairing: This wine stumped me.I could not decide only one recipe to share. I kept the bottle in my fridge for a week and served a splash with different dishes to see which worked best. Pork tenderloin with a mango chutney played well. Indian Butter Chicken curry did too. Pan seared Rainbow trout was to die for when paired with this Chardonnay. Even the holiday cheese board sang with this wine! Net-Net: this wine is very versatile. Being the New Year, our team of Savvy Sommeliers couldn’t resist pairing with a Cheese Fondue recipe – make yours or try the one below.

 

Rare Vintage Cabernet Syrah VQA 2012 $32.95

Jeff explains, “2012 was a hot vintage. Our yields were very low. We did not have much in the way of grapes for either Cabernet Sauvignon or Syrah, so we decided to do something different & blend them. It is certainly a different style of blend in the Niagara…and wine writers and our customers were expecting something different.

Savvy Sommelier Tasting Notes: “Silk & elegance sums it up for me,” Jeff explained and we definitely agree. Incredibly dark and nearly opaque this a definitely a winter wine that will lure you. Heart warming aromas of mincemeat, cloves, blackberry & dark chocolate even ink. A big bold red wine…when was the last time you said that about a red from Ontario?

Suggested Food Pairing: Grab your coat…you’ll want to be firing up the BBQ for this wine. Steak – your favorite cut, lamb chops or if it is too cold to venture outside, then a roast or prime rib will definitely do the trick. We have tempted you with a Flank Steak recipe below.

Cellaring: This wine is ready now or will cellar a further 2 to 5 years.

 

Black Paw Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon VQA 2013 $20.95

“In my opinion that there are relatively few places in Niagara that could grow Cabernet Sauvignon. Knowing this, we put a small experimental block in our vineyard and the resulting wines were nice. Like Bordeaux yet in our Black Paw soil. Now we have over 6 acres and have been growing the variety since 2010. Dave & I love growing Cabernet Sauvignon. The vines produce so much fruit to work with. And the wine coming from this Black Paw soil are outstanding no matter what weather Mother Nature challenges us with.”

Savvy Sommelier Tasting Notes: Rich, big & loaded with flavour. It’s stunning. Another example showing that Ontario can make big reds. Intensely dark in colour & reminiscent of red & black fruit (think plums, figs, berries) that will WOW you with the aroma, then continues into the taste. There is a solid back bone that gives it a long lingering finish that makes this a full flavoured wine – kudos to Dave, Chris & the winemaking team for another hands down great wine.

Suggested Food Pairing: A steak would be delicious, yet at this price make it your house wine and serve it with pizza, grilled sausages, meatloaf, pasta or even pork chops. The list goes on. Jeff confessed that he does most of the cooking at home and offers his Italian Sausage & Kale Soup to enjoy with this wine…yes soup & wine….and crusty bread too!

 

~RECIPES TO ENJOY WITH YOUR SAVVY SELECTIONS~

 

With Rare Vintage Chardonnay…

Classic Cheese Fondue

Source: All Recipes.com
Photo credit: Kraft.ca

fondueIngredients

1 cup white wine
1 Tbsp butter
1 Tbsp all-purpose flour
7 ounces Gruyere cheese – grated
7 ounces old Cheddar cheese – grated
7 ounces Emmental cheese (or Swiss) – grated

Method

Bring the wine to a boil in a small saucepan.

Meanwhile, melt the butter in a medium saucepan over medium low heat. Whisk in the flour, and cook for about 5 minutes, stirring constantly to avoid sticking and burning.

Once the flour is cooked, stir the wine into the flour mixture slowly. Use a whisk to smooth the mixture. Slowly add Gruyere, Cheddar, and Emmental cheese; stir until cheese is melted. Transfer cheese mixture to fondue pot. Keep warm over low flame.

Serve with thick slices of baguette, broccoli spears, wedges of apple & pear, a variety of mushrooms, thick slices of your favorite sausages (cooked)…and any other dipping accompaniment.

Call friends over…or make it for a date night.


With Rare Vintage Cabernet Syrah

Grilled Marinated Flank Steak

recipe & photo credit:Simply Recipes

grilled-marinated-flank-steak-vertical-a-640Ingredients

1/3 cup olive oil
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 Tbsp red wine vinegar
1/3 cup soy sauce
1/4 cup honey
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
2 pounds flank steak

Method

Combine the marinade ingredients in a large non-reactive bowl. Place steak in the bowl and turn so that it is completely coated with the marinade. (You can also place the steak and marinade in a freezer bag and place it in a bowl.) Chill and marinate for at least 2 hours and up to overnight.

Prepare your grill for high, direct heat with one part of the grill for lower, indirect heat. The grill is hot enough when you hold your hand about an inch over the hot side and you can only hold it there for about a second.

Remove the steak from the marinade and gently shake off the excess marinade from the steak (but make sure there is still a coating of it, you’ll want the oil on it to help keep the steak from sticking to the grill). Place steak on the hot side of the grill. Grill for a minute or two on each side to get a good sear, then move the steak to the cooler side of the grill, cover and cook a few minutes more until done to your liking.

When the steak has cooked to your preferred level of doneness, remove from the grill and place on a cutting board. Cover with aluminum foil to hold in the heat while the steak rests for 10 to 15 minutes.

Notice the direction of the muscle fibers of the steak; this is called the grain of the meat. Flank steak is a very lean cut that will be tough and chewy unless you cut it in a way that breaks up the muscle fibers. So, cut the steak across the grain of the meat, at a steep diagonal, so that the slices are wide. It is easiest to use a long serrated bread knife for this, but any long sharp knife will do.

 

With Black Paw Cabernet Sauvignon…

Italian Sausage & Kale Soup

from Jeff Aubry’s kitchen to yours

Black Paw Cab Sauv and Sausage Kale SoupIngredients

Italian sausages – however many you can eat
pasta noodles of your choice¼ cup olive oil
4-6 crushed cloves of garlic
4 cups vegetable stock
½ Tbsp freshly ground sage
1/2 Tbsp paprika
1 tsp fresh thyme
1 can diced stewed  tomatoes
handful of kale, torn

Method

Grill 3 hot Italian sausages, set them aside. Boil ½ pound of pasta noodles – I prefer fusili or orzo.

In a ¼ cup of olive oil, sauté 4-6 crushed garlic cloves until golden. Add 4 cups veggie bouillon, ½ tbsp freshly ground sage, 1/2 Tbsp paprika, and 1 tsp. fresh thyme. Add one can diced stewed  tomatoes, and boil for 2 mins.

In the bowl, spoon in a 1/2 cup of cooked pasta, add a handful of torn kale, and some sausage slices (1/4 thick). Ladle the hot soup over top and voila!

Variations include spinach instead of kale, and tortellini instead of sausage.

 

Here’s to 2016 & your wine soaked discovery with Savvy Selections!

 

 

Share

Rounding out the year with Redstone

Posted by Debbie

Saturday, December 26th, 2015
Share

SS stamp lo res

Savvy Selections wine of the month club
Featuring Redstone Winery
–  December 2015 –

 

It’s been a whirlwind month for sure – for winemakers as well! To interview Redstone Winery’s winemaker Rene Vanede, I had to ‘pull him off’ the bottling line. “We are disgorging sparkling wine right now. It is the fun part of making bubbles.” I have never met this Aussie, but in the 3 minutes talking to him over the phone, I felt that we’d known each other for years. The conversation is fantastic & interesting, learning about his love of sparkling wine and learning about his impressions about Canadian wine industry. “Why would you come all this way from Australia?” I asked “And why have you stayed??”

More about this interesting & engaging conversation on the following pages. But first…let’s get to the wines!

bottles 2In your Savvy Selections, you will find:

Redstone Sparkling VQA 2013- $24.95
now THIS is the bubbly to pop & celebrate the holidays!

Redstone Cabernet Merlot VQA 2011- $28.95
Already aged 5 years, this a crowd pleasing red wine

Cabernet Sauvignon VQA 2012 – $29.95
WOW what a powerhouse! Ready to drink now or cellar for 5+ years

Initially, they did not plan to have a winery

Red-Stone-WineryTawse Winery purchased the vineyard that was once owned by Thomas & Vaughn – one of the first of the boutique wineries in Beamsville. Moray Tawse had planned to use the grapes from their new vineyards in the Tawse wines…then the winemaking team discovered something VERY interesting. You’ll find the backstory on the following pages. Rene gave me the inside scoop during our interview. And as always, our Savvy Sommeliers share with you their tasting notes for the wines in your Savvy Selections along with recipes to pair with each over the holidays.

You won’t find many Redstone at the LCBO

You’ll be hard pressed to find Redstone’s striking orange foiled bottled on a shelf at the LCBO or Vintages. This winery makes small batch wines, so if you find a wine that you enjoy, give our Savvy Team a call on 613-SAVVYCO (728-8926) to arrange an order for you. It is easy & only takes a matter of a couple of days for delivery from the winery to you.

Kicking off the New Year!

Time definitely does fly when you are having fun. Our Sommeliers have been working hard (tough job we know!) finding wines to feature in the 2016 line-up for Savvy Selections. We are starting the New Year with Coyote’s Run Estate Winery of Niagara-on-the-Lake. Our Savvy Sommeliers & tasting panel chose the following wines:

Mark your calendar that these impressive wines will be delivered on Friday January 8th. If you would like additional bottles of these fine wines or other favorites from Coyote’s Run, just let me know & I will add more to your order.

We hope you’re having wonderful holiday season with great wines, family & friends!

Cheers!
Debbie & Savvy Team

Introducing…

Redstone Winery

Presented by Accredited Sommelier Debbie Trenholm

 

rene-vanedeI always find it fascinating to hear a winemaker’s impression of the Canadian wine industry. And when the winemaker is ‘an import’ from a different wine region, the insight is even more interesting! My interview with Rene Vanede (below) – winemaker at Redstone Winery – held my interest at ‘Hello’. If it weren’t for a glitch in the bottling line that he needed to tend to, our phone conversation could have lasted for hours.

The ‘ah-ha’ moment

Originally from Hunter Valley, Australia, Rene was surrounded by the wine industry. He worked as a Sommelier in various local hotels, then the travel bug bit him & he headed to Europe. “England in particular is great place for access to the world of wine,” Rene mentioned. As he was pulling the cork out of a bottle of wine from an undiscovered place he thought, “I can make this stuff.”

From Sommelier to Winemaker

Rene jumped into being a winemaker with both feet. He completed his university studies, then rolled up his sleeves & got hands-on experience with grape harvest and in the cellar at an Australian winery you may have heard of…Rosemount, Owned by Foster’s Group, Rene’s work experience at Rosemount was making wine in massive volumes. He explained that he often did not know what brand he was making…all he knew was that he was making wine.“I quickly figured out that I did not want to continue to work at big places.”

The all-Canadian wine adventure

Now with winemaking experience, Rene was ripe to explore other wine regions. He had heard that Canada’s wine industry was making big strides & was comprised of hundreds of small businesses. Curious & intrigued, he packed up & headed to Vancouver. It turns out that he did not work at a BC winery at this time, yet he did sample a lot of their wines during his travels.

In 2006, he was invited to be part of the vintage team at Tawse Winery in Beamsville.“It was their biggest harvest ever. Tawse went from a 2000 case winery to 6000 cases,” Rene recalls. “It was exciting to be part of that.” With so much work to do, Rene became a permanent fixture at Tawse. A few years later in 2009 when Moray Tawse purchased Thomas & Vaughn Winery, even more wine had to be made. The new vineyards provided the grapes needed to make Meritage & Bordeaux styled wines for the Tawse portfolio.

Tasting the difference

Curious about the new vineyards, the winemaking team did a side-by-side comparison taste test of wines made with Tawse grapes and wines made with grapes from the Thomas & Vaughn vineyards. “The same winemaking team, however the final product showed an incredible difference,” explained Rene. “The terroir was prevalent in the Tawse wine, while the other wine was all about the fruit.” With this incredibly different wine, the idea was born to keep them separate and establish a new winery. Just like that…Redstone Winery was created.

here’s what it’s all about…

Terroir is the focus at Tawse. Redstone is fruit first.“This is a massive change of mindset for winemaker.” Rene became Redstone’s winemaker with Paul Pender from Tawse on hand as consulting winemaker. The sistering wineries leverage some production equipment and resources, yet for the most part, they are 2 separate wineries.

“At Redstone there are no guidelines. We have the land, the mature vineyards & the track record that the grapes are known to produce quality good wine,” said Rene.

Redstone’s 38-acre vineyard is farmed organically and biodynamically. The location is perfect for late-ripening varietals including Merlot, Cabernet Franc, Cabernet Sauvignon and Syrah – the Bordeaux grape varietals. In terms of white, there is Pinot Gris, Riesling, Sauvignon Blanc, & Chardonnay from recently acquired Limestone vineyard.

Differences between BC & Ontario

Having been in Canada for 10 years, his Aussie accent is still thick. It could be the company he keeps as there are several Australians at Niagara wineries. Interestingly, without being probed, Rene offered his impressions of the BC & Ontario wine industries. “After traveling in BC, I expected the Ontario wine scene to be similar. In BC, the wineries are cottage like, small operations. The scales of things are different here in Ontario with larger farms & businesses.” Rene continues, “The wines are sheer finesse here in Ontario.” When I heard this, I was eager to share this with our Savvy Selections subscribers.

Here’s to Rene & his winemaking team!

 

~SAVVY SOMMELIER TASTING NOTES ~

 

 Redstone Sparkling VQA 2013 $24.95

This is Redstone’s first sparkling. “Sparkling is a Winemaker’s Wine – there are so many different steps involved to making a good sparkler”, explains Rene. While at university, he took a keen interest to learn the finesse of making sparkling wine….and his talent shines through in this wine.

Savvy Sommelier Tasting Notes: Made with Pinot Noir, Chardonnay & a splash of Pinot Gris, this is an absolutely delicious bubbly. “I like to make wines that I like to drink”, says Rene. This wine has a delicious balance of acidity (think white grapefruit) with a smooth mouth feel and very elegant mousse (bubbles). It’s dry, crisp &delicious.

Suggested Food Pairing: This wine will be perfect any time during the holidays – to pop open when friends drop in, enjoyed with appetizers during Happy Hour, unwinding after tidying up the wrapping paper or even served for brunch. “I enjoy sparkling wine with seafood- scallops, prawns & smoked salmon, or blue cheese,” suggests Rene. On the following pages, we have included an interesting scallop dish for you to try.

 

Cabernet Merlot VQA 2011 $28.95

close up bottleA blend of Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, Merlot, this is the classic Bordeaux blend. “We are always comparing the wines from Tawse& Redstone to French wines,” shares Rene. He goes on to explain, “30-40% of the wine was oaked (in French oak of course!). You should be able to see the oak, but it should not be overpowered. In this vintage, the fruit demanded some oak to finish the wine.”

Savvy Sommelier Tasting Notes: This is a crowd pleasing wine that you can drink with pretty much anything. Red & black fruit (think plums, currants, raspberry, blackberry) and warm spices waft from the glass and linger on your tongue with each sip. Well balanced, smooth finish, yet still a touch of tannins after the 5+ years of aging that pairs well with hearty food.

Suggested Food Pairing: “For me, this is a winter wine. I would serve it with Beef Finger Pie.” shares Rene. That is a dish that I am not familiar with and nor is Google! After more probing, turns out that a Beef Pot Pie is what this Aussie was referring to! A recipe for an “Aussie Humble Pie” follows.

Cellaring: This wine is ready now or will cellar a further 3 to 5 years.

 

Redstone Cabernet Sauvignon VQA 2012 $29.95

“This is THE signature wine at Redstone. It put us on the map.” explains Rene. “It’s Redstone in a bottle – the fruit & tannins exhibit the vineyard site.”

Savvy Sommelier Tasting Notes: Now this is a BIG red wine still with some grippy tannins. If you like to put wines away, this would be the one out of this bunch. It will be interesting to see how the wine evolves with time. For now, each sip shows the quality of the fruit & the winemaker’s talent – kudos to Rene. The Sommeliers at the tasting panel remarked how this wine reminded them of black – intensely dark in colour, aromas of black fruit (berries, plums, currants, figs) that continue on in the taste. A long finish with an earthy or herbal note like roasted caraway or fennel seeds.

Suggested Food Pairing: One word: steak. If your BBQ is buried under snow, then prime rib would be perfect accompaniment. We share with you a Dijon Herb Crusted Prime Rib recipe.

Cellaring: Ready now or it will cellar nicely for another 5 to 7 years. Winemaker suggestions to decant for 2 hours before serving….then enjoy every sip!

 

~ RECIPES TO ENJOY WITH YOUR SAVVY SELECTIONS ~

 

With Redstone Sparkling…

Confit of Scallops with Lemongrass & Coconut Sauce

By chef Kevin Bélisle at Spa Eastman, Eastern Townships, Que.
Source & photo credits:Globe & Mail

Ingredients

Beets

2 large yellow beets, cooked and peeled

Herbs and lemon zest oil

½ cup olive oil
2 tablespoon chopped Italian parsley
2 tablespoon chopped cilantro
2 tablespoon chopped chives
Grated zest of one lemon

Gomasio

1 tablespoon white sesame seeds
1 tablespoon flaxseed
Sea salt to taste

Lemongrass &coconut sauce

2 sticks lemongrass
1/3 cup peeled and chopped fresh ginger
½ cup cashews
¾ cup organic coconut milk
2 tablespoon lemon juice

Scallops

12 large fresh scallops, kept cool
2 cups coconut oil to cook scallops

Method

Braised+Scallops_Spa+EastmaCut beets into ½-inch-thick slices. With a cookie cutter the same size as the scallops, cut the beet slices into rounds. Warm in the oven before serving.

Mix oil with herbs and lemon zest. Season with salt and pepper. Reserve.

Toast the sesame seeds lightly in a pan, being careful not to burn them. Mix the toasted sesame seeds, flax seeds and sea salt in a blender or with a mortar. The mixture should remain fairly grainy. Reserve.

Remove the bottom 2 inches of lemongrass stalk. Chop coarsely, reserving remainder for another use. Combine lemongrass, ginger, cashews, coconut milk and lemon juice. Blend in a food processor or blender until smooth. Place in pan and heat gently when ready to serve.

Remove the muscle from the scallops. Heat coconut oil in a small high-sided pan to 175 to 185 F (80 to 85 C). The oil should be barely moving with just a few bubbles. (Use a thermometer to check, if you have one.) Place the scallops in the coconut oil (in batches, if necessary) and confit for 5 to 7 minutes or until opaque.

Spoon warmed lemongrass and coconut sauce onto serving plates. Place 3 slices of warm beets on each plate and top with 3 scallops. Drizzle scallops with herbs and lemon-zest oil and garnish with a pinch of gomasio. Garnish with herbs.

 

With Redstone Cabernet Merlot

Humble Aussie Pie

By Jamie Oliver
Serves 8
recipe & photo credit: Jamie Oliver

aussie humble pieIngredients

1 kg beef skirt , chopped into 1cm chunks
sea salt
freshly ground black pepper
olive oil
1 whole nutmeg , for grating
2 large carrots , peeled
2 red onions , peeled
4 sprigs of fresh rosemary , leaves picked
250 ml pale ale
1 heaped tablespoon plain flour
1 tablespoon tomato purée
250 g button mushrooms
1 large egg yolk, beaten , or semi-skimmed milk

For the pastry

600 g plain flour, plus extra for dusting
150 g cold unsalted butter, cubed, plus extra for greasing
150 g Cheddar cheese

Method

Place the beef, 1 heaped teaspoon of pepper, a good pinch of salt and 2 tablespoons of olive oil into a large bowl. Grate in half a nutmeg, then toss to coat and set aside. Roughly chop the carrots, onions and rosemary leaves.

Heat a drizzle of olive oil in a wide, medium pan over a medium heat, then add the beef and cook for 15 to 20 minutes, or until the meat is browned all over and any liquid has evaporated, stirring frequently. Meanwhile, heat another medium pan over a medium heat. Add the chopped veg and a drizzle of olive oil and cook for 15 to 20 minutes, or until softened and caramelised, stirring frequently, then remove from the heat.

Add the ale to the beef, turn the heat up to high and allow the liquid to boil and bubble away, stirring and scraping all those lovely sticky bits from the bottom of the pan. Stir in the flour and tomato purée and cook for 2 to 3 minutes, or until it forms a thick paste. Stir the softened veg into the pan, then pour in 1 litre of cold water. Roughly slice and add the mushrooms, then bring to the boil.

Reduce the heat to medium, cover and simmer for 1 hour 30 minutes, then take off the lid and simmer for another 30 minutes, or until thickened and reduced and the beef is tender, stirring occasionally. Season to taste, transfer to a bowl and allow to cool completely for a few hours or preferably overnight in the fridge.

Meanwhile, make the pastry. Combine the flour and a good pinch of salt in a bowl, then grate in the Cheddar and rub into the flour along with the butter, until it resembles fine breadcrumbs. Gradually add 250ml of cold water, stirring continuously to combine, then use your hands to bring it together into a rough dough – be careful not to work it too much. Wrap the dough in cling film and place in the fridge until needed.

Preheat the oven to 180ºC/350ºF/gas 4. Grease 8 individual pie dishes (roughly 15cm x 10cm) with a little butter and dust with flour. Divide the pastry into 4 equal-sized pieces, then roll out a portion on a flour-dusted surface to the thickness of a pound coin. Place 2 of the pie dishes side-by-side, roll the pastry around the rolling pin, hold it over the dishes and carefully unroll the pastry to cover. Gently press the pastry into the sides of the dishes, then roughly cut away the excess so you end up with 2 lined pie dishes. Repeat with the remaining pastry, reserving the excess for later.

Equally divide the steak and ale filling between the dishes and brush the edges with the milk or beaten egg. Divide the excess pastry into 8 equal-sized pieces, roll out to the thickness of a pound coin and place over the filling. Trim away any excess, crimp the edges with a fork and pierce a little cross into the top. Brush over a little more milk or beaten egg, then place in the hot oven for 25 to 30 minutes, or until golden and piping hot through.

 

With Redstone Cabernet Sauvignon…

Dijon Herb Crusted Prime Rib

from Farm Boy

Ingredients

1Tbsp Balsamic vinegar
¼ tsp ground cloves
4 Tbsp grainy Dijon mustard
2 Tbsp fresh thyme leaves, chopped
2 Tbsp fresh rosemary leaves, chopped
Salt and pepper to taste
1 bone in rib roast (2.5KG/6LB)
6 medium garlic cloves, quartered lengthwise

Method

Pre-heat oven to 400 F

Make small incisions all over the roast.Insert the garlic into the holes. Place the roast in a roasting pan and mix the remaining ingredients into a paste and rub entire roast evenly.

Roast for 25 minutes then reduce heat to 350 F and continue cooking for about 1 and a ½ hours or until internal temperature reaches 135 F (forrare). Transfer roast to a cutting board and allow to rest for 15 minutes before carving.

Serve with your favourite sides. (Especially good with creamy mashed potatoes & buttered beets!)

Enjoy your Holidays & your Savvy Selections!

 

Share

Warm welcome & amazing wines from Fielding Estate Winery

Posted by Debbie

Friday, November 6th, 2015
Share

SS stamp lowest res

Savvy Selections wine of the month club
Featuring Fielding Estates Winery
–  November 2015 –

 

This year marks the big 1-0 milestone for a handful of wineries in Ontario. We helped Stratus Vineyard celebrate in July and now it is time to pop the corks for Fielding Estates Winery as they ‘Cheers for 10 Years!’

At Fielding, the front door is always open at the winery (aka the Lodge) and the Muskoka chairs are dotted around the grounds awaiting you to relax and unwind as you soak up the sunshine and enjoy the view of the vineyard…while sipping on fine wines made by Fielding’s winemaker Ritchie Roberts.

heidi and curtisI have said it before…one of the occupational hazards of this business is that people who work at wineries often become friends. Certainly not a bad thing, rather, it makes working together to grow each other’s business even easier and more enjoyable. Curtis and Heidi Fielding (in photo) are two wonderful people that it is easy and natural to become fast friends. And that friendly nature is evident to all who walks through the glass doors at the Lodge.“We want everyone to feel welcome and at ease when they visit our winery”, comments Heidi. And true to form, that is exactly what they do.

Too many fine wines!

Selecting only 3 bottles of wine for you this month was probably the hardest that the Savvy Team has encountered. I believe that this is a telling sign of quality & most of all maturity of the vineyards…and the talented winemaking team can’t go unnoticed either.

After great deliberation, the Savvy Team chose:

grapesSparkling Rose–light & elegant bubbly made with Chardonnay and Pinot Noir using the same winemaking method as French Champagne. Naturally suited to celebrate the 1-0 milestone!

Gamay VQA 2013 – easy drinking, full of red fruit & well balanced. A wine that is becoming a signature wine at Fielding…and best of all, it tastes like it should be $25+.

Syrah VQA 2012– you had us at hello!WOW – this is a heart stopping red wine that you can taste the talent in each sip.

Can you spot the difference?

While there was a party at the winery to mark the occasion, the marketing team at Fielding decided that the labels would get a touch up. Put the three bottles of your Savvy Selections side-by-side to see if you can spot the new improvements to the label design. Extra points if you see something more welcoming about the Muskoka chair!

Looking for a F.E.W. more? Fielding Estates Wines that is!

heidi at doorFielding takes pride in making small lots of their wines. Several wines only have 400 cases (4800 bottles). There are a handful of Fielding wines that you will regularly find on the LCBO shelves, yet if you have found a new favorite in your Savvy Selections, give us a call to quickly re-order. With a limited number of cases made and many Fielding fans clamoring to get the latest release, their finest wines don’t last very long! The Savvy Hotline is 613-SAVVYCO.

Cheers & Enjoy!
Debbie & Savvy Team

Introducing…

Fielding Estate Winery

Presented by Sommelier Debbie Trenholm

 

Remember when Yellow Tail wines first bombarded the shelves at the LCBO? This is the same time when Fielding Estates opened their doors. Critter labels donning cats, dogs, lizards and penguins were all the rage and smack-them-over-the-head red wines loaded with overripe fruit were flying off the shelves.

Dfielding-logoespite all of this distraction, husband and wife team – Heidi & Curtis Fielding found their footing in Niagara. Located part way up the Beamsville Bench (aka Niagara Escarpment) with neighbouring wineries – Angels Gate, Thirty Bench and Rosewood Estate Winery & Meadery – Fielding set out to create a different story and culture at their winery.

Everyone has a story

Fielding familyFielding Winery began with subs…yet you read that right! Submarine sandwiches. Marg & Ken Fielding own a significant number of Subway franchises in Eastern Ontario. Drawn to Niagara & intrigued by the new Canadian wine industry, this husband & wife savvy business team soon were bitten by the bug as well saw the business potential. They lured their son Curtis off the race car track where he was starting his career as a competitive driver, to come home to gain hands on experience in the wine industry in preparation that would be integral their new family venture.

In 2000, the family purchased a 20‐acre orchard of peaches and pears on the Beamsville Bench and replaced all the trees with high‐quality vinifera vines during the summer of 2001. In keeping with the Muskoka feel that they wanted to create, the unique Wine Lodge opened its doors in May 2005, and has quickly established itself as one of the finest wineries in Ontario.

muskoka chairWhy the Muskoka chair?

The family is from the area and has a house that brings everyone together. “It was a natural fit to extend that relaxing, unpretentious your-are-part-of-the-family feeling to our winery”, explains Heidi.

10 years later, Ken & Marg are now arm’s length business advisors while the Heidi and Curtis run the business and day to day operations. Coincidentally this dynamic duo are also a husband and wine team. “And our 5 and 7 year old boys love helping us at the winery”, says Heidi.

Slow and steady…

“Fielding has grown little by little over the last 10 years”, recalls Heidi as laughs remembering that in the first couple of years before the winery doors opened, the winery offered:

In 2002: 400 cases of Cabernet Merlot, 50 cases of Chardonnay

In 2003: bad crop yielded a measly 60 cases of Chardonnay

In 2004: significant growth to 6000 cases

Now in 2015, they have grown to full capacity to 20,000 cases – mostly in last 2 years.

Select Fielding wines are now readily available at the LCBO and can also be found in Alberta, Florida and served by the glass at restaurants at Walt Disney World…yes Disney!

Highlights of the last 10 years

cellar room“It is an awesome business to be in”, says Heidi with delight. “We have a great team at the winery and all of us work extremely hard – we can’t let anything slide!”

This dedication has been recognized by their peers in the industry. Curtis was crowned Grape King in 2012 by Ontario Grape Growers. “Everyone involved in the winery are so proud of this recognition”, explained Heidi. “It is a huge honour when your mentors and industry leaders select you from all of the others wineries in the province as the top vineyard of the year. When they announced Curtis’ name, all of the hard work that Ritchie, Curtis and the rest of the team have put into the vineyard instantly paid off. This was definitely a highlight of the last 10 years.”

Grape king“This is a huge honour,” says Curtis in the press release about the prestigious achievement. “Look at some of the names who have been Grape King in the past. They are big names with world‐class vineyards. They are people that our industry really respects and looks up to. It is amazing to have my name associated with them.” Did I mention that Curtis became King at the ripe age of 34? Pretty impressive.

“Curtis is an excellent example of the next generation of grape grower, a first‐generation farmer who has quickly embraced sustainable practices while maintaining a beautiful vineyard and producing top quality wines,” stated Kimberly Hundertmark, Executive Director of the Niagara Grape and Wine Festival (and friend too!)

And it does not stop there. Fielding was named one of the Top 10 wineries in Canada for 2009 and again in 2013 by the Canadian Wine Awards.

And all that in their first 10 years…watch out for what the next 10 has in store.

Happy Anniversary to the Fielding team! Enjoy your Savvy Selections!

 

~ SAVVY SOMMELIER TASTING NOTES ~

 

Fielding Sparkling Rosé $29.95

Ritchie winemakerThis is the first traditional method rosé that Ritchie has made. Traditional method is the wine term referring to the sparkling winemaking process as it is done in Champagne, France. The second fermentation – that creates the bubbles – happens inside the bottle (rather than in a tank then bottled) and yeast is added to each bottle. “This is a huge labour of love for Ritchie”, explains Heidi. “He has only made 2 traditional method wines and we are so excited to release this wine.” All of us in the Savvy Team are excited that our subscribers are receiving it first as there is a small amount made!

Savvy Sommelier Tasting Notes: Light salmon in colour that has delicate wild strawberry aromas and taste. Well balanced, smooth mouth feel and very elegant mousse (bubbles). Dry, crisp and delicious. “A rule of thumb is that the finer the bubbles the greater the quality” explains Savvy Sommelier Debbie Trenholm.

Suggested Food Pairing: Chill & serve in tall flute glasses. Sushi, salted nuts, chips or Parmesan Crisps are delicate enough that won’t detract from the wine.

 

2013 GamayFielding Gamay 2013 VQA, $17.95

“These grapes are grown especially for us by wonderful grape growers who have become good friends”, shares Heidi (that theme never seems to go away!). “They are meticulous about their vineyards and it shows in the grapes.”

Savvy Sommelier Tasting Notes:Gamay is growing in popularity, especially with the wines that are being produced in Ontario. Usually light bodied laced with tannins, this one surprised us with its full flavour or red fruit – cherries, plums, raspberries – with warm spices and subtle tannins. Medium bodied and well balanced. This is definitely an impressive wine.

Suggested Food Pairing:“With 2 little boys, we don’t eat fancy at home.” Heidi laughs when I asked what she would pair with this easy drinking wine. Pasta with mushroom, roasted chicken and even grilled salmon. Heidi suggest to serve their Gamay with foods that you would pair with Pinot Noir. We share with you a mushroom risotto recipe to enjoy with this wine as the days get colder.

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

 

2012 Syrah_HRFielding Syrah 2012 VQA $35– special Savvy Selections price (regular $39.95)

“This wine is so special to us”, explains Heidi. “We don’t make it every year. Ritchie wants to make a spectacular Syrah and for this one, he only made 250 cases”. Perfectly timed, you are receiving this wine before it is released at the winery…being a subscriber has its benefits! If you would like additional bottles, let us know soon as this wine always sells out…quickly!

Savvy Sommelier Tasting Notes:This inky, powerful wine offers great intensity and extraction. On the nose, the aromas of cassis and berry are rich and ripe, traces of vanilla, dark chocolate and spice merging and mingling with the fruit. Ripe yet firm tannins and refined acidity frame the concentrated dark fruit, hints of smoke, dried herbs, spice and pepper adding depth and complexity. Long and intense on the finish, the wine will cellar well.

Suggested Food Pairing:Serve with rack of lamb or rare prime rib.

Cellaring:Ready now or it will cellar nicely for another 4 to 5 years

 

~ RECIPES TO ENJOY WITH YOUR SAVVY SELECTIONS ~

With Fielding Sparkling Rosé…

Parmesan Crisps

From the kitchen of Savvy Sommelier Julie

parmesan-crisps-2Serves: should yield about 20 small crisps

This is one of the most popular recipes that we are always asked for. With the holiday entertaining season around the corner, have this recipe on the ready! There are so many versions of this recipe but nothing could be simpler, or more delicious to match with this sparkling wine. The bubbles compliment the saltiness in the cheese and just send you back nibbling for more. For a different taste, serve with a little red pepper jelly on the side.

A perfect hors d’oeuvres – beware, folks inhale these!

Ingredients

1-1/2cups of grated Parmesan depending how many crisps you would like to make.

Method

Preheat often to 400 degrees and put a heaping tablespoon of the Parmesan onto aparchment lined baking sheet. I would space the spoonfuls about an inch apart.

Bake about 8 minutes or check them after 5 and they should be just slightly golden.

 

With Fielding Gamay …

Roasted Chickpeas & Tomatoes

Roasted-Chick-Peas-and-Swiss-ChardBy Chef Tonia Wilson
Serves 4
photo credit: www.toniawilson.com

Chef’s tip:

Ingredients

2 cans chick peas, drained and rinsed
5 whole cloves garlic, peeled and halved lengthwise
2 cups (500 mL) whole grape tomatoes
1/4 cup (60 mL) extra virgin olive oil
1 Tbsp (15 mL) fresh thyme, finely chopped
salt and freshly ground pepper to taste

Method

Preheat oven to 400°F (205°C).

Place all ingredients on a large baking sheet. Stir to combine and coat well with oil. Place in oven and roast for 15 minutes, carefully shake pan to move ingredients around and roast for another 15
minutes or until chick peas and tomatoes are golden.

Serve warm or at room temperature.

With Fielding Syrah…

Beef Tenderloin with Dark Mushroom Sauce

from Old Stone Inn & Boutique Hotel in Niagara Falls

Ingredients

2 Tbsp unsalted butter
2 Tbsp vegetable oil
1 strip beef tenderloin (2 to 3lb)
½ cup red wine – don’t you dare cook with the Fielding Syrah…it is better left in your glass!
1 red onion, sliced
1 cup dry wild mushrooms, soaked in 1 cup of red wine
2 cups brown beef or veal stock
½ cup heavy cream

Method

Preheat oven to 450 F.

Heat oil in a cast iron pan. Season the meat with salt and pepper on all sides. When the oil is very hot, sear the
meat, caramelizing all sides evenly. When seared, drain off the fat and add the wine.

Roast the meat in the oven for 15 to 20 minutes. Remove the pan from the oven and let the meat rest for 5
minutes before slicing.

Melt 2 tablespoons butter in a heavy-bottomed pot, add the onions, and cook for 3 to 4 minutes. Squeeze the
mushrooms out of the juice, and add to the onions, cook for another 2 to 3 minutes.

Deglaze the pan with 2 cups of wine, and reduce until almost dry. Then add the mushroom rehydrating liquid, and reduce until almost dry. Add the veal stock and the cream, and reduce at low heat until thick. Check the seasoning, reserve.

To serve, slice the meat in 1/2 to 1/4-inch thick pieces. Place in the middle of a warmed plate. Put the wild mushrooms around the meat and cover with a thin layer of the sauce and serve immediately.

Cheers to 10 years

A little extra treat from Fielding’s kitchen to yours…

Mini Pumpkin Ginger Cheesecake

This is a little treat that we prepared for one of our winery events.

Ingredients

24 ginger snaps
24 ounces cream cheese, softened
1 cup pumpkin purée
3 eggs
1 cup brown sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
½ tsp cinnamon
½ tsp nutmeg
¼ tsp ground cloves
24 baking cups

Method

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

In a large mixing bowl, combine cream cheese, sugar and vanilla. Mix until smooth. Next, add pumpkin puree, eggs, cinnamon, nutmeg and cloves. Mix thoroughly.

relaxing in the chairsLine muffin tin with individual baking cups and drop one ginger snap at the bottom of each cup. Pour filling into
each mold to the top.

Bake for 15-18 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean when inserted into the cheesecake.

Cool to room temperature and lightly brush the tops with maple syrup. Refrigerate overnight. Serve with candied walnuts and whipped topping

Enjoy your Savvy Selections!

 

 

 

Share