Posts Tagged ‘Sherry Martin’

A Vegan Winery?

Posted by David

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

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

Get ready to uncork & enjoy your Savvy Selections…

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

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

 

Wines with style

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

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

 

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

Cheers,

Debbie & Savvy Team

 

 

Introducing…

Karlo Estates

Presented by Sommelier David Loan

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

 

New opportunities

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

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

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

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

 

Bridges and turnings

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

 

Moving forward

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

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

 

Taste of the County

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

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

 

 

~ SAVVY SOMMELIER TASTING NOTES ~

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

 

2015 Riesling, $22

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

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

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

Cellaring:  Drink at 8ºC within two years.

 

 

2015 Patio Reserve Rosé, $18

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

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

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

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

 

 

2013 Triumvirate, $28

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

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

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

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

 

 

~RECIPES TO ENJOY WITH YOUR SAVVY SELECTIONS~

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

 

With Karlo Estates Riesling…

Veggie Thai Red Curry

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

Ingredients

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

 

Paste

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

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

 

Method

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

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

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

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

 

 

With Karlo Estates Patio Rosé…

Paella

Recipe and photo: CrazyVeganKitchen.com
Serves 4

 

Ingredients

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

 

Method

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

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

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

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

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

Remove tin foil after 10 minutes and garnish with parsley.

 

 

With Karlo Estates Triumvirate…

Pasta with ramps, fiddleheads & sausage

Recipe and photo: TinyUrbanKitchen.com
Serves: 4

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

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

 

Ingredients

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

 

Method

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

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

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

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

 

 

Enjoy the spring with your Savvy Selections!

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An enthusiast discovering wineries in Prince Edward County

Posted by Amanda

Friday, May 2nd, 2014
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If you’re looking for a day trip or a weekend away to try great wines, look no further than Prince Edward County…just 2.5 hrs drive from Ottawa. I’m always up for an outing and Easter Weekend saw me winery-hopping – and I even saw the Easter Bunny!

Take the scenic route – car, ferry & even a boat (or pedalo)

Bergeron grape picking 3Driving from Ottawa, you can take the pictoresque Glenora ferry and make your first winery stop at Devils Wishbone, just past the really cool Lake on the Mountain – where you see a pretty lake right outside your car window (you can even get out & admire it) and then hundreds of feet down a cliff is the Bay of Quinte!

First Ferry, then Lake…now Winery. Devils Wishbone was the name the earliest settlers used for this location due to poor soil conditions for farming, which can be great soil for growing grapes! You will be warmly welcomed by winery owner Paul Gallagher and his friendly staff and you can enjoy their wines either inside the old barn or sitting out on his new deck; you can taste all of his carefully crafted local wines and enjoy the breathtaking views.

Wine & cheese – a match made in heaven

Cap_CressyBe sure to stop in at Fifth Town Artisan Cheese Company located at 4309 County Road 8. You can poke around, taste some cheese, visit their chees-making facility, which by the way is completely GREEN; that is they are leaders in Advanced Sustainable Design.

A couple of suggestions – to sample & to buy, are: Plain Jane, County Maple, Lavender, Dill Weed and Lemon, Lemon Thyme and Cracked Black Pepper, Garlic and Chive, Cape Vessey, both Lacey Grey and Nude hand rolled chevre logs, Lost Lake… to name but a few of their great artisan cheeses (ok…that list is long, yet there is so much at their cheese store!). So for great cheese – and sustainability – buy from Fifth Town. Store hours Sat & Sun 11am-4pm.

Is it lunch-time yet?

County Cider lunch

For those of you who have worked up an appetite, it’s only a short drive to a delectable outdoor treat (see pergola terrace in photo at right), where I savoured their thin-crust pizza from the wood burning pizza oven &  fantastic salad at The County Cider Company, located at 657 Bongards Crossing just near the Junction of County Road 8. Not only is the food great, you also get to enjoy the dramatic view from the outdoor patio perched high above Lake Ontario.  My recommendation for that neck of the woods, but do check ahead for hours open.

Last stop today…but I’m back on the trail tomorrow!

IMG_2301I stopped to see Glenn Symons, winemaker of Lighthall Vineyards, because I knew which wine I wanted to go with my succulent BBQ Salmon that I had planned for dinner – his 2011 Chardonnay of course because it bursts with flavors of Asian pear and orchard fruit.

He had some great vineyard stories – don’t forget to ask about the Luna Moth – and insisted I sample his latest releases; then at the end of his busy Saturday full of tourists, media & chefs he invited me to sit outside & sip his latest spectacular Chardonnay on the patio. Cheers amigo!

Be careful when you get behind the wheel

I guess this is a good time to mention that you really ought to have a designated driver for his kind of outing.  Sure it’s true winery hopping is not meant for drinking all you can but for sampling small sips of many different wines. It’s about discovering quality, not quantity. There’s an art to tasting wines and for those of you less familiar with oenology, I’ve shared a few tips below (at end of blog) on what I’ve learned over the past few years in this wonderful world of wine.

So I’ve covered the tiniest part of The County wineries (Marysburgh, North & South), some artisan cheese and a quick spot of lunch, but there is still much to see and do, so if you can – plan to spend the weekend.

Wine Samples…Day Two

I put my jalopy into high gear, heading straight through Picton and on through Bloomfield, Wellington into region of Hillier. For sure there many small quaint towns to see all over Ontario, but this is one spot where wine is really happenin’ so I wanted to make the most of the ‘terroir’ (wine lingo for the earth in the ground that grows the grapes that makes the wine).

Take the scenic route

Be calmed by the waves of Lake Ontario splashing against the shoreline on your left as you head into a different wine area – new soil, new ground, new wines.

karlo barnFirst stop Karlo Estates (classic barn in photo at left), located at 561 Danforth Road, where you will hear the happy laughter of Richard Karlo before you see the winemaker himself. Karlo is run by Richard & his Partner Sherry Martin (also an artist in her own right), out of a beautiful old red barn converted into a tasting bar with oodles of ambience.

They boast an extensive wine list of about 12 wines covering the full range from light to full bodied and are the only winery in the county to produce a white port, alongside it’s sister red port. The barn itself is worth the detour and be sure to wander through the field to take a closer look at their medieval-looking bridge, the largest mortarless structure in North America. A tasting experience people travel far & wide for.

Hubbs Creek Vineyard

Un vero italiano

Hubb’s Creek (see photo at right) right across the street is the home of The County’s true Italian, Battista Calvieri, a wine grower who has been cultivating grapes for over 10 years with his first release in 2012. Worth waiting for to be sure, try his Pinot Gris, the Rosé being bottled soon and for me the Pinot Noir is his signature wine. More wines will be added to the list soon. Open weekends only & full time in Summer.  A presto!

In fact for those of you on the road of wine discovery like myself, you should know that Pinot noir is one of the county’s top grape varieties. It all comes down to the soil and it doesn’t take a scientist to figure out that that PEC is laden with the best soil for Pinot noir Grapes. Yabadaadoo, my favourite wine.

Every winery has a name & every name has a story

After munchies in Wellington (I popped into the Tall Poppy Café), then headed for an afternoon saunter through some vines at Keint-He Winery, named very aptly after what is now becoming Ontario’s fastest-growing wine region.

Keint-He canoes on labelKeint-He Winery & Vineyards honours the native word Keint-He which is the name of one of the four Seneca villages in this part of Eastern Ontario; they were one of the five tribes of the Iroquois. The word Keint-He was later francocized into “Quinte” and used in English names such as the Bay of Quinte.

The painting used on their labels (Canoes in a Fog, Lake Superior in photo on left) was originally done by Canadian artist Frances Anne Hopkins.

As the afternoon progressed I had to start thinking of the dreary drive home, but not before a highly reccommended stop at By Chadsey’s Cairns – a long-winded name for a winery if ever there was one.

By Chadsey's Cairns tasting bar exterior

A warm welcome everywhere you go

Despite interrupting his lunch (with a glass of Chardonnay), winery owner Richard Johnston welcomed me with a history lesson, a tour & some great wines.  All this only made me want to learn more about the origin of his grapes and as I tasted my way through his excellent repertoire of white, off white, red & dessert wines, I was left wanting more. This isn’t just another tick in the box – it’s a place to return to.

He is well served by his partner in wine, Vida Zalnieriunas, who is  – as she would say “the winemaker”!  Richard &  Vida have an ongoing (curious) debate at the winery – is the winemaker the person who gives instructions or the one following the instructions, meaning the person doing all the slogging?

There is – again – a story behind the name of this winery – and it’s a good one if you have the time to listen and take it all in as the cairns (hand-built stone structures) are still there to this day and when you stand in the beautifully restored brick tasting room, you can almost see “Old Ira Chadsey”  in 1870 walking the vineyards.

I think this bit of local folklore is worth sharing – so here you have it as told by Richard:

cairns for Chadsey's Cairns“The story has it that Ira is alleged to have declared that he would return after his death reincarnated as a white horse, and he was building the stone markers so he could find his way home.  Then, seven years after his wife’s death, at the age of 77, Ira built a large bonfire in his maple syrup shack, located down the laneway by the cairns, and shot himself so that his body would be flung into the flames.  The fire is said to have been so intense that nothing was found but the metal barrel of his gun.”

Richard claims that it would be hard to leave Ira on that note.  “When it came time to name our vineyards, we decided Ira’s colourful and poignant tale deserved a firmer hold in time”

My day was full of rewards and I do believe that there is a Wine God.

My winery hopping tips…

Try not to cram too many winery visits into one day, amble leisurely & enjoy the atmosphere & countryside, talk to the people who pour for you & learn as you go.

Bryan at Keing-HeAsk lots of questions and try as many or as few wines as you like (check tasting pricing before you start).  Start with the whites, they whet your appetite (even if it’s just your appetite for more wine); then move to light weight reds, ending off with heavier reds and lastly sweet and/or dessert wine. See how friendly they all are – really ALL the winemakers, winery owners & staff in Prince Edward County are THIS friendly, take it from Bryan Rogers of Keint-He Winery (in photo at right).

Feel free to spit, even the experts do it; this way you are coating your palate with the exotic flavours of each wine that you try but not consuming 4 bottles of wine of an afternoon. (If you don’t see a spittoon handy, just ask).

Pick a theme for the day – taste a particular grape variety everywhere you go; or maybe you might want to do the A-Z of The County’s Chardonnay, so it’s whites from sun up to sundown; there are so many ways to taste wines, so don’t wait – get on to The County!

Final tip – Enjoy yourself, it’s a time of discovery.

What about the Easter Bunny?

Elycia at Harwood in bunny earsIn case you’re wondering about the Easter Bunny I mentioned at the top…here’s how I ‘found’ it:

My last stop (or you could say hop) in the afternoon before heading back to Ottawa was at Harwood Estates, where Elycia showed off her prowess in the wine domaine by explaining each & every one of Harwoods great wines. There was a nice cosy spot at the tasting bar to munch my sandwich (originally destined for a road-stop on the 401) while I learned about the little-known variety of St. Laurent from this very friendly bunny…oops I mean Elycia! My discovery of the day was Admiral’s Blend,  a blend of estate Pinot Noir & St. Laurent which is medium-bodied with aromas of cherry, coffee and cardamom. A complex palate of Asian spice, cherry and chocolate

Can you imagine my surprise when I came away from a winery visit with a chocolate bunny! Another great day in Prince Edward County & thank you Harwood Estates.

Enjoy your travels & call on me as well as the others in the Savvy Team anytime on 613-SAVVYCO (728-8926) or cheers@savvycompany.ca  for suggestions of wineries to visit all across Ontario.

A presto!

-Amanda

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A warm County welcome at Karlo Estates

Posted by Debbie

Monday, April 29th, 2013
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Savvy Selections wine of the month club
Featuring Karlo Estates
–  April 2013 –

 

The month of April has been all about Prince Edward County for us at Savvy Company.  We are delighted to be hosting the 2nd annual County in the City wine tasting showcasing a number of County’s winemakers and their latest wines.  In addition to this Taste and Buy event, in this month’s Savvy Selections, we are shining the spotlight on the rapidly growing County winery: Karlo Estates

In your Savvy Selections, you will find:

Pinot Gris VQA 2012 you are the first to enjoy this wine as it was bottled just in time to be included in Savvy Selections.

Cabernet Franc VQA 2011 Christen your 1st BBQ of the season by uncorking this red wine.

Quintus VQA 2010 – a unique blend of five Old World grape varietals; Cabernet Franc, Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Malbec & Petit Verdot. This can be cellared for 5+ years.

OPTIONAL WINES: Karlo makes The County’s only port wines.  If you requested a bottle or two of the VanAlstine Red or White port in your delivery…you’re in for a treat!

During the harvest last year, we were hired by a corporate client to organize a day tour of The County.  Many of the Sommeliers in our Savvy Team have visited ‘The County’, so, I invited our Marketing Co-ordinator Amanda Jackson to join me on this day trip as she hadn’t visited yet. Enthusiastic & enchanted by the place & the people we visited, I also invited Amanda to write this month’s Savvy eZine with me.

On the following pages, Amanda gives you her first impressions of The County & of her visit to Karlo Estates.  You will find my sommelier tasting notes along with recipes from my  kitchen that would pair with the featured wines.

Cheers & Enjoy!

Debbie & Savvy Team

 

Introducing…
Karlo Estates Winery 

Presented by Amanda Jackson

 

Rarely a day goes by at the Savvy Company office without someone mentioning Prince Edward County…or ‘The County’ as it is also fondly known.  This rapidly growing wine region is flourishing with many family run & boutique wineries.  Due to the small supply of wines made (at the moment!), it is not common to find County wines in the LCBO, unless you come to our Savvy Events or occasionally you might see them on a restaurant wine list. Personally, I have not tasted many County wines so when Debbie invited me to join her on a private tour, I jumped at the chance – I like meeting new people and tasting new wines, so this was a real day out for me!

My first impression of The County

I was AMAZED. Starting with the brief & beautiful ferry ride across the Bay,  driving along the main streets of the quaint town of Picton, enjoying the scenic countryside , meeting the down-to-earth winemakers who welcomed us at each stop….and of course the impressive wines.

Karlo Estates was the last winery we visited during our action-packed tour.  Debbie often talks about Karlo Estates and now I understand why it’s on her ‘must visit’ list when clients ask her for trip tips.

“Watch out, Richard’s laugh is infectious! You will hear him before you see him.” Debbie described the larger-than-life and genuine character of none other than winery owner and winemaker Richard Karlo.

This wine maker started young

Richard grew up making wine – literally.  He began at the young age of 8 watching his father make wine at home.  Fast forward many years, Rich joined the Amateur Winemakers of Ontario (AWO) knowing far too well that crafting wine would become more than just a hobby.  While the group is called “Amateur” they are really anything but.  The AWO is where like-minded winemakers get together to learn new techniques from one another & exchange ideas about the winemaking process.  And Richard did not stop there.  He has gone on to achieve the designation of Master Winemaker – his father must have been proud.

…and became a wine achiever!

During our visit, I learned that Richard has been winning awards for his wines long before he had his own winery.  He turned heads when his first release of the 2008 Van Alstine Port was named by Master Sommelier John Szabo as one of the “Top 10 Cutting Edge Wines of the World”. What an honour!  If you had requested a bottle of this port to be included in this month`s delivery – enjoy this world class wine. It is a favorite in my home and I make a point of recommending it to my friends who enjoy port And Richard is winning awards for his business too.  While we were on the tour, he was excited to  share his most recent news: he was just named a 2012 finalist of the Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year Award. Obviously Karlo Estates Winery is one to watch on many levels!

The pride that everyone involved in the winery has for their wines, as well as their growing business is evident.  The large red barn, dating to the Loyalist settlement in the early 1900s, has wine barrels tucked into every corner.  The warm lighting in the barn was inviting, and made me feel more like going into someone’s living room because the ambiance that Richard and his partner Sherry Martin made us feel so welcome to be in this beautifully preserved barn that they have lovingly revitalized over the years.  “We intentionally left the barn rustic because we didn’t want to change the character and charm of the building”, Sherry explained as she lead our group up to the second floor into her art studio that doubles as a private tasting bar.

Tasting our way through the Karlo wine list

As we sipped & enjoyed each and every one of the wines on Karlo’s wine list (all eight of them!), Sherry had a personal story for each wine as well as offering us tips of her never fail wine appreciation how to’s using our Eyes, Nose and Mouth.

My first wine tour of The County including our lovely afternoon spent visiting Karlo Estates was definitely a  memorable one – and soon to be repeated!.  I couldn’t wait to share stories with friends & family and others in the Savvy Team of allf the new discoveries we had made that day. I am confident that you too will enjoy your Karlo wines that Debbie and our Sommeliers selected for you.  I highly recommend you visit Karlo Estates on your next getaway to The County.

An accomplished winemaker and bridge builder

When you visit Karlo, be sure to take a walk to the middle of the vineyard to admire the bridge that arches over the creek running between two vineyards. This bridge was a ‘weekend project’ hand built by Rich, stonemasons & friends in 2007. And as if one project was not enough, they also built the stone wall around the heritage barn using pieces of limestone from the property. Both were constructed using a technique known as dry stone construction – hand built by fitting stones together – no mortar (or glue) is used. This is the connection to the keystone with the ‘K’ on the top of each cork & on the wine label.

 Cheers & enjoy your Savvy Selections!

 

 

~ SAVVY SOMMELIER TASTING NOTES ~

Pinot Gris VQA 2011, $21.00

This wine is not even available yet at the winery! Bottled just in time to be included in your Savvy Selections, this is a delicious spring time sipping wine. If you see a light copper hue to the wine, don`t be alarmed as more winemakers are crafting Pinot Gris leaving them on their skins for a bit longer than typical for making white wine.

Fully ripened Pinot Gris grapes have a bronze like colour to them, so winemakers sometimes leave the juice in contact with the skins for longer than usual white wine making techniques to extract a warm hued colour that adds to the character of the wine. Taking this approach, you find Pinot Gris from clear pale white to those that will remind with a salmon colour of a Rosé wine. Either way it comes in the glass you will enjoy the crisp, dry & refreshing taste.

Savvy Sommelier Tasting Notes: Refreshing aromas of crunchy apple (or perhaps it is apple sauce?), fresh juicy pear with a warmth of nutmeg. With each sip, the apple & pear continues with honey, bees wax & a nice acidity in the texture that gives it a zip in the finish. And that finish doesn`t go away! It lingers forever.

Suggested Food Pairing: As mentioned before, this is a great sipping wine & can be enjoyed on its own after being chilled for 30 minutes in the fridge.  Serve with hors d’oeuvres, pork chops or the Pistachio Crusted Sea Scallops – recipe follows.


Cabernet Franc VQA 2011 $24.00

From the outstanding 2010 vintage, this wine will not disappoint. Rich shows his talent in this wine as it is delicious & extremely well crafted. Enjoy!

Savvy Sommelier Tasting Notes: ‘This wine makes me hungry’, Savvy Sommelier Debbie declared as she swirls & sips this Cabernet Franc.  Plush aromas of dark plums, warm spices & wood that carries into the taste adding in dark chocolate, ripe juicy cherry with some roasted red pepper. There are subtle tannins that will fall into the background as soon as you introduce food – especially grilled meats hot off the BBQ.  This is a well balanced medium bodied wine with a long finish that begs you to have another sip…and another…and another.

Suggested Food Pairing:  Winter is behind us, it is time to fire up the BBQ and grill everything under the sun! Debbie offers her Coffee Steak Rub recipe to kick start your BBQ season.  Yes…coffee! Double the recipe & keep in a jar in the fridge for anytime you fire up the BBQ.

Cellaring:  This wine is ready to be enjoyed now or will continue to soften if you lay down in your cellar for 2 to 3 more years.  But why wait?

 

Quintus VQA 2010 $35.00

Ready for something BIG? Made with grapes that Rich sources from vineyards throughout the province (this is why it states VQA Ontario on the label), this is a unique blend of grapes from the impressive 2010 vintage.  This is a blend of 40% Merlot, 20% Cabernet Sauvignon, 15% Cabernet Franc, 15% Petit Verdot and 10% Malbec. This wine has the staying power to last in your cellar for many years to come.

Savvy Sommelier Tasting Notes:  Everything about this wine in black – ink in colour then continues into the heavy aromas of black fruit (think dried figs, prunes, dates) with tastes of fresh earth (the smell of turning over the soil in your garden in the spring), freshly ground black pepper, Austrian black licorice with a punch of blackberry cassis. Full bodied with good tannins and a long deep & warm finish.  Gorgeous!  A real treat to drink.

Suggested Food Pairing:  Bring on the beef! Prime rib or roast beef with all of the trimmings.

Decanting & Cellaring:  Recommend to decant for 2 hours before serving.  Drinks well now & it will also cellar 4-6 years.

 

~RECIPES TO ENJOY WITH YOUR SAVVY SELECTIONS~  

With Karlo Estates Pinot Gris VQA 2011…

Pistachio Crusted Sea Scallops

From the kitchen of Savvy Sommelier Debbie Trenholm 
Serves 4

Ingredients

8 Large Sea Scallops (size U-10)
200g unsalted pistachios, shelled and lightly toasted
150g fresh bread crumbs
4 sprigs fresh thyme, chopped fine
1 lemon, juiced
75 ml grainy mustard
75 ml sour cream
Ground black pepper, to taste
Sea salt – to taste
100ml Canola oil

 

Method
Preheat oven to 375 F

Place chilled scallops on a paper towel for 2 minutes to absorb any surface liquid.  Season liberally with salt and pepper and let sit for 10 minutes.

Blend toasted pistachios in a food processor until fine.  Mix with bread crumbs and thyme and season with salt and pepper.

Coat pan with oil and heat until very hot.  Sear scallops on one side until brown and crisp (2 minutes).  Remove scallops from pan and place on parchment lined baking sheet, seared side up.

Mix sour cream, mustard and lemon juice and spoon over each scallop.

Press the seared side into the bread mixture to form a crust.  Bake for 2-3 minutes.

Serve as an entree or over a salad of spring greens.

 

With Karlo Estates Cabernet Franc VQA 2010

Coffee Rub for BBQ steak

From the kitchen of Savvy Sommelier Debbie Trenholm 
Serves 4

Savvy Sommelier Debbie first enjoyed this recipe at a backyard BBQ at Charlie Pillitteri (of Pillitteri Estates Winery in Niagara-on-the-Lake). Think coffee on steak is strange? Think again! The coffee beans caramelized while BBQing, offering a rich earthy flavour that will be enhanced with this robust wine.

Ingredients

½ cup whole coffee beans
¼ cup black peppercorns
¼ cup Montreal Steak spice
Steaks – any type of cut – as you like them!

 Method

With an electric coffee grinder, whiz coffee beans and peppercorns lightly.  The result should be a coarse mixture.
In a bowl add ground mixture with Montreal Steak spice. This recipe can be doubled and stored in a jar or Ziploc container in the fridge.
When ready to BBQ, rub ample amount of mixture on both sides of steak.Set aside for 20-30 minutes before putting on the grill.
Cook steak to your liking & serve with grilled asparagus & other springtime vegetables.

 

With Karlo Estates Quintus VQA 2010…

Dijon Herbed Prime Rib

Farm Boy weekly recipes
Serves 4 to 6 – depending on the size of meat

Ingredients

1Tbsp Balsamic vinegar
1/4 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. Then place the roast in a roasting pan.
Mix the remaining ingredients into a paste and rub enire roast evenly.
Roast for 25 minutes then reduce heat to 350 F and continue cooking for about 1 and a 1/2 hours or until internal temperature reaches 135 F(for rare).
Transfer roast to a cutting board and allow to rest for 15 minutes before carving. Serve with your favorite mashed potatoes recipe or buttered beets!

 

With Karlo Estates VanAlstine Ports…

Hazelnut Torte

It is not often that we include a dessert recipe, yet both the Karlo Estates ports would be great with this nut & slightly sweet dessert.

From Debbie’s kitchen – a perfect make ahead dessert that adds WOW factor to any dinner party
Serves 8 to 10
This recipe doubles well & cake layers can be frozen until needed.

Ingredients

Torte

4 eggs
¾ c white sugar
2 T flour
2 ½ tsp baking powder
1 c hazelnuts

Mocha filling

2 T butter
½ t vanilla
1 c icing sugar
1 tsp cocoa – heck, put more in!
2 T strong hot coffee

Icing

325 mL container of 35% cream – whipped with a drizzle of Tia Maria (or white sugar) folded in at the end to lightly sweeten.

 

Method – Torte

In processor/blender whirl eggs & sugar until thoroughly mixed.
Add flour, baking powder and hazelnuts.  Whirl away.
Chop nuts – but not too fine! Keep some chunky bits.
Pour into 2 well greased & floured layer pans (circular) and bake at 350 for 20 mins.

 

Method – Filling & Finishing

Cream icing sugar & butter.  Add strong coffee, cocoa & vanilla and mix until smooth
Spread between layers. (Lick beaters until absolutely clean that you don’t need to wash them!)
Cover top & sides with whipped cream. Decorate as you like
TIP: Best if cake is made a day ahead to allow flavours to mellow.

 

 Debbie’s tasting notes for the unique ports made in The County…

WHITE Van Alstine Port 2010 – A unique wine is a blend of Frontenac Blanc & Gewürztraminer grapes, this lightly sweet wine has aromas of fresh apricots, mandarin & flowers leap from the glass that continues through in the taste with a refreshing acidity combined with toasted nuts (hazelnut perhaps?). Serve slightly chilled with light & refreshing desserts such as fruit salad, lemon tart or pound cakes…or this torte!

 

RED Van Alstine Port 2009 – A delicious dark colour with concentrated aromas of black cherry, blackberry, dark fruit cake & warm spices that continue along with tastes of red liquorice & cedar. Aged in French & Hungarian oak barrels, this delicious port has a finish that warms you up with each sip.  Bring on desserts with dark chocolate or enjoy with a plate of artisan cheeses & roasted nuts.  This torte has just the right combination of nut and chocolate tastes without going overboard with sweetness.  You might want to chill the port for 15 minutes in the fridge before serving.  Notice how the taste changes as the port warms up.

  

Enjoy your Savvy Selections!

 

 

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