Posts Tagged ‘Sommelier wine suggestions’

Discover Canada’s REAL Cranberry in The Muskokas

Posted by Susan

Tuesday, November 11th, 2014
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Looking for a getaway over the weekend?  Try visiting the Muskokas where there’s lots to see & do. Here’s something you might not have thought of….be sure to visit Johnston’s Cranberry Marsh & Muskoka Lakes Winery.  On our fall getaway, my husband & I hit a spot of bad weather & were drowned in over 100 mm of rain, which meant that our planned golf games were cancelled – greens were flooded, beaver dams were giving way there was water everywhere!

Johnston's CranberriesWhat to do when your planned game goes, literally, down the drain? Head for the small hamlet of Bala and find your way to Johnston’s Cranberry Marsh and Muskoka Lakes Winery.

The marsh is open year round and offers a fascinating walking tour that provides a great education into the production of cranberries, one of Canada’s few native fruits. No, they don’t grow in water.

The ideal cranberry marsh is dug from a peat-based soil with a stream or river nearby. The woody vines, growing low to the ground, are systematically flooded in spring to discourage insects and disease, then the berries grow dry through the summer, with the marsh flooded once again in the fall to float the berries for harvest.

Orville Johnston, who studied agriculture at my alma mater, McGill University, dreamed of a thriving cranberry industry, so he bought ideal land in the Muskokas and dug the first marsh in the late 1950s. His son, Murray, also studied agriculture (at Guelph University) and to this day carries on the cranberry marsh tradition with his family.

Muskoka LakesMurray and his wife (her family owned Gooderham and Worts Distillery and her fascination with wine led her to train as a sommelier) established Muskoka Lakes Winery in 2000, with a goal ‘to take locally grown fruit and use traditional methods to craft artisanal wine.’ Their Cranberry and Cranberry Blueberry wines, as well as the Red Maple dessert wine have won awards at the Canadian Wine Championships, and are available at the LCBO.

 

Cool Cranberry Wines

 

Muskoka Lakes Cranberry Wine 2013

Canada $15.95 (609701) 9.5% alcohol

Off-dry and fruit forward, this wine is true to its source, with aromas and flavours of lively fresh cranberry. Fermented in stainless to showcase the fruit, it’s light-medium bodied, tangy in texture and zesty through the refreshing finish. With turkey, of course!!

 

Muskoka Lakes Cranberry Blueberry Wine 2013

Canada $16.95 (609719) 10.5% alcohol

Equal proportions of cranberries and local wild blueberries are fermented together to produce a tangy, off-dry wine that offers a silky texture and fine berry aromas and flavours. It’s crisp and lively, the sweet fruit persisting on the palate, elusive notes of dried herbs and nut lingering on the finish. Slightly chilled this wine is a pleasant sipper but also a great match for roast turkey or chicken.

 

Muskoka Lakes Red Maple 2012

Canada $23.95 (50039) 15.0% alcohol (375ml)

A fortified wine, this dessert treat adds maple syrup to the cranberry wine after fermentation. The fruit shines through, with interesting notes of smoke, earth and spice. Lush and sweet, it’s fresh in texture, the purity of the cranberry and its zesty acidity shining through. A great marriage of the mouth-filling sweetness of maple and the crisp tartness of cranberry. Enjoy with a chocolate dessert.

Cheers & Enjoy these Muskoka Lakes cranberry wines!
Susan

 

 

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Back to ‘wine’ school – Class #2: Tasting, buying, giving & storing your wine

Posted by Amanda

Friday, September 6th, 2013
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Homework never tasted this good! Here’s class #2 in our Wine 101 series of tips & tricks from our Savvy Sommeliers about tasting wine, buying, giving & storing wines. Grab a glass and unwind as you read these useful tidbits.  Cheers!

Wine 101: Tasting wine

Enjoying wine is not just about the drinking of it…

Look at the way it catches the light; breathe in the multitude of aromas in each glass. Savour the flavours on your palate. Engage all of your senses!  Invite some friends & let your guests exercise their free will! If you’re serving a meal that could go with red or white, let your guests choose for themselves through a mini wine-tasting session.

We can’t say it often enough – always start with sparkling

Popping open a bubbly helps sets the mood, cleanses the palate and gets people eager to discover what’s coming next.

Mark your calendar

Beaujolais Nouveau is released every year on the third Thursday of November. It should be consumed before Christmas if you want to enjoy the wine’s full vibrancy and flavour.

About wine glasses

Some people are skeptical, but we guarantee it’s true: the shape of your glassware does make a difference to the way you experience a glass of wine. From big bowls for reds to flutes for sparklings, each glass pours the wine over your palate in a way that enlivens its flavours. Don’t take our word for it: test it yourself!

Wine 101: Buying wine

Don’t give up…

If your local liquor store doesn’t have what you’re looking for, you can have wine delivered to your home—direct from the winemaker, through a wine club or (and of course we strongly recommend) as part of a Savvy Selections subscription.

A new way to buy wine

Join Savvy Selections– the largest wine of the month club in Ontario. It’s easy and you can sample wines from all the different wineries in Ontario with 3 different wines coming right to your door every month.  Our Savvy Sommeliers hand pick the best wines for you to try every month.

Share a case!

Wineries often ship in volume—six or 12 bottles to a case. So why not order your favourite and share it around: with colleagues, friends or neighbours?

Wine 101: Giving wine

The gift that keeps on giving

We love flowers, but the fragrant bouquet of a brilliant wine can be every bit as special a gift. Celebrate the next special occasion on your calendar with the gift of a great bottle. Giving wine as a gift? Our Savvy Selections wine of the month club is the gift that keeps on givingsign up here for a Christmas or birthday present for your favorite someone. 

Don’t worry about a card with your wine gift

Write a personal message directly on the bottle with a metallic glass marker. It’s the height of personalization.

Wine 101: Storing wine

To fridge or not to fridge?

There are many different type of wine fridges on the market.  The decision that you need to make is mainly about how many you want to store in the fridge.  There are some that are divided into racks for white wine & red wines with different temperatures for the sections of the fridge. You can find basic ones at Canadian Tire & Costco or go fancy with units from Chefs Paradise (on Bank Street) or Wine Cellars Solutions

Which wines to cellar?

Take a cue from the bottle.  Wines in darker glass bottles are intended to keep longer—the coloured glass refracts the light to protect the contents.

Not all ports are the same

Vintage port is the only one that should be aged and a lonnnnnnnnnnnnnnng time.  Frankly, they should be opened once your grandkids are in their 20s. Vintage port is clearly labelled as Vintage port & should simply be stored in a cool dark place – no need for a fridge. All other ports should be consumed & will not improve with age or a fridge.  If you have some Ruby or Tawny ports that are already 15 to 20 years old, their quality is questionable & may have already plateaued.  Best to open to see what they taste like & simply enjoy.

Drink your scotch now

Scotch whisky does not improve with age.  It is already aged & ready to be enjoyed when you are ready to open.

Wine 101: Planning a Party?

Savvy Company can organize your next corporate event or wine tasting with friends. Let us do the work while you sit back and enjoy wine, beer & cheese with your friends & colleagues.  For any  questions relating to wine, craft beer & artisan cheese, email us or call our Savvy Team anytime 613-SAVVYCO  (613) 728-8926.

Cheers!

Amanda

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