You need to upgrade your Flash Player This is replaced by the Flash content. Place your alternate content here and users without the Flash plugin or with Javascript turned off will see this. Content here allows you to leave out noscript tags. Include a link to bypass the detection if you wish.

Posts Tagged ‘Southbrook Vineyards’

It’s ALL Outstanding!

Posted by Debbie

Wednesday, November 15th, 2017
Share

A cool shopping experience awaits at Outstanding in their Fields Taste & Buy .  It’s our 6th annual event were you’ll discover hard-to-find wines, craft beers & ciders from all across Ontario & Quebec. Here is a peek of what will be open for you to sip & sample.

Got your Tickets?

Our Taste & Buy events always sell out.  AND we know that everyone has a full calendar at this time of the year, so we are are hosting Outstanding in their Fields – in 2 places. 

Almonte – Wednesday November 22
More deets & buy tickets >>

Ottawa – Thursday November 23
More deets & buy tickets >>

Mark our words, it will be our BIGGEST Taste & Buy event – EVER! Guaranteed to get you geared up for holiday parties AND a head start on shopping for gifts.

 

Have a look who is coming  to Ottawa from Lake Erie North Shore, Prince Edward County, Niagara, Ottawa Valley & Quebec too!

4 DEGREES BREWING CO.

True North of 7 $2.75

True South of 7 $2.75

Frost & Wood 55 $3.00

Old Slys ’69 $3.00

CARTWRIGHT SPRINGS BREWERY  

SMASH $3.99 (473 ml can)

Pakenham Bitter $3.99 (473 ml can)

Kinburn Honey Lager $3.99 (473 ml can)

Chocolate Stout $3.99 (473 ml can)

 

BROKEN STONE WINERY

2017 Rosie Poésie $19.95

2016 Chardonnay Barrel Reserve $22.95

2016 Cabernet Franc $19.95

2016 Exuberance Sparkling Riesling $24.95

 

CASA-DEA ESTATES WINERY

2016 Dea’s Cuvée Sparkling $20.95

2016 Melon de Bourgogne $20.95

2012 Pinot Noir $19.95 (regular $21.95)

2012 Desidario $22.95

2014 Cabernet Franc Reserve $26.95  

 

CREEKSIDE ESTATE WINERY

2016 Marianne Hill Riesling $22.00

2016 Iconoclast Semillon/Sauvignon Blanc $23.00  (AWARD ALERT!!! Won Best of Show White Wine at last week’s Royal Winter Fair)

2016 Pinot Noir Rose $23.00

2015 Shiraz Cabernet $19.95

2015 Laura’s Red $22.00

2015 Iconoclast Syrah $25.00

 

FARMGATE CIDER

Mid Season Dry (500ml) $10

Mid Season Off Dry (500ml) $10

Wild Apple (500ml) $10

Blush (500ml) $10

 

 

FERME GUY RIVEST

Crème de Fraises $18.00

Perles de Fraises $15.00

 

HUFF ESTATES WINERY

2011 Cuvee Janine (Rosé) Sparkling $30.00

2016 Riesling Off Dry $20.00

2016 Pinot Gris $22.00

2016 Rosé Price $19.00

2015 South Bay Merlot $35.00

 

KARLO ESTATES 

2016 Lake on the Mountain Riesling $19.00

2016 Gewürztraminer $22.00

2016 Estate Grown Chardonnay $35.00

2016 Patio Reserve Rosé $18.00

2016 Marquette $20.00

2016 Estate Grown Pinot Noir $65.00

2016 VanAlstine White $45.00

2016 VanAlstine Red $39.00

 

KEINTHE WINERY & VINEYARDS

2015 Voyageur Gewurztraminer $20.00

2014 Portage Chardonnay $25.00

2013 Frost Road Chardonnay $30.00

2014 Portage Pinot Noir $30.00

2013 Queenston Road Pinot Noir $30.00

 

KIN VINEYARDS

2016 Understory Vidal Blanc – $19.95

2016 Civil Grit Chardonnay – $22.95

2016 KIN Chardonnay – $29.95

2016 KIN Pinot Noir – $29.95

 

LEGENDS ESTATES WINERY

2013 Sauvignon Blanc Reserve $16.95

2013 Chardonnay Reserve $18.95

2012 Cabernet Sauvignon Reserve $21.95

2012 Merlot Reserve $21.95

2012 Petit Verdot Reserve $22.95

2012 Shiraz Reserve $23.95

 

LONDON BORN WINE CO.

2015 Aure Blanc De Noirs Sec $22.95 (a unique Sparkling White Gamay)

2016 Viognier $15.95

2016 Pinot Blanc $16.95

2015 Marechal Foch $27.95

2012 Aure Reserve Cabernet Franc $35.00

 

MELDVILLE WINES

2016 Chardonnay $20.20

2016 Sauvignon Blanc $20.20

2016 Canadian Oak Chardonnay $27.20

2016 Pinot Noir $27.20

2016 Syrah $27.20

2015 Cabernet Franc $27.20

 

ROSEWOOD ESTATES WINERY

2016 Süssreserve Riesling $15.95

2015 Origin Riesling $15.95

2016 Locked & Loaded White $16.95

2015 Locked & Loaded Red $19.95

 

SOUTHBROOK VINEYARDS

2013 Poetica Chardonnay $49.95

2016 Estate Cabernet Rosé $29.95

2016 Triomphe Organic Cabernet Franc $24.95

2013 Poetica Red $69.95

2014 Organic Vidal Icewine $49.95 (375 ml bottle)

 

SPRUCEWOOD SHORES ESTATE WINERY

2016 Sparkling Riesling $20.15

2016 Rosé $16.15

2016 Unoaked Chardonnay $14.95

2015 Cabernet Sauvignon $18.15

2015 Meritage Hawk’s Flight Reserve $25.15

 

THE GOOD EARTH FOOD & WINE CO.

2016 Pinot Grigio $17.95

2015 Chardonnay $24.95

2015 Gamay Noir $21.95

2015 Pinot Noir $24.95

TWO SISTERS VINEYARDS

2016 Sauvignon Blanc $34.00

2013 Eleventh Post $42.00

2013 Cabernet Franc $49.00

 

VIENI ESTATES WINES

Momenti Sparkling $13.95

2013 Classic Brut $19.95

2012 Bruce Trail Red Sparkling $12.95 (Reg $15.95)

2016 Pinot Grigio $14.95

2014 Red Trillium Ripasso $16.95

2013 Aglianico Reserve $24.95

2014 Sparkling Vidal Icewine $49.95

Maple Brandy $59.95

 

VIGNOBLE CARONE WINE

2015 BIN 33 Red $17.00

2014 VERITÀ Red $18.00

 

WESTCOTT VINEYARDS

2016 Violette Sparkling Brut $25.95

2013 Brilliant Sparkling $32.95

2016 Estate Chardonnay $25.95

2013 Estate Pinot Noir $30.00

2015 Estate Pinot Noir $30.00

 

 

Can’t come to the event? You can still order…

Order online & we’ll ship anywhere in Ontario. Call the Savvy Team on 613-SAVVYCO (728-8926) or cheers@savvycompany.ca for the complete list of wines, craft beers & ciders you can order. We’ll even help you make your shopping list!

FREE delivery applies to orders received by midnight on Sunday November 26.

 

 

Share

We’re expanding! Now featuring BC & NS wines too

Posted by Susan

Sunday, July 30th, 2017
Share

In this month’s Savvy Selections to celebrate Canada’s 150th, we are expanding our scope to include wineries from across the country – from coast to coast.  We are SUPER excited to start this wine soaked trip across Canada with the acclaimed wines of Benjamin Bridge from the Annapolis Valley in Nova Scotia. The closest town is Wolfville – home of Acadia University.

This family-owned winery dedicates itself to the production of world-class ‘méthode classique’ sparkling wines (winespeak: Champagne style) and aromatic whites.

The vision of Gerry McConnell, the heart of his late wife Dara Gordon, and the commitment of his twin daughters Ashley and Devon melded to create an unparalleled success in ‘The Valley’. The McConnell-Gordon family, with their noted international consulting team of Peter Gamble & Ann Sperling (you’ll recognize her name from our features with Southbrook Vineyards & Malivoire Wines in Niagara), selected a well-protected micro-climate at the head of the Gaspereau Valley. They turned their attention to producing sparkling wines from classic Champagne grapes, unlike the pioneers of the early wine industry, who planted hardy hybrid grape varieties that could withstand the cool climate rigors. The result – Benjamin Bridge Brut Reserve 2004 outscored Roederer Cristal 2004 in a blinding tasting of 15 sommeliers and wine writers hosted by Canoe Restaurant in Toronto in August 2013!

 

World Class Wines

With their partner grape growers, the McConnell-Gordon family has gone on to make wine with other vinifera grapes, including Cabernet Franc and Riesling. They participated in the creation of the Nova Scotia appellation of Tidal Bay, a standard for vibrant aromatic white wines requiring rigorous adherence to quality, blending and taste. The goal of this appellation – to showcase the excellence of Nova Scotia’s best hybrid white blend.  Yes, you get to taste a sampling of all these in this month’s Savvy Selections!

 

Get ready to pop the cork & enjoy your Savvy Selections…

To get the Canada 150 celebration started, we selected:

Brut NVan elegant bubbly wine, reflecting the particular style of Benjamin Bridge, to sip and savour or pair with appetizers, salads and light summer meals.
Riesling 2015 – the sea breeze in a glass, this is silky yet lively and clean.
Tidal Bay 2016 – a blend unique to Nova Scotia, light, bright and refreshing!

 

An optional wine many of our subscribers asked us to include in their delivery is the signature Nova 7 – a lightly effervescent, low in alcohol with clean tangy & sweet fruit flavors that makes it an ideal sipping wine or a match for soft cheese or a lemon tart. This is the only NS wine currently available in LCBO Vintages so we did not include it in the Savvy Selections… however it quickly sells out.  If you can’t find it in Vintages (LCBO product #256289) – let us know and we’ll order it for you… it is hands down delicious!

 

More NS at your table . . . At anytime you would like more Benjamin Bridge wines, call us at 613-SAVVYCO (728-8926) or send me an email to debbie@savvycompany.ca and we will make the special arrangements for you.

 

Introducing…
Benjamin Bridge

Presented by Sommelier Susan Desjardins

Gerry McConnell and Dara Gordon’s move to the Wolfville area in the late 1990s, when their twin daughters Ashley and Devon began high school, meant the commute to their law practices included driving through the Gaspereau Valley. On this daily drive, Gerry noticed Hans Christian Jost – one of the pioneers of the Nova Scotia wine industry – planting his Gaspereau Vineyards estate. Through their work Gerry and Dara, had also been to some of South Africa’s acclaimed wine regions, and had tasted some of the excellent sparkling wines from the Stellenbosch appellation. As he drove, the proud Maritimer mused “What would it take to produce world-class wines in Nova Scotia?” That question was about to be answered when in 1999, they purchased the 60-acre Westcott farm. Located at the head of the Gaspereau Valley, on a south-facing slope beside the river, the family quest began to develop and showcase the best of Nova Scotia wines – with Benjamin Bridge the imprimatur on every bottle.

 

The Early Years

It’s said that it takes a village to raise a child. In the case of Benjamin Bridge wines, it could be said that it took a family, experienced committed experts and a willing local industry to launch this unique venture. Ashley , now a Vice President with Benjamin Bridge, laughs as she says “I remember spending summers of high school clearing the fields and planting vines.”

Gerry sought out Hans Christian Jost, who willingly shared his experiences with grape varieties, local growers, growing conditions and the many other factors influencing the wine industry in Nova Scotia.  Recognizing he needed help to implement his vision, Gerry approached renowned Canadian wine consultants, Peter Gamble and his partner Ann Sperling, to advise on the shape the winery should take. With Ashley and Devon’s help, the first 5 acres were planted in 2001, with a focus on grapes for sparkling wines and aromatic white wines. At the recommendation of the Gamble/Sperling team, Gerry approached renowned Champagne expert Raphael Brisebois to meet with them, tour Nova Scotia wine estates, and assess the potential for making world-class sparkling wines.

Impressed with the potential, Brisebois agreed to consult and in 2002, the first experimental sparklings were made to assess terroir, varieties, structure and aromatics. More acres were planted, more experiments undertaken. 2004 was the coolest growing season in a couple of decades, yet the quality of the grapes met Brisebois’ exacting standards – and this vintage later became the winery’s inaugural release.  And the risks that the Benjamin Bridge team was willing to take opened the door for other Nova Scotia wineries to pursue a sparkling wine program.

 

The Unique Terroir

The Benjamin Bridge estate sits at the relatively sheltered, narrow head of the Gaspereau Valley, a mere 4 kilometres from the Minas Basin. At the heart of a cool, maritime climate, the valley benefits further from the massive tidal shifts in the Minas Basin, which bring cool breezes and moisture to the vineyards in the summer, and create an open body of water in the winter that helps protect the more delicate vinifera varieties grown on the estate. The narrowness of the valley and its slight westward tilt mean that ambient temperatures can be up to 2C higher than other sites, providing more degree days for optimal ripening.

While this is a region of high rainfall, the autumn tends to be dry, causing stress in the vines which leads to better development of chemical components that enhance flavours. Fall temperatures extend the growing season, maximizing the aromatic intensity and the bright acidity of the grapes.

The young alluvial soils include deposits of sand, gravel, pebbles and cobbles, unlike the Champagne region, where chalk is dominant. However, at deeper levels, there is a layer of clay veined with sand and gravel that provides a water-holding capacity similar to the chalk found in the Champagne landscape.

This is, however, a cool climate that challenges growers on a regular basis. At times, humidity in the evening can reach 100%, so downy mildew is a key challenge. And the uncontrollable weather is a major factor. For instance, the extreme cold of the winter of 2006 meant a minimal harvest of the vinifera grapes – there was no classic sparkling wine made during that vintage.

The Team

After a long search, Jean-Benoit Deslauriers (in above photo left with Gord McConnell– credit Chronicle Herald)  )was hired in 2008 to join the winemaking team – he is now head winemaker. Jean-Benoit had prior experience with organic and biodynamic viticulture and winemaking in Chile’s maritime-influenced Casablanca Valley, as well as in Monterrey, California, where cold Pacific Ocean currents have a significant influence on growing conditions and create ideal conditions for growing Pinot Noir and Chardonnay.

During my phone interview, Ashley and viticulturalist Scott Savoy talked about Jean-Benoit’s unique contribution to Benjamin Bridge:

“Jean-Benoit is a genius at what he does. He brought experience with bio-dynamic winemaking, but also a sensitivity to the terroir and a commitment to letting the grapes speak for themselves – a commitment to transparency of the terroir. There’s a sense of craftsmanship to everything he does. He has embraced the brightness, the acidity, and the freshness of the styles of wine produced in Nova Scotia.”

In 2009, Dara had wound down her legal practice and was taking on responsibility for the development and operations of the winery, working closely with Jean-Benoit. But a crushing blow occurred with her terminal diagnosis in that year. Ashley and Devon were just completing university, and rushed back to the estate to be with her. Dara transferred as much knowledge as possible to them prior to her untimely death in the fall of that year. The twins took on the role of partner with Jean-Benoit as the winery prepared for the 2010 release of its inaugural Benjamin Bridge Méthode Classique sparkling wines, the 2004 Brut Reserve and the 2004 Blanc de Noirs.

In 2011, Ontario had its first opportunity to taste a Benjamin Bridge wine – Nova 7 was made available for a private tasting in the spring of that year, and that is when I first learned of this Nova Scotia winery. The room was buzzing as we tasted this unknown wine – winemakers from across Canada couldn’t wait to taste it, amazed at the unique flavours and texture, the quality of the wine. I was delighted to see it released by LCBO Vintages in August, where I reviewed and rated it at 4.5/5. But more accolades were to follow, with an outstanding review of the 2004 Méthod Classique Brut Reserve from Beppi Crosariol of The Globe and Mail, who described the wine as ‘a sparkler that rivals Champagne.’ More accolades followed and, as they say, the rest is history . . .

But not really, because Gerry, Ashley, Devon and the Benjamin Bridge team will never be satisfied with the status quo.

While their sparkling wines often spend 5 or more years on the lees, they continue to experiment with other methods of achieving the distinctive creamy texture and richness of the wines, as an example, testing the use of neutral oak with some small batches to see if aging in this medium will produce comparable texture and richness.

Viticulturalist Scott Savoy, who joined the team in 2015, is working with Chris Westcott (who stayed on as vineyard manager after the McConnell-Gordon family bought his farm in 1999) to push the limits of viticulture in the valley. They have implemented a program of high-density planting that should allow them to crop less, while giving the vines the opportunity to ripen wood and set reserves (making them sturdier and more resistant to climate extremes).

They recently purchased the vineyard of Dr. Al McIntyre, who had been one of their principal growers, providing Chardonnay and Cabernet Franc grapes. While they currently have almost 70 acres planted to vine, their goal is to expand that to 90, with the majority being vinifera plantings.

As Ashley says, “It’s a never-ending process of experimentation, risk-taking and incremental change, with the goal of delivering world-class wines that showcase Nova Scotia’s winemaking potential.”  Enjoy this unique opportunity to sample the clean, fresh taste of Nova Scotia, brought to you by Benjamin Bridge and the McConnell-Gordon family!

In photo: Devon and Ashley walking with Jean-Benoit.
Photo Credit: Wines of Nova Scotia

 

 

~ SAVVY SOMMELIER TASTING NOTES ~

Savour this unique opportunity to sample 3 classic & unique Benjamin Bridge wines from Nova Scotia – the Méthode Classique Sparkling non-vintage presents a blend of wines from vintages reaching back to 2002, with extended periods of time on the lees; the Tidal Bay appellation wine gives you an opportunity to taste the quality of a blend that includes hybrid grape varieties; the Riesling displays the classic features of a grape variety that thrives in a cool climate.

 

Méthode Classique Brut Reserve NV, $27.95

This sparkling brut is made from a proprietary blend of wines crafted from l’Acadie Blanc, Vidal, Seyval, Pinot Noir and Chardonnay grapes. They were all hand harvested from the Benjamin Bridge estate, while the wine spent extended time on the lees (winespeak: on yeast) to achieve the classic creamy texture and richness that characterizes this ‘house’ style.

Sommelier Tasting Notes:  This harmonious blend of vintages and grapes shows lifted aromas of pear, citrus, biscuit, fine herbs and mineral. Underpinned by an expressive honed acidity, its ebullient, creamy texture is accented by the fine, persistent mousse. Refreshing flavours of lemon cream biscuits, grapefruit and lemon zest mingle with subtle notes of sour cherry and green apple. Dry, mid-weight, with a long-lasting slightly pithy finish, this is an impressive signature wine from Benjamin Bridge.

Suggested Food Pairings: Sparkling wine offers such versatility – serve it chilled to whet your guests’ appetites, pair it with a range of appetizers, especially fresh seafood, or enjoy it with poached salmon, grilled white fish, or a chicken Caesar salad.

Cellaring: Enjoy now and cellar up to 10 years.

 

Tidal Bay 2016, $21.95

This wine is a blend produced from unique hybrid grapes (l’Acadie Blanc, Seyval and Geisenheim) known for their resistance to the challenging climatic conditions in Nova Scotia. Wineries across the province producing this wine must meet specified blending requirements: l’Acadie Blanc (the signature grape of Nova Scotia) being the majority grape for the blend, and go through a rigorous technical assessment.

What is L’Acadie Blanc?  It is a Canadian hybrid created in Niagara in the early 1950s by crossing Cascade with Seyve-Villard grapes. While the residual sugar in the wine is relatively high, the vibrant acidity assures that the wine tastes dry.

Savvy Sommelier Tasting Notes:  Displaying an exotic, pungent nose of earthy mineral, tangy citrus and ripe stone fruit, the clean flavours of this light-medium bodied wine are framed by vibrant acidity.   The taste of grapefruit, passionfruit and crunchy apple paired with fine mineral and saline qualities really freshen up your palate.

Suggested Food Pairings: You’ll enjoy this bright, lively Nova Scotia classic wine with a goat-cheese and asparagus quiche, fresh oysters or shrimp, or with pan-fried halibut with a lemon-caper reduction.

Cellaring: Ready to drink now and cellarworthy for a further 5 years.

 

Riesling 2015, $30.95

This is the very first commercial release of a Riesling from Benjamin Bridge. The grapes were sourced from three distinct vineyards on the Bay of Fundy, each lot bringing its unique character from its own microclimate with soils ranging from gravel and clay to deep, sandy loam. The wine is wild fermented, meaning that the indigenous yeasts from the vineyards initiated the fermentation of the wine. Low in alcohol, with a relatively high residual sugar that gives it a nice fruity finish, it nevertheless showcases the cool climate with its clean fresh texture.

Savvy Sommelier Tasting Notes: The ocean and the land blend on the nose, notes of mineral, sea breeze, quince and citrus dominating. Dry on the palate, the first impression is of the silky texture, quickly followed by the bright acidity underlining the lively flavours of citrus, green apple and mineral. The finish is long and zesty, crisp and clean like a bite of a ripe green apple.

Suggested Food Pairings: Pair this wine with smoked trout or salmon canapés or salad, with stuffed pork tenderloin, or with chicken in all its manifestation.

Cellaring: Enjoy now or over the next 5-7 years.


 

~ RECIPES TO ENJOY WITH YOUR SAVVY SELECTIONS ~

Do it the Benjamin Bridge way!  Ashley explains, “We often have a ‘cinq à sept’ with friends (like Happy Hour), where we taste wines & have interesting appetizers.”

Consider preparing these 3 appetizers and inviting a few friends to sample all 3 of these fabulous Benjamin Bridge wines at your own cinq à sept.  If you and friends find some new favorites, call the Savvy Team to order more for you. . . Cheers!

 

With Benjamin Bridge Brut NV…
Roasted Mushroom and Brie Tart

Recipe & Photo credit: FoodlandOntario.ca
Serves 4-8

Ingredients

1 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1 Tbsp balsamic vinegar
1 ½ tsp Dijon mustard
1 clove garlic, minced
½ tsp dried thyme (or 1 ½ tsp fresh)
½ tsp each salt & freshly ground black pepper
12 oz. mixed fresh Ontario mushrooms
½ C thinly sliced Ontario shallots
Half package (375g) frozen puff pastry, thawed
½ C Ontario Brie cheese
2 Tbsp chopped fresh Ontario parsley or Cilantro

Method

Preheat oven to 400F.

In medium bowl, stir together oil, vinegar, mustard, garlic, thyme, salt & pepper. Add mushrooms & shallots; toss to coat. Place in single layer on parchment paper-lined rimmed baking sheet. Roast in 400F oven for 10-15 minutes or until mushrooms soften. Let cool & slice mushrooms. (You can slice the mushrooms first if you wish & roast for slightly less time).

Meanwhile, on lightly floured surface, roll out pastry into 10X12” rectangle. Place on parchment paper-lined baking sheet. Fold dough edges over ½” and crimp with fork. Prick dough inside border every ½”. Bake for 15 minutes or until lightly browned.

Gently flattening baked pastry if necessary, top with mushroom mixture, leaving any liquid behind. Scatter Brie on top. Bake for 15 minutes or until golden brown & cheese is melted. Let cool for 10 minutes. Sprinkle with parsley. Cut into pieces.

Serve warm or at room temperature with a frothy glass of sparkling!

Watch the recipe being prepared on: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ym6gdsm5I80

 

 

With Benjamin Bridge Tidal Bay…
Goat Cheese 
Marinated with Lemon & Herbs

Recipe & Photo Credit: finecooking.com
Serves 4-6

Ingredients

4 oz. log fresh goat cheese, sliced into 6 equal rounds (or you can keep the log whole)
2 tsp loosely packed, freshly grated lemon zest
2 Tbsp finely chopped, drained, oil-packed sun-dried tomatoes
½ tsp minced capers
1 tsp coarsely chopped fresh thyme leaves
Sea salt
3 small rosemary sprigs
½ C extra-virgin olive oil, more if needed
Crostini or good-quality crackers for servings

Method

In a small, shallow dish (about 1 ½ C) capacity, preferably straight sided, arrange the 6 pieces of goat cheese in one layer. Don’t worry if some of the cheese pieces crumble; just tuck them into the dish. Sprinkle the lemon zest, sun-dried tomatoes, capers & thyme over the cheese. Sprinkle a little of the sea salt over the cheese & tuck the rosemary sprigs into the dish.

Pour the olive oil over the cheese so it just covers it (use a little more if necessary). Let the cheese marinate in the refrigerator 2-6 hours (you can serve it sooner if you wish). Bring the dish to room temperature (about 45 minutes) before setting it out with a small hors d’oeuvre knife & a plate of crostini or crackers.

Spread a teaspoon or so of the cheese (with some of the marinade ingredients) over a crostini or cracker to serve.

 

 

With Benjamin Bridge Riesling…
The Oceanaire Seafood Room’s Maryland-Style Crab Cakes

Recipe & Photo Credit: Oceanaire.com
Serves 8

Ingredients

2 eggs
1 C mayonnaise
¾ tsp Dijon mustard
1 ¼ tsp Old Bay Seasoning, divided
¾ tsp chopped fresh tarragon
¼ C finely chopped onion (or shallot)
1 Tbsp finely chopped celery
¼ lb (scant 2 C) crustless cubed white bread, cut into small cubes
1 lb jumbo lump crab meat, drained of any liquid
2 Tbsp butter, a room temperature

Method

Heat oven to 400F.

In a medium mixing bowl, whisk together the eggs, mayonnaise, mustard, ¾ tsp Old Bay Seasoning, tarragon, onion & celery to make a dressing.

In a large mixing bowl, toss the bread with half of the dressing, mixing until the dressing is absorbed by the bread and the cubes are slightly broken up. Add additional dressing if the cubes are too dry.

Gently mix in the crab, being careful not to break up the lump pieces. The mixture should hold its shape when formed into a ball with your hand. If it is too dry, add additional dressing until the mixture comes together. You might not use all of the dressing.

Divide the mixture & form into 8 crab cakes. Place the cakes on a greased cookie sheet or sheet pan.

In a small bowl, stir the butter together with the remaining ½ tsp Old Bay Seasoning. Top each cake with a small dollop of the seasoned butter.

Bake cakes until golden brown, about 10-12 minutes. Serve warm.

 

 

Happy Canada 150!

Share

NEW Deck Party Packs! It’s getting HOT. It’s SUNNY. It’s ROSE wine season!

Posted by Debbie

Saturday, July 15th, 2017
Share

It’s time to Clink & Drink Pink! Summer is finally here & at Savvy Company HQ…that means relaxing on the deck or dock with a glass of Rosé wine in hand. And like everything we do at Savvy Company…we make it easy to have your fridge full of refreshing Rosé wines all summer long.

Introducing
Deck Party Packs

Choosing & stocking up on Rosé wines to enjoy this summer shouldn’t be a chore.  So we’ve made it absolutely EASY & HASSLE free. Our Savvy Sommeliers have done the “tough work” – we have been sipping & sampling Ontario Rosé wines since the snow melted & have picked the most refreshing Rosé wines for our Deck Party Packs.

In July & August we will deliver different Deck Party Packs – either 6 bottles or a full case of 12 bottles of dry, crisp & delicious Rosé wines that will bust any heatwave & quench your thirst.

The COOLEST part… The Rosé wines we’ll send you AREN’T on the shelves at the LCBO.

Another COOL thing… You don’t have to get out of your lawn chair to buy them – just click here to order online. Your Deck Party Pack will be delivered to you for FREE. Zippo! Nada!

 

Different wines each month! Our Deck Party Packs change every month giving you the best Rosé wines to enjoy all summer long. Here’s the Rosé wines we are featuring in July:

July Deck Party Pack – 6 bottles

Casa-Dea Estates Cabernet Franc Rosé … from Prince Edward County
Kacaba Vineyards Rebecca Rosé … from Niagara
KIN Vineyards Rosé … from Ottawa
The Good Earth Rosé … from Niagara
Vieni Estates Alleria Rosé … from Niagara
Vieni Estates Bruce Trail Sparkling Rosé … from Niagara

Price: only $105!

 

July Deck Party Pack – 12 bottles

All of the Rosé wines above PLUS:

Casa-Dea Estates Sparkling Rosé … from The County
Huff Estates Rosé … from The County
Southbrook Seriously Cool Rosé … from Niagara-on-the-Lake
Southbrook Estate Rosé … from Niagara-on-the-Lake
Vieni Estates Momenti Rosé Sparkling … from Niagara
Westcott Delphine Rosé … from Niagara

Price: all of these wines for under $225!

 

Order by Sunday July 16 & shipping is FREE. Order online & we’ll ship your Deck Party Pack for FREE to your deck, dock…or desk. Summer is short – don’t miss out>> And in August we’ll have a completely different assortment.  Click to see what our Sommelier picked & place your order for August Deck Party Pack>>

 

100% PINK Magic

Stock up by ordering just July’s Deck Party Pack OR choose to auto-magically receive July AND August’s without lifting a finger. FREE shipping to addresses in major cities in Ontario.
Fine Print: if you don’t want sparkling wines in your Deck Party Pack, let us know & we will swap them out for a non-bubbly rosé wine – no problemo! Make room in your cooler! Place your order>

HOT PINK OFFER!

Order 12 & we’ll give you $50!
Order the July Deck Party Pack – 12 bottles and we’ll give you $50 off tickets to our next Taste & Buy event.

Pair like a Pro!

What summertime dishes to serve with Rosé? Our Sommeliers are posting easy-peasy recipes EVERY DAY – until the order deadline of July 16th. Each recipe is paired with an Ontario Rosé wine. Trust me…you’ll be craving for a glass of Rosé from our Deck Party Pack when you read our tasting notes & see the pix of the dishes we paired with Rosé wines. Yum!  Click to read our Rosé Report blog & check out the cool recipes >>

 

Enjoy your summer outside with our Deck Party Pack sharing a delicious glass of Rosé with friends!
-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

Malbec. Tango. Steak.

Posted by Debbie

Monday, April 17th, 2017
Share

I confess.  I have a glass of big bold Malbec red wine from Argentina beside me while I write this article.  What. A. Fabulous. Place.  The wines – both red & whites.  The steak.  The landscape.  The history.  I have told everyone since my trip that if you have the opportunity, jump on a plane and GO!

Argentina holds many mysteries.  Before I embarked on this trip, I did not know what to expect. I did not expect that I would learn about the wine industry while riding horseback in the Andes Mountains.  Nor did I expect that I would be touring the wine regions in a classic Citroen ‘Slowkar’ that was nearly the same age as me! I did not expect that I would be treated like a rockstar at one of Argentina’s largest wineries – Zuccardi Valle de Uco.  I did not expect that most days breakfast with coffee would cost more than a delicious steak dinner.  I also did not expect to see couples dancing tango under a tree that has been the meeting spot in Beunos Aires for over 300 years. And never did I imagine that the blue skies would dramatically turn into a hail and rain storm that pelted down so hard that collapsed the roof in the Buenos Aires airport.  Click here to see my travel photos >>

“Come and visit me at my winery anytime”.  Those words was all that I needed.  When Jose Zuccardi, Owner & President of Familia Zuccardi invited me to his homeland over a 3 hour lunch when I met him at the Vancouver International Wine Festival, I knew that this was a business card that I was going to keep.

The name Zuccardi may ring a bell, and so it should.  Like Yellow Tail and Jacobs Creek, Zuccardi’s wine – FuZion – quickly became a household name in Canada when it WOWed everyone of its quality as well as its incredible price of $7.45.  It still to this day baffles me the economics of how a bottle of delicious Malbec-Shiraz red wine can be made in the southern hemisphere, travel the world by boat and still land in my hands for less than $8.

 

“Malbec is Argentina’s emblematic grape because it is like a friend who will never let you down” – Edgardo del Pópolo, Argonomist

 

Winemaking in Argentina has a deep-rooted history.  For over 400 years, various grape varieties were grown for domestic consumption.  In the 1960 and 1970s Malbec wine was jug wine that was considered rustic.  Winemakers focused on quantity production not quality. This all changed in the mid-1980’s when famous consulting winemakers – Paul Hobbs from California, Michel Rolland and Herve Joyaux-Fabre from Franc, Roberto Cipresso and Alberto Antonini from Italy – recognized how they could dramatically adjust the existing winemaking processes to craft fine Malbec wines that could compete on the world stage. With their Midas touch, Argentinean Malbec took the world by storm.

Wines of Argentina reports that by the turn of the 21st century, there were over 1,500 wineries. Swiftly, Argentina has become the main producer of Malbec, with vines covering with nearly 40,000 hectares, compared to its neighbour Chile with about 6,000 hectares, France 5,300, South Africa about 4,000, New Zealand 80 and California has barely 45.

This stat is particularly interesting as Malbec originally stemmed from France where it was grown as a grape typically used for blending. The name Malbec was attributed to the French ‘mal bouche’ translates to ‘bad taste’, referring to the rustic characteristics of the grape that was used in small proportions in wines with Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot. It is amazing how a ‘bad thing’ in France, eventually turned into an incredibly good fortune for Argentina.

In 1852, Malbec vines were brought to Argentina by Michel A. Pouget, a French agronomist who was hired by the Argentine government.  Less than 10 years later, the phylloxera bug decimated and destroyed the majority of the European vineyards (hit especially hard was France) and Malbec instantly disappeared.  The silver lining though is that half a world away, this grape variety was alive and flourishing. Today, with the popularity of Malbec, French winemakers are buying back Malbec vines from Argentina.

Taking a sip of my wine beside me, this Malbec wine begs for a BBQed steak, hearty stew or grilled mushrooms. Most are full bodied and heart warming – great for winters and BBQ seasons.  Winemakers in Argentina are experimenting different styles of Malbec wines to make it a wine to enjoy year round.  I have to admit, while in Argentina, temperatures soared to 38C and for me, a cold beer (not wine) was the best reprieve.

Winemakers are experimenting in every way to Malbec grapes be on everyone’s lips while they are in Argentina.  “Would you like your Malbec chilled?” we were asked at a bistro in Mendoza.  My Spanish is limited but I knew I heard the question right.  Fresh Malbec is a new style of young red wine that has not been aged in oak barrels and best enjoyed within a year.  Chilled like a white wine, this new way to drink Malbec is intended to quench the thirst as a cold beer does on a hot summer day.  “We are trying to encourage this style of wine so that people continue to drink red in heat,” explains Panos Zouboulis winemaker Bogeda Krontiras, one of the few certified biodynamic wineries in Argentina.

Visit a wine shop in Argentina, you will find shelves overflowing with Rose wines of all shades of pink made from Malbec grapes.  White, rose and red sparkling wines made with 100% Malbec are plentiful too.  This style will rapidly grow and take the world by storm with international companies such as Chandon (France), Codorniu (Spain) have established operations in Argentina and bring their talented sparkling winemakers with them.

Sweet late harvest and fortified port style wines and spirits like grappa are made with Malbec. Even Blanc de Malbec crafted by Vincentin Family Wines has turned heads when they launched in 2014 the first-of-its kind white wine made with 100% Malbec and aged in oak barrels. I would have jumped at the chance to try a white Malbec.  When you are at the LCBO or SAQ, periodically these rare Malbec wines are exported, so be on the look out!

 

Raise a glass to the rise of Malbec

Today – April 17 – is Malbec World Day.  Established in 2011 by Wines of Argentina, this is the day in the wine world when we uncork countless bottles of Argentinean Malbec wines at special wine events in over 70 cities around the world.

You can have your own Malbec celebration!  Here’s some of my top picks of Malbec wines at the LCBO:

 

Zuccardi Q Malbec 2013
$19.95

This is a classic expression of Malbec. Deep and dark in colour with violet, blueberry, blackberries aromas wafting from the glass. On your first sip, there is evidence that the wine has soft tannins, juicy black fruit, black pepper tastes with a little dark chocolate on the finish.   Uncork this Malbec to enjoy with a herb encrusted pork tenderloin or Sunday roast beef with all the trimmings.

One of the things that impressed me when I visited the winery was that they are using concrete tanks rather than the typical stainless tanks commonly used in winemaking.  And there are only a few oak barrels in the cellar….the winemaking team focuses on creating wines to bring out the natural flavours without the help of oak. That is incredible and the result is pure and outstanding.

 

BenMarco Expresivo 2014
$39.95

This wine will draw your eye to its stunning label.  A topnotch blend of 80% Malbec, 20% Cabernet Franc, loaded with fruit – pomegranate, boysenberry, ripe & juicy blackberries.

Made by one of the top female winemakers in Argentina –  Susana Balbo – this medium to full bodied red wine has a long dark chocolate and coffee finish can be enjoyed with the full range from meatloaf to prime rib.

Versado Reserva Ancient Malbec 2012
$59.95

You might think that Malbec is a wine that is typically under $25, but you’ll be pleasantly surprised when you splurge on this one.  A group of renown Canadian winemakers and winery owners joined forces to purchase a vineyard with plantings of 100 year old Malbec vines. Winemaker Ann Sperling (who is head winemaker at Southbrook Vineyards in Niagara & from Sperling Vineyards in British Columbia) makes incredible Malbec wines with the grapes that she has salvaged from this old vineyard.

This wine was just released. Wine writer Tony Aspler sampled a pre-release bottle and scored it an impressive 93 points: “Dense ruby colour; spicy, floral, blackberry nose with vanilla and cedar notes; medium to full-bodied, dry, ripe blackberry and blackcurrant flavours with a mineral thread and a lively spine of acidity; silky mouth-feel finishing firmly with a chocolate note.”

 

This article appeared in the March/April 2017 issue of Ottawa Life Magazine

 

Travel photos of Debbie’s trip can be seen on Savvy Company’s Facebook page – click here>>

 

Share

Come to an Outstanding Event

Posted by Debbie

Tuesday, November 17th, 2015
Share

Quick…before we SELL OUT! Want to sample wines, artisanal spirits & ciders from EVERY corner of Ontario? Then get your tickets now to this Outstanding in their Fields Taste & Buy – where you will meet the makers of .  That’s right…Prince Edward County, Beamsville Bench, Niaraga-on-the-Lake & for the first time ever, a winery from Lake Erie North Shore AND the Outstanding image wine glassOttawa Valley! How cool is that?!?

You name it…we’ll have it to TASTE & BUY!

Bubbles, white, red & dessert wines, refreshing ciders along with artisanal gin, vodka & rye….there will even be outstanding artisan chocolate too! Get ready to sample & stock up for the holidays.

Best shipping Promo EVER!

EXTRA BONUS! FREE shipping when you order 6, 12 or more bottles of ANY combo of your new found favorites.

 

Buy your ticket for $70 & bring a friend for FREE

 

 

Try these ciders…

County Cider CompanyPrince Edward County

County Cider (500mL) $6.95

Pear Cider (500mL) $7.90

Feral Cider (1L) $9.95

 

Vieni Estates  – Beamsville Bench (Niagara)

Sparkling Apple Cider $15.95

 

Artisan spirits…

Dillon’s Small Batch Distillers Niagara *first time featured!*

Unfiltered Gin 22 (750mL) $39.95

Rose Gin (750mL) $44.95

Cherry Gin (750mL) $49.95

The White Rye (750mL) $37.45

Method 95 Vodka (750mL) $39.95

Limoncello (375mL) $24.95

 

Craft Dark Chocolate…

Hummingbird Chocolate Maker – Almonte *first time featured!*

 

Wines from…

Amazing Wines Niagara-on-the-Lake

2013 Chardonnay $14.95

2013 Cabernet Franc $14.95

Calamus Estate WineryBeamsville Bench

2013 Steely Chardonnay $14.95

2013 Roberts Riesling $15.20

2013 White Night (Reg. $13.20)$11.20

2012 Calvin’s Cabernet $17.50

2012 Cabernet Franc $23.20


Casa-Dea Estates
Prince Edward County

2013 Dea’s Cuvée Sparkling $18.95

2012 Chardonnay $15.95

2013 Gamay $15.95

2011 Pinot Noir $19.95


Château des Charmes
Niagara-on-the-Lake

2013 Chardonnay Musqué $16.95

2013 Sauvignon Blanc $17.95

2012 Gamay Noir ‘Droit’ $16.95

2012 Cabernet Franc $25.95


Calamus Estate Winery – Beamsville Bench

2013 Steely Chardonnay $14.95

2013 Roberts Riesling $15.20

2013 White Night (Reg. $13.20)$11.20

2012 Calvin’s Cabernet $17.50

2012 Cabernet Franc $23.20


Kacaba Vineyards
Beamsville Bench (Niagara)

2013 Reserve Riesling(Reg $17.95) $15.95

2014 Pinot Gris $17.95

2013 Cabernet Sauvignon(Reg $24.95) $20.95  ***Not yet released***

2011 Terrace Vineyard Syrah $24.95


KIN Vineyards – Ottawa Valley *first time featured!*

2014 Chardonnay $29.95


North 42 Degrees Estate Winery
– Lake Erie North Shore *first time featured!*

2013 Riesling $15.95

2012 Sauvignon Blanc $17.95

2013 Sauvignon Blanc $17.95

2013 Gewürztraminer $19.95

2012 Cabernet Sauvignon $20.95


Pondview Estate Winery
Niagara-on-the-Lake

2014 Viognier $16.95

2013 Bella Terra Pinot Gris $19.95

2013 Cabernet Merlot Reserve $18.95

2013 Bella Terra Cabernet Sauvignon (Reg. $39.95) $37.95


Sandbanks Estate Winery
Prince Edward County

2014 Riesling $14.95

2014 Pinot Grigio $15.95

2014 Gewürztraminer $15.95

2013 Baco Noir $14.95

2013 Mouton Noir $19.95

2013 French Kiss $19.95

Southbrook Vineyards – Niagara-on-the-Lake

2013 Connect Organic Chardonnay $19.95

2013 ‘Wild Ferment’ Chardonnay $34.95

2013 Triomphe Cabernet Merlot $22.95

2013 ‘201’ Cabernet Franc $34.95

2007 Poetica Cabernet Merlot $54.95

2005 ‘Barrel Ferment’ Vidal Icewine (375mL) $34.95


Sue-Ann Staff Winery
 – Beamsville Bench 

2013 Fancy Farm Girl Flirty Bubbles $27.95

2013 Fancy Farm Girl Foxy Pink $17.00

2012 Pinot Grigio $18.00

2011 Robert’s Block Riesling (Reg. $26.00) $21.00

2014 Fancy Farm Girl Flamboyant Red $14.95

2012 Vidal Icewine $24.95


The Grange of Prince Edward 
Prince Edward County

2012 Select Chardonnay $19.95

2012 Select Riesling $19.95

2011 Select Gamay Noir $20.95

2011Select Cabernet Franc $24.95

Show special: 1 bottle of each wine for total of $80.00 ($5 savings)


Trail Estate Winery Prince Edward County

2014 Riesling $23.95

2014 Unoaked Chardonnay $23.95

2013 Baco Noir Reserve $30.00

2013 Cabernet Reserve $39.00

2014 Riesling Icewine $38.00


Traynor Family Vineyard
Prince Edward County

2014 Pinot Gris $24.95

2013 Chardonnay$24.95

2014 Sauvignon Blanc$24.95

2014 Alta Red$19.95

Vieni Estates  – Beamsville Bench 

Momenti Rosé Sparkling $16.95

Sparkling Bollicine $16.95

2012 Pinot Grigio $14.95

2012 Brigantine Reserve $18.95

2012 Cabernet Franc Private Reserve $29.95

 

 

Be a Very Important Taster!  

Special Advance Acess 
$25 plus your event ticket

This extra-special pass is only an additional $25 & provides you advance access to spend more time mixing & mingling with the makers and most of all sampling their products.  With your V.I.T. pass you can arrive at the Taste & Buy anytime between 5 to 7pm…then stay as long as you like for the main event. Only 125 passes available.

Event Details
DATE: Thursday November 19, 2016
V.I.T. Passholders only: 5 to 7pm
MAIN EVENT: 7 to 9pm
LOCATION: Summit Room – 29th Floor of Ottawa Marriott Hotel, 100 Kent Street


Advance Tickets Only
Regular ticket for $70

V.I.T. Pass – Buy $25 upgrade for early access
Ticket prices include wine samples, light snacks, HST….and a special Savvy wine tasting glass


Get Ready to Sip & Stock up!  

This Taste & Buy event will feature outstanding wines, ciders, artisanal spirits that you probably haven’t tried before… you definitely won’t find them at the LCBO. This event is the perfect opportunity to stock up for the holiday entertaining & gifts.   

To help you prep your power shopping, we will email you the list of everything that will be showcased.  All parcels will be hand delivered by courier to your home or office – now that is convenient! 

NEW! FREE Shipping on 6 bottles

Now this is an OUTSTANDING offer.  Order ANY combination of 6, 12 or more bottles from ANY of showcased wineries, distillery or cidery & shipping is FREE.

Unable to join us but want to order?

No problem.  The Savvy Team would be delighted to make arrangements for your wine delivery – simply call us 613-728-8926 or order online.

 

And…there’ll be Outstanding views too!

You’ll oooh & ahhh at the panoramic view of the city lights from the 29th floor of the Ottawa Marriott Hotel.  The room will revolve all night long.  Check out the fun photos from our last Taste & Buy.

See you there!
Debbie & the Savvy Team

 

 

Share

Southbrook has a ‘Dynamic’ story!

Posted by Debbie

Tuesday, May 19th, 2015
Share

 

 

Savvy Selections wine of the month club
Featuring Southbrook Vineyards

–  May 2015 –

I don’t know where to start… This month we are featuring Southbrook Vineyards of Niagara-on-the-Lake & they have quite a story to tell. I’ll admit that I was first introduced to Southbrook with a sip of their Framboise raspberry wine. Fruit wine you say – yes!  As the expression goes…’you have come a long way baby!’ Southbrook is now less known for their fruit wine and they are more recognized for their commitment to biodynamic practices at every level in their business. They are also the only winery that we have featured in Savvy Selections who has appeared on Dragon’s Den….more about that on the following pages!

What is Biodynamic you ask?
“It’s extreme organics!” explains Southbrook’s winemaker Ann Sperling.  Her vineyard & winemaking Southbrook winery at nightteam creates wines that express the story both of the grapes & the ground that nourishes them.  Mark our words, with each sip of any wine from Southbrook, you’ll taste their commitment to the biodynamic grape growing & winemaking practices. “We want people to taste the purity in the wines we make,” explained owner Bill Redelmeier.

In your Savvy Selections parcel  you will find an amazing assortment from Southbrook:

Triomphe Chardonnay VQA 2013, $22.95 – an absolutely easy drinking Chardonnay with the refreshing fruit showing through interlaced with oak

Triomphe Cabernet Franc VQA 2013, $21.95 – fire up the BBQ!

Whimsy! Married Young VQA 2009 – $34.95 – this 6 year old wine has aged at the winery & is now ready for you to enjoy.

This selection shows that organic does not need to be expensive.  Our Savvy Selections tasting panel were impressed with the quality & readiness of these wines.  No need to cellar or decant, just twist the cap or pull the cork to enjoy fine Ontario wine.  “I simply want people to say – these wines have character,” states Bill. Let us know what you think.

Read all about it in your Savvy eZine!
While you relax on your dock or deck chair waiting for your BBQ to warm up, flip through the following pages to learn more about biodynamic grape growing & winemaking (I promise not to get technical!), the winery’s fascinating architecture, our Savvy Sommeliers’ tasting notes & recipes provided from Southbrook’s kitchen.

Want more Southbrook wines?
You may have noticed a few Southbrook wines in the LCBO, yet there is so much more available through us or when you visit the winery.  To stock up on any of the Savvy Selections wines, simply call the Savvy Team on 613-SAVVYCO (728-8926) to make a special delivery for you.

Cheers & Enjoy!

Debbie & Savvy Team

 

 

Introducing…
Southbrook Vineyards

Presented by Sommelier Debbie Trenholm

“I thinkBILL AND MARILYN of wine like a talking stick”, shares Bill (right in picture). “You buy the wine because there is a story that you are eager to share with friends.” Bill & I have known each other for many years, yet during our phone conversation we commented that most of the time spent together was seeing each other at wine shows, in meetings at the winery or when Bill flies in to participate in a Savvy Taste & Buy event.  “Let’s make a point to go out for beers next time we see each other”, we said in unison.  It is a well-known fact that the drink of choice by most in the wine industry is beer!

On Dragon’s Den…

After a few beers I will endeavor to real dirt about Bill’s experience on Dragon’s Den in 2012. He explained the audition process and how one hour of filming with 8 cameras was unnerving enough then boiled down into 5 quick minutes we see on TV.  “Over 9,000 people audition and 200 pitches were selected to go before the Dragons,” explains Bill. “I was really hoping that Arlene or Jim would say – I’m in!” While the winery was mentioned several times, Bill’s focus was on pitching Bioflavia –a health bioflaviaproduct used made from the dried and crushed skins of red grapes from their organic vineyards.  This ‘wine waste’ contains high levels of natural and powerful antioxidants.  Bioflavia can be added as an ingredient in smoothies, cooking or baking.  “With the snap of Jim’s fingers, the dough of every Boston Pizza made could be enriched with a teaspoon of our product.” What happened in the Den?  Click to watch the video>>

Biodynamics 101

Bill & Marilyn are the driving force behind the winery’s organic and biodynamic practices. They are the first to tell you that they are fundamentally agriculturalists. Bill explained that his grandfather had a Jersey dairy farm in Richmond Hill.  Growing up, he’d always been surrounded by farmers.  Initially, Bill wanted to start an ice cream company using the rich Jersey milk from his grandfather’s dairy.  grapesThe hurdle came when he discovered that his family’s milk could not be separated out from other Jersey farms – unlike a winery. Long story shortened, Bill shelved the ice cream idea and ventured into the winery business.  “I wanted people to taste the terroir – the exact place where the fruit was grown.”

“We were drawn to biodynamics as it is a way to fully express the vineyard’s character in our wines. I did not want to make low end wines. There is no appeal or talking stick in making 2 buck chuck!”

If biodynamic is a new wine term for you, Southbrook’s winemaker Ann Sperling, puts it simply: ‘extreme organics’.  Biodynamic agricultural promotes the ecological self-sufficiency and internal harmony of the land while taking into account the cycles of nature (ie. various stages of the moon) and there is a philosophical and spiritual aspect woven in too.

Our Sommelier Susan Desjardins (also a trained horticulturalist) explains more.  Growing practices are quite similar to organic agriculture, but a specific calendar is followed to help determine when activities such as pruning and fSouthbrook sorting grapesertilizing should be undertaken in the vineyards. In addition, a variety of treatments are applied to the soil, generally using ingredients that are derived from plants or animals that are integral to the property. Other approaches include planting cover crops between the vines that attract beneficial insects and using lambs to ‘mow’ these areas. Southbrook has 80-90 ewes in their herd.

Ann explained to Susan, “Biodynamics says the farm is an entire ‘living system’. The resulting practices are about quality – quality in the bottle and quality of life.”

Southbrook is the first biodynamic winery in Canada.  They keep company of other well-known wineries including Chapoutier and Domaine Leflaive of France. “Many of the wineries in the great wine regions of France are biodynamic”, Bill explains. “Like Southbrook, their wine labels do not herald their biodynamic certification.  You can tell just by the taste that the wine has soul.”

What is in Bill & Marilyn’s cellar?

There’s about 1800 – 2000 bottles mainly old Bordeaux, ports and Chardonnay. “Nothing fancy to look at but it is well organized with IKEA shelving and like most cellars, there are always cases of wine on the floor.”

 I’ll raise a glass to that! Enjoy your Savvy Selections.

 

~ SAVVY SOMMELIER TASTING NOTES ~

Since 2008, all of the yeast used in the winemaking process is natural yeast.  “We sold all of our commercial yeast and now use what is naturally in the air. Our vineyard is alive!” proudly explains Bill.

 

Triomphe Chardonnay 2013 VQA, $22.95southbrook chardonnay

Made with Chardonnay grapes picked at various times throughout October from 5 different organic vineyards in Niagara.

Savvy Sommelier Tasting Notes: Our tasting panel raved about this lively Chardonnay.  Notes of fresh juicy peach, grapefruit & apples follow through into the taste with a hint of nutmeg & vanilla.  A rich wine that is beautifully balanced, laced with subtle oak with a zip of acidity.  The soul of the wine definitely shines through!

Suggested Food Pairing: This wine is simply delicious on its own (I am enjoying as I write this eZine!), with pork tenderloin, sushi, crabcakes or fish. The Savvy Selections tasting panel had so many good recipes to share and so did the winery, that we have not one…but three recipes that hit the mark! Peach Pizza, Sunshine Salmon & a unique recipe for Banana Leaf Tilapia with Lemon Beurre Blanc Egg Noodles.

Cellaring: Drinking well now or cellar 3-5 years.

Triomphe Cabernet Franc VQA 2013, $21.95triomphe cabernet franc

Ontario continues to impress us with Cabernet Franc wines.  And this one is a fine example of how a big red wine can be made in a cold climate wine growing region. This wine contains 95% Cabernet Franc with a splash (5%) of Merlot to give it finesse.

Winemakers Tasting Notes: The wine presents a nose of red currant with notes of raspberry, savoury herbs and cedar wood. The palate echoes the fruit aromas supported by medium toast and firm tannins. The finish is of medium length and is driven by both fruit and savoury notes.

Note: our Savvy Selections panel tasted a different vintage, so the above notes are provided by the winery.

Suggested Food Pairing: Fire up the BBQ!  Ribs, burgers or spring lamb chops would be a perfect pairing.

Cellaring: Ready now or can be cellared a further 3-5 years.

 

Whimsy! Married Young 2009 VQA $34.95Southbrook married young

As you might imagine, there is no end to experimenting at Southbrook. The Whimsy label is where Ann and the winemaking team stretches their talent and winemaking techniques to play!  Wines are made in small lot batches (so there are no big mistakes).  On the label, each dab of paint represents a different varietal in the Southbrook palette to make an interesting design element that is…simply whimsical.

Winemaker Notes: This blend is 67% Cabernet Sauvignon, 33% Cabernet Franc.  The juice of the two varieties were fermented separately, then blended prior to barrel aging (in French oak) in order to “marry” and create a wine of more complexity, depth and completeness.  Released in February 2015 after several years aging at the winery. 138 cases were produced….and Savvy Selections subscribers took many of them!

Savvy Sommelier Tasting Notes: Gorgeous! A smooth, delicious deep red wine that has blackberry, boysenberry, black licorice, leather, cedar and forest floor (think of walking in the woods after a rain). Tannins have mellowed with age, with a zip of acidity that will smooth out with food (we tried it with old cheddar), and long lingering smoky finish.

Suggested Food Pairing:  Beef, beef, and beef! If you are vegetarian, then grilled mushrooms will be delish!

Cellaring: Ready now, no need to wait any longer.

 

~ RECIPES TO ENJOY WITH YOUR SAVVY SELECTIONS~

 

With Southbrook Triomphe Chardonnay

Peach Pizza

From Southbrook’s Kitchen
Serves 4

Ingredients

flatbread
fresh peaches – from Niagara of course!
goat cheese
2 tbsp organic honey
½ tsp balsamic vinegar
olive oil
fresh basil

Method

Combine balsamic vinegar and organic honey with olive oil to taste. Stir until combined.

Half peaches and lightly brush with oil, to prevent sticking on the BBQ.

Place flesh side down on BBQ on medium heat for 5 minutes.

Brush flatbread with olive oil and kosher salt. Put on BBQ on medium heat for a couple minutes.

Remove peaches and flatbread.

Cut peaches onto the flatbread and sprinkle cheese onto pizza. Drizzle balsamic honey dressing on top.

Cook on top rack until cheese is melted. Remove and sprinkle chopped basil on top.

Cut and enjoy!

 

Another recipe to serve with

Southbrook Triomphe Chardonnay

Sunshine Salmon

From Kitchen at Publix
Serves 4

Ingredientssunshine salmon - Publix

2 teaspoons garlic, finely chopped
1 Tbsp fresh dill, finely chopped
2 oranges
½ cup sweet white wine (or chicken broth)
4 (6-oz) salmon fillets, skin removed
1/4 teaspoon pepper
2 Tbsp orange marmalade
1 Tbsp Dijon mustard
1 Tbsp unsalted butter

Method

Cut ½ orange into ¼ inch-thick slices (rounds), then cut slices into quarters. Squeeze remaining 1 ½ oranges for juice (about ½ cup).

Place wine, orange juice, garlic, dill, and orange slices in large sauté pan and cover; bring to a boil on medium-high. Reduce heat to low; simmer uncovered 7 minutes.

Check fish for bones. Season salmon on both sides with garlic seasoning and pepper. Add salmon to wine mixture; simmer 3–4 minutes on each side or until salmon is opaque and separates easily. Transfer salmon to serving dish.

Add marmalade and mustard to wine mixture; cook and stir 1 minute or until marmalade dissolves and sauce thickens. Remove pan from heat; stir in butter (being gentle while stirring, so fruit stays intact). Pour sauce over salmon & serve.

 

Even more recipes to serve with Triomphe Chardonnay!

Spicy BBQ’d Banana Leaf Tilapia with Lemon Beurre Blanc Egg Noodles

From Southbrook’s Kitchen
Serves 4

 Ingredients for Tilapia

4 pieces of tilapia
4 pieces of banana leaves
¼ Spanish onion
3 cloves garlic
1 red chili
1 tsp tumeric
½ tsp sea salt & cracked pepper
2 stalks of lemon grass
1 Tbsp of vegetable oil
¼ cup butter
8 wood skewers

Ingredients for Lemon Beurre Blanc Egg Noodles

½ cup white wine
1 cup 35% cream
2 lemons – juiced
1 cup butter
4 pieces of baby bok choy
egg noodles
1 cup of sliced cherry tomatoes

Method for Banana Leaf Tilapia

Finely dice Spanish onion, garlic, red chili (seeds removed) and lemon grass. Add salt, pepper, tumeric, vegetable oil and butter. Mix well.

Place tilapia on the banana leaf and spread marinade over fish. Wrap the banana leaf around the tilapia and secure with skewers.

Heat one side of the BBQ to high. Place wrapped fish on direct heat. Sear 2 minutes per side and then move wrapped fish off direct heat and finish cooking for 10 minutes with BBQ closed. Should reach 375°F.

Method for Lemon Beurre Blanc Egg Noodles

In a large sauce pan, combine wine, cream and lemon juice. Bring to a boil, stirring constantly. Reduce heat and simmer until ½ of the volume remains.

Add 1 cup of butter. Stir constantly. Sauce will thicken with the addition of butter. Continue stirring until desired consistency is reached.

In a separate pot, steam baby bok choy. At the same time, cook egg noodles. Drain noodles.

Add baby bok choy and uncooked, diced cherry tomatoes. Slowly add Beurre Blanc and stir. Serve with Banana Leaf Tilapia on top of the noodles.


With Southbrook Triomphe Cabernet Franc

BBQ Smoky Pork Ribs with Asian Slaw

From: Regan Kapach – Southbrook’s Assistant Winemaker

Serves several rib lovers!

Ingredients for RibsWINERY

1 side pork ribs
1 onion, roughly chopped
3 cloves garlic, halved
1 to 2 litres beer
1 to 2 litres water
1 bay leaf
1 Tbsp each salt & pepper
1 Tbsp Chinese five spice
1 tsp cloves
2 inches fresh ginger
1 cup homemade BBQ sauce

 Method for Ribs:

Portion ribs into ‘four-rib’ pieces for easier cooking and serving.

Parboil the ribs for 2 hours in mixture of half water/half beer (enough of each to just cover the ribs), plus the onion, garlic, ginger, bay leaf and spices. Remove from pot and refrigerate for half and hour.

Leftover boiling mixture can be strained and reduced to make an amazing beef/pork stew stock!

Fire up the barbie! Cook ribs until done to your liking.

Ingredients for Slaw

½ head of Chinese cabbage, shredded
1 good sized carrot, grated
1 handful of sweet peas, julienned
3 green onions, julienned
1 Tbsp toasted sesame seeds
fresh cilantro to garnish

Mix all ingredients together in a large bowl.  Toss with dressing.  Refrigerate until ready to serve.

 Ingredients for Dressing

2 Tbsp mayonnaise
¼ cup olive oil
1 Tbsp sesame oil
1/3 cup rice wine vinegar
salt & pepper to taste
Whisk together the dressing ingredients and pour over slaw.

 

 Enjoy your Savvy Selections!

 

Share

All set! New Year’s Eve Dinner with Wine Shopping List

Posted by Debbie

Thursday, December 25th, 2014
Share

You’ve been planning, shopping, baking, cooking, decorating, and mailing (phew!) to get ready for the Holidays…so let us help you create a great dinner for the last day of the year. This take-home New Year’s Eve Dinner from Thyme & Again is an elegant menu prepared by their creative chefs using local ingredients. All you have to do is call the great folks at Thyme & Again by noon on Monday December 29th. Avoid the crowds, the kitchen and the stress!

Includes a Wine Shopping List too…

To make your New Year’s festivities extra easy, our Savvy Sommeliers  have provided wine recommendations from fine Ontario wineries to pair with these festive dishes. All of these wines are available at various LCBOs in Ottawa. For more wine recommendations from Savvy Sommeliers, call 613-SAVVYCO (728-8926) www.savvycompany.ca

Here’s to a delicious dinner & exciting 2015!

 

 

Special New Year’s Eve Menu with Wine Pairings

 

 

sparkling wine closeup of glasses

HORS D’OEUVRES

Coffee Poached Pears; Chèvre with Candied Walnut & Orange on Seed Crackers (V, GF)

Mini Perogie with Braised Shortrib & Cheese Curds

North of Seven Vodka Flambée Lobster stuffed Gruyère Profiterole

Kick off the festivities with a bubbly! Savvy Sommeliers recommend:

Casa Dea Dea’s Cuvée Sparkling, Prince Edward County $18.95
13th Street Cuvée Sparkling Brut Rosé, Niagara $24.95
Henry of Pelham Cuvée Catharine Brut, Niagara $29.95

 

ED wine bottle and corkscrewSTARTERS

Acorn Creek Sunchoke, Apple and Chestnut Soup with fresh Thyme

Bluegrass Farms Baby Arugula; Smoked Tofu “Bacon”; Parmesan Tuille; Crouton;Lemon Garlic Dressing (V, GF)

Confit Duck and Shiitaki Mushroom Phyllo Pastry, Baby Greens and Honey Soy Drizzle

Crowd pleasing wines recommended by Savvy Sommeliers:
Rosewood Süssreserve Riesling, Niagara $14.95
Malivoire Gamay, Niagara $16.95
Kacaba Cabernet Merlot Syrah, Niagara $18.95

 

MAIN COURSESED glasses of wine

Oil Poached Striploin with Le Coprin Mushroom Tapenade
Rosti Potato with Zucchini Ribbon
Wine to serve: Huff Estates South Bay Merlot, Prince Edward County $29.95
*Will be featured in Savvy Selections wine of the month club in January 2015

~

Shrimp and Alliums stuffed Roasted Chicken Breast and Sherried Tomato Cream
Duck Fat “Confit” Fingerling Potatoes with Thyme Roasted Carrots
Wine to serve: Lailey Sauvignon Blanc, Niagara-on-the-Lake, $19.95

~

Seared Black Cod with Lemongrass and Scallions
White and Bamboo Rice Pilaf with Miso Glazed Bok Choy
Wine to serve: Pondview Bella Terra Chardonnay, Niagara-on-the-Lake $24.95

~

Mixed Wild Mushroom and Brandy Ragout Stuffed Portobello with Cauliflower Purée (V, GF)
Rosti Potato with Thyme Roasted Carrots
Wine to serve: Rosehall Run Defiant Pinot Noir, Prince Edward County $18.95

~

Pork Two Ways: Hall’s Apple Cider Braised Pork Belly and Pan Seared Chard Stuffed Pork Tenderloin Medallion with Calvados Apple Butter
Duck Fat “Confit” Fingerling Potatoes with Miso Glazed Bok Choy
Wine to serve: Fielding Estates Pinot Gris, Niagara $18.95

DESSERTS

dessert Thyme & AgainSalted Caramel Crème Brûlée with Smoked Chili Truffle, Triple Chocolate Biscotti, Fresh Raspberries (GF available without biscotti)

Callebaut Dark Chocolate Mousse Cakelette with Drunken Cherries, Toasted Marshmallow, Espresso Cream, Fresh Strawberries (GF)

Key Lime & White Chocolate Cheesecake with Dulce de Leche, Parisian Macaron, Fresh Blueberries (GF)

Lemon & Raspberry Tart with Raspberry Coulis, Ginger Biscuits, Meringue Kisses, Fresh Blackberries

Our Savvy Sommeliers recommend to serve with these delicious desserts:
Southbrook Vineyards Framboise, Niagara $15.95 (dessert wine made with raspberries)
Cave Springs Indian Summer Select Late Harvest Riesling VQA 2008, Niagara $24.95
Tawse Riesling Icewine VQA 2009, Niagara $34.95

 

Menu codes:
N = Contains Nuts or Seeds
V = Vegetarian
GF = Gluten Free 

Your dinner order includes:

hors d’oeuvre
starter
entrée
locally baked bread
dessert


Price per person:

Beef: $48
Chicken: $45
Pork: $48
Cod: $45
Vegetarian: $38

Please contact Thyme & Again Creative Catering directly to place your order.
1255 Wellington St W.
Ottawa ON  Tel: 613-722-0093
www.thymeandagain.ca

Have a very happy New Year’s Eve with friends & family, from all of us at Savvy Company.
Debbie & the Savvy Team

Share

The drumroll please….2014 wine winners

Posted by Amanda

Monday, November 3rd, 2014
Share

HOT OFF THE PRESS!

The winners of this year’s Ottawa Wine Challenge – the wine competition associated to the annual Ottawa Wine & Food Festival – have been announced.  We are thrilled that for the first time in ever that the Best of Show winning wines are all made in Canada!  Move over France, Australia & Italy…Canadian wines are taking top marks and the owning the podium at this challenge.

Ottawa wine challenge
The Savvy Team seizes every opportunity to wave the Canadian flag & we are excited that several of the wineries that we feature in our Savvy Selections wine-of-the-month-club as well as our Taste & Buy events won medals in this wine competition.  <Insert big round of applause!>.

Those Canadian wineries we have featured are highlighted.  Be sure to visit the winemakers & winery owners at this weekend’s show or subscribe to Savvy Selections to have award winning wines delivered year round!

Best of Show…

WHITE WINE – Strewn Winery Cottage Block Riesling 2012 – Ontario, Canada
RED WINE – Southbrook Vineyards Triomphe Cabernet Sauvignon 2010 – Ontario Canada
SWEET WINE – Domaine Pinnacle Ice Cider 2012 – Quebec, Canada

Gold Medal Winners…

Konzelmann Estate Vidal Icewine 2010 – Ontario, Canada
Konzelmann Estate Cabernet Sauvignon Icewine 2012 – Ontario, Canada
Palatine Hills Estate Prestige Sparkling Wine – Ontario, Canada
Oyster Bay Sparkling Rose Cuvee Brut Hawke’s Bay/Marlborough – New Zealand
Sideroad Twenty Cellars Red Tractor Cabernet Franc 2012 – Ontario, Canada
Rosewood Estates Origin Cabernet Franc 2012 – Ontario, Canada
Rosewood Estates Sussreserve Riesling 2013 – Ontario, Canada
Strewn Winery Cottage Block Riesling 2012 – Ontario, Canada
Southbrook Vineyards Triomphe Cabernet Sauvignon 2010 – Ontario, Canada
Domaine Pinnacle Ice Cider 2012 – Quebec, Canada

Silver Medal Winners….

Wither Hills Wairau Valley Sauvignon Blanc 2013 – New Zealand
Stoneleigh Sauvignon Blanc 2014 – New Zealand
Viticoltori d’Acqui Brachetto de’Acqui Sparkling Rose NV – Italy
Konzelmann Estate Special Select Late Harvest Vidal 2013 – Ontario, Canada
Mission Hill Family Estate Diabolica Red 2012 – British Columbia, Canada
Cantina Negrar Amarone 2010 – Italy
Domain Martin Plan de Dieu 2011 – France
Family Wine Merchants Sangre de Toro 2013 – Spain
Rosewood Estates Select Merlot 2012 – Ontario, Canada
Mission Hill Family Estate Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon 2012 – Canada
Alpine Valley Alpine Valley Sauvignon Blanc 2013 – New Zealand
Loosen Brothers Villa Wolf Riesling 2013 – Germany
Pelee Island Winery Alvar Pinot Noir 2012 – Canada
Konzelmann Estate Shiraz 2013 – Canada
Rancourt Winery Merlot 2009 – Canada (a new winery that we have not featured yet!)

Bronze Medal Winners…

Konzelmann Estate Unoaked Chardonnay 2013 – Ontario, Canada
Palatine Hills Estate 1812 Unoaked Chardonnay 2013 – Ontario, Canada
Lailey Vineyards Old Vines Chardonnay 2012 – Ontario, Canada
The Wine Group Chloe Chardonnay 2012 – USA
Oyster Bay Marlborough Chardonnay 2013 – New Zealand
Mission Hill Reserve Chardonnay 2012 – Canada
Bodgas Santa Julia Santa Julia Chardonnay 2013 – Argentina
Stoneleigh Chardonnay Malborough 2013 – New Zealand
Vina Santa Rita Reserva Chardonnay 2013 – Chile
Coyote’s Run Red Paw Vineyard Pinot Gris 2013 – Ontario, Canada
Pondview Estate Winery Bella Terra Pinot Gris 2013 – Ontario, Canada
Sandbanks Winery Pinot Grigio 2013 – Ontario, Canada
Mondo del Vino Barone Montalto Pinot Grigio 2013 – Italy
Oyster Bay Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc 2014 – New Zealand
Babich Wines Sauvignon Blanc 2013 – New Zealand
Brancott Estate Letter Series B Sauvignon Blanc Malborough 2012 – New Zealand
Sacred Hill White Cliff Sauvignon Blanc 2013 – New Zealand
Veramonte Winery Sauvignon Blanc 2013 – Chile
GA Schmitt Clean Slate Riesling 2013 – Germany
Rosewood Estates Mima’s Block Riesling 2012 – Ontario, Canada
Konzelmann Estate Canada White Riesling 2011 – Ontario, Canada
Lailey Vineyards Late Harvest Riesling Dry 2013 – Ontario, Canada
Konzelmann Estate Pinot Blanc 2012 – Ontario, Canada
Sandbanks Winery Dunes White 2013 – Ontario, Canada
Laroche Laroche de la Chevaliere Viognier 2013 – France
LGCF Chateau Cleray Muscadet 2012 – France
Willm Gewurztraminer 2013 – France
Torres Vina Esmerelda Moscatel Gewurztraminer 2013 – Spain
Diamond Estates 1914 Honour White 2013 – Ontario, Canada
Fuzion Wines Fuzion Alta Torrontes Pinot Grigio 2013 – Argentina
Brumont Gros Manseng Sauvignon Blanc 2013 – France
Coyote’s Run Estate Winery Black Paw Vineyard Pinot Noir 2012 – Ontario, Canada
Konzelmann Estate Pinot Noir 2012 – Ontario, Canada
Konzelmann Estate Reserve Pinot Noir 2012 – Ontario, Canada
Gnarly Head Cellars Pinot Noir 2012 – USA
Don Sebastiani & Sons Aquinas Napa Valley Pinot Noir 2012 – USA
Rosewood Estates Origin Pinot Noir 2012 – Ontario, Canada
Lailey Vineyards Syrah 2012 – Ontario, Canada
Deakin Shiraz 2013 – Australia
Lailey Vineyards Unfiltered Merlot 2012 – Ontario, Canada
Palatine Hills Neufeld Vineyard Merlot 2012– Ontario, Canada
Oyster Bay Hawke’s Bay Merlot 2013 – New Zealand
Irony Wines Merlot 2011 – USA
Noble Vines 181 Lodi Merlot 2012 – USA
Pelee Island Winery Vinedresser’s Cabernet Sauvignon 2010 – Ontario, Canada
Pondview Estate Winery Bella Terra Cabernet Sauvignon 2011 – Ontario, Canada
Torres Gran Coronas Cabernet Sauvignon 2010 – Spain
Gnarly Head Cellars Gnarly Head Cabernet Sauvignon 2011 – USA
Don Sebastiani & Sons Smoking Loon Cabernet Sauvignon 2012 – USA
Fuzion Wines Fuzion Alta Reserva Cabernet Sauvignon 2012 – Argentina
Bodgas Santa Julia Reserva Cabernet 2012 – Argentina
Rodney Strong Alexander Valley Cabernet Sauvignon 2011 – USA
Wente Vineyards Southern Hills Cabernet Sauvignon 2012 – USA
Maison Louis Latour Gamay 2011 – France
Bodegas Trivento Fair Trade Malbec 2013 – Argentina
Fuzion Wines Fuzion Alta Reserva Malbec 2013 – Argentina
Campo Viejo Tempranillo 2012 – Spain
Coyote’s Run Rare Vintage Cabernet Franc 2012– Ontario, Canada
Pondview Estate Winery Bella Terra Cabernet Franc 2012 – Ontario, Canada
Sandbanks Winery Reserve Baco Noir 2012 – Ontario, Canada
Torres Coronas Tempranillo 2011 – Spain
Costa Mediana Valpolicella Ripasso 2011 – Italy
Southbrook Vineyards Triomphe Cabernet Franc 2012 – Ontario, Canada
Bodegas Portia Faustino VII Rioja 2011 – Spain
Don Sebastiani & Sons Smoking Loon Old Vine Zinfandel 2012 – USA
Coyote’s Run Rare Vintage Cabernet Syrah 2012 – Ontario, Canada
Konzelmann Estate Family Reserve Cabernet Merlot 2012 – Ontario, Canada
Konzelmann Estate Heritage Red 2012 – Ontario, Canada
Lailey Vineyards Impromptu 2012– Ontario, Canada
Pelee Island Winery Singing Moon Cabernet Merlot 2012 – Ontario, Canada
Sandbanks Winery Shoreline Red 2013 – Ontario, Canada
Sandbanks Winery Mouton Noir 2013 – Ontario, Canada
Torres Infinite Red 2011 – Spain
Diamond Estates 1914 Valour 2013 – Ontario, Canada
Palatine Hills Estate Cabernet Merlot 2012 – Ontario, Canada
Rancourt Winery Meritage 2009 – Ontario, Canada
Mondo del Vino Barone Montalto Nero d’Avola Cabernet 2013 – Italy
Bodegas Piqueras Castillo de Almansa Reserva 2010 – Spain
Fuzion Wines Fuzion Shiraz Malbec 2013 – Argentina
Fuzion Wines Fuzion Organico Malbec Cabernet 2013 – Argentina
Distell Inception 2011 – South Africa
Rosewood Estates Lock, Stock & Barrel 2012 – Ontario, Canada
Southbrook Vineyards Connect Red 2012 – Ontario, Canada
Cellier des Dauphins Cellier des Dauphins Rouge 2012 – France
Palatine Hills Estate Gamay Noir Rose 2013– Ontario, Canada
Chivite Chivite Gran Feudo Rosado 2013 – Spain
Konzelmann Estate Sparkling Riesling NV – Ontario, Canada
Konzelmann Estate Sparkling Rose NV – Ontario, Canada
Pelee Island Winery Secco 2012 – Ontario, Canada
Freixenet Cordon Negro Brut Cava NV – Spain
Henkell Cavas Hill NV – Spain
Segura Viudas Segura Viudas Cava NV – Spain

Now how is that for a shopping list!!

Cheers!
Debbie & the Savvy Team

 

 

Share

If I had $100…I would buy these wines at Vintages…

Posted by Susan

Friday, September 12th, 2014
Share

If you’re a lover of Ontario wines, as many of our Savvy Selections subscribers are, you’ll be delighted with the September 13 LCBO Vintages releases, which showcases the diversity of terroir and wines across the province.

Vintages magazine Sept 13 2014

State of the Art in Ontario

This billion-dollar industry has come into its own over the last 30 years, and we’ve been contributing to it! Most Ontario wine is consumed in Canada, and the shift in consumer tastes away from spirits to dry table wine can only accelerate the growth of the industry.

Old Vines, Part of Our Heritage

The province’s wine industry is located at approximately the same latitude as Burgundy, so we can ripen most Vitis vinifera grapes – Paul Bosc Sr. was one of the first to demonstrate this at Château des Charmes, where the first vines were planted in 1978 – and produce a range of wine styles, from crisp sparkling wines, such as The Grange of Prince Edward County Sparkling Riesling and Peller Estates Ice Cuvée Rosé, through off-dry and dry white or red wines to the iconic ice wine that reintroduced the Canadian wine industry to the world, represented in this release by Château des Charmes’  beautifully crafted ‘Estate Bottled’ Vidal Icewine.

Nature & Nurture

There’s a particular focus in this Ontario feature on the Cabernet Franc grape, which ripens particularly well in Niagara.  Used in Bordeaux blends, and produced as a single varietal wine in the Chinon and Bourgeuil appellations in France, Cabernet Franc has come into its own in Canada’s wine regions. The Ontario feature includes great examples from such producers as Peller Estates, Southbrook, Tawse and Thirty Bench (its Red is built around Cabernet the Cabernet grapes).

Taste the Place

I have visited Prince Edward County and Lake Erie North Shore several times, and usually make at least one annual pilgrimage to Niagara. It never ceases to amaze me how many new wineries are sprouting from the soil, how successful the well-established ones are, and how many wine lovers are stopping in to taste the wines, meet the winemakers, and take home a selection of wines. If your schedule doesn’t allow you to visit one of the regions in person, take advantage of this Vintages release to put together your own tasting party of Ontario wines!

Taste 2011For a real-life taste, come to TASTE 2014.  Come & meet some of the region’s finest chefs, winemakers, beer, spirits and cider masters. Sample the best gourmet food from top local restaurants and artisan food producers. Buy fresh produce and VQA wines in our farmer’s market. Come to Prince Edward County and see why TASTE Community Grown is Eastern Ontario’s most anticipated culinary event of 2014.

Tuscany’s Third Pillar – again

There’s always a secondary feature in the Vintages release, and this one will appeal to lovers of Sangiovese, specifically the Prugnolo gentile clone that is used in the production of Vino Nobile di Montepulciano.  This wine is designed for aging and is known for its firm structure, dark fruit and earthy character. Five producers are represented in the release – take your pick!

And, of course, there are some great values to be had in the general release, a couple of which are included in the selection below.

Cheers,
Susan
susan@savvyselections.ca
Sources:  The Ontario Wine Industry: Provincial Policy at a Crossroads, Pelling & Hira

 

If I had $100, I would buy these wines at LCBO Vintages…

September 13, 2014 

 

Flat Rock RieslingFlat Rock Cellars Riesling 2013

VQA Twenty Mile Bench, Ontario
$16.95 (Vintages 43281) 11.0% alcohol

Fabulous aromas of peach, nectarine, pear, lime and some mineral notes lift from the class of this off-dry white wine. It’s a masterpiece of balance, showcasing a beautifully crisp texture juxtaposed to round, well-ripened fruit flavours and that subtle mineral character. It’s juicy and flavourful to the last drop! Sip well chilled paired with soft cheeses on a warm autumn afternoon.

 

Talmard Macon UchizyMallory & Benjamin Talmard Mâcon-Uzichy 2012

AOC Mâcon-Uzichy, France
$16.95 (Vintages 733956) 13.0% alcohol

This classic white wine of southern Burgundy combines stone and orchard fruit aromas with the scent of sweet woodruff and smoke. Dry, medium bodied, it’s ripe round texture is perfectly matched to a fine seam of acidity. Flavours of apple and lemon-lime dance on the palate, garnished with a touch of toasted nut. Well balanced and absolutely lovely, it’s a match for lemon roast chicken or your choice of seafood. 

 

13th Street Cabernet Merlot13th Street Cabernet/Merlot 2012

VQA Creek Shores, Ontario
$19.95 (Vintages 56598) 13.5% alcohol

Dense and inky, this red wine blend offers lovely aromas of ripe dark fruit, earthy notes and hints of lavender and dried herbs. Dry, medium-full bodied, it’s polished tannins and tangy texture harmonize with dark berry and plum. There’s depth and intensity here, spice and smoky toast complementing the fruit on the extended finish. Enjoy with grilled red meats.

 

Chakana Cabernet SauvignonCkakana ‘Yaguaraté Collection’ Cabernet Sauvignon 2013 

Mendoza, Argentina
$13.95 (Vintages #663161) 14.5% alcohol

Ripe aromas of black currant, spice, toast and licorice lift from the glass of this appealing, full-bodied varietal wine. It offers a warm welcome, round mouth feel, soft tannins and generous ripe fruit accented by spice and tasty notes of coffee bean. This red wine is a crowd-pleaser with a pleasantly dry finish, it’s a great value and made for barbequed meats.

 

Dominio Cepas Viejas MenciaDominio de Tares ‘Cepas Viejas’ Mencia 2009

DO Bierzo, Spain
$29.95 (Vintages #379891) 14.5% alcohol

Subtle aromas—cherry, berry, leather, meaty notes, spice and vanilla—tantalize the nose and offer a well-rehearsed intro to the velvety, round texture of this captivating old-vines wine. It’s produced from Mencia, a grape native to Spain’s northwest and shown, through DNA testing, to be related to a grape native to Portugal.

Dry, combining finesse and power, it showcases great intensity and depth of fruit, a well-defined, refined structure, and the complexity of French and American barrel aging. The dry finish offers warmth and great length. Just fabulous, treat yourself to a bottle and you’ll enjoy tasting this wine before a dinner built around rare grilled meats. 

 

GRAND TOTAL: $97.75

 

 

Share

Nyarai Cellars – virtual winery in Ontario

Posted by Cathy

Friday, July 25th, 2014
Share

 

 Savvy Selections Ontario wine of the month club

Savvy Selections wine of the month club 
Featuring Nyarai Cellars

– July 2014 –

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

What is a virtual winery?

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

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

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

In your Savvy Selections you will find:

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

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

 

Introducing…
Nyarai Cellars

Presented by Cathy Law

 

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

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

And all that jazz…

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

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

Creating a co-operative community

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

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

Virtual vs. Reality

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

“My passions are music and wine”

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

Here’s to Steve & his wonderful wines!

 

~ SAVVY SOMMELIER TASTING NOTES ~

 

sauv blanc2012 Sauvignon Blanc VQA $19.95

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

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

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

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

 

viognier2012 Viognier VQA $21.95

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

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

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

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

 

veritas2010 Veritas Reserve VQA $26.95

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

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

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

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

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

 

 

~RECIPES TO ENJOY WITH YOUR SAVVY SELECTIONS~

 

With Nyarai Sauvignon Blanc….

Grilled Lemon and Rosemary Chicken

From the Canadian Living Light and Healthy Cookbook
Makes 4 servings

Ingredients

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

Method

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

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

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

 

With Nyarai Viognier ….

Cedar Planked Salmon à la Cathy

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

Ingredients

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

Method

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

Heat your BBQ or Smoker to medium high.

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

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

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

 

With Nyarai Veritas Reserve …

Mushrooms Stuffed with Parmesan Cheese and Almonds

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

Ingredients

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

Method

Preheat oven to 350F

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

Chop the almonds finely and set aside.

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

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

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

 

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

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

 

Enjoy your Savvy Selections!

 

Share