Posts Tagged ‘Sparkling Wine’

Pet-Nat Wine 101

Posted by Alexandra Kay

Monday, May 17th, 2021
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By Shirley Roy, Savvy Sommelier

These fresh and vibrant bubbly wines are popping up at many of our favourite Ontario vineyards. Pet-Nat is short for ‘pétillant naturel’, the French name for natural sparkling wine. Like all natural wines, Pet-Nat is fermented with wild yeast in the air. It is bottled before fermentation is complete, which traps some of the carbon dioxide from fermentation in the bottle and creates bubbles. But because Pet-Nats are bottled before their fermentation is complete, it is hard to predict whether the final wine will have a delicate bubble – or be very volatile!

In the past, there have been some unfortunate cases of Pet-Nat bottles exploding. For this reason, you’ll often find today’s Pet-Nats sealed with screw caps or bottle caps instead of corks to prevent any unwanted accidents. Pet-Nat wines are definitely not wines to cellar. Enjoy these bright, bubbly wines within a year of their release. They are great to drink on their own or with lighter food, like salads or some great cheese. Being a natural wine, there will be a fair amount of sediment in the bottom of the bottle–best to pour gently & leave it there!

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Vieni Estates: Sparkling Rosé Brut

Posted by Debbie

Wednesday, April 1st, 2020
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2012 Sparkling Rosé Brut

SHOW SPECIAL! $16.95 (regular $29.95)
Niagara

Previously restricted to restaurant sales, Two Sisters has generously made the last of their 2012 Estate Red available to Savvy customers. Aged 25 months in a mix of French (75%) and American (25%) oak (15% new), it’s a blend of half Cabernet Sauvignon and half Merlot. Enjoy it while you can!

Savvy Sommelier Tasting Notes: One of our favourites from Two Sisters, this complex and medium-bodied wine will wow you with its flavours of smoke, red and sour cherries, mint, and cedar. It’s a wonderful table wine, with supple tannins and medium acidity.

Suggested Food Pairing: Serve this with grilled lamb chops and spring vegetables to celebrate the season.

Cellaring: Drink now or cellar up to 3 years.

If you would like to order this bottle of wine, call your friends at Savvy Company at 613-SAVVYCO (728-8926) or email us at cheers@savvycompany.ca. We’ll deliver with a smile!

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Pondview Estate Winery: Lot 74 Sparkling Brut

Posted by Debbie

Wednesday, April 1st, 2020
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2014 Lot 74 Sparkling Brut

$24.95
Niagara-on-the-Lake

Pondview’s Director of Sales, Marcel Morgenstern, wouldn’t tell us anything about this wine until we had tasted it. Finding unusually floral, Marcel laughed and told the story. He said he had discovered a box of wines made in the 70s in a winery that had shut down. Among them, he discovered a Vidal table wine, and began to think about how unusual it is that so few wines are made with this lovely hybrid grape. He thought it would be an interesting experiment to make a sparkler with it and convinced his Pondview colleagues. The Lot 74 Sparkling Brut – made from 100% Vidal grapes in the Charmat method – is the result. 

Savvy Sommelier Tasting Notes: The wine pours with heady effervescence and aromas of white peaches and cherry blossoms. It’s lightly tart and very pretty, with a surprisingly sharp mousse. This would be a beautiful wine to celebrate the beginning of the weekend or a get-together with friends.

Suggested Food Pairing: Marcel recommended pairing this wine with a party! But he also said it would go well with canapés served at that party.

Cellaring: Drink now.

If you would like to order this bottle of wine, call your friends at Savvy Company at 613-SAVVYCO (728-8926) or email us at cheers@savvycompany.ca. We’ll deliver with a smile!

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Westcott Vineyards: Violette Sparkling Brut

Posted by Debbie

Friday, March 27th, 2020
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2017 Violette Sparkling Brut

$25.95
Niagara

Charmat method sparkler blended from 2 parts Chardonnay and 1 part Pinot Noir, this is pretty and aromatic with a long-lasting mousse, courtesy of Westcott Vineyards. This  wine won a Bronze medal in the 2016 Decanter Magazine World Wine Awards.

Savvy Sommelier Tasting Notes: There’s just so much happening in this wine. Lemon, green apple, brioche on the nose but strawberries and tobacco flavours. It’s dry and tart and has a fantastic mousse.

Suggested Food Pairing: Enjoy with buttery oysters or lightly salted popcorn.

If you would like to order this bottle of wine, call your friends at Savvy Company at 613-SAVVYCO (728-8926) or email us at cheers@savvycompany.ca. We’ll deliver with a smile!

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Tawse Winery: Limestone Ridge Sparkling Riesling

Posted by Debbie

Friday, March 27th, 2020
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2016 Limestone Ridge Sparkling Riesling

$21.15
Niagara

Savvy Sommelier Tasting Notes: The Limestone Ridge Vineyard is certified organic and biodynamic, and this sparkling wine is made in the traditional Champagne method. It tastes of ripe green apples, lemon, and wet stone with a fine mousse and long, dry, lemony finish.

Suggested Food Pairing: Tawse suggests to enjoy with delicious seafood, such as oysters, shrimp, or lobster.

If you would like to order this bottle of wine, call your friends at Savvy Company at 613-SAVVYCO (728-8926) or email us at cheers@savvycompany.ca. We’ll deliver with a smile!

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KIN Vineyards: KINdling Sparkling Vidal

Posted by Debbie

Friday, March 27th, 2020
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2017 KINdling Sparkling Vidal

$22.95
Carp

This was a tasting panel favourite!

Savvy Sommelier Tasting Notes: Made in the charmat method, it has a pretty, aromatic fragrance with green apple, lemon, and minerality on the palate. We love its light sweetness and soft bubbles – this is a people-pleaser!

If you would like to order this bottle of wine, call your friends at Savvy Company at 613-SAVVYCO (728-8926) or email us at cheers@savvycompany.ca. We’ll deliver with a smile!

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Huff Estates Winery: Cuvee Janine Sparkling Rosé

Posted by Debbie

Friday, March 27th, 2020
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2016 Cuvee Janine Sparkling Rosé

SPECIAL! (reg $30) $27.00
Prince Edward County

Huff Estates made this wine in the traditional Champaign method from 80% Chardonnay and 20% Pinot Noir grapes, this sparkler has a beautiful mousse and elegant salmon colour.

Savvy Sommelier Tasting Notes: It’s crisp and dry with notes of green apple and lemon. Perfect for the holiday season!

If you would like to order this bottle of wine, call your friends at Savvy Company at 613-SAVVYCO (728-8926) or email us at cheers@savvycompany.ca. We’ll deliver with a smile!

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Casa-Dea’s Estates Winery: Sparkling Rosé

Posted by Debbie

Friday, March 27th, 2020
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2017 Dea’s Sparkling Rosé

$21.95
Prince Edward County

Casa-Dea Estates Winery made this rosé wine by using the Charmat method from 100% Gamay Noir grapes. This sparkler has a surprising deep cherry colour enhanced by a beautiful foam.

Savvy Sommelier Tasting Notes: Flavours of green apple, lime and minerals lead to a tart, smooth wine perfect for celebrating.

If you would like to order this bottle of wine, call your friends at Savvy Company at 613-SAVVYCO (728-8926) or email us at cheers@savvycompany.ca. We’ll deliver with a smile!

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Broken Stone Winery: Exuberance Sparkling Riesling

Posted by Debbie

Friday, March 27th, 2020
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Exuberance Sparkling Riesling

$24.95
Prince Edward County

This lovely, crisp sparkling Riesling is made by Broken Stone Winery using Niagara fruit.

Savvy Sommelier Tasting Notes: Showing a firm mousse, you’ll find this loaded with minerality and green apple goodness. The lemony acidity is top-notch, making this sparkler a terrific food wine.

Suggested Food Pairing: Perfect as an appetizer or hors d’oeuvres wine, serve this with an avocado salad or crisp fried clams.

If you would like to order this bottle of wine, call your friends at Savvy Company at 613-SAVVYCO (728-8926) or email us at cheers@savvycompany.ca. We’ll deliver with a smile!

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What do Organic Wine Labels mean?

Posted by Debbie

Thursday, August 9th, 2018
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These days, products labelled as “organic, green, gluten free or vegan” are often confusing and have different meanings depending on whether the item is eggs, apples or grapes. Personally, in general terms, I tend to think organic wine is one that has not had pesticides or other chemicals used in its vineyard or winemaking process. If that is indeed the case, I can’t help but wonder if this extra attention results in a difference in taste too.

My curiosity gets the better of me and nose dive into some ‘research’.

The David Suzuki Foundation offers some great explanations of terms that I have interchanged. For example, when the wine label states “made with organically grown grapes”, this means that the wine is made with a minimum of 70% organic grapes.  Turns out this is not the same as certified organic grapes.  The term Certified Organic means that the producers use 100% organic grapes and cannot use toxic pesticides, herbicides or synthetic fertilizers that would infiltrate both the soil and the grapes.

Biodynamic wine is defined by renowned winemaker Ann Sperling (of Sperling Vineyards, Southbrook Vineyards and Versado) as, “Uber organic”.  Biodynamic is organic but natural resources are used to cultivate grapes and must meet the standards imposed for organic-certified farming. This kind of wine production also takes into consideration the lunar calendar, astrology, plants, animals, insects;  it’s not just about the grapes.

I admit that I find the idea of the slant of the moon’s light on a vineyard making a difference in grape-growing a little mind-boggling. In order for a winery to declare itself as biodynamic, it must have achieved the highest level of certification through Demeter Canada and maintained it for a minimum of three years. It’s no wonder that there are only a handful of biodynamic wineries across the country.

Wine Country Ontario lists wineries in Ontario that sell organic, vegan, gluten-free, vegetarian and biodynamic wines. All these labels embrace sustainable winemaking or economical farming practices. Whether the wine tastes any different with these labels depends on your opinion.

The recent release at LCBO’s Vintages is promoting several organic wines. I have a couple of recommendations from this release and also suggestions in the general list of organic wines. Many LCBO stores have an organic wine section, so have a look the next time you are in one. You might find something new from this issue to impress your vegan friends!

From the August 4 release. 

 

Murviedro Luna Organic Brut Cava

Spain
$17.95 (Vintages #547224) 11.6% alcohol

Cava in Spain is akin to Prosecco in Italy and it never hurts to have one of these chilling in the fridge. This happens to be a Gold Medal winner at the 2017 Concours Mondial de Bruxelles. Whenever I see those gold labels, it’s never a risk to buy the bottle.

Cava is known for its light sparkling citrusy moussey bubbles, made from the Macabeo grapes and is always a delight for brunch, Happy Hour or to kick off a party.

 

 

Southbrook Triomphe Chardonnay 2016

Niagara-on-the-Lake, Canada
$24.95 (Vintages #172338) 12% alcohol

Southbrook Vineyards is known as the first winery in Canada to earn both organic and biodynamic certification in the vineyard. It is also one impressive winery to visit in Niagara. The architecture of this biodynamic winery is different from its neighbors and their elegant wines are always memorable.

During the release tasting, I did not get to sample this 2016, but previous Chardonnays made by Ann Sperling have been knock out delicious.

Enjoy a glass in the sunshine, unwinding while the sun goes down, with fish or chicken off the BBQ or a summertime salad.

 

Montes Alpha Syrah 2015

Colchagua Valley, Chile
$19.95 (Vintages #612) 14.5% alcohol

The label on the bottle of this dark blackberry nectar states “dry farmed”.  What does this mean? Basically the grapes are cultivated without any irrigation in regions where there is little rain. The grapes feed off any residual moisture in the soil which deeply extends their vine roots and consequently their flavour.

I really liked the leathery finish on this wine.  It would be great with any grilled chops.

 

Organic Wines available all year round at the LCBO

 

Lurton Piedra Negra Pinot Grigio Organic

Argentina
$13.80 (Vintages #55674) 12.5% alcohol

This is a “pretty” soft white, dry, medium-bodied white wine. Luscious tropical and citrus flavours present loads of fresh fruit on the palate.

I picked this up on my lookout for general list organic wines at the LCBO (regularly available on the main store shelves) and it has easily become a favourite in my house.

It’s refreshing and delicious on its own or served with fish tacos, sushi, cold pasta salad.

 

 

El Abuelo Organic Tempranillo Monastrell

Almanzo D.O., Spain
$9.95 (Vintages #524520)  14% alcohol

Don’t let the price fool you. This great organic wine from Spain is full-bodied with loads of black fruit flavours.

Bone dry and smooth, it packs lots of punch at 14% alcohol but does not taste hot on the palate.

It goes well with burgers or spaghetti or just to sip in a glass.

 

Travel tip and wine stop in Hockley Valley, Mono, Ontario 

 

My husband and I recently returned from a trip to the Hockley Valley Resort (North of Toronto near Orangeville) and discovered the Adamo Winery Estate. The resort offers a shuttle to the winery, but if you prefer to walk, it’s a short distance but all uphill.

The resort and winery are family owned and operated, clearly taking great pride in both their wines and the upscale resort. Have a look at the pictures online, it is indeed as lovely as it looks.

The farming practices in the 25 acre winery are both organic and biodynamic. Shauna White, Vineyard and Winery Manager, uses thermal blankets in the winter to cover the vines so that they are insulated and protected from ice and snow. This method is done instead of hilling up vines (burying them in the earth), like they do in Prince Edward County.

At the winery, the Paddock Café offers small plates of local cheeses, olives and charcuteries overlooking the 23,000 vines. It is also a wonderful photo-op beside an amazing golf course. We visited the winery 3 times in 3 days to take in the ambience and sample more wines. The Rieslings and Viognier wines were favourites with many grapes being sourced from the Niagara region.

Coincidentally, 6 years ago, I had met Shauna when I interviewed her for our Savvy Selections wine-o-month club featuring Ravine Estate Winery.  Shauna was the winemaker. Needless to say, the surprise to see her again at Adamo was a delight and made for an over the top vacation.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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