Posts Tagged ‘Thyme and Again Creative Catering’

Ontario wines to WOW your Valentine….

Posted by Debbie

Tuesday, February 12th, 2013
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Thyme & Again Creative Catering called on the expertise of our Savvy Team of Sommeliers to provide wine recommendations that would deliciously pair with their Valentine’s menu.     As Thyme & Again and Savvy Company are both members of Savour Ottawa it was only natural to select Ontario wineries to enjoy with the special meal made with local products & artisan foods.

All of the recommended wines are available at the LCBO.

Begin with Bubbles!

  • Flat Rock Cellars ‘Riddled’ Sparkling VQA 2008 (Twenty Valley) $29.95
  • Featherstone JOY Premium Cuvée Sparkling Wine VQA 2008 (Twenty Valley – aka Niagara Escarpment) $34.95
  • Peller Estates Ice Cuvée Rosé Sparkling (Niagara) $34.95

 

White Wines

  • Coyote’s Run Red Paw Pinot Gris VQA 2011 (Niagara) $17.95
  • Fielding Estates Riesling VQA 2011 (Twenty Valley)  $18.95
  • Vineland Elevation Sauvignon Blanc VQA 2007 (Twenty Valley) $19.95
  • Stratus Gewürztraminer VQA 2011 (Niagara-on-the-Lake) $29.95
  • Closson Chase Vineyard Chardonnay VQA 2009 (Prince Edward County) $29.95

 

Red Wines

  • Malivoire Guilty Men Red VQA (Twenty Valley) $14.95 – this wine is sure to provoke a fun dinner conversation!
  • Kacaba Vineyards Cabernet/Syrah VQA 2008 (Twenty Valley) $18.95
  • Pondview Cabernet Merlot VQA 2010 (Niagara-on-the-Lake) $19.95
  • Huff Estates Merlot VQA 2011 (Prince Edward County) $19.95
  • 13th Street Cabernet Merlot VQA 2010 (Twenty Valley) $21.95

 

A Sweet Finish

  • Sandbanks LOVE Cassis Aperitivo $14.95 – great to make Kir Royal cocktails
  • Megalomaniac Coldhearted Riesling Icewine VQA 2008 (Twenty Valley) $29.95
  • Peninsula Ridge Cabernet Franc Icewine VQA 2001 (Twenty Valley) $29.95

 

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Wine & Cheese with a TWIST!

Posted by Debbie

Thursday, January 24th, 2013
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Chances are we have all been invited to a wine and cheese party. Not only is it a relatively simple way to entertain friends, neighbours or even clients – a glass of wine and a chunk of cheese are a classic pairing. With a wide variety of wines to choose from along with an array of soft, creamy, hard and even blue cheeses, there is a different taste sensation waiting to be enjoyed.

Which wine goes with which cheese?

The best way to figure this out is to experiment. My rule of thumb is the flavour of the cheese guides you to determine whether you may enjoy a light wine or a full bodied wine. Cheeses with mild taste such as young Cheddar, Feta, Goat Cheese, Parmesan, Havarti and Brie would be best with a glass of crisp white wine such as Sauvignon Blanc or Pinot Gris or light bodied red wine such as Pinot Noir or Gamay. When you bite into a chunk of cheese with bold aromas and tastes such as Gouda, Gorgonzola, blue cheeses, Stilton or older cheeses that are hard and crumbly, be sure to have a glass of heavier white – oaked Chardonnay, Fumé Blanc – or full bodied red wines – Merlot, Shiraz, red Zinfandel or red blends. With a great cheese and wine combo, you are in for a delicious treat!

What is a Wine & Cheese with a TWIST?

Go beyond just having wine and cheese on hand and have winemakers and cheese makers at the event too. Maybe even a cheese Sommelier!

“It is so fascinating to meet the people who make the wine and cheese we all enjoy.” comments Amanda Jackson who regularly attended Savvy Company’s wine tastings and cheese classes and now organizes them at Savvy Company. “Adding the people who make the wines provides more learning and a great atmosphere, they always have interesting stories and want to share their knowledge with you. After all, they produce their own wines for us to enjoy.”

Savvy Company is hosting two Wine & Cheese with a TWIST events that will take place in small venues and there will be a limited number of tickets available to make sure that each ticketholder has plenty of opportunity to chat with each of the winemakers who are coming from their boutique wineries in Prince Edward County and Niagara.  We invite you to join us in Rockcliffe Park on Tuesday January 29th or Westboro on Wednesday January 30th.

See the full list of Ontario wines that will be showcased those 2 nights.

 

And more winemakers are coming to Ottawa at these events:

LCBO’s Taste Ontario! – Monday February 11 at the National Art Gallery $65. To buy tickets call the LCBO on 1-800-266-4764

California Wine Fair – Friday, April 5th at Westin Ottawa. Tickets go on sale February 1st on  www.calwine.ca

Don’t be shy…ask winemakers ANY questions!

Winemakers are some of the most interesting people and they enjoy meeting the people who buy their wine.  Here are some conversation starters:

How was this year’s harvest?

In the fall of 2012, Winemakers in Ontario broke records and started picking grapes earlier than ever – in some cases 3 to 5 weeks earlier than they have in the past 40 years.

What is happening at the winery right now?

With the cold snap this week, many have started to pick the grapes left on the vines for icewine

How did you become a winemaker?

Be ready to chat for awhile with this question! They may bend your ear for a bit with the story.

What is your favorite drink after work?

Watch out, the answer might be beer!

Some SAVVY wine tasting tips…

At these fun walk-about wine tastings, it can be overwhelming with so many bottle of wines open to try.

Be selective – You don’t have to try every wine. Decide ahead of time to taste a certain grape varieties (Riesling, Merlot, etc) then discover the differences from winemaker to winemaker.

Spitting is OK – Sommeliers do it all the time! By spitting, you’ll be able to taste more wines during the event. At each table, wineries will always provide a spittoon. If it is not there – don’t be shy & ask for it!

Dumping your wine is fine –Remember that this is a wine TASTING. There is no need to finish all of the wine in your glass. When you’ve tasted enough, it’s perfectly ok to pour the remaining wine into a spittoon. Rest assured that the winemaker won’t take it as a signal that you didn’t enjoy the wine, rather it’s a sign you’re ready to move on to taste the next wine.

Refresh with water – take a break from sipping wine and have a glass of water. This will give you a chance to relax and reflect on the great wines that you have and the water will refresh your palette.

Most of all….have fun!

-Debbie

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You’re invited to a Wine & Cheese with a TWIST

Posted by Debbie

Thursday, January 10th, 2013
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Shake off the winter blues & join our team of Savvy Sommeliers for a fun wine tasting the “coolest” wines from Niagara & Prince Edward County boutique wineries.

These back to back events will take place in small & intimate venues so that you can spend the evening chatting with the winemakers & winery owners about their vineyard, winemaking styles & all the goings on at the winery during the winter months….and stock up on your favorite wines too!

 

ROCKCLIFFE PARK

Tuesday January 29 @ 7pm
Rockcliffe Community Hall – 380 Springfield Rd

BUY TICKETS > >

~ OR~

WESTBORO

Wednesday January 30 @ 7pm 
Exposure Gallery
– 1255 Wellington St West (2nd floor of Thyme & Again)

BUY TICKETS > >

 

What is the TWIST?  

At these Taste & Buy events, there will be a wide selection of hard-to-find wines that are not available at the LCBO.  This gives you the unique opportunity to a taste a variety of sparkling, white, red & dessert wines that you can order your new favorite wines that will be delivered directly to your home or office – within a week!


Feature wineries include:

Casa Dea Estates Winery (Prince Edward County) – one of the first wineries in The County will showcase their new range of wines.

Fielding Estates Winery (Beamsville Bench – aka Niagara Escarpment)  – from sparkling to reds, their wines are fantastic!

Lighthall Vineyards (Prince Edward County) – one of the newest boutique wineries in The County…and their wines are turning heads!

Palatine Hills Estates Winery (Niagara-on-the-Lake) – one of the oldest vineyards in the region makes spectacular reds, whites & bubblies

Pondview Estates Winery (Niagara-on-the-Lake) – they’ll be serving their Bella Terra Reserve wines

Rosewood Estate Winery & Meadery (Beamsville Bench) – outstanding white wines & a lovely Pinot Noir awaits…and meads too (winespeak for wine made with honey)

Sue-Ann Staff Winery (Beamsville Bench) – international winemaking star will charm you with her vivacious personality & her impressive wines.

 

You can purchase your favorite artisan cheese too!

And as wine & cheese is a classic pairing, Vanessa – our Cheese Sommelier – will be on hand at the Artisan Cheese Bar serving handcrafted cheeses from Ontario & Québec that may be purchased to take home with you that night.

ADVANCE TICKETS ONLY

HELD OVER! $55 per person before January 25 (regular $65)

$200 for a group of 4 people (save $15 per person)

Only 50 tickets available per event.  Click to buy yours …

ROCKCLIFFE PARK event on January 29 >>

WESTBORO event on January 30 >>

Price includes wine tasting, cheeses, HST & a special Savvy wine tasting glass

Share this invitation with your friends – everyone is welcome.

 

These events are hosted in partnership with:

 

 

 

 

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Rave Reviews about Savvy Company

Posted by Debbie

Monday, March 7th, 2011
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Rave Reviews from guests at “52 New Wines from One Unforgettable Place” our Savvy Company & Wineries of Niagara on the Lake Taste & Buy Event

My group of 4 thoroughly enjoyed ourselves. The venue was great and the wine was well presented. Great job! – Karl

Thanks a lot for the event last night-it was great!! – Nick

Another good Savvy Event… as always! – Stuart (a Savvy Selections subscriber)

Congrats on a great event. My wife Caroline & I really enjoyed ourselves – Mike

Thank you for the lovely evening.My husband Neil and I had an absolutely lovely time! – Wendy

That event was fantastic! – Nancy (a Savvy Selections subscriber)

Just wanted to let you know that the NOTL wine tasting was a great success, and a brilliant idea to set up the purchase/shipping arrangement. We ordered from 6 or 7 different wineries. And the Savvy Team was very helpful in suggesting wines that were ‘must try’….and we did! – Jim (a Savvy Selections subscriber)

Thank you for putting me on the guest list, it was a great event, good to see that so many support our local Ontario wineries. – Chef John Young (Chateau Fairmont)

My guests and I thoroughly enjoyed the event and we would definitely attend it again (as I told several of the reps from the different wineries).  Thanks again for a wonderful event!  – Heather

We had a great time, what a fun event!! – Jennifer

What a fantastic experience to meet winemakers while sipping on their wines.Thank you for introducing me to some fantastic wines. –Lilian


Rave Reviews from participating wineries

Thank you for all of your help in coordinating the Wineries of Niagara-on-the-Lake tasting earlier this week. It felt like it was a massive success and I believe we may have secured a few wine orders as well. Hoping that you had a great time and that the Savvy team was thrilled as well. – Sherri Lockwood, Peller Estates Winery

What a great event last night you & the Savvy Team hosted. It was great to meet so many Cattail Creek fans and hear how our wines have become a part of their lives! –Roselyn Dyck-Cieszkowski, Cattail Creek Family Estates Winery


Reviews from guests at our Savvy Events

“What an extremely enjoyable night at the Great Canadian Cheese Discovery event.  The venue at Thyme and Again was very comfortable and professional.  Vanessa engaged everyone around the table.  The way the cheese was presented one at a time with your talk about it and your knowledge was good for all.  I will definitely be back with more friends!’ – Lynda

“EXCELLENT EVENT!! A great selection of local craft beers – exactly what we wanted to try out. Chatting with brew company staff was the best part. They provided us lots of info on the beers and events for summer months –all info that is really good to know. Thank you!’ – Monica

“Another amazing Savvy Event. I had a great time last night discovering BC wines. And the food was incredible! I love how you keep the tasting to stories about the people of the vineyards rather than glass swirling and nosing. Refreshing.” – Sheldon

“You did an amazing and wonderful job tonight Vanessa!  You speak well on both career and passion… and I’m now even more addicted to cheese!” –   Ella

Reviews from Savvy Selections wine of the month club subscribers

“My husband and I have thoroughly enjoyed all the wines that have been delivered, so far!” – Marion

“We have enjoyed the Savvy Selections wines for the last 6 months. Thank you for the great service.” – Simone

“I can’t live without my Savvy Selections wine of the month subscription.  Please keep the deliveries coming each month!” – Dawn

“My friends really enjoyed the wines and were appreciative of the present.  It truly is a great gift idea.  I did the same for my sister a while back and she too enjoyed it.” – Trice

Reviews from wineries & breweries that we have featured

“We are immensely grateful for your support. We couldn’t ask for a better ambassador for our wines for an event of this calibre (serving sparkling wine to the Queen). Looking forward to hearing/reading/seeing more about this amazing luncheon.” – Peter Bodnar Rod, Sales Manager,13th Street Winery, Niagara

“Debbie – thanks for including Hockley in your events.  You always knock it out of the park.” – Steve Smellie, Hockley Valley Brewing Co., Orangeville

 

Reviews from corporate clients

“Debbie, I wanted to thank you again for a lovely event.  The guests were impressed and it was consistent with the Lord Elgin’s image and I think that the Sommelier led wine tasting of a ‘Trip Around the World in 7 Glasses” came across well.” – Ann Meelker, VP Sales Lord Elgin Hotel

“Over breakfast, I heard rave reviews from several attendees of yesterday’s Winemaker’s Challenge and the feedback was positive.  This icebreaker for our annual sales kick off was excellent & enjoyed by everyone.  Please pass along my thanks to Susan Desjardins and Julie Stock”  – Francesca Forde, Espial

“I just wanted to thank you for your help last week and over the weekend with the surprise wine for our Ottawa office. I heard the party was a blast and the wine was a huge success! Thanks again for your help on such short notice.  As always, Savvy Company is a pleasure to work with!” – Shannon Clark, Halsall

“Thank you so much for your all help and for pulling this off on such short notice. I will definitely keep you in mind for future events.” – Susan Hauck, Omnicare

 

Reviews from media

“Savvy Company’s first craft beer tasting was a superlative event” – Ron Eade, Food Editor of the Ottawa Citizen

“The Great Canadian Cheese Discovery is a must do while in Ottawa. The class is a dinner party atmosphere, led by cheese sommelier Vanessa Simmons, who is openly fanatical about artisan cheeses.” – Reb Stevenson Travel Writer, Toronto Star

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Ontario wines fit for Her Majesty the Queen

Posted by Debbie

Wednesday, June 30th, 2010
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I will never forget the phone call when I was asked to be the Sommelier for a private luncheon for her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II during her Canada Day visit to Ottawa. The caterers for this special event – Thyme & Again Creative Catering – requested that I handpick a selection of wines to pair with each course. The meal featured locally grown ingredients and produce – naturally, it was a prime opportunity to showcase Ontario wines and wow the guests.  

 

Below is the royal lunch menu and premium Ontario wine selection – enjoyed by her Majesty the Queen and 100 plus guests during the royal visit of the newly renovated Canadian Museum of Nature in Ottawa on Wednesday June 30, 2010.

  

   

 

 

~ Upon Arrival ~

13th Street Winery Cuvée 13 Rosé VQA 2007, Niagara

A small number of Ontario’s 100+ wineries craft sparkling wine.  13th Street Winery is a boutique winery situated on the Beamsville Bench (Niagara Escarpment) renown for their sparkling wines. This rare sparkling Rosé made with Chardonnay, Pinot Noir and a splash of Syrah is extraordinary – dry, crisp with delicate aromas of wild strawberry, juicy red cherry with an elegant mousse that lingers as it refreshes. A delicious way to begin today’s celebration.

 

 

~ First Course ~

Green and White Asparagus Salad with Orange Segments,

Organic Baby Lettuces and Shaved Ontario Fifth Town Artisan Cheese Isabella’s Extreme Sheep’s Milk Cheese

 

Huff Estates South Bay Chardonnay VQA 2007, Prince Edward County

From Ontario’s fastest growing wine region – Prince Edward County – where over 20 wineries have emerged in the last 5 years and their wines are making a big impression in the wine world. This Chardonnay from Huff Estates won the prestigious White Wine of the Year from the annual Ontario Wine Awards and turned heads as it gained praises by British wine media last month when showcased at the Seriously Cool Chardonnay tasting at Canada House in London, England. This Chardonnay is a complex medium to full bodied wine, delicately threaded with French oak giving delicious tastes of vanilla custard, toasted nuts, warm spices with a hint of smoke.

 

 

 

~ Main Course ~

Roasted Breast of Barbarie Duck with Shredded Confit of Duck Leg
Mashed Potatoes
with Wild Blueberry & Thyme Jus

Local Spring Vegetable Bundle

 

Stratus White VQA 2006, Niagara

Located in the heart of Niagara-on-the-Lake, Stratus Vineyards crafts an ‘assemblage’ using the estate’s best Sauvignon Blanc, Chardonnay, Riesling, Gewurztraminer, Semillon & Viognier grapes.  The blend composition changes with each vintage. The result in the 2006 vintage is a medium bodied wine with aromas of peach & pear with a delicate hint of orange blossom balanced with the acidity & plush mouthfeel that will complement the ingredients in the main course for those who prefer white wine.

 

Lailey Vineyard Canadian Oak Pinot Noir VQA 2007, Niagara

A truly Canadian wine – this Pinot Noir has been aged in barrels made with native Canadian oak trees – an innovation in the Canadian wine industry.  Lailey Vineyard is one of the original six wineries who were integral to this experiment. They now they craft four wines exclusively aged in Canadian oak barrels to rave reviews.  This elegant medium bodied wine has aromas of cherry, cranberry & earthy tones that grace the glass with a soft texture of red fruit & fresh ground white pepper that lingers on the palate. Selected by the Sommelier as roasted duck & Pinot Noir are a classic food & wine pairing.

 

 

 

~ Dessert Course ~

Fresh Local Strawberry Compote with Lemon Poppyseed Shortcake

Vanilla Mascarpone Mousse
Maple Shortbread

 

Coffee and Tea Service

 

 

Media Coverage

Read the article that appeared in the St Catherine’s Standard on July 2, 2010 ‘Some Niagara wines for the royal palatte’ featuring this luncheon event.

 

 

 

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