Posts Tagged ‘Vineland Estates Winery’

This Weekend Only! Order top wines from Savvy Pop-Up Shop

Posted by Debbie

Friday, March 31st, 2017

Our Pop-Up Wine Shop this week was a HUGE hit! Nine wineries from Niagara uncorked over 50 different wines for fans like YOU to taste & buy.

Sorry that you missed it…but the good news is that you can order online to stock up. Simply go to & pick any combo of 6+ wines that you would like delivered to your home or office – we’ll ship for FREE. Deadline to order: Sunday April 2nd @ midnight.


Let’s go wine shopping!>>

TIP: These wines are exclusively available from us…otherwise you have to go to the winery to buy them. You won’t find these special wines at the LCBO.


Top selling wines @ Savvy Pop-Up Wine Shop

Which to wines to buy? Here’s a starting point..and there’s more to order online.

13th Street Winery

2015 Merlot – $19.95
2012 Reserve Cabernet Franc – $29.95

GreenLane Estate Winery

2014 Tenacious C Chardonnay – $19.95
2012 Cabernet Sauvignon – $32.95

Meldville Wines

2015 First Edition Chardonnay – $20.00
2015 Second Edition Cabernet Franc – $27.00

Redstone Winery

2014 Limestone Ridge Riesling – $19.15
2015 Rose – $17.15

Tawse Winery

2015 Red Foot Pinot Gris – $25.15
2012 Cabernet Merlot – $22.15

Two Sisters Vineyards

2016 Rose – $29.00 (pre-release)
2013 Cabernet Franc – $48.00 (pre-release)

Vieni Estates Wine & Spirits

Momenti Sparkling – $13.95
Canada 150 Red Sparkling – $16.95 – YES! A dry, red sparkling for Canada’s birthday
2013 Red Trillium Ripasso – $16.95

Vineland Estates Winery

2014 Cabernet Merlot Growers Blend – $17.95
2014 Gamay Noir – $25.00

Westcott Vineyards

Violette Sparkling Brut – $25.95
2015 Reserve Chardonnay – $32.95


Order before midnight & shipping will be FREE


Just want a couple of bottles?

No problem. Shipping is $15 – hand delivered by courier. IDEA: combine your order with a friend’s to make up a 6+ bottle pack & the cost for shipping will be $0. It’s THAT EASY!


Have you heard? The County is coming too!

County in the Capital is happening on April 20th in Ottawa at the hip new Horticulture Building.

Join us at this Taste & Buy where Prince Edward County will be under one roof! Over 20 wineries, cideries, a craft brewery, distillery & cheesemakers along with gourmet goodies will be there.


Upgrade & save $25

Our ever-popular promo: Buy a Ticket & Bring a Friend for FREE has been extended until April 15. As a loyal Savvy fan, we are offering you a special promo code to get early access & red carpet treatment (and save $25 too). When you buy your ticket we’ll give you a complimentary V.I.T. (Very Important Taster) pass.

Simply use the promo code: WELOVEPEC …Ta-Da you are upgraded!


How to order your tickets:
Click here to order >>

* Select Individual Tickets
* Choose: Buy a Ticket & Bring a friend (this makes each ticket $40 each)
* Add a V.I.T. pass for each person
After you enter the deets for you & your friend, enter Promo Code: WELOVEPEC at the bottom of the order form. Magically you save $25 per person.

Share this with your friends, peeps & others who would like to come to County in the Capital. Hurry…only 82 tickets left before this Taste & Buy event sells out.

Thank you again for ordering from us & see you at County in the Capital.

– Debbie and the Savvy Team

PS – Spring cleaning? Found some Savvy wine tasting glasses you no longer want? Bring ’em back to County in the Capital! For every 4 glasses, we’ll give you a $5 gift certificate you can apply towards tickets to an upcoming Savvy Event.

Keep in touch with us…



One Night Only! Next Week – Wed March 29th

Posted by Debbie

Monday, March 20th, 2017

Psst…have you heard? We’re having our 1st ever Pop-Up Wine Shop. It’s happening next week & we invite you to come as our guest – no tickets…no cost…just RSVP!

A bunch of Niagara wineries – big & small – will be serving wines that you can only find in Ottawa at our Pop-Up Wine Shop. This spur-of-the-moment wine shopping event will
* 13th Street Winery
* GreenLane Estate Winery
* Redstone Winery
* Tawse Winery
* Two Sisters Vineyards
* Vieni Estates Wine & Spirits
* Vineland Estates Winery
* Westcott Vineyards

Hurry to jump on this opportunity to sip, sample & stock up for Spring (try saying that fast!). There will be newly released wines, top-selling wines, refreshing Sparkling & Whites, ready-for-spring Roses & Reds of all kinds.

Be our Guest!

We have designed this Savvy Pop-Up Wine Shop just for you! There is absolutely no cost for you to attend. Bring friends & introduce them to the new Savvy way to shop for outstanding Ontario wines.

Simply RSVP to put your name on our guest list. Use Promo Code: SAVVYSHOPPER


Pop-Up Wine Shop Deets

ONE NIGHT ONLY! Wednesday March 29
BRAND NEW VENUE: Innovation Centre @ 7 Bayview Road in Hintonburg (Ottawa)

COST: $25 per person….BUT for you, it’s FREE. Use Promo Code: SAVVYSHOPPER


ONLY 150 spots

To make this an extra special shopping experience with have lots of one-on-one time to chat with the winemakers, we are limiting our guest list to 150 wine lovers. Be sure to get your name on our guest list – quick! Use Promo Code: SAVVYSHOPPER


Stock up!…shipping is FREE

At this Pop-Up Shop order 6, 12 or more bottles of ANY combo of your favorite wines & we’ll deliver by courier to your home or office – absolutely FREE.


Can’t make it but want to order?

Call the Savvy Team on 613-SAVVYCO (728-8926) to place your order & take advantage of FREE shipping – to major cities in Ontario.


BONUS 50% off & INSTANT upgrades!

Come to the Savvy Pop-Up Shop & when Prince Edward County is in Ottawa on April 20th for County in the Capital, we’ll give you 50% off regular tickets. PLUS we’ll automatically upgrade you to get a FREE VIT (Very Important Taster) pass! This will give you the red carpet treatment & early access to the event so you can spend more time mixing & mingling with the cool folks from The County.

See you at our Pop-Up Wine Shop!
– Debbie and the Savvy Team

Savvy Company
613-SAVVYCO (728-8926)

PS – Spring cleaning? Found some Savvy wine tasting glasses you no longer want? Bring ’em back!  For every 4 glasses, we’ll give you a $5 gift certificate you can apply towards tickets to an upcoming Savvy Event.

Keep in touch with us…


Our Biggest Taste & Buy Event…EVER! NEXT week

Posted by Debbie

Wednesday, November 23rd, 2016

On your mark…get set…Power Shop! Our 5th annual Outstanding in their Fields Taste & Buy event is happening next week. Don’t miss it! It is a perfect way to get your holiday groove on & stock up on wine, craft beer & ciders…after all, the holiday parties are kicking into high gear!

AND there will be artisan cheeses & one-of-a-kind gourmet goodies to buy as gifts or to have on hand for the holidays (try saying that fast!!).

Special PROMO
Buy a $70 ticket + bring a friend FREE

Only available ’til Friday @ midnight


nullSip & Stock Up!

Join us & enjoy chatting to award winning winemakers, brewmasters & cidermakers from across Ontario who are coming to Ottawa especially for you.

Everything is EXTRA SPECIAL as you won’t find any of these outstanding bevvies at the LCBO.


Check out who is coming….

…from Prince Edward County

Broken Stone Winery * County Cider Company * Karlo Estates * Trail Estates Winery

…from Niagara

Amazing Wines * Aure Winery * Chateau des Charmes * Fielding Estates Winery * Kacaba Vineyards * Legends Estates Winery * Melville Winery * Two Sisters Vineyards * Veini Estates * Vineland Estates Winery

…from even further away

Railway City Brewery (St. Thomas)

…from closer to home

Calabogie Brewing Co. * KIN Vineyards * Tuque de Broue Brewery


FREE Shipping

To make your holiday shopping easy, we will give you FREE shipping when you order 6, 12 or more bottles of ANY combo of your favorites bevvies & Santa will hand deliver (aka by courier) to your home or office – absolutely FREE – in time for the holidays!


Event Deets

DATE: Thursday December 1st
VENUE: Horticulture Building @ Lansdowne, Ottawa
VERY IMPORTANT TASTER (V.I.T.) RECEPTION: 5 to 7pm – special passes required


We’ll roll out the red carpet

Upgrade your ticket with a Very Important Taster Pass (V.I.T.) for only an additional $25. Includes advance access from 5 to 7pm without line ups to have more one-on-one time & meet the makers…then stay on as long as you like for the main event. Limited to 150 passes.

NEW! Cheesemakers are coming too

Wait til you see the Savvy Cheese Bar ladened with hard-to-come-by artisan cheeses from Ontario & Quebec.

Nibble & sample while cheesemakers & our Cheese Sommelier Vanessa Simmons share ‘how to’ make a festive cheese board. Best part…you can buy your new cheese favorites right on the spot.

75% of tickets are already sold.
Quick!  Buy your tickets >>


Does not end there!

We’ve hand picked local artisans who create gourmet goodies & hand crafted items for the foodie on your gift list. Click to check out who will be there >>


Win 4 tickets…

Tell us what you leave for Santa on Christmas Eve…cookies or a dram of something stronger, perhaps? Send us an email to & we’ll enter you into the draw for 4 free tickets to Outstanding in their Fields.

The countdown to the holidays is on. Dash through the snow & get a jingle-a-ling on at this OUTSTANDING Taste & Buy event.

Mark my words, this is our BIGGEST event EVER!
– Debbie and the Savvy Team

Savvy Company
613-SAVVYCO (728-8926)

Keep in touch with us…


Monday DEAL: 50% off wine, craft beer & cider… Thought that would get your attention!

Posted by Debbie

Wednesday, November 23rd, 2016

At Savvy Company HQ, we’re caught up in the Cyber Monday deal-a-thons & joining in the online madness by offering 50% off TICKETS to our next wine, beer, cider event. Yes, half price tickets to this week’s Savvy Event. Heck, why not?!?

It is our 5th annual Outstanding in their Fields Taste & Buy & we don’t want you to miss it. Quick…buy your half price ticket today & join us for this fun evening tasting & trying hard-to-find wines, craft beers & ciders made across Ontario….the cool part is that you get to meet the dynamic people who make these delicious bevvies.

Tickets $35 per person

Tick Tock…ends @ midnight


There’ll be something for everyone – sparkling, white & red wines, dessert wines, ciders made with apples & pears along with really cool craft brews too…and special prices & deals too.

Everything at this event is OUTSTANDING…you won’t find any of the featured bevvies at the LCBO.

To top it all off…cheesemakers from Quebec & Ontario will be serving & selling their delicious artisan cheeses. And locally made woodworking, festive cookies, handmade preserves & neat gourmet treats – all ready-to-buy as gifts or to serve when you have people drop by during the holidays.


Event Deets

DATE: Thursday, December 1st
VENUE: Horticulture Building @ Lansdowne, Ottawa
VERY IMPORTANT TASTER (V.I.T.) RECEPTION: 5 to 7pm – special passes required

Advance Tickets Only
Buy your tickets >>


Check out who is coming….

…from Prince Edward County

Broken Stone Winery * County Cider Company * Karlo Estates * Trail Estates Winery

…from Niagara

Amazing Wines * Aure Winery * Chateau des Charmes * Fielding Estates Winery * Kacaba Vineyards * Legends Estates Winery * Melville Winery * Two Sisters Vineyards * Veini Estates * Vineland Estates Winery

…from even further away

Railway City Brewery (St. Thomas)

…from closer to home

Calabogie Brewing Co. * KIN Vineyards * Tuque de Broue Brewery


We’re rolling out the red carpet

Upgrade your ticket with a Very Important Taster Pass (V.I.T.) for only an additional $25. The V.I.T. Pass includes advance access from 5 to 7pm without line ups so that you have more one-on-one time to meet the makers…then stay on as long as you like for the main event. Only 150 V.I.T. passes


FREE Shipping

To make your holiday shopping easy, we will give you FREE shipping when you order 6, 12 or more bottles of ANY combo of your favorites bevvies & Santa will hand deliver (aka by courier) to your home or office – absolutely FREE – in time for the holidays!


Can’t make it?

You can still order & take advantage of the FREE shipping & special event prices. Email the Savvy Team or call us on 613-SAVVYCO (728-8926) to arrange a special order or to be provided the special web site link for online ordering (we’re getting it ready now!).

This event is already 85% sold out
Buy your tickets >>


Ho-Ho-Ho…we have 4 tickets to give away!

Tell us what goodie is always in your stocking. At my house, Santa always leaves a mandarin in the toe of our stocking. What is your tradition? Send an email to & we’ll enter you into the draw for 4 free tickets to Outstanding in their Fields.

This will be an OUTSTANDING holiday shopping event – don’t miss it!

See you there,
– Debbie & the Savvy Team

Savvy Company
613-SAVVYCO (728-8926)

Keep in touch with us…


100+ hard-to-find wines, craft beers, ciders & cheeses too!

Posted by Debbie

Thursday, November 3rd, 2016

This is THE hottest ticket in town…and you’re invited to join us & bring a friend for FREE. We’re hosting the always popular 5th annual Outstanding in their Fields Taste & Buy event where you will meet the makers of the finest wines, craft beers & ciders from across Ontario…and gourmet artisans too!


Sip & Stock up for the holidays

On your mark….get set…Power Shop! To prep you for this special Taste & Buy night, we’ll send you the list of featured products AND our Savvy Sommeliers & Cicerones will be at the event ready to share ‘must try’ tips.

There’ll be wines of all kinds – sparkling, white, red & even port, PLUS a variety of craft beers & ciders too. You won’t find any of the featured bevvies at the LCBO or grocery stores.

Special PROMO
Buy a $70 ticket + bring a friend FREE


Look who is coming from Niagara, The County & Ottawa region too!

Amazing Wines * Aure Winery * Chateau des Charmes * County Cider Company * Fielding Estates Winery * Legends Estates Winery * Karlo Estates * KIN Vineyards * Melville Winery * Trail Estates Winery * Tuque de Broue Brewery * Veini Estates * Vineland Estates Winery …and more will be announced!


FREE Shipping

This is an OUTSTANDING offer! At this event, order 6, 12 or more bottles of ANY of your favorites & we’ll deliver by courirer to your home or office – absolutely FREE.


Event Deets

DATE: Thursday December 1st
NEW VENUE! Horticulture Building @ Lansdowne, Ottawa
V.I.T. RECEPTION: 5 to 7pm – special passes required


Shop for cheeses too

Our Cheese Sommelier Vanessa Simmons will be shining the spotlight on hard-to-come-by cheeses from Ontario & Quebec that we’ve featured in our Savvy Cool Curds cheese-o-month-club. You can buy your new cheesey favorites to take home for the holidays.


Get the red carpet treatment….be a V.I.T.

Buy a Very Important Taster Pass (V.I.T.) for an additional $25 & enjoy advance access from 5 to 7pm…then stay on as long as you like for the main event. Limited to 150 passes.

This OUTSTANDING event always sells out quickly.
Buy your tickets >>


Hold on!!! There’s MORE…

For the Love of Cheese

Did you know it’s Cheese Month at the Canadian Agriculture & Food Museum? We are co-hosting these cheese-y activities every Tuesday evening – join us!
Nov 15: Wine & Cheese with a TWIST
Nov 22: Holiday Cheese Boutique
Nov 29: Fondue Fest & Racelette Rendez-Vous


Email us your favorite Canadian cheese & we’ll add your name to our draw for 2 tickets to any of these events. Need some help with pickin’ cheese? Check out our monthly Curd on the Street Magazine.

A FUNdraiser not to miss…

The Canadian Nurses Foundation called on us to create Sip & Savour FUNdraising event to help raise $1 million in one year to develop educational & special health care programs that will increase the number of nurses in Indigenous communities.

Join us on November 16 at The Westin Ottawa where Executive Chef Kenton Leier will be pulling out all of the stops to prepare an incredible menu paired with fine Ontario wines. It will be a delicious night with chefs & winemakers. Only 150 tickets….and selling quickly!

Don’t miss this event. Click to get your tickets >>


See you at all of these OUTSTANDING events…
– Debbie & the Savvy Team

Savvy Company
613-SAVVYCO (728-8926)

Keep in touch with us…


Raise a glass to celebrate Vineland’s 30 years

Posted by Shawn

Tuesday, December 30th, 2014

SS stamp lowest res


Savvy Selections wine of the month club 
Featuring Vineland Estates Winery

– December 2014 –


Many of Ontario’s wine regions have had the first snowstorm or two, and strangely some of us are experiencing an early thaw.   It is chilly enough to say that Old Man winter is here & it won’t be long until the freezing nights have the picking teams out collecting the raisened grapes that will be used in ice wine. This is a busy time for most, so while we all enjoy the great times with food and families over the holidays, the hustle and bustle can sometimes be overwhelming. Whether you need a simple entertaining idea, or want to kick back with your feet up in front of a roaring fire, we’ve selected three wines from Vineland Estates Winery to make things a little more relaxing. We hope you enjoy and have a wonderful holiday season!

Ready to uncork & enjoy your Savvy Selections? 

In your Savvy Selections you will find 3 VERY DIFFERENT wines. Each one has been specially selected for its unique ability to pair with food and toast the wintery holiday season. With an exquisite sparkling wine to kick off a party or ring in the New Year, an ‘oh-so-food-friendly’ white wine that you can pair with so many dishes, and finally, a bold red that will warm away the chills in front of a roaring fire, there really is something for every occasion in this shipment!

2013 Brut Reserve (Charmat Method) – A sparkling wine that fooled many on the Savvy team, who all believed it was a traditional method sparkling wine. Fresh, crisp, and fruit-forward in style, this perfect entertaining wine will have folks asking for more! 

2013 Pinot Blanc – A light white wine with intriguing aromas & tastes of lemon and grapefruit, and a really interesting beeswax note. The Savvy Team keep thinking of more and more recipes to create the perfect match with this wine.

2012 Elevation Cabernet – California meets Bordeaux! Big, bold, and delicious fruit meets earthy and slightly restrained palate, with solid structure to hold for several years.

OPTIONAL WINE: 2012 Reserve Chardonnay.  This wine is a delicious, fruit forward Chardonnay that reminds me of a green apple clafoutis – rich and creamy, but balanced by the crisp fruit. The balance of sweet fruit and crisp acidity demonstrate exceptional restraint given the hot vintage.  Want some of this incredible Chard?  Just call us!

You won’t find these Vineland wines at the LCBO

We have done it again!  Our Savvy Sommeliers have found wines (and great prices) that we are confident you will enjoy…every sip!  Vineland has several wines available at the LCBO, but many more that do not make it onto your local LCBO store shelves. Call on us at anytime you would like additional bottles of your favourite Vineland wines – or other wineries we have featured in Savvy Selections.  Your Canadian Wine Hotline is 613-SAVVYCO (728-8926) or send me an email to

Debbie & Savvy Team


Vineland Estates Winery

Presented by Savvy Sommelier Shawn McCormick

“Unbridled, child-like passion” is how winemaker Brian Schmidt describes his winemaking style. His reply may seem strange for someone who has been making wine at the same winery for almost 24 years, but it fits Brian to a tee. Minimalist by nature, he likes to let the grapes speak for themselves. Highly regarded by his peers, his talent for making the best out of what Mother Nature throws at them, year after year, resulted in Brian receiving ‘2014 Winemaker of the Year’ from the Ontario Wine Awards. Born into the family’s winery life at Sumac Ridge in British Columbia, Brian recalls making his first Okanagan Riesling at age 13. Following his older brother Allan (now President of Vineland Estates) to Ontario proved to be a good idea, and something the entire region has benefitted from.

A Sense of Place

BVinelandrian and I talk about a recent article by a New York state winemaker that alluded to the learning that comes with staying in one place. With his roots firmly planted at Vineland, Brian resonates with the article for its honesty. “Many have romantic notions of creating the perfect elixir” that involve experiences and skills learned from working at locations around the world. Brian sees value in understanding the different and emerging techniques that are having success globally, but explains the reality is a “long arduous season, working in imperfect conditions”.

Make the most of what you are given requires innate knowledge of what is going on in the vineyards. As Brian explains this is the real reason that you will so often see him in the vineyard (he is famous on Twitter for his ‘Twactor Tweets’ .  Follow him @benchwineguy), whether he is weeding, mowing, or trimming. His purpose is to be there and observe, day after day – “its not the same walking up and down a few rows once a week” he explains. He notes that although some of the vines have been in the ground for 35 years, you need to be nimble to catch the little clues each year. “If I haven’t made a compromise by 10 am, I’m not paying attention. Things change that fast!” he explains.

He pulls out an old quote that someone once told him to wrap up the discussion “Although vines love the rays of the sun, they love more the shadow of their master.”

Riesling, Cabernet Franc, and so much more

Brian is well-known for his passion for two grapes: Riesling and Cabernet Franc. He has travelled other cool climate regions in Europe extensively to understand what practices and knowledge can be applied to Vineland Estates. These new ideas, bundled with the deep knowledge from continually observing his vines allows Brian to figure out which improvements have a chance of working here. Vineland grows about 12 varieties themselves, and work with other growers for the other grapes they need. Of all of these, Brian has a special fondness for the Pinot Meunier (blended with Chardonnay in the sparkling in your Savvy Selections). As this varietal has not really caught on with others, it allows him to play with it more. There’s no consumers saying “Well, it doesn’t taste like so and so’s Pinot Meunier” says Brian, obviously enjoying the freedom to experiment.

“A Rising Tide Floats All Boats”

Brian SchmidtThis phase is one that Brian uses regularly, and breathes day to day. Passionate about increasing the overall quality of wines coming out of the region, Brian is quick to promote wines from his peers and believes that continually improving the quality of Ontario wine serves all of the wineries well.  He also serves as President and Chair of VQA Ontario.

But the real proof is seen in the day-to-day behaviours. Case in point, the latest piece of technology that Vineland has invested in is what Brian calls a “game changer” for the local industry. This automated optical sorter can inspect and reject bad berries and other foreign matter at lightening speed, improving the quality of the fruit going into the wines. Obviously small wineries cannot afford this type of investment, yet Brian notes that they sorted over 200 tons of wine for neighbouring wineries this year.

What’s in the future for Vineland Estates?

Brian wraps our whole discussion together when I ask about the future. Noting that some of his most enjoyable projects have involved highlighting the minute differences in the vineyard by producing wines from smaller vineyard blocks, Brian sees more of this in the future.Creating these wines of singular terroir expression with distinct singular personalities means a lot more work in the vineyard and offers the example of their Bo-Teek vineyard – that 60 acre block is now 15 different blocks, each imparting slightly different nuances into the vines. And that means more wines for you to try in the future!



With a host of wines to choose from, the team had a hard time selecting which wines to pick for this months selections. We decided on one for celebrating (the Reserve Brut), and a food friendly white and red that we could pair with hearty winter dishes.

With Ontario’s cooler climate, the wines tend towards lower alcohol levels and great acidity, making for great food pairing. Yet several recent vintages, notably 2012, saw greater heat units and more fruit ripeness earlier in the season. The red wines from these warm and dry vintages may exhibit more plush fruit flavours that can stand to be sipped alone as well as paired with big dishes. The continual variance in weather that makes wine-making so challenging also makes discovering Ontario wines so interesting!

Reserve Brut VQA 2013, $24.95

Comprised of 49% Pinot Meunier, 42% Chardonnay, and 9% Riesling, you’ll find this the perfect complement for oysters.

Savvy Sommelier Tasting Notes: Fine, elegant bubbles in this almost clear sparkler invigorate and refresh your palate. There’s a light sweetness of white flower honey, green apple and light stone fruit notes at first, and then the citrus kicks in and cleanses the palate with a lemon peel finish. There’s also a hint of spice on the finish that reminded us of fresh ginger.

Suggested Food Pairings: While immediately think of sparkling wine with oysters or other shellfish, this is a very versatile wine that works with many different dishes. Open it with canapés toasting in New Year’s Eve, with simple fare such as our fish taco recipe, or even simple snacks like potato chips in front of a movie – life is good! 

Cellaring:  Drink lightly chilled around 7 to 10ºC.


Pinot Blanc VQA 2013, $16.95

As Brian himself describes it “…takes me back to a childhood memory of sitting on a sunny hill, chewing on the white stalk of a new blade of grass”.

Savvy Sommelier Tasting Notes: This is a really intriguing wine that changes while in your glass. At first, the nose is dominated with beeswax and honey notes, and the fruit takes a backseat. As the temperature comes up, the fruit explodes out of the glass with lemon-lime, peach, and hints of nuttiness and under-ripe pineapple.  Dry grapefruit finish begs for another sip!

Suggested Food Pairings: Another versatile wine that will work with many dishes. The Savvy Team immediately thought of roast turkey or chicken, cream soups, or fish and chips. See our recipe for bacon, corn & potato chowder on the following pages.

Cellaring: Drink now. Can serve between 5ºC to 10ºC with more opulent fruit notes emerging at the warmer end of the spectrum.

Elevation Cabernet VQA 2012, $25.00

Vineland Barrel CellarWith winemaker Brian Schmidt being well known for his Cabernet Franc, we had to give you a glimpse of the stellar red wines that Vineland also produces. This blend of 80% Cabernet Franc and 20% Cabernet Sauvignon from a stellar growing year exemplify that Ontario can make great red wine as well as whites. 

Check out Vineland’s barrel cellar (photo at right, courtesy of Paul Bagley)

Savvy Sommelier Tasting Notes:  Fantastic growing conditions in 2012 give us a big, rich red wine that some say are like “Napa Valley meets Bordeaux”. Rich, dark brooding fruit greet the nose, with some earthy and leathery notes following. With a plush, full mouthfeel, the black cherry, cassis, and ripe plum flavours are balanced with moderate acidity and fine tannic structure.  Over time, some lifted menthol and sweet spice notes emerge, and the palate adds light mocha notes. This is a wine that evolves over the evening, and we encourage you to do that if you can!

Suggested Food Pairings: Calls for beef bourguignon, beef stroganoff, or venison stew. 

Cellaring: Drinking well know, can cellar for up to 5 years or more.



With Vineland’s Reserve Brut 2013…

Fish Tacos

From Shawn McCormick’s family kitchen
Serves 4

Served with a tartly dressed green salad, this soup is hearty and filling enough for a light supper. I like the convenience of using chicken broth, but if you have a good beef broth on hand, feel free to use it for even deeper flavor.


1 lb white fish (cod or halibut)
1 package of small tortilla (soft taco) shells
3 cups finely shaved Savoy cabbage
1 cup mayonnaise
1 TBSP lime zestJuice of 1 lime
A second lime, cut into wedges
8-12 Coriander sprigs
Slice green onions
Salt & pepper to taste


Cook the fish as you like – fried in butter, or poach it in lightly salted water. Fry for 3-4 minutes per side if frying, or simmer for about 10 minutes until the flesh is flaky if poaching. Once done, remove and beak into smaller pieces to fit in the tortilla shells. Keep warm.

Cut the Savoy cabbage across the grain so you have long thin strands of cabbage.

Mix the mayonnaise & lime zest together. Whisk in the lime juice a bit at a time. You want a thin sauce but not too watery. Add some salt and pepper to taste.

Place fish in tortilla shell (I like to lightly warm mine over a gas burner on low). Top generously with cabbage, green onion, and a few sprigs of Coriander. Drizzle generously with lime-mayonnaise sauce and a spritz of fresh lime juice from the wedge.


With Vineland’s Pinot Blanc …

Bacon, Corn & Potato chowder

From The Food Network
Serves 4 to 6


1 Tbsp butter
¼ lb of bacon, diced
1 cup chopped onion
¾ cup chopped green pepper
salt & pepper
1 Tbsp minced garlic
2 Tbsp flour
4 cups chicken broth
4 cups peeled, finely diced potato
1 ½ cups shredded carrot
2 cups fresh or frozen corn kernels
1 cup half-and-half cream
½ tsp dried thyme
Pinch cayenne pepper
2 Tbsp chopped fresh Italian Parsley


Sling the butter into a soup kettle and melt over medium-high heat. Add the bacon and cook till crisp. Scoop out the bacon and drain on paper towels. Save for later–don’t nibble too much.

Pour off all but 1/4 cup of fat from the pot. Toss in the onions and peppers, seasoning them with a pinch of salt and pepper. Cook till soft and then throw in the garlic, cooking it all for 1 minute more. Sprinkle on the flour and mix into the veggies. Dump in the broth and potatoes.

Cover the pot and bring to a boil; then lower the heat and simmer for 10 to 12 minutes, or till the potatoes are tender. Add the shredded carrots and corn. Cover and simmer everything 5 to 6 minutes longer to blend the flavors.

Stir in the half-and-half. Season with the thyme, cayenne, some more salt, and lots of freshly ground black pepper to taste. Sprinkle with parsley and the bacon bits you’ve been saving. Give it one last stir, and ladle it up piping hot.


With Elevation Cabernet …

Hungarian Paprika Beef (Goulash)

From Shawn McCormick’s family kitchen
Serves 4-6


1 kg lean stewing beef or sirloin tips, cubed
2-3 glugs of cooking oil
2 large onions, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 28oz can diced tomatoes
2 red bell peppers, cut into 1” chunks
2 TBSP paprika
2 TBSP hot smoked paprika
2-3 cups of beef stock
Salt and pepper to taste


In a large frying pan, brown all sides of meat in oil in small batches. You don’t want it cooked through – just browned on the outside. Remove meat from pan and place in slow cooker. Repeat until all the meat has been browned.

Add and brown the onions & garlic in the drippings, adding more oil if required. Once browned, add the onions & garlic to the slow cooker as well. Deglaze the pan with a cup of beef stock and add it to the slow cooker.

Sprinkle the beef and onion mixture with the paprika and stir in the can of tomatoes. Add more beef stock as required to cover the meat.

Cook in the slow cooker on high for an hour, then drop the temperature to low and cook for another 2 hours.

Add the chopped red bell peppers and cook for another hour on low. Taste, and add salt and pepper as required. You may also want to add more paprika if you like it spicy.

Serve over mashed potatoes or buttered egg noodles, paired with Elevation Cabernet! 


Happy Holidays
& Enjoy your Savvy Selections!


FreshTAP moving into Ontario with wine-on-tap

Posted by Debbie

Monday, November 17th, 2014

Every glass of wine should taste exactly as the winemaker intended. Wine Industry Leaders Allan and Brian Schmidt in partnership with Cameron West expand wine-on-tap category.

FreshTAP bottles & steel

FreshTAP is growing fast. With its newest expansion into Toronto and the Ontario market, British Columbia-based FreshTAP Pouring Systems promises wine lovers across the province a carefully curated range of Smarter, Fresher, Friendlier local VQA wines on tap, by the glass to an ever more discerning community of restaurateurs and wine lovers.

From its 5,000 square foot facility in the Niagara Peninsula, FreshTAP Ontario kegs wines from Creekside Estate Winery, Henry of Pelham Estate Winery, Mike Weir Winery, Stoney Ridge, Reif Estate Winery, and Vineland Estates into 19.5L stainless steel kegs—the equivalent of 26 bottles or 130 five-ounce glasses.

Held under the gentle pressure of an inert gas, each wine is perfectly preserved from oxidation for up to eight months once tapped, ensuring that the last glass is as fresh as the first. FreshTAP is currently featured in Toronto at popular restaurants such as Rock Lobster, Drake 150, Montage and Walhburgers, and ONE Restaurant by Mark McEwan. FreshTAP has also installed seven, five-tap systems and a portable wine-on-tap unit at the new 5,300 seat Meridian Centre in St. Catharines.

FreshTAP set up in restaurant

Latest trend in wine

“Wine-on-tap is the hottest trend in restaurant wine service across North America right now,” says FreshTAP Ontario’s  Cameron West, who, alongside Vineland Estates Winery’s Allan and Brian Schmidt, has brought FreshTAP to Ontario. The sons of a third-generation winemaking family whose father founded B.C.’s Sumac Ridge Winery, the Schmidts have been pioneers and industry leaders in the Niagara wine region for over three decades.

“We knew of the high-quality standards developed and practiced by FreshTAP in B.C. for premium wine kegging and restaurant wine-on-tap installations,” says Allan Schmidt. “That made it easy for us to partner with them to expand the brand and to make that same premium service available to all of Ontario’s wineries.”

From the point-of-sale perspective, FreshTAP ensures the utmost quality in wine-on-tap by-the-glass, with less spoilage and waste, greater efficiency for restaurants, and a more positive environmental impact.

FreshTAP into the glass

Waste not…want not

Based on current clients and licensees, FreshTAP Ontario estimates it will keg over 100,000 liters of wine in its first year (2014-2015), thereby eliminating more than 15,000 lbs of cardboard waste and diverting some 130,000 bottles, caps and corks from Ontario’s recycling and waste streams. Since launching in British Columbia in 2011, FreshTAP has kegged over 320,000 liters of wine, eliminated 52,201lbs of cardboard waste and kept 429,052 bottles, caps and corks from entering that province.

“It’s been an exciting three years since we launched in B.C., and we couldn’t be happier partnering with such esteemed industry professionals in Ontario to elevate FreshTAP to the national level,” said FreshTAP Co-Founder Mike Macquisten. FreshTAP at hockey game“There is an incredible consumer demand and the momentum keeps building for wine-on-tap. We’re thrilled to be at the vanguard of this category in the Canadian market.”

In addition to its Ontario vendors, FreshTAP is also available at over 150 restaurants and public venues across Western Canada such as Vancouver’s Rogers Arena, Delta Hotels, and 14 of The Keg Steakhouse locations throughout British Columbia and Alberta.

For more information on FreshTAP, visit:



Business partners Mike Macquisten and Steve Thorp founded FreshTAP in February 2011 in Vancouver, British Columbia. Wine-on-tap from stainless steel kegs provides a sustainable, environmentally friendly wine delivery system and FreshTAP enables the wine and hospitality industries access to this uniquely green category. With more than 150 wines now available via FreshTAP stainless steel kegs, this system provides hospitality locations throughout Canada with an easy solution for delivering wine-on-tap to their customers. In 2014, FreshTAP saw a new operational expansion into Ontario making the brand both the pioneer and leader in the wine-on-tap movement in Canada.


For interviews, imagery, or more information:
Kate MacDougall
Camber Communications
+1 (604) 862-5191/




Celebrate Red & White! Get your shopping list ready…

Posted by Amanda

Friday, July 11th, 2014

O Canada! Prepare to be amazed. We’re putting the final touches on Celebrate Red & White!  An All-Canadian Night Taste & Buy event that will take place on Wednesday July 16.  A record number of wine lovers from the nations capital will be treated to wines from coast to coast as they nibble made in Canada gourmet goodies too. (more…)


‘Simply Outstanding’ – reviews pour in about Twenty Valley wines

Posted by Debbie

Friday, December 6th, 2013

All of us at Savvy Company love wine & we love to have fun introducing you to new wineries & their wines.  Last week we hosted 20+ wineries from Niagara’s 20 Valley to strut their stuff at Outstanding in their Fields Taste & Buy event in Ottawa.  Despite the first big snowstorm, the event was sold out & received many rave reviews from wine lovers & wineries.

Here is a great review from one the bloggers – Jane Staples – who offers wine tips to help you start your Christmas shopping!

And more great news….20 Valley wineries are coming back in November 2014.  Stay tuned for the details.  If you would like to receive an invitation to this signature event, simply let us know with an email to


GUEST BLOG by Jane Staples

A sold-out winetasting event at the NAC last night, showed how delightful a Savvy wine tasting can be.  Over 300 people braved the slippery streets to be greeted warmly by Savvy Company staff.  Dozens of  outstanding wines from Niagara’s Twenty Valley wine region were available to taste and to order.  This is probably the most fun you can have while doing some holiday shopping and stocking up for home entertaining at the same time. A disc jockey and a raffle added to the fun.

My top picks…

I started the evening’s tasting with some bubbly from Cave Spring: lovely green apple and citrus on the nose and palate, a fine creamy fizz and a long citrus finish made this a perfect way to wake up the taste buds and start the tasting adventure.

My favourite wine discovery (after all, I already knew that I love champagne) was Kacaba Pinot Noir VQA 2007. Earthy, plummy, tart fruit flavours and well-balanced acidity and tannins. Sure to pair well with roast pork, duck or turkey.

Another happy find was Green Lane Chardonnay VQA 2010.  Fresh citrus and pear on the nose, repeated with subtle oak and vanilla on the palate. Definitely a wine worth remembering.

Last stop was at the Vineland Estates table, where I sampled their 2011 Rose.  If you like strawberries or dreaming about summertime, this one’s for you. Fresh strawberries on the nose and tart berries on the palate, which sweetens during a lingering finish.

Want to order these outstanding Ontario wines?

No problem! You can order any of the wines featured at Outstanding in their Fields online or call the Savvy Team anytime on 613-SAVVYCO (613-728-8926) to make arrange a shipment of Ontario wines for you.  Place your order before December 8th to take advantage of the free shipping offer on a case of wine.

This was Savvy’s last wine tasting event til 2014…we can’t wait to see what the New Year brings!

Hats off to Savvy Company for another terrific wine event!

– Jane







An eye popping wine discovery…

Posted by Wayne

Tuesday, July 21st, 2009

Featuring Vineland Estates Winery
Canada’s wineries delivered to your doorstep

Savvy Selections is all about discovering premium wines made by winemakers across Canada.  This month we have made an incredible – not to mention delicious – discovery when we opened top-of-the-line wines from Vineland Estates Winery of Niagara.


Seriously, our eyes popped out in amazement when we sampled these elegant, well balanced and well crafted wines. We wish that we could see your reaction of discovery when you take your first sip of the Elevation Series wines in this month’s Savvy Selections:

Elevation Series Riesling VQA 2007– a signature grape variety of Vineland Estates. This is the best of the best!

Elevation Series Chardonnay VQA 2007 – a white wine that any red wine lover will enjoy

Elevation Series Cabernet VQA 2007 – a blend that has won numerous awards recently that the winery has just relabled the bottle to accommodate all of the accolades!


Vineland Estates and its owners – the Schmidt family – are familiar to many Canadian households for quality wines. More importantly, they have leant a hand and their knowledge to grape growers, restaurants and start up wineries all in effort to help build a vibrant wine industry in Ontario and across the country.  Even Brian Schmidt, Vineland’s esteemed winemaker, helped by supporting an event that The Savvy Grapes was involved in during our early days of being business…and look at us now…showcasing his premium wines to our Savvy Selections subscribers.  Thank you Brian!


In this Savvy e-Zine, read more about Brian’s down to earth winemaking style that fascinated 0ur Savvy Sommelier Wayne Walker during his interview. As always, you will find our Savvy Sommelier tasting notes and summer recipes chosen to pair with the selected wines.


Visit the winery & stay for a meal…

When your travel plans take you to Niagara, be sure to include a visit Vineland.  Not only is it a stunning historic property, be sure to make time for a gourmet meal at the restaurant located in the 1845 circa farmhouse.  Pick a table outside under the shade of the large tree and be mesmerized by the view of the rolling vineyards while Executive Chef Jan Willem-Stulp and his team create an outstanding wine and food experience for you.  More at      


Stock up for the summer…

The Elevation Series wines will take your taste buds to new heights.  When you would like more of these wines or other wines from Vineland Estates, simply call me at any time to make the arrangements for a delivery. The wine can be sent to any Ontario address: to your home, office or even cottage.  Put us on speed dial! Savvy Company 613-SAVVYCO (728-8926).


Cheers, enjoy and most of all enjoy your summer!

Debbie & the Savvy Team


Vineland Estates Winery

Presented by Sommelier Wayne Walker

Off the beaten track, yet on a well traveled route, turn off the Q.E.W. at exit 57, head south on Victoria Avenue into the area known as Vineland. A quick right turn on Moyer Road will bring you to a remarkable landmark: a stone tower that marks the site of an 1860’s Mennonite homestead and now the home of Vineland Estates Winery. 


According to winemaker, Brian Schmidt, this is the site of the “fortunate happenstance” by Hermann Weis of Mosel, Germany in 1979. Weis attested that vinifera (winespeak: pure grape varieties – example Cabernet Sauvignon, Riesling, etc.) could not only survive, but flourish in the clay and limestone soils of Niagara. This brought about a “natural evolution” that Allan Schmidt (Vineland’s General Manager) and his brother Brian Schmidt have vigorously cultivated since assuming the direction and development of the winery in 1988.


Vineland Estates produces not just great wine, but a great wine experience. Its highly recommended restaurant, wonderful wine boutique, carriage-house facility for picturesque private events, phenomenal vineyards and unique wine cellar (a living record each of the 25 year history of the winery in bottle format) have all evolved from a natural sense of “working with all that we have,” as Brian explains


“Minimalist by nature” is how Brian expresses his approach to winemaking.But minimal doesn’t mean reducing to the bare bones. It means getting down to simple quality and enhancing the natural essence of the grapes.”


Brian’s insights into how he makes Riesling wine is almost a mantra for the character of the winery: “Our style is crafted from what we have been given from the vineyard. Acidity is the most consistent characteristic of grapes we can grow in Niagara. We don’t always have the conditions for high sugar and alcohol content in our crops. If we relied on those qualities for the basis of our Riesling wines we might only be successful 3 out of 10 years.” 


Brian goes on to explain, “For Riesling, we can typically get 18 to 18½ Brix (winemaker’s term for measurement of natural sugar content in grapes) consistently at each harvest. I stylize the winemaking so the acidity is adequate, yet not overpowering. It is this balanced approach that makes a great tasting wine like Elevation Riesling with only 8% alcohol and 20 grams of residual sugar.” With this explanation, our Savvy Selections tasting panel knew that it was a natural fit to include Vineland’s top end Riesling in this month’s selection.


Balance extends itself from winemaking into the vineyard. “To realize consistency of quality in the vineyard, our primary focus is to grow a healthy and balanced vine – one that is growing well considering the conditions of soil and the weather,” explains Brian in his down to earth manner. “Some wineries measure the number of tons per acre. To me, this is not as important as the sustainability of the vine and the methods we use to grow great grapes (viticulture). It’s a creative balancing act and I don’t want to handcuff our winery with expectations or quotas.”


For this reason, in some years, Brian does not craft particular wines in his portfolio. Simply put, due to rain or lack of sun hours or other natural affectations, he will not comprise quality or Vineland’s esteemed reputation with a sub-par wine. Vineland loyal customers and restaurants have expectations when they uncork a bottle of Vineland wines. Our Savvy Selections tasting panel were impressed with each of the four wines in Vineland’s Elevation Series, making it difficult for us to only pick three to showcase this month.


In addition to Riesling, Brian is inspired when he talks about Cabernet Franc and Sauvignon Blanc vineyards and the wines. In his opinion, both are very well suited to Niagara terroir resulting in complex wines.


“It is all about finding a balance. Like all pleasures, wine should not be complicated…simply enjoyed,” mentions Brian.  “Vineland Estates Winery is where great wine, fabulous food and beautiful surroundings embrace simple pleasures.”


Vineland Estates is very proud of the success of its Elevation wines in the marketplace and at wine competitions.


As a sommelier, I think that with every sip of Vineland’s wine you can taste the evolution of a winery that aims to create not only great wine, yet wine with unique character – its food friendliness, its winemaking philosophy and its sustainability. Cheers & Enjoy!




~ Savvy Sommelier Tasting Notes ~

Elevation Riesling VQA 2007, $25

The fruit for these wines is harvested from the highest elevations on the property allowing them to take full advantage of temperature fluctuations (difference between day and night temperatures) that are generated by the Beamsville Bench – part of the Niagara Escarpment – along with the gentle breezes of nearby Lake Ontario. Combined, these help generate fresh acidity, ripe flavours and silky textured wines.


Savvy Sommelier Tasting Notes: Pale yellow, clear and reflective, tickles your nose with aromas of clover honey, ripe apple and apricot. A soft steely texture with apple and apricot integrated with pink grapefruit. The intensity of sweetness and acidity makes for a distinct crisp taste experience – perfect for summer sipping.


Suggested Food Pairing: Serve chilled (at about 11C) on its own or with food. Quiche, ceviche, curry dishes and ginger infused desserts.  With its intensity and natural sweetness of this wine, Japanese dishes like Sushi, Shabu-shabu, Tempura or Ootoro are especially tasty – try your hand at our rolled sushi recipe below.


Cellaring: No need to wait – this wine is ready to drink this summer.



Elevation Chardonnay VQA 2007, $25

Also produced with grapes grown on the Beamsville Bench, subtle barrel aging adds to the complexity of its ripeness and silky texture. This is a white wine that any red wine drinker will enjoy.


Savvy Sommelier Tasting Notes: A reflective pure straw colour, this medium-bodied wine presents good fruit aromas of crunch apple (spy apples in particular?), fresh nectarines, tangerine with a hint of pencil shavings (do you smell this?). Apple. herbs and lemon follow through on the palate and offer a balanced experience held together with good acidity and soft tannins. A medium aftertaste of apple and lemon-pepper leave a reflective impression. Delicious!


Suggested Food Pairing: This wine is like a cross-over vehicle when it comes to food pairings. It can match well with the lighter sides like fruit salads, Caesar salad, shellfish (raw and steamed). While it can also carry larger foods like honey-barbeque chicken wings, fish chowder and soft cheeses. In the meat category. oven-roasted pork, grilled chicken or white fish with garlic or citrus marinade.  Believe it or not a perfect complement with this wine is POPCORN – especially caramel corn!


Cellaring: Drinks like a dream right now. Cellaring shouldn’t exceed 2 years if you want to maintain present levels of fruit flavour. Serve at 12C to 14C.


Elevation Cabernet VQA 2007, $25
Another ‘Elevated’ experience, that takes advantage the micro-climate, it benefits from the experience and expertise of Vineland’s esteemed winemaker and friend of Savvy Company – Brian Schmidt. A blend of 70% Cabernet Franc (a very successfully nurtured grape in Niagara) and 30% Cabernet Sauvignon, the sweet red bell pepper flavours of Cabernet Franc have been supported by the dark-fruit sweetness of Cabernet Sauvignon in an extremely well crafted and well-balanced wine. You are the first to receive this bottle sporting the new label that celebrates its string of recent awards – Savvy Selections membership has privileges!

Savvy Sommelier Tasting Notes: A rich, transparent medium-bodied wine with aromas of ripe red berries and cinnamon then after the wine breathes a bit, the aromas extend into sweet bell red pepper, dark fruit (do you find figs and plums) and dark chocolate. The flavours evolve too! Dark juicy black cherry, mulberry, warm spice, toffee and even lemon pepper, finish off with subtle dry tannins, good acidity and warmth. A balanced experience whose medium finish leaves reflections of spicy, dark fruit.   

Suggested Food Pairing: Certainly this wine qualifies for the BBQ season! Pork chops and ribs would match best, especially when dry rubbed with herbs and spices. Tomato-based pastas, lasagna and even smoked ham would be delicious. A meal of middle-eastern or Greek cuisine lend themselves to a great match too. BBQ foods aside, probably one of the best selections would be thin crust gourmet pizza – a favorite recipe is below.

Cellaring: This wine is great for drinking right now. It could cellar quite comfortably for 5 to 7 years which would bring out its structure even more. Serve at 16C to 18C


~ Recipes to enjoy with your Savvy Selections ~

With Elevation Riesling…

Maki-zushi (Rolled Sushi)

Serves 6 or more


2 ½ cups Japanese short-grain rice (like Koshihikari)

2 ½ cups cold water

4 tablespoons rice vinegar

3 tablespoons superfine sugar

2 teaspoons salt

Your choice of cooked or raw seafood, chopped or minced

6 sheets of nori (edible seaweed)

Soy sauce

Gari (pickled ginger)

Wasabi paste




1.      Place rice in a colander. Rinse thoroughly. Drain. Put in cold water in saucepan and bring to a boil. Cover pan and turn heat to very low and cook for 15 minutes without lifting the lid. Turn off heat and allow to stand for 10 minutes more still covered, then spoon rice into large bowl.


2.      Mix together the vinegar, sugar and salt in a small bowl until sugar dissolves then drizzle mixture over the rice. Mix together gently to completely coat rice. Set aside to cool to room temperature.


3.      Toast each nori sheet very lightly by passing back and forth over hot stove burner. Don’t get it too close to the heat or it will quickly burn.


4.      Spread rice evenly on nori sheet on bamboo roller. Put seafood filling across centre of nori on top of rice. Roll up bamboo mat pressing forward to shape the roll. Press bamboo mat gently to shape and firm up sushi roll. Remove roll from bamboo and with a sharp knife that you wet with water, cut roll into 2 inch slices.



With Elevation Chardonnay…

Best ‘Barbie’ Chicken

Serves 6


6 chicken breast halves (preferably boneless, skinless)

1 cup vegetable oil

2 cups lemon-lime flavoured carbonated beverage

1 cup soy sauce

1 ½ teaspoons garlic powder



1.   In a medium bowl combine oil, lemon-lime beverage, soy sauce and garlic powder. Stir thoroughly.


2.   Put chicken and mixture together in sealed Ziploc bags or plastic container and marinate in refrigerator for 12 to 18 hours (6 to 9 hours if using boneless, skinless breasts). 


3.   Barbeque slowly — don’t overcook. Turn often and baste with mixture on each turn. Cook until meat is no longer pink in the center and juices run clear. Discard remaining marinade.


4.   Depending on marinating time and cooking method the amount of marinade consumed will vary.


With Elevation Cabernet…

Easy to Make Thin-Crust Gourmet Pizza
Serves 1 or 2 per pizza


Olive oil

1 small red onion, thinly sliced

Pinch of sugar

1 teaspoon balsamic vinegar

2 large flour tortillas (sandwich wraps)

1 cup shredded Asiago cheese

2/3 cup Ricotta cheese

6 to 10 Cremini (aka Button) mushrooms, trimmed and thinly sliced

3 Portobello mushrooms, trimmed and thinly sliced

½ cup spinach

½ thinly sliced red pepper



1.   Preheat oven to 450F. If using a stone for baking, allow oven and stone to heat for 15 minutes before cooking. Otherwise, use rimmed baking sheets and parchment paper and place racks in the upper and lower thirds of the oven to preheat and cook.


2.   Heat one teaspoon of Olive oil in a sauté pan on medium heat. Add onions and stir until they soften. Add pinch of sugar and the Balsamic vinegar. Stir in mushrooms, spinach and red pepper slowly. Add more Olive oil if required. Cook until onions have softened and spinach is beginning to shrivel.


3.   Sprinkle some corn meal on your pizza wheel (or rimless cooking sheet) and place tortilla on top and brush with Olive oil. If you are using rimmed cookie sheets, put parchment paper on sheets, brush with Olive oil and put tortilla on top then brush tortilla with oil.


4.   Sprinkle each tortilla with ½ cup shredded Asiago cheese. Sprinkle with cooked onions, mushrooms, spinach and peppers then add bits of Ricotta cheese. Sprinkle lightly with salt and pepper. Brush lightly with Olive oil if you wish.


5.   Bake until crust is crisp and very brown (5-7 minutes if using a stone. Start with 10 minutes if using cookie sheet and check it for crisp brown texture from there.) Cut with a pizza cutter and serve.  



Cheers to “Elevating” your summer!