Posts Tagged ‘VQA wines’

20 Questions: The ‘dirt’ on Derek Barnett

Posted by Debbie

Monday, February 5th, 2018
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All of us in the Savvy Team have been long-time fans of Derek Barnett. We were gung-ho to do our part when he launched his Meldville Wines by featuring Derek’s wines in Savvy Selections in July 2016. Since then, the wines and Derek as a new business owner have shone. The story about the winery in the beginning is the same! So, I asked Derek “20 Questions” about his career as a winemaker and threw in some personal ditties to get some ‘dirt’ on the man Derek Barnett. “But I don’t enjoy talking about myself”, said Derek. Here he is with the spotlight shining directly on him.

1. What do you take in your morning coffee or tea? Coffee is black, no sugar. Tea is milk, no sugar

2. What drink would you like right this minute? Malt Whiskey – it is 11pm right now afterall!

3. When you were 10, what did you want to be when you grew up? Always wanted to be a farmer – just like both of my grandfathers.

4. What was the very first winery that you ever visited? I have to think it was Stoney Ridge in Beamsville (Niagara).

5. What wine got you hooked? Oh my, I need two!! German Riesling – Jos.Jos. Prum Graacher Himmelreich 1976. Later on, it was Cloudy Bay Sauvignon Blanc

6. Take a few minutes and jot down the path to becoming the winemaker you are today: Winemaking started for me at Southbrook Winery back in 1991 when it was located in Maple, sourcing fruit from Niagara Vineyards. In 2001 my wife Judith and I, moved to Niagara to begin Lailey Vineyard with Donna and David Lailey, Tonya Lailey and Yves Starrveld. Making small batch wines from the 23 acre vineyard that eventually was planted with 15 different vinifera grape varieties. In 2015, Lailey Vineyard and the winery were sold. Soon after, Judith and I started Meldville Wines, a virtual winery working from Legends Estate Winery in Beamsville – still making small batch wines from just a few less grape varieties!!

7. What is your winemaking style in 3 words: Rich balanced wines

8. Do you have music playing in the cellar while you work? No Music – can’t hear the wines talking!

9. Favorite thing about the local wine industry: I love it all. We are making great wines so getting together to taste and chat is pretty special.

10. Favorite thing about growing grapes: That answer is easy. Got to love the awakening in the vineyard each and every spring and looking forward to what is ahead.

11. What part of winemaking are you always trying new things? For me, it is always the fermentation

12. What is the unglamorous thing about winemaking? Getting in the tanks for remove the tartrates, getting in the press to scrub it clean at the end of the day……

13. Who have been your mentors throughout your winemaking career: There have been many people who have helped get me to where I am today, but none more than Bill Redelmeier – founder of Southbrook Vineyard.

14. What about personal mentors? That would be my brother Malcolm

15. What wine region do you want to visit next? Oregon

16. One surprising thing that I’m really good at: Winemaking! – he says with a giggle (photo credit: winesinniagara.ca)

17. When is your birthday (no year required!): Feb 20

18. My Birthday “Favorite Meal”: Risotto

19. What do you like to do when in you are not making wine? Golf. Long walks with my camera and bike rides with my wife Judith

And now for Question #20….

Since you are lucky to live & work in 2 wine regions – Niagara and The County – what are 2 of your favorite places that you’d recommend to take a break from tasting and touring to do? You know…the ‘local inside scoop’ 

In Niagara – I love to visit lock 3 of the Welland Canal – check the museum, soak up some history and watch the freighters going up and down the canal. The other place to get off the beaten track for a while is the DeCew Falls. Oh and if you are still thirsty – many local breweries with great patios.

In PEC – I don’t have a lot of time to when I’m in the County to explore but I love going to Lake on the Mountain – Lots to do (good beer and food), some great walks and almost always quiet.

 

 

Introducing…

Meldville Wines
By Savvy Sommelier Monique Sosa

July 2016

Derek has been a hands-on winemaker throughout his entire career since arriving in Canada. With the sale of Lailey Vineyards where he was one of the founding partners & long time head winemaker, sparked the new beginning in his life – the decision to start crafting wines under his very own label!

As he was getting ready to launch his virtual winery, Savvy Sommelier – Monique Sosa, caught up to Derek for August 2016 Savvy Selections feature. She taps into what motivates Derek, his pursuit to owning and operating his own winery, and of course, enjoy the inaugural release of Meldville wines. So here is her interview with Derek…

…who is Derek Barnett after all?

“Wow! I really dislike talking about myself.” After we both nervously chuckled, the ice cracked and Derek came to admit that he is simply a guy who loves to drink wine and loves being a winemaker.

“I feel lucky to have the opportunity to do what I do for work every day and I simply enjoy making wines for people who love to drink wine.”

Derek hails from a deep background in agriculture. Both his grandparents owned farms in rural central England where his first job in the business was milking cows. When Derek immigrated to Canada, he worked as a dairy farmer at Don Head Farms, north of Toronto. During the 1980s, Derek was proactive in the evolution of Don Head Farms from dairy farming to a thriving fresh local produce hub. By the early 1990s, as appreciation for local gourmet foods and fine wine spiked amongst Derek and his colleagues in the Greater Toronto Area, the owners of Don Head Farms seized the opportunity to obtain a license to operate a boutique winery. They sought to source the finest grapes from key quality producers in the Niagara Escarpment with Derek as their winemaker. In 1991, the doors to their winery – Southbrook Winery – opened with a small but proud inventory of 2000 cases of wine.

Visualizing what became the first breaths of Derek’s dream career path, I asked him if it was challenging for him to take on such a role? “Not really,” he responded. Derek is proud to admit that he nurtured his craftsmanship on the job. He may not have been educationally trained but he enjoyed drinking wine, he had a trusted palate, and he understood how to make table wine that people enjoyed drinking. Vintage after vintage, as his skills and reputation expanded, while Derek recognized that being a winemaker meant far beyond just turning grape juice into wine. He recognized that being a standout winemaker included growing grapes, making wine with those grapes, and successfully selling the wine made from those grapes. “To achieve these goals, you need to connect with people,” explained Derek.

“Understanding consumers, what they like and how to connect with them is what motivates a winemaker to make great wines.”

Welcome to Meldville Wines…

With several decades of experience in winemaking at Southbrook Winery and Lailey Vineyards – and currently Karlo Estates in Prince Edward County – Derek came face to face with another career first, owning and operating his own virtual winery.

Meldville was the name of his family homestead in Swinford, England. It was coined by his family from combining the first initials in each of their names:
• M for Malcolm (Derek’s brother)
• E for Edward (Derek’s father)
• L for Lucy (Derek’s mother)
• D for Derek

Ever since Derek committed this name to his imaginary winery, it became a constant twinkle in his eye.

What finally sealed the deal? “Well, after Lailey, I felt like it was too soon for me to retire. Suddenly, with an abundance of free time that fell on my plate, I thought to myself, there’s no time like the present,” Derek explained.

At present, Meldville Wines is a virtual winery producing wines under the license of Legends Estate Winery. The three grape varietals in this inaugural release are sourced from the Lincoln Lakeshore sub-appellation in the Niagara Escarpment. Derek chose to work with Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc and Cabernet France because he finds these wines to be very textural, flavourful and showcases attractive levels of acidity. Derek has had experience working with Legends Estate Winery during his years as the head winemaker at Lailey and he appreciates that he still has the support of his community and the opportunity to continue to work with such fine fruit.

What’s on the bottle?

Something to note about the wine, are the stories behind the labels. The front and back labels both depict symbols that are important to the conceptualization of Meldville Wines. The layout of the front label depicts the first page of the first edition of the Meldville Wines story. The symbolism behind the skeleton key represents an invitation to unlock a little bit of Derek into your glass. On the back label, you will find a photo of what once was the Meldville homestead in England. Altogether, it is a unique welcome symbolizing the inaugural release of Meldville wines.

This is just the beginning. Derek has many plans and ideas for his winery. Some that include plans to expand his portfolio of grapes to include Pinot Noir and Riesling. He also loves working with small lot vineyards so we can definitely expect to find rare reserve releases in the future as well.

So, is Derek really only about wine?

“Mostly!” says Derek with a grin. To which I asked, “what do you tend to keep in your cellar Derek?” Derek responds, “I am a huge fan of Riesling.” He lit up when he described all the enticing German Rieslings he grew up drinking. Chardonnay is another top grape for Derek along with Sauvignon Blanc from the Marlborough region in New Zealand. As for red wines, Derek loves Northern Rhone reds. He says he has quite the coveted collection in his cellar. Aside from wine, Derek is a ‘mega fan’ of craft beer and whisky. He shared with me warm stories of how he enjoyed spending many hours touring the highlands of Scotland while tasting a dram or two along his journey.

Any last words?

We came full circle! When I asked Derek what he considers being his legacy, this topic took him right back to the “I hate talking about myself” moment. I admire Derek’s humility. Instead of listing off accolades and piecing together his proudest moments on a whim, Derek opted to reiterate his sincere appreciation of his journey so far. “It has been an amazing ride being a winemaker and I am simply proud of everything I have put in a bottle.”

 

· Derek’s wines are definitely WICKED! ·

For fun, here are 2 sets of tasting notes for Meldville Wines….one by Debbie Trenholm and the other by Susan Desjardins. Both are part of the team of Savvy Sommeliers and sampled these wines together other with others in the team.

Meldville 2nd Edition Chardonnay VQA 2016, $20

Debbie’s tasting notes:
Absolutely lovely with aromas that reflect into the tastes of apricots, pears, nectarine & warm apple crisp. Well rounded with light acidity & satin texture – oh my! I am so glad that I have a roast chicken with a trivet of root vegetables planned for dinner tonight. This wine would be a perfect pairing.

Susan’s tasting notes:
Found on Susan’ web site dedicated to reviewing Canadian wines www.winetimecanada.ca
Hardly surprising this enticing medium-full bodied barrel-aged wine was a gold medal winner at Intervin. Lovely aromas of pear, apple crisp and citrus zest harmonize with delicate notes of spice and a whiff of smoke. There’s refreshing acidity complemented by a satiny texture from extended time on the lees. You’ll enjoy tasty flavours of pear and caramel apple, fresh pineapple and citrus fruit touched with nutmeg. Balanced and mouth-coating, the wine delivers a long spicy, pithy finish.

Meldville 2nd Edition Cabernet Franc VQA 2016, $27

Debbie’s tasting notes:
Medium to full bodied impressive red wine that is expertly made by Derek. “Always a tough grape to get 3ripe”, he explained. Yet he nailed it! Complex aromas of dried cherries combined with espresso, cocoa, with a hint of roasted red peppers on the taste that lingers forever. Great with stews, pulled pork & spicy sausages

Susan’s tasting notes:
Found on www.winetimecanada.ca
This is a lovely expression of the character of ripe Niagara Cabernet Franc, offering notes of graphite, black plum and raspberry, cocoa and earth, with a light floral fragrance. Dry, medium bodied, there’s a savory character of roasted red pepper and dried herbs layered on ripe flavours of cherry and black berry, all underpinned by supple tannins and lively acidity. Hints of vanilla, cocoa and the earthy character of the wine replay through the extended finish.

Meldville Barrel Select Syrah VQA 2016, $27

Debbie’s tasting notes
At our last Taste & Buy event everyone….I mean EVERY-one was talking about this wine. Swiftly after this event, I made sure that Derek put a stash away you. Intense full bodied red wine that has deep aroma of red & black cherry, boysenberry wrapped up with a ribbon of campfire smoke. Each sip unveils a different taste of dark chocolate, cassis & a ‘dash of black pepper’ said Susan during our tasting panel. This is the wine to serve with your Sunday roast, or when you brave the cold to BBQ a steak.

Susan’s tasting notes:
Found on www.winetimecanada.ca
Alluring aromas of rich ripe dark fruit – think blueberry and cassis – lift from the glass, garnished with notes of pepper and sweet spice, spiced rose and milk chocolate. Dry medium-full bodied, there’s a firm underpinning of ripe tannins and fresh acidity, the flavours replaying—cassis and black cherry garnished with cracked pepper, hints of cocoa and cedar. The mouthwatering fruit-filled finish leaves a lingering flavour of chocolate-coated dried berries.

 

 

· Tasting Notes for the other Meldville Wines ·

Meldville Canadian Oak Chardonnay VQA 2016, $27

Debbie’s tasting notes:
I sooooo wanted to include this wine, but was swayed by the other Sommeliers to include more red wines in this month’s delivery….to warm up your winter! This unique wine was left to age in barrels made from native Canadian oak trees, resulting in a taste of oak that is elegant with aromas of toasted coconut, warm spices, fresh ginger, brown butter & a gorgeous texture.

Susan’s tasting notes:
Found on www.winetimecanada.ca
Tantalizing aromas of toasted coconut, stone fruit and citrus, oven-fresh brioche and browned butter lift from the glass of this classic ‘Barnett’ Canadian oak wine. Dry, medium-full bodied, the complex flavours include pear, musk melon and pineapple with hints of lime zest, ginger and buttered toast. Clean yet smooth in texture, the pithy finish is warmed by delicate spicy notes.

Meldville 2nd Edition Sauvignon Blanc VQA 2016, $20

Debbie’s tasting notes:
We did not pick this one only because it was ‘too summery’. That is not a bad thing! We just took into consideration that our subscribers were getting this delivery in the depths of January. Aromas & tastes of crunchy apples, lime & lemongrass, this wine has lots of verve & personality that will melt away all thoughts of windchills.

Susan’s tasting notes:
Found on www.winetimecanada.ca
Fruit was harvested three weeks apart, providing for the yin and yang of fresh acidity and tropical fruit flavours, some of the wine fermented in neutral French oak barrels, the majority in stainless steel. The result is a highly aromatic, floral wine with notes of orange blossom and sweet woodruff, passionfruit and citrus, garnished with notes of exotic spice. The palate echoes the refrain, displaying notes of passionfruit, fresh-squeezed lime, lemon grass and sweet herbs. Dry, juicy and showing an elegant backbone and a lovely silky texture, there’s a tangy flourish on the lasting finish. Pair with grilled halibut or seafood with a squeeze of lemon.

Meldville 2nd Edition Pinot Noir VQA 2016, $27

Debbie’s tasting notes:
Intense earth & cherry aromas dominate this medium bodied Pinot Noir. There is a thread of cloves with soft silky tannins that’s no wonder everyone in the Ontario wine biz is talking about this wine. A classy wine, yet we thought you’d rather bolder reds this month. If you are a Pinot fan…you’ll want to get some of this wine!

Susan’s tasting notes:
Found on www.winetimecanada.ca
Transparent ruby, this classic cool-climate Pinot Noir subtly seduces with a delicate nose of wild strawberry and dried cherry twined with hints of flowers and vanilla, sweet spice and forest floor. Dry, light-mid weight, the silky tannins and vibrant backbone of acidity frame tangy flavours of red berries, sour cherries and dried cranberries, the notes of clove, mineral and light toast adding depth and complexity. Balanced, elegant, the finish is long and juicy with a touch of spicy warmth. Serve with grilled venison tenderloin or salmon.

 

Enjoy these Savvy Wicked Wines!

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Rosé Report: Casa-Dea Cabernet Franc Rosé 2016

Posted by Debbie

Tuesday, July 11th, 2017
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Care for a round of bocce? If you’re travelling to The County (aka Prince Edward County that is) this summer, stop by Casa-Dea Estates Winery and try your hand at Bocce – an Italian version of lawn bowling – on the pitch right beside Casa-Dea’s vineyards. The game is made even better with a chilled glass of Rosé playing along side with Casa-Dea’s cool winemaker Paul Battilana.  He has a competitive streak!

Savvy Sommelier Tasting Notes: Brilliant clarity in this pinky-peach concoction. Abundant aromas of wildflowers and strawberries, juicy peaches, even a floral whiff that might remind you of the delicate flower of Lily of the Valley.  Top it all off with subtle hints of fresh herbs with a silky texture balanced out with measured acidity and a lengthy finish. Mama Mia – it is good!

 

Complete Wine Deets:

Casa-Dea Estates Winery Cabernet Franc Rosé VQA 2016

$18.95
Ontario Wine Region: Prince Edward County

Suggested Food Pairing: Try with yummy BBQ Pork Burgers – recipe below.

 

 

 

BBQ Pork Burgers

Serves 4
Recipe by David Leite -adapted from Gourmet- Gourmet Weekday
Photo credit:  Romulo Yanes

 

Ingredients

For the slaw:

1/4 cup store bought or homemade mayonnaise
1 tablespoon milk
1 1/2 teaspoons white wine vinegar
2 cups thinly sliced green cabbage
1/2 cup very finely shredded carrot
1 tablespoon thinly sliced chives or scallions
Salt and freshly ground black pepper

 

For the pork burgers:

1/2 cup your favourite store-bought or homemade BBQ sauce (tomato-based)
1/4 teaspoon cayenne
1/2 to 3/4 teaspoon salt, or to taste
1 tablespoon white wine vinegar
1 1/2 pounds ground pork
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
Olive oil, for the grill rack
4 buns or Kaiser rolls or soft squishy breadstuff of some sort, split and toasted or grilled

 

Directions

Make the slaw:

In a bowl, whisk together the mayonnaise, milk, and vinegar until smooth. Toss in the cabbage, carrot, chives, and salt and pepper to taste and gently mix to coat. Let the slaw stand at room temperature, uncovered, while you cook the burgers or, if you prefer your slaw crisp, cover it and refrigerate for up to 8 hours.

 

Make the BBQed pork burgers:

Prepare your grill for direct-heat cooking over medium-hot charcoal or medium heat for gas.

In a small bowl, stir together the barbecue sauce, cayenne, 1/4 teaspoon salt, and vinegar.

In a large bowl, gently mix together the pork, the remaining 1/2 teaspoon salt, pepper, and 2 tablespoons barbecue sauce mixture until combined. Do not over mix. Using your hands, gently form the mixture into 4 patties, each about 4 inches in diameter and 3/4 inch thick, being careful not to pack the pork too tightly.

Carefully slick the grill rack with oil, plop the burgers on top, and grill them, flipping the burgers every few minutes, just until cooked through and no trace of pink remains, 6 to 10 minutes total. Then brush the top of each patty with 1 tablespoon remaining barbecue sauce mixture (or more if you like things mess), flip the burgers again, and grill for 30 seconds. Repeat, so that both sides have been slathered with the barbecue sauce mixture. Brush the cut sides of each of the buns with the remaining barbecue sauce mixture.

Assemble the BBQed pork burgers, starting with the buns and the burgers and adding a heaping spoonful of coleslaw atop each one. Don’t forget to grab a lot of napkins.

Enjoy!

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If I only had $100…I would buy these Canadian wines!

Posted by Julie

Friday, June 20th, 2014
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It’s time to head to LCBO Vintages to stock up on fine Canadian wines to celebrate Canada Day. Oh Canada!!  In this blog, I pay tribute to our young – but rich in history – country with a selection of all-Canadian wines. Whether you are on Parliament Hill, at a cottage, on a golf course or just sitting back in a deck chair, this is our time to shine.

LCBO Vintages June 21As we all know, Canada Day is our national day celebrating the anniversary of the July 1, 1867, enactment of the British North America Act. I’d best not get on my history train, but it seems that in the past couple of weeks, we have seen many milestone commemorations including the 70th year anniversary D-Day invasion.  Raise a glass of European wine that are featured in this release to honour our Canadian veterans.

I had not planned to review 3 rosés but these are just so outstanding, I hope you pick up at least one to help make your Canada Day sparkle.  From coast to coast, thank you to our wineries and winemakers who have given us such outstanding selections.

With true patriot love of all our Canadian wines & Happy Canada Day from coast to coast to coast!

Julie

If I only had $100, I would buy these wines
at LCBO Vintages…
June 21st, 2014 

 

Norman Hardie Riesling 2012

Prince Edward County, Ontario
$21.00 (Vintages 131169)  10.2%

Norman Hardie does not make huge amounts of wine so when this wine comes to Vintages, I would grab a few bottles. Many of his wines are only available to enjoy at a handful of restaurants in Prince Edward County, Kingston, Ottawa and in Toronto. This white wine is light-bodied, crisp clean and delicious, with tastes of limestone and citrus with a great seam of minerality . A more than perfect summer afternoon sipper with a modest alcohol content. If you are having a crowd, stock-up, since I guarantee, it will literally disappear before your eyes.

 

Union Squared RedUnion Squared Red 2012

VQA Niagara Peninsula
$17.95 (Vintages #292359) 13.8% alcohol

This is a perfect wine for juicy burgers – lamb, beef, even vegetarian. It is bright cherry in colour, a blend of Cabernet, Merlot, Syrah, Pinot Noir and Gamay Noir. You can never go wrong with these persistent grape varieties since they grow so well in Ontario soil. This red wine boasts ripe red fruits with grippy tannins which is why is would soak up a juicy rare burger and is bone dry. There’s also a little pepper floating on the palate and makes for an interesting blend.

 

Mission Hill Five Vineyards RoséMission Hill Five Vineyards Rosé 2013

VQA Okanagan Valley, British Columbia
$14.95 (Vintages # 229716) 13.5% alcohol

Years ago, my husband and I visited Mission Hill and it is as memorable as any chateau in France. Lush expanses of vineyards, a tasting room reminiscent of a high end department store and a terrace to lunch which has more view than any room. Despite strong watermelon and strawberry flavours, this rosé could stand up to any grilled chop. Crisp, dry with lots of fruit on the finish. Yum.

 

Tawse Sketches RoséTawse Sketches of Niagara Rosé 2013

VQA Niagara Peninsula
$15.95 (Vintages# 172643) 12.5% alcohol

I’m sorry but some wines are just worth repeating! Winery of the year for three years running – 2010, 2011, 2012 – would indicate to anyone that Tawse makes premium VQA wines. This Sketches Rosé just bursts with red fruit flavours of multiple grape varieties. I find it just slightly off-dry with structure and strength to offer versatility to many foods. Refreshing ripe cherries, cranberries and plums with a great squirt of acidity to keep you coming back for more. Definitely a partner for salmon or pork tenderloin.

 

Pondview Cabernet Franc RoséPondview Cabernet Franc Rosé 2013

VQA Niagara Peninsula
$14.95 (Vintages #241802) 13% alcohol

Many decades ago, as the story goes, winery owner Lou Puglisi was wandering about his property and said to his wife “what a great view of the pond”- hence the name Pondview.  Winemaker, Fred Di Profio allowed the grape skins to remain in contact with the grape juice for several hours creating this beautiful light cranberry colour.  Whether it is the power of suggestion, I taste lots of tart cranberry flavours with hint of pink grapefruit. Bone dry, great acidity and very crisp this medium bodied wine would be fabulous with a charcuterie or just on its own.  Does the yum never end?

 

I totalled my price & realized I had $15.20 left in my $100 budget, so here is a non-Canadian choice of a great summer sipper.

 

Alamos TorrontésAlamos Torrontés 2013

Catena, Argentina
$13.95  (Vintages #81539)  13.5% alcohol

This white wine frequently finds its way to my shopping basket. Torrontes is Argentina’s signature white grape varietal and a great price point. Pale in colour, white blossom aromas, lots citrus, lemon-lime flavour, a little grassy on the finish. It kind of reminds me of a Sauvignon Blanc but is short on the finish. What you taste is what you get, but I love the refreshing clean taste and it’s a great summer wine.

 

GRAND TOTAL – $98.75

 

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A Top notch day in Prince Edward County

Posted by Debbie

Wednesday, February 5th, 2014
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We are often called on to create & host a Sommelier led wine tasting in someone’s home where friends & neighbours gather to celebrate a special occasion or just get together.  I love doing these in-home events as they give you an opportunity to meet fantastic people who are eager to discover new wines.  Often the host will go all out & hire a chef to create appetizers or a meal to make the wine tasting extraordinary.

I recently met Chef Dean Otto & his ‘sous chef’ (aka wife) Jeanine at one of these events.  They took over the kitchen & created gourmet wonders all night long.  While the guests noshed & sampled the wines I introduced them to, I had a moment to chat Dean & Jeanine.  During the course of the evening, I learned that they are the driving force behind a special fundraiser for Roger’s House that they host every year – Maddy’s Gala. This event celebrates the short life of their daughter Madison ’Maddy” Otto who died very suddenly at the age of 5 in 2007.  The family’s story about Maddy’s time in Roger’s House inspired me to want to donate a special item for the gala auction.

Maddy'sGala Live Auction Item Top Drawer Wine Tour 2013At our office, Amanda got on the phone to call out to Sherry Martin of Karlo Estates to see if we could use the “Top Drawer Wine Tour” of Prince Edward County reserved by these County partners for special fundraising events like Maddy’s Gala – all the more reason to go on Saturday (February 8) so that you can bid on this one-of-a-kind Sommelier led wine tour.

This all-inclusive tour along ‘The County’s’ back roads will be in a private vehicle with a tour guide kindly provided by Sandbanks Vacations

We’ll be visiting three wineries, all that have won international acclaim as well as the breathtaking Lavender Farm in bloom. Corks will fly at our first stop to visit Hinterland Wine Company where partners Jonas Newman and Vicki Samaras specialize in crafting fine sparkling wines.  We will taste and tour through the sparkling wine process and enjoy their warm hospitality.   Onto Norman Hardie Winery & Vineyard where we will sample his wines while enjoying a lunch of gourmet pizza done Norm’s way in his outdoor wood fired oven.

Then the group will take a moment to breathe deeply as we wander through the Prince Edward County Lavender Farm in full bloom.

Our final stop is to Karlo Estates set in a Loyalist barn converted into a stunning winery.  Winery owners Richard Karlo & Sherry Martin will take you through their entire portfolio of 11 wines as they pair small bite nibbles. We’ll walk it all off through their vineyard to the famous dry stone bridge to enjoy some Port and a group photo.  What a perfect day it will be.

Roger's House

The 7th Annual Maddy’s Gala is not just a good cause – it’s an amazing cause.  This year’s goal is to raise $75,000 in support of The Ottawa Senators Foundation & their charity of choice, Roger’s House. This will bring their 7 year contribution to $325,000.

Learn more about this special event by watching the CTV Ottawa Morning Live interview.

 

More details about the Top Drawer Winery Tour for 8 people:

Hinterland Wine Company  Tasting at the County’s Sparkling House
Norman Hardie Winery & Vineyard – Gourmet lunch in the vineyard & tasting
Prince Edward County Lavender Farm – Tour of the farm & the fields in bloom
Karlo Estates – Full portfolio tasting with food pairings
Savvy Sommelier as your ‘tour guide’ for the day
Sandbanks Vacations private chauffeur & vehicle around Prince Edward County

Tour value: $2400
Tour dates: Sunday through Friday between June 17th  to July 17th 2014 – so that you can enjoy the lavender fields at their finest.

Details about Maddy’s Gala

Where: Delta City Centre Hotel – 101 Lyon St., Ottawa
When: Saturday February 8th, 2014
Cocktail Hour: 6pm to 7:30pm
Dinner: 7:30pm
Live Auction: 9:00pm
To purchase tickets click here >>

A HUGE thanks to our friends & partners in Prince Edward County who eagerly supported Maddy’s Gala with this wonderful Live Auction item.  We look forward to being the Sommelier for this special day trip to ‘The County’.

See you then!
Debbie

Youville Live Auction Item Top Drawer Wine Tour 2013

 

 

 

 

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Move over ‘Amazing Race’… Join The Great Canadian Wine Challenge

Posted by Debbie

Monday, August 26th, 2013
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So what happens when two Canadian-wine-loving guys – Shawn McCormick of Uncork Ontario and Calvin Hanselmann (@TheEvilDoctorD) – lament the fact that Canadian Wine Day (June 28th) is only one day? Why, they end up challenging each other to go for a year without drinking anything but Canadian wine!   When we caught wind of this all Canadian endeavor, the Savvy Team wanted to take part too.

As the saying goes, ‘the more the merrier!’

We invite Canadian wine lovers from coast to coast to coast to take part in the first annual The Great Canadian Wine Challenge (@TGCWC)!  The start line begins on September 1st…and it goes for a whole year.

Being a challenge of who-can-stick-to-the-drink-Canadian-wines-for-365-days, there are some basic rules & reds…err, I mean regs:

#1 – It is all about drinking great Canadian wine, but it is also about having fun along the way!

#2 – The duration of the Challenge is 12 calendar months, starting Sept 1, 2013

#3 – You may only purchase or open Canadian wine for the duration of the Challenge. This allows for a few exceptions like international wine events that may be attended, dinner parties where the host unwittingly opens something non-Canadian, wine-related courses you may be taking where other wines may be opened, and events like i4c2014 or The Riesling Experience where it would be terrible to miss the international wines on offer. With feedback, we decided to allow for international travel exemption as well, as we know how hard it is to get Canadian wine within Canada, let alone the rest of the world!

#4 – You must drink wine from at least three (3) provinces during the 12 month period, and at least 12 different wines during that time. Any Canadian wine counts – VQA, non-VQA, fruit wines, anything that involves fermenting fruit from this great country of ours.

#5 – Commit to a weekly update in one of these ways: via Twitter #TGCWC, a blog post, or an email Shawn & Calvin  and they will track updates from participants & feature in the TGCWC weekly updates.

 

Ready to take on the Challenge?

To join in the fun by emailing Shawn & Calvin or send a Tweet to #TGCWC.

If you are on Twitter, follow @TGCWC, @TheEvilDoctorD, @UncorkOntario and include #TGCWC of course!

“We also figured we should have some prizes for anyone who can complete The Great Canadian Wine Challenge @TGCWC“, explains Shawn (in red shirt at bottom).  “We’re putting our heads together on some outstanding Canadiana prizes, so stay tuned.  Until then, share on Twitter about the Canadian wines that you have discovered throughout the year.”

Nudge, nudge…
If you are a winery or wine-related business and would like to donate some swag & prizes, contact Shawn or Calvin at thegreatcanadianwinechallenge(at)gmail(dot)com or on Twitter @TGCWC.  They will be sure to praise you all over the interwebs and in a special blog post.

Happy Canadian Wine Year!

Calvin & Shawn

 

Join the growing list of Challengers…

Want to be famous?  All you have to do is sign up for the Challenge and send Savvy Company your photo and you will be included in our poster-board of Challengers. Take a look to see who have committed to enjoying ONLY Canadian wine this year…

 

 

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27 wineries from Niagara-on-the-Lake are coming to Ottawa!

Posted by Debbie

Monday, May 13th, 2013
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We are so excited that all of the wineries from Niagara-on-the-Lake are coming to Ottawa for our 3rd  annual One Unforgettable Taste & Buy.  That means that there will be over 50 wines for you to discover! 

Many of the wineries will be serving wines from the highly awaited 2012 vintage.  Remember that incredible spring, summer & fall we had?   “2012 provided us with spectacular conditions for growing grapes. Ottawa will be the first to try these excellent wines.”  Derek Barnett – winemaker & co-owner of Lailey Vineyard

Have a look at all of the wineries who will be featured at this event:

 

Taste, Discover & Order…

As you sip & savour the wines, mix & mingle with the award winning winemakers & winery owners.  You will have the unique opportunity to taste, discover & order your new favorite wines – none that are available at LCBO. Stock up on your favorites wines & they will be delivered to your home or office – within a week! 

BONUS:  You can order ANY combination of outstanding wines from ANY of the featured wineries at this event & they will be delivered by courier for FREE  when you order 12 bottles or more!

Where to start?  No problem! Our Savvy Team of Sommeliers will be on hand to share recommendations of ‘must try wines’ to match your personal preferences.

 This Taste & Buy event will  sell out again this year, so avoid disappointment.  Order your tickets on www.unforgettablenotlwines.eventbrite.com  Use promo code: BESAVVY & you’ll get an additional $10 off each ticket!

 

Event Details

DATE: Tuesday May 28, 2013
EVENT TIME: 7 to 9 pm

LOCATION: The NEW Canadian Agriculture & Food Museum Located at the Central Experimental Farm, 861 Prince of Wales Drive, Ottawa
Plenty of free parking available.

 

ADVANCE TICKETS ONLY

Savvy Special! $55 per person when purchased before Saturday May 25, 2013 Regular ticket price: $65

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

Price includes wine tasting, artisan cheeses, Savvy wine tasting glass & HST.   

Click to order online now >> 

 

Can’t make it but want to order Niagara-on-the-Lake wines?

No problem! Simply email our Savvy Team or call us on 613-SAVVYCO (613-728-8926) & we’ll make the arrangements for you.  Place your order before May 30th to take advantage of the FREE shipping offer on a case of wine.

 

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Discovering wines from ‘The County’…

Posted by Debbie

Monday, April 15th, 2013
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Back by popular demand, for the 2nd year in a row, we are hosting the County in the City wine tasting, giving you the opportunity to Taste & Buy wines from Prince Edward County.   If you haven’t heard, ‘The County’ – as it is known – is Canada’s fastest growing wine region with over 30 wineries and counting…and it is only a 3 hour drive from Ottawa  & Toronto.

This event is almost sold out.  Buy your tickets >>

 

 

This event is about tasting, discovering & ordering …  

Have a look below at the large selection of outstanding wines that will be uncorked to enjoy.  None of these wines are available at the LCBO.

Exclusive at this event: you can order ANY combination of outstanding wines from ANY of the featured wineries & they will be delivered by courier to your home or office. Free shipping on all orders of 12 bottles or more!

Featured wineries & wines:

Casa Dea Estates Winery

2011 Dea’s Cuvée Sparkling Wine $18.95

2009 Riesling $16.95

2009 Chardonnay Reserve $24.95

2009 Cabernet Franc $18.95

2010 Pinot Noir $19.95

 

County Cider Company – showcasing their hard apple ciders

Waupoos Premium Cider (4 x 341ml) $13.35

County Cider (1L) $7.85

Waupoos Peach Cider (1L) $9.95

Waupoos Feral Cider (1L) $9.95

Tortured Path Cider (500ml) $7.95

Prince Edward Ice Cider (375ml) $29.95

 

Devil’s Wishbone Winery

2012 Pinot Grigio $23.00

2012 Pinot Gris Rosé $22.00

2011 Merlot $24.00

2010 Cabernet Sauvignon $26.00

 

Exultet Winery

2012 Cru X White Light $25.00

2010 Cru X Pinot Noir $29.95

 

Harwood Estates Vineyards

2011 Pinot Gris $18.00

2010 Gewürztraminer $20.00

2011 Chardonnay $32.00

2009 Friends Rosé $18.00

2010 The Admirals Blend (Pinot Noir) $25.00

2009 Just Desserts (Late Harvest Style) $25.00

 

Karlo Estates

2010 Riesling $22.00

2010 Chardonnay CHOA $25.00

2011 Frontenac Gris Rosé $16.00

2010 Cabernet Merlot $24.00

2010 Merlot $24.00

2010 Pinot Noir $29.00

2010 Quintus $35.00

2010 The 5th Element $39.00

2010 VanAlstine White Port $29.00

2009 VanAlstine Red Port $29.00

 

Keint-He Winery & Vineyards

2009 Chardonnay $20.00

2011 Voyageur Rosé $15.00

2011 Portage Pinot Noir – $25

2009 Pinot Noir, Little Creek – Closson $29.00

2012 Voyageur Vidal $17.00

2008 Pineaux Sauvage (a Botrytis Affected Pinot Noir) $25.00 – Special price.  Regular $50.00

 

Lighthall Vineyards

2012 Progression Sparkling $20.00

2009 Chardonnay $25.00

2010 Chardonnay $25.00

2011 Gewürztraminer $25.00

2010 Pinot Noir $25.00

 

Long Dog Winery

2008 Bella Riserva Chardonnay $18.00

2009 Bella Riserva Chardonnay $22.00

2009 Otto Pinot Noir $24.00

2007 Otto Pinot Noir $30.00

2008 Top Dog Pinot Noir $24.00

2009 Top Dog Pinot Noir $30.00

 

Rosehall Run Vineyards

2011 Pinot Gris Cuvée County $19.95

2010 Cabernet Franc Cuvée County $24.95

2010 JCR Chardonnay Rosehall Vineyard $29.95

2010 JCR Pinot Noir Rosehall Vineyard $39.00

 

Sandbanks Estate Winery

2011 Gewürztraminer $16.95

2012 Dunes Red $14.95

2010 French Kiss (Cabernet Merlot) $24.95

201 LOVE Cassis Aperitivo $14.95

 

Stanners Vineyard 

2011 Riesling $23.00

2010 Chardonnay $25.00

2009 Cabernet Franc $22.00

2010 Pinot Noir $30.00

 

The Grange of Prince Edward County Vineyard & Estate Winery

2011 Estate Chardonnay $15.95

2011 GPE Fumé Blanc $24.95

2009 Select Gamay Noir $15.95

2009 Estate Cabernet Franc $17.95

 

 

County in the City – details

DATE: Thursday April 18th
EVENT STARTS: 7pm
EVENT ENDS: 9pm
LOCATION: Panorama Room – 2nd floor at National Arts Centre, 53 Elgin Street, Ottawa

Buy your tickets >>

 

Can’t make it but want to order wines?

No problem! Simply call our Savvy Team on 613-SAVVYCO (613-728-8926) to make the arrangements for you.  Place your order before April 20th and you can take advantage of the free shipping offer on a case of wine.

We look forward to seeing you at County in the City.
Everyone is welcome to join us!

 

Contact Savvy Company for more information about other Savvy Events
www.savvycompany.ca
613.SAVVYCO
613.728.8926
Cheers!


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Sipping wines with the Black Prince

Posted by Susan

Thursday, June 11th, 2009
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Savvy Selections wine of the month club
Featuring Black Prince Winery

Canada’s wineries delivered to your doorstep

This month brings royalty to the Savvy Selections featuring Black Prince Winery from Prince Edward County.  If you have not visited yet, ‘The County” is an easy weekend getaway 2 to 3 hour drive from Ottawa or Toronto, Ontario.  With rolling countryside, large farms, quaint Loyalist architecture, orchards, vineyards and the white beaches of Sandbanks Provincial Park on Lake Ontario.

 

The County has become Canada’s fastest growing wine region boasting 17 wineries awaiting your visit. Hand in hand, more boutique inns and gourmet restaurants are opening with renowned chefs from the Toronto area moving from the bustle of the city to the leisurely pace of the towns of Picton and Bloomfield.  The County has been settled for centuries and there is evidence of grape growing as early as 1850. In fact, local history notes that a winemaker from the County won a medal and diploma at the 1867 International Exhibition in Philadelphia. 

 

Not surprising then, that wine lovers are flocking to build their dream of a winery in this picturesque area.

 

We are excited to feature one of County’s wine industry pioneers – Black Prince Winery. This is indeed a dream of wine die-hards that became reality when the winery opened its doors in 2003.  In this month’s Savvy Selections, we feature:

– Chardonnay VQA 2007 – a crisp, refreshing wine – perfect as a summer sipping wine

– Melon de Bourgogne VQA 2008 – a unique white wine that was just released in time to be included in the Savvy Selections

– Cabernet Franc Reserve VQA 2007 – an impressive red wine that is growing in popularity & winning awards!

 

Fire up your BBQ, set out the deck chairs, uncork a bottle of wine and read this Savvy e-Zine blog, about the winery’s connection with the Opimium Society, the story of the name and its crest. As always, you will find our Savvy Sommelier tasting notes and summer recipes chosen to pair with your wines.

 

Stock up for the summer…

Summer entertaining requires plenty of good wine on hand.  Rather than fighting traffic to shop, have an assortment of wines delivered to your home or office by calling on Savvy Company to make the arrangements for more bottles of your favorite Black Prince wines or bottles from previously featured wineries in the Savvy Selections.  It is that easy!   Put us on speed dial! Savvy Company 613-SAVVYCO (728-8926)

 

Visiting wine country this summer?

Our Savvy Sommeliers continuously travels and we compile lists of ‘must visit’ wineries with wine recommendations and tips on restaurants to include in your trip.  Let us before you head off to any wine regions across Canada, call on us to map out your trip and to arrange a special tour of the winery for you.

 

Cheers!

Debbie
Follow me: www.twitter.com/savvydebbie



 

Introducing….
Black Prince Winery

Presented by Sommelier Susan Desjardins


Standing on the sun-drenched deck of the Black Prince Winery, sipping a glass of Chardonnay (included in your Savvy Selections) and admiring the just-budded vineyards in the distance, the winery’s general manager Geoffrey Webb, pointed out to me that the warm temperatures of late April brought on bud break sooner than usual. Spoken like an avid gardener, “there’s still a risk of frost through to the full moon”. You can’t control the weather, yet, Geoff has taken all possible measures to produce 100% Prince Edward County wines that express the local terroir as well as the typicity of the varietal. 

 

Originally from Montreal, Geoff attended Queens University and often visited Sandbanks Provincial Park to windsurf. He established a wine business in Toronto that led him to meet John Sambrook – the general manager of the Opimian Society.

 

Geoff was invited to get involved in several aspects of Opimian Society including finding a vineyard to invest in when the Society repatriated an investment it had made in a vineyard in Napa, California.

 

Formerly a horse farm, the 50-acre property is now the location of Black Prince Winery with a gently rolling south-facing slope where the vines are planted in deep sandy loam over limestone. The existing farm buildings were transformed into winery operations and there are have plans for new buildings in the near future. 

 

As one of the pioneers in the County, much experimenting was required to figure out what grapes would grow best.  When the vineyards were first planted in 2002, varietals included Pinot Noir, Riesling, Chardonnay, Cabernet Franc, Marechal Foch, Vidal and Chambourcin.  After a few years, it was decided to tear out the Pinot Noir and Riesling vines.  “We just couldn’t get the quality of wine we wanted from these grapes”, explained Geoff. 

 

In addition to grape varieties, weather plays a huge part in the winemaking.  For many varietals, the County tests their hardiness.  As we wandered through the vineyard, Geoff explained to me that all of the work in his vineyards is done manually, so that vigilance can be maintained during the growing season and the quality of the grapes can be maintained through harvest. Unlike other wine regions in Ontario, after harvest, winemakers have one more job to do before wine.  The vines are “hilled up” (grape growing term: buried under a foot of soil) to protect them from the harshness of winter. 

 

In an excellent vintage like 2007, when growing conditions throughout the spring, summer and fall, the grapes were healthy with high flavor concentration, and winemakers left the fruit hang on the vines to optimum sugar levels.  In 2008, the warm dry late summer weather compensated for the wet conditions in spring and early summer. Winemakers are used to working with Mother Nature to grow the best wine possible in the vineyard before harvest.

 

Since inception, Black Prince had a consulting winemaker.  Originally, from California, but more recently they have benefited from the expertise of a Niagara-based consultant, who is transferring knowledge to the local associate winemaker, John Fricker.  John is an award-winning amateur winemaker turned professional involved in winemaking in the County for many years.  

 

John monitors the Black Prince vineyards, and works closely with the growers who supply grapes for the other labels produced by Black Prince in their winery site – Harwood and Bella Vigne. This co-operative concept helps incubate new wineries. Geoff is enthusiastic with this approach as it provides the opportunity to showcase the terroir of other areas of the County with wines made from grapes of smaller growers who have yet to established their own wineries.  “We get excellent quality from these partner vineyards, and our winemaker is actively involved in the management of their vineyards.  We’re proud of our slogan – one winery, many terroir.”

 

Another addition to terroir, is the arrival of a cooper (winespeak: barrel maker) in the County.  Excited to make wine with County grapes barrel aged in County oak, Black Prince purchased 5 of 6 available County oak barrels and are currently aging a reserve Chardonnay.  Geoff offered me a barrel sample- mark my word, it promises to be a beautifully balanced wine. Be on the watch for it in a few years.

 

About the regal name…

Geoff explained that the owners wanted something linked to Prince Edward.  After searching in the history books about all of the royal “Prince Edwards”, they settled on Edward the Black Prince, who was a successful military commander and ruled over a large section of Aquitaine, France – an area that included Bordeaux – a perfect wine connection! 

 

You may be interested to know that the Black Prince winery escutcheon, like those of yore, depicts the history of its founders.  In the top left and bottom right quadrants pertain to the Opimian Society, while the top right and bottom left quadrants recognize the founders and the families which have contributed to the success of Black Prince Winery.

 

Click here to watch Black Prince Winery’s video
 

 

 

~ Savvy Sommelier Tasting Notes ~


Black Prince Chardonnay VQA 2007, $14.75
The fruit was sourced from three County vineyards, including the Wicked Point vineyard.  The fermentation in stainless steel tanks brings out the crisp minerality and zesty fruit, similar to the French styled unoaked Chardonnay – Chablis.  Black Prince Winery is excited that this wine won a bronze at the “Chardonnay du Monde” in Burgundy, France. 

Savvy Sommelier Tasting Notes: A lovely pale gold, this dry wine has delightful aromas of ripe fruits, with a hint of pineapple and citrus.  The fruit flavors are carried through on the palate with a refreshing acidity.  The wine is well-balanced with a crisp finish.

 

Suggested Food Pairing: Served well-chilled, this medium-bodied wine will go well with smoked salmon, a chicken salad, or a light cream-based dish.  Or, sip it on it’s own as you enjoy the lazy days of summer on your backyard or cottage deck!

 

Cellaring: No need to wait…this wine is ready to drink now.

 

 

Black Prince Melon de Bourgogne VQA 2008, $16.75 

We are excited to hear what you think of this unique wine.  To our ‘savvy’ knowledge, only two wineries in Ontario craft a Melon de Bourgogne – and both are from the County!

When we first tasted the 2007 vintage of Black Prince’s Melon de Bourgogne, we were impressed with this lush wine – and so was everyone else who tasted it, as it is now sold out.  With some arm twisting and sweet talking (wink-wink), we convinced Geoff to release the just-bottled 2008 vintage first, to you, our Savvy Selections subscribers! 

2008 was a challenging vintage all around, with heavy rain in the early summer, yet the winemaker has done an outstanding job creating this unique white wine. 

 

Savvy Sommelier Tasting Notes: Also known as Muscadet, Melon de Bourgogne is most commonly grown in the Loire Valley of France.  However, it has found a home in Ontario, partly due to its winter hardiness, and to its ability to “let the terroir sing”, to quote Geoff Heinricks (author of A Fool and Forty Acres a great book about the history of the Prince Edward County as well as first-hand recounts of the trials and tribulations establishing a vineyard in this new region).  Our Savvy Selections tasting panel found Black Prince’s Melon to be aromatic and fresh, with hints of honey, melon and citrus.  Bright citrus and apple peel carry through on the palate of this medium-bodied wine.  Hints of pithy grapefruit and minerality bring a cleansing and pleasant bitter note to the long finish.   

Suggested Food Pairing: made from grapes grown by the sea in France, and in this case by the Lake Ontario in the County, this wine is ideally paired with seafood.  To keep it local, enjoy the wine with the Fifth Town Artisan Cheese Cape Vesey cheese from the County, or a creamy Sauvagine cheese from Québec.  During my tour of the County this spring, I enjoyed tasty crab cakes at the Merrill Inn, and the owners have kindly (yes, more arm twisting and sweet talking was involved…what we do for our subscribers!!) provided the recipe below.

NOTE! Since this wine was literally just bottled in late May, we recommend you don’t open it for 4-6 weeks so that it has a chance to recover from “bottle shock” (winespeak for the change in the wine having quietly rested in tanks for months then moved onto the bottling line & shipped from the winery).  Chill & enjoy it this summer.

 

Black Prince Cabernet Franc Reserve VQA 2007, $15.75 

To produce this approachable Cabernet Franc with softer tannins, the grapes were lightly pressed, the free run juice was captured separately and then blended back into the pressed juice.  The result is a wine that was recognized with a Grand Champion award at the Royal Winter Fair, as well as a Bronze Medal at the Finger Lakes International Wine Competition. Bravo!

 

Savvy Sommelier Tasting Notes: A bright ruby hue, this Cab was a favorite amongst our Savvy Selections tasting panel for its ripe cherry aromas and hints of red peppers, sweet herbs and spices.  Made with 100% County grapes from the spectacular 2007 vintage, the flavors include red cherry, pepper…and even roasted red peppers!  The wine is well-balanced, with moderate acidity and integrated tannins.  The fruit and pepper notes carry through on the medium-long finish.

 

Suggested Food Pairing:  This wine is ideally paired with barbequed or roasted red meat, such as lamb, or with herbed roasted pork.  Enjoy with the exotic recipe we offer below: Lamb with Garlic & Dark Chocolate Sauce.

 

Cellaring: This wine is drinking well now, but could be appropriate for short-term (1 or 2 years) in the cellar.

 

Listen to CBC Radio interview about the award this wine won


  

~ Recipes to enjoy with your Savvy Selections ~

 

With Black Prince Chardonnay…

Argentinean Garlic Chicken with Corn, Tomato & Parsley Salsa

Adapted from the Ottawa Citizen
Serves 6

Ingredients

For the salsa:

1 bunch (~2 C) Italian parsley leaves, chopped
½ shallot, finely chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
¼ c white vinegar
1 tsp dried oregano, or to taste
5-6 drops Tabasco sauce
¼ tsp ground pepper
½ c olive oil
1 pint cherry tomatoes, roasted
2 c corn kernels (from can, drained, or cut from fresh cobs)

For the chicken:

1 tsp each pepper, dried oregano, finely chopped garlic, ground cumin (optional)
1 Tbsp olive oil
6 boneless, skinless chicken breasts

 

Method

1.     First, cut the tomatoes in half, place on baking sheet cut side up, drizzle with olive oil, and roast in oven at 375F for about 30 minutes.

 

2.     Meanwhile, to make the sauce, in a food processor, combine the parsley, shallot, garlic, vinegar, oregano, Tabasco, pepper.  Process until finely chopped.  With motor running, slowly add oil and process until well blended but with coarse texture.  Pour into a bowl.  Stir in the corn kernels.  Once the tomato halves have cooled, add them and stir.

 

3.     To prepare the chicken, combine the pepper, oregano, cumin, garlic and olive oil.  Brush each chicken breast with these ingredients.  Grill on BBQ 3-5 minutes each side, or until chicken is not pink inside.

 

4.     Serve the parsley sauce on the side or spooned over each breast, along with small roasted potatoes.  Enjoy with Black Prince’s summer crisp Chardonnay!

 

 

With Black Prince Melon de Bourgogne…

Merrill Inn’s Crab Cakes
Recipe kindly provided by Chef Michael Sullivan, Merrill Inn
Serves 6 (12 2 oz. patties)

Many thanks to Amy Shubert, owner and innkeeper at the Merrill Inn for providing
this delicious recipe which we enjoyed during our stay.

Ingredients
1 lb. crab meat
½ C white bread crumbs
1 stalk celery, diced
½ red pepper, diced
½ medium onion, diced
1 egg, beaten
1 tsp Old Bay Spice (or ½ tsp Cajun spice) cheese
pepper, to taste
Dash of lemon juice
2 Tbsp olive oil
1 Tbsp butter

 

Method

1.   Sauté peppers, onion, celery and Old Bay Spice in 1 Tbsp oil until soft.

 

2.   Stir in bread crumbs followed by crab meat.  Add egg and mayonnaise, pepper and lemon to taste.
Chef’s tip: Don’t stir too much to avoid breaking down crab meat. 

 

3.   Refrigerate immediately for about 1 hour.

 

4.   Form the mixture into 2 oz. patties (2 ½ ” wide by ¾” thick).

 

5.    Preheat oven to 400F.  Preheat a cast iron pan with a light coating of vegetable oil on medium heat until the oil just starts to smoke.  Place patties in the pan.  Add a small piece of butter and gently sauté for 1 minute.  Place the pan in the preheated oven for 4-5 minutes.  Take the pan out of the oven, turn over the patties, and brown the other side on the stovetop over medium heat.

 

6.    Serve 2 patties over mixed dressed greens. Garnish with Cajun mayo if desired.

 


With Black Prince Cabernet Franc…

Peppered Lamb Loins with Garlic & Dark Chocolate Sauce
Recipe adapted from LCBO Food & Drink Magazine, Winter 2009
Serves 4

Ingredients
1 Tbsp freshly ground pepper (or to taste)
1 tsp herbes de Provence
2 boneless lamb loins (about 1 lb.)
2 Tbsp olive oil
1 Tbsp finely chopped garlic
2 cloves garlic, chopped
1 c unsalted or low-salt lamb or chicken stock
½ oz. dark bittersweet chocolate (70-80% cocoa), chopped
 

Method

1.    Combine pepper, herbes de Provence and 1 Tbsp olive oil.  Brush lamb loins with mixture.

 

2.    Preheat oven to 200F.  Heat 1 Tbsp oil in a small pan on medium heat.  Add chopped garlic, lower heat and cook until the garlic is just golden.  Remove pan from heat.  Add stock and return to heat.  Bring stock to a boil and reduce to ¼ -1/3 C.  Add chocolate, stirring until melted.  Reduce heat to minimum.

 

3.    While the stock is being reduced, grill lamb on BBQ 12-15 minutes, or until pink inside.  Transfer to a dish and keep warm in the oven as you finish the sauce.

 

4.    Once the sauce is ready, slice the lamb into thick slices and pour over a tablespoon of sauce.  Timing is everything with this recipe, as you don’t want the chocolate sauce to overcook!

 

5.    Taste your Black Prince Cabernet Franc alone, and then with the lamb.  Do you notice a difference?

 

 

Cheers to the arrival of summer!

 

 

Would you like to subscribe to Savvy Selections
It is simple…and delicious. 
Register online for 4, 6 or 12 month subscription and get ready to discover what Canadian wineries have to offer.

 

 

Already a Savvy Selections subscriber?  
We hope that you are enjoying the wines as much as our Sommeliers enjoy finding them for you.  When you have found wines that you would like a few more bottles, simply contact the Debbie and she will gladly organize a special shipment for you.

 

 

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A delicious discovery – 13th Street Winery

Posted by Debbie

Thursday, May 7th, 2009
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Savvy Selections wine of the month club
Featuring 13th Street Winery

Canada’s premium wines delivered to your doorstep

Pop quiz: How many wineries do you think there are…
…in Canada?
…in Ontario?
…in Niagara?

There are new wineries to discover all the time (I have received invitations to three grand openings this summer).  On the flip side, few are closing their doors, while acquisitions take place, so with all of this movement in the industry, the numbers to answer the quiz question are only approximates.  There are over 300 wineries across the country in seven provinces.  As you may know from being a subscriber to the Savvy Selections, in Ontario, there are three bustling wine regions – Prince Edward County, Niagara & Pelee Island – that are home to 150+ wineries. Niagara represents approximately 120 wineries. These are impressive numbers for an industry that has really only broken ground in the last 25 years.  Despite my frequent visits to Niagara, I have yet to visit every single winery – a feat that might finally happen this summer.

 

When I discover a winery with a wonderful story, down to earth people involved and incredible wines, I look forward to introducing the winery to our Savvy Selections subscribers. This is exactly the case when I discovered this month’s featured winery – 13th Street Winery.

 

This month’s Savvy Selections features:

– Sandstone Vineyard Chardonnay VQA 2006 – an impressively well made elegant white wine

– Cabernet Rosé VQA 2008 – with one sip you will fall in love with this summer sipper

– Wismer Vineyards Syrah VQA 2006 – hands down a favorite of our tasting panel

 

In this Savvy e-Zine (blog version) that accompanies the shipment of handpicked wines by our Savvy Sommeliers, read below about how a delicious homemade butter tart jump-started my discovery of this boutique winery.  And as always, you will find Savvy Sommelier tasting notes and interesting recipes chosen to serve when you pop the cork on these bottles.

 

Want to stock up your cellar with summer sipping wines?
If you would like to order 13th Street Winery wines or wines from previously featured wineries in the Savvy Selections, simply call us on 613-SAVVYCO (613-728-8926).  It would be our pleasure to organize a delivery of wines for you.

 

Planning a trip to wine country?
The Savvy team of Sommeliers continuously travels & we compile lists of ‘must visit’ wineries complete with ‘must try’ wine recommendations and even our favorite restaurants.  Let us before you head off to any wine regions across Canada and we will share our list with you.  Or, call on us to map out your trip and to arrange a special tour of the winery for you.

 

Cheers & enjoy!

Debbie
Follow me: twitter.com/savvydebbie

 

Introducing…13th Street Winery

 Presented by Savvy Sommelier Debbie Trenholm


Q
:
What happens when a lawyer and three engineers get together?

A: They decide to start a winery – of course!  This is in fact the humble beginnings of 13th Street Winery back in 1997. 

 

The common threads that weaves four men – Ken, Gunther, Erv & Herb – together was their experience as grape growers & award winning amateur winemakers.  Known as the ‘Original 4’, each had small vineyards, a passion for creating premium quality wines, yet they were looking for a place to produce their wines.  As they were crafting wines in small quantities, it became apparent that they could pool their resources to collectively share the latest equipment & vineyards all the while perfecting their winemaking skills together under the same roof & same winery name.

 

A small grey non-descript industrial looking building located on 13th Street quickly became the beehive of activity. There was always someone there tinkering away on equipment or checking their wine. This place was a popular meeting point where family & friends would drop in to chat & leave with bottles of wine.  Every once in a while, a tourist would enter into this seemingly ‘secretive place’ & be wowed with an adhoc tasting. “Still to this day, locals say – you guys must be new – or – why have I not heard about you before?” states Peter Bodnar Rod, Sales Director, Marketing & Hospitality.  This is baffling as they have been making wines for the past 12 vintages (winespeak: years).

 

When your paths lead you to this small winery, you will be warmly welcomed & treated to a delicious sampling of wines made from estate grown grapes. Peter explains, “The Original 4 did not want to make wines for the masses.  Rather, their focus was to hand craft premium quality wines that showcased the terroir & the climate.”  Twelve years ago, talk of terroir was considered ‘geek speak’ or ‘avant guard’.  It has only been in the last few years that the appreciation & understanding of terrior has become mainstream.

 

Another mark that the Original 4 where ahead of their time was their sparkling wines. Taking into account their engineering backgrounds, making sparkling wines fascinated them with the chemistry of the winemaking process as well as the intricate equipment. Over the years, they have fine tuned their craft & now create not one, but three impressive sparkling wines each year (two of which were made available especially for our subscribers on request). There are only a handful of wineries across Canada who include a sparkling wine (no less three!) in their portfolio.

 

A new chapter…

After 10 years, the Original 4 decided it was time to move onto new adventures in their lives. In September 2008, the winery was sold to two families who were deeply rooted in Niagara businesses. The Whitty family have been growing fruit & selling their produce at Whitty Farms for 101 years, spanning three generations. The Mann family are grape growers as well as own several car dealerships. Together, they lend their combined business, marketing & agricultural experience to grow this winery into its next chapter. While owners have changed, the one thing that remains constant is Herb Jacobson’s involvement as one of the Original 4 & head winemaker.

 

Infamous butter tarts…

I may have discovered a new winery, yet I also was treated to the best homemade butter tarts at Whitty Farms.  Doug & Karen Whitty kindly welcomed my visit with a pecan butter tart as we wandered through their farmers market located on the corner of 7th and 4th Avenues (take the QEW to 7th Street) in St Catherines. Everything grown on the family farm is available here fresh from their fields.

 

A new address, yet same name…

A full expression of the land – this has been the core of everything at 13th Street Winery . With the new owners, this has not changed. In fact it will be experienced even more now when you visit the new winery. Unlike other winery sites in the area, the 25 acre property is dotted with working greenhouses full of juicy strawberries & ripe tomatoes. A few steps away is the converted heritage farm home, now respectfully transformed into the winery’s tasting room.  When I visited this property under construction last spring, this site reminded me that winery owners are first & foremost farmers with a delicious way to share the fruits of their labour. Mark your calendar – the winery’s grand opening will be July 15th & it is only one reason to make the trip to Niagara this summer.

 

Enjoy your discovery of 13th Street wines!

Cheers!

 

 

~ Savvy Sommelier Tasting Notes ~ 

13th Street Winery Sandstone Estate Chardonnay VQA 2006, $18
13th Street makes two different Chardonnays that both show the finesse of the winemaking team.  An elegant & well made wine that you will forget that it has been finely aged in barrels.

Handcrafted in Small Lots: Only 160 cases made (less than 2000 bottles)

Savvy Sommelier Tasting Notes: Light to medium bodied, with a slight yellow gold colour & delicate aromas of pear, nutmeg & light toast waft from the glass. The taste is a combination of toasted almonds & citrus (lime perhaps?). Well balanced with a refreshing acidity in the finish. Delicious!

Suggested Food Pairing: A general rule of thumb is the body of the wine should give you an idea of the weight of the food served.  As this one is light to medium bodied, hard cheeses (parmesan, pecorino, gouda), fish & seafood dishes would be ideal.  Poached fish with toasted almond butter, seared tuna steak or salmon wrapped in phyllo pasty. Below you will find a modernized recipe for the classic Coquille St Jacques combining the ingredients of cheese & scallops.

Cellaring: No need to wait.  Just chill & enjoy.

 

13th Street Winery Cabernet Rosé VQA 2008, $16
You are in for a treat – this wine sold out quickly last year & I wanted to make sure that we planned for the winery’s feature so that I could share this spectacular rosé with you.

Note that the bottle sports the winery’s new label.  How is that for being hot off the press???

Handcrafted: With the overwhelming popularity of last year’s Rosé that quickly sold out, more was produced this year.  550 cases made (6600 bottles)

Savvy Sommelier Tasting Notes: A medium bodied wine with salmon colour & intense aromas of cherry & wild strawberry. When you take a sip your mouth fills with luscious flavours of wild strawberries & rhubarb (the light acidity).  Smooth on your tongue, well balanced & refreshing.  I bet that you will thank me for including this wine in your trio!

Suggested Food Pairing: I hummed & hawed whether this wine needed any food to pair with or simply suggest to chill & enjoy a glass on its own. To serve with a meal, pack a picnic, or pour a glass to accompany spicy Asian or sushi. I scoured my recipe books to find the perfect recipe – Rasta Pasta – a signature dish at Stone Face Dolly’s Restaurant in Ottawa.  Hope you like it!

  Cellaring:  Enjoy before summer is over. 


13th Street Winery Wismer Vineyards Syrah VQA 2006, $24
Don’t be confused – Syrah & Shiraz are the same grape, yet found all over the world & crafted into significantly different styles of wines. Originally grown in France, Syrah is intended to be an elegant, medium bodied wine.  Contrasting to Australia, this grape was the backbone of the wine industry when it started in the 1830s. It was nicknamed Shiraz & has become the country’s signature red wine – everything about a Shiraz is big & bold. 

Handcrafted in Small Lots: Only 166 cases made (less than 2000 bottles).

Savvy Sommelier Tasting Notes:  Styled in the French fashion, this medium bodied red wine was a hands down favorite of the Savvy Selections tasting panel when we sampled the 13th Street’s red wines. The colour reminded us of a bowl full of fresh red cherries.  The cherry factor carries through into the aromas with characteristics of freshly cracked pepper & a dash of fresh herbs (rosemary & thyme perhaps?). Leave the wine for a few moments & the aromas change hinting to freshly cut pomegranate…still loaded with cherry notes. Cherry prevails on the taste along with black plums & a delicious heat on the finish

Suggested Food Pairing: Fire up the BBQ to serve with homemade lamb burgers, grilled vegetables or pork tenderloin.  If you are taking a break from BBQing, then the hearty Goat Cheese Gnocchi with Red Pepper Coulis recipe would be a great match.

Cellaring: Already 3 years old, it is ready to be enjoyed now. If you rather stash this bottle away, it can be cellared for another 2 to 3 years. As the wines age, the cherry aromas, flavours & the tannins will continue to mellow. 

~ Recipes to enjoy with your Savvy Selections ~

With 13th Street Winery Sandstone Estate Chardonnay VQA…

Upbeat Coquille St Jacques

In the Kitchen with Anna by Anna Olson

Recipe appeared in Vines Magazine Jan 2009 issue

Serves 4

 

Notes from Anna: This is a more up-to-date version of scallops based in a creamy sauce, except, unlike the 70’s version, you don’t need to serve it in a scallop shell or coquille dish.  You will be impressed by how simple yet decadent this dish is – great as an appetizer for 8 people too

 

Ingredients

¾ cup sour cream (14% MF, not low fat)

½ cup mayonnaise

1 cup + 2 Tbsp finely grated Parmesan cheese

3 Tbsp lemon juice

Black pepper

1 ¼ lbs bay scallops

2 Tbsp dry breadcrumbs

2 Tbsp finely chopped green onion or chives

 

Method

Preheat oven to 425 degrees

 

Stir sour cream, mayonnaise, 1 cup Parmesan cheese, lemon juice and black pepper.

 

Rinse scallops, pat dry and stir into cream mixture

 

Spread into a 4 cup baking dish. 

 

Stir the breadcrumbs with remaining 2 Tbsp Parmesan cheese and sprinkle on top

 

Bake for 15 to 18 minutes or until the edges of the dish are bubbling

 

Garnish with chopped onion or chives.

 

With 13th Street Winery Cabernet Rosé VQA…

Rasta Pasta
A signature dish at Stone Face Dolly’s Restaurant, Ottawa (source of recipe – Ottawa Citizen February 2009)Serves 4 to 6

Rasta Spice Mixture

Ingredients
2 Tbsp whole coriander seeds
1 Tbsp fennel seeds
1 Tbsp cumin seeds
½ Tbsp mustard seeds
1 Tbsp garam masala
1 Tbsp turmeric
½ Tbsp ground cardamom (optional)
6 cloves garlic
2-inch section gingerroot, peeled and chopped
6 Scotch bonnet chili peppers (very hot — or less, to taste; see note)
1 bunch fresh coriander leaves, chopped
1 medium onion, chopped

Note: When handling hot peppers, wear latex gloves, or wash hands well afterward with hot soapy water. Be careful not to rub eyes until hands are clean.

Tip: Freeze extra spice purée in ice cube trays, then place in re-sealable plastic bag and freeze to use later.

Method
In a small frypan on medium heat, sautée all four types of seeds lightly until aromatic, then place in blender and grind.

To the ground mixture, add garam masala, turmeric, ground cardamom, if using, garlic and gingerroot, and purée again.

Add Scotch bonnet chilies, chopped coriander leaves and onion. Purée once more, until all ingredients form a smooth paste.

Stoneface Dolly’s Coconut Milk
Makes about 2 ¼ cups 

Ingredients
One 19-ounce (540-mL) can coconut milk or coconut cream
2 Tbsp soy sauce
1 Tbsp brown sugar
1 Tbsp lime juice
1 tsp sesame oil
Salt and pepper, to taste

In a blender, combine all ingredients and purée well. Keeps 2 to 3 weeks in the refrigerator, covered tightly.

Pulling it all together for the Rasta Pasta

Ingredients
1 Tbsp rasta spice (recipe above)
1/2 cup of Stoneface Dolly’s coconut milk
Cubed or balls of fresh melon, cantaloupe in bite size pieces
Cubed fresh pineapple bite size pieces
Sliced red and green grapes
Spaghetti or angel hair pasta noodles

Method
In a large pot bring water to boil. Cook pasta until al dante

In a bowl, combine rasta spice and coconut milk.  Add fresh fruit and toss until all fruit is well coated. TIP: if there is any juice from the fruit, drain

When pasta is done, drain water.  Return to pot on low heat. Add sauce with fruit.  Toss to thoroughly coat pasta

Serve immediately.  Alternatively, the sauce can be served on a bed of basmati rice (recommend wild or brown rice).

 

With 13th Street Winery Wismer Vineyards Syrah VQA 2006…

Goat Cheese Gnocchi with Red Pepper Coulis
In the Kitchen with Anna by Anna Olson
Serves 4 to 6

Ingredients
Red Pepper Coulis

Ingredients
1/4 cup olive oil
1 cup diced onion
2 1/2 cup diced red bell pepper
3/4 cup dry white wine
2 sprigs fresh thyme
2 sprigs fresh oregano

Method
For pepper coulis, heat a saucepot over medium heat and add oil.

Add onion and sauté for 5 minutes, until translucent. Add peppers and sauté 3 minutes more.

Add wine, thyme and oregano and simmer, covered, until peppers are tender, about 10 minutes. Remove from heat and puree until smooth. Strain, season and set aside.

 

Goat Cheese Gnocchi

Ingredients
4 oz fresh goat cheese, at room temperature
4 oz cream cheese, at room temperature
3 tbsp finely chopped green onion
2 tbsp finely chopped Italian parsley
1 tbsp finely grated lemon zest
2 eggs, separated
1 cup all purpose flour
1/2 tsp salt

Method
For gnocchi, beat goat cheese and cream cheese until smooth. Stir in green onion, parsley, lemon zest and egg yolks until smooth. Fold in flour.

Whip whites with salt to soft peaks and fold into goat cheese mixture in 2 additions.

Bring 4 L water to a boil and salt generously.

Cut dough into 2 pieces.

Roll out first piece into a log shape about ¾- inch in diameter and cut into ½ inch pieces.

Place on a floured tray and repeat with the second piece of dough. Drop gnocchi into water and simmer until they float, about 3 minutes.

Gently remove with a slotted spoon and set on a plate.

To serve, heat pepper coulis and spoon into a flat-bottom bowl. Gently place warm gnocchi on top and serve.

 

Cheers & Enjoy!

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