Posts Tagged ‘wine from Ontario’

Neat Easter Treats

Posted by Debbie

Friday, March 25th, 2016
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Ahhh, it’s the lonnnnnng weekend. Time to chill out, relax with family & friends.  Here are the top picks of ‘neat Easter treats’ of wine & craft beer from our team of Savvy Sommeliers & Brew Crew – all locally made & available at the LCBO.   Use this as your shopping list so you can spend less time figuring out what to buy & more time enjoying the weekend.

I’ll drink to that!

 

Savvy Sommelier Top Picks
for Easter long weekend


MacKinnon Brothers Brewery Crosscut Canadian Ale

Bath, Ontario
$2.85 per can (LCBO #414870)

MacKinnon Brothers Brewery - CrosscutThis 5.2% Alcohol by volume (ABV), 15 International Bitterness Units (IBU) Golden Ale is the MacKinnon Brothers’ rendition of a traditional Canadian ale. They use Herkules and Sassasprat hops and add a portion of wheat from their farm to the grain bill. This beer starts with a sweet malt smell and an upfront cereal flavour and subtle honey flavour. The hops kick in mid-sip with a subtle herbal note before being washed away in a wave of carbonated crispness. This may have been designed to be an easy drinking, sessionable beer, but there’s a wonderful layered flavour that will make you pause after each sip. With a strong malt bill and palate cleansing scrubbing bubbles (a good carbonation level), Crosscut can sit alongside spicy chili, roast duck, BBQ ribs, sticky chicken or braised beef.

 

Barley Days Loyalist LagerBarley Day’s Loyalist Lager

Prince Edward County, Ontario
$2.00 per bottle (LCBO#286526)

Brewed in the Czech Pilsner style with Saaz hops, this 4.5% ABV beer is easy to drink no matter who your allegiance is to. Starts slightly sweet with some caramel, grain and cereal notes, but with a slight earthy/spice hop flavour. There’s a nice balance between the hops and malt which makes this light bodied lager crisp and easy to drink. Serve alongside roast of ham, chicken, seafood….or lots of appetizers!

Beau’s Le Coeur Noir Black IPA

VanKleek Hill, Ontario
$7.95 (LCBO #442533)

beaus coeur noirThis beer is the 11th in Beau’s Pro-Am Series which features beers that are designed by amateur brewers, and brewed at Beau’s. Le Coeur Noir Black IPA was brewed in collaboration with the winner of the 2013 Toronto Beer Week Homebrew Contest, Jordan Rainhard. This 7.1% abv beer is one of Beau’s cutting styles, an American Black IPA.  It pours with an opaque brown hue and shows pronounced notes of black molasses, spruce tips, cacao nibs, roasted malt and touch of grapefruit rind.  The mouthfeel is rich and full bodied with a long grapefruit pith finish.  Christening the BBQ this weekend? Enjoy this beer with a burger – beef, bison, elk – with a slice of blue cheese on top.  Blue cheese is an incredible example of pairing an assertive style of beer with an assertive style of food. (If you are a subscriber of our Savvy Cool Curds cheese-o-month-club, some of the Back Forty Highland Blue treat we sent this month will be PERFECT! the trick!)

 

Domaine Félibre Givré Ice Cider 2012

Domaine Félibre Givré Ginger Ice Cider

Québec
$19.95 (Vintages #393611) 6.5% alcohol

This was a flyer and I really liked it! A Gold Medal winner at the 2015 Berlin International Wine Competition soothes with its fresh ginger, honey & ice cider combination. Not too powerful in flavour nor too sweet either. This ice cider is refreshing and flavourful. WOW your guests with it as an on arrival drink, after or after a meal. Chill & serve it straight up, over ice or mixed with sparkling wine.

 

 

Fielding Gewürztraminer VQA 2013Fielding Gewürztraminer 2012

Niagara, ON
$18.95 (Vintages #146753)  12.5% alcohol

Everything Fielding’s winemaker Richie Roberts makes seems to turn to gold. This yummy Gewürztraminer will get your heart racing with its spring-like aromas and flavours. Floral aromas combined with candied ginger and tropical fruit tastes (think mangos, kiwi) make this a well balanced and delicious medium bodied white wine. Chill and sip while you make dinner or serve with something spicy like Phad Thai, Indian curry or Mexican dish.

 

Creekside Estate Queenstown Road Pinot Noir VQA 2014Creekside Estate Queenston Road Pinot Noir 2014

VQA St. David’s Bench, Niagara Peninsula
$18.95 (Vintages #415877) 12.5% alcohol

Great things grow along that Queenstown Road, even if the vineyards are situated some 105 metres above sea level. Cherry and cranberry aromas and tastes, smooth as silk on the palate, medium bodied weight and tannins with some beloved St. David Bench earthiness and minerality on the spine of this red wine. For Pinot lovers, don’t miss out.

 

Peller Estates Private Reserve Gamay Noir 2013Peller Estates Private Reserve Gamay Noir VQA 2013

VQA Four Mile Creek, Niagara Peninsula
$19.95 (Vintages #444745) 13.3% alcohol

In 2012 and 2013 Peller Estates vintages won the Lieutenant Governor’s Award for Excellence in Ontario Wines. The 2012 also won a Gold Medal from Wine Align’s National Wine Awards of Canada 2014, Silver Medal from the International Wine & Spirit Competition UK 2014, and Silver Medal from the Los Angeles International Wine & Spirit Competition 2014. How’s that for credentials?

 

Lakeview Cabernet Franc Icewine 2013Lakeview Cabernet Franc Icewine 2013

VQA Niagara Peninsula
$29.95 (Vintages #53397) 11% alcohol

How sweet it is! Like bubbles, nothing makes an evening or occasion more festive than having a finale with ice wine. Aromas of red roses, tastes of ripe red and black currants, strawberries at their peak, with just enough acidity to keep you going back. Elegant and refined and plain delicious, it’s desert on its own but with some strong stinky cheese it would be over the top.

 

 

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

Posted by Susan

Friday, September 12th, 2014
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If you’re a lover of Ontario wines, as many of our Savvy Selections subscribers are, you’ll be delighted with the September 13 LCBO Vintages releases, which showcases the diversity of terroir and wines across the province.

Vintages magazine Sept 13 2014

State of the Art in Ontario

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

Old Vines, Part of Our Heritage

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

Nature & Nurture

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

Taste the Place

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

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

Tuscany’s Third Pillar – again

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

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

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

 

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

September 13, 2014 

 

Flat Rock RieslingFlat Rock Cellars Riesling 2013

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

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

 

Talmard Macon UchizyMallory & Benjamin Talmard Mâcon-Uzichy 2012

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

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

 

13th Street Cabernet Merlot13th Street Cabernet/Merlot 2012

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

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

 

Chakana Cabernet SauvignonCkakana ‘Yaguaraté Collection’ Cabernet Sauvignon 2013 

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

 

GRAND TOTAL: $97.75

 

 

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

Posted by Debbie

Friday, August 15th, 2014
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Relax.  It’s still summer. Thoughts of snowbanks & black ice are far from our minds right now.  Advertisements might be using the F-word: Fall.  While commercials are reminding you that you need to get into back-to-school routine, we’re here to tell you sit back & sip.

LCBO Vintages Magazine Aug 16Relax, its mid-August and there are many lazy days of summer still left in the calendar.

The hardest job for me to do when I taste & review wine is pick the best ones to recommend.  Seriously, it is hard to do! For this If I had $100, I would buy at Vintages, I decided that I would offer you tips on wines to sip & relax with. Pick these up at a LCBO, then pull up a Muskoka chair and chill….summer is short, so enjoy every last minute of it.

Cheers!
-Debbie 

 

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

August 16, 2014

 

Fielding Pinot GrisFielding Pinot Gris 2013

Niagara Peninsula, Ontario
$21.95 (Vintages # 251108) % alcohol

Keep this white wine in the fridge until one of those scorching hot afternoons when nothing seems to quench your thirst.  This wine will come to the rescue. Crisp & refreshing this wine has mentions of peach, pear and fresh baked apple crisp.  This white wine doesn’t need any food, but if you must, creamy cheese or BBQ pork skewers would do the trick.

 

Lailey Sauvignong BlancLailey Sauvignon Blanc 2012

Niagara Peninsula, Ontario
$19.95 (Vintages #72728)  12% alcohol

Promise me this….if you only grab one of the wines I recommend, you’ll pick up this one.  Derek Barnett, the winemaker at Lailey, makes amazing wines – full stop.  Over a cold one (yes, he loves his beer) he told me that Sauvignon Blanc is one of his favorite white wines to make.  This one hits the mark straight on.  Floral, citrus & herbal notes jump out of the glass – classic Sauvignon Blanc characteristics.  Each sip is class act.  Pack a picnic basket. include this wine and loads of finger foods & salads or fire up the BBQ & grill up some shrimp. You’ll be a happy camper.

 

tessellae_old_vines_2012_cdr_petit_formatTessellae Carignan Old Vines, Cotes du Rousillon 2012

Rousillon, France
$18.95 (Vintages #343517) 14% alcohol

This one takes me back to a summer holiday I had in France.  The little hillside town of Roussillon with its array of striking colours of terracotta made each building a piece of artwork.  I took photos constantly.

This is a classic blend of 40% Grenache from 60 year old vines at the base of the hilltop town combined with 40% Syrah & 20% Mouvedre grapes.  Interestingly, the wines were aged in concrete tanks for a year rather than oak barrels.  This is a BIG red wine begging to be enjoyed with a BBQ steak, lamb or grilled mushrooms.   Intense colour with cocoa, blackberry and peppery notes, this is one complex wine.  Treat yourself and buy a few bottles – some to enjoy now & another bottle for when you are buried under the white stuff to bring back memories of summer!

 

Domaine Bousquet Reseve MalbecDomaine Bousquet Reserve Malbec 2012

Mendoza, Argentina
$15.95 (Vintages #55244) 13% alcohol

I was suspicious about the price, but holy Toledo, it had me at the first sip!  Mark my words, this red wine won’t last on the Vintages shelves till Labour Day. HUGE fruit notions of blackberry jam, black cherries and warm spices sprinkled with dark chocolate to round out the smooth texture.  Made with certified organic grapes grown high on the mountain side, a sip of this wine will make you hungry for burgers or kick it up a notch and serve with a beef tenderloin.  Buy 3 bottles because it will disappear fast.

 

 And what is summer without a Rose wine?

Domaine La Rocaliere TavelDomane la Rocalière Tavel Rose 2013

Tavel, France
$19.95 (Vintages #375618) 14.5% alcohol

Hands down a summertime classic.  In the Tavel region of France (South West), they craft only Rosé wines.  The outstanding calibre sets the bar for winemakers around the world who dabble with adding Rosé wines to their portfolio each year. This is a serious Rosé wine made with Grenache, Cinsault, Syrah and Mourvèdre grapes and the result is an elegant wine hints of strawberry jam (or is it raspberry jam?), wild flowers with a zippy taste that makes this a great crisp & refreshing wine…exactly what you want to unwind with as the summer sun sets.

 

GRAND TOTAL: $96.75

 

 

 

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Newlsetter June 2014 – Red Hot tix for All-Canadian wine event & new Rose wines – delivered!

Posted by Debbie

Tuesday, June 24th, 2014
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It’s summertime and the living is easy . . . and we have 2 hot-hot-hot pieces of news that will make your summer super cool.

LAUNCHED TODAY! One Dozen Rosés – an assortment of 12 bottles of Ontario’s finest Rosé wines delivered to your home, office . . . even cottage, any month during the summer.

Our next Savvy Event will be hands down the best one yet. Our FIRST EVER All-Canadian wine tasting. That’s right 100% Canadian wines all night. And we have a red-hot ticket price for you until Canada Day!

 

Celebrate Red & White! An All Canadian Night – July 16th

 

O-O-O-O-O Canada! We are so excited to host this special Taste & Buy event showcasing 100% Canadian wines. There’ll be over 60 wines from BC, Ontario, Quebec & Nova Scotia too. With each sip, you’ll be WOWed & proud of the wines made across the country. And there will be artisan cheesemakers & gourmet foods – everything is made in Canada! Check out all the cool Canadians you will meet at this event >>

Buy 1 ticket for $55 & bring a friend – on us!

This red-hot ticket offer is available now until the fireworks are over on Canada Day. It is THE Savvy Event of the summer & will sell out quickly. Buy your tickets >>

Stock up on great Canadian wines!

 

This Taste & Buy event is a fun night out to meet the winemakers, taste their wines & order your favorite wines for BBQs, backyard parties or simply unwinding on the deck or dock. Your order will be shipped directly from the winery to your home, office or cottage! And you can buy artisan cheeses & gourmet foods at the event too.

Can’t make it but want to order? Call our Sommeliers on 613-SAVVYCO (728-8926) to arrange a special shipment for you.

Event Details . . .

Advance Tickets Only
Date: Wednesday July 16
Time: 7 to 9:30 pm
Location: Canada Agriculture & Food Museum – on the Central Experimental Farm, Ottawa

Round up your friends & join the fun!

 

Buy one ticket, you’ll get one ticket on us! Buy 2 tickets, we’ll give you 2 complimentary tickets for your friends which will be emailed to them directly. Show up wearing red & white from head to toe & we’ll give you a $50 gift certificate for tickets to upcoming Savvy Events.

Hurry, this special offer runs out on Canada Day at midnight! Buy your tickets now>>

Pssst . . . want our T-shirt?

Everywhere we go, people want our shirt right off our backs! At this all-Canadian wine event, order yours (in red & white of course). $20 in advance or $25 at the event. Click to order your T-shirt & tickets >>

 

Rosé wines delivered to your doorstep!

 

One Dozen Roses - Savvy CompanyJUST LAUNCHED! Introducing the brand new One Dozen Rosés – wines that is! Our Savvy Sommeliers tasted countless bottles of Rosé wines from all across Ontario & hand-picked the finest in this one-of-a-kind assortment. There were so many good Rosés that we will offer a new combination of 12 bottles each month.

Next to the taste, the best part is FREE shipping. Order now >>

Each month throughout the summer – July, August & September – we will offer a different selection of hard-to-find Rosé wines. You can choose to automatically receive all three months or order just one. Check out the Rosé wines in the July assortment.

You don’t even have to get up off your lawn chair to order. One Dozen Rosés is only one click away www.savvycompany.ca/rose or call our Ontario Wine Hotline on 613-SAVVYCO (728-8926)

The cost . . .

Each month the cost will vary slightly depending on the combined retail price of the wine selection. July’s assortment is only $200 plus bottle deposit & shipping is FREE.

 

Summer is too short not to clink & drink pink!

 

Cheers!
Debbie & the Savvy Team

PS – Show your Canadian colours – raise a glass of Red, White or even Rosé wine – to celebrate Canadian Wine Day on June 28th & Canada Day too!.

 

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