Posts Tagged ‘wine gifts’

Savvy Elves are in the festive mood

Posted by Debbie

Friday, December 12th, 2014
Share

The countdown is on – ready or not, Christmas is next week. In the Savvy office, we’ve been singing holiday songs all month long to keep us in the festive mood while our phones ring off the hook! Here is the SAVVY version of The 12 Days of Christmas to make your Holiday Shopping easy…and bright!

On the 1st day of Christmas, my true love gave to me…

A one-of-a-kind gift of a subscription to the new Savvy Hip Hops Craft Beer of the month club.  A Taste Case of beers from different Ontario breweries is delivered each month!

Savvy Company keep calmOn the 2nd day of Christmas…

2 cool red Keep Calm & Drink Canadian Wine T-shirts.  $25 each.  Call our Savvy Elves on 613-SAVVYCO (728-8926) to wrap up a couple for you.

On the 3rd day…

3 Savvy gift certificates for tickets to upcoming Savvy Events in 2015. Order $100 gift certificate, we’ll increase it to $125 value – only during the holidays!

Savvy Selections iconOn the 4th day…

4 month subscription to Savvy Selections wine of the month club . Our #1 wine gift! Each month, three different hard-to-find Ontario wines selected by our team of Savvy Sommeliers conveniently arrive at your home or office. “It’s Christmas for adults. Wines arrive on my doorstep every month!” – Colleen

On the 5th day…

5 ‘Must Buy’ wines from the LCBO featured in our blog If I only had $100, I would buy at LCBO. Use this shopping list for great value wines at Vintages as chosen by our Savvy Sommeliers Julie Stock & Susan Desjardins

Savvy Hip Hops beer of the month clubOn the 6th day…

6 month subscription to Savvy Hip Hops  – Ontario’s largest craft beer of the month club. On the Friday closest to the 2-4 of the month, we hand-deliver an amazing assortment of beers from a featured Ontario brewery.  It’s different each month!

On the 7th day…

7 days a week you can contact us online with our Live Chat. Ask us any question about wine, artisan cheese & craft beer. Try it out now on www.savvycompany.ca “Operators are standing by”!

Savvy SommeliersOn the 8th day…

Our Savvy Elves are working over 8 hours a day & we’re online around the clock! Call our Savvy Team on 613-SAVVYCO (728-8926) each day leading up to Christmas or reach us online anytime at cheers@savvycompany.ca

On the 9th day…

Wine & beer of course! We have Ontario’s largest wine AND craft beer of the month club. Give a subscription for 4, 6 or 12 months.  It’s THE perfect gift that keeps on giving!

wine_tasting_sparklingOn the 10th day…

Round up 10 friends, colleagues or clients for a private Savvy Sommelier led wine, artisan cheese or craft beer tasting – a fun way to entertain in your home or at the office. Call on us to create a fun & memorable event. You invite the guests – we do the rest.

On the 11thday…

11 fantastic years in business – thank you for your continuing support as Savvy Company grows. Here’s to what in store for us in 2015!

On the 12th day…

12 different bottles of incredible Ontario wines – you won’t find these wines at the LCBO – delivered to you to enjoy during the holidays.

 

The Savvy Holiday Hotline
613-SAVVYCO (728-8926) or cheers@savvycompany.ca

 

Happy Ho-Ho-Ho Holidays from all of us at Savvy Company. Here’s to an exciting & delicious New Year together discovering wines, artisan cheeses & craft beers!

Debbie, the Savvy Team & Savvy Elves too!

 

Share

The 12 SAVVY Days of Christmas…

Posted by Debbie

Friday, December 20th, 2013
Share

Can you believe Christmas is tomorrow!?! Don’t despair…Be Savvy! Our team of Savvy Sommeliers are here to help! There is still time to wrap up these gifts:

Our #1 gift: Savvy Selections wine of the month club 3, 4 or 6 month subscription

Our ever popular Wine Appreciation 101 ‘Class’ with Savvy Sommelier Debbie Trenholm

NEW this year! Cheesey FUN-damentals ‘Class’ – a full day with our Cheese Sommelier Vanessa Simmons


And don’t forget to stock up on wines!

Our Sommeliers have a special holiday assortment of Ontario wines that will WOW your family & friends. And be sure to have our special bubbly for $18.95 (regular $27.95) for New Years Eve!

The Savvy Holiday Hotline is 613-SAVVYCO (728-8926)
or cheers@savvycompany.ca

 

The Savvy Elves are in the festive mood! We’ve been singing holiday songs in the office all month long. Here is the SAVVY version of The 12 Days of Christmas!

On the 1st day of Christmas, my true love gave to me. . .

1 Wine Appreciation 101 ‘Class’ on January 18 with Savvy Sommelier Debbie Trenholm. Join Debbie for a full day of learning about wines from around the world, wine lingo, the importance of glassware & decanters, tricks for ordering wine at a restaurant . . . AND Debbie will even show you how to sabre a bottle of bubbly!

On the 2nd day of Christmas. . .

2 Back-to-Back weekends featuring Wine Appreciation 101 ‘Class’ (January 18) & Cheesey FUN-damentals ‘Class’ (January 25) by the Savvy ‘Teachers’ & dynamic duo: Debbie Trenholm (for wine) & Vanessa Simmons (for artisan cheese). Join us for one or come to both ‘classes’ for a true wine & cheese experience like you have never had before. Homework never tasted so good!

On the 3rd day. . .

3 Savvy gift certificates for tickets to upcoming Savvy Events in 2014. Ideal for those hard-to-buy-for friends . . . and as a thank you gift for colleagues & clients too.

On the 4th day. . .

4 month subscription to Savvy Selections wine of the month club . Our #1 gift! Each month, three different hard-to-find Ontario wines selected by our team of Savvy Sommeliers conveniently arrive at your home or office. “It’s like Christmas for adults. Wines arrive on my doorstep every month!” – Colleen

On the 5th day. . .

5 ‘Must Buy’ wines from the LCBO featured in our blog If I only had $100, I would buy at LCBO. Use this shopping list for great value wines at Vintages as chosen by our Savvy Sommeliers Julie Stock & Susan Desjardins

On the 6th day. . .

6 month subscription to Savvy Selections – Ontario’s largest wine of the month club. The perfect gift for any wine lover . . . yourself included! Three bottles of wine that you won’t find at the LCBO are delivered directly to you each month – can shopping be any easier?

On the 7th day. . .

7 days a week you can contact us online with our NEW Live Chat. Ask us any question about wine, artisan cheese & craft beer. Try it out now on www.savvycompany.ca . . .”Operators are standing by”!

On the 8th day. . .

Our Savvy Elves are working over 8 hours a day & we’re online around the clock! Call our Savvy Team on 613-SAVVYCO (728-8926) each day leading up to Christmas or reach us online anytime at cheers@savvycompany.ca

On the 9th day. . .

$9 off sparkling wine from Niagara-on-the-Lake – so delicious you’d think it is French Champagne! Pop the cork when your friends drop in during the holidays or stock up for New Years Eve. ONLY $18.95 – and shipping is FREE when you order 12 bottles.

On the 10th day. . .

Round up 10 friends, colleagues or clients for a private Savvy Sommelier led wine, artisan cheese or craft beer tasting – a fun way to entertain in your home or at the office. Call on us to create a fun & memorable event. You invite the guests – we do the rest.

On the 11thday. . .

11 fantastic years in business – thank you for your continuing support as Savvy Company grows. Here’s to what in store for us in 2014!

On the 12th day. . .

12 different bottles of incredible Ontario wines – you won’t find these wines at the LCBO – delivered to you to enjoy during the holidays. Order today & your wines will be delivered in time for Christmas.

 

Happy Ho-Ho-Ho Holidays from all of us at Savvy Company.
Here’s to an exciting & delicious New Year together discovering wines, artisan cheeses & craft beers!

Debbie, the Savvy Team & Savvy Elves too!

 

PS – Have you seen the articles showcasing Debbie & her festive ideas in the holiday issue of Ottawa at Home Magazine (page 42 & 43)? And be on the lookout for her in this coming Saturday’s Ottawa Citizen

 

Share

Newsletter Dec 2013 – Savvy gifts just for you

Posted by Debbie

Sunday, December 15th, 2013
Share

Are you looking for THE perfect gift?  We’ve got it! Savvy Selections wine of the month club is our most popular holiday gift.  The phone is ringing off the hook & our inbox is overflowing with new subscribers joining our discovery of hard to find wines made in Ontario.

 Savvy Selections is as easy to wrap as 1, 2, 3!

#1 –Select a subscription for our 3 months (our special holiday promo!) OR subscribe for 4, 6 or 12 months > >

#2 – When you subscribe for 6 months, you’ll receive 1 month FREE delivery by courier

#3 – Receive a special Savvy Selections gift enclosure card to put under the tree

 Savvy Selections is the gift that keeps on giving every month of the year!

 

 What is Savvy Selections all about?

Savvy Selections has become Ontario’s largest wine of the month ‘club’ featuring Ontario wines not found at the LCBO. Every month, our Savvy Sommeliers select 3 different wines from a different Ontario winery & arrange delivery directly to the recipient’s home or office.  The featured wines range between $15 to $35 per bottle.  In our monthly Savvy eZine, you’ll get to know the winemaker & winery owners, learn more about the wines with our Savvy Sommeliers tasting notes & recipes that we have chosen for each bottle of wine. It is like having your own personal Sommelier!

Savvy Selections is THE perfect gift for the hard to buy for person on your list or any wine lover . . .yourself included!

Here’s the line-up of featured wineries

Savvy elves are standing by!

It’s easy to subscribe online www.savvycompany.ca/selections or to call our Savvy Team on 613-SAVVYCO (728-8926).

 

And there’s even more ways our Savvy elves can help . . .

Scratch ‘buying wine’ off your To Do list

 

We are all pressed for time in the holiday season, so why not order our TGIF – Wines for the Weekend to have an assortment of sparkling, white & red wines from across Ontario that are ready to be uncorked & enjoyed over the holidays! The total cost for this mixed case of 12 bottles is around $250 (December’s selection is $242.65 to be exact).

Order online by noon on Tuesday December 17th & the wines will be delivered to your home or office in time for the holidays.

Our gift to you: we’ll pay for the shipping.

 

Planning a New Years Eve party?

 

Ring in 2014 by popping the corks of an incredible sparkling wine at an INCREDIBLE price of $18.95 (regular $27.95).  This bubbly is top notch – you’d think it is French Champagne.  Our Savvy Team frequently pours this sparkling wine for private events we are called on to host & be Sommeliers.

At this incredible price, why not buy a case to have on hand whenever the moment strikes? After all it is the holidays!

ORDER 6 or 12 bottles of this incredible bubbly > >

 

Our Savvy elves are here to help you during the holidays!

 

Call on our Savvy Team anytime to help make your gift shopping & holiday entertaining a breeze. We are available around the clock during this festive season.  Put us on speed dial: 613-SAVVYCO (728-8926) or email us on cheers@savvycompany.ca.

And after the hectic holidays, you can still call on us anytime to arrange special wine deliveries, or organize Sommelier led wine, artisan cheese & craft beer events for your home or office.  We even have a team building event that involves making wine – it is a riot!

 

Here’s to a fun holiday season!
Debbie & the Savvy Team

 

Share

Sipping wines with the Black Prince

Posted by Susan

Thursday, June 11th, 2009
Share

 

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.

 

 

Share

A delicious discovery – 13th Street Winery

Posted by Debbie

Thursday, May 7th, 2009
Share

 

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!

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.
Share

Holiday Values from Vintages

Posted by Susan

Friday, December 19th, 2008
Share

I’m a great one for that elusive combination of quality and value in a wine.  This holiday season, in addition to its regular selection of holiday spirits, LCBO Vintages is offering a range of products from previous releases that provide excellent value for money.  If you want a special wine for Christmas dinner or New Year’s Eve, or something to share with family or friends of a cold winter’s evening, visit you local Vintages boutique and speak to the product consultant about their special holiday sales and promotions.

As an example, if you’d like some refreshing fizz to get you in the holiday spirit, there are a range of products available.  I recently served the Nino Franco Prosecco di Valdobbiadene Brut (#349662, $17.45, marked down from $20.95) at a birthday party.  This wine is produced on a family estate in the Veneto by an innovative winemaker who is the grandson of the original owner.  This is a bright, balanced bubbly with aromas of pear, apple and citrus that persist on the palate.   Light-bodied with a fine effervescence, it has a well-defined seam of acidity that will have you coming back for more.

If you’d like something a little more regal, consider the Segura Viudas Brut Reserva Heredad Cava (#50864, $31.95, marked down from $37.95).  Segura Viudas is the crown jewel and an independent operation of the producer Freixenet.  A very special wine, the Heredad is the only Segura Viudas cava where the bottle is hand turned as it is aging.  I visited the 6 stories of underground cellars at Segura Viudas last year – the Heredad has its own special resting place.  Reserva Heredad is composed of 2/3 Macabeo and 1/3 Parellada, which are two of the three grapes used to produce cava in Spain (the third is Xarel-lo).  It experiences a very long aging process and has lovely toasty aromas and a very persistent finish.  The wine is captured in a unique bottle with intricately worked designs on the base and a heraldic brand on the bottle itself.  This would make a magnificent gift for a special person.

If you’re thinking of sitting by the fire some cold evening, snacking on cheese and crackers, consider a bottle of Amarone from these special Vintages offers.   For instance, the Giuseppe Campagnola Amarone della Valpolicella (#76653, $36.95, marked down from $46.95), or the Valpantena Torre Del Falasco Amarone (#922161, $42.95, marked down from $54.95).   Amarone is produced using three indigenous Italian grapes:  Corvina, Rondinella and Molinara.  Select bunches of the grapes are handpicked in the fall, then dried in a controlled environment until February to create concentration of the sugars.  After pressing and fermentation, the wine is aged 18-24 months in oak.  This process produces a rich, full-bodied wine with hints of dried fruit and chocolate.  At 15% alcohol, it is bound to create the warmth we all need at this time of year.  

Enjoy a happy holiday season!  All of us at Savvy Company want to see you next year, so remember to drink responsibly.

Susan

Share

Buying The Right Wine: 5 Easy Steps

Posted by Wayne

Tuesday, December 9th, 2008
Share

Some questions I think you should answer BEFORE you walk into the store (in this order of importance):

1. WHO is the wine for and what is their flavour and texture preference?
The character of the person you are buying the wine for is very important. Not everyone is impressed by high end expensive vintages that might have a complex flavour/texture profile that intimidates them because they can’t relax with the wine and just enjoy whatever it has to offer. Often, simplicity, purity and elegance prevail. Ask yourself if the recipient likes sweetness (fruit) flavours. Do they enjoy liquor over beer as an alternative drink? Do they smoke? Do they like light or heavy textured foods? Are they a person who likes to savour their food and their drink after they have eaten or drunk them?

By answering these and other questions about what they like to drink and eat, you can discover if you should be looking for light, sweet white wine with high thirst quenching acidity or a fuller-bodied red wine with a balance of fruit, acid, tannins and good alcohol that requires reflection and a strong finish. Or perhaps, a heavy, white Chardonnay or lighter, red Pinot Noir to have a combination of all these characteristics. They will appreciate your choice without knowing it was their choice.

2. WHAT event are you shopping for?
The central consideration here is: How private or public is the event and will it include food? If you are choosing wine with the intent of consuming it cocktail-style, then  I recommend that you choose a New World wine. That is what Australian Shiraz, California Zinfandel, Argentinian Malbec, South African Meritage, New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc… are very good at being wines that are meant to be enjoyed as wine drinks, like a cocktail. That does not mean they do not match with food well, it just means that New World wines tend to favour drinking rather than food matching and show best when they are part of ‘Happy Hour’.

If food is intended to be an integral part of the event, then I suggest to choose an Old World Wine. This is not to say that Old World wines do not drink well alone, but Old World Winemaking has a penchant for the concept of ‘terroir’ which brings with it all the regional richness of soil, weather, harvesting and winemaking that express the culture of not only local wine, but local food as well. Most Old World wines were meant at some point to be married with food, both by nature and by the people who make and consume them. Not often do you drink wine in Europe without some sort of food accompaniment. The amount and variety and intensity of the wine you choose should take into consideration the ambience it will be served in, with or without food as a partner.

3. WHERE will we be enjoying this wine?
When you have answered this question you will have accommodated the ideas of: the temperature of the wine, how it will be opened, displayed and stored, its portability, how it will be served and by whom, what quantity will show a discretionary purchase (a wine gift of a case of wine that can never be drunk as opposed to a one bottle purchase of quality wine suggests something about expectation and the anxiety to ‘cover all the bases’), how it will be opened (cork, screw cap…) as this might contribute to tradition or ambience, how long the event will transpire… and what may follow?

You might even want to think how you might want to personalize the wine beyond matching it with the event, like ribbons, wrapping, sticker messages, personalized gifts… jewelry wrapped around the bottleneck.

 

4. What SENSE can I make of the LAYOUT and RESOURCES of the store where I am going to buy the wine to help me find the right wine? I am looking for a CHARACTER here so what STYLE will have this character?

Get familiar with how the store displays its wines. Is it by country? Price? Wine region? Varietal? Are there sale bins? Is there a Staff picks section? A Vintage section? Reds here? Whites over there? Dessert wines? Is there anyone to assist me in finding the character profile of the wine I am looking for that I have firmly entrenched in my mind by having confident answers to questions 1,2,3 above. I know what I need because I am buying wine for a person who has a particular taste preference and it is going to be served at this event. I AM DOING THE MATCHING OF CHARACTERS AND THE SELECTION OF WINE!

It isn’t necessary to find the perfect wine because there is more than one “perfect” wine so a “perfect” choice is a given.  My approach is to:
#1-Navigate the landscape of the store.
#2-Narrow the choices.
#3-Select a manageable number of finalists (I recommend tops 3 wines).
#4- READ the front and back labels of the bottles even if it is in another language and you need to ask a store clerk what it means (because even if you don’t know what it means this time, you will next time after you have tasted the wine!).
#5- Fit the drinking preferences of the person this wine is for with the style of wine described on each of the labels of your finalists off the shelf.
#6- Buy the one you think they will like. You’ll probably like it too! Especially when they do.

 

 

5.What is MY price point?
Make this your last, not your first consideration. And keep it flexible in a range you are willing to pay. NOT ALL GOOD WINE COSTS A LOT OF MONEY! Nor is all sale wine good! These are two very good reasons to give price a lesser priority than numbers 1 through 4 above. That is not to say price should not be a consideration at all. Just remember this:

 “A wine of character will help you find a good price, but a good price won’t help you find a wine with character.”

December 9, 2008

 

How do you choose wine? Write me. Share your methods. I love to discover new ways to find good wine!

Cheers!
Wayne Walker

Share

Le Clos Jordanne – a fabulous Ontario Pinot Noir

Posted by Susan

Friday, December 5th, 2008
Share

Looking for a unique gift for the holiday season?  Don’t miss the LCBO Vintages Wine of the Month, Le Clos Jordanne Village Reserve (#33894, $30), released December 6, 2008.  This Pinot Noir is an excellent value Ontario Pinot Noir, which can be cellared for 3-5 years.

I had the opportunity to participate in a tasting let by Thomas Bachelder, Le Clos Jordanne winemaker.  Thomas is a native Montrealer who developed his winemaking expertise in Burgundy, while pursuing a formal education in Viticulture and Oenology in Beaune.  He has tremendous enthusiasm for Le Clos Jordanne terroir, for the winemaking team, and for his wine. 

Le Clos Jordanne’s approach to the vines and the land is to allow the wine to express its ‘sense of place’.  In order to ensure this, the vines and fruit are tended and harvested by hand, and no synthetic fertilizers or pesticides are used.  In 2005, the winery received its first Ecocert Canada certification for organic farming.

Last summer, I had the opportunity of a private visit to Le Clos Jordanne winemaking facilities in Niagara,   This winery was established in 1998 as a joint venture between Vincor and the French firm, Boisset.  They were convinced that the Niagara property had similar characteristics of slope, climate, soil and terroir to the Cote d’Or in Burgundy.

The focus of Le Clos Jordanne is on premium Chardonnay and Pinot Noir. The grapes are grown on several properties which are uniquely situated; they include La Petite, Talon Ridge, Claystone Terrace and Le Clos Jordanne vineyards.  The wine from each of its properties in unique, as I discovered during a barrel tasting.  For instance, Claystone East produces a fairly robust Pinot, which may be blended with Talon Ridge, along with deselected barrels of the other single vineyards, to produce Le Clos Jordanne Village Reserve.

If you love fine Pinot Noir, as I do, visit the Vintages section of your LCBO, or contact us regarding the opportunity to purchase a case directly from Le Clos Jordanne. 

Happy holidays

Susan

Share