Posts Tagged ‘wines from Ontario’

Get ready for… County in the Capital

Posted by Debbie

Wednesday, April 19th, 2017
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Ready to experience Prince Edward County? Tomorrow night’s County in the Capital will be your chance to discover 100+ hard-to-find wines, craft beers, ciders, small batch, artisan cheeses & gourmet goodies – all under one roof.

We’ve had a tremendous response to this Taste & Buy event. It’s another sellout! Your name is on the guest list – either bring a paper copy of your ticket or save it onto your smartphone.

 

TIP: Have dinner beforehand

The focus of this event is about sampling & shopping. Be sure to have dinner beforehand to ‘fuel up’. Plan to book at table at one of the restaurants in Lansdowne or The Glebe.
Boccatto Restaurant located in the Horticulture Building has fabulous savoury & sweet crepes. Tell them you are going to County in the Capital & you’ll get 15% discount.

 

Sip, Savour & Stock up…

County in the Capital features products that are not readily available at the LCBO, The Beer Store or grocery stores.  CLICK for THE LIST of all the featured bevvies to create your ‘gotta try’ or ‘shopping list’. OR…use our online order form at www.savvycompany.ca/pec.

Onsite, you can also buy cool County poster art, maple syrup, hot sauce, handcrafted cheese boards, artisan cheeses & our most recent find…Abeego cheese wrap.

Be sure to put a little ‘mad cash’ in your pocket! There is no ATM onsite.

 

Order 6 bottles & we’ll ship it FREE…

Experience the SAVVY way to shop for bevvies. Everything at this Taste & Buy event is extra special – you won’t find them at the LCBO.
Order ANY combo of 6 or more bottles & we’ll deliver them by courier to your home or office – FREE. It’s that easy!

 

Event Details

Date: Thursday April 20 – tomorrow!!
5 to 7pm: V.I.T Reception – Did you upgrade your ticket with a special V.I.T. Pass (Very Important Tasters)? You’ll get the red carpet treatment with advance access.
7 to 9pm: Main Event
Location: Horticulture Building, 1525 Princess Patricia Way (Lansdowne Park)
Parking: Ample underground parking

 

NEW: It’s FREE to Ride the Bus!

Hop aboard the OC Transpo bus & show a paper copy of your ticket…and the bus fare is FREE. How cool is that – you can ride the bus to & from the event for $0. (can’t just show your tix on your phone.

 

Prizes Galore…

Feeling lucky? Hope so! All evening we will be giving away tickets to Terroir Wine Celebration in Picton in May, VIP passes to The Great Canadian Cheese Festival in June, Fall Countylicious dining experience…and tickets to our next Savvy Event: Celebrate Red & White – an all Canadian Night on June 22.

 

Before an event, we are often asked:

What is the format of the evening?

ANSWER: Upon arrival, you will be provided a Savvy tasting glass- it is yours for the evening & to take home. With a glass in hand, visit the neat folks from The County.

Will I be able to order my favorites?

ANSWER: Absolutely! This Taste & Buy event features bevvies that you won’t find at the LCBO. Attached is the order form (copies will be available) or you can order online. Mix & match any wines, ciders, craft beers you enjoyed at the event & shipping by courier is FREE on orders of 6 bottles or more.

What is the dress code?

ANSWER: Dress as you like – this is your evening.

Is there a coat check?

ANSWER: There will be coat racks. If you park underground or nearby, consider leaving your coat in your car.

Do you Taste & Tweet?

ANSWER: Spread the word by including:
#CountyintheCapital
@SavvyCompany
#RootedinCool
#TheCounty
@VisittheCounty
Go ahead & post pix on our Instagram too!

TIP: Join our ‘Clubs’

Keep discovering with us. Subscribe or give a gift subscription to our Savvy Selections wine-o-month club & receive a delivery of 3 hard-to-find Ontario wines every month. Love craft beer? Suds-cribe to our Savvy Hip Hops craft beer-o-month club. Our Savvy Cool Curds artisan-cheese-o-month club features cheeses from across Canada. Life does not get any better than this.

If you have any questions, just let me know….otherwise we look forward to seeing you tomorrow!

Cheers,
– Debbie and the Savvy Team

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

Savvy Company
613-SAVVYCO (728-8926)
cheers@savvycompany.ca
www.savvycompany.ca

Keep in touch with us…
@SavvyDebbie
@SavvyCompany
@SavvyWines
@SavvyHipHops
@SavvyCoolCurds
#CountyintheCapital
www.facebook.com/SavvyCompany
instagram.com/savvycompanyinc

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

Posted by Debbie

Friday, March 31st, 2017
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Our Pop-Up Wine Shop this week was a HUGE hit! Nine wineries from Niagara uncorked over 50 different wines for fans like YOU to taste & buy.

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

 

Let’s go wine shopping!>>

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

 

Top selling wines @ Savvy Pop-Up Wine Shop

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

13th Street Winery

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

GreenLane Estate Winery

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

Meldville Wines

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

Redstone Winery

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

Tawse Winery

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

Two Sisters Vineyards

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

Vieni Estates Wine & Spirits

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

Vineland Estates Winery

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

Westcott Vineyards

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

DEADLINE FOR ORDERS: Sunday April 2nd

Order before midnight & shipping will be FREE

 

Just want a couple of bottles?

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

 

Have you heard? The County is coming too!

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

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

 

Upgrade & save $25

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

– Debbie and the Savvy Team
cheers@savvycompany.ca
www.savvycompany.ca

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

Keep in touch with us…
@SavvyDebbie
@SavvyCompany
@SavvyWines
@SavvyHipHops
@SavvyCoolCurds

#CountyintheCapital
www.facebook.com/SavvyCompany
instagram.com/savvycompanyinc

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One Night Only! Next Week – Wed March 29th

Posted by Debbie

Monday, March 20th, 2017
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Psst…have you heard? We’re having our 1st ever Pop-Up Wine Shop. It’s happening next week & we invite you to come as our guest – no tickets…no cost…just RSVP!

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

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

Be our Guest!

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

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

 

Pop-Up Wine Shop Deets

ONE NIGHT ONLY! Wednesday March 29
POP-UP SHOP HOURS: 6 to 8pm
BRAND NEW VENUE: Innovation Centre @ 7 Bayview Road in Hintonburg (Ottawa)

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

 

ONLY 150 spots

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

 

Stock up!…shipping is FREE

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

 

Can’t make it but want to order?

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

 

BONUS 50% off & INSTANT upgrades!

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

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

Savvy Company
613-SAVVYCO (728-8926)
cheers@savvycompany.ca
www.savvycompany.ca

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

Keep in touch with us…
@SavvyDebbie
@SavvyCompany
@SavvyWines
@SavvyHipHops
@SavvyCoolCurds

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Our Biggest Taste & Buy Event…EVER! NEXT week

Posted by Debbie

Wednesday, November 23rd, 2016
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On your mark…get set…Power Shop! Our 5th annual Outstanding in their Fields Taste & Buy event is happening next week. Don’t miss it! It is a perfect way to get your holiday groove on & stock up on wine, craft beer & ciders…after all, the holiday parties are kicking into high gear!

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

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

Only available ’til Friday @ midnight

 

nullSip & Stock Up!

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

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

 

Check out who is coming….

…from Prince Edward County

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

…from Niagara

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

…from even further away

Railway City Brewery (St. Thomas)

…from closer to home

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

 

FREE Shipping

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

 

Event Deets

DATE: Thursday December 1st
VENUE: Horticulture Building @ Lansdowne, Ottawa
VERY IMPORTANT TASTER (V.I.T.) RECEPTION: 5 to 7pm – special passes required
MAIN TASTING EVENT: 7 to 9pm

 

We’ll roll out the red carpet

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

NEW! Cheesemakers are coming too

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

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

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

 

Does not end there!

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

 

Win 4 tickets…

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

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

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

Savvy Company
613-SAVVYCO (728-8926)
cheers@savvycompany.ca
www.savvycompany.ca

Keep in touch with us…
@SavvyDebbie
@SavvyCompany

www.facebook.com/SavvyCompany
instagram.com/savvycompanyinc

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

Posted by Debbie

Wednesday, November 23rd, 2016
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At Savvy Company HQ, we’re caught up in the Cyber Monday deal-a-thons & joining in the online madness by offering 50% off TICKETS to our next wine, beer, cider event. Yes, half price tickets to this week’s Savvy Event. Heck, why not?!?

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

TODAY ONLY!
Tickets $35 per person

Tick Tock…ends @ midnight

 

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

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

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

 

Event Deets

DATE: Thursday, December 1st
VENUE: Horticulture Building @ Lansdowne, Ottawa
VERY IMPORTANT TASTER (V.I.T.) RECEPTION: 5 to 7pm – special passes required
MAIN TASTING EVENT: 7 to 9pm

Advance Tickets Only
Buy your tickets >>

 

Check out who is coming….

…from Prince Edward County

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

…from Niagara

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

…from even further away

Railway City Brewery (St. Thomas)

…from closer to home

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

 

We’re rolling out the red carpet

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

 

FREE Shipping

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

 

Can’t make it?

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

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

 

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

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

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

See you there,
– Debbie & the Savvy Team

Savvy Company
613-SAVVYCO (728-8926)
cheers@savvycompany.ca
www.savvycompany.ca

Keep in touch with us…
@SavvyDebbie
@SavvyCompany

www.facebook.com/SavvyCompany
instagram.com/savvycompanyinc

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Clink & Drink Pink!

Posted by Debbie

Friday, September 9th, 2016
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Back-to-school radio ad jingles are ringing in my ears reminding me that summer is winding down. Don’t let it be so! This summer has been absolutely fabulous. I am sure you too want summer to last forever!

One way to make summer linger is by drinking Rosé. As we are ending our summer-long offering of Bouquet of Rosés with wines that are delightful on a hot summers day, to enjoy with a bountiful meal to celebrate the harvest or to stash away for Thanksgiving. Turkey, cranberry & Rosé wines are one of my favorite wine and food pairings.

Our Savvy Sommeliers traveled throughout Ontario this summer on the lookout for six wonderful Rosé wines to feature in this month’s Bouquet of Rosés:

From Prince Edward County…bouquet-of-roses-600px

Casa Dea Estates Dea’s Rosé Sparkling – just released!

From Beamsville Bench (Niagara)…

Fielding Estates Winery Rosé  VQA 2015
Legends Estates Pinot Gris VQA 2015 – just released!
Legends Estates Rosé VQA 2015 – just released!
Sue-Ann Staff’s Fancy Farm Girl Foxy Pink Rosé VQA 2014
Sue-Ann Staff’s Fancy Farm Girl Flirty Bubbles

Every bottle of wine in your Bouquet of Rosés is EXTRA special, as you won’t find them at the LCBO.

If you would like to order additional bottles or other hard-to-find Ontario wines (we do craft beers, too!), contact me at 613-SAVVYCO (613-728-8926) or debbie@savvycompany.ca

Here’s to ever lasting summer!

Debbie & the Savvy Team

 

 

In this Bouquet of Rosés you will find…

~ Tasting notes by Savvy Sommelier, Debbie Trenholm ~

 

Casa Dea Dea Cuvee Rose SparklingCasa Dea Estates Dea’s Rosé Sparkling

$19.95
Prince Edward County

Did you know? Casa Dea Estates was one of the original wineries in Prince Edward County known as Carmela Estates. With each new owner, it has been re-named. Their winemaker (who once was a butcher), Paul Batilianna, has been heralded by MacLean’s Magazine as ‘one to watch’ as the Canadian wine industry grows.

Savvy Sommelier Tasting Notes: This unique sparkling rosé is made with 100% Gamay grapes. The colour is a beautiful coral pink with aromas & flavours that will remind you of the glorious days of this summer. On the nose & in the taste, this crisp & dry bubbly exudes aromas of citrus (pink grapefruit perhaps?), white flowers, minerality – that it is a County characteristic – juicy berries & rhubarb. There is lovely mousse (winespeak: tiny bubbles) with a long yet delicate finish. It`s a grown up sparkling wine.

Suggested Food Pairings: This is a great sipping wine & can be enjoyed on its own after being chilled for 30 minutes in the fridge. Pair with oysters or sushi. For something a little different, match with Beet Risotto (recipe follows).

 

Fielding RoseFielding Estates Rosé VQA 2015

$15.95
Beamsville Bench (Niagara)

When the Savvy Sommeliers got together for our spring sipping & sampling kick-off, we were quickly impressed with Fielding’s Rosé wine. At the beginning of the summer this wine was available at the LCBO. Now sold out, we were able to score the last case available for your at the winery.

Did you know? Curtis Fielding was once a professional race car driver. When his parents decided to get involved in growing grapes and making wine, they called Curtis off the race track to help them build the business. And good thing too! alongside with his wife Heidi, they celebrated the winery`s 10th anniversary last year and Curtis has been acknowledged by the grape growing industry by being reigned as Grape King – quite an honour! Now Curtis & Heidi are great Savvy fans & friends. You will no doubt see them at our next Savvy Event.

Savvy Sommelier Tasting Notes: A soft pink colour with aromas and tastes that will remind you of ripe strawberries and rhubarb.

Suggested Food Pairing: It’s a lovely wine that will be delicious with fish (poached or grilled), prosciutto wrapped asparagus, grilled planked salmon, lemon roasted chicken even corn chowder.

 
Legends Estates Pinot Gris VQA 2015

$17.00
Niagara-on-the-Lake

Did you know? This is a winery that we discovered this summer. Our long-time Savvy friend Derek Barnett is a winemaker who just launched is virtual winery – Meldville Wines. What is a virtual winery you ask? A winery within a winery…Meldville Wines does not have a building yet, rather Derek is using the winemaking equipment at Legends. Everybody wins this way! Derek tipped me off on this wine and exclaimed that it was hands down one of the best Pinot Gris he has had this summer…and we agree!

Savvy Sommelier Tasting Notes: Not labeled as a Rosé, but has a pink tinge because the Pinot Gris grapes are naturally cooper coloured when fully ripened. The winemaker kept the grape skins in contact with the juice after the crush and magically the colouring happened to give it a lovely copper colour. This is just like Palatine Hills Pinot Gris in last month’s assortment. A well balanced wine with fresh bread on the nose, hint of Earl Grey tea & reminders of clotted cream & fresh strawberries. Can you find any of this when you swirl & sip on this dry wine?
This Pinot Gris is so new that at the time of writing it isn’t even on Legends Estates website yet. You are the first to enjoy it. Another Savvy discovery!

Suggested Food Pairing: Roasted whole chicken, seafood, fish or try with the interesting grilled bruschetta recipe that we have included – Ombre Fresh & Roasted Tomatoes on Charred Bread.

 

Legends Estates Rosé VQA 2015

$12.95
Niagara-on-the-Lake

Savvy Sommelier Tasting Notes: An interesting blend of Cabernet Franc and Cabernet Sauvignon, this bright pink drink looks like watermelon…tastes like watermelon…and would be perfect paired with a plate full of watermelon!

Loads of floral notes with zippy acidity that makes this wine well balanced & every sip makes you want more. And the white pepper on the finish is the perfect punctuation.

Suggested Food Pairing: Smoked salmon, blue cheese, even risotto – we have included a neat recipe using beets!

Again, another wine find from Legends Estates. They have been so busy that they have not added it to their web site yet. You are the first to enjoy it.

 

Flirty_Bubbles_largeSue-Ann Staff’s Fancy Farm Girl Flirty Bubbles

$29.95
Twenty Valley (Niagara)

Did you know? Sue-Ann Staff has been a long time Savvy friend. Two years ago, she moved into her grandmother’s house and turned her kitchen into the winery tasting bar. Outside of ‘business’ hours, the kitchen is where Sue-Ann whips up a quick meal, then tidies up again to put her best foot forward when visitors drop in to try her wines. When you plan your next trip to Niagara, be sure to stop by to visit Sue-Ann…her dog Brix will be waiting for you at the end of the farmstead laneway!

Savvy Sommelier Tasting Notes: It is no wonder that this sparkling wine won gold at Intervin International Wine Awards in 2015. Sue-Ann knows how to craft Riesling into delicious wines. Here she double fermented it and added a splash of Merlot 2010 in the dosage (at the end) to make the colour pop. Ta-da! An instant fun wine that you will swear is French champagne.

The fine bubbles race up the glass at rocket speed that make a delicious mouthfeel with each sip. Dry, delicious & crisp with yeasty undertones that remind you of fresh baked bread or brioche pastry, with a refreshing zip of cranberry, currants, or maybe it is more like fresh-out-of-the-oven strawberry rhubarb pie. Whichever memory it conjures up, this sparkling is hands down delicious. I think I may have overused that word in this tasting notes!

Suggested Food Pairing: Charcuterie, hard cheese, popcorn (yes – you read that right!) & seafood. Our friend Paula Roy who is just launching a TV show on Rogers TV this fall shared with us her “Better than Takeout Chinese Shrimp” recipe that would be delicious with this bubbles. Anyway you have it…enjoy!

 

Sue-Ann Staff Fancy Farm Girl RoseSue-Ann Staffs Fancy Farm Girl Foxy Pink Rosé VQA 2014

$14.95
Twenty Valley (Niagara)

Savvy Sommelier Tasting Notes: A neat blend of 92% Riesling and 8% Cabernet Franc. With each sip, reminders of maraschino cherry, fresh juicy peaches & nectarines zip to your mind. Deliciously smooth with a low acidity that easily makes you long for more….then surprised that the bottle is gone!

Suggested Food Pairing: One of my Niagara favorites at this time of the year is Peach & Arugula Pizza. If you are bound for Niagara during harvest time, be sure to visit The Pie Plate & Bake Shop as you drive into Niagara-on-the-Lake for a slice of this amazing pizza.


 

 

• Rosé Recipe Box •
Summer time favorites enjoy with your Bouquet of Rosés

 

Beet Risotto

Recipe & Photo credits: Food & Wine
Serves 8

200910-xl-beet-risottoIngredients

7 cups chicken stock
4 Tablespoons unsalted butter
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1 large sweet onion, finely chopped
2 large beets (12 ounces each), peeled and coarsely shredded, plus thinly sliced beets for garnish
3 cups arborio rice
1 ½ cups young pecorino cheese, freshly grated
2 teaspoons poppy seeds, plus more for garnish

Note: “Beets give this creamy risotto stunning colour & delicate sweetness. Grace Parisi suggests wearing rubber gloves and shredding the beets directly into a stainless steel bowl to avoid staining hands and countertops.”

Method

In a saucepan, bring the stock to a simmer; cover and keep warm. In a medium enameled cast-iron casserole, melt the butter in the oil.

Add the onion and cook over moderately high heat, stirring, until softened, 5 minutes.

Add the shredded beets and cook, stirring, until the pan is dry, 12 minutes. Spoon half of the beets into a small bowl.

Add the rice to the casserole and cook, stirring, for 2 minutes. Add 1 cup of the warm stock to the rice and cook over moderate heat, stirring, until the stock is nearly absorbed. Continue adding the stock 1 cup at a time, stirring constantly, until the rice is al dente and a thick sauce forms, about 22 minutes.

Stir in the cooked beets, cheese and the 2 teaspoons of poppy seeds. Cook, stirring, until heated through; add a few tablespoons of water if the risotto is too thick.

Spoon the risotto into bowls. Garnish with sliced beets and poppy seeds and serve.

 

Ombre Fresh & Roasted Tomatoes On Charred Bread

Recipe & Photo Credit: LCBO Food & Drink Summer 2016
This recipe substitutes Wasabi cream cheese for fresh buffalo mozzarella

 Ingredients

1 round Buffalo Mozzarella
3 small beefsteak tomatoes
2 pkgs. mix of red and orange cherry and grape tomatoes
Olive oil
Sea salt and pepper to taste
4 slices sourdough bread (or an Italian crusty bread)
¼ cup crispy shallots (found in Asian markets, or fry your own)

Method

Slice buffalo mozzarella into 8 thin slices.

Slice beefsteak tomatoes into wedges, keep cherry and grape tomatoes whole.

Preheat broiler on oven. Place foil on a baking sheet, add cherry and grape tomatoes and drizzle with olive oil and a pinch of salt. Broil until just starting to pop and blister, around 2-3 minutes. Remove from oven and lift foil from baking sheet. Refrigerate tomatoes to cool.

Place bread on baking sheet and toast until slightly charred.

Spread each toast slice with 2 slices of buffalo mozzarella, and sprinkle evenly with crispy shallots. Arrange fresh and broiled tomatoes in a colourful Ombre composition, moving from reds to oranges. Drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper.

 

Peach Pizza with Arugula & Prosciutto

Serves: 2 medium-sized pizzas
Recipe & Photo credits: Five and Spice
Originally adapted from Shutterbean

Ingredients

peach-pizza-sliced-21 tsp active dry yeast
1 tsp sugar
1⅓ cup warm water (just gently warm to the touch, not hot)
2 Tbsp olive oil
1 tsp. salt
3-4 cups bread flour
¼ cup balsamic vinegar
1 red onion, thinly sliced
4 peaches, pitted and cut into eighths
8 oz chevre (soft goat cheese)
1 Tbsp olive oil
4 cups arugula
slices of prosciutto – as much as you like!
sea salt

 

Method

Make the pizza dough early in the morning of the day you want to eat the pizza. Or make it the night before. Combine the yeast, sugar, and warm water in the bowl of a standing mixer with a bread hook (or in a large mixing bowl, if you’re going to knead by hand). Let it sit for about 5 minutes until the yeast has started to become foamy.

Add 3 cups of the flour, stir until it’s just sort of mixed together, then let it sit for 10-20 minutes to autolyse (this step is optional, but it helps develop the gluten). Next, add the salt and the olive oil and start the mixer stirring on low speed (or squeeze the olive oil and salt in using your hands, until worked into the dough). Knead the dough with the bread hook, or by hand on a lightly floured surface, for 5 minutes. Add just enough extra flour so that the texture of the dough is lightly tacky, but not completely sticky.

Transfer the dough to a lightly oiled bowl, cover with plastic wrap or a damp kitchen towel, put in the fridge and let rise for 8-12 hours. It should double or even triple in size.

When ready to bake the pizza, heat your oven to 500F, preferably with a pizza stone in it if you have one. Take out your pizza dough and divide it in half. On a well floured surface, stretch each half of the dough into an approximately 12-inch circle (or rectangle, as the case may be), then let it rest for 10-15 minutes.

While the dough is resting, toss the sliced red onion with the balsamic vinegar in a large bowl. Let this sit for 10-15 minutes to lightly pickle the onions. Then, gently stir in the peach slices.

When the dough has finished resting, stretch each half further into a circle as thin as you can make it without breaking the dough – if the dough does tear, just press it back together.

Transfer each stretched piece of dough to a parchment lined baking sheet or a pizza peel sprinkled with cornmeal.

Top each of the pizzas with half of the peaches and onions, making sure to leave the remaining balsamic vinegar in the bowl because you’re going to toss the arugula in there. Break the chevre into small chunks and scatter half of it evenly over each of the pizzas. Sprinkle the pizzas well with sea salt.

Bake each pizza one at a time, either directly on the pizza stone or on the baking sheet you have it on, in the hot oven until the crust is nice and golden brown (mine took only about 8 minutes, but the time depends on how thin your dough winds up being).

While the pizzas are baking toss the arugula & prosciutto with the remaining vinegar and the 1 Tbs. olive oil plus a pinch of salt. After each pizza comes out of the oven, top it with half of the arugula. The arugula should wilt a bit with the heat.

Let the pizzas cool at least 5 minutes before slicing, then slice and serve.

 

Cedar Planked Salmon à la Cathy

From Savvy Sommelier Cathy Law’s Kitchen
Serves 4 to 6 (depending on size of filet)
Photo credit: www.RecipeHubs.com

cedar-plank-salmonIngredients

1 fresh fillet of salmon
2 tbsp. fresh ginger chopped
Enough ginger infused peach or apricot jam to spread evenly over the salmon
Cracked pepper and salt fish to taste

Method

Submerge your cedar plank in water with a little Rose wine (if you dare! Alternatively, use white wine). Let the plank soak for about 2 hours. The longer the plank soaks the better as there will be less burning of the wood.

Heat your BBQ or Smoker to medium high.

Place the salmon on the plank skin side down. Set the plank on the pre heated grill and close the lid. Grill salmon for 10 to 20 minutes until it starts to flake easily. Carefully remove the plank from the grill.

Serve with your choice of accompaniments along with a glass of sparkling Rose.

 

Better than Takeout Sweet & Sour Shrimp

Serves: 4 to 6
Recipe & Photo credits: Constantly Cooking

 Ingredientssweet_sour_shrimp_square

For the sauce:

3/4 cup (175 mL) pineapple juice (fresh or canned)
1 Tablespoon (15 mL) grated fresh ginger root
3 Tablespoons (45 mL) soy sauce
3 Tablespoons (45 mL) honey
3 Tablespoons (45 mL) rice wine vinegar
2 Tablespoons (30 mL) sesame oil
1 to 2 Tablespoons (15 – 30 mL) Sriracha or Sambol Oelek (Asian hot sauce) or to taste
1 Tablespoon (15 mL) cornstarch

For the shrimp and vegetables:

1 lb (454 g) medium or large raw shrimp, peeled and deveined
1/3 cup (90 mL) cornstarch
1/2 teaspoon (2.5 mL) freshly ground pepper
2 to 4 Tablespoons (30 – 60 mL) canola oil
1 large carrot, thinly sliced on the diagonal
1 large red pepper, in 3/4 inch (2 cm) pieces
1 medium zucchini, thinly sliced
1/2 fresh pineapple, peeled and cored, in 1 inch (2.5 cm) pieces
1/2 cup (125 mL) minced green onion tops
1/2 cup (125 mL) salted cashews
cooked brown rice, to serve

Method

Prepare sauce by combining all ingredients in a jar with a tight lid and shaking well to blend.

Chop all ingredients before beginning to cook.

Put cornstarch and pepper in a small bag and shake to blend.

Pat shrimp dry then dredge, a handful at a time, in the cornstarch mixture. Place them on a clean plate, in a single layer. This can be done up to an hour before cooking time; refrigerate shrimp until needed.

When ready to assemble the dish, heat 2 tablespoons of the oil in a wok or large frying pan over medium heat.

Add shrimp to the pan in batches so they are not too crowded and cook, flipping once, until shrimp has turned pink and coating is crispy, about 2 – 3 minutes. Remove cooked shrimp to a clean plate and add more oil as needed. The shrimp can be cooked ahead of time and refrigerated for up to an hour.

When shrimp has been cooked, add a tiny bit more oil to the pan and cook carrots, stirring often, for 2 minutes. Add peppers and cook for 2 minutes more. Add zucchini and cook for 2 minutes.

Return cooked shrimp to the pan and drizzle sauce over top and cook, stirring gently, for 3 – 5 minutes until sauce is thickened.

Serve chicken mixture and sauce over cooked brown rice and garnish with minced green onion and cashews.

 

Eager to make summer last even longer?

Call the Savvy Team on 613-SAVVYCO (728-8926) or order more of your favorite Rosés you have discovered in your Bouquet of Rosés.

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

Posted by Julie

Friday, May 13th, 2016
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In the 2016 merry month of May, LCBO Vintages brings back all kinds of “Customer Favourites”. In the May 14 release, there’s a varied collection of wines from around the world that you will just LOVE!

LCBO Vintages Magazine May 14These are tried & true bestsellers that come with our Vintages customers’ seal of approval.  There are also some great new picks from New Zealand to help us give summer a push.  Believe me when I say…this is the time to go looking for new favorite wines.

I found a little trivia on the month when I was scouting on the internet. Things I did not know is that 1) May was named after the Greek goddess Maia, of fertility and 2) in any given year, no month ever begins or ends on the same day of the week as May does. How’s that for (useless) information.

But it’s a beautiful month and everything with legs is out there walking, running, cycling etc…and speaking of legs, there are some great wine picks here and some even have legs!

Cheers,
Julie

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

Saturday May , 2016

 

Dog Point Sauvignon Blanc 2015Dog Point Sauvignon Blanc 2015

Marlborough, South Island
$24.95 (Vintages #677450) 13.5% alcohol

Year after year “Dog Point” produces first class Sauvignon Blanc’s.  Pungent aromas of lemon, lime, a little ginger that follows through on the palate. It’s light to medium weight delivering great fruit flavour. There’s some grapefruit on the aftertaste that pulls it all together with a tangy white peppery finish. Clean and fresh, it never disappoints. It’s one great sipper.

 

Fielding Rosé 2015Fielding Estate Rosé 2015

VQA Niagara Peninsula
$15.95 (Vintages #53421) 12.3% alcohol 

For those of you who follow my column, you know I am a big fan of Fielding wines and this rosé is the best ever.  And so pretty in PINK, a lighter colour than other years; I really do prefer the lighter coloured rosés, they just seem to have more “class”. There’s a hint of sweetness in the off dry candy floss taste but it’s very smooth and edgey with enough acidity to make it interesting while delivering culprits of tart rhubarb and ripe strawberries.  It is a lovely rosé. I hope winemaker Richie Roberts made enough to last the summer.  There’s a case of this on my list.

 

Conundrum Red 2013Conundrum Red 2013

25th anniversary edition, California
$24.95 (Vintages #294298) 14.2% alcohol

A fabulously deep ruby red and the label on this bottle tells that the Wagner family has gone all out to celebrate. There is outstanding intensity to this big robust red. Rich ripe dark berries that are generous in flavours make it extremely palatable. Soft tannins offer good balance and a delicate mix of spice at the end make this year’s Conundrum special indeed.  With the usual food groups that demand a red wine, this is superb.

 

Zolo Reserve Malbec 2013Zolo Reserve Malbec 2013

Mendoza Fincas Patagonica, Argentina
$18.95 (Vintages# 81091) 14% alcohol 

Aged 14 months in American and French oak barrels makes this Malbec even more delicious than other years. Ripe nose of violets, blueberries and black currants, it’s dark and inky in colour.

The palate is full-bodied with fine-grained tannins , a touch of mint on the finish; it’s just begging for some rare grilled steak.

 

Ardal Crianza 2010Ardal Crianza 2010

DO Ribera del Duero
Bodegas Balbás, Spain $17.95 (Vintages #167601) 14% alcohol

A winemaker can hardly go wrong with a blend of Tempranillo and Cabernet Sauvignon grapes, certainly two of my favourite varietals. Intense dried black fruit notes, full bodied and nicely polished. There is good volume and it just flows on the palate with tannins building into a spicy bramble, peppery aftertaste.  One great choice for spicy burgers.

 

Grand Total = $101.75    

(oops, I changed coats so I am looking in my pockets for spare change)

 

 

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One-man show makes magic!

Posted by Debbie

Monday, April 18th, 2016
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Savvy Selections Ontario wine of the month club

Savvy Selections wine of the month club
Featuring Lighthall Vineyards
–  April 2016 –

The “To Do” list at a winery is long at this time of the year.  Even though the vineyards look bare, winery owners & winemakers like Glenn Symons at Lighthall Vineyards are working flat out.  Bottling white wines, blending the reds, dusting off the tasting bar after hibernating during the winter, hiring labour for the season, de-hilling the vines (a technique primarily used in Prince Edward County), attending events and most of all…selling wine! These are just a few of the items on the never ending list.

Lighthall winery and diaryI am delighted to introduce you to a gem of The County…Lighthall Vineyards, or should I say now Lighthall Vineyards & Dairy.  Our long time fried & Savvy fan Glenn Symons is the owner, winemaker, vineyard manager & one-man-show at this boutique winery.  He has an interesting backstory that you can read while you enjoy a glass of his wine from your Savvy Selections.

In your Savvy Selections you will find….

An easy drinking sparkling wine to enjoy now…along with a bottle of Chardonnay and Pinot Noir to cellar….if you can wait!  Rest assured that the wines are all ready to be served, yet Glenn recommends, “the Chardonnay is delicious now and will continue to get even better with time.  Same goes for the Pinot Noir.  Both wines have so much promise.” If only you have the willpower to leave them alone.

lighthall vineyards bottles on iceLighthall Progression VQA 2013 – fun & fresh.  Mark my words that you will wish that we sent you 2 bottles.

Lighthall Chardonnay VQA 2014 – Glenn declares that it is the best one he has made…yet!

Lighthall Pinot Noir ‘Quatre Anges’ VQA 2014 – complicated & elegant.  One of the best made in The County

Cheers,
Debbie & Savvy Team 

 

Introducing…
Lighthall Vineyards

Presented by Sommelier Debbie Trenholm

 

Edible Ottawa - Glenn SymonsAll of us have 24 hours in our day. It amazes me how people like Glenn Symons (in photo at right – photo credit Edible Ottawa) does it– he spends 1.5 hours roundtrip commuting from his home to the winery, tends to 16 acres of vines year round, manages a team of vineyard workers from Thailand, cares for his 100+ chickens, ducks, turkeys all the while making top rated wines & chops wood from the forest on his 100 acre property.

Oh and just last year he took on the challenge to learn how to make artisan cheeses turning this into a new business, renovated his building to accommodate cheesemaking equipment and for fun, he began growing hops too.  And Glenn is a father of four – including twin boys – he has all of the typical ‘Daddy duties’ too.

Being a one man show for the past 8 years, he has built an amazing reputation for Lighthall’s quality of sparkling, Chardonnay and Pinot Noir wines.  All of his grapes are grown in the vineyard that he has expanded from 8 to 16 acres.  Glenn’s winemaking talent is recognized by his peers in The County as several winemakers call on him to help finish and bottle their wines.

“Some days there is just enough coffee or beer to keep me going”, Glenn laughs.

It all started with a heart attack

It’s an unfathomable beginning.  “I remember that day so clearly”, recalls Glenn. “I turned 36 and I was running a busy pharmacy on Elgin Street in downtown Ottawa.  The day began normal, then the perfect storm hit.” One of his long time staff members resigned, his largest client – a nursing home – called with complaints and CRA (yes – Canadian Revenue Agency) did a surprise audit. While these fires raged, Glenn remembers downing 2 double double coffees to help with the situation.

“After work I took my daughter to her final ringette game of the season. We inadvertently went to the wrong arena. Miraculously we made it to the right place before the whistle blew. It was a special season closer where parents played against the girls.” When Glenn tied up his skates, he felt the tell-tale sign of tightening of his chest and he had a heart attack on the ice. “The doctors at the Heart Institute told me that it was the type of attack where 50% survive”, Glenn remembers with a punctuated sigh.

After his heart attack, Glenn decided to make changes to his lifestyle.  He had been experimenting with winemaking since he was 19 and he was constantly intrigued by its chemistry.  Still a busy father and businessman, he enrolled in the Sommelier Program at Algonquin College to specifically learn more about the world of wine.

He raised my eyebrows!

Coincidentally, this is where I met Glenn.  I was an industry judge for his final Sommelier service exam.  While his classmates were white knuckled as they role played a restaurant scenario of patrons ordering wine with their meals, Glenn breezed through the exam with confidence & ease.  He also served a bottle of Huff Estates Lighthall Vineyard Chardonnay while his classmates were using Fat Bastard & Mouton Cadet for practicing the professional 21-step bottle opening etiquette. Struck by the fact that Glenn was using a $40 bottle of wine to showcase his serving skills, I commented, “Interesting choice of bottles to practice on.” He replied with a huge smile, “I bought this vineyard last week.”

From Pharm-acist to Farm-er

lighthall vineyard buildingGlenn considered only 2 vineyards when deciding to get involved in the wine industry.  A developed vineyard of 8 acres in Prince Edward County already called Lighthall Vineyards or a well-established vineyard in Chateauneuf-de-Pape France. “Had I gone to France, I probably would have been creamed & out of business by now. I have learned so much on the fly here, that I doubt France would have been that forgiving!”

“I learned everything about winemaking from Frederic Picard.  He taught me the basics and gave me the confidence to refine these skills into my own style.  I am also indebted to Dave Frederick who was my assistant winemaker in the early days. Both men are friends, my mentors and my go-tos.” Fred Picard is the chief winemaker at Huff Estates Winery who came from Burgundy, France to The County.  Dave Frederick has been an assistant winemaker at several wineries in the region and is soon to open Strange Brewing Co near Picton.

And to pair with the success of his winery, last year Glenn ventured into making artisan cheese.  Will he ever stop?

Here’s to Glenn & his adventures at Lighthall.

~ SAVVY SOMMELIER TASTING NOTES ~


Lighthall Progression VQA 2013, $20.00

“This is the wine that I can’t stop drinking”, says Glenn with a giggle. And the Savvy Team agrees!

Glenn planted Vidal vines with the full intention (like many Canadian winemakers) of making the grapes into icewine and exporting into China.  The Chinese connection fell through and we was stuck experimenting what he can do with these grapes.  Luckily he concocted Progression!

Savvy Sommelier Tasting Notes: So easy to drink, uncomplicated, fun & refreshing.  There’s a dry delicious refreshing acidity with aromas of citrus, pear & crunchy green apple with a nicely balanced crisp finish. 

Suggested Food Pairing: Served well chilled, this wine is lovely on its own, with runny cheese like Brie, fresh oysters, or paired with light appetizers or even pizza with Pear, Carmelized Onion & Brie (recipe to follow).  Simply put – keep a bottle in your fridge for any occasion to pop off the cap! 

 

Lighthall Chardonnay VQA 2014, $25.00

lighthall vineyards bottles - bestThis is Glenn’s best Chardonnay yet.  “It is exactly what I want to be making.  I fermented one third in oak barrels with the remaining two thirds in stainless steel.”

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau certainly thinks so! Enjoyed before he hit the campaign trail, Glenn told me that he received a cheque in the mail from Sophie Grégoire for the amount to pay for 2 cases of this Chardonnay. “There was no note, no shipping instructions, just the cheque!” 

Savvy Sommelier Tasting Notes: Elegant with delicate limestone minerality that a typical characteristic of The County, combined with a judicious amount of oak. There`s aromas and tastes of apples & Asian pear. It’s rich & buttery with a little nip of acidity on the tongue that lures you to have another sip.

Suggested Food Pairing: “Sweetbreads with this Chardonnay is mind-numbing”, declared Glenn. Pan seared scallops, wild mushroom risotto or Turkey Meatballs topped on a creamy lemon pasta (recipe follows).

Cellaring: This wine is ‘nervous’ explains Glenn.  Although delicious now, this wine will relax and mellow with time – approximately 5 more years.

 

Lighthall ‘Quatre Anges’ Pinot Noir VQA 2014 $30.00

The Quatre Anges (4 Angels) refers to Glenn’s 4 children. Each have been involved in the winery in some way as they have grown into teenagers. Each harvest they get together to help with the crush.  You can imagine siblings during the chaos of harvest – oh my! Now with the eldest in university, this is quite possibly the last time the foursome will be involved in the making of this wine.

2014 was an epic growing season with incredible ripening that shows through in the fruit.

Savvy Sommelier Tasting Notes: Deep coloured for a Pinot Noir, this one is rich & full of red & black cherry tastes. Barrel aged for over a year adds in notes of rosemary, leather with a warm smoke characteristic that rounds off the mouthfeel.  An amazing wine that will only get better with some more time.

Suggested Food Pairing: One pairing – Duck! “I am raising duck at the winery, simply because I love the pairing with Pinot,” states Glenn.  A favorite duck recipe includes Black Truffles. Be on the lookout for fresh or frozen in a gourmet food shop.

Cellaring: This is ready to enjoy, yet it will benefit from being untouched for another 10 years…if you can wait that long.

 

~RECIPES TO ENJOY WITH YOUR SAVVY SELECTIONS~

 

With Lighthall Progression…

Pear, Carmelized Onion & Brie Pizza

Recipe & photo credits: Dinner with Julie 

Ingredients

Pear-Brie-PizzaCanola or Olive oil – for cooking
1 large onion, halved & thinly sliced
1 ripe but firm pear, thinly sliced
4 oz Brie, sliced salt & freshly ground black pepper
extra virgin olive oil

Dough

1 package (2 tsp) active dry yeast
pinch of sugar
2 ½ to 3 cup all-purpose flour
2 Tbsp (or a good glug) olive oil
1 teaspoon salt 

Method

Put 1 cup warm water into a large bowl, add the sugar and sprinkle the yeast overtop; let stand for 5 minutes, until it gets foamy. Add 2 ½ cups all-purpose flour, the olive oil and salt and stir until you have a shaggy dough. Let rest for 20 minutes, then knead until smooth and elastic, adding more flour if you need it – the dough should be tacky, but not too sticky.

If you like, place the dough in an oiled bowl and turn to coat all over. Cover with a tea towel and set aside in a warm place – if you’re in a hurry, it only needs to wait for about an hour, until it’s doubled in bulk. If you have time, leave it. When it gets too big, punch it down. If you’re going out or to bed, cover it and put it in the fridge, which will slow the rise. Or freeze it. Take it out to thaw or warm up before you use it.

When you’re ready for pizza, heat a generous drizzle of oil in a medium skillet set over medium-high heat and sauté the onion for 5 minutes, or until soft and turning golden. Preheat the oven to 450F.

Divide the dough in half and roll or stretch each out into a 9-inch circle or oval. Place each on a parchment-lined or floured baking sheet and top with half the caramelized onions, half the pear slices and half the Brie. Sprinkle with salt and pepper and drizzle with olive oil.

Bake for 15-20 minutes, until deep golden. Let rest for a few minutes, then drizzle with honey before slicing.

 

Lighthall Chardonnay VQA 2014…

Turkey Meatballs with Creamy Lemon Pasta

Recipe & photo credits: Jessica Alba 

Ingredients

meatballs-mslb7071_vert2 lbs ground turkey
1 cup bread crumbs (Japanese Panko crumbs are ideal)
1/4 cup carrots, shredded
1/4 cup onion, shredded
1/4 cup zucchini, shredded
2 large eggs
2 Tbsp Italian seasoning
1 Tbsp sea salt
2 Tbsp olive oil
¾ cup low sodium chicken stock
Your favorite pasta
1/3 to ½ cup goat cheese
Zest & Juice of 1 lemon
¼ to ½ of white wine – use something other than Lighthall Chardonnay! 

Method

In a large bowl, mix turkey, panko, carrots, zucchini, onion, eggs, Italian seasoning, and salt until well combined; form into 1-inch balls.

Heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add meatballs and cook, turning, until browned, about 7 minutes.

Add ½ cup chicken broth, cover and reduce heat to low. Cook until liquid is almost completely absorbed, about 7 minutes.

Add remaining ¼ cup broth and increase heat to medium; cook, uncovered, until liquid is absorbed.

In a separate pot, cook your favorite pasta. Once al dante, drain the water & place pasta back into the pot on low heat.  Crumble in goat cheese & stir until melted.  To help the melting, add white wine periodically until a creamy consistency similar to cream sauce that coats the pasta.

To finish the sauce, squeeze the juice of one lemon into the sauce, toss in zest & gently stir.

Plate with a mound of pasta topped with turkey meatballs.

Enjoy!

 

With Lighthall ‘Quatres Anges’ Pinot Noir VQA2014

Roast Duck Breast with Shaved Black Truffles

Recipe Source: Thyme in our Kitchen & adapted from Epicurious
Photo Credit: Thyme in our Kitchen

Ingredients

Duck and black truffle1 Tbsp olive oil
1 ½ pounds chicken wings
1 cup diced peeled carrots
1 cup diced celery
2 ¼ cups beef broth
2 cups low-salt chicken broth
2 ounces fresh black truffles or frozen, unthawed
3 boneless duck breast halves
2 Tbsp (1/4 stick) butter, divided
¼ cup finely chopped shallots
1 cup apple juice

Method

Heat oil in heavy large skillet over medium-high heat. Add chicken wings and sauté until deep brown, about 15 minutes. Add carrots and celery to skillet; sauté 5 minutes. Add both broths; bring to boil. Reduce heat, cover, and simmer 1 hour. Strain, reserving broth and discarding wings and vegetables. If necessary, return broth to skillet and boil until reduced to 1 cup; reserve for sauce.

Using small brush, scrub fresh or frozen truffles under cold running water. Using sharp thin knife, remove peel from truffles and reserve for sauce. Thinly shave truffles using V-slicer or truffle shaver; cover and set aside.

Pat duck breasts dry with paper towels. Cut off any sinew from breast meat. Place breasts on work surface. Using fingers or small sharp knife, pull or cut skin with fat away from meat from both long sides of duck breast almost to center, leaving 1-inch-wide strip of fat attached to meat in center (do not cut through center strip). Lift up flaps of duck skin and fat and arrange sliced truffles over breast meat under fat on each, dividing equally. Press skin flaps down over truffles to cover completely. Using sharp knife, score top of duck skin in 1/2-inch diamond pattern, being careful not to cut through fat. (Can be made 1 day ahead. Cover broth, duck, and truffle peel separately and chill.)

Preheat oven to 400°F. Heat heavy large ovenproof skillet over medium heat. Sprinkle duck breasts with salt and pepper. Place duck, skin side down, in skillet. Cook until skin is deep golden and crisp and fat renders, occasionally pouring off accumulated drippings from pan, about 10 minutes. Turn duck breasts over; place pan in oven and roast just until duck is cooked to desired doneness, about 8 minutes for medium. Transfer duck to platter; cover and let rest 10 minutes. Reserve skillet. Finely chop reserved truffle peel.

Drain remaining fat from skillet. Add 1 tablespoon butter to skillet and melt over medium-high heat. Add shallots; sauté until golden, about 2 minutes. Add juice and boil until almost evaporated, about 4 minutes. Add reserved broth and any accumulated juices from duck; simmer until mixture is reduced to 1 generous cup. Strain mixture into small saucepan; add reserved chopped truffle peel. Season sauce to taste with salt and pepper. Stir in remaining 1 tablespoon butter.

Thinly slice duck breasts crosswise. Arrange duck slices on plates; drizzle with sauce and serve.

Bon appetit & enjoy your Savvy Selections.

 

 

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

Posted by Debbie

Friday, March 4th, 2016
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February was a long month with Leap Year. Now March is loaded with holidays. March Break, St Patrick’s Day and Easter are reasons to pop corks! This week’s release at Vintages is loaded with interesting wines, Irish Whiskies & sparkling wines for exactly that occasion.

LCBO Magazine March 5I must confess that I am learning to enjoy whisky as opposed to a whisky lover! The Knappogue Castle 16 year old Irish Single Malt tempted me to try a wee dram. Glad that I did! The sherry finish made this a smooth sip.

And while you are there, you may be wondering why the store shelves will be overflowing with goodies from California. It is to whet your taste buds & prep you for the arrival of California winemakers when they tour across Canada on their annual roadshow stopping in at Quebec City, Montreal, Ottawa, Toronto, Halifax, Vancouver and Calgary. Click here to see when they land near you. If you happen to know you are getting a tax refund, consider splurging on a bottle of – Kistler McCrea Vineyards Chardonnay – was delicious, but I won’t be including it on this shopping list as it would break my budget (its $120.95…a bottle!). The Treana White is always a treat with its 50-50 blend of Viognier and Marsanne at $29.95.

Take this shopping list and head on into your local LCBO store to pick up these gems – I recommend it!

Cheers,
Debbie

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

Saturday March 5, 2016

 

Vietti Moscato d’Asti 2014

Piedmont, Italy
$19.95 (Vintages #441253) 5% alcohol

A sure fire sign of spring is when Moscato d’Asti wines start filling the shelves. Delicious bubbly equally balanced with spring flower aromas (think daffodils & hyacinths) with fruit salad taste of juicy peach, pineapple and melon. A perfect sparkling wine to serve for brunch as it is low in alcohol, or pop it open for an aperitif or to finish a meal instead of a dessert.

 

Fielding Gewürztraminer 2012Fielding Gewürztraminer VQA 2013

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.

 

Villa Maria Cellar Selection Sauvignon Blanc 2014Villa Maria Cellar Selection Sauvignon Blanc 2015

Malborough, New Zealand
$19.95 (Vintages #974527) 13% alcohol

This is the first wine from the 2015 vintage that I have had…and WOW! A stunning Sauvignon Blanc with loads of lemon-lime tastes with a touch of cut green grass (a typical characteristic of Sauv Blanc). Smooth, round feeling in the mouth – a classy wine. It is not surprising that Villa Maria is one of New Zealand’s most awarded winery. Serve this white wine with roasted chicken, steamed mussels or save a bottle for when fiddleheads & asparagus are in season.

 

Barón de Ley Reserva 2010Baron de Ley Reserva 2010

Rioja, Spain
$21.95 (Vintages #958868) xx alcohol

I often find gems in the Spanish red wine section. This one is featured as Vintages “Wine of the Month” & there is a good reason for that. Everything about this wine is black – the dark inky colour, dark fruit notes & tastes and rich warm spices. Well balanced with complex with ever changing aromas & tastes, makes this a great wine to enjoy now (it is already been aged 5 years) or put down for a few more years. Another great red wine to serve now with Tortiere, roast beef, cheese & charcuterie board or hold onto till you christen your BBQ this spring.

 

Château Mamin

Graves, France
$21.95 (Vintages #444281) 13% alcohol

Start the car! This is one of the best French wines that I have had in awhile. Red fruit, tobacco & cigar waft from the glass then follows through the taste with a warm fireside heat. I was blown away when I found out the price tag. Tastes double the price. I will definitely be buying a case. Enjoy with cheese, lamb, hearty stew or pull out over the spring & summer when you fire up the BBQ.

 

Grand Total: $102.75

Ooops! I am over budget a wee bit…but it is totally worth it!

 

 

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

Posted by Julie

Friday, December 11th, 2015
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Hop on your sled and dash to your local LCBO for great finds in this Saturday’s Vintages release! Bubbles, fizz, liquid foam, call it what you want but nothing starts a festive gathering like sparkling white wine. Whether it’s the tall, sexy flutes or those bubbles that tickle the nose, sparkling wine is a drinkable turn-on, the ultimate celebratory libation.

LCBO Magazine Sat Dec 12The world has come a long way with bubbles. Spain’s Cava, Alsace’s Cremant, Italy’s Prosecco, Sonoma’s Brut, not to mention our many Canadian fizzy gems.

While this release is filled with champagne I figured you’d want more than 2 bottles in the basket and kept in mind that, “ A woman cannot survive on champagne alone, she also needs shoes.”

So, it is Christmas and I went just a little over our budget to introduce two surprising finds. A dessert wine and a red wine blend from Romania. Even an LCBO product consultant agreed with me that the Romanian red blend at $14.00 was better than a Napa blend we compared at $44.00. So no better time to explore when your budget has constraints, especially at that price point. Not to mention conversation newbies.

Whatever tickles your nose this December, find something delicious at LCBO Vintages this Saturday to toast the season with friends, family and loved ones. As the song goes, “It’s the most wonderful time of the year”.

Make it count and do it with style,
Julie

 

If I had $100, I would buy these wines at LCBO Vintages…
Saturday December 12, 2015

 

Oyster Bay Sparkling Cuvée RoséOyster Bay Sparkling Cuvée

Charmat Method, New Zealand
$21.95 (Vintages # 280172) 12% alcohol

If the philosophy of Oyster Bay Winery is to produce fine, distinctly regional wines that are elegant and assertive with glorious fruit flavours, this sparkling wine hits the nose on the palate. Pale poached salmon in colour, lovely soft tropical fruit flavours capture the senses. A blend of 80% Chardonnay and 20% Pinot Noir make it a very easy sipper. Gentle ripe berries prevail throughout, a little strawberry and citrus on the finish. Would make a fabulous brunch wine or afternoon delight. Versatile, friendly and a real crowd-pleaser.

 

Louis Bouillot Perle d'Ivoire Brut Blanc de Blancs Crémant de BourgogneLouis Bouillon Perle D’Ivoire Brut Blanc de Blancs Crémant De Bourgogne

Méthode Traditionnelle, AC Burgundy, France
$19.95 (Vintages # 48801) 12% alcohol

Pours like Champagne, pale golden, zillions of soft creamy bubbles surface and I was saying to myself “please bring me some grilled shrimps to accompany”. Aromas of buttered toast and almonds, made from 100% Chardonnay grapes; it is medium-bodied, lean, citrusy with some yellow apple, bursting with flavours of lemon curd and bone dry on the palate from start to finish. Plush and undeniably decadent!

 

Cave de Beblenheim Brut Rosé Crémant d'AlsaceCave De Beblenheim Brut Rosé Crémant D’Alsace

Méthode Traditionnelle, AC Burgundy, France
$18.95 (Vintages #168948) 12.5% alcohol

Forgive me for featuring 2 sparkling wines from France, but they were both so good, I couldn’t decide so thought I’d let you be the judge. Pours like a bright pink grapefruit, 100% Pinot Noir grapes, fresh crisp cranberry and raspberry bubbles dance in the full-bodied mouthfeel. Talk about happy! Uplifting acidity on the finish that leaves the palate feeling refreshed. Appealing and easy, it’s juicy and incredibly good.

 

Frogpond Farm Gamay Noir 2013Frogpond Farm Gamay Noir 2013

VQA Niagara on the Lake
$16.00 (Vintages 245613) 12.2% alcohol

There is so much going on in this organic beauty from the first whiff to the end of the sip. Not a bit of wonder this red wine won Gold Medal at the 2014 Royal Agriculture Winter Fair Wine Competition. If you love cherries, this is your drink. Bright, sweet and pungent, savoury and a little spicy on the finish. I did not realize Gamay could have so much punch. It’s medium-bodied and so pure in texture, clean and bright. Probably the best Gamay I have tasted. The herbal tones at the end just add interest; I went back for one more taste, just to make sure I got it right.

 

Cotnari Vin Alb Dulce Tãmâioasã Româneascã 2012Cotnari Vin Alb Dulce Tãmâioasã Româneascã 2012

DOC Cotnari, Romania
$13.95 (Vintages #651653) 11.5% alcohol

The grape Tamaioasa Romaneasca is also know as Muscat Blanc à Petit Grains which is purported to be one of the oldest grape wines in the world. This wine was listed in the Vintages releases under Dessert Wine.

Upon tasting, I found it to be a light-bodied, off dry, floral with soft tree fruit flavours, a little honey at the end that could translate into other venues besides dessert. The grapes exhibit a natural sweetness but so subtle that you could easily serve this with salads or seafood or even with a light cream based soup to start dinner. A noticeable seam of acidity runs through it. There’s not much on the finish, but it’s an easy sipper. Romanian cuisine is very similar to Turkey and Greece. As a dessert wine it would be awesome with Baclava consisting of honey and nuts, native to the region and wow, what a partnership.

 Monser Feteascã Neagrã 2012

Monser Feteascã Neagrã 2012

IG Dealurile Hu_ilor
Senator Prodimpex
$14.00 (Vintages #315069) 12.5% alcohol

Feteasca Meagra translates to Black maiden and this old pre-phylloxeric variety is also known as the Moldovan grape cultivated in the Romanian regions of Moldovia and Muntenia. The grape produces wines tasting of Italian and French character. Deep ruby red, aromas of dark berries and currants that follow through on the palate. Medium-bodied, stand-up tannins and a real pleasant drinking wine. (I hate to say Bordeaux style, but it is what it is) It would be great with stew, spaghetti or pizza or on 26th December with leftovers.

 

6 interesting wines for just over $100.00.
Have a sparkling new year!

GRAND TOTAL – $ 104.80  

 

 

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