Other News

Clink & Drink Pink! The Rosé Report

May 25, 2016 9:17 am
Clink & Drink Pink! The Rosé Report

Anyone else feeling like they’ve had enough of Sprinter (spring + winter) yet? It was a chilly start to the season, but at long last the flowers are in bloom. And we have the best ones picked out just for you: back again for a third year, we are delivering to you a Bouquet of Rosés!bouquet-of-roses These blushing beauties are all set for spring or summer sipping, whether it’s out in the garden, on the deck or brunching with friends.

Our Savvy Sommeliers have offered up their tasting notes along with some pairing tips and recipes to help you enjoy each wine to its fullest:
– Devil’s Wishbone Pinot Gris Rosé 
– stunning!
– Casa-Dea Estates Rosé – Memories of Lily of the Valley (the official flower of May!)
– Creekside Estates Rosé – perfect for a picnic
– Good Earth Food & Wine Rosé – spring time in a glass!
– Huff Estates Cuvée Janine – A pretty sparkling wine perfect for your next grand affair
– Tawse Growers Blend Rosé – a classic crisp Rosé you’d think its from France

Each Bouquet of Rosés is EXTRA special.  None of the wines are available at the LCBO. If you would like to order additional bottles or other hard-to-find Ontario wines (we do craft beers too!), call the Savvy Team at 613-SAVVYCO (613-728-8926) or cheers@savvycompany.ca

In this Bouquet of Rosés you will find…

Casa Dea Cabernet Franc RoseCasa-Dea Estates Winery Cabernet Franc Rosé VQA 2015

Prince Edward County

Care for a round of bocce? If you’re travelling to The County this spring, stop by Casa-Dea and try out this Italian version of lawn bowling on a hand-crafted pitch right beside the vineyards. Made even better with a cool glass of winemaker Paul Battilana’s Rosé.

Savvy Sommelier Tasting Notes: Brilliant clarity in this pinky-peach concoction. Abundant aromas of wildflowers and strawberries, juicy peaches and lily of the valley, with subtle hints of fresh herbs. Silky texture balanced out with measured acidity and a lengthy finish.

Suggested Food Pairing: Try with Baked Brie & Strawberry Mint Topping – recipe to follow

Creekside Cabernet Rose 2014Creekside Estate Winery Cabernet Rosé VQA 2015

Beamsville Bench (aka Niagara Escarpment)

Made from 100% Cabernet Sauvignon that was left on the skins for three days before being pressed, this patio pleaser is big, bursting with fruit and ready to enjoy while you kick back and watch the hummingbirds. (Careful though, with a rosé this pink, the hummingbirds might think it’s for them!).

Savvy Sommelier Tasting Notes: Deep blush bordering on red ruby; complex aromas of red currant, cranberry and Twizzlers (yes! That is what our Sommeliers remarked during the tasting panel). Smooth texture with enough oomph and suggestion of tannin to have staying power; finishes dry, with subtle notes of tart strawberries.

Suggested Food Pairing: This is definitely a wine that would be lovely served with roasted duck, turkey or BBQed chicken. As having a turkey feast is not that typical in the heat of the summer, Savvy Sommelier Debbie shares her Mom’s recipe for Turkey Balls to serve as an appetizers, in a picnic or just to have in the freezer on hand for a quick meal.

Devil’s Wishbone Winery Pinot Gris Rosé VQA 2015original_227656-devils-wishbone-winery-pinot-gris-rose-2015-bottle-1461510859

Savvy Special: $19 (reg $22)
Prince Edward County

Look at a map of The County & you’ll see the distinctive wishbone shape where the Bay of Quinte and Adolphus Reach meet at Picton. The “devil” part of this winery’s name comes from the poor soil quality in the area, where early settlers found it nearly impossible to grow anything. Winery owner Paul Gallagher researched that the clay and limestone mixed soil is perfect for growing vines.

Savvy Sommelier Tasting Notes: A colour that reminded all of our Sommeliers of a Ballerina-tutu (!) with an airy nose of fuzzy peaches, wild strawberries and maple sap. Slightly off-dry and juicy with a pleasant, late-spring feel. Absolutely delicious!

Suggested Food Pairing: This wine has a hint of sweetness that will sing alongside a Caramelized Onion Tart like the recipe on the following pages

The Good Earth Rose 2014Good Earth Food & Wine Company The Good Wine Rosé VQA 2015

Twenty Valley (Niagara)

You’ll know you’ve found the right place when you see the giant fork standing among the vines at Good Earth. And it may not even be big enough, if you want to try everything: enjoy a meal at the bistro amongst the vineyard or take part in a cooking class – life is good!

Savvy Sommelier Tasting Notes: This delicate, petal-soft wine is spring & summer in a glass. The rose water aromatics bring baklava or Turkish delight to mind, while fresh, sweet red berries and crisp acidity balance out every sip.

Suggested Food Pairing: Serve it up with proscuitto-wrapped melon bites or the Grilled Watermelon and Shrimp Salad (recipe follows).

Cuvee JanineHuff Estates ‘Cuvee Janine’ 2011 Sparkling Rosé

Savvy Special: $25 (reg $30)
Prince Edward County

Huff Estates not only offers a spectacular range of wines, but is also home to the Oeno Gallery, a showcase of intriguing works from local and international artists. Mark my words, the outdoor sculpture garden will amaze you.

Savvy Sommelier Tasting Notes: Named for winery owner Lanny Huff’s daughter, this 100% Pinot Noir-based sparkler shines with a glowing peach hue; on the nose, pink grapefruit, brioche and tangerine. Mineral-driven, almost smoky, with crisp acidity, a fine mousse and delicate fruit with notes of rhubarb. Elegant celebration wine, in a classic méthode traditionelle style (winespeak: made using the same technique for making French Champagne where the 2nd fermentation takes place in the bottle until ready).

Suggested Food Pairing: Brunch! Think smoked salmon, eggs Benedict, waffles with raspberry coulis. Also a great match with sushi.

Tawse 2013 Growers Blend RoseTawse Winery Grower’s Blend  Rosé VQA 2015

Savvy Special: $18.95  (reg $19.95)
Twenty Valley (aka Niagara Escarpment)

Every year, the vineyards on the lower slopes of the Niagara Escarpment come alive with song with the Summer Solstice Concert at Tawse.

Savvy Sommelier Tasting Notes: Candy-apple and grapefruit ruby red, with earthy scents of rhubarb and tinned mandarins. This is a full-bodied wine with lots of character and superbly food-friendly.

Suggested Food Pairing: Think salty and savoury: how about charcuterie and cheese plate featuring Cows Creamery Appletree Smoked Cheddar from our Savvy Cool Curdsartisan cheese-o-month-club. This wine will also be delicious with BBQed chicken, pulled pork or ribs.

~ Rosé Recipe Box ~

Spring & Summer time favourites to enjoy with your Bouquet of Rosés

Baked Brie with Strawberry Mint Topping

The Complete Canadian Living Cookbook
Makes 10 to 15 servings
Photo credit: DairySpot.com

Baked Brie with strawberry toppingIngredients

1 round (8oz/250g) Brie cheese
1/2 cup (125mL) chopped strawberries
2 Tbsp (30 mL) white wine (rosé would be best!)
1 Tbsp (15 mL) chopped fresh mint
1 Tbsp (15 mL) chopped & roasted nuts – for garnish (optional) 


In bowl, combine strawberries, wine and mint. (Make-ahead tip: cover and refrigerate for up to 8 hours.)

Place Brie on baking sheet; spread with topping.

Bake in 350ºF (180ºC) oven for 5 to 10 minutes or until cheese is softened.

To garnish, sprinkle with nuts (optional)

Serve with warm, sliced baguette or crackers.

Caramelized Onion Tart

From Smitten Kitchen, smittenkitchen.com
Makes 10 servings 


Caramelized onion tart1 deep dish pie shell (store-bought, or make your own)
1 1/2 pounds yellow onions (about 4 medium), halved and thinly sliced
1 Tbsp butter
1 Tbsp olive oil
Scant ½ tsp table salt
Pinch sugar
1 cup low-sodium beef, veal or mushroom stock/broth
2 tsp cognac, brandy or vermouth (optional)
Freshly ground black pepper
½ cup grated Gruyere, Comte or Swiss cheese
1 large egg
½ cup heavy cream (half-and-half and milk work too, but cream tastes best)


Melt the butter and olive oil together in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the onions to the pan, toss them gently with the butter and oil, reduce heat to medium-low and cover. Cook the onions for 15 minutes, then remove the lid, stir in the salt and sugar and sauté without the lid for about 10 to 15 minutes, until the onions are fully caramelized and have taken on a deep golden colour.

Pour in cognac, if using it, and the stock, then turn the heat all the way up and scrape up any brown bits stuck to the pan. Simmer the mixture until the broth nearly completely disappears, about 5 to 10 minutes. Adjust the salt, if needed, and season with freshly ground black pepper. Let cool until lukewarm.

You can hasten this process by spreading the onions out on a plate in the fridge, or even faster, in the freezer. In a medium bowl, beat the egg and cream together. Gently stir in the lukewarm onions into the custard.

Heat oven to 400 degrees.

Fill prepared tart shell with onion-egg mixture. Ideally, this will bring your filling level to 1/4-inch from the top, however, variances in shells, pans, pan sizes and even onion volume might lead you to have a lower fill line. You can beat another egg with cream together and pour it in until it reaches that 1/4-inch-from-top line if you wish.

Sprinkle cheese over custard and bake 25 to 30 minutes, or until a sharp knife inserted into the filling and turned slightly releases no wet egg mixture. Serve hot or warm, with a big green salad.

Grilled Watermelon and Shrimp Salad

From Savoury Image
Serves 4


May report - watermelon salad1 small watermelon, skin removed, cut into 1-inch thick wheels
¼ cup olive oil
2 Tbsp  olive oil for grilling
1 cucumber, sliced to 1/4-inch rounds (refrigerate to keep cold)
½ cup chopped fresh mint leaves
¼ cup lime juice
2 tsp salt
12-20 large shrimp or prawns, peeled and deveined
¼ cup pumpkin seeds, toasted


Preheat BBQ or grill pan to high.

Brush the watermelon lightly with olive oil to prevent sticking. Lay the slices directly on the grill racks and grill for 2 to 3 minutes. The slices should be easily lifted from the grill. Turn them over and grill on the other side for 2 to 3 minutes. Lightly salt then remove them from the grill and cut into 1 inch sized chunks.

In a large bowl gently toss the warm watermelon with the cold cucumber, mint, lime juice and salt and the 1/4 cup olive oil.

Lightly brush the shrimp with olive oil and grill for 30 seconds per side or until they turn pink or red. Divide the salad between 4 serving plates, top with the shrimp and sprinkle with pumpkin seeds.

Turkey Meatballs with Creamy Lemon Pasta

Original recipe & photo credits: Jessica Alba


Turkey meatballs2 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 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 to
½ of white or rosé wine
Zest & Juice of 1 lemon 


 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. 

Have your fridge full of Rosé wines all summer long…

Always have refreshing Rosé wines on hand this summer.  To order additional bottles of your new found favorite Rosés from this assortment OR to receive a Bouquet of Rosés next month, by calling the Savvy Team on 613-SAVVYCO (728-8926) or order online at www.savvycompany.ca/rose.

The June Bouquet of Rosés will have a completely different selection of hard-to-find Rosé wines including:

Château des Charmes Sparkling Rosé, Niagara-on-the-Lake
Château des Charmes Cuvée André Rosé, Niagara-on-the-Lake
Kacaba Vineyard Rebecca Rosé, Beamsville Bench (Niagara Escarpment)
Pondview Estates Cabernet Franc Rosé, Niagara-on-the-Lake
Redstone Estate Rosé, Beamsville Bench (Niagara Escarpment)
Traynor Family Winery & Vineyard Rosé, Prince Edward County

To order the June Bouquet of Rosés, call the Savvy Team on 613-SAVVYCO (728-8926) or online at www.savvycompany.ca/rose 

Cheers & Enjoy your summer!

On the Horizon of Ottawa’s First Zine Fair

May 24, 2016 4:02 pm
On the Horizon of Ottawa’s First Zine Fair

Poster by Morgan Sea.

After enjoying years of underground popularity, zines are about to step out onto a whole new stage in Ottawa. The first Ottawa Zine Fair is taking over the Bronson Centre Saturday, June 4 in what will be the local zine community’s biggest mainstream outing to date.

“As far as I know this is the first zine fair in Ottawa and yes, definitely the biggest,” says Faelan, one of the zine fair’s two co-organizers.

Although the city has seen plenty of zine buying and sharing events, most are crammed into smaller venues like Pressed, or until recently, Raw Sugar Café. The Bronson Centre is a massive space with enough room to house zinesters (zine creators) from outside the city, and even outside the country.

“We have around 30 tables, and some folks are sharing,” Faelan says.

This means a huge amount of space for all the creative and off-the-wall ideas zine readers expect. A zine – pronounced ‘zeen’– is a self-published magazine often handcrafted and then photocopied to share with the world.

“It can be about pretty much anything,” Faelan says. “I’m not totally sure what to expect…we’ll have tonnes of zines from all over.”

Zine Fair 2

Poster by Morgan Sea (morgansea.wordpress.com).

Zine subjects can range from wacky art collections to practical leaflets to treatises on gender studies, race, or sexuality. During the Ottawa Zine Fair you’ll be able to find works by Babely Shades, a local collective of artists and activists of colour, Broke Bellies, who help readers find cheap or even free meals in the capital region and Heidi Cho, a writer and illustrator who makes zines about navigating through life as “a second generation queer South Korean person.”

Related: The 411 on Ottawa’s Zine Scene.

Faelan and his co-organizer, Lee, were able to fund the zine fair through a grant from Awesome Ottawa which they applied for on a whim. Once they knew they had the money, they started contacting zinesters from around the city to build up their vendors. They wanted the event to be huge, but still feel as local as possible.

“The response was overwhelming,” Faelan says. He predicts the event’s turnout is going to be comparable to other fairs in Toronto and Montreal, and it will definitely hold the most zinesters and readers Ottawa’s ever seen under one roof. If everything goes well, Faelan and Lee hope to start planning a second zine fair for next year.

The Ottawa Zine Fair will be held in Mac Hall at the Bronson Centre from 11 a.m. June 4 to 5 p.m. Cover is by donation and pay-what-you-can with all proceeds going to the Prisoner Correspondence Project. You can find out more about the fair, including a full list of vendors, on their website.

Building Krumpers Solar Blinds

1:31 pm
Building Krumpers Solar Blinds

Photo by Paul Couvrette. Hair & makeup by Klava Z. 

Diana Livshits knew she had found something special the moment she discovered the technology for Krumpers Solar Blinds. Livshits discovered the technology by sheer accident while visiting a friend in Windsor, Ontario. Livshits mentioned a problem that she and her husband were having in their home. The back of their house was west facing, making their living room’s temperature a warm 20°C in the summer, while their bedroom’s temperature was a fiery 30°C. The house had the opposite problem in the winter. From awnings to window film treatments, a frustrated Livshits and her husband had tried everything they could think of to help prevent the problem.

Along came a neighbour to her Windsor friend’s home and offered her a sample of his solar blind creation. Livshits sent the blind to her husband, and ten days later the couple had acquired the rights to the technology. The rest, as they say, is history.

Livshits comes from a family of innovators. Her mother was a doctor and her father had a Ph.D. in technology and fiber optics. Born in Latvia, Livshits and her family moved to Toronto in 1975. A decade later, Livshits’ father was offered a position at Nortel. The family packed their bags once more and moved to Ottawa.

Livshits herself attended the University of Ottawa, worked for Nortel, is a huge technology enthusiast and a keen businesswoman.

April2016_Krumpers_Material Image

Because the blinds are two-sided, both thermal gain and thermal loss is addressed allowing for year round temperature control.

For the past eight years, the success of Krumpers Blinds has soared while in her hands. These blinds are extraordinary. They are green, award winning and the first of their kind. The accolades keep pouring in. Krumpers has won HomeStars Best Blinds award for the past six years, and the company recently received the prestigious 2015 Scotia Bank EcoLiving Award. Winning the EcoLiving award has allowed the company to enjoy national exposure. Krumpers recently won another prestigious award this year: the Bank of Montreal and Air Miles Award for Innovation of the Year. Along with endless positive testimonials from businesses and customers alike (Livshits says she has over 400 testimonials tucked away in a folder in her office), the proof of Krumpers’ success is in its unique technology.

Krumpers Blinds aren’t your typical, simple paper or plastic window blind. Made from a thin layer of aluminium, a layer of nano-carbon-graphite, as well as non-toxic food-grade PVC, Krumpers Blinds are transparent and two-sided. One side of the blind is used during the summer. The blind’s metallic fabric offers solar protection from heat, UV damage and glare, and reflects heat outside by using a unique angular perforation. The other side of the blind is used during the winter. This graphite side acts as a passive solar collector, helping to reflect heat back into the home and a still air barrier helps to retain the warmth. The blinds are spring loaded, making them easy turn around in less than ten seconds once the seasons change.

“They work instantly. In any piece of real estate, we look for light, we look for the view. People are paying hundreds of thousands of dollars to get them. When climatic conditions (are) either too hot or too cold, we cover the windows and obstruct the view. With this product, you are covering the window, but you are retaining that beautiful view,” Livshits explains. “And because the blinds are two-sided, you’re addressing both thermal issues: the thermal gain through the sun, and the thermal loss in the winter time.”

Krumpers has provided blinds to large projects, including the National Research Council Canada in Ottawa and a government site in the Northwest Territories. Recently, Krumpers outfitted the KI Offices in Pembroke, Ontario. KI is a leading manufacturer of office furniture, as well as a leader in sustainability and green practices. The blinds are a part of the green sustainability program at KI. “We call it the ‘toothache effect.’ People have a problem and we solve it,” Livshits says. “That’s the simplicity of our product. It’s there, doing its job quietly in the background and clients reap the reward on a monthly basis because utility consumption goes away down. The blinds help save energy consumption up to 40 per cent year-round.” Krumpers Blinds are currently the only product on the market that has independent lab results that support its results. “There’s nothing comparable on the market.”

Creating a green product has been important to Livshits, especially as the mother of a 13-year-old boy. Krumpers has even installed blinds inside her son’s school. “I think for people to be environmentally friendly, there has to be products on the market that present in such a way that people don’t even need to think about it.

By the end of the year, Livshits says the company is hoping to have a showroom in Toronto. Krumpers manufactures its blinds right here in Ottawa, and Livshits is incredibly proud of the company’s made-by-Canadians, made-for-Canadians status. “Canada has given my family a lot… When my parents came (to Canada), they came from the former Soviet Union. They were stateless. Canada accepted my parents, and my parents were able to build a very good life for themselves. In some small way, I would love to pay it forward.”

Find out more at: krumperssolarsolutions.ca

Klava Z. can be reached at: (613) 804-0742

1000 Islands Harbor Hotel

1:22 pm
1000 Islands Harbor Hotel

Photo courtesy of 1000 Islands Harbor Hotel. 

Weekend Escape to the 1000 Islands

Famous for a certain salad dressing, Clayton, New York is also well-known as the gateway to the luxury hotels that dotted the 1000 Islands during the Gilded-Age. Heading into its second summer in operation, the 1000 Islands Harbor Hotel is the modern face of this historic little town.

A short hour and 40-minute drive from Ottawa, Clayton is very easy to get to. Crossing into the US over the Hill Island bridge make sure you look down and take in the view of the magnificent archipelago that is the 1000 Islands. There are more islands here than in the Great Barrier Reef. Some are barely big enough to hold the dwellings that perch on them like something from the pages of Dr. Seuss.

HaborHouseHotel_ClaytonThe 1000 Islands Harbor Hotel is located right on the water. It is one of only two dozen hotels in upstate New York to receive the prestigious four diamond rating from the American Automobile Association. The hotel has 105 guest rooms, a great restaurant and bar area along with meeting rooms and free wifi. The gym is very well equipped and there is a hot tub and pool too. The staff is super friendly and the hotel décor is classy conservative. Wonderful historic photographic prints of boating life on the St. Laurence River decorate the walls.

The guest rooms are spacious with a classy cottage décor. The wood floors are a welcome change to standard hotel broadloom and the beds are supper comfortable.

Every morning there are complimentary coffee and hot beverage stations set up on each floor and nightly turn down service includes a pillow chocolate. Nice touch. When you book, it’s worth paying the small surcharge for a river view.

There is a great vibe to the town. Main street boasts a spa, wine bar, general store, gift shops and even an opera house. Summer is the high season here so some of the shops and restaurants are only openly seasonally, including the boating museum.

The hotel is a real gem. Take advantage of one of the many themed weekends or simply visit for a quiet getaway. In the cold of late November, it was a perfect place for a retreat. A return visit in the summer is in order to take advantage of the local boating culture, tour the islands and soak in some sun on the hotel’s great patio.

Recent Posts