Wine and Art—A Natural Match

Above: Savvy Company Event – Erin Sue Bolling serving Denise Yaternick

Looking to organize an event? Ottawa has come a long way. Gone are the days when hotel ballrooms and restaurant backrooms were the only options. Whether you are looking for somewhere to host an eclectic ‘cinq à sept’ cocktail reception or even an elaborate dinner, the Capital is an übercool, hopping place with interesting venues around town.

Savvy Company Event - crowd shot
The Taste and Buy at Orange Gallery was a great success.

Finding these hidden gems, the perfect places to host private and corporate events or unique soirées (like Savvy Companys wine Taste and Buys) is not only less of a challenge, but downright fun. If a working brewery, private revolving room showcasing the entire city, TV studio, art gallery, or loft packed from floor to ceiling with boxes of board games are what you want, Ottawa has it. Or, perhaps a firehall transformed into a gourmet kitchen is more your style. Roof top patios above or bank vaults below (as in seven storeys underground) are unique options too.

One of the newest funky places is Orange Art Gallery. It is located in the community of hip new businesses in the City Centre. Orange Art Gallery outgrew its original space near the Parkdale Market. So, a year ago, owners Ingrid Hollander and her husband Matthew Jeffery set up shop in a 100-year-old building that was once the bank for CN Rail. “When we found this place, we knew it was going to be perfect for our gallery,” remembers Ingrid. “The building is full of history which adds to the cool character of the space – perfect for art and special events.”

While old on the outside, the rooms inside are now full of stunning contemporary artwork. Savvy brought Orange to the attention of Marcel Morgenstern, director of sales at Pondview Estates Winery located in Niagara-on-the-Lake. He chose Orange as the location for the winery’s portfolio wine tasting in Ottawa. “The Orange Art Gallery fit perfectly. It showcases the talent of local artists and our wine event was all about showcasing the winemaking talent at our winery. This venue was a natural choice.”

Marcel Morgenstern, Jennifer Hanniman and Mathieu Deshales toast the night.
Marcel Morgenstern, Jennifer
Hanniman and Mathieu Deshales toast the night.

Pondview and Sue-Ann Staff Estate Winery, also located in Niagara, made a special trip to Ottawa to host an evening where over 250 people were invited to sample their wines. Few of the wineries’ products are available at the LCBO, so this event organized by Savvy Company provided ticketholders with the opportunity to meet the winery owners and winemakers, try their hard-to-find wines and order their favourite wines for delivery to their home or office. “It is the new way to buy Ontario wine. It is like trying on clothes, you feel the material, try on various sizes, then buy what you like and what fits you best. It is definitely a more personal and enjoyable way to shop than buying wines at the LCBO by reviews or reading shelf talkers,” Morgenstern explains.

It’s not just the wine industry getting in on these type of unique events and locations. Don Cook, investment advisor at RBC Wealth Management says, “I’m definitely keeping this place in mind to host an event for my investment clients.” “I’ve never been here before and coincidentally, my office is nearby. It’s a cool space, there is free parking.” It is a winning combination. 290 City Centre Avenue, Ottawa (steps away from Artisan Bakery)

To attend a Savvy Company event, email

Debbie Trenholm, Sommelier & Founder of Savvy Company.