CTV Morning Live

CTV Ottawa Morning Live

June 15th, 2018

Theme:  Finding the perfect gift for Father’s Day

Today on CTV Morning Live, CTV’s Trisha Owens and Sommelier Matt Steeves showcased fantastic gift ideas for Father’s Day. Check out the CTV video here.

With Father’s Day fast approaching, now’s the time to find that perfect gift that Dad will love.

But what do you buy for someone that has it all?

My solution (for the Dad that has it all) is a special bottle of wine or Scotch!  You can’t go wrong with these sommelier recommended picks!


Today we’ve got a selection of fantastic wines that Dad will love this Father’s Day!

Treating Dad with a bottle of fine wine or Scotch is a sure way to put a smile on his face, especially when it’s something he may not splurge for himself but that he’d love to receive as a special gift.

A new shop vac or lawn mower can be very practical gifts for Dad but is that what he really wants?  How about gifting Dad something that comes with relaxation attached to it, such as a fine wine or Scotch which deliver relaxation in spades.

And when we’re talking about a fine wine or Scotch, picking up a Sommelier recommended bottle is much different than grabbing whatever’s available on the shelf of the corner store on the way home from the lake…

The act of mindfully selecting a special wine for this occasion says a lot and will go a long way.  Visiting your local Vintages and speaking to an LCBO product consultant is a great way to find a special gifting bottle that Dad is sure to love.

It’s always good to pick something that you know he’ll like, for example if you know that Dad’s go-to wine is a $20 California Cabernet, why not gift him a bottle he may have never tried before, from the same region (Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon or a more specific sub region of Napa Valley like Rutherford or Oakville) and select one that’s slightly outside his normal price point to make it an extra special wine to enjoy on a special occasion.

I’ve never known a winelover that doesn’t like tasting a premium wine.  Instead of buying two $20 bottles, why not try one $40 wine for this occasion.  Buying something a bit above the normal price point says a lot and will make that wine taste even better when you enjoy it together, especially when he remembers who gave it to him!

Similarly with Scotch, which comes in all ages (and price ranges), from low cost 5 year old Scotch to astronomically priced 40 year old Scotch.  There’s a Scotch for practically every budget so if Dad typically enjoys a value priced 5 year old Scotch then why not surprise him with a limited release bottle, or perhaps double the age and see how he appreciates the quality and characteristics of an older Scotch, which by the way are generally smoother and tastier with no hard edges or burn as you go up in age.

As I said earlier, Scotch comes in all price points, so for special occasions like Father’s Day and Christmas I like to splurge a little on some premium bottles, often the limited release offerings that are more rare an unique in style, and therefore a real treat to try and great for adding to your Whisky library.  One that comes to mind is the Ardbeg Grooves that was just released at LCBO last week to celebrate Ardbeg Day on June 2nd.  At just under $200 it’s a Scotch that is great to add to your collection and enjoy a dram every so often. Once it’s sold out thought it’s gone, so just like enjoying an old vintage wine, it’s that much more precious to enjoy down the road with those closest to you on special occasions like Father’s Day.

With the limited edition release of Ardbeg’s Groovy specialty Scotch, which was aged in heavily charred old wine barrels, that’s a great example of a unique Scotch that any Whisky aficionado would love to receive.

And let’s not forget that Father’s Day is a celebration and every celebration commands some bubbly…so while gifting a fine Champagne is always a great idea, right here in our own great country we’re producing world-class sparkling wine which makes for a terrific gift.  I’ve selected a new traditional method sparking wine from Nova Scotia which I’ll be pouring this Father’s Day.  Many of these wines are available at LCBO throughout the year and those from Canada are all available winery direct, shipped straight to your door – it’s a very convenient way to have the finest wines delivered straight to you.

Here is my selection of  what I consider to be fantastic gifting wines that Dad is sure to love this Father’s Day, and for many years if he chooses to cellar them and enjoy them with you down the road.

Benjamin Bridge NV Rosé, Nova Scotia – $27.95


Non-vintage rosés are a blend of several different harvest years to provide a continuous house style but with a hint of pink colour resulting from a skin soak of the Pinot Noir component.

Similar to their NV, the Benjamin Bridge NV Rosé is aimed at consistently capturing the intriguing qualities of their Maritime climate – freshness, richness, minerality, and salinity. Compared to their NV, it is more approachable, fruit-forward and playful.

In the glass, a classic pale rosé colour. On the nose, the wine displays suggestions of white cherries and strawberry rind with abundant sea minerals undertones. The palate is luscious, but with good intensity and vibrancy. Hints of green apples and dried cranberries are magnified by the wine’s bright structure, unfolding in a lengthy mineral finish.

Buy NV Rosé here for $27.95

Ruffino Modus, Tuscany, Italy – $29.95


Each vintage Modus further solidifies its place in the fine wine world continuing to earn the reputation of a sought after Super Tuscan which is impressive given it’s only a fraction of the cost of its storied peers. A blend of 50% Sangiovese, with 25% of both Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot that shows juicy layers of dark fruits, plum, spice, leather, and cigar box. Great depth of flavour, texture, and structure make it ideally suited for enjoying now with rich Osso Buco or hanger steak with bagna cauda pan sauce; it’s also an ideal candidate to cellar for up to a decade to enjoy its evolution. Ruffino’s Modus is a terrific value priced Super Tuscan that I’d highly recommend buying by the case. 93 points. Matt Steeves – http://www.quercusvino.ca

Buy Ruffino Modus at LCBO – $29.95

Piccini Brunello di Montalcino 2012, Tuscany, Italy – $39.20


This rich and elegant Tuscan beauty is ruby red with complex notes of anise, black cherry and cassis on a dry, balanced and full-bodied palate. The tannins are smooth and the finish is long and expressive with replays of dried flowers and spice.

Buy Piccini Brunello de Montalcino at LCBO – $39.20

Rutherford Ranch Cabernet Sauvignon 2015, Napa Valley, California – $39.95


2013 vintage review: Pop and pour and enjoy! Nose displays rich Napa Cabernet aromas and the palate is lush and velvety smooth with dried fruits, vanilla, and a finish that makes you crave that next taste. Fabulous value priced Napa Cab that I’d recommend buying by the case. A favourite of Sommeliers and savvy consumers as it over delivers on taste and quality for such a low price. Enjoy 2015 – 2022. Tasted May 2015. 92 points. Matt Steeves – http://www.quercusvino.ca

Buy Rutherford Ranch Cabernet Sauvignon at LCBO – $39.95

Four Virtues Bourbon Barrel Aged Zinfandel 2016, Lodi, California – $28


I must say between the look of the Port shaped bottle and the 16.8% ABV, I wasn’t sure what to expect from this 100% Lodi Zinfandel, but wow, what a treat! Coming from Rutherford Ranch Winery I should have know it would be a hit (especially for those that love robust and approachable California reds with that sweet toasted oak influence) and was it ever! Remarkably well balanced with great fruit concentration, freshness, smooth texture and long finish. Aged in French and American oak (wine) barrels, then finished in heavily charred new (unused) American oak Bourbon barrels for 1-3 months, which contributes to this BBQ-perfect wine style and would also be terrific to serve alongside spicy Asian cuisine, tomato based pasta dishes or boldly flavoured cheese. A great wine to pick up and enjoy this summer and throughout the year. A virtue is a habit that perfects the powers of the soul and disposes you to do good. With all four in this bottle, they’ve done really well and so will you after a glass. Tasted April 2018. 91 points. Matt Steeves – http://www.quercusvino.ca

Buy at LCBO – $28.40

Burrowing Owl Meritage 2014, Okanagan Valley, BC – $50


For over 20 years Burrowing Owl has been producing some of Canada’s finest wines, from the Wine Capital of Canada, Oliver, BC. Their 2014 Meritage is a blend of (31%) Merlot, (21.4%) Cabernet Franc, (21.4%) Cabernet Sauvignon, (10.7%) Malbec, and (10%) Petit Verdot that were hand picked and sorted, then vinified and barrel aged separately for 18 months in a blend of French, Hungarian, American, and Russian oak. By vinifying and barrel aging each variety separately they were able to showcase the full expression of the terroir and achieve the perfect integration of fruit, acid, tannin, and texture in each finished wine thereby contributing additional complexity to the final blend. International wine consultant Alain Sutre, who’s played key roles in producing other ultra premium Canadian wines, guided the development and final assemblage of this Meritage and as with the past several vintages it’s fantastic! Deeply coloured, the nose is full of sweet and savoury notes with dark fruit, plum, cassis, sage, charcoal grilled beef, and cedar. Full bodied, and richly flavoured with fresh and juicy dark fruits and spice persisting on the long finish. With great structure and texture, this wine has been assembled with care to seamlessly integrate the best characteristics from each of the five varietals in one harmonious blend. It’s wines like Burrowing Owl’s Meritage, and other premium BC wines with great acclaim, that shows why the Okanagan Valley is becoming increasingly recognized as and positioned to be a fine wine region of the world. Enjoy the 2014 Meritage with grilled beef tenderloin with a rosemary infused Port reduction or a scotch fillet steak with red wine jus – absolutely delicious! Drink 2018-2025+. Tasted February 2018. 93 points. Matt Steeves – http://www.quercusvino.ca

Available at LCBO or Winery Direct

Burrowing Owl Chardonnay 2016, Okanagan Valley, BC – $33


This beautiful Okanagan Chardonnay, from Canada’s Wine Capital, is a terrific example of the world-class wines Burrowing Owl is producing from their picturesque winery located along the Black Sage Road in Oliver, BC. The grapes are grown in their estate vineyards immediately adjacent to their beautiful winery and the award winning Sonora Room Restaurant, which by the way is a fantastic place to enjoy this wine along with older vintages from their onsite library. Their 2015 Chardonnay is a beautiful golden yellow with a faint green hue. The nose shows crisp yellow apple, butterscotch, hazelnut and citrus notes. Creamy and medium-full bodied with a refreshing lightness, thanks to the equal use of steel and oak during the fermentation of the perfect 2015 vintage fruit. The palate offers more crisp orchard fruit with a touch of sweet tropical fruit on the finish. At 14% ABV this Chardonnay is remarkably well balanced and quite simply stunning! Enjoy with grilled seafood, roasted poultry, or Autumn soups. A perfect wine for any Thanksgiving celebration. Tasted May 2017 at the winery. 92+ points. Matt Steeves – http://www.quercusvino.ca

Checkout the Sonora Room Restaurant @ https://www.burrowingowlwine.ca/the-restaurant/the-sonora-room/ 

Icellars Cabernet Sauvignon 2016, Niagara – $60


2016 was the warmest vintage ever recorded in Niagara, which resulted in the grapes at Icellars’ Icel Vineyard being able to hang on the vines until November 17 and be picked at 26.2 brix with full phenolic and flavour ripeness and great acidic structure. Icellars Cabernet Sauvignon is a great example of the well structured, fully ripe and refreshing red wines that Ontario is capable of producing. The 2016 Cabernet is a deep ruby red showing black plum, raspberry, mocha, clove, pepper, sous bois, cedar and a touch of graphite on the nose. Dry with generous fine tannins, it appears to have a slightly more linear and fresh profile than 2015, and at 14.7% ABV, it shows the balance the winemaker was able to achieve with such perfectly ripened quality fruit. Plum, spice, and tangy dark berries on the finish. A fine wine to enjoy now and over the next decade. Allow it to open up with a few hour decant and savour it with practically anything you’d like! 250 cases produced. Tasted April 2018. 93 points. Matt Steeves – http://www.quercusvino.ca

Available winery direct – $60

Icellars Chardonnay 2016, Niagara – $45


Icellars are producing some of Canada’s finest wines, from their boutique Niagara-On-The-Lake winery. Their 2016 Chardonnay (130 cases produced), from their Icel (estate) Vineyard, displays a light gold colour, revealing baked apple, tart pineapple, melon, croissant, white floral aromas, and minerality on the nose. Medium bodied and remarkably fresh, this cool-climate Chardonnay shows great elegance and tension, with crisp apple, lemon, biscuit and almond paste notes leading to the long mineral-driven finish. A great wine to enjoy now and over the next several years. Enjoy with pan seared scallops with lemon caper sauce. Tasted April 2018. 92+ points. Matt Steeves – http://www.quercusvino.ca

Available winery direct $45

Ardbeg Grooves Scotch, Islay, Scotland – $199.95

Ardbeg Grooves

This limited edition release of Ardbeg Grooves is in honor of Ardbeg Day 2018 (June 2) held during the Islay Festival of Music & Malt (Fèis Ìle). The theme for this year’s Ardbeg Day was “Peat & Love”.  Ardbeg Grooves gets its name from the grooves obtained after heavily-charring the former red wine casks used to age a portion of the whisky.  In fact, this is the first Ardbeg to be aged in former red wine casks, which for any wine lover, like me, is a must try and certainly a great Scotch to add to your collection.

Buy Ardgeg Grooves at LCBO – $199.95

Here are some other terrific Whiskies and Whisky cocktails that would be terrific to gift to Dad or whip up for Dad on this special Father’s Day weekend.

Glenmorangie The Original – 10 year old Single Malt Scotch whisky

The original expression of Glenmorangie Whisky, its elegant, floral spirit is the real backbone of the Glenmorangie range. A ten-year-old single malt, Glenmorangie Original is produced by marrying the delicate spirit that emerges from Scotland’s tallest stills, with first and second fill American white oak casks. Maturing for ten long years in a range of ex-bourbon, it develops a perfect balance between sweetness and complexity. Perfect for enjoying at any time.

Available at LCBO – $72.10

Here are some of my favourite Scotch cocktails using Glenmorangie The Original:

The Original & very Old Fashioned – The Original’s take on the Old Fashioned cocktail

  • 50ml Glenmorangie Original
  • 4 dashes aromatic bitters
  • 1 bar spoon white granulated sugar
  • Garnish: orange twist

Combine the ingredients in a glass. Mix and muddle to dissolve sugar. Add ice (block ice preferred) and stir to chill and slightly dilute. Finish with an orange twist.

ORIGINAL & Very Old Fashioned.png

Highland Julep

A spirited classic with a vivid flourish of aromatic mint
  • 50ml Glenmorangie Original
  • 12 mint leaves
  • 12.5ml sugar syrup
  • 1 dash aromatic bitters
  • Garnish: large mint sprig

Pour all the ingredients into a mixing glass then gently press the mint to extract the essential oils. Fill the mixing glass with cubed ice and stir to chill, dilute slightly and combine the ingredients. Then fill a julep cup with crushed ice, and single strain the liquid from mixing glass into the cup. Stir slightly and top up with crushed ice. To finish, add a large sprig of fresh mint – and a straw cut short to ensure the mint’s scent is appreciated.

ORIGINAL_Julep on the Green

First on the Tee  – Ginger brings its zing to this uplifting serve

  • 50ml Glenmorangie Original
  • 100ml ginger ale
  • Garnish: lime wedge

Fill a glass with cubed ice, combine Glenmorangie Original and ginger ale and add a squeezed lime wedge to garnish.

ORIGINAL_First on the Tee

Glenmorangie The Lasanta


Elegant but full bodied this whisky has spent ten years maturing in American white oak ex-bourbon casks before being extra-matured for a further two years in Oloroso and PX Sherry casks from Jerez in Spain.

Lasanta is Gaelic for warmth and passion, a reminder not just of the Spanish provenance of these Oloroso sherry butts, but also a reflection of this expression’s lusciously soft texture and deep, enticingly sweet aroma.

Gaelic for “warmth and passion,” the 12-year-old single-malt Lasanta is extra-matured in Spanish sherry casks, revealing enticing aromas, full-bodied flavours and a lusciously soft texture.  The creation of Lasanta is an exercise in fine-tuning, with Glenmorangie’s craftsmen seeking a smoother, sweeter whisky than is traditional in the Highlands.

Available at LCBO – $90.75

Lasanta Old Fashioned

Smoothness and spice, fashioned to delight
  • 50ml Glenmorangie Lasanta
  • 4 dashes aromatic bitters
  • 1 bar spoon white granulated sugar
  • Garnish: orange twist

Combine the ingredients in a glass. Mix and muddle to dissolve sugar. Add ice (block ice preferred) and stir to chill and slightly dilute. Finish with an orange twist.

LASANTA_Old Fashioned_0

The Lasanta Rob Roy

The story behind the Rob Roy (Scotch Whisky Manhattan) goes back to the early 18th century. Vilified by the crown and the government as a cattle thief, worshiped by the people as a hero and resistance fighter, he went down in the history of Scotland and was a role model for authors such as Sir Walther Scott, even Hollywood loved his story.  We are talking about Rober Roy MacGregor, also known as Rob Roy.  Fast forward to the end of the 19th century and the Rob Roy cocktail emerges.

While in the early days of Manhattan, and later Rob Roy, spirits and vermouth were often mixed in equal parts, over time they have given more space to the spirit base in these fine cocktails.

A classic Rob Roy is prepared as follows:

50 ml Scotch whisky


20 ml sweet red Vermouth

1-3 dashes of Bitters (mostly Angostura Bitters)

Stir the mixture cold on ice and place in a pre-chilled coupe and garnish with a cocktail cherry and/or an orange twist.

Lasanta Rob Roy © www.spirit-ambassador.de

Ardbeg Ten Years Old


The multi award-winning Ardbeg Ten Years Old was introduced in 2000 and was named World Whisky of the Year in 2008 by Jim Murray. It is non-chill-filtered, bottled at 46% ABV for maximum texture and mouth-feel and matured in a balance of 1st fill oak barrels, which deliver vanilla sweetness, and 2nd fill oak barrels, which deliver spiciness, and ex-bourbon American Oak casks to incorporate even more complexity.  Regarded as one of the most heavily peated whiskies, Ardbeg 10 Years Old showcases the fragrant smoke and peat character that aficionados admire about this prized Scotch.

Available at LCBO – $100.10

If you haven’t tried one already, there’s no better Caesar than an Ardbeg Caesar…


Ever wonder what exactly a single malt Scotch is?

To be a single malt Scotch the whisky must have been distilled at a single distillery, in Scotland, using a pot still distillation process, and made from a masth of malted grain. In Scotland, the only grain allowed to be used in a single malt whisky is barley. As with any Scotch a single malt Scotch must be distilled in Scotland and matured in oak casks, also in Scotland, for at least three years and one day (most single malts are matured longer…in fact most are a minimum 10 or 12 years, and go up to 40+ years, although those are astronomically priced and very hard to come by).

“Malt” indicates that the whisky is distilled from a “malted” grain. In the case of single malt Scotch, barley is the only grain used.

“Single” indicates that all the spirits in the bottle come from a single distillery. Bottlings containing malt whisky from multiple distilleries are called “blended malt“.

The age statement on a bottle of single malt Scotch is the number of years the whisky spent maturing in casks. Very few whiskies are bottled from a single cask, and the mixing of spirits with different amounts of ageing is allowed (such as 10, 11, 12, 13 year olds); the age statement reflects the age of the youngest whisky in the mix (10 year old in the example).

Enjoy your Father’s Day celebrations with these great wines and fine Scotch whiskies!

Stay classy my friends!

Matt Steeves –  Sommelier, Wine Writer, and Director with the National Capital Sommelier Guild (www.sommelierguild.com)  Follow Matt on Twitter @QuercusVino  and check out  www.mattswinepicks.com for his top wine and spirits picks.