Article By Megan Cheung
Photos By Jean P. Labelle
Step through the doors of Ottawa’s Wine Bottega and immediately the winter chill melts away. Nestled among big box stores in the city’s east end, the store is more like a comfortable parlor; the walls are decorated with framed paintings, the staff invite conversation and the space exudes a warmth that entirely welcomes you to stay awhile. The family business is an award winning, wine making boutique and in seven years, it has transformed the craft of making quality wine into an easy and enjoyable experience.
The first day is quick and it takes a mere five minutes: pour the juice and sprinkle the yeast. The hardest part, says manager Jonathan Percival, is when a customer has no idea which type of wine they like to drink. In such cases, he helps select the right wine for them by pinpointing their preferences.
“We guarantee everything 100 per cent so nobody ever needs to be worried about being stuck with something they don’t like,” Percival says.
It’s a simple task if a customer knows exactly what they like because they have the whole world of grapes to choose from. The selection then becomes a matter of personal price range and desired quality level.
For the next four to eight weeks, the experienced staff will carefully maneuver their back room to stabilize, degas, rack and filter the wine into a finished product. The second and final visit requires twenty minutes to bottle the batch. Each batch produces about 28 bottles, but this will vary depending on the process. “We don’t top up with water or anything like that to make sure you get exactly 30. I’d rather quality over quantity.”
Quality wines are especially achieved at the Wine Bottega through the laborious use of their oak barrels. “I think that a lot of other places don’t use them because it is a lot of extra work. You have to know how to handle them, you have to keep them full and you have to keep them fresh.” Some places might use oak chips instead of barrels and that’s nowhere near the same, he says. The Wine Bottega still uses chips to add flavour, but he explains the barrel is not a solid vessel so it allows a bit of air into contact with the wine. This in turn accelerates the aging of the wine and provides a more complex wine that is also more ready to be consumed. “We think the barrels are synonymous with wine making.”
With a second location in Rockland, the Wine Bottega is quickly becoming a staple in the community and among wine enthusiasts. Discover its charm, service and superior wine for yourself this winter.
The Wine Bottega is located at 2026 Tenth Line Road, in Orleans.
613-590-1300 or firstname.lastname@example.org
In Rockland at 2756 Chamberland Street, Rockland.
613-446-2700 or email@example.com
Special Report By Emma Labelle
The Shenkman Arts Centre has played host to a variety of visual art presentations and performing artists since its opening in 2009, providing Ottawa East with a much-needed multidisciplinary arts facility. More recently, however, it welcomed Classic Albums Live to its stage, a band dedicated to performing the most memorable of albums live on stage for fans across North America.
This weekend, Classic Albums Live took on the challenge of Led Zeppelin, performing many of the band’s legendary songs. Greeting a sold-out audience, they began strong with ‘Black Dog,’ the first song on Led Zeppelin IV, and followed the album from there. The incredible drum performance only raised the energy of the audience, paving the way for impressive guitar solos and vocals that did a remarkable job of recreating Led Zeppelin themselves. Female vocals were introduced for ‘Battle of Evermore,’ followed by a moving rendition of ‘Stairway to Heaven.’ They finished off the album with ‘When the Levee Breaks,’ and let the roaring audience take a break from the hard rock.
In the second half of the performance, the band moved onto Led Zeppelin favourites, interacting more with the crowd, the majority of whom had grown up listeneding to Led Zeppelin themselves in the seventies. ‘Heartbreaker’ was a crowd favourite, but an incredible performance of ‘Dazed and Confused’ earned a standing ovation from the enthusiastic audience. The energy only increased as the night wore on, and when Classic Albums Live performed their closing number, ‘The Ocean,’ they received another standing ovation. The encore, ‘How Many More Times,’ inspired many fans to stand up and dance.
Despite what was admittedly is a modest theatre, compared to the arenas Led Zeppelin played in, the band managed to give the audience a performance that kept true to their promise: “Classic Albums Live takes classic albums and recreates them live, on stage – note for note, cut for cut.” Viewers left feeling satisfied and impressed, having enjoyed a notable performance of legendary music.
A few more shots of Sarah.
Tonight we were using a new muslin backdrop that must have shipped directly from the factory. By the end of the night all of our clothes were covered in red dye… not so good for Denis who was wearing white pants.
Sharp, sassy, funny and building a following across North America , The Good Lovelies definitely got the near capacity crowd at the Shenkman Arts Centre in Orleans in the Christmas spirit last night!
Playing holiday favourites such as God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen, Santa Baby, Blue Christmas and Silent Night the only thing missing was snow.
The Good Lovelies are not your run-of-the-mill “all girl” band. At a time when too many of us are affected by gloom, doom and recovering from recession these three women are the perfect antidote. Winners of the 2010 Juno – Roots Album of the Year (Group) and New Emerging Artist Award from the Canadian Folk Music Awards – the Good Lovelies are making waves across Canada.
The aptly named Good Lovelies are Caroline Brooks, Kerri Ough and Sue Passmore, all of them best friends and refugees from solo careers. Described as folk-roots and western swing, the Toronto-based trio rely on unerring three-part vocal harmonies, clever songs and, onstage, convulsively funny repartee.
The Good Lovelies played their first show in December of 2006. Since then, they have quit their jobs, toured coast to coast numerous times, played countless house concerts, festivals, folk clubs and coffee houses, and released three albums.
The first album, released in 2007, is a five-track EP, called “Oh My!” and features the playful single “Taboo.” In January 2009, the Lovelies released their first full-length self-titled CD which contains 11 finely-crafted original songs. The album borrows styles from bygone eras and features CBC Radio favourite, Sleepwalkin’.
In November 2009, the Lovelies released a twelve-track Christmas album “Under The Mistletoe” which includes three original Christmas songs as well as a number of old classics. The album was met with positive reviews in The Globe & Mail and Toronto’s NOW Magazine.
To boot, the Good Lovelies just finished touring with the Vinyl Cafe in March 2010 and can be heard singing backup on Jill Barber’s album “Chances.”
Apart from spreading sharp, light-hearted music coast to coast the Good Lovelies will appear on CBC Kids TV in 2010 with Canada’s favourite puppet Mamma Yamma and will appear on PBS Special “Girls from the North Country” alongside Dala and Oh Susanna!
Meanwhile, the Good Lovelies are working on their second full-length release that fans can expect within a year.
And beyond that? Well, there’s a huge country south of Canada that could use some laughter and another dose of hopeful goodwill from their neighbours, and the Lovelies are just the women to provide it.
A few studio shots from last night with the lovely Sarah.
Set List (I think there may be a typo or inside joke on sheet one; it should be “Crossing A Canyon”)