September 2016 – CKNW with Fiona Forbes
Winemaker Mireille Sauve talked with Fiona Forbes on CKNW all about Dames Wine and food and wine pairing!
Georgia Straight – August 2016
Dames of B.C.’s wine industry craft two new wines to support women’s education
All profits from the #DamesWine Project support Les Dames d’Escoffier‘s food and beverage scholarships
by Gail Johnson
A few women from B.C.’s wine industry are embracing the Girl Power motto, pooling their considerable talents to launch two new wines—with full profits going toward local women’s education in the fields of food and drink.
For the Dames Wine Project, sommelier Mireille Sauvé—who heads Vancouver’s Wine Umbrella Consulting Inc. —led a group of wine-savvy women from B.C. to create the 2015 Dames White and 2013 Dames Red.
The wines take their names from Les Dames d’Escoffier, an international philanthropic society of professional female leaders in the fields of food, fine beverage, and hospitality. Membership is via invitation only, with 36 chapters throughout North America and the United Kingdom. The mandate of the B.C. chapter is to promote the understanding, appreciation, and knowledge of food, wine, hospitality, nutrition, food technology, and the arts of the table and to support the education and advancement of women in related careers.
Sauvé herself was a Dames d’Escoffier scholarship recipient and credits the contribution for allowing her to complete her dream of becoming a wine pro—Canada’s youngest female sommelier, in fact—graduating from George Brown College in 1997.
With Sauvé as winemaker, both Dames wines were made exclusively from Okanagan Valley fruit and were produced at the Okanagan Falls’ Meyer Family Vineyards as a custom crush. Industry pioneer Anne Sperling of Kelowna’s Sperling Vineyards runs the vineyard where many of the grapes were sourced, while Katie Holmes of Summerhill Pyramid Winery, also in Kelowna, and Janice Meyer Stevens from Meyer Family Vineyards worked with Sauvé from the cellar to the bottling line.
The 2015 Dames White is a dry, light-bodied, aromatic blend of 80 percent Pinot Blanc, 10 percent Riesling, and 10 percent Gewurztraminer that pairs best with shellfish and seafood (especially California rolls). The 2013 Dames Red is an organic blend of 70 percent Merlot and 30 percent Syrah and is described as a luscious, fruit-forward wine, with flavours of plum and toasty vanilla that complement good cheeses and meats.
The wines retail for $25 per bottle plus tax at www.dameswine.com and can also be found in private liquor stores.
My VanCity – July 2016
Dames Wines featured in My VanCity
Have you ever heard of Les Dames d’Escoffier? Probably not. Let me help. From Wikipedia, “Les Dames d’Escoffier was founded in New York City in 1976, in honour of Auguste Escoffier, whom Les Dames’ mission statement credits with having “single-handedly brought the culinary art into the modern era.” Escoffier “elevated the role of cooks from that of laborers to artists;” when he died, he “left the world a new art, that of dining.” With expansion to other cities, Les Dames d’Escoffier International (LDEI) was formed in 1985 to operate as an umbrella organization. Membership is by invitation only and exclusive to women who have distinguished themselves in the respective fields with which Les Dames is concerned.”
And from their BC web site, “Les Dames d’Escoffier is a society of professional woman. Its purpose is to promote the understanding, appreciation and knowledge of food, wine, hospitality, nutrition, food technology, the arts of the table and other fields as they relate to these disciplines. Women in BC are invited to apply for scholarships annually to pursue their education in these fields.”
The BC chapter has been around since 1992 and currently has 74 members. One of these, Mireille Sauvé, was Canada’s youngest sommelier when she became certified at the tender age of 22. Mireille is the founder and president of The Wine Umbrella, a Vancouver based wine industry consulting agency (checkout her informative videos on You Tube).
During her time with Les Dames, she has spent many years helping with their fundraisers. After too many years of silent auctions and raffles, she decided that there had to be a better way. Why not make wine?
I asked Mireille where the inspiration came to make these wines. Many years ago, she had worked in the wine business, working a vintage at Hawthorne Mountain (now See Ya Later) in Okanagan Falls where she worked under Eric Von Krosnik. Then she headed south to do a vintage in Washington State. She had the winemaking itch again and decided to make some wine. This would be something she’d enjoy and could sink her teeth into and would draw upon her strengths. This recent venture, the first of its kind in Canada, will help support women who choose to further their food and beverage education
This project was planned as a one-time fundraiser. When I asked Mireille if there might be a second vintage, her reply was a somewhat hesitant and uncommitted, “Maaybee”. She said she would determine that when she sees how this release is received. After tasting these wines with their eye-catching labels, I would have to say she has succeeded in spades.
Mireille describes the wine white as; “The Dames White is a light straw colour with aromas of apricot, apple, pineapple and a hint of lime zest and mineral undertones. On the palate — light-bodied with lively acidity, racy lemon and lime. Pear, apricot and lychee fruit flavours. A beautiful BC blend of 80% Pinot Blanc from Sperling Vineyard in Kelowna, 10% Riesling from Sperling Vineyard in Kelowna, and 10% Gewurztraminer from Meyer Family Vineyards in Okanagan Falls.”
Mmmm. Where are the prawns and scallops? This wine is delicious right now and is also suitable for cellaring for perhaps ten years or more. Better buy a case.
She continues, “The Dames Red is a great ‘fireplace wine’, enjoyed on its own with friends or alongside assorted charcuterie and cheese plates, burgers or stew. Deep crimson with a burgundy hue, with rich vanilla-infused mulled berry aromas joined by bright red cherry juice and a toasty star anise spicy note. A beautiful BC blend of 70% Merlot and 30% organic Syrah, both sourced from vineyards in the south Okanagan.”
This wine is very food friendly and would work well with many dishes. Give it a slight chill if enjoying it on a hot summer day.
Both wines sell for $25 online. Prices will vary at retail outlets. There were only a little more than 500 cases made, so be sure to get yours soon before it is all gone and help fund food and beverage education. “A number of extraordinary women have benefited from scholarship funds provided by Les Dames d’Escoffier, and many are now taking part in this project to raise funds for future scholarships,” says Sauvé. “Everyone who buys this wine can savour each sip while supporting dynamic women.”
Dames’ wines can be found at many private liquor stores and restaurants throughout the Okanagan. In Vancouver you can find them at Legacy Liquor Store and at the following restaurants – Fable, Le Crocodile and the Pear Tree (Burnaby).
“Now, if you do decide on a second kick at the can Mireille, what will you make? Will it be something different or the same? Perhaps a nice Rosé might be interesting. May I suggest a Chardonnay and a Pinot Noir?” Well, we’ll have to wait and see, but I have no doubt that with the success of this initial venture will see her back in the winery.
Making a wine to support Les Dames, would serve another, equally important purpose and that would be to showcase women in the industry who often don’t get the recognition they deserve. So she launched the project with an all female team, from grape growers to communications, to graphic design.
This project has created an excellent way for wine lovers to get behind a great cause but it has also another added benefit. In the spirit of Les Dames d’Escoffier, Mireille assembled an amazing team of talented women who were involved in all aspects of the project, from growing the grapes, to making the wine, to graphic design and marketing. As Mireille said, this was most certainly not a one-woman venture. To give credit where credit is due, here is a list of those who were involved in the creation of Les Dames wines:
Dame Mireille Sauvé, Winemaker / Project Director
Cheryl Bishop, Assistant Winemaker, Meyer Family Vineyards
Ann Sperling, Viticulturalist
Katie Holmes, Viniculturalist, Summerhill Organic Winery
Janice Meyer Stevens, Co-owner of Meyer Family Vineyards
Christine Moulson, Branding Consultant and Designer
Dame Allison Markin, Marketing and Digital Content Consultant
Dame Jennifer Schell, Media Consultant
Ronnie Lee Hill, Photographer
Adele Gougeon, OKLP (label) Production
Ramona Lehnert, By the Glass Wine Dispenser Canada
To order, visit www.dameswine.com
BC Living July 2016
by Nikki Bayley
Drink Les Dames wine to raise money for a great cause
If there’s one thing better than just plain drinking, it’s drinking for a cause! Say cheers then to Les Dames wines, crafted by Mireille Sauvé from beautiful grapes in the Okanagan. Proceeds from each bottle goes to help support Les Dames d’Escoffier, a scholarship program of food and beverage education for women in B.C.
The Dames white has ‘aromas of apricot, apple, pineapple and a hint of lime zest and mineral undertones’ and is a blend of 80% Pinot Blanc from Sperling Vineyard in Kelowna, 10% Riesling from Sperling Vineyard in Kelowna, and 10% Gewurztraminer from Meyer Family Vineyards in Okanagan.
Dames red is a great ‘fireplace wine,’ enjoyed on its own with friends or alongside assorted charcuterie and cheese plates, burgers or stew. It’s a beautiful B.C. blend of 70% Merlot and 30% organic Syrah, both sourced from vine. Buy online.
Jay Minter, On The List
FRIDAY FIND: DAMES WINE
This week, our friends at Les Dames d’Escoffier BC Chapter* uncorked a very special fundraising project that’s easy for all of us to get behind, Dames Wine. As with all of Les Dames’ efforts, proceeds from Dames Wine goes towards supporting BC women’s food and beverage education.
Dame Mireille Sauvé, director of the Wine Umbrella and member of the BC Chapter of Les Dames d’Escoffier, has put her wine skills to work to blend Dames Red and Dames White. Produced at Meyer Family Vineyard, using grapes from around the Okanagan the limited edition wines are available now.
Ms Sauvé refers to the red as a “fireplace” wine, enjoyed on its own or with charcuterie, cheeses, burgers or stews. It has a deep crimson colour and a rich, vanilla-infused mulled berry aroma with bright red cherry juice and notes of star anise.
The Dames White is a light straw colour with aromas of apricot, apple, pineapple and a hint of lime zest and mineral undertones. On the palate — light-bodied with lively acidity, racy lemon and lime. Pear, apricot and lychee fruit flavours.
As mentioned all the proceeds from Dames Wine goes towards Les Dames d’Escoffier scholarship and education programs, of which Ms Sauvé is herself a recipient.
While I missed the debut, myself I’m looking forward to tasting the results of Dame Sauvé’s craft. You too, can get a taste by purchasing Dames Wine online or in select retail stores now.
*Les Dames d’Escoffier is a a society of professional woman. Its purpose is to promote the understanding, appreciation and knowledge of food, wine, hospitality, nutrition, food technology, the arts of the table and other fields as they relate to these disciplines. Women in BC are invited to apply for scholarships annually to pursue their education in these fields.
“Virtuous Vino” June 03, 2016 Pinq.ca
LIMITED-EDITION DAMES WINE RAISES FUNDS FOR CULINARY SCHOLARSHIPS FOR BC WOMEN.
We’re always looking for a good reason to fill up our glass.
That’s why we’re stocking up on a few cases of Dames Wine — two wines that raise funds for Les Dames d’Escoffier to assist BC women in culinary educations. 100% of the profits from these 520 cases of wine will go towards a scholarship fund that sends BC women through educational pursuits in the food and drink industry.
The 2015 Dames White is a dry, aromatic blend of 80% Pinot Blanc, 10% Riesling and 10% Gewurztraminer. The 2013 Dames Red is an organic blend of 70% Merlot and 30% Syrah. Both wines are made exclusively from Okanagan Valley fruit and were produced at Meyer Family Vineyards, with Mireille Sauvé (pictured) as winemaker. Thanks to a scholarship from the Dames organization, Sauvé became Canada’s youngest female sommelier in 1997, and together with a team of women she’s paying it forward with Dames Wine.
The wines are available by the case online at dameswine.com for $25 a bottle. You can also purchase it by the bottle at private liquor stores and restaurants across BC (click here for current list, prices vary by location).
Great wine for a great cause? We’ll drink to that.
(by Ryan B. June 27, 2016)
BC Wine Trails – May 2016 BC Wine Trails
A unique winemaking project is underway in the Okanagan, as Mireille Sauvé, a member of the BC chapter of Les Dames d’Escoffier, oversees the creation of the “dames wine”. Dame Mireille has been visiting the Okanagan from her home base in Vancouver to shepherd this fundraising project, supporting scholarships for BC women pursuing their education in wine and food. Les Dames d’Escoffier is an international organization and the only Canadian chapter is in British Columbia.The red and white dame wines which will be bottled this spring, and a limited number will be available. All of the profits will go back to Les Dames d’Escoffier. The wines are unique, and Mireille, who became Canada’s youngest sommelier with funds from a Les Dames scholarship, says they are already showing great flavours and sophistication. Read more…