A Sense of Wine

A Sense of Wine is Wine Sense's journal of new products, techniques and behind the scenes info for those who love to make wine. The authors are the Wine Sense staff. You will be familiar with them as the friendly faces that serve you whenever you stop by one of the stores. Join us as we share our insights on new procucts, advice and our experiences. Please feel free to comment on any posts- we look forward to your input!

April 2010
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Looking Back at 19 Years

April 28, 2010

Craig copyTime flies – a lot has changed in 8500 years!

Evidence tells us winemaking originated in 6500 BC and in recent years has come full circle. Wine was first made in the home and as time progressed it became a commercial endeavor. Along the way the quality of wine evolved and improved into the amazing beverage enjoyed today.

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Home winemaking... We've come a long way baby!

Wine Sense opened 19 years ago and in that time the home winemaker has seen a lot of history repeat itself. We opened just as the first major change in the recent history of home winemaking was occuring. It was about 20 years ago that Winexpert(orignally named Brew King) created the modern wine kit. Cans of low-grade red or white grape concentrate were vastly upgraded to the bag-in-box wine kit featuring high quality varietal grape juice and concentrate that we know today.

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The 'modern' wine kit- by Winexpert

Next, Canada’s largest wineries took notice and bought into the ‘cottage’ wine kit industry. As a result the industry gained access to technology that further improve the quality of wine kits. Along with technology, we gained greater buying power and access to better, more sought after raw materials from all around the world. We’ve gone from making ‘red or white’ wine to making Sonoma County Cabernet Sauvignon and New Zealand Marlbourough Sauvignon Blanc!

Most importantly to our valued customers- because of the above mentioned innovations, the wine that you are making today is significantly better than the wine you were making when we first opened in 1991.

What else has changed? 

A big one certainly was our name. In 2006 we changed from The Brew Doctor to Wine Sense. Why? Because you our customers told us we were in the wine business. In the early days, beer kits carried the load. I recall many years ago boasting in our Yellow Pages ad that we had over 140 different beer kits. But you the consumer changed as your tastes have shifted from beer to wine. While we still have a selection of beer, we now offer over 180 different wine kits!

Why the change?

Because home winemaking made wine affordable for everyday enjoyment. Wine was no longer just for special occasions- we can now afford to make every occasion special by opening a bottle of wine that we made.

Do we still carry beer kits?

We sure do. We also carry a variety of products that allow you to offer more choice for yourself, your family and friends: Island Mist and Niagara Mist patio wines, Twisted Mist Cocktail kits and Still Spirits liqueurs extracts.

As we’ve grown, so has our ability to communicate with you. We’ve grown from little ads to a full-colour presence in newspapers, from a black and white newlsetter to full-colour, from radio to TV commercials and now as you read our blog, the social media scene which you probably linked to from our Facebook Fan Page that you likely first learned about from our email marketing.

We are also renovating all of our stores. Four have been completed with two more remaining. Our Southdale store will be converted this summer. So for our customers in that area you can expect to see new colours, a new layout and a new way to shop for your wine kits.

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Our new store design... 4 down 2 to go!

The Wine Sense family has also grown over the years. We have more staff than ever and I’m pleased to boast that they are unmatched. They all love wine, winemaking and they have a passion for what they do. They are trained in winemaking and wine enjoyment and are happy to share their knowledge with you.

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The Wine Sense Family

As I write this 19th Birthday Blog I’m seeing the trend… Change and Quality. And as we move into year 20 and beyond, Wine Sense will continue to evolve to offer you a great shopping experience and provide you with leading edge quality.

It’s one of those birthday’s that’s a pleasure to celebrate. Cheers!


Filed under: General, Events by Craig

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