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!

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It’s Limited Edition Time!

October 5, 2012

Over the next few months you’re going to hear a lot from Wine Sense about Limited Edition program:




– The styles

– The video’s

– Pre-orders

– Wine tastings

This is because it’s a very big program for us and many, many of our customers. Why? To put it simply for more than 20 years now the wines offered are always exciting styles that deliver great wine experiences. This is reflected in the fact that each year all 5 Limited Edition wines are in our top 10 for sales- and they’re only in stock for about two months each before they’re sold out!

LE wines also offer great value. Not only because they are great wines- but value for the dollar can’t be beat. The raw materials are top notch but because the raws come in and are produced into kits and shipped to us so quickly- there is no costs associated for Winexpert with storing the raw materials (as there is for kits that are offered year round). 

Oh yeah- every year all styles of the Limited Edition win medals at the Winemaker Magazine International Wine Competition.

If you’ve never tried the Limited Edition wines LE2012 is the time to start.

Without further ado…

Here are this year’s styles!

January – Argentine Malbec Bonarda 

REGION: Viñas Doña Constanza Vineyard, San Juan, Argentina

Nestled in the Andes Mountains in western Argentina, the vineyards of San Juan get brilliant sunshine and little rain in their high desert location. The icy mountain runoff from the Andean snow pack waters the fine loamy soil to produce intensely flavourful grapes.

WINE: This Malbec-dominated blend exudes the new world southern hemisphere style of wine: deep reddish purple in the glass, with aromas of dark fruit, black currants and plums. A rush of initial sweet fruit brought on by the plum element turns slightly drier, reflecting more of a blackberry flavour, finally finishing with a hint of anise. The finish is quite long with dusty dry tannins and a hint of lingering black pepper. A rich, bold wine that will pair nicely with richly prepared red meat dishes.7

AGING: Try to hold for at least six months before drinking. This wine will peak at 12-18 months and hold for another two years with good cellaring.

SWEETNESS: Dry    BODY: Medium Full    ALCOHOL: 13.5%   


January – Argentine Torrontés

REGION: Cafayate Valley, Salta, Argentina

Surrounded by mountain ranges, an average height of 1,700m above sea level, grapes grown in the Cafayate valley benefit from more than 300 sunny days a year and low-humidity mild weather.

WINE: This wine’s enticing aromas are strikingly similar to Viognier: hints of peach pit, flowers, and orange citrus fruit. On the palate it has a lush structure and vibrant acidity—and plenty of body for a wine that shows such delicate aromas and flavors. Fruity and floral this wine is still quite dry.Best enjoyed either by itself, or as a wonderful partner with smoked meats, mild to medium-strong cheeses, and seafood.

AGING: This wine will begin to show very well early on, peaking between six and 12 months and holding for another six to 12 in a good cellar.

SWEETNESS: Dry    BODY: Medium    ALCOHOL: 12.5%


February – Portuguese Aragones Cabernet Sauvignon 

REGION: Vinho Mountains of Northern Portugal

The Vinho Mountains of Northern Portugal overlook the broad, stormy waters of the Atlantic Ocean, capturing both the heat of the continent and the gentle, cool breezes that pass over them. Here, Aragones reaches its full potential at a high degree of maturity, delivering deep, intense grapes. Cabernet Sauvignon also thrives here, delivering surprisingly classic character.

WINE:The wine has an aromatic profile of mulberry, blackberry currants, black cherry and cedar—and in time, a hint of rockrose and spice. In the mouth it offers cherry and raspberry, blackberry and plum, with a hint of tobacco competing with the cedar notes, along with subtle vanilla and toast.Brilliant with lamb, duck, barbecue and aged cheeses, it’s also an excellent wine for sipping on a summer patio by itself.

AGING: Aragones matures early, making this tempting to drink under six months of age, but a year of patience will be well rewarded with more subtle fruit and developed cedar/spices notes; it will hold well for another two years.



March – Washington Riesling Chenin Blanc 

REGION: Dufault Vineyard, Yakima Valley, Washington, U.S.A.

From Dufault Vineyard in the lower Yakima Valley of Washington state, this wine comes out of sandy-loam soil that runs down an extremely long south slope, ending in a drop to the Yakima river that allows for perfect air drainage. Hot, late-season sunshine and cool, breezy nights combine to make balanced, flavourful grapes.

WINE: Riesling gives boldly classic apple and stone fruit aromas, while Chenin Blanc provides more subtle melon and honey notes. On the palate it shows apricot, peach, green apple, quince and honey, with zesty acidity offset by a creamy mouthfeel and perfectly balanced richness.An excellent food wine, it matches well with grilled chicken, pork, and seafood, but it’s also an excellent sipper on its own, juicy, thirst-quenching and delicious.

AGING: Barely off-dry, this wine will be tempting to drink right on bottling day, but will show surprising flavour development over the course of a year, and will hold for two more years in a good cellar.



April – Italian Nebbiolo with Grape Skins 

REGION: Ghiardello Vineyard, Reggio Emilia, Italy

From the Ghiardello vineyard in Reggio Emilia, in the foothills of the DOC Colli di Scandiano, Nebbiolo is a late ripener and produces wine of excellent acidity and high tannins.

WINE: This is a wine of rare subtlety. Redolent with aromas of tar, rose, mint, chocolate, licorice and truffles, and rich, spicy fruit. Hints of cherries, violets, black licorice, and truffles play on the tongue with long-lasting flavour and a rich, chewy finish. Serve with red meats, stews, lamb shanks or osso buco.

AGING: This gripping wine will begin to open up after six months, but the richer, more intense flavours will take at least eighteen months to show, with cherry and spicy dominating the long, fruity finish for five years or more.

SWEETNESS:    Dry BODY:    Full ALCOHOL: 13 

What a lineup! Something for everyone. 
See you at the Wine Tastings!


Bruce, Manager (Wine Sense- Pembina Hwy)

Filed under: Wine by WineSense

Try Pinot Noir

September 14, 2012

Do you know anyone who says they don’t like red wines? Do they find them harsh and too dry… or they ‘Just don’t like red wines’?

Have them try a Pinot Noir. Why? Because Pinot Noir is light bodied, has silky tannins (smooth) and has a pleasant fruity finish with notes of cherries and berries. This means Pinot Noir is not only a pleasant sipping wine, it is also a versatile meal wine that will complement chicken, pork, red meat and fish. 

Pinot Noir is the grape that makes French Burgundies consistently some of the most expensive wines in the world! It is now grown all over the world so it’s easy to find a Pinot Noir from most of your favourite growing regions. 

Heck- even if you love red wines and never have tried Pinot Noir… Why not?!

Wine Sense stocks 11 different Pinot Noirs for you to choose from:  http://www.mywinesense.com/wine/red/pinot-noir/


Bruce, Manager (Wine Sense – Pembina Hwy)

Filed under: Wine by WineSense

The Devil Made Me Do It!

August 17, 2012

With being one of the newest members of the Wine Sense family, I have been reluctant to post a blog- but my customers have convinced me that I should- so here we go!

Let me begin by talking about two of my favorite 4 week wine kits…Vintners Reserve Diablo Rojo and Angel Blanco.

The Diablo Rojo (or Red Devil) is an excellent medium bodied wine with a touch of sweetness.  It has the smoothness of the merlot grape, a touch of oakiness and ends on a soft, sweet note.  The only bad part of this wine is, after one glass, you want another…  but then of course- you can always blame it on the Devil!

All of my customers to whom I have recommended this wine have become fans of the Red Devil!

The Diablo Rojo enhances the flavor of barbecued steak or pork ribs.  It would be a great compliment to any rich tomato sauce dishes, but the real joy comes from consuming this pleasant wine with dark chocolate.

Now for the real surprise, the Angel Blanco (or White Angel). This wine is a blend of Muscat, Chardonnay and Riesling.  I’m not normally a fan of fruity tasting wine and when I tasted a very young bottle, I definitely wondered if this wine with a melon/pear taste was for me.  But what a surprise after 4 or 5 months in the bottle.  What a change!  The friendly fruitiness of it’s youth has faded and the 3 grapes blend into a wine with a very pleasant smooth, complex and slightly sweet flavor!

The Angel Blanco was a great compliment  to lobster tails with garlic butter, but was equally at home with the pickerel fried in garlic butter and homemade french fries sprinkled with seasoning salt.

I definitely would recommend enjoying both of these wine young- but be patient with either and they will reward you with an excellent wine experience.

These are only two of the wonderful wine kits that we offer you- our customers- under the brand name Vintners Reserve by Wine Expert available only at WINESENSE IN MANITOBA.

Cheers from the West side of Manitoba,

Vic, Manager (Wine Sense Brandon)

p.s. Both of these wines are on sale until September 1st, 2012!

Filed under: Wine by WineSense

Enjoy Your Wine Young, Appreciate it Aged!

August 10, 2012

One thing I really enjoy about wine is it will usually improve with age. I love to open a bottle once a month and see how it has developed and matured since the last month. While this is a fun part of the hobby, it can also be a financial burden if you attempt to use commercial wine. The major problem, wine sold in Manitoba wine stores is expensive! Even a case of a good value wine will probably run you $150 or more, which is definitely not part of my monthly budget! This is another instance where making it yourself will save you money and allow you to taste the progression of your wine! 

As a wine ages the tannins will begin to soften, the primary and secondary aromas will begin to make way for the tertiary aromas. All this takes time and patience, but it is certainly easier to drink a bottle I made for $3 rather than one I bought for $40, on a monthly basis. Each kit makes 30 bottles, which provides a nice stock level to really enjoy the development of your wine. The Cellar Craft Sterling Amarone from my previous blog has now softened to the point where I would happily enjoy it with food or on it’s own, but last month I found it too tannic to drink on it’s own without food. I can’t wait to see what it is like next month, only time will tell. 

So, what will my next kit be, maybe the CellarCraft Showcase Merlot Yakima Valley. Maybe I will taste a bottle every other month instead of every month, it is all up to me! So whatever you choose, enjoy the fruits of your labour as it will only get better with time!


Mike, Manager (Wine Sense, Southdale Square)

Filed under: General, Wine by WineSense


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