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!

February 2010


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More Reasons to Love Red Wine

February 26, 2010

I recently read the following and I thought it would be interesting for those who drink red wine. It also gives us more justification as to why we love it!

I keep my red wine next to the aspirin!

Red wine, with its concentration of polyphenols, is reputed to deliver several health benefits in the name of resveratrol, melatonin and flavonoids.

What do they do for you?

The following are findings from the Canadian Craft Winemakers Association:

1. Resveratrol is naturally produced by grape skin contact during the fermentation process and high doses of it seem to mimic the effects of reducing your daily calories by 20% to 30%. This might explain why some cultures enjoy high fat diets with plenty of red wine and experience lower incidents of heart disease.

2. Melatonin is present in red wine and is produced naturally by the body in small amounts. It is thought to delay the oxidative damage and inflammatory processes associated with ageing.

3. Flavonoids are antioxidants and are believed to help the body neutralize certain free radicals which may trigger the type of cellular activity that leads to cancer.

If we needed any more reasons to love wine- there’s three. Need a fourth? Because it’s so enjoyable!


Wine Sense (McPhillips Street)

Filed under: General by Craig

Don't Rely on Your Memory

February 22, 2010

BruceWhile re-arranging my “wine cellar”, I found a case of wine at the bottom of some cases of empty bottles. The wine must have been there for a few years because I don’t re-arrange that area too often.



Sigh... I'll never be sure as to what it was.
Sigh… I’ll never be sure.


Usually, this would be cause for celebration, but here is my problem – the bottles are not labeled and there is nothing written on the box. I have 12 bottles (11 now, had to test one) of a totally AMAZING red wine, but I can’t be sure as to what it is! I would definitely make this wine again if I knew what it was. So here is some advice for everyone: Don’t trust your memory! Write it down, use a journal, write on the instructions, use the Wine Sense wine logs, keep track of when you do the stages of your wine making. Most importanty… LABEL YOUR WINES!

Don’t trust your memory. Write it down. (Didn’t I just say that, must have slipped my mind…)


Manager (Wine Sense- Pembina Hwy)

 ps Based on my tasting notes, my (questionable) memory, the quality of the wine and my palate- I think the mystery wine is the Selection Estate Series Crushendo Montagnac Syrah/Mourvedre.

Filed under: General by Craig

Holding Court in the Kitchen

February 19, 2010

Craig1Last night Colin and I had the opportunity to share some wine knowledge with an eager group of MTS Lawyers. The MTS folks held an event at The Food Studio for a ‘hands on’ cooking experience.

The event was interactive, entertaining and fun. The talented lawyers proved they were just as comfortable in the kitchen as in the court room!

Maria from The Food Studio kept the MTS Lawyers running as they prepared their delicious meal.

Maria from The Food Studio kept the MTS Lawyers running as they prepared their delicious meal.

Colin and I were tasked with doing the wine pairings for the meal along with offering some insight on the basics of food and wine pairing and why the wines chosen worked with each meal.

We chose a nice off-dry Gewurztraminer for the Spicey Shrimp. The flavourful Gewurztraminer and its residual sweetness balanced the heat of the shrimp.

A California Sauvignon Blanc worked great with a Trio of Dips that included Hummus, Tzatziki and Guacamole. The dry Sauvingon Blanc balanced the oil and fats in the dips.

For the main course of Beef Rouladen we paired two wines. Beef Rouladen is a traditional German meal consisting of thin slices of beef rolled and stuffed with pickles, onions, mustard and bacon. It’s then pan seared and finished in the oven in beef broth. Rouladen is a very robust meal with lots of flavours from the varying components.

For a white wine the MTS lawyers enjoyed a German Spastlese Riesling. This style of Riesling is the traditional choice and works with Rouladen because it is off-dry, very flavourful and has lots of fruit.

For the red wine an Argentine Malbec was chosen. It worked nicely as it balance the earthy tones and salt of the Rouladen.

The Death by Chocolate Dessert was paired with an Icewine for a contrasting taste and a 10 Year Old Tawney Port that was a perfect compliment with it’s rich, warm flavours.

The Verdict? A good time was had by all!

The Verdict? A good time was had by all!

You could see that as hard as these MTS Lawyers work- they play and are ‘guilty’ of enjoying a great evening! In this layman’s opinion- the evening would have to be ‘judged’ a success!

Thanks for the opportunity to help out!



Wine Sense

Filed under: General, Events by Craig

I've Come a Long Way baby!

February 12, 2010

BobThis past Christmas season I was asked by 3 friends for my opinions on what wines they should buy for their relatives. Another person asked me to provide a selection of wines they should serve for a New Years Eve dinner. I was pleased to help out and it made me think of my humble and humiliating first foray into wine.

Back in the day I lived in Sydney, Australia for about 2 years. When I first arrived I lived with my brother, who still resides there. One day I told my brother that I was going up to the bottle shop to pick up some beer and asked if he needed anything. He asked me to pick him up a box of wine. I headed up to the shop , got my beer, saw his brand of wine box on the shelf , paid for it and headed back home.

Later that night my brother got home from work and asked if I got his wine, and I told him I did. A few seconds later I hear a combination of laughter and cursing. My brother tells  me he drinks white wine so why did I buy him a Claret (Red Bordeaux). I’m thinking what are you talking about? I bought the same green box that you had before. My brother asks me if I know that there are different types of wines. I countered with, then why don’t they put it into a different coloured box?

So back I go to the bottle shop to return his ‘fine’ red wine for a Riesling. I explain to the clerk that I would like to return this for a “ RISEling” and she tells me that it’s pronounced “REESling”. As I’m walking back all I could think about was thank goodness I drink beer and don’t have to put up with all this nonsense!

Fast forward and I now find myself with my own wine collection, assisting people with their wine purchases and helping them with their pronunciation of wine styles on a daily basis!

So as the saying goes: “I’ve come a long way baby!”

*Remember folks- Never underestimate your own wine knowledge and remember… we all have to start somewhere.



Manager (Wine Sense- Springfield Rd)

Filed under: General by Craig


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