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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Going for Gold

February 8, 2010

BruceDo you think you’re an award winning winemaker? The Winemaker Magazine International Amateur Wine Competition is just around the corner.

Not sure if you’re ready for competition? There’s only one way to find out. Wine Sense staff have won over 80 medals and our customers have won 20 medals. Not only do you have a chance to win fame and glory but Winexpert will reward you with a free wine kit if you win with one of their wines! Each wine is scored by 3 judges and you’ll receive the judging sheets for each wine you enter.

Graphic1I’m once again in charge of organizing all of the wines that Wine Sense staff and customers enter. It’s a big job but I enjoy it. Here’s a reminder of what you’ll need to do in order to make sure I can get your entries properly shipped for the competition.

-Bottles must be at your favourite Wine Sense location by Saturday Feb 13th.

-One bottle per entry is required. 

-Bottles must not have decorative labels or shrink tops.

-Make sure that each bottle of wine that you would like to enter is identified so we can put proper contest labels on them.

-The official Entry Form must accompany your entry and each wine entered requires a $25 entry fee. Include a cheque for $25 for each wine made out to Winemaker. (1 entry = $25, 2 entries = $50  etc.)

-Wine Sense will look after all shipping costs.

Complete rules and regulations and Entry Forms can be downloaded at www.winemakermag.com.

Here’s a couple of hints to competition success-

– The older the wine the better.
– If you really like the wine, enter it.

Good Luck!


Manager (Wine Sense- Pembina Highway)

Filed under: General by Craig

Turkey Rollatini

February 5, 2010

winesense_icon[1]This recipe was created for this year’s Limited Edition Australian Petit Verdot. It’s a great tasting Turkey dish that takes a little more work but is certainly worth the effort and you’ll make Julia Child proud!


Julia always knew how to treat a turkey!

If you were not fortunate enough to have ordered a Petit Verdot this we do still have a few kits available if you hurry to your favourite Wine Sense location. If Petit Verdot is not an option then you can easily substitute with a big Cabernet.

3 tbsp Olive Oil, plus more for searing

2 oz Fresh Spinach

1 pinch Salt and Black Pepper, to taste

2 cups Winexpert Selection Limited Edition Australian Petit Verdot

1 8 oz Turkey Breast

2 oz crumbled Gorgonzola

1 butchers twine Preheat oven to 400°F

Barbeque Sauce, to taste


Turkey Rollatini with Barbeque Sauce

Using a large sauté pan over medium-high heat, add 3 tbsp olive oil, sautéing spinach with salt and pepper, stirring until spinach wilts. Add wine and let evaporate. Remove from heat and let cool. Pound turkey breast to even thickness.

Spread spinach mixture and crumbled Gorgonzola evenly over the breast. Roll the breast tightly and tie at both ends. Sear until golden brown on all sides. Baste with barbeque sauce and bake for 20 minutes.

Serve with a fresh mixed greens salad, warm rolls and extra barbeque sauce on the side.

Bon Appetit!

Filed under: General, Recipes by Craig

Winter is for Winemaking

February 1, 2010

BobSummertime is only a few short months away and you should be brewing up a storm right now. If not you’ll be caught this summer in short supply.

Personally I prefer making my wine in the winter. In the summer I should be on the golf course, tending to my garden or enjoying a nice summer evening with some food off the barbecue. I guess I would rather be emptying bottles of wine than filling them : ) 

A little math will help you do your cellar planning. If you and your spouse enjoy a glass of wine with dinner and another glass watching television every night , well that amounts to about a bottle a night or 1 kit per month. That means to keep up that pace you should be thinking 6 months down the road to be able to enjoy some aged wine. The common mistake that I always hear is “I’m down to 3 bottles and I need to get another batch going.” Really you should be getting about 4 going! 

One of the benefits of making your own wine is that you can create a collection of wines in your own cellar or rack. You have a selection of wines that allow you to offer choice to your guests and proper pairings for your meals. Think about how much wine you’ll need, what styles you enjoy and what entertaining you’ll be doing over the summer- I’ve noticed that family really seems to enjoy my wine… when it’s free!

So a little planning and fermenting while the weather is cold and you’ll be all set to toast the warm weather of a Manitoba summer.

Well- I need to start making my summer inventory, good luck with yours!

(Don’t forget about Island Mist and Niagara Mist patio wines as they are great summertime treats. Also, there’s nothing like a cold homemade beer after you’ve cut the grass.)



Manager (Wine Sense- Springfield)

Filed under: General by Craig


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