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!

May 2010


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SAVE $10
on ALL styles of Winexpert Reserve!

Save $10
on 2 styles of VineCo Estate Series!

Got Wine?Do you have wine for summer?

Great Beer!
Made Easy!

Two of My Favourite White Wines

May 31, 2010

BobWith Summer just around the corner I thought I would suggest a couple of my favourite white wines. We often think red wine once barbecue season is upon us but white wine has its place as well. Grilled chicken and fish, lighter salads and meals that don’t heat up the kitchen all pair nicely with a good white wine. There’s also nothing like a nice chilled glass of white wine on the patio.

Small Lots Estate Series BC Chardonnay-

ENG-Small-Lot-BC-Chardonnay_CropThe Estate Series BC Chardonnaywas first released about 10 years ago as one of 2 original Selection Estate Series wine kits. Winexpert sent us an 11.5 litre demo kit to make. I made it without oak as I was not a big fan of oak back then (how things change). I tried four bottles at certain times to see how it changed with ageing. Of course I tried the first bottle at day 1 of its life. I thought that it was good but very sharp (gee I wonder why). It continued to age nicely with nice ripe fruit showing through. When I had the last bottle (over 1 year old) I said that ‘this was the best white wine I had ever made’. It was quite fragrant with notes of fruit and honey and the taste was of peach, apple, pear and a hint of butter. It also had a mineral after taste… so good.

Needless to say I am very excited to have the opportunity to make it again! Keep in mind that it is currently released as a ‘Small Lot’ wine, which means it’s only available for a little while.

Selection Symphony-

Symphony labelOriginally released as a Limited Edition wine and now available as a Selection Original kit, Symphonyis one of my all time favourites. I’ve entered this wine into the Winemaker Magazine International Amateur Wine Competition three times now, and have medaled each time (It’s not that I’m a pro to get these awards, but that I make quality kits and follow the instructions).

I love Symphony because it is light, fragrant and loaded with fruit- think of fruit salad in a glass. To me this wine tastes great from day one and the intensity of fruit increases with each passing day. At about one year of age the wine almost tastes like it’s carbonated because of the powerful fruit. This to me is a summer must do wine kit- you can make it now and have it ready to drink by the end of July.


Bob, Manager (Wine Sense- Springfield Road)

Filed under: Wine by Craig

Mojito Magic!

May 20, 2010

DianeNo Mosquitos, just Mojitos!

Who needs to be in Cuba,when you can be in Winnipeg sipping a chilled Mojito on your deck.

 With the soaring temperatures we have been having this past week, and my first batch of Twisted Mist Mojito being ready, the timing was just perfect! So it was BBQ time with neighbours to put it to the test, and everyone was more than a little impressed with the quality of the Mojitos.


Tiki says: 'Try twisted Mist!'

Served over ice with a slice of lime, it was the perfect drink for a hot “Summer” evening in May.

These were people who would usually be drinking my best red wine, but I think at least for the summer I might be able to reserve it now that I have them hooked on Mojitos! Quote from neighbour, “perfect for my hot tub”!

At the initial rate of consumption I’m thinking I will be having to start another batch soon!

Twisted Mist is on sale until this Saturday, May 22nd, 2010!

Happy Mojitoing folks!

Diane (Wine Sense- McPhillips)

Filed under: General by Craig

Corks & Wine-On-Taps

May 19, 2010

MeganQuestions we get asked a lot at Wine Sense include “Can I use screw top bottles instead of corks?” and “Why can’t I just serve my wine straight from the carboy?” What is the difference, anyway?

Sure, serving directly out of your carboy or simply screwing on a cap do seem like time savers, but there are a lot of aspects of not bottling properly that may become damaging to your wine in the long run, such as oxidization.

Oxidization occurs when too much oxygen comes into contact with your wine, giving it odd colours and tastes. This can happen many different ways, but re-using screw top wine bottles with loosened threads is one of them, as the oxygen has the ability to sneak between the threads to get at your wine. New screw caps are not really an option for the home winemaker. Commercial wineries have very expensive machines that actually mold the cap to the bottle neck. Nice yes- but not affordable for the home winemaker.


A winemakers best friend!

The other common way for oxidization to occur is serving your wine directly out of the carboy. As the level of the wine goes down, the wine comes into contact with more and more oxygen.

So, whats the solution? Cork! Corks are able to form a barrier between the oxygen and your wine, allowing it to age and mature as it should in the bottles.

If the trouble of bottling is still deterring you from storing your wine in a safe way, there are a few tools that can make your job easier. Our “Wine on Tap” system allows you to have wine at your fingertips by bagging 7 litres of your wine into one bag. This keeps your wine safe, easy to access, and saves you from bottling!


The Wine-On-Tap works great on the counter or in the fridge!

Bottle fillers, bottle trees and avvinators are also great tools to help you in the bottling process. Stop in or call your Wine Sense to get more information on these pieces of equipment!

Obviously storage of your wine is vital — so put a cork in it!


Megan, Manager (Wine Sense- Portage Ave.)

Filed under: General by Craig

Hello Brandon!

May 17, 2010

NeilCHEERS, A votre Sante, Salut, Skaal, Kippis, L’chaim,
Slainte – Here’s tae Ye! or how ever you may say Cheers!
My name is Neil Roy and I am the newest addition to the Wine Sense family.

I’m the new Manager at the Wine Sense location in Brandon. I have been with Wine Sense for about 2 months now and to be honest with you, I haven’t enjoyed myself this much at work in a very long time.

I’ll be taking over from Ben and Ken- if you’re a Brandon Wine Sense customer you know how good a job they’ve done over the years.


Ben and Ken practice for retirement while on the job!

Most of you know Chuck by now- he is staying on with me as we prepare to fill the very large pair of wooden shoes that Ben is leaving behind. But don’t worry, Ben is going to be keeping an eye on us and will be working on Tuesdays. I expect Tuesdays will be very busy days! 

Neil & Chuck
Neil and Chuck- at your service!

I live in Brandon with my wife of 25 wonderful years, Janene and our 3 sons. My wife and I have enjoyed the wine making lifestyle for some 8 years now and really enjoy the whole adventure.

I’ve been training in Brandon with Ben & Ken and at the Wine Sense locations in Winnipeg.  One thing I realized quickly is that when you learn from the Wine Sense staff you learn from the best!

My promise to you all is that customer service is our number one goal and if I can’t answer any of your questions I have an amazing group of collegues that will or will direct me on where to find it.

I look forward to all the new relationships with my fellow winemakers and together we can enjoy and share all the wonderful aspects of winemaking. One very important thing I’ve learned so far at Wine Sense… we don’t just sell wine kits, we sell a “Wine Lifestyle”

Cheers and enjoy!

Neil Roy

Filed under: General by Craig


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