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!

July 2010


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How To Grill A Steak

July 29, 2010

Craig1As we wrap up a week of blogging about Grilling and Wine I’ ll leave you with this ‘recipe’ from Harvey Steiman’s article in the  March31, 1996 issue of Wine Spectator magazine (the issue focused on America’s Best Steak Houses).

I’ve used these directions for years with great success. Remember to start with a good cut of beef (Sirlon, Strip Loin, Rib Eye, Tenderloin) and don’t be shy with the seasoning salt. I’ve never tried Bruce’s trick (previous blog titled- Grilling Tip) but I’m sure it would work just great and am looking forward to trying it.

RedGlassWhat do you drink with a perfectly grilled steak? I recommend a full bodied Cabernet or Zinfandel and I lean towards California. Try Selection Estate Series Lodi Ranch 11 Cabernet Sauvignon or Lodi Old Vines Zinfandel, World Vineyard California Zinfandel/Shiraz or Vintners Reserve Zinfandel/Cabernet. Any of these wines will pair very well.


Here’s the article:

The secrets to cooking a great steak are a hot fire and good timing. The hot fire creates the characteristic brown crust, with its smoky, caramelized flavors. The timing is tricky because you want to brown the steak (not burn it) in the time it takes to cook it to the desired degree of doneness.

How hot to set the grill is a matter of trial and error. If steaks consistently seem to brown too fast and remain undercooked, lower the heat. If steaks cook through before they brown, raise the heat. Remember where to set the “knobs” when you have figured out the right temperature for future grilling.


MMMmmmm... Steak!

 Just before grilling, season the steaks lightly with salt and pepper and any other optional flavorings, such as dried herbs, butter or olive oil. It’s a myth that salt draws moisture to the surface and dries out a steak. First, the salt needs more time to do that than the few minutes the steak is on the grill and, second, the force of the heat drives the juices away from the heat faster than the salt can draw it toward the surface.

The following cooking technique uses that phenomenon to best advantage:
Season with salt, pepper and herbs, and place the steaks seasoned side down on the grill without letting them touch. (Air must circulate to brown them evenly.) Watch the top surface carefully. After 5 to 7 minutes, the heat below drives little drops of red juice to the surface. When you see the beading, this is the signal to turn the steaks, before the juices come bubbling out.

Season them lightly on the uncooked side and turn the steaks using tongs. Watch for the telltale beading again. This signals a rare to medium rare steak. Allow another 1 to 2 minutes for medium, and another 2 to 3 minutes for well-done, turning again halfway through the additional time. Serve the steaks on hot plates.

Happy Grilling!

Craig- Wine Sense

Filed under: General, Recipes by Craig

Grilling Tip

July 29, 2010

BruceHere is an idea that really works. When grilling a steak on the BBQ (2 minutes on each side on high heat is my preference- I like my steaks rare. If you prefer medium rare add a minute to each side and so on) have some red wine in a spray bottle. I spray the steak twice during each side cooking. I like reds such as Selection Estate Series Ranch 11 Cabernet Sauvignon or Selection International Australian Cabernet/Shiraz.

This gives the steak a great red wine flavour that is subtle, not over powering.

 Another benefit, you drink what is left in the spray bottle. Waste not, want not…





Grilled Steak and Red Wine- one of nature's greatest pairings!

This gives the steak a great red wine flavour that is subtle and not over powering. It also really helps bring the wine and the meat together when enjoying the fruits of your labour!

Another benefit- you drink what is left in the spray bottle. Waste not, want not ; )


Bruce, Manager (Wine Sense- Pembina Hwy) 



Filed under: Recipes by Craig

Barbequed Foods and Wine

July 27, 2010

NeilFor some people, barbequed food is the best tasting food possible. I’ve personally even BBQ’d in January at -28c, huddled in the snow while the ribs slow-cooked on the back deck. No matter the food you grill- there is always a perfect wine to go with. Here are some of my favourites!

No matter what you barbeque, there is always a perfect wine to go with it!

A favorite of mine for BBQ food is the versatile Selection International Spanish Rioja. It’s a medium to full bodied red wine that is spicey, oaky and fruity. A classic bold red wine that has a bright, fresh flavour and goes wondefully with steak and other hearty red meats. Best served at around 61-64*F. If it’s hot out, you maywish to put the wine in the fridge for a few minutes. If you serve a red wine too warm, it tastes mostl of alcohol and you loose the wonderful flavours.

Another great wine with ribs and big thick steak is Selection Original Luna Rossa. This proprietory, red blend is big, bold and bountiful with loads of rich black fruits and oak, plenty of tannins and structure that makes it a perfect pairing for big, meaty, grilled food.

ENG-Small-Lot-BC-Chardonnay_CropNow if your more of a white wine person, try grilling up some fresh seafood and serving it with some fresh salads and adding an amazing Selection Estate Series ‘Small Lots’ BC Okanagan Chardonnay. A perfect wine to celebrate everything that is Canadian made with Canadian raw materials that are ‘as good as gold’!

So here’s a toast to you all! “May you enjoy the fruits of your labours and may all your days be filled with great family, great friends, great food and of course great wine – Salute”

Happy Barbequing,

Neil, Manager (Wine Sense- Brandon)

Filed under: General, Wine by Craig

Sweet and Spice, Makes All Things Nice!

July 20, 2010

DianeThat is what I discovered a few weeks ago when I made a curry meal for supper. It was a hot day and I didn’t want to heat up the kitchen, so out came the crock pot. (Curry meals cook really well in a crock pot).

When it was time to serve the meal, I realised I hadn’t given thought to the wine choice. (I really didn’t think they drank wine with Curry in India).


For us a meal without a glass of wine just isn’t a meal- so it was time to experiment. As it happens I had in my wine chiller in the fridge door a bottle of the Selection Limited Edition New Zealand Gewürztraminer (2008), which was quickly brought out and opened.

To our delight it proved to be a pefect paring with the curry, the slight sweetness of the wine offset the spices of the curry, they complimented each other very well.

So if you’re wondering what on earth to order to drink with your next curry meal (or any spicey meal) try Gewürztraminer, you won’t be disappointed.


Diane (Wine Sense, McPhillips St)

Note- Vintners Reserve Gewürztraminer is on sale until July 24th, 2010.

Filed under: General by Craig


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