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!

December 2010


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Happy New Year!

December 30, 2010

NeilDuring our New Year’s Eve celebrations this year my wife and I will be serving several liqueurs we’ve made from the Still Spirits/Top Shelf kits available at Wine Sense.  What we like about them is there are so many great flavours to chose from such as Irish Cream, Cafelua (Kaluha), Coconut Rum, Melon Liquer and Black Sambuca. 

StillSpiritsWhat’s great about them is all you have to do is add the Flavour, Add-Pack and water to your own vodka you have a beverage that you can drink immediately!  No waiting and you’ll save money.

What a great way to provide a variety of beverage options to your guests!
Wishing you all a safe and Happy New Year!

Neil, Chuck, Ben & Karen (Wine Sense, Brandon)

Filed under: General by Craig

Changing Habits

December 10, 2010

BobI read an interesting article in the Globe and Mail recently about the changing habits of people regarding their beverage of choice. No longer can you assume that your male guests will drink beer or rye and Coke or that your female guests will drink white wine or some cocktail. THERE IS so much variety out there now. As a retailer in the ‘beverage industry’ I see this every day. It’s also reflected in our product offerings at Wine Sense. We have beer, every wine under the sun, liquere kits ‘mist’ wines and now our Twisted Mist cocktail kits. 


He's actually being chased by a margarita on a motorcycle!












This reminded me of something I recently witnessed. I was in Las Vegas for a holiday- I was in a casino that had posters up proclaiming ‘Vegas Biker Week’. I was sitting at a bar enjoying a beer and doing a little gambling when I saw 2 huge bikers walk by wearing the colours of a notorious biker gang. They sat down across from me and was shocked at what i saw next! One fellow was holding up his white wine doing the ‘Tim Vandergrift swirl’ with his glass. The other was admiring his strawberry margarita. I wanted to laugh to myself but thought better of it.

Yes it’s true… the times they are a changing.


Bob, Manager (Wine Sense- Springfield Rd)

Filed under: General by Craig

Gift Cards- the Perfect Christmas Gift

December 10, 2010

NeilWith Christmas coming just around the corner a great idea for those wine makers on your Christmas list is Wine Sense GiftCards.  Over the past number of years gift cards have become a popular item for those hard to buy for people. When customers ask what to get the wine maker that has everything, I recommend a Wine Sense Gift Card. It can be loaded to any dollar amount and can be used anytime. Your favourite winemaker will get what they want or need- the perfect gift. 

Gift-Card-Left-Hand-MenuWine Sense Gift Cards also make a fantastic stocking stuffer as they come in any denomination.  They can be used for any item in the store including wine kits (if you’re not sure what style of wine your favourite winemaker likes). 

So make gift giving easy on yourself this year and give your favourite winemaker a Wine Sense Gift Card.

Happy Holidays to all our customers!


Neil, Manager (Wine Sense- Brandon)

Filed under: General by Craig

Grape Notes: Touriga Nacional

December 8, 2010

VictorI thought I would share some information on Touriga Nacional. Now, anyone who has tasted a wine from the Douro valley in Portugal has most likely tasted Touriga Nacional, but few are familiar with its name. Why? Because the wine you tasted was probably Port- and Port wine does not have to list the varietals used in its production.

However, if you’ve ever ventured into the Dão region situated just south of the Demarcated zone of the Douro Valley, you may have noticed the red wines are often composed of only Touriga Nacional.

Touriga_NacionalTouriga Nacional is considered to be the finest of the grapes that are used to create the substantial and long-lived fortified wines known as Port. It has a thick skin and small clusters of berries which help to contribute to the colorful and tannic wine it creates.

In addition to the flowers, tannins and extract the Touriga Nacional brings to Port, the grape is an integral part of the blends of table red wines found in both the Duoro and Dão valleys, producing wines that are heavy in both red fruits and structure. 

Almost all red wines in the Douro Valley contain Touriga Nacional. Including the most expensive wines.

Douro Tinto BottleNot surprisingly, this year’s Limited Edition Douro Tinto contains Touriga Nacional. As a result this wonderful blend is an intensely aromatic wine with an impressive depth of fruit and complexity. Deep purplish  red in color, the nose reveals blue and black berries followed by floral notes of violets. In the mouth fine tannins with a medium acidity balance this wine.  It remains soft and velvety in the mouth. Flavors of light spice, blueberries and that aromas of violets, with a long lingering finish.

The Douro Tinto is not like Merlot, Cabernet or Shiraz- it’s like no wine you’ve ever tried before.

I have a soft spot for Portuguese wines and I am truely looking forward to making a wine with the famous yet relatively unknown Touriga Nacional in it. 

Click here to view a brief video about this year’s Limited Edition wines.


Victor, Manager (Winesense- McPhillips)

Filed under: General by Craig


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