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!

January 2011


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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!

January 31, 2011

KarenFor those of you who haven’t met me I’m the newest employee at the Wine Sense store in Brandon (but not new to working with Neil aka ‘Nelly’… long story).

In my 1st month I’ve learned that I love the Lime Lager by Barons- it is sooo smooth. I love the Mexican Cervesa styles of beers- I find the wedge of lime you add gives that WOW taste. The Barons Lime Lager that we carry is incredibly smooth “like nectar of the the gods” without having to worry about the lime getting stuck in the bottle. I’m a big fan. 

Up until now my husband has been the head winemaker in our home so I’m now focusing on honing my own winemaking skills. I’m very keen on taking my winemaking skills and knowledge to the high Wine Sense standard. I currently have a Cheeky Monkey Australian Shiraz on the go. My house smells like plums, blackberries, and currents a wonderful bouqet to come home to. I can’t wait until it’s ready for drinking.

I’ve also made the Still Spirits Irish Cream Kit, simply mix and enjoy. It won’t last long at our house as it’s great on it’s own and for flavouring coffee.

I’m having a great time at Wine Sense and am looking forward to meeting all of you and sharing our passion for wine.


Karen (Wine Sense- Brandon)

Filed under: General by Craig

Know Your Temperature

January 28, 2011

BruceThe programmable Set-Back Thermostat in your home is your friend, except when you make wine.

It is a proven fact that a programmable thermostat will save you money. If set up properly it will heat up your house when you are there, and reduce the temperature when you are not. Wine, however needs constant warm temperature to ferment.

cold-thermometerI make my wine in a section of the laundry/furnace room so I thought I would run a few tests on my winemaking environment. My wall thermometer reads 20c during the day and 18c at night. The liquid in the fermenter reads 2 to 3 degrees cooler when the pail is sitting on my table. I then sat a pail on a collapsed wine kit box to act as an insulator between the pail and the table (a cool surface will act as a ‘heat sink’ and actually draw heat from your fermenter). This improved the reading to only 1 to 2 degrees cooler than room temperature. (I use an infra-red digital thermal thermometer for my readings so it’s very accurate). So as you can see you have to know what the temperature of you fermenter is- not just the room your fementer is in.

Here’s a few tips for fermenting:

1) Never ferment on the floor or a table without an insulation barrier. Use cardboard, a towel, or a cut up ceiling tile. Again, the surface your pail sits on can act as a ‘heat sink’ and draw heat from your pail or carboy.
2) Have a Stick-On Digital Thermometer attached to all pails and carboys. You can monitor the fermentation temperature at a glance. This will tell you if action needs to be taken.
3) Use a heat belt. This will ensure the fermentation temperature is at the level required- especially if you have a Set-Back Thermostat 

Good fermenting!

Bruce, Manager (Wine Sense- Pembina Hwy)

Filed under: General by Craig

January Ltd Editions- Get 'em While You Can!

January 28, 2011

BobOver the years I’ve heard this question hundreds of times… “do you have any of that January Limited Edition Wine left? If you’re asking me this question after mid February the answer will likely be no.


January LimitedsIf you’re in the last stages of this year’s January wines (Australian Shiraz/Viognier and Pacifica White) I would recommend that you try a sample to see what you think. If you think you’re are going to want to make a second kit- you’ll want to act quickly.

Most Wine Sense locations still have a few kits availiable but as soon as customers start bottling their wines and trying them, the remaining kits will go fast.

I just sampled my Shiraz Viognier and Pacifica White and as a result have put a couple more kits aside with my name on them!



Bob, Manager (Wine Sense- Springfield Rd)

Filed under: General by Craig

Another Happy Vinturi Owner!

January 27, 2011

BrianJamesI recently had a customer come in to purchase a Vinturi. He had previously purchased one as a gift for a friend for Christmas.

My customer had visited his friends during the holidays and naturally they shared some wine. Having opened a bottle of wine and pouring some glasses his friend suggested that they should try ‘that thing’ my customer had given him for Christmas.

redThey poured some of the same wine through the Vinturi and tried it. They thought ‘I guess it did something’  finished the glass then went back to the original glasses that they had poured. It was at this point they realized the difference and were amazed at how much better the wine that went through the Vinturi was.


Needless to say that was the reason my customer came in… to buy a Vinturi for himself!


Brian, Manager (Wine Sense- Portage Avenue)

Filed under: Equipment by Craig


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