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!

June 2011


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Making Wine for a Wedding?

June 30, 2011

Quite often customers come in planning their weddings and wanting to make their own wines for the special occasion and also just to ask what wines would be a good choice.

After researching some Winexpert/Tim Vandergrift resources for more in depth answers I came across the following. I hope you find it helpful when making your decisions.

What to consider when making Wedding Wines:

If you do discover that it’s going to be fine for you to make and service a kit wine, the considerations will be similar to those you’d keep in mind when choosing commercial wine for the wedding. You need to decide which wines will appeal to the greatest number of people. This means that you might not be able to make your favorite wine, but rather just a good, all around table wine.
In general terms, the wine should be fruity and slightly off-dry, so more people will enjoy it. For reds, this means they should be soft and fruity, not big and bold with lots of tannins. Before you consider making any of the more powerful wines, you will really need to know your guests’ wine tastes, to be sure they actually would like them. It’s usually much safer to take a middle-of-the-road approach when it comes to flavors, fragrance, and body.

You might consider whites such as Chardonnay/Semillon, Sauvignon Blanc, Riesling, or the
Liebfraumilch Style, while in a red you might think of the Valpolicella Style, a Merlot, or Pinot Noir.

The important thing is to check how long it will take to make the wines, and then how long they should be aged before they’ll be ready for the function. With some wines, and some types of wine kits, you might have to make them as much as a year in advance. So start get a head start if the big day is next year!

This information is good for any large gathering of people be it a family reunion or large party.


Neil, Manager (Wine Sense- Brandon)

Filed under: General, Wine by WineSense

An Easy Recipe for Pacifica & Pacific Quartet

June 28, 2011

To everyone who has Limited Edition Pacific Quartet left, or to anyone drinking their Limited Edition Pacifica White wines, I have a recipe for you! It’s very simple and very tasty and pairs perfectly with two mentioned wines.



4 boneless chicken breasts 
1 cup apricot jam 
1 cup Miracle Whip ( do not use mayonaise as it separates when baking.) 
1 package Lipton onion soup mix. 

Mix the 3 ingredients together. Put some of the mixture in the bottom of the roaster, put in the chicken breasts them cover the breasts with te remainder of the sauce. Bake uncovered at 350c for about an hour. 

Serve over a layer of rice, open a bottle of Pacific Quartet or Pacifica White and enjoy.


Bruce, Manager (Wine Sense- Pembina Hwy)

Filed under: Recipes by WineSense

Are You Ready for Summer?

June 24, 2011

“Are you ready for the summer? Are you ready for a good time?”

Do you know which movie theme this is? If you do, you’re from my generation.


Well I’m ready (and waiting) for the summer and I think it’s finally here- and I’m definitely ready for a good time. I have an assortment of wines aged and ready for summer enjoyment including my key go to wines: Island Mist Green Apple Riesling, Limited Edition Trio Blanca, Limited Edition Pacific Quartet, Limited Edition Petit Verdot and Selection Estate Series Ranch 11 Cabernet.

Why are these my go to wines?

The Island Mist Green Apple Riesling is the perfect beverage for those hot days on the patio. Slightly sweet and served on ice it’s the perfect refresher. Island Mist is also a little lighter in alcohol so it won’t wear you out in the sunshine.

The Limited Edition Trio Blanca and Pacific Quartet will pair perfectly with barbecued pork and chicken. The Trio Blanca is dry and the Pacific Quartet is off dry so I can pair with a variety of food styles and have something on hand for those  who drink dry or sweet.

My Limited Edition Petit Verdot and Estate Series Ranch 11 Cabernet Sauvignon are both big, flavourful red wines and are my barbecued steak wines. Perfect!


Yes, summer and the warm weather are coming and the good times will definitely roll.


Bruce, Manager (Wine Sense- Pembina Highway)

By the way, the above is the theme from Meatballs, released in 1979. I think I’ll pair the Cabernet with Meatballs : )


Filed under: General by WineSense

Korean Sizzling Beef

June 24, 2011

While on an Amazing Holiday to Korea, my wife and I enjoyed an amazing wine/food pairing.If you love a great Cabernet Sauvignon match it with this delecious Koren Sizzling Beef. Enjoy…



Recipe Korean Sizzling Beef

1/4 cup soya sauce

2 tablespoons sugar

2tablespoons dry white wine

2 large cloves of garlic, very finely chopped

1 tablespoon toasted sesame oil

2 teaspoons crushed red pepper

One 2 1/2 pound flnk steak, cut across the grain into twenty 1/4 inch thick slices

16 scallions

Vegetable oil for rubbing


Steamed rice, for serving

1.  In a large shallow dish combine the soy sauce with sugar, white ine, chopped garlic, toasted sesame oil and crushed red pepper, stirring to dissolve the sugar.  Add the sliced flank steak and coat thoroughly in the marinade.  Cover and refrigerate the steak for at least 4 hours or overnight.

2.  Light a grill o heat a griddle.  Rub the scallions all over with vegetable oil and grill them over high heat, turning once, until the scallions are just softened, about 2 minutes.  Season with salt.

3.  Working in batches, grill the steak over high heat until the slices are richly browned and medium rare, about 30 seconds per side.  Transfer the steak to a serving platter and serve with the grilled scalliona and steamed rice.

Wine to pair with this meal- Cabernet Sauvignon

“Geonbae” (Cheers)

Neil, Manager (Wine Sense- Brandon)

Filed under: General, Recipes by WineSense


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