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 2011


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Wines for the Weekend

July 29, 2011

Well, the August long weekend is here and the weather is going to be perfect. The sun is out and the temperature is in the double digits. Fire up the barbecue and open that bottle of wine.

Cabernet, Merlot, Malbec and Zinfandel will all be perfect with grilled steaks (Click here for our Blog on How to Grill a Steak). Pinot Noir will work perfectly with grilled pork and heavy fish like salmon. And it’s hard to go wrong when matching a white wine- as long as they’re chilled they’ll be great on the patio with chicken and seafood.

There’s White Zinfandel, Island Mist and Twisted Mist to enjoy as well. All you need with them is a large glass of ice!

If the heat starts getting to you- you can start cooling your thoughts by thinking of Christmas entertaining. Have you checked your cellar to see if you have enough wine for the Holiday Season? I like to follow the philosophy of “Live for today, but don’t run out of wine.”

Enjoy the long weekend and the rest of this wonderful summer!


Bruce, Manager (Wine Sense- Pembina Hwy)

Filed under: General by WineSense

Pelee Island Winery Continued…

July 22, 2011

As a home winemaker my hat goes off to winery owners and workers. Thanks to great manufacturers like Winexpert and Vineco (who do all of the hard work for us) I can buy a quality wine kit, make it according to the instructions and enjoy a great bottle of wine every time.

Not so at the wineries. What they have to do is not so easy… Before I talk about the equipment, one thing that was constantly stressed to us was the importance of cleanliness. All equipment is cleaned and sterilized and inspected before use (which of course is the same for us home winemakers).

Once Pelee’s grapes are harvested they are trucked to the Pelee Island Winery, where they are separated and destemmed in a long stainless steel trough with along auger in it. The grapes are poured into the trough and the rotating auger gently does its work. I say gently because they want to keep the grape as solid and unbruised as possible before pressing.

The grapes are then transferred to a large horizontal stainless steel tank. This is the press. Inside the tank are pneumatic bladders that are slowly inflated so the grapes are not bruised while being crushed. The raw juice is then pumped into holding tanks and checked for quality at their on site laboratory. None of this work is different to the preparations for the juices that go into wine kits.

Once the grapes are pressed the juices are pumped into stainless steel tanks, yeasted and the fermentation process begins…


Stay tuned as my Pelee Island blog continues next week.

Filed under: General by WineSense

Trying Gruner Veltliner

July 18, 2011

I was sitting in the yard last Saturday evening and decided to open a bottle of my  Limited Edition Austrian Gruner Veltliner. I bottled this wine recently but couldn’t wait 6 months for it to really hit its stride- so I used my Vinturi to ‘open it up’.

My impatience was rewarded! The Limited Gruner Veltliner is an amazing, light white wine with some really different notes in it- from fresh tobacco to crisp apple flavours and mild spice on the finish there is a wide variety of flavours in this wine. Gruner Veltliner pairs well with a variety of chicken and pork dishes.

The Limited Edition Gruner is pretty much gone (check with your favourite Wine Sense location to see of there are any kits available) but we now have it in the Cheeky Monkey line. Don’t let the name of it fool you- the monkey does not fool around when it comes to quality wine. So for the truly”groovy” taste of this “groovy” wine stop in and get yourself an Austrian Gruner Veltliner.

Karen (Wine Sense- Brandon)

Filed under: General, Wine by WineSense

Visiting Pelee Island Winery

July 15, 2011

My wife and I just went on holiday and we had the great pleasure of taking a wine tour at Pelee Estate Winery in Kingsville Ontario. The Pelee Estate Winery is unique for a couple of reasons.

First off Pelee Island is actually Canada’s most southern and warmest appellation. It is actually located at the same latitude as many of the famed wineries in Italy, German, Spain and France. This gives Pelee Island a nice advantage for length of growing season and as a result allows the grapes a little more time to ripen on the vine.

Secondly most wineries grow their grapes and ferment the wine on the same property. because space is a premium on the island, Pelee Estate winery grows their grapes on Pelee Island which is on Lake Erie. The grapes are picked on the island and ferried to the winery on the mainland to be fermented into some very good wines.

Like most wineries Pelee Island Winery offers a great experience for wine enthusiasts- the wonderful atmosphere is capped with food pairing room, wine patio and an on site wine store with a wine tasting bar to help you make your purchase decisions…

I had a lot of purchase decisions to make : )


Bruce, Manager (Wine Sense- Pembina Hwy)

Filed under: General by WineSense


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