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!

October 2012


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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!

Better Instructions Mean Better Wine!

October 26, 2012

As many of you have noticed the instructions for making wine kits are changing. (We all read the instructions, right?).

One change that stands out to me is the fermentation temperature. 

There is no longer the 10 degree fermenting range. Now it is between 22-24 Celsius (72-75 Farenheit). This is a little warmer than room temperature in most homes. The reasoning? To make the wine making process easier. The slightly warmer temperature will get your fermentation started faster- which will start your out gassing sooner which will make degassing easier.

If you think you might have trouble staying in this temperature range try a Heat Belt. I use the Heat Belt to ensure my fermentation temperatures are correct. To save time I have Stick on Digital Thermometers on all of my primaries and carboys. I can check their temperatures at a glance.

Correct temperature = proper fermentation = peace of mine = great wine. 

Happy fermenting!


Bruce, Manager (Wine Sense- Pembina Hwy)

Filed under: General, Equipment by WineSense

The Wine Cellar Guard

October 19, 2012

My wife and I sometimes “cat sit” our neighbour’s cat Skeeter.

Skeeter Guards the Wine!

As his kind are known to be- Skeeter is a curious cat. Don’t even try to degass or bottle wine when he is around as he insists on helping and to no surprise- causing spillage of valuable wine.

Skeeter does have his useful side, though. For some reason he likes to guard my wine cellar when he’s visiting. He even has his own special spot in my wine rack. Unfortunately for Skeeter though-  the Limited Editions are coming and I’ll have to fill his spot.

I will make it up to him though… how about a Fancy Feast? Hmmm what goes with tuna?


Bruce, Manager (Wine Sense- Pembina Hwy)


Filed under: General by WineSense

The Right Tool for the Job!

October 12, 2012

Is it not amazing how such a simple tool can save you so much work? When I was starting my wine kit the other day I could not find my Bag De-Capper. What is a Bag De-Capper you ask? A Bag De-Capper is a small plastic tool that takes the yellow cap off the bag of juice/concentrate in your wine kit. Just slip the Bag De-Capper under the lip of the yellow cab, twist your wrist and boom off comes the yellow cap.

Hmmm… what were my options? I could pry it off with my fingers but that usually results in sore fingers and bent fingernails. A Screwdriver? That would only hurt a little bit if I jabbed myself with it. I could slice the bag open with a knife… but that’s a pretty big potential mess if I miss the pail…

Fortunately, I found my Bag De-Capper while looking for a suitable option.

Use the right tool and save time!



Bruce, Manager (Wine Sense- Pembina Hwy)

Filed under: Equipment by WineSense

It’s Limited Edition Time!

October 5, 2012

Over the next few months you’re going to hear a lot from Wine Sense about Limited Edition program:




– The styles

– The video’s

– Pre-orders

– Wine tastings

This is because it’s a very big program for us and many, many of our customers. Why? To put it simply for more than 20 years now the wines offered are always exciting styles that deliver great wine experiences. This is reflected in the fact that each year all 5 Limited Edition wines are in our top 10 for sales- and they’re only in stock for about two months each before they’re sold out!

LE wines also offer great value. Not only because they are great wines- but value for the dollar can’t be beat. The raw materials are top notch but because the raws come in and are produced into kits and shipped to us so quickly- there is no costs associated for Winexpert with storing the raw materials (as there is for kits that are offered year round). 

Oh yeah- every year all styles of the Limited Edition win medals at the Winemaker Magazine International Wine Competition.

If you’ve never tried the Limited Edition wines LE2012 is the time to start.

Without further ado…

Here are this year’s styles!

January – Argentine Malbec Bonarda 

REGION: Viñas Doña Constanza Vineyard, San Juan, Argentina

Nestled in the Andes Mountains in western Argentina, the vineyards of San Juan get brilliant sunshine and little rain in their high desert location. The icy mountain runoff from the Andean snow pack waters the fine loamy soil to produce intensely flavourful grapes.

WINE: This Malbec-dominated blend exudes the new world southern hemisphere style of wine: deep reddish purple in the glass, with aromas of dark fruit, black currants and plums. A rush of initial sweet fruit brought on by the plum element turns slightly drier, reflecting more of a blackberry flavour, finally finishing with a hint of anise. The finish is quite long with dusty dry tannins and a hint of lingering black pepper. A rich, bold wine that will pair nicely with richly prepared red meat dishes.7

AGING: Try to hold for at least six months before drinking. This wine will peak at 12-18 months and hold for another two years with good cellaring.

SWEETNESS: Dry    BODY: Medium Full    ALCOHOL: 13.5%   


January – Argentine Torrontés

REGION: Cafayate Valley, Salta, Argentina

Surrounded by mountain ranges, an average height of 1,700m above sea level, grapes grown in the Cafayate valley benefit from more than 300 sunny days a year and low-humidity mild weather.

WINE: This wine’s enticing aromas are strikingly similar to Viognier: hints of peach pit, flowers, and orange citrus fruit. On the palate it has a lush structure and vibrant acidity—and plenty of body for a wine that shows such delicate aromas and flavors. Fruity and floral this wine is still quite dry.Best enjoyed either by itself, or as a wonderful partner with smoked meats, mild to medium-strong cheeses, and seafood.

AGING: This wine will begin to show very well early on, peaking between six and 12 months and holding for another six to 12 in a good cellar.

SWEETNESS: Dry    BODY: Medium    ALCOHOL: 12.5%


February – Portuguese Aragones Cabernet Sauvignon 

REGION: Vinho Mountains of Northern Portugal

The Vinho Mountains of Northern Portugal overlook the broad, stormy waters of the Atlantic Ocean, capturing both the heat of the continent and the gentle, cool breezes that pass over them. Here, Aragones reaches its full potential at a high degree of maturity, delivering deep, intense grapes. Cabernet Sauvignon also thrives here, delivering surprisingly classic character.

WINE:The wine has an aromatic profile of mulberry, blackberry currants, black cherry and cedar—and in time, a hint of rockrose and spice. In the mouth it offers cherry and raspberry, blackberry and plum, with a hint of tobacco competing with the cedar notes, along with subtle vanilla and toast.Brilliant with lamb, duck, barbecue and aged cheeses, it’s also an excellent wine for sipping on a summer patio by itself.

AGING: Aragones matures early, making this tempting to drink under six months of age, but a year of patience will be well rewarded with more subtle fruit and developed cedar/spices notes; it will hold well for another two years.



March – Washington Riesling Chenin Blanc 

REGION: Dufault Vineyard, Yakima Valley, Washington, U.S.A.

From Dufault Vineyard in the lower Yakima Valley of Washington state, this wine comes out of sandy-loam soil that runs down an extremely long south slope, ending in a drop to the Yakima river that allows for perfect air drainage. Hot, late-season sunshine and cool, breezy nights combine to make balanced, flavourful grapes.

WINE: Riesling gives boldly classic apple and stone fruit aromas, while Chenin Blanc provides more subtle melon and honey notes. On the palate it shows apricot, peach, green apple, quince and honey, with zesty acidity offset by a creamy mouthfeel and perfectly balanced richness.An excellent food wine, it matches well with grilled chicken, pork, and seafood, but it’s also an excellent sipper on its own, juicy, thirst-quenching and delicious.

AGING: Barely off-dry, this wine will be tempting to drink right on bottling day, but will show surprising flavour development over the course of a year, and will hold for two more years in a good cellar.



April – Italian Nebbiolo with Grape Skins 

REGION: Ghiardello Vineyard, Reggio Emilia, Italy

From the Ghiardello vineyard in Reggio Emilia, in the foothills of the DOC Colli di Scandiano, Nebbiolo is a late ripener and produces wine of excellent acidity and high tannins.

WINE: This is a wine of rare subtlety. Redolent with aromas of tar, rose, mint, chocolate, licorice and truffles, and rich, spicy fruit. Hints of cherries, violets, black licorice, and truffles play on the tongue with long-lasting flavour and a rich, chewy finish. Serve with red meats, stews, lamb shanks or osso buco.

AGING: This gripping wine will begin to open up after six months, but the richer, more intense flavours will take at least eighteen months to show, with cherry and spicy dominating the long, fruity finish for five years or more.

SWEETNESS:    Dry BODY:    Full ALCOHOL: 13 

What a lineup! Something for everyone. 
See you at the Wine Tastings!


Bruce, Manager (Wine Sense- Pembina Hwy)

Filed under: Wine by WineSense


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