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!

February 2013


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Piesporter & White Chicken Chili!

February 22, 2013

LoriHello Again!

Last time I mentioned how well wine adapted to jelly and enhanced your meal.

Today I want to mention how much I’m enjoying a new variety of wine I tried. Piesporter is a Riesling style wine with a wonderful bouquet and dancing fruity notes. The aroma is enhanced by the dried elderflowers that are added into the Primary Fermenter. This is an off-dry white and it complimented the slightly spicy White Chicken Chili I enjoyed with it.

The Piesporter is also a nice sipping wine which can be enjoyed after a hard day at work with a bowl of plain potato chips. This is how I often unwind after I arrive home from work….a great way to ahhhh relax. 

Never had a White Chicken Chili……here’s my favorite recipe:

Mmmm... a great alternative to regular Chili!

Mmmm… a great alternative to regular Chili!

(great with an off-dry white)

1 Tbsp olive oil
3 lb. boneless chicken breast, cut into bite size chunks
2 onions, chopped
2 cloves of garlic, minced
2- 14oz cans chicken stock
4- 15 oz cans cannelli beans ( I use white kidney and navy beans), rinsed and drained
1- 4.5 oz can chopped green chile peppers with juice
1 tsp salt
1 tsp ground cumin
3/4 tsp dried oregano
1/2 tsp chili powder
1/2 tsp ground black pepper
1/8 tsp ground cloves
1/8 tsp cayenne pepper

Heat oil in a large pot over medium-high heat. Add chicken, onions and garlic and saute until chicken is slightly browned, 5-7 minutes. Transfer chicken mixture to a 4qt or larger slow cooker. Add broth, beans, chile peppers(with juice), salt and remaining spices. Stir to combine.

Cover. Cook on low for 4-6 hrs. Uncover and cook 1 more hour, stirring occasionally, until flavors are blended and sauce thickens.

If you don’t own a slow cooker, simmer in a large pot on top of stove for
4-6 hrs, stirring occasionally and take lid off for about 1 hr to thicken. ( be careful it doesn’t stick to bottom of pot)

Serves 10 (less than $3/ serving)

Until next time……..take time to treat yourself, you deserve it.


Lori, Manager (Wine Sense- Springfield Road)

Filed under: Recipes by WineSense

Grape Skins- Count Me In!

February 8, 2013

MikeThe sun is rising in Napa Valley and the harvest is already in full swing! Harvesting early in the morning has many benefits, keeping the grapes cool so they do not begin to ferment naturally, keeping workers cool and it requires less energy to bring the temperature down for maceration. So what is maceration, you ask?

In technical terms. this is the process where phenolic materials of the grape are leached into the must. Leaving scientific terms aside, it is the process in which red wine receives it colour and tannins. What does this mean to me, you ask? First of all, you ask a lot of questions!

All kidding aside, you may have noticed that more of our kits are beginning to include crushed grape skins.  I mean it makes sense, Red Grape Skins.tifdoes it not? Commercial wineries use maceration to produce deep coloured reds with strong, yet balanced tannins and an increased body and flavour profile. Maceration is also used in the production of a large numberer of Rosé wines.

Grape skins will help to maximize flavour and colour along with increased tannin, which is helpful with ageing. The finished wine will have more body and may age more gracefully. In the end, this will make a superior wine.

There is very little extra work involved with grape skins, and the pros definitely outweigh the cons! Whether you keep your skins in the mesh bag or dump them directly into your fermentor is entirely your choice. I found it easier to keep them in the mesh bag. You get great extraction and it is easier to clean up. 

So, whether you are looking for an improvement on your four week kit or you prefer a premium six week kit, try a wine kit with grape skins! You will thank me in the end.


Mike, Manager (Wine Sense- Southdale Square)

Filed under: General by WineSense

Be Greedy, Don’t Waste Wine!

February 1, 2013
wasting wine

Wine is a terrible thing to waste!

Bruce37-300x225Racking means transferring from one vessel to another, for example from your Primary Fermenter to your Carboy. It’s an easy procedure but a lot of customers are far to careful when doing so. Even experienced wine makers when racking are leaving too much wine behind. Take ALL of the liquid, and yes, if some sediment sneaks over when racking your wine- don’t worry. Any sediment transferred will be the first to drop out into the secondary.

When you leave too much wine behind it’s wine you won’t be drinking later- and that is a bad thing. Also, leaving wine behind means you’ll have more head-space in the carboy which leaves your wine vulnerable to oxidation. Finally- rack your wine ONLY when the instructions tell you to rack. Extra rackings are not necessary. They waste wine and again expose your wine to more oxygen than necessary.

Be greedy- don’t waste wine!

Happy fermenting!

Bruce, Manager (Wine Sense- Pembina Hwy)

Filed under: General by WineSense


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