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!

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Back from Holidays!

August 24, 2012

Back from holidays…………….darn. 

Well, I’m back from holidays. My wife and I spent 1 week on the MS Zuiderdam cruising the inside passage to Alaska and back. There were 3 ports of call with a full day at Glacier National Park. We wined, we dined, we relaxed.

On board the ship we attended 2 wine tastings put on by the ship’s Sommelier Bernie. Bernie was a hoot. His basic philosophy is “Any wine you enjoy is a good wine. Just make sure it is a good match with the foods you eat.” Which is great advice. All food tastes better when paired with an appropriate food and vice versa. 

We also took in a lesson on culinary cooking which will definitely help us with the above philosophy!

Our second week was on Vancouver Island visiting my mother. We went to the beach, the pub (enjoyed some great beer) and lounged on my mother’s deck. 

Now I am back at the store just waiting to bore you with my holiday stories : )

See you soon.

Bruce, Manager (Wine Sense- Pembina Hwy)

Filed under: General by WineSense

The Devil Made Me Do It!

August 17, 2012

With being one of the newest members of the Wine Sense family, I have been reluctant to post a blog- but my customers have convinced me that I should- so here we go!

Let me begin by talking about two of my favorite 4 week wine kits…Vintners Reserve Diablo Rojo and Angel Blanco.

The Diablo Rojo (or Red Devil) is an excellent medium bodied wine with a touch of sweetness.  It has the smoothness of the merlot grape, a touch of oakiness and ends on a soft, sweet note.  The only bad part of this wine is, after one glass, you want another…  but then of course- you can always blame it on the Devil!

All of my customers to whom I have recommended this wine have become fans of the Red Devil!

The Diablo Rojo enhances the flavor of barbecued steak or pork ribs.  It would be a great compliment to any rich tomato sauce dishes, but the real joy comes from consuming this pleasant wine with dark chocolate.

Now for the real surprise, the Angel Blanco (or White Angel). This wine is a blend of Muscat, Chardonnay and Riesling.  I’m not normally a fan of fruity tasting wine and when I tasted a very young bottle, I definitely wondered if this wine with a melon/pear taste was for me.  But what a surprise after 4 or 5 months in the bottle.  What a change!  The friendly fruitiness of it’s youth has faded and the 3 grapes blend into a wine with a very pleasant smooth, complex and slightly sweet flavor!

The Angel Blanco was a great compliment  to lobster tails with garlic butter, but was equally at home with the pickerel fried in garlic butter and homemade french fries sprinkled with seasoning salt.

I definitely would recommend enjoying both of these wine young- but be patient with either and they will reward you with an excellent wine experience.

These are only two of the wonderful wine kits that we offer you- our customers- under the brand name Vintners Reserve by Wine Expert available only at WINESENSE IN MANITOBA.

Cheers from the West side of Manitoba,

Vic, Manager (Wine Sense Brandon)

p.s. Both of these wines are on sale until September 1st, 2012!

Filed under: Wine by WineSense

Enjoy Your Wine Young, Appreciate it Aged!

August 10, 2012

One thing I really enjoy about wine is it will usually improve with age. I love to open a bottle once a month and see how it has developed and matured since the last month. While this is a fun part of the hobby, it can also be a financial burden if you attempt to use commercial wine. The major problem, wine sold in Manitoba wine stores is expensive! Even a case of a good value wine will probably run you $150 or more, which is definitely not part of my monthly budget! This is another instance where making it yourself will save you money and allow you to taste the progression of your wine! 

As a wine ages the tannins will begin to soften, the primary and secondary aromas will begin to make way for the tertiary aromas. All this takes time and patience, but it is certainly easier to drink a bottle I made for $3 rather than one I bought for $40, on a monthly basis. Each kit makes 30 bottles, which provides a nice stock level to really enjoy the development of your wine. The Cellar Craft Sterling Amarone from my previous blog has now softened to the point where I would happily enjoy it with food or on it’s own, but last month I found it too tannic to drink on it’s own without food. I can’t wait to see what it is like next month, only time will tell. 

So, what will my next kit be, maybe the CellarCraft Showcase Merlot Yakima Valley. Maybe I will taste a bottle every other month instead of every month, it is all up to me! So whatever you choose, enjoy the fruits of your labour as it will only get better with time!


Mike, Manager (Wine Sense, Southdale Square)

Filed under: General, Wine by WineSense

It’s About What You Don’t Know!

August 3, 2012

I had a customer come in this morning who boldly told me he had never used a hydrometer. He has been making wine for several years & he said it’s always turned out (and fortunately the kits are so well made today that you can get a way without taking a hydrometer reading). But I explained you will make better wine when you use a hydrometer. Otherwise how do you really know your wine is finished fermenting? How do know if it’s ready for stabilizing? How do know if the wine is ready for bottling?

With a greater understanding of the importance of the Hydrometer he revealed that his real issue was that he was not sure how to take a hydrometer reading when the wine was in the carboy. What a great question! I explained that the easiest way was with The Thief– a very simple tool for taking samples and hydrometer readings.

My customer thanked us and left with his new Thief to go home and take his Hydrometer Readings… and to make better wine!

* Click here if you would like more information about Using Your Hydrometer.


Vic, Manager (Wine Sense- Brandon)

Filed under: General, Equipment by WineSense


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