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!

April 2021


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Four Nights of Fun!

November 25, 2011

It’s hard to believe that it has been one week since our Limited Edition wine tastings. Three nights of presentations by Tim Vandergrift, followed by tasting the 5 commercial equivalent wines matching the Limited Editions, along with small food pairings again to match the wines. The fourth night of wine was the Limited Edition Winemakers Dinner at the Peasant Cookery!

For those of you who were wondering about the Winemakers Dinner it was a sit down meal with each of the wines and courses introduced and explained by Tim. We enjoyed the charcrouterie tray (in house made sausage and cure meats, wonderful Cassoullet with a main course of Stiploin and Peppercorn Sauce followed by fresh Peaches marinated in the Traminer Spatlese. Fourty people attended and had a wonderful time!

Thanks to all of the friends and family who volunteered their time to serve wine and food pairings to the hundreds of our valued customers. Remember that pre orders for the Limited Edition wines is December 5th. Also with demand so high this year our stores will only be receiving less than 10 extra kits per store of each Limited Edition style, so book your Limited Edition wine kits early and don’t be disappointed.

Go to http://www.facebook.com/WineSense to view photos of this year’s Wine Tastings.

Go to http://www.mywinesense.com/limited-edition/ for complete details on this year’s Limited Edition wines.


Bruce, Manager (Wine Sense- Pembina Hwy)

Filed under: General, Events by WineSense

It’s Wine Tasting Time!

November 9, 2011

It’s the time of year that the Wine Sense folks pour and enjoy wine with almost a thousand of our customers. It’s Limited Edition Wine Tasting Season! Many of you have joined us at our Wine Tastings as we’ve been holding them for about 10 years. We started with a single night in Winnipeg with about 30 people and have grown into 1 night in Brandon and 3 nights in Winnipeg with about 1000 people.

For those of you who have never attended one of our tastings they’re a great deal and a great time. We present and taste the 5 Limited Edition wines from this year’s harvest. Tim Vandergrift from Winexpert (many of you will recognise Tim from his regular articles for our newsletters) does a brief presentation on each wine which includes a little history, what to look for in the wine and what foods each wine will pair nicely with. You then get to sample the 5 wines along with a small food pairing with each. Don’t worry- if it takes a couple tastes to find your favourite wine you’re welcome to try again.

The tasting part is a great time- a few hundred winemakers tasting wine and talking with friends and other winemakers. Tim is also there to answer any specific questions you might have.

All this for only $30 per couple AND you get a $15 Limited Edition Gift Card the night of the tasting- there’s no better deal around!

Something New…

Many of our customers after so many years started asking for something new- something more in depth… so we’ve obliged. This year we’re holding a Winemakers Dinner. This is a sit down event featuring the 5 wines along with a 4 course dinner. Tim will introduce and describe each of the wines as they are served with their paired course. Held at the Peasant Cookery (a WOW Hospitality restaurant) each ticket is $99 which includes all taxes and gratuities and you get $15 Limited Edition Gift Card the night of the event. An amazing deal for a great night. Why did we choose the Peasant Cookery? Because it’s a WOW Hospitality Restaurant and they hosted our 20th Anniversary Winemakers Dinner- The food was amazing and that’s why many of the folks that attended out 20th Anniversary Dinner are attending this dinner as well!

Can you still get tickets?

There is a handful of tickets available for Wednesday November 16th in Brandon.

Tickets are available for Thursday in Winnipeg.

Friday in Winnipeg is sold out but we are taking names for a waiting list (we’re trying to get more space!)

There are 3 tickets available for Saturday’s Winemakers Dinner due to a cancellation.

So if you haven’t got your tickets yet- don’t delay and contact your favourite Wine Sense location and reserve your tickets… and we’ll see you next week and taste some great wine together!


Craig- Wine Sense

Filed under: General, Events by WineSense

A Great Time!

September 20, 2011

Colin and I had the privilege of being invited to the Andrew Peller Limited 50th Anniversary. Wine Sense is Andrew Peller Limited’s largest domestic customer for their Wine Kit Division so we were part of the fortunate list of invitees which included Peller family members, employees, suppliers and shareholders.

Colin and Craig at the Andrew Peller 50th Celebrations.

For some of you who may not realize- APL’s history in Canada’s wine industry has been vital and extensive. In fact if you’re a wine drinker in Canada you have assuredly at one point lifted a glass of Peller wine. The list includes such value priced products a Domaine D’Or, Schloss Laderheim, Royal and Sommet. The premium brands include Peller Estates, Trius, Hillebrand, Thirty Bench, Sandhill, Copper Moon, Calona Vineyards and Red Rooster. Hillebrand is in fact Canada’s largest producer of VQA wines.

If you spent any time in Canada in the 60’s or 70’s or 80’s your first exposure to wine was likely either Baby Duck or Hochtaler- ubiquitous Canadian brands. See if you remember this commercial? Or remember a certain little, yellow duck?

If you're a Canadian and over 40 you'll remember this label!


Not many people realize that APL has also played a very significant role in the ‘consumer produced’ wine industry (that’s us). About 15 years ago they purchased Vineco and a couple years after that Winexpert. They were and still are the leading wine kit manufactures but their acquisition by APL provided a whole new influx of knowledge, technology and raw material sourcing to the consumer produced industry.

What did this mean?

This meant you became better winemakers because the wine kits got better- and they continue to improve as the different divisions of APL continually share knowledge on an ongoing basis.

Back to the Party!

The 50th Anniversary celebrations took place at the Peller Estates Winery in beautiful Niagara-On-the-Lake in Ontario. The weather was gorgeous, the food was delicious and the wine flowed freely! To no surprise the first wine everyone was offered was Baby Duck– no point in forgetting your roots.

Baby Duck poured in Govino Glasses.

Of course we enjoyed some of the wines that are more indicative of APL’s current standing in Canadian winemaking. These were largely featuring the Peller Estate brand which included some of their Reserve wines like Pinot Noir and Riesling. One very unique wine was a sparkling wine which had a blend of Peller Ice Wine in it… very refreshing on the hot day.

Some of the great wines we had!

The Big Band played, the Hochtaler girls danced and the Baby Duck was never far away.

The Hochtaler Girls did there dance!

We enjoyed the afternoon with our friends Rob, Arnie, Gavin, Rick and Frank from Global Vintners Inc (the name of APL’s Consumer Produced Wine Division which Winexpert and Vineco belong to). If you have attended our Limited Edition Wine Tasting chances are you’ve been poured wine by or spoken with Rob (the head of GVI), Arnie, Gavin and Rick.

Rick, Colin, Gavin and Frank with Rob and Arnie in the background.

We chatted with Steve and Mark from Noble Grape in Nova Scotia (another large wine kit retailer). We also ran into old friend Ron Hartman who owns LD Carlson, a wine kit wholesaler in the U.S. and Anthony Bristow who once headed APL’s Consumer Produced Division. Anthony is now the head of APL’s Commercial Wine Division which includes all of the commercial brands listed above. Anthony is still keenly interested and well versed in APL’s Consumer Produced Wine Division (GVI).

Colin and I had the opportunity to speak with John Peller, President and CEO of Andrew Peller Limited. John is the grandson of Andrew Peller who started Andrew Peller Ltd. (originally named Andre’s Wine because it sounded French) and son of Joe Peller who shared his father’s vision of Canadian winemaking. John is a great guy who appreciates the wine kit division of APL and understands its value to his company and more importantly the value it provides to everyone who makes wine.

Craig, John Peller and Colin

The afternoon ended with some speeches and an extremely large cake. It was a great event and we were honoured to be part of it. The Peller Estates Winery is a gorgeous facility- if you’re ever in the Niagara region stop in, tour the facility, taste some wine and get in touch with your own winemaking roots!


Craig- Wine Sense

*You may view more photos of the event at www.facebook.com/WineSense


Filed under: General, Events by WineSense

Winemakers Dinner

April 12, 2011

As we approached our 20th Anniversary we wanted to do something different to celebrate with our customers. Yes- we have fantastic offers until the end of April and yes we have a special Sales event each weekend. This past weekend’s Door Crasher Sale was a huge success as customers lined up to get the 3 Door Crasher wine kits (saving up to $20 a kit!) and this weekend’s Spin to Win with more than $4000 in prizes to be given away is sure to be just as popular! And then we have the Take Home an Estate event on Saturday April 23rd followed by our 20% Off Equipment Sale on April 30th. All very fun events that offer spectacular deals for our customers- But the question remained…

What can we do that’s different?

What is wine about if it’s not about celebrating, pairing with food and sharing with good people? The question was answered- We decided to offer a Winemakers Dinner!

If you’ve ever spent time in wine country (Niagara, Okanagan, Napa etc.)  many of the larger wineries have their own restaurants which offer Winemakers Dinners. Typically multi-course meals with each course paired with a specific wine to showcase the wine and the food. The dinner is hosted by the winery’s winemaker who explains why the courses and wines are paired.

What can make more sense than a winemakers dinner attended by winemakers and hosted by a winemaker?

Please join us on Wednesday April 20th for the Wine Sense 20th Anniversary Winemakers Dinner. Tim Vandergrift will guide you through a fabulous four course dinner featuring 5 wines at the Peasant Cookery. You’ll learn why the particular wines were chosen with each course and Tim will share his insights on the art of food and wine pairing. The Peasant Cookery is a wonderful French Bistro style restaurant and provides the perfect atmosphere for the wine experience.

We have an exciting menu and 5 great wines to go with it. It’s an evening about all things wine- good wine, good food and good people.

There are less than 20 tickets remaining so please contact your favourite Wine Sense Location as soon as possible to reserve your tickets. Tickets are $97 and include all taxes and gratuities for the evening.

Don’t Forget… If you spend $170 before taxes in April you get a Free $20 Wine Sense Gift Card so a purchase of two Winemakers Dinner tickets will be eligible for the Free Gift Card. If  you buy your tickets on Saturday April 16th you’ll also be eligible to Spin to Win! We have over $4000 in prizes and every spin wins!

Hope to see you there!


Craig, Wine Sense

Filed under: General, Events by WineSense


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