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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Warming Trends

May 24, 2013

If you haven’t noticed- over the recent past the wine kit manufactures are recommending higher fermentation temperatures for making your wine. There are good technical reasons for this- but as far as you the winemaker is concerned- the result is easier degassing and faster clearing.

Now that wine kits require a higher and consistent temperature (22-24c) through ALL phases of wine making (primary fermentation, secondary fermentation and clearing) the Heat Belt and the stick on Digital Thermometer are must have items.

With the Digital Thermometer (simply stick it to your Primary Pail or Carboy) you will know at a glance the temperature of the must in the pail and the carboy. Yes, put one on each- it’s a very convenient way to check your temperature at a glance.

As for the Heat Belt, recommended fermentation temperature is now higher than the room temperature in most houses- so your wine must will need the extra warmth to get it into the fermentation range. The Heat Belt will also give you a consistent temperature- which will help with the clearing.

Cheers,

Bruce

Manager- Wine Sense, Pembina Highway


Filed under: General by WineSense

The Best Wine You Can Make!

March 15, 2013

MikeIf you know me at all, you realize that I really like to enjoy the finer things that life has to offer. Winexpert has just made this a lot easier, with the new Eclipse kits. To quote Tim Vandergrift, it is simply “The best wine you can make”, and I completely agree with that statement!

Is there any way to make enjoying the best possible wine better? With the best food possible, of course! Last weekend, I had a special occasion to celebrate and decided it would be the perfect opportunity for surf and turf! We started with a 2.5 pound lobster from Nova Scotia, a couple handfuls of fresh clams, fresh shrimp and scallops. I put all of this in a pot along with some peppers, onions, carrots, garlic, spicy chorizo sausage. Add in a few ears of corn and some baby potatoes plus some Eclipse Marlborough New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc and we were ready to boil!

Great food deserves great wine!

Great food deserves great wine!

Of course, the turf was a 2.5 inch cut rib steak, a favourite of mine! Seasoned only with salt and pepper and then grilled, there was only one wine to

pair with this! Eclipse Lodi Old Vine Zinfandel with it’s bold and zesty fruit! It is amazing how well these wine were tasting after such a short time in the bottle. The soft tannins and bright fruit flavours were exceptional. Had they been in the bottle for over a year? Nope, just under a month!

So, you are looking for that “special occasion” wine, or a nice “ready to drink young” one, the Eclipse lineup will fit in both categories! What are you waiting for, come in and get one! You’ll thank me in 3 months : )

Cheers,

Mike, Manager (Wine Sense- Southdale Square)


Filed under: General 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.

Cheers,

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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