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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LE17 Hawke’s Bay Merlot

January 16, 2018

We are very fortunate to be offering the New Zealand Hawke’s Bay Merlot as the February wine in the LE17 Collection.

Hawke’s Bay’s temperate climate and plentiful sunshine make the region ideal for fruit-growing with grape vines first planted in 1851.
Hawke’s Bay has since earned itself an international reputation for producing high quality Cabernet & Merlot blends, Syrah, Chardonnay, Pinot Noir and an impressive array of aromatic white wines.

Our LE17 Hawke’s Bay Merlot features ripe fruit with dark, oaky spice and soft tannins with hints of mocha and licorice. It will pair well with any beef dish and of course lamb!

LE17 Hawke’s Bay Merlot arrives later this month. For those of you who didn’t pre-order this fabulous wine- call you favourite Wine Sense location and ask them to reserve one for you before they are gone!

Filed under: General, Wine, New Products, Recipes, Uncategorized by WineSense

Beer & Pretzels!

November 25, 2014

LoriHello again
Well football is in full swing and hockey is now well into their season, WOW.
Where has the summer gone?
Here’s a great treat for those game days….Soft Beer Pretzels with Beer and Cheese dip. I used the Paddock Wood Cream Ale, but any red or amber beer would do in a pinch.



Here ‘s the recipe for both: Pretzel

Soft Beer Pretzels (makes 8 pretzels)

1 bottle (12oz) beer
1 pkg active dry yeast
2 Tbsp butter, melted
2 Tbsp sugar
1-1/2 tsp salt
4 to 41/2 cups all-purpose flour
10 cups water
2/3 cup baking soda

1 egg yolk
1 Tbsp water
Course salt

1. In a small saucepan, heat beer to 110-115F, remove from heat. Stir in yeast until dissolved. In a large bowl, combine butter, sugar, salt, yeast mixture and 3 cups of flour: beat on medium speed until smooth. Stir in enough remaining flour to form a soft dough (dough will be sticky).
2. Turn dough onto a floured surface: knead until smooth and elastic, about 6-8 minutes. Place in a greased bowl, turning once to grease top. Cover with plastic wrap and let rise in a warm place until doubled, about 1 hour.
3. Preheat oven to 425F. Punch dough down. Turn onto a lightly floured surface: divide and shape dough into eight balls: roll each ball into a 24inch rope. Curve ends of rope to form a circle: twist ends once and lay over opposite side of circle, pinch ends to seal.
4. In a dutch oven, bring water and baking soda to a boil. Drop pretzels, two at a time, into boiling water. Cook 30 seconds. Remove with a slotted spoon: drain well on paper towels.
5. Place pretzels 2 inches apart on greased baking sheets. In a small bowl, whisk egg yolk and water: brush over pretzels. Sprinkle with coarse salt. Bake 10-12 minutes or until golden brown. Remove from pans to wire racks to cool.
** To make pretzel bites:
Divide and shape dough into 8 balls. Roll each ball into a 12 inch rope.
Cut each rope into 1 inch pieces. Boil and top as directed above; bake at 400F for 6-8 minutes or until golden brown. Makes about 8 dozen.

Beer and Cheese Dip
1 tub soft cream cheese
1 pkg Hidden Valley Ranch dressing
3/4 cup shredded cheddar cheese
1/2 bottle of beer
splash of milk

Melt cream cheese in microwave for about 30 seconds until soft, stir in cheddar cheese, until melted. Stir in ranch dressing, gradually add beer, stirring until smooth, add splash of milk. Microwave for 30 seconds and stir again until smooth. Enjoy!!

Don’t forget to enjoy your favorite beer with this yummy treat. Have a great game day.

Remember to treat yourself… you deserve it.

Cheers- Lori

Filed under: General, Recipes by WineSense

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

Lori, Wine and Jellies

November 9, 2012

Hello everyone. My name is Lori Nolan and I have been a part of the Wine Sense team for just over a year starting at the Vermillion location and now managing the Springfield store. Wow, how time flies when you’re having fun! I have been making wine for over 20yrs but I have learned a lot in this first year to be an even better winemaker. So I guess “old dogs” can learn new tricks.

One thing that Wine Sense has done for me is that it has given me the chance to combine 3 of my favorite hobbies, cooking, canning, and wine. I love making my own jellies, from homegrown produce and WINE. If you have not experienced a Wine jelly, you are missing out. The first one I made was from a Selection White Zinfandel, it was a beautiful rosy pink colour and sweet yumminess (if that’s a word). This jelly goes great with lighter meats, chicken or pork as a condiment. It is also a tasty appetizer when served with cream cheese and crackers. Served with a glass of White Zin and you’re set.

The next wine jelly I made is on the spicy side, made with a sweet white wine (like Piesporter or Liebfraumilch) and hot red peppers. This one makes chicken scrumpsious when applied liberally to chicken breasts (under the skin is best), sprinkle with parmesan cheese and bake. If your chicken is skinless then you may want to wrap some bacon around each breast…….Bacon makes everything better, right?

This last jelly has become my new favorite……Basil and Banana Pepper Jelly….. all fresh from my garden. Spread this one on thinly sliced bagets with cream cheese or cut a brie wheel in half widthwise, apply a thick layer on one side of wheel, replace top, wrap in tinfoil and bake at 300F for 20minutes or until soft and gooey. Serve with crackers and bagels, and your favorite wine……ummm good.

Here is one of my wine jelly recipes: Wine Jelly Inferno:

1/2 cup finely minced sweet red peppers(seeds removed)

2 Tbsp finely minced green jalapeno pepper(approx 2 medium, seeds removed)

3 dried hot red chili peppers, chopped

1 1/2 cups sweet white wine (#3-4 sweetness)

3 1/2 cups granulated sugar

3 Tbsp lemon juice 1 pouch liquid pectin Place

7 clean 125ml mason jars on a rack in boiling water canner; cover jars with water and heat to simmer. Set screw band aside. Heat SNAP lid sealing discs in hot water, not boiling. Keep jars and sealing lids hot until ready to use. Combine peppers, chilis and wine in a large deep stainless steel saucepan. Cover and bring to a full boil; uncover. Stir in sugar and lemon juice. To reduce foam, add 1/2 tsp butter of margarine if desired. Over high heat, bring mixture to a full rolling boil that froths high in pan and cannot be stirred down. Stirring constantly, boil hard for 2minutes. Remove from heat. Immediately stir in liquid pectin, mix well. Continue stirring slowly for 7 minutes to help disperse peppers throughout the jelly. Quickly ladle hot jelly into the hot jars to within 1/4 inch of the top of jar. Using nonmetallic utensil, remove air bubbles . Wipe jar rim removing any food residue. Apply lid discs and screw bands, just finger tip tight. Return all jars to canner. When canner is full, ensure that all jars are covered by water. Cover canner and bring water to a full rolling boil before starting to count processing time. Boil/process for 10 minutes. When processing is complete, remove canner lid, wait 5 minutes, then remove jars without tilting and place them upright on a protected work surface. Cool upright, undisturbed for 24 hrs. DO NOT RETIGHTEN screw bands. After cooling check jar seals. Sealed lids should curve downward and do not move when pressed. Wipe jars dry, label and store jars in a cool dry dark place. NOTE: Boiling this recipe longer than other jellies evaporates the wine’s alcohol(that can interfere with gel formation) and concentrates the unique wine flavor. For a milder jelly, reduce quantity or omit the dried chilies.

Well until next time, remember to treat yourself…..you deserve it.


Lori, Manager (Wine Sense- Springfield Rd)

Filed under: General, Recipes by WineSense


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