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!

May 2021


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The Snow is Blowing Today…

January 11, 2013

Looking outside and seeing the blowing snow and feeling the chill of winter it is hard to believe that summer is just months away. Have you checked your wine inventory to ensure you have enough made for the barbecue evenings, weekends and neighbourhood get-togethers?

Summer is closer than you think!

The snow is blowing today but in a few short months the sun will be shining. Now is the time to start your Mist kits, your BBQ reds and whites or just your favourite sitting in the backyard sipping wines. Start now so you won’t have to rush later- and you’ll get the benefit of a little bit of ageing!

The two wines that I’ll have in quantity for this summer are the Selection French Rose that will be available in March and the fabulous NEW Eclipse German Gewürztraminer being released in February. As for reds, I make all of the Limited Edition kits so I have  an ample supply of aged reds.

Happy Fermenting,

Bruce, Manager (Wine Sense- Pembina Hwy)

Filed under: Uncategorized by WineSense

Waiter… There’s a Raspberry in My Cabernet!

January 4, 2013

Waiter… there’s a raspberry in my Cabernet!

When you’re in the wine business you spend a lot of time talking to customers about wine. Which is a wonderful way to spend your days- but there is always one little piece of the puzzle that doesn’t always fit for the customer. How does wine – when it’s made from grapes – have aromas and flavours ranging from citrus notes to berry flavours to hints of coffee and the finish of chocolate?

As mysterious and exciting and fancy as wine can be to drink and discuss it really just comes down to science.

Simply put- when grapes are fermented into wine they possess a range of chemical compounds that are responsible for the aromas and flavours found in an endless variety of foods found in nature. 

Taste blackberries in your favourite Cabernet Sauvignon? There are no blackberries in your Cabernet but it does possess the compound that gives blackberries their distinctive flavour.

Taste green apple in your favourite Pinot Gris? That’s because Pinot Gris grapes once fermented possess the same compound that gives green apples their crisp flavour.

And that goes for all of the flavours and aromas you see wines described as having- citrus, raspberries, herbal notes, leather, tobacco, chocolate, coffee and much, much more.

And it doesn’t stop at wine. If you remember Tim’s Blog from 2009 he discussed how astrobiologists found Ethyl Formate at the centre of the Milky Way Galaxy. Ethyl Formate is responsible for giving raspberries their flavour. So if you love the raspberry flavours in your Selection Australian Cabernet Sauvignon– you can thank Ethyl Formate! 

And you’ll also probably like how the Milky Way Galaxy tastes…


Craig- Wine Sense

Filed under: Uncategorized by WineSense

Count Your Corks!

May 25, 2012

It’s bottling day!

Your wine is filtered, you have 30 sterilized bottles and you have..how many corks? Only 15! Time for a quick trip to Wine Sense to get some more. You’re in luck this time because Wine Sense has very convenient hours– but what about next time?

Here are some tips for you: 

– Always buy in 100s. It is a better value and will do 3 batches of wine with a few to spare.

– When you open the bag of corks reseal the bag or put the unused corks into a Ziploc bag. The corks will  be clean and ready for your next batch. 

– Count your corks the day before bottling to give yourself time to get more if necessary.

Happy Bottling!

Bruce, Manager (Wine Sense- Pembina Hwy)

P.S. The Pembina Highway Wine Sense location is open from 12-4 on Sundays!

Filed under: Uncategorized by WineSense

Beer for Less than $4 a Dozen!

April 13, 2012

As much as we ALL love wine there is the odd time where a Beer is what’s called for. A nice American Lite after cutting the grass, a nice crisp Canadian Pilsner when sitting on the deck and enjoying the sunshine or a rich Brown Ale or Pale Ale to compliment anything that comes off the grill.

It’s time to start a beer kit to be ready for when the warm weather hits. Wine Sense is pleased to offer Barons Beer kits– the original Bag in Box beer kit which offers the best value to anyone interested in making a beer. Simplicity and Quality go hand in hand for you to make your own micro-brewery style beer.


New to Beer Making?

It’s easy- you can use all of the same equipment that you use to make your wine- the only difference is that you use beer bottles and caps instead of wine bottles and corks. We have a selection of 500 ml and 1 litre PET Plastic beer bottles and you simply screw the cap on to close the bottle.



Beer making has the same principals as wine making. The Barons kits are ‘bag-in-box’ like the wine kits you make and are started pretty much the same. There are 2 main differences:

1.) You don’t have to stabilize or degas your beer kit.

2.) You add sugar at bottling time. The added sugar ferments in the sealed bottle which traps the produced C02 which in turn carbonates the beer.

In total you’re in the pail for about 1 week, the carboy for about 2 weeks to allow the beer to finish fermenting and clear and the bottle for about 2 weeks to carbonate.

The Barons beer kit includes 7.5 litres of prepared wort, the bottling sugar and most styles include a pack of Hop Pellets which are added for fresh hop character. Each kit produces 23 litres which will make you about 65 standard beer bottles or 5 and half dozen. There are 11 delicious styles to choose from.

All this at the amazing cost of about $4 a dozen!

So stop by your favourite Wine Sense location and get your summer beer started today and you’ll be ready for when the warm weather hits!



Craig- Wine Sense

ps All styles of Barons Beer are on sale for 20% off until April 28th!






Filed under: General, Uncategorized by WineSense


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