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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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

Ice, Ice Baby!

July 13, 2012

It’s official! Summer is here and it is HOT outside. When the weather is this warm I like to enjoy the sunshine by sipping on a nice chilled wine- like the Selection French Rosé or one of my dwindling stock of Limited Edition Pacific Quartet.

How do I keep these wines nicely chilled on a hot day you ask? My secret is ICE. I have an aluminium ice bucket to keep the bottle of wine cool, and I will put a cube or two of ice in my glass of wine to keep the wine chilled while I enjoy it. 

Now you’re asking is it good wine etiquette to put ice cubes in wine? For some styles like a crisp French Rose ice is perfectly acceptable and for Niagara Mist and Island Mist ice is required!

A little nervous about breaking the ‘rules of etiquette’ ? Make some ice cubes out of wine and you’re ready to go! 

But most importantly- however You enjoy your wine… it’s acceptable  😉

Enjoy the warm weather!


Bruce, Manager (Wine Sense- Pembina Hwy)


Filed under: General, Wine by WineSense

Introducing Mike and Amarone!

June 21, 2012

Hello Folks,

My name is Mike and I am the new manager at the store in Southdale Square along Fermor Ave. I love wine, beer and food so even though I do not sell food at the store I love to talk about it! Looking for food pairing options for your delicious beverage? I can most certainly help you with that! See a varietal or blend you have never heard of? I can help with that as well! Come see me for any questions you have about our wine or beer kits.

I am also an avid blogger, so check periodically for my posts about pairings, recipes, new products and just about anything else relating to food or beverages.  I have been in the wine industry for over 10 years and have a wealth of experience. My most recent bottling will be our topic today.

You may have seen a new addition in our last newsletter, Cellar Craft Sterling Amarone. I had the pleasure of making this kit for our staff. This is the first time we have a 5 week kit with grape skins included. For those of you who are not familiar with Amarone, it is an Italian style of wine. The grapes are picked and allowed to dry and shrivel, producing a wine with beautiful dried fruit characteristics. The higher concentration of sugars also brings a higher ABV(Alcohol By Volume), usually around 15%.

I decided I would treat myself to a nice dinner and picked up a rib steak on the way home, along with some veggies. The Amarone has been in the bottle for about 3 weeks now, still young for this style but I decided that my steak would be more than enough to soften the tannins. Wow, was I right! The first note was of dried cherry, with a slight hint of dried fig and the tannins were indeed grippy. There was even a hint of vanilla in the bouquet.

The first bite of steak was unbelievable and it just got better and better! A sip after each bite and I was thoroughly enjoying the pleasures of life. Some fettucini with pan fried mushrooms and zucchini rounded out the meal perfectly. I almost thought of myself in the Italian province of Verona, where Amarone originates. Alas, reality eventually brought me back to Winnipeg but what an experience.

This kit is an amazing value at $79.99 and I highly suggest you come pick one up! Then, you too can experience the pleasure that a great Amarone can bring to your day!



 Mike Simon, Manager (Wine Sense- Southdale Square)

Filed under: General, Wine, New Products by WineSense

Real Men Drink Pink? – yes they do, especially on Father’s Day!

June 20, 2012

Even though it threatened to rain, (and eventually it did!) we had a Father’s Day BBQ for my husband Don, his Dad and brother along with their spouses. 

The food was the basic BBQ fair, but I made it a special event by setting the table with fine china and crystal. 

In chilled crystal champagne flutes I served SELECTION FRENCH ROSE instead of Champagne. The crisp fruit flavours were enjoyed by all! 

Who knows perhaps we have started a new tradition for our celebrations?


Diane (Wine Sense- McPhillips)

Filed under: Wine by WineSense


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