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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Making Wine for a Wedding?

June 30, 2011

Quite often customers come in planning their weddings and wanting to make their own wines for the special occasion and also just to ask what wines would be a good choice.

After researching some Winexpert/Tim Vandergrift resources for more in depth answers I came across the following. I hope you find it helpful when making your decisions.

What to consider when making Wedding Wines:

If you do discover that it’s going to be fine for you to make and service a kit wine, the considerations will be similar to those you’d keep in mind when choosing commercial wine for the wedding. You need to decide which wines will appeal to the greatest number of people. This means that you might not be able to make your favorite wine, but rather just a good, all around table wine.
In general terms, the wine should be fruity and slightly off-dry, so more people will enjoy it. For reds, this means they should be soft and fruity, not big and bold with lots of tannins. Before you consider making any of the more powerful wines, you will really need to know your guests’ wine tastes, to be sure they actually would like them. It’s usually much safer to take a middle-of-the-road approach when it comes to flavors, fragrance, and body.

You might consider whites such as Chardonnay/Semillon, Sauvignon Blanc, Riesling, or the
Liebfraumilch Style, while in a red you might think of the Valpolicella Style, a Merlot, or Pinot Noir.

The important thing is to check how long it will take to make the wines, and then how long they should be aged before they’ll be ready for the function. With some wines, and some types of wine kits, you might have to make them as much as a year in advance. So start get a head start if the big day is next year!

This information is good for any large gathering of people be it a family reunion or large party.


Neil, Manager (Wine Sense- Brandon)

Filed under: General, Wine by WineSense

Different Tastes for Different People…

June 7, 2011

I’ve found over the years that not everyone tastes the same things I taste in a good wine.

Last fall, I recommended the Selection International Gamay Nouveau wine kit to one of my customers. At Christmas time he informed me that he did not like the wine. I asked him to give it some time to age and try it again, as not everyone likes young wine (although Gamay Nouveau is designed for young drinking). He was doubtful but he said he would give it some time and try it again.

In June he came into the store and explained how he used half a bottle in the stew he was cooking. It was so good his guests drank another 2 bottles with supper. He is now claiming the Gamay Nouvouea wine is the best and when can he get another. All winter he has been forcing his kids to take wine home only if they took a bottle of the Gamay. He’s given some much away he has only 10 bottles to last him (hopefully) until Septemeber. 

If your not happy with your wine when it’s young… Wait it will get better.



Jim, Manager (Wine Sense- Southdale Square)

Note- Gamay Nouveau will be available again this September for a limited time.

Filed under: General, Wine by WineSense

Summertime is the Season of Backyard Barbecues!

March 29, 2011

Barbeque season is around the corner and a modern, rustic wine is perfect with grilled steak! At our Wine Sense Limited Edition wine tastings this year we used Crasto Douro Red ($20) to represent our Limited Edition Douro Tinto. This wine is lovely. From an old Portuguese winery, combining the traditional winemaking with the modern skills of the winemaker.


Winexpert uses the same indigenous grapes, Touriga Nacional, Touriga Franca and Tinta Roriz to create the well structured, solid, yet fruit forward earthy combination, in their Limited Edition Portuguese Douro Tinto. This wine has a rich and vibrant palate with soft lingering tannins.

Regardless of how you like your steak, well seasoned and rare or well done (overcooked), the Douro Tinto is my selection, glass in hand when I fire up the grill. Try it with Chourico (Portuguese sausage) and red pepper pizza, amazing casual wine – and Douro Tinto is almost sold out, call your favourite Wine Sense location to reserve yours.


Victor, Manager (Wine Sense- McPhillips Street)

*Remember always put 6 bottles away for longterm storage.


Filed under: General, Wine by WineSense

February 17, 2011

KarenI recently had an opportunity to try a bottle of Vintners Reserve Valpolicella. When I opened to bottle one of the first thing I noticed was the wonder bouquet coming from the bottle. From my research of Valpolicella I knew that it would be perfect with Pizza. I ordered from one of local pizza companies and began to decant my wine.

When my pizza arrived, I sat down with my husband to discuss what we saw in our glasses. I noticed a nice rich color and he noticed it was red: ) I then gave it good smell and picked up on the berries almost instantly. After a taste of the wine I also noticed a light hint of oak on my tongue but mostly it was all about the berries. My husband said it had a slight acidic taste so I decided at that time to run some wine through our Vinturi and what a difference. The wine melowed beautifully, and paired wonderfully with the pizza.


I would never had believed that something could have been matched so well with pizza if I had not tried it for myself. Valpolicella is mellow with a light to medium body- If you are thinking about switching from the fruity wine to a wine with a substantial well rounded taste Valpolicell is a perfect choice. It’s a definate do over for me and one I will it suggest to all of my customers.


Karen (Wine Sense-Brandon)

Filed under: Wine by Craig


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