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Come & join The Home Vintner staff and Winexpert's Technical Manager, Tim Vandergrift, for an evening of tasting of commercial equivalents of this year's Limited Edition wines! Complete with food pairings! More details to follow once tickets have been printed. Keep the date in mind! Capitol Hill Community Hall, NW Calgary @ 7 pm. Tickets will be available at Home Vintner stores in the near future.
It’s hard to believe the Airdrie store has been in business for TEN years! In appreciation of our awesome customers, we are hosting an Open House on Saturday October 20 from noon to 4 PM.
POSTED September 29th, 2012 | 0 COMMENTS | POST A COMMENT
Ask The Vintner
Ullage is the unfilled space in a wine bottle between the wine and the bottom of the cork. When we recommend 1-1/4 inches ullage for Nomacorcs, this is to provide sufficient space for the cork to compress air ahead of it as it enters the neck of the bottle.
You can find information about ageing your wine in the product guide we have provided with your kit. The general rule is that a bottle will show most of its character after 3 months of ageing, and that’s usually the minimum we recommend. However, for most whites and virtually all reds, 6 months of ageing is needed to smooth out the wine and allow it to express its character in a mature way. And in fact, heavy reds will continue to improve for at least a year, rewarding the patient consumer with a delicious bouquet. What most winemakers tend to do is go by the minimum recommended ageing period of 3 months, trying a bottle at that time, then leaving the wine a few more months before trying again to see how it has progressed.
The reason we use Potassium Metabisulphite in wine is that it is a stable source of sulphur dioxide in winemaking. The use of sulphur compounds is not a recent innovation: the great Dutch shipping empire popularised the use of sulphur in the 16th century, by refusing to ship any wines that were not treated with it. Sulphite-treated wines were the only ones that survived a long sea voyage without turning into vinegar.
Nomacorcs are the synthetic corks that Winexpert uses and recommends most frequently. We prefer them even to natural cork, or to agglomerates of natural cork with silicone surface treatments.
If you experience a musty smell when you open an occasional bottle of your wine, yet it doesn’t happen with every bottle from the same batch, the problem is not with your batch or with your bottles. The cause of the smell is cork taint.
The longer you make wine kits, the more you’re likely to notice that even if you’re sure you’ll never drink 30 bottles of wine, they will soon vanish anyway. Between doling them out to friends or using them at parties or other special occasions, you’ll be surprised at how quickly you’ll use up your wine. And sooner than you expect, you’ll be dashing out to make another kit because you’ve run out.
Winemakers get very little help when it comes to food and wine pairing, but rest assured that it isn’t as complicated as some 'experts' make it sound. In fact, the few rules are really just guidelines for getting the most from your meal and your wine.
Certain wines can improve with extended storage time, but you’ll find that there are a lot of incomplete ideas and misconceptions about wine ageing. What really happens to the wine in the carboy, barrel and bottle, and the role of sulphite and storage conditions, is often misunderstood. With kit wines in particular, the most common question people ask is, 'How long will my wine last once I bottle it?'
While our wine kits are ready to bottle (depending on the kit) in 28 or 45 days, they're not ready to drink at that point. They still need at least a month to get over the shock of bottling, and to begin opening up to release their aromas and flavours. So one month is the minimum time you should wait, to allow the kit to start tasting good. But to do the wine proper justice, three months is much better, and will allow your wine to show much of its character.
All Winexpert wines will improve with a minimum of three months ageing, and they will continue to improve over time. How long this enhancement will continue successfully depends on factors like the type bottle, the cork you used, and the conditions in which you store the wine.
Bottled wines are dramatically affected by the environment in which you store them. In fact, proper storage conditions are so important to ensuring that your wine is at peak quality when opened, that they should be considered the last unwritten step in the winemaking process. Commercial wineries usually age their wines in bottles, and we prefer bottle ageing for our wines as well.
Bulk ageing – that is, ageing a whole batch of wine in a single large container – is not necessarily preferable to ageing in individual bottles. While each method of ageing wine has pros and cons, there are no particular chemical or biochemical advantages that favour the bulk method over using bottles. Even commercial wineries, when they age their vintages, put the wine in bottles rather than ageing in bulk.
Our Black Pilsner is a dark lager that balances roasted yet smooth malt flavours with moderate hop bitterness. Light to moderate malt flavour, which can have a clean, neutral character to a rich, sweet, Munich-like intensity. Light to moderate roasted malt flavours can give a bitter-chocolate palate that lasts into the finish, but which are never burnt. Medium-low to medium bitterness, which can last into the finish. Light to moderate noble hop flavour. Clean lager character with no fruity esters or diacetyl. Aftertaste tends to dry out slowly and linger, featuring hop bitterness with a complementary but subtle roastiness in the background. Ingredients from our add on pack include 500 60° L Caramel Malt, Chocolate Malt and Hallertau hops. I will be using Wyeast Bavarian Lager - when considering this yeast be aware that the lagering requires a temperature range of 9-13 C.