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Great class @ Airdrie store !

Great class last night , May 17 /12 at our Airdrie store!     It's always fun to meet new people that are so excited about getting started in the wine and beer making hobby.Lots of interesting questions, a few laughs and a lot of knowledge absorbed.        We find it so interesting that people are becoming more and more knowledgeable about wine , and especially beer.     The real beer enthusiasts know their microbrew...

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POSTED May 18th, 2012 | 0 COMMENTS | POST A COMMENT


Lime Cerveza

Lime lovers will rejoice when we release our new Lime Mexican Cerveza recipe.  Frozen lime concentrate is impossible to find so thanks to one of our beer makers we have found Lakewood organic pure lime juice at Community Natural Foods.  The juice from 14 - 16 limes in each 370 ml jar.  I have just racked the Cerveza from the primary to the carboy so within a few weeks I will know if the amount of lime I used is correct. 

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POSTED May 16th, 2012 | 0 COMMENTS | POST A COMMENT


A New Realization

From the comments that our new wine and beer makers made last night at our class I came to a new realization - other wine making stores sell product with little education.  Some guests had made wine for many years, I was amazed at what they didn't know!  Simple things like using a wine thief to check the specific gravity, the use of an auto syphon, using only 5 grade plastic for fermenting, the proper removal of CO2 after stabilizi...

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POSTED May 16th, 2012 | 0 COMMENTS | POST A COMMENT


BEERFEST 2012 - BEER GEEK EVENING @ BMO CENTRE

 Beerfest 2012 was, once again, an educational and super fun evening of beer tasting. I must complement the organisers and sponsors, as it seemed as though the normally cavernous BMO Centre was transformed into a friendly, personal tour of the world, one brewery at a time.Lately, Paul has been doing some research into gluten-free beer, so our focus started out with trying to find a favourite amongst the sorghum based suds. But for starters, we really appreciated the presence of the Canadian...

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POSTED May 9th, 2012 | 0 COMMENTS | POST A COMMENT


AAW Provincial Competition - "WE DID GOOD!"

Woo hoo!! Results just in from the Alberta Amateur Winemakers Provincial competition. The Home Vintner Wine Guild & customers took another 37 medals in total! The most of any other wine guild that entered the competition! Bonus - again this year we also took the prestigious Wine Maker of the Year Award,( Wayne Thomsen) and Pat, manager of the Airdrie store, received Best of Show for her Selection Okanagan Peach Ice Wine!This now puts our grand total at 575 awards and we expect afte...

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POSTED May 3rd, 2012 | 0 COMMENTS | POST A COMMENT


Wine Guild Spanish Treasures Evening @ Crowfoot Wine & Spirits

We all enjoyed the Spanish Treasures evening last night @ Crowfoot Wine and Spirits Signature location in Calgary.    The evening began with a Cava reception.   Cava is the Spanish word for champagne - this is a sparkling wine originating only from 3 regions in Spain.   Our sommelier told us it is 1/5 the cost of champagne!The dinner consisted of three courses 1) Duo of Gaspacho - Almond and Grape / Tomato Vegetable.   This was paired with the two whi...

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POSTED April 25th, 2012 | 0 COMMENTS | POST A COMMENT


La Frenz Naramata Bench 2010 Riesling

Last night, out at the cabin, Paul & I decided to open up one of the bottles of wine we bought last summer while we were staying in Naramata Bench.    We chose the La Frenz 2010 Riesling.This variety is delicate and elegant in structure which can only be achieved with super gentle fruit handling in the winery.The hallmark of a great Riesling is flavours of honey, lime, and even green apple: this vintage is loaded with fruit concentration. The palate is just...

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POSTED April 19th, 2012 | 0 COMMENTS | POST A COMMENT


Paul’s Bombay Gluten Free IPA

At this weeks Wine & Beer Making class at our NW store Wayne made our first Gluten free beer.  We are using BriesSweet White Sorghum Syrup, gluten free yeast and Cascade Hops to produce our first India Pale Ale.  We will soon be introducing a Gluten Free Belgium Wit and then a Gluten Free Fruit Beer.  We will be posting a daily update on the progress of this project on our beer page.

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POSTED April 12th, 2012 | 0 COMMENTS | POST A COMMENT


Airdrie Echo - Home Vintner gears up for 2012 wine awards

As published in the Airdrie Echo newspaper, March 28th, 2012 By Josh Eberley — For the EchoWith 538 provincial, national, and international medals, The Home Vintner has successfully been helping average folks become expert wine makers since 1993.Paul Sass is the owner of The Home Vintner and has nine separate Alberta locations he travels to and from.Sass is dedicated to the quality of his service and insists his clients hold themselves to a high standard when drinking both wine and beer.&l...

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POSTED March 28th, 2012 | 0 COMMENTS | POST A COMMENT


The Grape Escape

Calgary's best show of all things alcoholic, The Grape Escape spring edition was definitely NOT for the non adventurous taster!  As is this intrepid reporter's usual plan of attack for this event, I stuck to my strategy of not sampling anything familiar, or produced by the old standbys I've enjoyed in the past.  And, if by chance I do find some hidden gem I'd like to share with friends, I know that anything served at Grape Escape is available at Calgary Co-op liquor stores. On the...

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POSTED March 25th, 2012 | 1 COMMENT | POST A COMMENT


Baron's Tartan Ale

Opened up 1 of our Baron's Tartan Ales last night. This puppy was brewed back in April 2011, so almost a year old! ( bottled in glass bottles by the way )......this is yet another example of Terry's comments re "Fresh Schmesh"....... Baron's kits have the character to age, and boy oh boy, did this one age nicely. When it was "fresh schmesh" it was very, very smoky - almost too much BUT now that it's aged there is a pleasant background smokiness giving this brew a character all its own! One piece...

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POSTED March 23rd, 2012 | 0 COMMENTS | POST A COMMENT


Barons Canadian Golden Maple Ale

Due to the fact we like Amber's Brewing Company's ( microbrewery in Edmonton ) Sap Vampire Maple Lager and Granville Island's Kitsilano Maple Cream Ale, we decided to try our hand at our very own version!     Our base was the Barons Canadian Golden Ale, and added maple syrup - simple as that!   Use a good quality PURE Maple Syrup -- a lot of the cheaper varieties are too watery!This is the best beer kit on the market for adding honey or maple syrup - the c...

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POSTED March 22nd, 2012 | 1 COMMENT | POST A COMMENT


Lake Erie North Shore Pinot Grigio

A few months back, when Paul was in Ontario visiting his Mom, he took in a few wineries in the area! ( Naturally!  Got to do his homework for his customers!)  One of them was Mastronardi Estate Winery in Kingsville, Ontario.  He fully knows how much I love my Pinot Grigios, and so he brought home a bottle of their 2010 VQA Lake Erie North Shore Pinot Grigio.This is one of the best Pinot Grigios I have EVER tasted, and bonus - it's Canadian, and not the Oka...

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POSTED March 16th, 2012 | 0 COMMENTS | POST A COMMENT


Kelly's Raspberry Fruit Beer

Kelly E, a customer of the Airdrie store, gave us a bottle of her Raspberry beer. Her base was the Barons Mexican Cerveza and she followed our recipe by adding frozen raspberries to the wort in the primary stage. She also used a liquid Wyeast instead of the dry yeast that comes with the kit. It was fabulous! What a great job!! It was right up there with my favourite raspberry fruit beer - the Wild Rose WRaspberry Ale -- the perfect beer for hot summer days! She is currently brewing a Blueberry f...

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POSTED March 15th, 2012 | 2 COMMENTS | POST A COMMENT


Fresh Schmesh!!

I think most of us have seen those tv ads for commercial beer, touting it's "freshness". I was always a little skeptical of the advantage of freshness, as beer is a fermented beverage, and, like wine, should probably smooth out and generally improve with some ageing. Since I started making my own beer, however, I have chosen to throw the fresh idea out the window. Here's why.Last summer, my friend and I made a straight-up Dutch Lager using a Baron's kit with the yeast and hops that were included...

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POSTED March 8th, 2012 | 4 COMMENTS | POST A COMMENT

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