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Did you know - Homemade Wine & Beer Kits are TAX FREE!

On my last trip to the liquor store, I noticed that a dozen 330 ml Grolsch cost $29.99 plus GST.  That's just shy of 4 litres. Our beer kits produce about 23 litres of beer, no tax. To purchase 23 litres of Grolsch equals six cases. The total cost would be 6 x $29.99 = $279.94 + $9 GST = $288.94, plus deposit.. Meanwhile, our most comparable kit to Grolsch, Barons Dutch Lager, sells for $49.95, no tax.• The AGLC standard mark-up rate for beer is $1.32 per litre which is hidden in...

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POSTED February 22nd, 2016 | 0 COMMENTS | POST A COMMENT


Alberta Opting for Economy Beers at the Liquor Store

Our thought is this, why drink an economy brew when you can make our microbrewery style beers in your own home and save money.From the Calgary Herald February 13, 2016 Coors is hurting from low oil prices as beer drinkers — particularly in Alberta — opt for economy brews over premium brands.The crude downturn was even cited as cause for concern in the latest earnings for Molson Coors Brewing Co., which said on its quarterly call Thursday that beer drinkers — particularly in Alb...

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POSTED February 22nd, 2016 | 0 COMMENTS | POST A COMMENT


Eating, Laughing & Loving

Life is eating, laughing, loving and a place to enjoy it together. As we look forward to spring and summer, it is essential the home vintner plans ahead.• The Commitment – to be disciplined to do the wine & beer chores now • The Challenge – overcome distractions and procrastination • The Perks – a full stock of wine, coolers, cider and beer kits for summer • The Value – micro-brewery style beers and award winning wine kitsHome vintne...

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POSTED February 22nd, 2016 | 0 COMMENTS | POST A COMMENT


Spring has Sprung! March is a Great Time to Make Cider

Spring is just around the corner and there is nothing more delicious and refreshing on a warm day than a crisp glass of cider. We have just received a special order of our Black Rock Cider - New Zealand Homebrew kit. A sparkling cider with a superb refreshing taste and light golden colour. Harvested from orchards that produce premium fruit without chemicals for the taste and clarity demanded by our brewers. One tin produces 23 litres of cider similar to Strongbow-style, and two tins produce 23 l...

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POSTED February 22nd, 2016 | 0 COMMENTS


Tips for Timing Your Fermentation

Most importantly, never go by the number of days suggested by the instructions in the kit. Always use your hydrometer to get within the required range for each step.A client recently brought in a weak wine which was fermented according to days rather than actual Specific Gravity.  Calgary's dramatic barometric pressure shifts and high altitude mean that if you do not monitor your Specific Gravity then you may not allow for complete fermentation.  If you stabilize at 14 days (accor...

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POSTED February 10th, 2016 | 0 COMMENTS | POST A COMMENT


On Corks

The Home Vintner has had a 100 per cent guarantee on all our wine and beer kits since 1993.  Customer satisfaction is very important to us at all our locations.  In order to honour this guarantee, it is absolutely essential that you use our premium corks, as there are many substandard corks on the market. We see wine ruined on a weekly basis because of cheap corks. Please also remember to peel off the bar code sticker on the top of your wine kit box to keep wit...

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POSTED February 9th, 2016 | 0 COMMENTS | POST A COMMENT


Mind the Beer Budget

Why does Alberta suddenly have one of the highest alcohol prices in Canada?We often think of BC and Ontario as having higher alcohol prices due to their provincial monopoly, and isn’t Alberta’s free-market approach supposed to help keep our prices in check?Unfortunately thanks to an astronomically high US dollar and the plummeting price of oil, Alberta’s alcohol prices are feeling the heat. The Calgary Sun recently published an article outlining the cost per province of so...

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POSTED January 27th, 2016 | 1 COMMENT | POST A COMMENT


Oli's Wee Piggy - New Beer Recipe

Congratulations to Oli from Airdrie for inspiring a new beer recipe which will be available in the New Year. Oli wanted a riff from his favorite pub beer, and developed a very nice American style IPA. This Wee Piggy has lots of citrus hop aroma and flavour, moderate bitterness and some smooth caramel. With powerful head and subtle sweetness, this beer is a winner. Looking forward to seeing Oli soon for a free beer kit from the Vintner as a thank you!

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POSTED January 27th, 2016 | 0 COMMENTS | POST A COMMENT


Glass of Red Wine Equals 1 Hour at Gym, New Study Says

PORTLAND, Ore.  — The Huffington Post on Friday reported on a new study out of The University of Alberta that shows that drinking a glass of red wine may have the same effect on the body as an hour at the gym.A component in the wine, resveratrol, was seen to improve physical performance, heart function and muscle strength similar to the affect exercise has on the body.Principal investigator Jason Dyck says, “I think resveratrol could help patient populat...

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POSTED January 18th, 2016 | 0 COMMENTS | POST A COMMENT


Raving About Dessert Wine

Comment from a client: I just tasted my 3 year old raspberry chocolate port! It is soooooo good I am glad I waited that long, it was difficult to wait, but the result is delicious! Chocolate, tart and sweet all at the same time a great dessert on its own, no pie or ice cream needed.

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POSTED January 15th, 2016 | 0 COMMENTS | POST A COMMENT


Rediscover the Time & Place for Lighter Reds

We all have our favorite body strength in red wine, mine changes every day. Our Little Black Book of Wine available in all our stores has a special legend at the back that tells you the style, body, oak type if included and the sweetness of each kit.Some like a rich body and deep concentration, others enjoy a more moderate red with lots of red berry fruit intermixed with other herbaceous and/or spicy notes with a leaner body with a refreshing finish.The first cardinal rule is to not serve delica...

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POSTED January 6th, 2016 | 0 COMMENTS


Winexpert's Top 10

When choosing a wine kit consider which commercial wines you have enjoyed in the past. Also of all the wine kits that you have made which one was the best? Now experiment, here is a list of Winexpert's top 10. Just by the way #3 Eclipse Forza (a blend of Corvina, Sangiovese and Barbera) is a limited release into the Eclipse lineup.1. World Vineyard Italian Pinot Grigio2. Selection Italian Pinot Grigio3. Eclipse Forza4. Selection Traminer Riesling5. Vintners Reserve Merlo...

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POSTED January 1st, 2016 | 0 COMMENTS | POST A COMMENT


Filtering Wine

Should you filter? Only if you want to polish up your wines. Filtering is a personal choice and not a requirement. The Home Vintner has carefully selected a style of filter system to minimize the impact and enhance the character of the wines.Our systems reduce filter shock and allows the wine to recover much more quickly. We use the best quality filter pads available which we have tested ourselves. Cheaper pads will leave bits of paper in your wine and result in a cardboard taste.We have a...

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POSTED December 29th, 2015 | 0 COMMENTS | POST A COMMENT


Beer & Cheese: A Match Made in Heaven!

Perfect Pairing of the week!Being that our Cochrane satellite store doubles as a cheese shop, we get spoiled with a large selection of amazing cheeses. The amazing Bergeron cheese shop recently introduced us to an amazing double cream brie with smoked salmon and dill. We paired this delicious fromage with our Home Vintner white IPA beer, and it was a match made in heaven! The citrus from the hops and the coriander orange peel accents accentuate the earthiness of the cheese and beautiful smo...

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POSTED December 15th, 2015 | 0 COMMENTS


Combatting Fruit Flies

It's that time again - the inevitable return of our sworn enemy – the common fruit fly. Minute little flying monkeys of doom, they're hard to exclude from your winemaking areas, and while they're easy to kill, by the time you've swatted one, thirteen more have materialized out of thin air, looking for a free meal! The reason why we need to be concerned over the little monsters isn't just that they're unsightly and chewy when you discover one inside a mouthful of Chardonnay. No, it's their...

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POSTED November 25th, 2015 | 0 COMMENTS | POST A COMMENT

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