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Chateau Khoury Winery

Visiting the Chateau Khoury winery in the Bekka Valley, we spent the afternoon with the owners sampling an array of vintages from thier collection paired with local cheeses. Amazing wines, this winery really aims for quality over quantity. Traveling with my two daughters and son-in-law, we used english, french and arabic to converse- but it worked out well. This is my ideal way to experience a winery, and a bottle of their top end wine, their Icone de Perseides, will be traveling back to Canada...

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POSTED May 21st, 2013 | 0 COMMENTS | POST A COMMENT


Champagne in Byblos

A brief stop in the port city of Byblos turned into an overnight stay for my family. Calgarians know the Byblos ruins by the picture on the pita bread, we managed to get a restaurant table that overlooked the bay. Spending the afternoon drinking champagne and toasting our good luck. We found it hard to get local sparking wine, so we had to rely on the french. Apparently local sparkling wine is not a big thing here, but with the quality of grapes grown in this area, they could probably make some...

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POSTED May 21st, 2013 | 1 COMMENT | POST A COMMENT


Arak Al Karram

Arak what they call the local moonshine throughout both Lebanon and Syria. Just about every meal, it makes it’s appearance. it is a by-product of the wine industry, basically a brandy made from the leftover wine skins and flavoured with aniside. One third Arak, two thirds water, and then an ice cube. The mixture goes cloudy with the addition of water, because the aniside oil is soluble in alcohol but not in water. The best way to tell the differences in quality is by how you wake up the ne...

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POSTED May 21st, 2013 | 0 COMMENTS | POST A COMMENT


Bekka Valley Wines

Spending a couple days in the Bekka valley in Lebanon, there are categories for new world and old world wines, but there should be a category for ancient world wines as this is thought to be the oldest wine region, dating back to biblical times. We visited the Ksara winery, some of these wines are available in Calgary and I would recommend them. Staying at the Hotel Akl in Zahle, very old heritage hotel.

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POSTED May 16th, 2013 | 0 COMMENTS | POST A COMMENT


Provincial Medals - 43!

On April 27th, the Provincial level of the Amateur Winemaker's of Canada competition was held in Calgary. Our very own Home Vintner Wine Guild sent forward 52 bottles to be judged over 17 different categories. In total - the guild brought in 12 Silver Medals and 31 Bronze Medals - increasing our Guild's running award total by 43 to a grand total of 633! Please join us in congratulating our Guild on their success!Ken G. 5 Silver and 6 BronzeRon G. 2 Silver and 8 BronzeClarence G. 5 BronzeKellie B...

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POSTED May 7th, 2013 | 0 COMMENTS | POST A COMMENT


Don't Miss the SPARKLING boat !

Many home wine vintners never think of sparkling beyond champagne. If you are not a champagne drinker, it's easy to think that sparkling is not for you - or too difficult to achieve. The reality is that several of our customers and staff bring a sparkle to wines such as Rose (Seasonal Selection - almost all gone for this year), Chardonnay, or even choices from the white Limited Releases. Recently several of our staff and guild members had the opportunity to taste a selection of sparkling Is...

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POSTED April 26th, 2013 | 0 COMMENTS | POST A COMMENT


Wine Guild Judging March 23/13

On March 23,  judging was held for The Home Vintner Wine Guild as a qualifier for the Alberta Amateur Winemaker's Competition. This year the Provincial Competition is being held in Calgary on April 27. Twelve guild members entered 112 bottles of wine to be judged in 17 categories. All twelve members have bottles going forward to Provincial's, including three brand new guild members submitting for the first time! Congratulations to all!It was a very big couple of days making this event...

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POSTED April 5th, 2013 | 0 COMMENTS | POST A COMMENT


Eclipse Sonoma Dry Creek Valley Unwooded Chardonnay

Chardonnay is the most widely planted grape in the world, from Burgundy in France to Australia and back to California. Its reputation is well earned, as it makes delicious wines!  The Dry Creek Valley in Sonoma produces some of the most sought-after wines in the world.  With its combination of well drained, rich volcanic soil, long California growing seasons, copious sunshine and cool coastal breezes, it produces grapes of powerful and unique intensity.Our Chardonnay is a fres, well-ba...

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POSTED February 22nd, 2013 | 0 COMMENTS | POST A COMMENT


Wine & Beer Making Class at Cochrane store

A great bunch at the Cochrane store on January 29th.      Many positive accolades were received after class and great interaction and insightful questions.

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POSTED February 5th, 2013 | 0 COMMENTS | POST A COMMENT


LE 2013 January Food Pairings

It's time - those lucky customers that have already picked up and started your January LTD offerings will be thinking about drinking them soon! Thankfully - the January pairings were the easiest to replicate at home.A bit about: ARGENTINA MALBEC BONARDO - Over 60,000 acres are set aside in Argentina for growing the Malbec grape, and it is this grape that has put Argentina on the worldwide map for regions to watch. With more than 300 days of sunshine per year, this region has produced not just "e...

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POSTED January 15th, 2013 | 0 COMMENTS | POST A COMMENT


February Wine Recommendation - GERMAN MOSEL VALLEY GEWÜRZTRAMINER

This is a distinctive wine with grapefruit, rose petal and lychee nut characteristics with a hint of sweetness. With an aromatic bouquet of cinnamon like spiciness and zesty citrus flavours that lead to a mouth-filling finish. Includes Flavour-Pack.The Mosel valley is famous for its beautiful scenery and excellent wines. Gewürztraminer grapes from this region tend to be a dusky pink colour, and result in wines from light to a dark golden yellow with subtle copper tones. Gewürztram...

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POSTED January 12th, 2013 | 0 COMMENTS | POST A COMMENT


When in Montana..........

In the early New Year, we managed to get away to Montana for some recreation. While we found lots of fun and different things to do, our favourite adventure was visiting Tamarack Brewing Company. The layout was open and inviting and the staff warm and welcoming. First on our (hoped for) agenda was tasting the brewed offerings with lunch, and then a tour.Amy brought us out a few flights of tasters, with 8 regular and 3 seasonal offerings. We were thankful to have ordered lunch, as we didn’t...

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POSTED January 10th, 2013 | 0 COMMENTS | POST A COMMENT


It's about purchasing the best

It’s my 3rd anniversary working at The Home Vintner NW (I've been purchasing product here for over 13 years).  On staff it's been a learning curve trying to communicate to our customers, "When making the best home made wine and beer it is not about price; it’s about purchasing the best product available in the world."Before meeting Paul, over the years I tried many kit companies in Calgary. After I made a few kits from The Home Vintner, at 6 months I actually poured all of my wi...

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POSTED December 30th, 2012 | 0 COMMENTS | POST A COMMENT


January Wine Recommendation - Washington Yakima Valley Pinot Gris

Pinot Gris is a mutation of the famous red grape, Pinot Noir. The grapes range in color from grayish-blue to light pink, making fabulous white wines that are lush and softly perfumed yet have more body than other whites. This is a delicately balanced white with 'fat' mouth-filling texture leading to aromas of honey and apples.  Crisp green apple and ripe honeydew melon command this fresh and fruity wine with a velvety finish. A versatile, food-friendly wine.Our Eclipse Series, our ultra-pre...

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POSTED December 22nd, 2012 | 0 COMMENTS | POST A COMMENT


15 More National Medals Received!

We received our 15 new National Medals and certificates for National Competition 2012 in the mail ! Congrats to:  Wayne Thomsen - 5 medals   Pat Morrison - 2 medals    Dave Bracey - 1 medal   Ken Gibson - 2 medals    Paul Sass - 1 medal and Ron Goodhew - 4 medals.This puts our total number of medals won over the years to 590 !    Whew -  soooo close to 600 !  Next year for sure we'll crack the 600...

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POSTED December 21st, 2012 | 0 COMMENTS | POST A COMMENT

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