The Home Vintner - The Home Vintner Monthly Newsletter - March 2015


This year marks the 25th anniversary of the Winexpert Limited Edition releases. The biggest and best one of a kind wine-kit program in the industry, and an enormous triumph.  

When you pick up your wine kit talk to the staff about Wyeast liquid yeast options to maximize the quality of your kit.

Click here for LE14 wine & food pairings.

• March Trio Blanco – California available mid-March
     • click here to see a one page PDF
     • click here to see a short video                                             

We have brought in extra stock of the March Limited Edition for our customers who may have missed the initial release.  We have a few remaining from January and February, check your local store. 


Bergeron Cheese Shoppe, Cochrane - During March, our Cochrane satellite is offering their Indian Spiced Gouda cheese on sale to our customers. This delicious cheese is a perfect match for our March sale wine, World Vineyard French Cabernet Sauvignon. It will also pair beautifully with any heavier style red wines.

Water Pure and Simple, Drumheller - With the purchase of any wine or beer kit, our Drumheller satellite offers free reverse osmosis bottled water to our customers.

Olds Droplets Water Company, Olds - A big thanks to the Olds College Brewmaster course students for their support of The Home Vintner in this town. Please order ahead if you need any supplies to be picked up at Olds Droplets. This satellite store also offers free reverse osmosis bottled water with any purchase of a wine or beer kit.

From Vine to Cork, Rocky Mountain House - During March, this satellite is offering two classes on wine and beer making. The dates are March 19th @ 6:30 pm and March 21 at 1:00 pm. Please call 403-844-4858 for info and to register.


In the craft beer industry today, more focus is being placed on emphasizing the characteristics of a specific hop. In the first release of our Hop Series – we have brought Citra to the front of this Pale Ale in a dramatic way. Citra hop is a high alpha acid hop with a strong yet smooth floral citrus aroma and flavour. These hops are being used in single-hop beers with more frequency due to their intense flavour profile that balances with a smooth taste. Citra is an aromatic hop and can also be a bittering hop. Increasingly being used in Pale Ales and IPAs, Citra gives a strong hop kick while allowing a solid flavour profile to emerge.

Expect this Pale Ale to bring a bit of hop bitterness, with intense citrus-floral aroma and flavour. The liquid yeast option and dry malt finish adds extra complexity and leads into a great mouth feel and head. 


Dried malt extract may be used to prime beer. Malt extract has only about 70 to 80 percent of the fermentables (by weight) of corn sugar, which is why you must use more. Adjust as you would with corn sugar for style. Beer primed with malt tends to take longer to carbonate, generally about 10 to 14 days longer for full carbonation. Malt priming is ideal for brown and darker ales because malt-primed beers tend to
produce a foamy, dense head characteristic of those styles, e.g., our Barons Brown, Redwood and Amber Ales. Using a liquid yeast also will dramatically enhance the character of your beer.



Wyeast is not only compatible, but actually can improve the aroma and flavour of wine and beer kits, allowing the home vintner / brewer to fully customize their batch. Liquid yeasts also create a fuller mouthfeel, and are typically described as more balanced. The Wyeast Activator Pack contains 70 billion yeast cells and is designed for direct inoculation of 23 L of beer or wine. The Activator Pack also provides optimum conditions for storage.  The Home Vintner carries a complete selection of Wyeast for your beer and wine kits, and can help you choose an appropriate strain.



Have you ever wondered what makes the same grape varietal from Chile taste so different from, for example, France or California? The short answer is Terroir. For those of you unfamiliar with Terroir, it is the dirt of the geographical location that imparts personality on the vines. Vines, being living creatures, are a product of their environment, from the dirt they are grown in, the climate they are raised in, to the steady guiding hand of the winemaker. Returning to my initial example of France, Chile and California, let’s take a (very broad!) look at how the Cabernet varietal can express itself differently in these areas. California tends to be bigger, bolder, fruitier and contain more oak, and isn’t the American way, bigger is better? 

French Cabernets tend to be more austere, using French oak which provides more subtle, spicy flavour changes such as anise or clove. For the French, the key is in the details. A more subtle wine all around means there is more room for many flavours and aromas to develop without one overpowering the other.

Chilean Cabs could be said to fall somewhere in between the two styles, albeit with a personality of its very own. Chilean Cab’s are often planted at higher altitudes, where the UV can be much stronger. Grapes develop a thicker skin under these conditions, allowing the juicy blackberry notes to be complemented by dusty, earthy notes. 

If you hadn't guessed by now, we of course carry all three types of Cab, see how terroir can affect Cabernets for yourself!


For our customers with beloved canine friends, The Home Vintner would like to share a very serious warning about dogs and hops. Though research is not extensive, ingesting hops can be highly toxic to some breeds of dogs (Golden Retrievers and especially Greyhounds have been documented).  There are too many scary stories found on homebrewing forums about dogs eating hops after unsuspecting brewers left unused hops out in a place accessible to their dog. Be careful when dumping kettle trub and hop sediment into the yard, and if you have a a hop plant in your yard, be mindful of dropped cones on the ground. Some dogs that ingest hops rapidly develop a condition called Malignant Hyperthermia, in which the body temperature rises uncontrollably. This can be very harmful or even fatal, and emergency treatment must be administered immediately.  Keep your dog's safe!


• Gluten Free IPA Beer is now available

• 2 different sized growlers are available for your beer

• Black Rock Cider is now in stock



Introducing a unique and delicious Island Mist flavour that will have you in a vacation state-of-mind with the first sip. New Coconut Yuzu Pinot Gris is flavoured with coconut water and has a tropical splash of Yuzu and hint of lime.

Not familiar with Yuzu? Yuzu [pronounced YOO-zoo] is a Japanese citrus fruit which is about the size of a tangerine. It's being hailed as the next superfruit and is being used to flavour everything from beer to chewing gum. It tastes like a cross between a lemon, mandarin and grapefruit and its sourness and acidity plays well against the coconut notes and sweetness of Island Mist.

 • click here to see a one page PDF

Available mid March.


Last year's Limited Release Rosé program was a resounding success. We received overwhelmingly positive feedback on the quality of the finished wine and countless requests to bring it back. So, Selection Australian Grenache Rosé will be offered a final time, in limited quantity. This encore appearance will be the last, so don't miss out!

 • click here to see a one page PDF

Available mid-March.


Gone are the days of flat, one dimensional sickly sweet rose’s. Rose wines are more than capable of being delicious, complex wines that range in style from the bone-dry, typically French style, to the juicy and fruity (but still mostly dry) often Australian style, to the sweeter Californian White Zinfandels. Even rose’s with a bit of sweetness to them are capable of delivering what we like to call that “wow-factor”, and should not be overlooked when considering food pairings! Sometimes when you are working with a multi-dimensional meal with complex and competing flavours (think Thanksgiving, with it’s traditional mashup of sweet, savoury and herbaceous flavours), a Rose is the perfect choice. 

There are three ways a Rose can be made, Skin contact, saignée, and blending. Blending is when a red wine is blending with a white wine, and is very rarely used. Skin contact is the method that is used when the batch of red grapes have been grown and harvested specifically for making rose. The red grapes are pressed, and immediately removed from contact with the skins which are then discarded. Saignée, the process by which most White Zinfandels are made, occurs when the winemaker’s ultimate intention is to create a very dense, red wine. The grapes are harvested and pressed, and a small amount of juice is ‘bled off’ to create more juice to skin contact in the remaining red wine. The saigneé wine, rather than be wasted, is fermented into a Rose wine.

Here at the Home Vintner, we always carry several variations of the classic Californian White Zinfandel, White Merlot and for a limited time only we are offering a Selection Series Australian Grenache Rose, back by VERY popular demand.


We are very excited to have the 909 IPA. This beer is a spin-off from the flagship 606 IPA produced by Paddock Wood. This version is shooting for hoppy and aromatic with citrus nodes from the Cascade hops. With expected IBU's of 40-45 - it definitely rings in as atrue IPA style.
Please visit our stores to find out more about this great micro brewery beer kit, and for staff suggestions on the best liquid yeasts to pair.


Click here for full details on our special offers...

• Vintners Reserve Sangiovese (Chianti) & Chamblaise (Chablis)- $5 Off

• World Vineyard French Cabernet Sauvignon & Italian Pinot Grigio - $5 Off

 • Barons Amber - $4 OFF 



Over 20,000 people have attended our wine and beer making courses since 1993. We are offering 2 for 1 this month! $25.00 for you and a friend. Join us as we walk you through the steps.

If you have taken this course before and would like a refresher, there is no charge for you and a guest.

Classes for January are now posted - click here to go to our event calendar... 


To enter, become a friend of The Home Vintner on Facebook. This month's winner of a $25.00 gift certificate is Curtis Sla...


click here to like us on facebook... 



Each month, every wine or beer purchase automatically enters you into our monthly draw.  This month's winner of a $25.00 gift certificate is David Sha... from our NE store.



Join us on Twitter @TheHomeVintner to keep up with the latest news, events, sales, questions and comments.

Monthly prize winner of a $25.00 gift certificate is @michael_elphick

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