The Home Vintner - The Home Vintner Monthly Newsletter - July 2012


July 2012

In this newsletter

2012 Winemaker Results
Beer Bottle Colours
Wow Factor
Buyer Beware
Garlic Crusted Salmon
Bottling Beer
Follow Your Nose
Heat Belts
Wine Recommendation
Chocolate Lovers
Raspberry Beer
Lime Beer
Cherry Porter
Wine Guild
Facebook Winner Monthly Prize Winner
On Sale in July

August Long Weekend

Sat August 4 - regular hours

Sun August 5 - noon - 4

Mon August 6 - closed

WineMaker Magazine Int. Amateur Wine Competition is the largest amateur winemaking competition in North America.  Wine kits compete side-by-side in a blind judging across all categories with wines made from grapes and/or juices.  At the April 2011 competition wines made with Winexpert's premium quality brands were awarded 220 medals bringing our total to 1766 medals in the 9 annual competitions held so far.


We reward loyalty, every 11th kit is 1/2 price



 Referral Program

We truly appreciate you referring us to your family and friends. When the new vintner or brewer makes their first kit purchase, you both will receive 10% off the regular price of any kit. Referral certificates are available in our stores. (Cannot be combined with any other offer)




Winexpert is the world’s largest manufacturer of consumer winemaking products

Our wine products are supported by knowledgeable, dedicated staff.  In addition to helping choose the right wine, we will help you discover an exciting new experience...
the wine and beer making lifestyle.
Become a winemaker or grow your winemaking skills with Winexpert wine kits, equipment, supplies, and (most importantly) advice and ideas.
We continually introduce new products, click here to  see our latest products
The Home Vintner appreciates your patronage so on your birthday we email you a $10 discount coupon - this offer is also available for your partner.  The next time you are into one of our stores ensure that we have both of your birthdates.


This prestigious international competition was held April 20 – 22 in Manchester, Vermont USA. The total number of entries was 4,318 from 50 States, 8 Provinces and 7 Countries.

We extend our heartiest congratulations to two of our Wine Guild members who did extremely well in this tough competition!

Dave Bracey received two GOLD medals – 1 for his Selection White Merlot and 1 for his Selection Sparkling New Millennium. He also took a SILVER Medal for his Selection Limited Edition Pacifica White.

Wayne Thomsen, who is our 2012 Winemaker of the Year in the Alberta Amateur Winemaker Competition also had a great showing with a grand total of 13 medals!

Click here to read more... 


All beer bottles are not created equal. When we think of beer, most of us agree that brown is the classic bottle colour. There is good reason for this, because brown, or "amber" really is the best for protecting your suds from ultraviolet light, the main culprit for causing beer to taste "skunky". Everyone has had one of those, but chances are good that the offending brew did not come from a brown bottle.

Brown glass has the UV filtering power of 95 per cent, as opposed to green at 54. The "clear" loser measures in at a paltry ten per cent!

From Terésa who works in our NW store.

click here to read the entire article...


What should have been a GREAT beer, made by one of our customers, had to be dumped down the drain.  Why?  Because of a strong plastic/ chemical taste from the use of substandard plastic beer bottles.

The Home Vintner only carries the best quality, whether it be kits, corks, bottles - this includes everything we sell.

Time and time again we have seen ruined wine and beer due to poor quality corks, caps, and bottles purchased from other stores.  We always feel badly for that person, who not only invested money, but also their valuable time.

We consider our customers our friends and only want the best for them.  We back this up with our 100% guarantee, but please use our tested products!

From Paul CEO The Home Vintner


This garlic-crusted salmon with fresh tomato-basil relish is light, delicious and quick: the perfect mid-week meal.  Pour a glass of the new World Vineyard Chardonnay or Sauvignon Blanc for the perfect pairing.  Click here for the recipe...


Dear brew master: "When I open some of my home brew it is over carbonated".

If you bottle according to the number of days in the instructions you will not hit a low enough specific gravity.  The number of days is to be used as a general guide only, you must always use your hydrometer and watch the specific gravity.  When there is any surface activity in your carboy your beer is still fermenting.  When the yeast ferments the natural sugars, both alcohol and CO2 are produced.  If you bottle too early the residue sugar will ferment in the bottle along with the dextrose producing excess CO2.  Patience is the key when brewing beer - I know you can't wait to start drinking the beer but delaying bottling a week or two will avoid this problem. 

To avoid uneven carbonation from one bottle to another -occasionally stir the beer in your primary while you're bottling.  Another common error is overfilling the bottle - use one of our bottling wands to ensure the proper height.

From Ron our manager at the NW store, former Alberta Wine Maker of the Year 2011. 


As a wine and beer maker I take pride in making the best kits on the market. In order to appreciate your wine or beer to the fullest, it’s important to pay attention to quality.

The vast majority of kits on the market contain lesser quality juice and use dated technology to produce kits that have virtually NO development potential!  From what I have gained in experience, I only want to make kits that stand alone in the industry and consistently produce the best wine or beer.

Some producers claim their kits are up to the same standard as Winexpert, but don’t be fooled.  The most common fault with a lot of wine kits sold today is the lack of nose or aroma.  The wine is virtually “dead”.

It is for this reason it has to be Winexpert for me!

click here to read the entire blog...

From Wayne T Alberta's Wine Maker of the Year 2012, he is a certified wine judge (level three) and a beer judge, Wayne recently won 13 awards at the International Wine Maker Competition. 


During the summer with the furnaces off, basements are cooler.  Beer likes to ferment warmer than wine. At 23C / 73F the beer will be ready to rack earlier. At 20C / 68F it will take almost a week before the specific gravity (SG) is low enough. At cooler temperatures it can take up to 6 or 7 weeks for the SG to reach its lowest level. At cooler temperatures the yeast can stall at 3 weeks and then kick in again at 4 weeks. When people call saying that the SG won't drop we suspect right away that the beer isn't warm enough. The answer is an electric heat belt which goes on the primary and then on an Italian carboy (if you have a Mexican or North American carboy do not use the heat belt on them). The heat belt maintains the temperature at exactly 23 C. Heat belts are sold in all our stores for $29.95


This month I recommend Diablo Rojo - dark purple in colour with a nose of blackberry jam melded with creamy vanilla aromas, and a touch of tobacco.  Rich in the mouth, it has gently smooth tannins and ripe plum and berry flavours - very much in the character of an off-dry Merlot.  The finish is long and fruit-filled, with the perfect amount of toasty oak.  While it will improve with ageing, this wine is perfect for enjoying right away, delicious with robust foods and excellent all on its own. 

Sweetness: Off-dry (1) | Body: Full | Oak Intensity: Heavy

From Ron our NW manager.


Want to experience “WOW Factor”? Order our Chocolate Raspberry Port and our Chocolate Orange Port before August 1. Not just a comfortable food pairing but a surge in flavour that many have never experienced before.

Swirl the wine glass releasing the aroma. Take a sip of Chocolate Raspberry Port and suck air over your teeth so that you get the full flavour profile from the wine.  Start chewing a piece of Chocolate (Lindt Ecuador 75% Cacao Dark Chocolate, available at Superstore and London Drugs) stop for 5 seconds to let the cocoa butter coat your tongue.

Start chewing the chocolate and take a sip of Port, suck air over your teeth – WOW!

Trying this will be more than enough to prime your taste buds for the next “WOW Factor” pairing…with our NEW Chocolate Orange Port, arriving this fall!

Deadline is August 1, with delivery mid September.  Phone us and place your order today (403) 284-0486.

Click here to

From Paul CEO The Home Vintner


One of my Airdrie customers, Kelly M, made a fabulous raspberry beer.  She followed our recipe using the Barons Mexican Cerveza and frozen raspberries, and instead of using the dry yeast from the kit, she tried the Belgian Wit Wyeast.  WOW!! What a great beer for summer. The raspberry flavour is nicely accented with a hint of citrus, and it's so refreshing!

A friend and I were at Brewster’s last night, and we ordered the sample flight.  When I tried their Raspberry beer, my first thought was, "Oh boy. I prefer Kelly's!"  Look out! I think I'm becoming a "Baron's Beer Snob"!!! 

From Pat our Manager at the Airdrie store.


Success!  What better summer beer to have readily available to enjoy with good company, but the NEW Lime Cerveza.  This beer was made with a Baron’s Mexican Cerveza Kit and a 370ml bottle of Lakewood Organic Pure Lime Juice.  After much discussion with The Home Vintner team, we had ventured out to find pure lime juice in hopes to create the perfect blend.  Our first attempt at the Lime Cerveza and it had turned out great!  One bottle of Lakewood Lime Juice is equivalent to 14-16 limes and it seems to be just the right amount.  We are so happy with the result and receiving two thumbs up from Ron, Wayne, Les & Paul was a true honour.  I think the only thing that is missing is a hot sunny day!

As always, thank you to The Home Vintner team for your support and guidance, it is clear that you want to make great beer makers out of all of us.

Your friends, Brad & Marie

click here to read our blog and see a picture of the bottle... 


Watch your local markets for this years cherry crop and try Pat's Cherry Porter recipe available in all of our stores.  Each glass of Cherry Porter is lush and creamy with a fruity aroma. Rich and sensual, the flavour is reminiscent of Black Forest cake, with sweet chocolate notes and a slightly smoky character from the roasted malts- add on packs includes Black Patent Malt, Chocolate Malt and Roasted Barley.  Try Wyeast 1084 Irish Ale.  3 lbs of cherries for each 5 litres of wort.

click here to read a blog... 

click here to follow Ron making a Cherry Porter with daily pictures and updates...

from Pat our Airdrie manager


We always welcome new members into our Wine Guild. We usually meet about once every two months to taste different wines (& beer!), compare wines, teach you how to judge wine, discuss any new guild business, and socialize. It's a great way to try different wine & beer, and meet people who share the same interests as you!

We also organize different field trips – some of which have been – a tour and tasting of Fieldstone Fruit Wines in the Strathmore area / a tour and tasting at Fallentimber Meadery in the Sundre area / a tour and tasting at Wild Rose Brewery, Calgary etc.

click here to read the entire post...


Join us on facebook to enter our draw. To qualify for the draw become a friend of The Home Vintner on Facebook. This months winner of a $25 gift certificate is: Marc P...

click here to become a friend on facebook...


Each month, every wine or beer purchase automatically enters you into our monthly draw.  Congratulations to Vince M from Cochrane - pick up your $34.95 Breathable Eisch wine glass at the Cochrane store.



During July - 2 for 1! 
First person pays $25.00, the second person is free.  If you have taken this course before and would like a refresher there is no charge for you and a guest.
Paul demonstrates the making of a wine kit from the first steps right through to removing the CO2 and proper corking. Years of experience are shared, so the novice wine makers can be successful on their first attempt. For those who have made wine for years, there are new methods which will improve your end result. Also, step by step Paul walks you through the making of a beer kit with secrets shared so your first kit will be a success. Pre-registration is required. Payment of $25 per person is payable at the class. Each student will receive a coupon worth 15% off their next wine or beer kit.

click here to view our current calendar...


Twisted Mist - $10 Off

The new seasonal Twisted Mist Hard Pink Lemonade and Lime Margarita has sold out across Canada.  We have been able to source a limited supply.  This product is available in a combo pack which will produce 15 bottles of each with bottle labels included for both.  Bring on summer! Please phone first to check on availability.

2011 Limited Editions

The Limited Editions have sold out across Canada.  We have received some extra 2011 Limited Editions - $10 off your first kit and $25 off your second kit in July

Available while supplies last.



 Vintner's Reserve - continues to set the standard in its category by yielding wines of excellent quality, flavour and aroma.

Vintner's Reserve World Vineyard - featuring popular grape varietals, with grape juices and concentrates from some of the finest growing regions in the world, this 10 litre kit produces high quality wines that you can enjoy within one month after bottling.

Vintner's Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon - $5 Off

A bold, medium-bodied red wine with rich black fruit and hints of spice.  The flavour profile includes plum, ripe cherry, blackberry, warm spice, vanilla, tobacco and leather aromas and flavours, along with a black currant aroma and flavour.

read more - wikipedia

Sweetness: Dry | Body: Medium | Oak Intensity: LIGHT



Vintner's Reserve Sauvignon Blanc - $5 Off

The flavour is full and dry, with a fruity, herbaceous character, which finishes crisp and clean.  A versatile wine which handles a wide range of herbs, spices and flavourings.  Medium-light yellow, attractive, floral, fragrant, spicy, moderately grassy, apple and melon aroma, medium-full body; supple, melon and tropical fruit flavours with a silky mouth feel, lingering aftertaste.

Sweetness: Dry | Body: Light-Medium | Oak Intensity: None

read more - wikipedia

World Vineyard Italian Barolo - Silver Award Winner - $5 Off

Barolo has been called the "king of wines" and the "wine of kings".  It is one of the world's best wines and is made from only the very best Nebbiolo grapes, grown near the town of Alba in Italy's Piedmont.  Barolo, a robust red, is medium bodied and very dry.  The aroma is similar to ripe strawberries, tar, roses, violets and truffles.

A luminous dark cherry colour, our Barolo has rich, spicy fruit and delivers the true character of the grape and land.  Typical flavours are cherries, violets, black licorice, truffles and it finishes with rich, chewy, deep and long-lasting flavour.  Burly, assertive 'chewy' wine, it is not for the faint of heart, but for those seeking intensity and complexity, there is nothing else like Barolo.

Sweetness: Dry | Body: Medium | Oak Intensity: Light

read more - wikipedia 

World Vineyard Italian Pinot Grigio - $5 Off

This is our number one best seller in Canada.  Dry in character with a pleasant zip of acidity, shows off a pleasant floral fragrance and tremendous fruit flavours.  Clear, straw yellow colour, with golden reflections.  Light and crisp with tropical fruit notes with apple, pear, peach, nuts, melon and pineapple aromas and flavours with a honey and smoky flavour component as well.

The texture is worth noting, as it has very smooth, almost silk-like overtones that leave an impression on the palate. 

Sweetness: Dry | Body: Light-Medium | Oak Intensity: None

read more - wikipedia


Mexican Cerveza - $4 OFF

A personal favorite, and recommendation for those who want a great summer beer is the Mexican Cerveza - nothing quenches better than this – light and easygoing.  Fresh, bright, light bodied, clean flavour - great on the patio and beach. Comparable to a Pacifico.

How about a lime, raspberry, blueberry or mango Cerveza?  Recipes are in our stores now.

You can create a wonderful Belgian Wit using Mexican Cerveza as the background.  A light, refreshing beer with a clean crisp profile. As with most wheat beers, the relatively high protein content leads to haze, giving the beer a light golden colour . With light body, slight sweetness and a zesty orange-fruity finish. Coriander, orange peel and our special Wyeast Belgian Wit yeast produces the complexity and depth of fruity flavours contained within the glass.

Use Belgin Wit - 3944 Wyeast Belgin Witbier yeast, and our add on pack of coriander and orange peel.  read more - wikipedia

Follow Ron day by day as he makes a Belgin Wit, click here to watch the process...

Ronnie's Roasted Pumpkin Cerveza - Les calls this new beer, "Thanksgiving in a glass!"  Our pumpkin beer is mild, with no bitterness, with hints of cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger and cloves.  Pumpkin Cerveza will add seasonal cheer to your beer collection.  The Barons Mexican Cerveza allows the pumpkin pie flavours to come through beautifully.

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