The Home Vintner - The Home Vintner Monthly Newsletter - October 2012




Thanksgiving Long Weekend

NW NE Airdrie Stores

Sat Oct 6 - regular hours

Sun Oct 7 - noon - 4
(Airdrie - closed)

Mon Oct 8 - 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 2012 competition wines made with Winexpert's premium quality brands were awarded 281 medals bringing our total to 2047 medals in the 10 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.



A collection of five limited edition varietals from some of the world's most renowned wine growing regions.  Now known simply as LE2012 with a focus on the harvest year.  These wines sell out every year and, as their name suggests, they can only be ordered during a very short time period annually between October and December prior to their release the following year.

January - Argentine Malbec Bonarda
January - Argentine Torrontes
February - Portuguese Aragones Cabernet Sauvignon
March - Washington Riesling Chenin Blanc
April - Italian Nebbiolo with grape skins

• Click here to see full product reviews, recipes and videos with Tim Vandergrift.

• Pre-order and/or pre-pay forms will soon be online - access will be from our home page.

• Save 10% by pre-paying!

• Deadline for pre-order & pre-paying is December 7, 2012. 


We would like to invite you to our 2012 Limited Edition tasting and food samplings with special guest Tim Vandergrift.  We sell out every year, to guarantee a seat please buy your ticket right away.

click here to see Tim's blog and learn more...

• When: Thursday November 8th

• Where: Capitol Hill Community Centre

• Address: 1531 21 Ave. N.W.

• Time: 7:00 pm sharp

• Cost: $15 per person ($10 toward charity and $5 credit toward the purchase of a Limited Edition Wine Kit)


It’s hard to believe the Airdrie store has been in business for TEN years! In appreciation of our awesome customers, we are hosting an Open House on Saturday October 20 from noon to 4 PM.

We will be serving the commercial equivalents of this years fabulous Limited Edition wine kit line-up along with delicacies from the kitchen of Chef Nash. Drop by, take advantage of in-store specials and enter our prize draws to win a LE2012 kit and a full malt Barons beer kit.

click here to

from Pat our manager of the Airdrie store


It's always a pleasure to welcome veteran home brewers and vintners to our stores, but lately I have noticed an exciting new trend: more and more enthusiastic groups of young people stopping by to get started on a new hobby.  Even though most of you are busy with all kinds of other activities, it's so much fun to see two or three friends taking the time to meet up, discuss what brew to start, whose place they are going to set up in, and even the type of bottles to use for the finished product. 

I can't think of a much better way to hang out with friends while doing something that takes teamwork, cooperation and sometimes compromise.  More fun than helping someone move or fixing a transmission, that's for sure.  So when
it's all done and ready to pour, you can clink glasses and really mean it when you say "Here's to us!" 

A hearty welcome to a rewarding (and possibly habit forming!) hobby, from the staff at the Home Vintner.

From Terésa who loves working at the NW store.


(Excerpt from Tim Vandergrift's wine blog)

Fall is here and for winemakers that means one thing: 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.

click here to read the entire article...


WINE CHEESE CHOCOLATE CHARITY EVENING FOR AIWC held Friday, September 28th in Airdrie by The Home Vintner

Paul and Pat, Hello there. I wanted to send a note expressing my gratitude for all of your generosity you have shown AIWC. It is greatly appreciated and the funds we raised will go to good use. Those in attendance enjoyed themselves and I'm sure went away with greater knowledge than when they arrived.

Thank you both so much. You are fine members of the community and make it a better place to be!

Take care & keep enjoying fine wine (I know I will!).

You may view the AIWC website at...


Nomacorcs are the synthetic corks that Winexpert uses and recommends most frequently. We prefer them even to natural cork, or to agglomerates of natural cork with silicone surface treatments.

Nomacorcs display several advantages over other sorts of cork. One of those is the neoprene coating on the outside of the cork blank. It is slightly tacky, which allows the cork to fill in gaps around any irregularities on the inside of the bottle neck when it’s inserted. Yet under shear, the neoprene is quite slippery, as the molecules align along the friction of the shear. In plain terms, this means they go into the bottle as though greased.

click here to


With the introduction of our new and improved Vintners Reserve and World Vineyard we've had a parade of customers come into the store thinking there is something wrong with their hydrometer.  With more juice and character we are seeng start-up Specific Gravity as high as 1.097!  A lot of winemakers are not used to seeing numbers this high.  This is much higher than any comparable wine kit on the market and higher than competitors so-called "premium" brands.

When Winexpert wanted to ensure their position as being the very best in the marketplace, they took this challenge very seriously.  We sell only the best with the proof in the hydrometer and character of our wines.

from Paul CEO of The Home Vintner 


You can find information about ageing your wine in the product guide we have provided with your kit.  The general rule is that a bottle will show most of its character after 3 months of ageing, and that’s usually the minimum we recommend.  However, for most whites and virtually all reds, 6 months of ageing is needed to smooth out the wine and allow it to express its character in a mature way. And in fact, heavy reds will continue to improve for at least a year, rewarding the patient consumer with a delicious bouquet. What most winemakers tend to do is go by the minimum recommended ageing period of 3 months, trying a bottle at that time, then leaving the wine a few more months before trying again to see how it has progressed.

click here to


Congratulations to our winners at the Amateur Winemakers of Canada Competition.  Out of 26 Alberta awards we won 15!

Think about joining our Wine Guild! It's a great way to meet new friends who also enjoy making their own wine and beer. We are very proud of our guild, whose members have won close to 600 awards, provincially, nationally and internationally.  All Wine Guild meetings and Field Trips are posted on our website Events Calendar


The reason we use Potassium Metabisulphite in wine is that it is a stable source of sulphur dioxide in winemaking. The use of sulphur compounds is not a recent innovation: the great Dutch shipping empire popularised the use of sulphur in the 16th century, by refusing to ship any wines that were not treated with it. Sulphite-treated wines were the only ones that survived a long sea voyage without turning into vinegar.

Sulphites work by releasing free sulphur dioxide, which inhibits yeast, mould and bacteria. It does this in two ways: firstly, it kills some of the organisms outright, and secondly, it blocks the surviving organisms’ ability to reproduce. If your winemaking equipment is physically clean and you've rinsed it with a sulphite solution, nothing will grow on it.

click here to read more... 


Selection International Argentine Malbec with grape skins is a medium / full-bodied, dry red wine with firm acidity, rich tannins and generous alcohol levels. Dark, inky purple colour and ripe fruit flavours of plums, black cherry and blackberry give an almost jammy character on the palate. Smoke, earth, leather, wild game, tobacco and white/black pepper along with intriguingly spicy notes make for an interesting medley of aromas and flavours, adding to layers of complexity.

Definitely a wine for red meat, it is adaptable enough to stand up to spicy cuisines, such as Mexican, Cajun, Indian, Thai or Italian, working especially well with barbecue and other hard to pair meat-based dishes.

Sweetness: Dry | Body: Medium-Full | Oak Intensity: Medium

from Ron our NW manager, 2011 AB winemaker of the year


Why are there 2 packages of yeast in some of your products?  To "jumpstart" some of our kits Winexpert is providing additional yeast.  Use both packages of yeast.




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 Morgan MacK...

click here to like us on facebook... 


Each month, every wine or beer purchase automatically enters you into our monthly draw.  This months winner of a $25 gift certificate is from our Drumheller store Dave Bur...



"My wife and I attended your course last night, what a good time!! You guys are extremely knowledgeable and the class had everything you could ask for. I've been telling everyone at work about the class and I can't wait to pick up a kit and start making my own grape drinks and Barley sandwiches..... thanks again and hopefully see you sooner rather then later...keep up the good work!!!"

“We attended the class last week and had a fantastic time. We didn't know what to expect and found it both very entertaining and educational!”

During October - 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.

click here to view our event calendar...



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

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.

New Vintner's Reserve Shiraz - $5 Off

Our own "big red" entry on the world stage, Shiraz boasts an incredible concentrated blend of plum and blackberry fruit, with spice and chocolate, all within a firm structure that leads to a tannic, fruity finish and hints of smoky oak. A stunning, mouth-filling, dark and delicious treat.

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


New Vintner's Reserve Pinot Gris - $5 Off

Pinot Gris has a lovely yellow-gold, amber colour.  With great aromatic complexity, it develops distinctive smoky notes: aromas of forest floor, mushrooms, moss, beeswax, and gingerbread. Pinot Gris benefits from decanting a few moments before being served in order for its complexity to be fully appreciated, yet it drinks well while still young.  Refreshing and light-bodied, this wine also shows green apple, pear and honeydew. Excellent paired with light meals, peppered white fish, and creamy cheeses.

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


New World Vineyard California Trinity Red - $5 Off

Perfectly balanced, well-structured dry Meritage-style blend of three of California's most popular grape varieties - Cabernet Franc, Cabernet Sauvignon, and Merlot. Notes of black cherry and coffee complement the smokey, herbal flavours, and hints of vanilla that round out this medium bodied wine.

Sweetness: Dry | Body: Medium-Full | Oak Intensity: Medium

wikipedia on Cabernet Franc...
wikipedia on Cabernet Sauvignon...
wikipedia on Merlot...

New World Vineyard California Trinity White - $5 Off

A unique blend of Colombard, Sauvignon Blanc and Semillon, combining lemon and grapefruit aromas with rounded fruit, redolent of melons and fresh figs to round out this crisp refreshing medium-bodied white.

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

wikipedia on Colombard...
wikipdia on Sauvignon Blanc...
wikipedia on Semillon...


Mexican Cerveza - $4 OFF

A personal favorite, and recommendation for those who want a great beer is the Mexican Cerveza - nothing quenches better than this – light and easygoing. Fresh, bright, light bodied, clean flavour - great by the fire pit. Comparable to a Pacifico.  How about a lime, raspberry, blueberry or mango Cerveza? Recipes are in our stores.

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

Watch Ron as he makes a Belgian 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.  Recipes are available in our stores.

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