The Home Vintner - The Home Vintner Monthly Newsletter - January 2013



Wine & beer making classes

During January - 2 for 1! First person pays $25.00, the second person is free.

Join Paul, Ron and Wayne as they make both a wine & beer kit in front of the class.

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

Jan 8 - 7 PM NW
Jan 12 - 9 AM Airdrie
Jan 17 - 7 PM NE
Jan 22 - 7 PM NW
Jan 29 - 7 PM Cochrane

When the classes sell out, additional classes may be posted on our event calendar.

Click here to go to our event calendar...


2012 Competitions

The Home Vintner is proud of its customer’s achievements in attaining 590 awards and medals in various home brewing competitions.

Provincial - Alberta Winemakers Association (AAW) April

Our Home Vintner Wine Guild won 1/2 of the awards in the Province - 35 out of 68 with Wayne taking Alberta Winemaker of the Year & Pat taking Best of Show.

National - Amateur Winemakers of Canada Association (AWC) September

The top 30 bottles of wine from the AAW were submitted to the 2012 AWC Competition. Our Home Vintner Wine Guild won 15 of 26 medals awarded.

Congrats Wayne Thomsen, Dave Bracey, Paul Sass, Pat Morrison, Ron Goodhew and Ken Gibson


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

Purchase 10 wine or beer kits and your 11th kit is 1/2 price! Your 1/2 price wine kit may be any wine kit available in the store. Purchases may be made at any Home Vintner store with no time limit.



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.



On your birthday

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.


Canada's top 10 best sellers

Which wine should you add to your cellar? Our top Winexpert sellers across Canada in 2012:

1 World Vineyard Italian Pinot Grigio
2 Vintner’s Reserve Liebfraumilch
3 Selection Italian Pinot Grigio
4 Vintner’s Reserve White Zinfandel
5 Vintner’s Reserve Merlot 
6 Selection Australian Shiraz
7 Vintner’s Reserve Mezza Luna Red
8 World Vineyard Australian Shiraz 
9 Vintner’s Reserve Vieux Chateau du Roi
10 Vintner’s Reserve Pinot Noir

results from Winexpert Canada wide



The Home Vintner is introducing a new delivery service for our local clients who are unable to make it into our store. We've partnered with an express courier company who will bring our store to you!

For local deliveries of all products from any of our 9 locations order on line or phone your local store.  When ordering wine on line add your wine to the comment section.  We will calculate the delivery cost and contact you for approval.

 click here for on line shopping...



A collection of five limited edition varietals from some of the worlds most renowned wine growing regions are being released between now and April.  This year, they're known simply as LE2012 with a focus on the harvest year.  We will be bringing in a skid of these every week in January. If you pre-ordered please phone to have your product tagged and saved for you.

If you didn't pre-order we have a few extras available.

January - Argentine Malbec Bonarda

January - Argentine Torrontes


The first time I made this wine, I made the mistake of using my wine thief and tasting some as it cleared.  By the time I bottled this amazing wine I was missing many bottles.

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.

click here to read my entire blog...

from Ron NW manager, 2011 AB Winemaker of the Year


During our wine & beer making classes I often ask, "Who has tasted awful home made beer?"  Almost everyones says, "Yes".  It doesn't have to be that way, but, sadly, quality varies greatly among beer kit manufacturers.  If you didn't pay much for a beer kit and it's poor tasting it's understandable, but if you paid top dollar and it's still lousy beer that's wrong!

We take our beer seriously and want to help you consistently produce beers of craft brewery calibre.  With over a dozen different Barons beer varieties plus more than 20 tested recipes plus grain and hop add on packs plus liquid yeast we are here for great beer!

For those who have tried to make beer in the past we encourage you to try beer again.  We guarantee your success!

from Paul CEO of The Home Vintner 


After 5 years of development, the Eclipse series has now replaced the Estate series. The price remains the same with labels included.

Eclipse is an Ultra Premium selection designed as an 8 week kit with 18 litres of varietal. Some of the reds are offered with grape skins, depending on the style of wine. As Winexpert continues to dedicate themselves to product development and improvement, the results are going to show – IN YOUR BOTTLE!

All wines are NOW AVAILABLE!

Click here to see the full collection and learn more about the varietals.


We have thousands of visitors view our website every month.  Locally 1 out of 4 view us from a mobile device.  Worldwide in December we were visited from 61 countries. While on our site check out our new Search Engine, it is located on the left side of the site.

Look at our glossary - it is an alphabetical list of terms used in a field of knowledge. Kit winemaking is pretty specialized, and even if much of this terminology is obvious or well-known to experienced winemakers, there is still a real benefit to reading a glossary of things you already know. This helps you keep your knowledge sharp. And for first-time or fairly new winemakers, having one place to look for all these terms is useful as a reminder and as reinforcement of new knowledge. 

click here to visit our glossary...

click here to go to our website...


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 wine & beer cellar down the drain.  My palate had changed and I started to understand wine & beer.  Why invest your money and time to produce a low quality product that neither you or your friends can truly enjoy? 

When I became the Alberta winemaker of the year in 2011 using Home Vintner products, it gave me a new platform to express my opinion.  I enjoy our clients because they appreciate our input, understand quality and enjoy their hobby!  In the last 4 years, members of our wine guild have been the Alberta wine maker of the year for 3 years.  Congratulations to both Ken and Wayne! 

from Ron NW manager, 2011 AB Winemaker of the Year


I hear it every week, "It is day 10 so it is time to stabilize my wine" -No No No, never go by days.  In Calgary at 3500 feet above sea level, with drastic barometric pressure changes and Chinooks combined they all delay the fermentation process.  Use the number days as a rough guide but always go by the actual Specific Gravity.  It will be closer to 30 days before you will reach 0.996.  If you stabilize at 10 days you will kill the yeast before your wine has completed fermentation and you will have a lovely grape drink.

from Ron NW manager, 2011 AB Winemaker of the Year

click here to read Paul's comments on days...

click here to read Ron's wine making tips...


To successfully remove CO2 from your wine we recommend our Vacuvin system.  For under $20 you can create a vacuum in your carboy which will remove the CO2 from your wine.  At our altitude stirring or whipping your wine is ineffective, it may also damage your wine by introducing oxygen into your wine.  Ask any of our staff about this method of removing CO2.

click here to read Paul's comments on the Vacuvin...


Adding “polish” to a wine’s appearance is the number one reason home winemakers elect to filter their wines. It adds a glassy and pure look to the wine that is simply appealing. Filtration will not make a cloudy wine become clear. That is not its purpose.

Our filter rentals are to be used only for Winexpert kits. If you try to filter a wine purchased at a discount store often the dyes and glycerin will clog the filter and you will be unsuccessful in completing the process.

click here to

click here to watch Paul's demo...


From reading the side panels on wine kit boxes most people can figure out that Winexpert kits contain concentrate, juice and other winemaking staples like acid and sulfite. However, just how these things come together to make your kit is fascinating. from Winexpert

click here to


Our beer sales are through the roof as we continue to create new recipes.  Using the Barons beer kits as a base, we have grain add on packs and liquid yeast that allow you to twist your beer in new directions.  Wayne's newest recipe has created a new demand for our Canadian Hi-Test which produces a Scotch India Pale Ale - wow!!! this is an amazing beer!

from Ron NW manager, 2011 AB Winemaker of the Year


IPA is light amber to copper in colour and was introduced in the late 18th century in response to the long ocean journey from England to India.  To stabilize and help avoid spoilage more hops were used in the brewing process.  This added to the beer's bitterness which worked to mask any stale flavour resulting from the long voyage. The antiseptic properties of alcohol assured Indian expats the safe arrival of their ale. 

Our award winning IPA recipe with add on pack is available for both Barons Pale Ale and Canadian Hi-Test.  Add 1/2 a mickey (about 175 ml) of Brandy, Rum or Scotch to create an Innes and Gunn style.  Use a 19 litre carboy to create a West Coast IPA.  For the ultimate IPA use our British Ale liquid yeast.

from Ron NW manager, 2011 AB Winemaker of the Year


When making wine or beer your primary is used for 1 week and then empty.  One primary can feed 4 carboys a month!  The secret is to have enough carboys fermenting to get ahead of your demand.  Most of our customers have at least 6 carboys on the go all of the time.  We recommend glass Italian carboys available in all of our stores.


Check us out on Facebook - Pat from our Airdrie store has added a lot of great humour to our site.  To qualify for the draw become a friend of The Home Vintner on Facebook. This months winner of a $25 gift certificate is Katharine Stev...   

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 Glen Sem... from our NW store.



Vintners 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.


Vintners Reserve Vieux Chateau du Roi- $5 Off (Chateauneuf-du-Pape style)

The intense aroma of this BIG red features a complex mélange of ripe cherries, blackberries and bell peppers. Another of the “Grande” wines for the red wine lover. One of our heaviest reds this wine is full of oak and full of flavour.  Full-bodied, yet soft and quick to mature, this is the perennially popular French red wine blend that continues to keep them coming back with its smooth, easy charms.  A Winexpert specialty blending a host of grape varieties, each contributing to the layers of aroma and flavours that make this so special.  Complex and full of character, yet supple and easy drinking.

Vieux Chateau du Roi is deep red and aggressive with complex flavours resulting from a blend of grape varieties which layer flavours and aromas of ripe fruit, berries, plum, spice, and oak.  This fruit-forward blend should be enjoyed with grilled meat, salmon, or other deeply flavoured dishes.  Strong cheeses such as aged Cheddar and Stilton make fine accompaniments as well.  Good for heavier meals, dinner parties, and cold-weather entertaining.

Read more about the 13 blends with the Popes from 1303.

read more - wikipedia...

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

Vintners Reserve Piesporter Style- $5 Off

Named after the village in Germany's Mosel wine region world-renowned for its high quality wines, Piesporter is characterized by a vivid fruitiness and lively balancing acidity.  A white, light body wine that ranges from dry to off-dry, it can be made from Riesling, Müller-Thurgau or Elbling grapes.
Our Piesporter is made from Riesling grapes, the kit includes both dried elderflowers and the Winexpert Finishing Pack which will round the sweetness and intensify the flavors. The elderflowers contribute to the floral aromas.

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

read more - wikipedia...

World Vineyard Spanish Tempranillo  - $5 Off

Gorgeous ruby red in color, this medium-bodied wine is Spain's answer to Cabernet Sauvignon, with berry, plum and herbal notes running to a lush finish of tobacco, leather and vanilla.  Pronounced "tem-pra-nee-yo," Tempranillo is a spicy wine that is the most famous of the Spanish reds.  Most of the wine regions in Spain grow Tempranillo including the well known regions of Rioja, Rivera de Duero and Penedes.

Although Spanish wine makers usually use it in red wine blends, wine drinkers in the county deem this their favorite type of red wine.  It grows well in fairly cool climates and has a tendency to begin to ripen early.

It typically has hints of strawberry, cherry, spice and tobacco. It's also one of the grapes used in Portugal to make port.  An interesting thing about this grape is that it has different names in different wine regions.

Even in the different wine regions in Spain, it's known by different names. In the Penedes wine region in Spain, it's called Ull de Llebre, in Portugal it's known as Roriz and in Argentina it's called Tempranilla.  In the last few years, more countries have planted this grape.

It's now grown in a few wine regions in the United States and most recently in Australia.  Due to the increase of planting in other wine regions in the world, it's also becoming known as a fine wine internationally.

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

read more - wikipedia...

World Vineyard French Sauvignon Blanc - $5 Off

Steely, grassy, herbaceous - the classic traits of Sauvignon Blanc. Sourced directly from the French countryside, crisp and dry, this wine is best enjoyed young.  The aroma of Sauvignon is unmistakable with its green leafy notes, gooseberry fruit, mineral and melon.Sweetness: Dry | Body: Light-Medium | Oak Intensity: None

read more - wikipedia

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


Barons Canadian Draught- $4 OFF

Enjoy the smooth refreshing draught experience in your back yard this spring. Creamy beer with a sparkling golden colour. Lightly hopped to bring out the true, just-tapped flavour of pub-style draughts. Notes of a citrus background.

Liquid yeast option - either 1098 British Ale, 2565 Kolsch or 1056 American Ale.

read more - wikipedia

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