The Home Vintner - The Home Vintner Monthly Newsletter - April 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.

• April Super Tuscan – Italy (with skins) 
     • click here to see a one page PDF
     • click here to see a short video                                             

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


Super Tuscan wines, now considered to be some of the best in the world, weren't always considered so. The name ‘Super Tuscan’ was coined in the 1970’s by Italian Wine producers in Tuscany who believed that the governing rules of the production of Chianti were too restrictive. The Italian government at this time had banned the use of grapes such as Merlot, Cabernet and Syrah for wines carrying an official quality designation. When producers would dare to use the contraband grapes, their wines were labelled “vino da tavola”, Italy's lowest wine classification.

Most Super Tuscan wines contain Sangiovese (either blended or in full) but other can be solely Merlot, blends, or obscure blends that contain wines such as Petite Verdot, commonly known as the “Bordeaux-style blend”.

Generally, Super Tuscans are great to cellar for long periods of time, often the longer the better! It has taken some time to convince people that Sangiovese is an ageable grape varietal. This is one of the reasons Super Tuscans have become so popular,with the addition of Merlot, Cabernet and Syrah to the traditional Sangiovese, the wine will be much fuller bodied and thus age much better.

Super Tuscans usually have powerful fruit and sweet oak with lots of tannins and acidity which are two of the defining factors of ageability. All in all, these wines age into elegant yet powerful wines, and you would do well to put some (or all!) in your cellar for as long as you can!


All Home Vintner wine & beer kits are tax free.

When you purchase a 750ml bottle of wine from a liquor store in Alberta, you pay two taxes:

• Alberta Gaming & Liquor Commission (AGLC) mark-up rate for 750 ml wine under 16% alcohol is $2.59 a bottle.

• GST on the entire purchase including GST on the AGLC tax.  So you are paying tax on a tax!  

• The AGLC standard mark-up rate for beer is $.98 per litre plus GST.

With the proposed AB budget these taxes will be going up.  It's a great time to get ahead for the summer tax free.


Bergeron Cheese Shoppe, Cochrane - During April, our Cochrane satellite store is offering their Le Lotbinière Cheese on sale to our customers. This delicious cheese goes great with salty snacks and cold beer, and is perfect for making sauces, fondue, and raclette.  Medium, interior-ripened cheese is easily recognizable by its shiny holes and mildy sweet aroma.

Water Pure and Simple, Drumheller - free jug of water with the purchase of any wine kit ($10 refundable deposit required)

Olds Droplets Water Company, Olds - offers a 10% discount to all students who are attending the Brewmaster course at the Olds College.






From Vine to Cork, Rocky Mountain Houseour Wine & Beer Making class for April is on April 18th at 1 p.m. Please call or drop in to register for free. Private evening classes are offered by appointment only – please call to register – a $25.00 fee will be charged which will be applied to the purchase of your first wine or beer kit.


The spring limited run of Paddock Wood beer kits are now in stock.  Directly from Saskatchewan's first microbrewery, you can make perfectly engineered craft beer at home.

Craft beer breaks all the traditional rules, as Paddock Wood say themselves "There are so many stereotypes surrounding beer... it's a man's drink... it's only good in the summer to quench your thirst... taste doesn't really matter." But, stereotypes don't apply to craft beer at all. There are so many distinctive flavours, you really need to taste them. You will be pleasantly surprised.  So what are you waiting for? Be adventurous!

Now in stock in the 23 litre kit:

• Spitfire English - traditional English Pale Ale.

• The Eye of Porter - a classic English-style porter.  Chocolate and subtle coffee notes.

• Yakima IPA - a classic IPA brewed with west coast hops for a distinct flavour.  Extra Amarillo hops included

• American Wheat- a refreshing, fruity wheat bear.

• Dark Rye Ale - a dark ale with rye spiciness.  Finished with amarillo hops.

• 909 - a spin off of our flagship IPA   606. Hoppy and aromatic with the citrus notes of cascade hop.

• Toucan Stout - a coal black stout with a hint of silky chocolate flavour.


Recently, one of our customers brought us a fantastic surprise. A bottle of 1998 Winexpert Selection Petite Sirah! This wine has been discontinued for some years, meaning this wine had been aged for SEVENTEEN years! We couldn't wait to get home and pop the cork that evening. Wow! This delightful wine had aged beautifully, and was as complex and robust as any high end 17 year old commercial variety would be.

Deep notes of coffee, with a cedar nose and intense dark fruits on the palate, it was absolutely fantastic. Most other brands  of wine kits just don't have the structure to age beyond the first year, regardless of the price you paid for them. Grapes for our Selection and Eclipse wine kits are carefully selected to ensure they exemplify the qualities and structure needed to age well. Just be sure you are storing your wine in the appropriate conditions, away from light, slightly humid, and at a cool and constant temperature. These customers used corks purchased at The Home Vintner, did not add any extra sulphites, and the proof was in the bottle an incredible seventeen years later.


Hard Pink Lemonade and Hard Limeade, here for a limited time.  

Get ready to start your very own backyard lemonade stand with these delicious creations from Island Mist.  With flavours of freshly squeezed lemons, Hard Pink Lemonade has the classic taste with a kick. New Hard Lime is refreshingly tart with flavours of freshly squeezed limes and just the right amount of sweet.  Both flavours are 7.5% alcohol, with a sweetness code of 5. Available for a limited time only, so stock up to ensure you don’t run out!

 Click here to view PDF...


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

Now available just in time for spring.


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

Now available.


As wine culture continues its upward momentum in North America (surpassing beer sales several years ago) the savvy consumer is expected to know a thing or two when perusing wine lists or the aisles of a liquor shop. The Herald’s wine and spirit columnists do their part in keeping you abreast of trends and generally cool things to drink, so here’s your opportunity to test your knowledge and pick up some obscure wine trivia to annoy your friends. Good luck!

Click here to take the Calgary Herald Wine Quiz 2015...


We truly appreciate you referring The Home Vintner 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 forms are available in our stores. 



The Fall Limited Release Dessert Wine program is on its way. This fall, we are pleased to offer three flavours: Chocolate Raspberry, Chocolate Orange and brand new Chocolate Salted Caramel.

As a pre-order program orders must be submitted before June 8th. 


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

• Vintners Reserve Pinot Noir and Pinot Blanc - $5 Off

• World Vineyard Australian Shiraz and Australian Chardonnay - $5 Off


• CZECH STYLE PILSNER - Barons Pilsner - $4 OFF 

Pilsner is a type of pale lager that takes its name from the town it which is was first brewed in Plzen, Bohemia, Czech Republic.

Originally it was first brewed in 1295 but used a “top-fermentation” process by which the yeast was skimmed off the top and saved for the next batch. As such, the beers varied wildly in taste. This led to a city owned brewery opened in 1839 called Měšťanský pivovar Plzeň which translates roughly to Citizens Brewery which started brewing beer using a “bottom-fermentation” style, where the yeast was let to settle on the bottom. This dramatically improved the shelf life and clarity of the final product. By the mid 1800s the beer had made its way to Prague, Vienna and Paris. It is still produced today throughout the world but the original brewery is now known by the name Pilsner Urquell. 

Modern pilsners are fermented in large stainless steel tanks but some are still brewed traditionally for comparison. The modern pilsner is a very light colour from pale to golden and has a hoppy aroma and flavour.

Our hop focus Czech style pilsner will be on sale in April with the option of an add-on package for Black Pilsner. We also have an option for Wyeast Pilsner yeast to help you create an authentic, high quality product.


In the craft beer industry today, more focus is being placed on emphasizing the characteristics of a specific hop. In this second release in our Hop Series, we have brought Saaz to the front of this aromatic Barons Pilsner (on sale in April).

Expect this Pilsner to be floral with a touch of spice - like a Czech Pilsner but with more aromatics. The dry malt finish adds extra complexity and leads into a great mouth feel and head. Add on kits now available, liquid yeast options are also recommended.


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 Barb & Brian Conn...


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 Barb Don...



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 @AAhrens83 




April 3 Good Friday 

NW & NE store: noon - 4
Airdrie: closed

April 4 Saturday 

NW, NE & Airdrie: regular store hours

April 5 Easter Sunday 

NW, NE & Airdrie: closed

April 6 Easter Monday

NW & NE: noon - 4

Airdrie: closed

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