The Home Vintner - The Home Vintner Monthly Newsletter - January 2011

January 2011

In this newsletter

January Limiteds

Ask the Vintner

New Beer Bottles at 1/2 price


Wine & Beer Classes

Wine & Beer on Sale

Happy New Year from the HV staff!!



Pre-orders are now available for pick up:

Australian Shiraz/Viognier (Heaviest Body)

This is a full-bodied red wine, and the heaviest of our three reds, even though we are blending a white grape (Viognier) with the Shiraz - 90% Shiraz, 10% Viognier.

Our grapes come from the Salmon Gum Vineyards in the Riverland District, which is part of the Murray Darling Basin.  There's plenty of sunshine and heat in the Riverland which is perfect to ripen up the Shiraz, mixed with ample irrigation to control the rate of ripening.

Viognier is an especially aromatic wine and the idea of blending it with Shiraz is to provide some soft aromatics to the heavy, tannic character of Shiraz.

Distinguishing feature of Shiraz is the small berries with a thick skin.  Most of the colour, flavour, aroma and tannin in red wine comes from the skin.  Small berries = high skin to pulp ratio, so lots of big, robust fruit flavours.  Thick skin = lots of tannin.

There will be cross-over between the red and the white flavours. Shiraz will give chewy blackberry and chocolate notes with lots of tannin, but this will be balanced slightly by delicate perfume notes provided by Viognier.  Aging this wine out for at least 18 months will produce the amazing subtle peppery spice that Shiraz is renowned for.

Pacifica White (Off – Dry)

Like last year's Pacific Quartet the Pacifica White also contains 4 different grape varietals from growing regions located on the Pacific Rim:

- Sauvignon Blanc ~ California
- Viognier ~ California
- Chardonnay ~ Okanagan, BC
- Semillon ~ Australia

It is not a traditional blend and each grape has been chosen for the balance that it provides to the others.  This wine will have layers of flavour.  Sauvignon Blanc is grassy and herbaceous.  Viognier brings stone fruits and is very aromatic. Semillon provides a honey note. Chardonnay presents as crisp green apple.

It will appeal to lovers of slightly sweet wines (Gewurz, Piesporter, Lieb), but off-dry does not mean that it is sweet. Off-dry means there is a perfect balance between the acid and fruit notes.  In the case of the Pacifica White it means that it is luscious and juicy with a big mouth feel.

4 completely different grapes to Pacific Quartet, so different flavours, but the Pacifica White is a very similar style with the off-dry note and luscious fruit.


Send your questions to

What is the perfect temperature to serve wine?

Almost all wine served in North America is served at the wrong temperature, which impairs flavour and deprives the drinker of the full expression of its character.

White wines should be served cool, but not too cold. At 10-12°C (50-54°F) fruit and crispness are at their peak, but at colder temperatures, bouquet and flavour nuances begin to recede, and the wine goes numb.


How do I get rid of CO2 in my wine?

Getting rid of CO2 by heating and the refining of wine: when yeast ferments the natural sugars in wine, alcohol and CO2 are produced. These few steps will assist you in getting rid of the CO2 gas out of your wine.


How do I calculate the alcohol content of my wine?

Take your starting specific gravity, subtract your finished specific gravity and divide by 7.36.  For example: Initial S.G. 1.080; Final S.G. .996; drop in gravity .084.

Next, the figure obtained in this way is divided by 7.4.  The result obtained is the % of alcohol by volume in the wine, i.e. 84 / 7.4 = 11.35% alcohol. 


Our beer enthusiasts often tweak their Baron's beer kits by enhancing them with other things.  For example we have a simple recipe to make a honey brown, a lime lite, an IPA, a raspberry beer or our famous stout.  Looking for a good winter beer recipe.  To apply bring in a sample beer along with the recipe, best one submitted in January will receive a free beer kit.

Tell us what you are looking for in beer supplies, email .


For a limited time, we now have 500 ml amber glass beer bottles available in all our stores for $14.95 a dozen.  In January purchase 2 Baron's Beer Kits and purchase up to 2 dozen 500 ml beer bottles at 1/2 price.

Glass bottles have been the most popular form of storage container for home beer brewing.  Glass beer bottles do not allow any oxygen or other gases to affect the beer and allows the beer to be stored for much longer than plastic beer bottles.  If you are planning on sharing your beer with your friends and family, home brewed beer looks much more appealing when it is presented in a traditional beer bottle.  Baron's beer improves with age.


The carboy cleaner in action - see utube video.  This cleaner attaches to a power drill which is not included.  Available in all our stores for $34.95. 



Join us on Facebook - January is our last month to win a free Selection wine kit.  To qualify for the draw become a friend of The Home Vintner on Facebook.

This months winner is: Daniel P.


Each month one customer wins a prize.  Congratulations to John M. - pick up your 4 crystal glasses at the NE store.


At our free wine and beer making classes Paul demonstrates the making of a wine kit from the first steps right through to removing the CO2 and proper corking.  Years of experience shared so that the novice wine maker can be successful on their first attempt.  For those who have made wine for years there are new methodologies which will improve your end result.  Also, step by step Paul walks through the making of a beer kit with secrets shared so your first kit will be a success.  Pre-registration is required.

Tue Jan 11th @ 7 pm – NW Store - to register phone (403) 284-0486 or email 

Thu Jan 13th @ 7 pm – Airdrie Store - to register phone (403) 912-6323 or email 

Sat Jan 15th @ 1 pm - Rocky Mntn House Store - to register phone (403) 844-4858 or email

Sat Jan 22nd @ 1 pm - Stettler Store - to register phone (403) 742-3800 or email

Tue Jan 25th @ 7 pm – Cochrane Store - to register phone (403) 851-8155 or email

Thu Jan 27th @ 7 pm – NE Store - to register phone (403) 291-4888 or email


Decembers cash filter rental money from the Calgary & Airdrie stores was donated to the Salvation Army Christmas Kettle Campaign. 


Vintner's Reserve - continues to set the standard in it's 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.

Vintners Reserve Vieux Chateau Du Roi (a.k.a. Chateauneuf-du-Pape style) $75.95

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.

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

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

Vintners Reserve Piesporter $72.95
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


World Vineyard Spanish Tempranillo $84.95

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 wine is a spicy wine that is the most famous of the Spanish red wines.  Most of the wine regions in Spain grow Tempranillo including the well known regions off 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


World Vineyard French Sauvignon Blanc $77.95

Steely, grassy, herbaceous: the classic traits of the Sauvignon Blanc. Those traits are all in this version sourced directly from the French countryside. Crisp and dry, this refreshing wine is easy to match with food with its full, fresh flavors and balanced acidity. Food pairings: chicken, fish, and grilled vegetables.

Like many white wines, Sauvignon Blanc is made to be drunk while very young, lending to its popularity among white wine drinkers.

Sauvignon blanc normally shows a herbal character suggesting bell pepper or freshly mown grass.  The dominating flavors range from sour green fruits of apples, pears and gooseberries through to tropical fruits of melon, mango and blackcurrant.  Quality unoaked Sauvignon Blancs will display smokey qualities; they require bright aromas and a strong acid finish and are best grown in cool climates.

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



Redwood  Ale $34.95

Deep copper with hints of garnet and amber.  Big, round, rich, full-bodied brown ale in the English style - our Redwood has a complex taste with perfect balance.  It is full of flavour, with notes of toast, fruit and nuts.  The superior maltiness and body in this flavoursome ale are derived from a special blend of blonde and crystal malt.  Full and refreshing.


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