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What are Wine Diamonds?

May 26, 2015

What are Wine Diamonds? Wine Diamonds are tiny crystalline deposits that occur in wines when potassium and tartaric acid, both naturally occurring in grapes, bind together to form a crystal. Do Wine Diamonds Affect Wine Quality? No.  Actually, tartrate crystals are seen by winemakers and sommeliers as a sign of quality, including that the wine …

What are Wine Diamonds?

Wine Diamonds are tiny crystalline deposits that occur in wines when potassium and tartaric acid, both naturally occurring in grapes, bind together to form a crystal.

Do Wine Diamonds Affect Wine Quality?

No.  Actually, tartrate crystals are seen by winemakers and sommeliers as a sign of quality, including that the wine was not over processed.

Will Wine Diamonds Affect the Flavour of My Wine?

No. Wine crystals never impart an unpleasant taste

What Do Wine Diamonds Look Like?

Their appearance is like crystalized sugar granules or crystal shards as they fuse together.  They could also take on the look of a powdery white substance at the bottom of a wine bottle.  The crystals can also stick to the bottom of the cork.

Wine Diamonds are in my Bottle of Wine, How do I keep Them Out of my Glass?

Decanting or using an aerator with a screen works very effectively.

Avoiding Wine Diamonds

Wine Diamonds occur when wine is stores at cold temperatures.  Avoid Temperatures below 15 C or 60 F.  Avoid leaving wine in a cold care, garage, directly on a cement floor or cold storage.  This can affect the stability of wine allowing Wine Diamonds to form.

Welcome to Limited Edition 2014

October 9, 2014

This marks the 25th Anniversary of the release of Limited Editions for Winexpert. In honour of the 25th Anniversary, Winexpert is reintroducing four of the favourite wines from past LE releases, plus an anniversary blend, named Triumph. This years line up of wines include the following: January Release: Mosel Valley Germany – Riesling – White wine, …

This marks the 25th Anniversary of the release of Limited Editions for Winexpert.

In honour of the 25th Anniversary, Winexpert is reintroducing four of the favourite wines from past LE releases, plus an anniversary blend, named Triumph.

This years line up of wines include the following:

January Release:

Mosel Valley Germany – Riesling – White wine, flavours of lemon, fresh apple and limestone with balanced acidity

Australia – Shiraz Viognier – Red wine, black cherry, smoky plum and pepper with hints of apricot and peach

February Release:

Washington Triumph – a blend that has been created in celebration of the 25th anniversary.  Red wine, cassis, plum, peppery nose and red fruit undertones

March Release:

California Trio Blanca  – dry white wine, citrus, green apple and melon with delicate floral and tropical fruit notes

April Release:

Italy Super Tuscan – Red wine, firm tannins, with notes of cherry and currant with a long finish

Two Glasses of Wine

August 1, 2014

When things in your life seem almost too much to handle, when 24 hours in a day are not enough, remember the mayonnaise jar and the 2 glasses of wine… A professor stood before his philosophy class and had some items in front of him. When the class began, wordlessly, he picked up a very …

When things in your life seem almost too much to handle, when 24 hours in a day are not enough, remember the mayonnaise jar and the 2 glasses of wine…

A professor stood before his philosophy class and had some items in front of him. When the class began, wordlessly, he picked up a very large and empty mayonnaise jar and proceeded to fill it with golf balls.
He then asked the students if the jar was full. They agreed that it was.

The professor then picked up a box of pebbles and poured them into the jar. He shook the jar lightly. The pebbles rolled into the open areas between the golf balls. He then asked the students again if the jar was full.  They agreed it was.

The professor next picked up a box of sand and poured it into the jar. Of course, the sand filled up everything else He asked once more if the jar was full. The students responded with a unanimous “yes.”

The professor then produced two glasses of wine from under the table and poured the entire contents into the jar, effectively filling the empty space between the sand. The students laughed.

“Now,” said the professor, as the laughter subsided, “I want you to recognize that this jar represents your life. The golf balls are the important things; your family, your children, your health, your friends, and your favorite passions; things that if everything else was lost and only they remained, your life would still be full. The pebbles are the other things that matter like your job, your house, and your car. The sand is everything else; the small stuff. If you put the sand into the jar first,” he continued, “there is no room for the pebbles or the golf balls.

The same goes for life. If you spend all your time and energy on the small stuff, you will never have room for the things that are important to you.

Pay attention to the things that are critical to your happiness. Play with your children. Take time to get medical checkups. Take your partner out to dinner. Play another 18. There will always be time to clean the house and fix the disposal.

Take care of the golf balls first; the things that really matter. Set your priorities. The rest is just sand.”

One of the students raised her hand and inquired what the wine represented.
The professor smiled. “I’m glad you asked. It just goes to show you that no matter how full your life may seem, there’s always room for a couple of glasses of wine with a friend.”

A Message from Katherine Heisler – Home Vintner vs Wine made at Wine Central

July 15, 2014

To my wonderful friends at Wine Central…   Oh, how I miss you!!  I’ve moved to Alberta to be closer to my daughters and am enjoying the closeness immensely. However, in Alberta there is no such thing as a ‘wine on premises’ store.  We have lots of wine and beer making stores, but legally they …

To my wonderful friends at Wine Central…

 

Oh, how I miss you!!  I’ve moved to Alberta to be closer to my daughters and am enjoying the closeness immensely.

However, in Alberta there is no such thing as a ‘wine on premises’ store.  We have lots of wine and beer making stores, but legally they can’t make the wine.  We have to do it at home.

 

Scene One:  On premises at Wine Central

Walk in, have a great visit with Cosette, Rod, Maria, Brittney or Jane.  Find out what’s new, joke, choose a wine to make.  Wait, visit a little more while they mix it up, and then I sprinkle the yeast on.  Depending on how much visiting we do, the stop may last 5 to 20 minutes.  Then on with my busy day.

 

Scene One ‘A’:  Home in Alberta

Drive to the wine and beer making store, choose a wine to make.  Lug it out to the car, put it in the trunk.  Head home.  Grab the primary, scrub it with Sparklebrite, then rinse it thoroughly.  Make a solution of Metabisulphite and sterilize anything coming into contact with the wine.  Rinse.  Remove the packaging from the kit, add hot water to the primary fermentor, stir in the bentonite.  Pour the wine concentrate into the primary – but be careful!  It’s heavy!  It’s liquid!  It splashes!  Add water, and stir like crazy.  Sprinkle the yeast on top, just like adding salt to your French fries.  Next, move the primary (about 55 pounds of wine and equipment) to a shelf at least 3 feet off the floor.  Then, go wash the floor where you made the wine.  Relax, grab a glass of wine you made last year.

 

Scene One ‘B’:  Home in Alberta

A week later.  Time to rack the wine.  Clean the carboy with Sparklebrite, then sanitize with Metabisulphite.  Make sure to clean and sanitize the hose as well.  Suck hard to get the wine flowing (the wine on premises store are much more sanitary about this part), and move the wine from the primary to the carboy, leaving the sediment behind.  Clean and sanitize the airlock and bung, and top the carboy with them.  Then you get to clean.  Wash out any left over wine and sediment in the primary, then clean with the Sparklebrite, rinse, sterilize, rinse and put away.  Hopefully you don’t have to wash the floor this time.

 

Scene One ‘C’:  Home in Alberta

10 days later:  Clearing and stabilizing!   This is funJ  Clean and sterilize a small cup, a whisk, a large jug, the expensive whip you just bought, and wipe down the power drill you have seized from your husband’s workshop.  Pour out a couple of cups of wine – careful – heavy – wet – splashes – into the large jug.  Mix the chemicals according to directions, add to the carboy, then whip it like a rented mule.  One direction until it starts to swirl, then reverse the direction.  Do this for at least one minute, usually two.  Then add the final Chitosan or Islinglass and whip it again.  Try to avoid foaming…but it will happen occasionally.  Pour the remaining wine back into the carboy.  Top with a newly cleaned and sterilized airlock and bung.  Clean the floor.  Clean the equipment and put it away for next time.

 

Scene One ‘D’:  Home in Alberta

After 8  days you will rack your wine.  This will clarify it, and help you produce a clear, wonderful wine.  Yes, you guessed it:  clean and sterilize a fresh carboy, hose and tip.  Suck hard, and get that wine moving from one carboy to the other.  Leave the sludge behind.   Clean and sanitize the airlock and bung, and fasten to the new carboy.  Hopefully you were good enough you don’t have to clean the floor this time!

 

Scene One ‘E’:  Home in Alberta

Rack your wine again so you won’t have sediment.  Clean and sterilize a fresh carboy, hose and tip.  Move the wine, clean and sanitize the airlock and bung, and reseal.  You’re getting really good now…no floor mopping this time.

 

Scene Two:  On premises at Wine Central

Show up for your appointment!  Your wine is ready for bottling.  It’s been looked after, loved and coddled.  It’s filtered, and ready to bottle.  Put your bottles in the machine, wait 4 minutes, take them out, line them up, and start filling.  The automatic filler is great!  Two bottles at a time, and the levels are great.  An automatic corking machine saves your back from aches and pains.  Labels go on easily, shrink capsules take a second.  Beautiful!!  Let the wonderful staff load them in your car.  When you get home, grab the kids or your husband to help unload.

 

Scene Two ‘A’:  Home in Alberta

Rack your wine into a newly cleaned and sanitized primary or carboy to leave any sediment behind.  Don’t forget to clean and sanitized the hose.

Take all your bottles and soak them in a solution of Sparklebrite for at least 20 minutes.  Then rinse with clean water.  Sanitize them with Metabisuphite solution, then rinse and drain.

Make sure your wine is at least 3 feet off the floor.  Clean and sanitize your bottling tip.  Insert the hose and bottling tip into each bottle, and fill to the proper level.  Cork.  Fill.  Cork.   28 to 30 times.  Add a label if you have any energy left.  Date the bottles – there aren’t any labeling machines here!  If you want to have the shrink wraps on the bottles, move the wine to the kitchen, and hold the bottles with shrinks on over a boiling kettle to shrink.   Once you’ve finished, clean and sanitize the equipment.  Wash down the corker.  Wash the floors.   Have a shower.

Go pour yourself a glass of wine.  You deserve it!

Of all the things I miss about Kelowna, Wine Central is at the top of the list!!  You make wine making so easy.  And so great!

What’s the Difference Between Pinot Grigio and Pinot Gris?

March 7, 2014

What is the difference between Pinot Grigio and Pinot Gris most will ask?  They are actually the same grape variety, however, Pinot Gris originates in France and across the border in Italy is where Pinot Grigio is known. Pinot Grigio is typically lighter bodied, crisp, fresh with a touch of spice.  Whereas, Pinot Gris wines are more full-bodied, richer, spicier and more viscous in …

What is the difference between Pinot Grigio and Pinot Gris most will ask? 

They are actually the same grape variety, however, Pinot Gris originates in France and across the border in Italy is where Pinot Grigio is known.

Pinot Grigio is typically lighter bodied, crisp, fresh with a touch of spice.  Whereas, Pinot Gris wines are more full-bodied, richer, spicier and more viscous in texture.

When pairing food with these wines – Pinot Grigio being lighter is best suited with light dishes such as fish or light appetizers.  In contrast the richness of a Pinot Gris works together with something

heavier such as veal chops, chicken casseroles and most hard cheeses.

So the next time you get together with friends, have a taste test and ask them if they can detect the differences in the two wines.

LE2013 – The 2013 Limited Editions have been Announced!

November 15, 2013

LE2013 presents five distinguished wines from some of the finest growing regions in the world.  Order yours by December 3, 2013.  Remember these wines only come out once and will not be on our regular wine list.   Available January 2014: South African Shiraz Cabernet with grape skins:  This classic blend showcases the depth and ripeness …

LE2013 presents five distinguished wines from some of the finest growing regions in the world.  Order yours by December 3, 2013.  Remember these wines only come out once and will not be on our regular wine list.

 

Available January 2014:

South African Shiraz Cabernet with grape skins:  This classic blend showcases the depth and ripeness of these intense grapes.  Cabernet Sauvignon’s classic character of blackberry, currants, black cherry and cedar blend seamlessly with the densely packed berry, chocolate, espresso and pepper characters of Shiraz with a hint of earthiness.

South African Viognier Chenin Blanc Roussanne:  These thress grapes make an unique wine of elegance, power and delicacy:  crisp, but honeyed with aromas of apricot, orange blossoms, herbal tea and melons give way to a medium body and a long rich finish of floral notes.  Sweetness: Dry

 

Available February 2014:

Pacific Quartet:  The four grapes showcase a host of brilliant flavours of bright fruit, excellent structure and a long finish.  Viognier from Chile give apricots, blossoms and stone fruit.  Chenin Blanc from California gives a wonderful melony-honeyed aroma with hints of apple.  Gewurztraminer from Washington contributes lychee, rose petals and floral notes and Muscat from Australia’s Murrya-Darling Valley gives wonderful grapey notes with dried fruit and hints of orange peel.  Sweetness:  Off-Dry

 

Available March 2014:

Oregon Pinot Noir:  Deep ruby with garnet highlights Oregon Pinot Noir as a poet rather than a linebacker, and it’s character is defined almost as much in the elisions between it’s delicate scents and ethereal aromas as it is from it’s rich fruit and finesse.  Aromas of red cherry, bright raspberry and strawberry give way to the delicate scents of vioents and the tannins are lustrously smooth and full on the palate.

 

Available April 2014:

Red Mountain, Washington Cabernet Merlot:  Apowerful wine with immediate notes of oak and blackcurrants on the nose come to mingle with peppery spice and cedar, supported by a fruit-driven palate of boysenberry, plum, redcurrant, and black cherry.  The finish is boldly tannic, with a mouth-filling grip of dense, brambly fruit.

August is Australian Month!

August 23, 2013

Summer is half over, but we still have some great summer specials. For the month of August, receive 10% off the following 6 week wines from the Selection Series: Australian Chardonnay; Australian Traminer Riesling; Australina Cabernet Sauvignon; Australian Cabernet/Shiraz; Australian Shiraz; Australian Grenache/Shiraz/Mourvedre Come and enjoy these summer specials while you can!

Summer is half over, but we still have some great summer specials. For the month of August, receive 10% off the following 6 week wines from the Selection Series:

Australian Chardonnay; Australian Traminer Riesling; Australina Cabernet Sauvignon; Australian Cabernet/Shiraz; Australian Shiraz; Australian Grenache/Shiraz/Mourvedre

Come and enjoy these summer specials while you can!

LE 2012 Portuguese Aragones Cabernet Sauvignon

February 15, 2013

The wine kits have arrived in the store! If you are quick we have a few extra. A sensational stand alone sipper with expressive aromatics with berry, plum and subtle vanilla flavours.

The wine kits have arrived in the store! If you are quick we have a few extra.

A sensational stand alone sipper with expressive aromatics with berry, plum and subtle vanilla flavours.

Experience Eclipse

February 10, 2013

The Eclipse collection of premium wines is surpassing all our expectations! We’re so excited about these wines. They take the place of our previous Estate wines, come with more juice, and 4 of the red wines have crushed grapes and skins to help produce better tannins. All 10 of the varietals are showing incredible flavours, …

The Eclipse collection of premium wines is surpassing all our expectations! We’re so excited about these wines. They take the place of our previous Estate wines, come with more juice, and 4 of the red wines have crushed grapes and skins to help produce better tannins. All 10 of the varietals are showing incredible flavours, and excellent mouth feel. What we’re finding amazing is how great they taste right out of the carboy! Just imagine what they’ll taste like at 6, 9 or 12 months of age.

We would love you to try these wines, so from February 1 until March 23 coupons to save $20.00 will be available in store. The coupon will apply to kits you take home to make, or wines you make on premises.