The Vineyard Newsletter - Season's Greetings from The Vineyard
The Vineyard

Merry Christmas from The Vineyard

Tom, Neil and all our staff wish you and your family all best this Holiday Season.



Gift Ideas

Need to find a special gift for the wine and/or beer maker? Here a just a few ideas:

  •  Floor Corker
  •  Beer Smith software
  • PET  23 liter carboy
  • Brew house beer kit
  • Stainless steel brew kettle
  • Brewing Magazines - great reference materials
  • Port kit
  • Sherry kit
  • Immersion wort chiller
  • Boun Vino Mini Jet wine filter
  • Wine Aerator
  • Carboy Cleaner
  • Gift Certificate

Tom’s Tip

99 bottles of wine on the wall…Choosing a wine that's ready for you.

A straight concentrate kit will not develop the flavours and aromas that the higher TDS kits will. By contrast Selection and Ecilpse Series kits don’t drink as well while young, but continue to develop over time, to the point where drinking them when they are less than one year old may cut short their potential.

Which kit is right for you? People making wine for an impending wedding or other wine-related emergency might enjoy a Vintner's Reserve or a World Vineyards kit more than an Selection or Eclipse, while folks wanting to build up a cellar of fine vintages might not get the most bang with the same kit, and would be better off with Eclipse kits. Of course, the skins kits (Eclipse and a few Selection International kits) do throw things out of wack with the refined tannins/processed skins thing, but I'm sure most people can live with that.

The bottom line is to know your wine needs (my usual answer is ‘plenty’). Most folks who take part in the wine lifestyle will need a blend of early-drinking, long-ageing and some middle-road kits to make sure they have good tasting wine at all times. This keeps you from hitting the bottle shop too often, while allowing you to build a generous cellar with good wines coming ready to drink as you need them. Bigger isn’t necessarily better, small can be beautiful, but I firmly believe that there’s a right kit for every winemaker out there.

Serving wine for the Holidays

Ideal temperatures: We all know that white wine should be chilled; It certainly masks the acidity and makes the wine much more approachable. It is also well known that red wine should be served at “Room Temp “ or cellar temperature. That certainly might have been  the norm if we lived in castles or chateaus in the “old Country”.  However here and now we kinda know that red tastes a little better slighty chilled, try this: put a bottle of red wine in your fridge for about 15-20 minutes before pouring. You will be pleased on how it smooths that out and heightens the fruit complexities.

The Artful Winemaker

Do you know someone who is tired of lifting those 5 gallon carboys or who hesitates to make wine because of the large and heavy equipment needed? Or someone who lives in an apartment or condo and does not have the space for winemaking?

We have just the answer; The Artful Winemaker. It is a one vessel system which takes up less space than large toaster and makes 12 bottles of excellent wine. The Artful Winemaker winemaking system makes no mess and requires no heavy lifting. Every bottle is as memorable as the last with fine flavors and bouquets as unique as an individual brushstroke. Click here for more information and videos.




World Vineyard on sale 10% off

Wines from Australia, California, South America and Europe are represented in the Vintners Reserve World Vineyard Collection. These wines are perfect if you enjoy versatile wines which don’t require extended aging but still offer distinct flavours from some of the great wine regions in the world.

Until the end of December all of our World Vineyard series kits are 10% off the regular price. Click here for the complete list of this featured wine kits.

Holiday Entertaining Recipes

We would like to share a couple of our favourite Holiday Entertaining Dishes:

Nuts and Bolts:

Always great to make ahead and have lots on hand for those unexpected Holiday visitors.

  •  6 ounces of pretzel sticks
  • 1 pound of salted peanuts
  • 1 small package of Shreddies
  • 1 small package of Cheerios
  • 6 cups of puffed wheat
  • 1 ½ cups of butter
  • ¼ cup of Worcestershire Sauce
  • 1 Tablespoon of garlic salt
  • 1 Tablespoon of onion salt
  • 1 Tablespoon of celery salt

Combine the pretzel stick, peanuts, Shreddies, Cheerios, and puffed wheat in a large oven proof container with a lid; mix well. In a small pot, melt the butter, Worcestershire Sauce, and garlic, onion and celery salts. Pour this mixture evenly over the cereals and mix very well. Bake at 225°F covered for 1 hour, stirring occasionally. Remove the lid and bake for another hour, stirring occasionally.

Pears Poached in Red Wine

These are fabulous served with ice cream. They can be made several days ahead.


  • 1 cup of sugar 
  • 1 1/2 cups Côtes-du-Rhône or Pinot Noir
  • 1 1/2 cups water
  • 4 whole cloves
  • zest of 1/2 orange
  • 1 teaspoon of vanilla
  • 4 firm, ripe, pears like Bosc
  • A pan 2 1/2 inches deep or more, large enough to cover the pears


Stir the sugar, wine, and water together in the pan. Bring to a simmer over medium heat. Add the cloves, orange zest, and vanilla. Simmer for another 20 minutes, then remove from heat. Peel the pears and halve, lengthwise. Remove the stem lines and cores. Drop each half into the wine syrup, it should just barely cover the pears, add more wine and sugar if necessary. Bring to almost a simmer and poach, uncovered for 10 to 15 minutes until the pears are soft. Do not let the syrup come to a simmer. Remove from heat and let the pears cool for at least 20 minutes and up to a day. You can leave the pears in the syrup for several days to absorb the syrup.You can stop here and enjoy the pears all by themselves or get creative and serve them with some Gorgonzola or blue cheese or you can continue and serve with some Sabayon sauce and meringue if you want to get really fancy. Our favorite way to serve them is over a good quality vanilla ice cream.

Ecilpse is Here

The Vineyard’s new collection of premium wine kits: powerful, full-bodied wines of intense structure, inspiring flavour and stature. Ultra premium wine kits that are made with the finest quality varietal juice from around the world to produce wines that will satisfy the tastes of even the most discerning wine enthusiast.

These kits are for consumers looking for the ultimate. While Eclipse wines do drink younger than other wines in this category, they do not show as well young when compared to Selection International. The whites need six to nine months to open up and reds between 12 and 15 months, and both will hold precisely as well as a $20-$30 bottle of commercial wine in a good cellar.To reiterate, Eclipse does drink acceptably well when younger than this (3 months minimum), but to drink them young is to lose the potential for greatness that they can display when truly ready.

Eclipse grape packs contain 2 litres total volume of 100% of the same varietal used in the juice. This gives them the maximum level of extracted flavour, aroma, tannins and body of any kit Winexpert has ever made. In addition, the kits contain 16 litres of varietal juice and concentrate. They are appellation and/or vineyard designated (ie, Stag’s Leap, Marlborough). The white kits caontain a full 18 litres of juice and concentrate.

Check out the full line at The Vineyard and click here for descriptions and more information.

Holiday Hours at The Vineyard

We will be CLOSED December 25, 26 and January 1.

Tom, Neil and all our staff wish you and your family all best this Holiday Season.

Please remember to Drink Responsibily and Do NOT drink and Drive.

Contact Us

6025 Centre Street South
Calgary, AB T2H 0C2
tel: 403.258.1580

Hours of Operation

Monday - Friday: 10:00am - 6:00pm
Saturday: 10:00am - 5:00pm
Sunday: 11:00am - 3:00pm

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