Calling all DIY Lovers
Don’t let those biting buggers and pesky mosquitos ruin your outdoor fun or your outdoor ambiance this summer. Put your used wine bottles to work with DIY Citronella Candles. This fun DIY craft is a great use of your used wine bottles that serve as a two-in-one function- becoming apart of your outdoor décor and keeping the bites at bay.
The Citronella in our candles works by masking scents that are attractive to insects namely carbon dioxide and lactic acid in humans. The benefit of using citronella as mosquito repellent, is that it is safe and non-toxic to humans and animals (and even the insects).
Here’s how to get started with WINE BOTTLE CITRONELLA CANDLES:
Glass wine bottles
1/2-inch replacement torch wicks
1/2-inch x 3/8-inch copper coupling with stop
1/2-inch copper tube cap
1/2-inch teflon tape
1-2 bags of marbles (I found mine at the dollar store!)
Place 1-2 bags of marbles in the bottom of your wine bottle. Small rocks work well too, just be sure you put something in the bottom of your bottle to keep the wick from falling through
Wrap the 1/2-inch (wider) end of your coupling with teflon tape so it will fit snuggly into the mouth of the bottle
The idea is to wrap just a bit more than you’ll need so you can press it down into place after you fill the bottle with torch fluid. Set the wrapped coupling in place but don’t press down firmly just yet.
Remove the wrapped coupling and slide the replacement wick through, leave about 1/2″ of the wick sticking out of the top to light.
Place your funnel in the mouth of the bottle and carefully add your torch fluid. You don’t need a funnel for this step, but it drastically reduces the amount of torch fluid that spills on the outside of your bottle. Be sure not to fill the bottle all the way full so that when you place the wick in it won’t overflow.
Add your wick and press in on the teflon tape so the coupling makes a tight fit. Keep the copper cap on when the torch is not in use so the wick stays dry.
Enjoy a mosquito free evening!
Jazzy summer wine-sicles
Looking to add pop to your summer party, try a summer wine-sicle! We have been all over this 2019 summer treat idea! It is the perfect fun cool down for adults of all ages. There is literally nothing that will have everyone more excited at your next backyard gathering than a fresh tray of DIY Wine-sicles!
This quick and easy crowd pleaser takes less than 6 hours to make and can be made the morning of or days before. Using your very own batch of craft wine in your wine-sicle creation will only add to the conversation and elevate your ‘cool’ factor!
When planning your Wine-sicles, consider the sweetness of your wine varietal. Red wine, white or even Orchard Breezins combinations turn out fantastic and will pair well with the rest of your backyard menu. For example: Your Lime popsicles combined with your Rieslings will pair great with your goat cheese, cranberry salad, your citrus-sicle and Sauvignon Blanc combo work well with grille chicken and pineapple, your dark berry-sicle and Cabernet Savignon combination are fantastic with you bbq’d steak, and add a full fruit flavor popsicle to a glass of your Rocking Raspberry Rose to top them all with your backyard s’mores.
We are loving this homemade blackberry popsicle recipe combined with our Sauvignon Blanc. The slightly sweet fruit flavor of the black berries and the citrus effervesce of the lemonade is the perfect combination for light aromas of apple, lemon and kiwi found in our En Primeur Winery Series kit.
1 cup blackberries
4 Tbsp. water
2 Tbsp. honey or agave
1 ½ cups lemonade
Zest of ½ a lemon (optional, but I like the added lemon flavor!)
Puree blackberries & water in a food processor or blender
Add in the honey/agave
Stir blackberry mixture into lemonade
Pour into popsicle molds*
Freeze for 4-6 hours
Place upside down in a ½ glass of Sauvignon Blanc Style, add zest and serve!
Beat the Heat with Spritzers, Slushies and Sangria’s!
Celebrate this summer season with chilled drink creations that are easy to create and easier to enjoy! Using your craft wine, cool down with a spritzer, slushy or sangria. We have a quick, fun guide to matching your summer chilled drinks to suit any occasion!
Here are few quick and easy to replicate summer drink creation ideas:
Spritzers – Do you like your drinks with a little fizz? Try a Spritzer!
-Mix equal parts club soda and chilled white wine over 4-5 ice cubes.
-Add a squeeze of lemon or lime and couple zests to bring out the natural citrus flavors in the wine.
Directions: Feel free to experiment with different citrus flavors (even a dash of grapefruit bitters will add to the refreshing effervescence of this seasonal creation).
A tropical wine slushy is up for the cool down challenge. Made with white wine, frozen or fresh tropical fruits of your choice.
-1 Bottle chilled white wine
-5 cups of frozen or fresh tropical fruits of your choice
-1 cup tropical flavored soda or fruit juice of your choice
-A handful of ice
Directions: put all ingredients into a blender and blend until smooth!
Sangria – This summer sipper will please everyone! All you need is fruit, your choice of your favourite craft red or white wine, add a garnish, and Voila!
-Mix any of your favourite red fruits such as strawberries and raspberries,1 sliced orange, 1 cup halved grapes, ¼ cup blueberries
-Half a 1L bottle of lemon lime carbonated drink
-1 full chilled bottle of your hand crafted, red or white wine.
Directions: Mix together, let chill for 2 hours and serve over a couple of ice cubes!
You scream, I scream, we all scream for Sorbet!
Yes, that’s right. The perfect frozen dessert made from our hand crafted En Primeur Winery Series Chile Merlot, frozen berries and a dollop of fresh whipped cream! This step up from your traditional ice cream will impress everyone.
First discovered in Italy, this cool combination of tangy and tart is now an international pleasure. Best when crafted fresh, by using your hand-crafted bottle of wine, imparting notes of red cherries, strong plum, then blending the addition of garden fresh or frozen summer berries. This sorbet is a classy addition to share with others!
Check out this quick and easy summer recipe below:
1 pound of fresh strawberries, chopped
1 pound of fresh blackberries
2 cups of sugar
1 1/4 cups of dry red wine (we suggest using En Primeur Winery Series Chile Merlot)
2 tablespoons of balsamic vinegar
1 1 inch piece of fresh ginger, sliced
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 teaspoon salt
Step 1: In a large saucepan combine the first eight ingredients. Cook and stir over medium-high heat until fruit softens and sugar is dissolved.
Step 2: Remove from heat; let mixture cool to room temperature. Remove ginger slices; discard.
Step 3: Working in batches, transfer wine mixture to a blender. Cover and blend until smooth. Transfer blended mixture to a 13×9 inch dish or pan. Cover and freeze overnight.
Step 4: When ready to serve, scoop sorbet into wine glasses. Top with whipped cream and enjoy!
11 false myths about wine
Wine can sometimes be related to ideas that seem very far from reality. But if you are a true wine lover or simply want to learn more about wine, you’ll certainly find this interesting.
The older the better
Many people believe that the more time wine is kept in the barrel for aging, the better it gets. The describing terms, “young”, “barrel aged” and “reserve”, do not indicate the quality of the wine but its age. It is true that some types of wine need longer time to mature and, for this reason, they have higher production costs than other with less maturing time, like the “reserve” wines. Hence, they are more expensive, but not necessarily better.
Most of the wines produced today are meant to be consumed within 3 years. As to the “maturity” of a wine, there are many myths. There are many “reserve” wines that are of lower quality.
2.Red wine with meat, white wine with fish
This is another phrase that many have taken as the standard but it’s not necessarily true. Although red wine goes better with stronger dishes and white wine with soft dishes, this rule is subject to the type of wine and plate to serve. The real secret of a good combination is that wine enhances the flavor of the food and the other way round.
3. Rosé wine is for women
Rosé wine always had a reputation as an easy-to-drink-wine and to be of lower quality than red or white, chosen by people that are not too keen on wine and women. But this belief, in addition to being sexist, is meaningless. There are high-quality rosé wines which, moreover, are an ideal accompaniment to vegetables, pasta, rice or omelets.
4. I only drink Rioja and Ribera to make sure
No one disputes that the origins of Rioja and Ribera Del Duero are Spain’s most famous appellations and have various premium wineries. But because of this reason, many of their wines have a premium quality without any justification.
It is also true that there are appellations with an excellent quality offering good wines at a lower price. Some Spanish examples include Toro, Bierzo, Rias Baixas, Somontano, Penedes, Terra Alta, Jumilla, and Alicante.
5. Spanish cava or champagne are for desserts
Another myth asserted without substance. Although it is common to enjoy champagne or cava together with the dessert, this is the worst thing you can do with a Brut or a Dry cava as it spoils the sweet combination. For dessert or after dinner, it is best to choose a sweet or semi-dry cava which is fresher and smoother.
Similar to wines, there are also different kinds of Spanish cavas depending on their maturing time (Young, Reserva, and Gran Reserva) and the type of grapes used in the assemblage (cava can only be made of 9 varieties). In addition, they are distinguished by the amount of contained sugar. There are 6 varieties depending on the sweetness of cava: Brut, Extra Brut, Brut, Extra Dry, Dry, and Sweet. Dry Spanish cavas are suitable to pair with appetizers, seafood, and fish while a Brut goes perfectly with stews or ham.
6.If the cap is not corked the wine is bad
We have become very used to corks but many wines are kept well with screw caps. This doesn’t only apply to wines of poor quality.
On the one hand, screw caps can be problematic for packing vintage wines with more need for oxygen. But on the other hand, they are perfect for young wines.
7. White wine is served cold, and red tempered
Wine should be served at the temperature indicated by the production warehouse. Wines with long aging are usually served at approximately 18 degrees; White wines are served colder: a young white wine should be served at about 6 or 8 degrees meanwhile the matured ones at about 9 or 12 degrees.
8. Look at the cork to see if it’s gone bad
In many restaurants, the waiter leaves the wine cork on the table so the guest can smell it. And surely, you can smell it, but the smelling of the cork will not tell you anything about the wine you’re about to drink. But you can check if the cork is whole and, therefore, no cork pieces in the wine.
9. White wines give a headache
False, the addition of sulfites to wines for their conservation is something that is studied increasingly, and now you can obtain a better preservation with a smaller amount of added sulfites. Anyway, the sulfur of sulfites is not responsible for headaches.
10. The wine acids are bad
Heartburn is alkaline. If the wine has no acidity, it will not combine with any food.
11. Open the bottle and let the wine breathe
A question often asked in restaurants. But they might as well serve it straight away. To have any effect on the wine, the bottle has to be opened several hours before serving. You will get the same effect and much faster after some minutes in the glass.
By: Celiarodriguez http://blog.uvinum.co.uk/11-false-myths-about-wine-2412222
Crafty ways to keep your New Year’s Resolution
There are many stats out there on New Years Resolutions, but one that always sticks out is that 80% of all resolutions fail by the 2nd week of February. Want a New Years Resolution that will continue to deliver for years to come – try craft winemaking this year!
Benefits of craft winemaking:
Trying to be more social this year? Craft Winemaking is a perfect group activity! Come try your hand at vinting your favourite wine styles and then throw a party to taste test your creation with perfect pairings!
Trying to be more green this year? Craft winemaking allows you to reuse bottles again and again. Not to mention our juices are shipped in bulk, minimizing transportation waste!
Want to shop local? All Winescape products are blended from internationally sourced juices and concentrates in Kitchener, Ontario. We are located in Barrie, Ontario and happy to support our beautiful, local, community!
Learn a new craft – Craft your own wine, customize it to your tastes, and design your own labels, expertly guided by our Winescape staff. You will be a wine making (and wine tasting) pro in no time!
Its healthy! Everyone has heard that a glass of wine a day is known to have health benefits. However, you have better control over the amount of sulphites when you craft your own!
Save money! As if you needed one last reason, craft winemaking offers extraordinary value. And, having lots of wine on hand means you can minimize those last minute trips.
Don’t procrastinate, stop by for a visit, start crafting, and become part of the Winescape family!
Capture a boldly defiant Italy Nebbiolo
The third release from our Restricted Quantities 2019 program entitled, 4Fugitives is an Italy Nebbiolo. Learn more about this limited release wine, our recommended pairings, the varietal itself and the fugitive – Enrico Alfano – who inspired it.
A unified transparency and delicate appeal that collaborates well with its robust and hearty counterparts. These are the true markers of both a leader and a great wine!
Salute to a man of lasting endurance and mystique!
Braised beef cheeks with garlic infused mash potatoes
Rigatoni alla Norma
ABOUT THE VARIETAL
Nebbiolo is native to Northern Italy most probably from the Piemonte region. In its terroir of origin, Nebbiolo is used to produced single variety wines in the world-famous regions of Barolo and Barbaresco. This derives from the Italian “nebbia”, fog in English. Typical descriptors and structure for Nebbiolo wines includes: Red cherry, blackberry, dried flowers (rose, violet), tobacco and mushroom. The wines present high acidity, full body and high tannins.
Considered a leader of a mafia-type group called the Camorra; Alfano was rumoured to have been responsible for the murders of a New York City police sergeant and a rival Camorra boss, Gennaro Cuocolo, and his wife. Many considered Alfano in the light of a demigod, as he was thought to be invulnerable to bullets and able at all times to escape his pursuers. Unfortunately, he was caught and a trial against Alfano expanded to a tribunal against the Camorra, where he was found guilty. He maintained his innocence, and after the illegitimacy of the trial was discovered, he was released after serving 27 years of a 30 year sentence. After his release in 1934, he was never seen or heard from again.
Capture a boldly defiant wine February 2019.
Capture an Intensely Surprising Chile Cabernet Merlot Syrah
The first release from our Restricted Quantities 2019 program entitled, 4Fugitives is a hearty Chilean Cabernet Merlot Syrah. Learn more about this limited release wine, our recommended pairings, the varietal itself and the fugitive – Joaquin Murrieta– who inspired it by reading on!
Revel in layer upon layer of surprise in this Chile Cabernet Merlot Syrah. Enticing hints of smoke and luscious qualities are intricately woven into this wine’s darkly exotic character.
This full-bodied dry wine presents aromas of juicy blackberries, cassis, mocha and spices. On the palate, it showcases polished tannins and a smooth finish.
Rack of lamb with chimichurri sauce
Flank steak with balsamic glazed grilled vegetables
Craft winemakers are crafting more Chilean wines than ever before! The popularity of Chilean wines is hardly surprising considering the high-quality juice now available from Chile. In fact, in the last 20 years Chile has become one the world’s best regions for sourcing varietal juice for winemaking, and most of the world’s most popular grapes of French origin, like Merlot, Pinot Noir and Chardonnay, grow exceptionally well in Chile. If one grape is king in the Chilean wine regions, it’s Cabernet Sauvignon, which since the dawning of Chile’s wine industry in the 1850s has consistently succeeded in the country’s warm, dry, Pacific Ocean-and-Andes influenced climate.
As an immigrant miner during the California gold rush, Chilean-born Joaquin Murrieta and his family were victims of ethnic discrimination, suffering much at the hands of American miners.
Forced off his claim under the Foreign Miner’s Tax of the 1850’s, he was pushed into a life of crime and into wearing the mask. Murrieta fought to defend lives and livelihoods of his people – stealing cattle and horses, robbery and even murder.
Capture an intensely surprising wine December 2018.
Red Wine Popsicles Recipe
We have a delicious, boozy treat for you that is perfect for a grown-up summer – Tinto De Verano red wine popsicles! Enjoy these easy-to-make popsicles with your Winescape red wine, lemon lime soda and homemade lime simple syrup. The richness of the red wine paired with the tartness of the lime, and sweetness of the syrup will make these popsicles a favourite!
Total Time: 4 hours 15 minutes
Lime Simple Syrup*
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1/4 cup filtered water
Juice of 1 lime (Approx. 2 tablespoons)
Tinto De Verano
1 1/4 cups red wine
1 1/4 cups lemon-lime soda
Lime Simple Syrup
In a small pot, combine sugar and water. Heat over medium-high heat until sugar dissolves completely.
Remove from heat and stir in lime juice. Set aside to cool slightly.
In a large liquid measuring cup, combine wine and soda. Add cooled lime syrup and stir.
Divide liquid between popsicle mold slots, leaving a little room at the top for popsicles to expand.
Freeze for at least 4 hours, preferably overnight.
Run popsicle mold under warm water and gently remove popsicles.
Serve and enjoy!
*If you like your popsicles less sweet, you can cut the simple syrup in half and simply replace it with an extra two tablespoons each of wine and soda.
Homemade Red Wine BBQ Sauce Recipe
Ever tried making your own homemade barbecue sauce? This recipe isn’t just your regular barbecue sauce recipe, it includes a secret ingredient of red wine (naturally!). You can expect a thick sauce rich with the complexity and depth of red wine, but tangy with vinegar and sweetened with honey – yum. Pairs well with beef or chicken. It’s surprisingly easy to make and will give you bragging rights this summer whenever you barbecue! It would also make for a thoughtful DIY gift for any BBQ-lover. Bonus: the sauce will keep for months in the refrigerator, and it also freezes well.
We recommend using any of our full-bodied red wines for this recipe:
En Primeur Winery Series Australia Cabernet Sauvignon
En Primeur Winery Series Italy Amarone Classico Style
En Primeur Winery Series Italy Rosso Grande Eccellente
En Primeur Winery Series Italy Super Tuscan
En Primeur Winery Series Australia Cabernet Shiraz
Yield: 4 1/2 cups
2 cans tomato paste, 5.5 ounces each
1 cup unsweetened applesauce
1 cup honey
1 cup red wine vinegar
1 cup full-bodied red wine
1/4 cup dark molasses (blackstrap or cooking molasses)
1 tablespoon smoked mild paprika
1 tablespoon dry mustard powder
2 tablespoons onion powder
2 teaspoons garlic powder
2 teaspoons fine sea salt
1/2 teaspoon ground allspice
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper (or more to taste)
1. Mix all ingredients together in a large saucepan. Set over medium heat and bring to a simmer. Reduce heat to low, and simmer uncovered, stirring occasionally for about 15 minutes or until thickened to your liking.
2. After about 10 minutes of simmering, taste the sauce and if you think it needs more kick, add a bit more cayenne pepper. Then continue simmering for the remaining 5 minutes.
3. Let cool, then pour into a bottle or jar with a tight-fitting lid.
Red Wine & Berry Spritzer Recipe
For a cool, refreshing cocktail this summer, try a red wine and berry spritzer! Loaded with raspberries, blackberries and orange, it’s perfect for times when you want to stay away from hard liquor, while still enjoying a drink!
Ingredients – Yields 1 Cocktail
1/4 orange sliced
1/2 teaspoon Honey
Juice of half a lime
2 parts Cru International Washington Merlot Style Red Wine
1 part Carbonated Soda
Sprig of mint
In a glass add a few cubes of ice, strawberries and blueberries. Add honey and lime juice. Mix well.
Add two parts wine to glass and stir again.
Top with carbonated soda, add a sprig of mint and enjoy!
The Ultimate Backyard BBQ Wine Pairing Guide
Barbecue season is upon us and we wanted to provide you with the ultimate backyard BBQ wine pairing guide for you to use when searching for pairing recommendations! Which pairing will you try first?
For Grilled Veggies
Grilled Pineapple: Riesling
Grilled Corn With Butter: Chardonnay
For Grilled Fish
Salmon: Chardonnay, Rosé, Pinot Gris
Trout: Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc
For Grilled Chicken
Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc, Rosé, Pinot Noir
Sausages: Riesling, Pinot Noir, Zinfandel
Hot Dogs: Pinot Noir, Rosé, Malbec
For Beefy Burgers
Hamburgers: Pinot Noir, Rosé, Malbec, Bergamais, Cabernet Sauvignon
Shoulder: Malbec, Rosé, Pinot Noir
Malbec, Pinot Noir
Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc, Rosé
For Other Burgers
Veggie burger: Sauvignon blanc, Chardonnay, Malbec, Rosé, Pinot Noir
Turkey burger: Rosé, Pinot Noir
Wine Not? 4 Reasons to Craft Your Own This Summer
There are few moments more perfect than sunshine and good conversation over a great bottle of wine. Now, with the weather already starting to warm up, you're likely aching to hit the patio with your pals, right? This summer, why not make the best bottle you share a special blend all your own!
Equally adventurous for connoisseurs and DIYers, craft winemaking offers endless possibilities, whether that's mastering a crisp rosé for your next dinner party, or bottling custom reds to gift to your friends (and who wouldn't raise a glass to that!). Here are four more reasons why you should bottle your own bevvies this summer.
1. Explore new taste creations to expand your palette
Becoming a craft winemaker means you're in control of what goes into your bottle, not to mention what ends up in your glass. The vineyard-quality juices and concentrates you get with a wine kit are just the beginning, because you can build a private reserve out of various varietals and blends. Don't be afraid to mix up your merlots and malbecs, or add a smidge of raspberry to your rosé. You can even dream up a one-of-a-kind cooler. Considering the sheer amount of yeasts, oaks, and fruits you can mix together, the options are endless for the bold at heart!
2. It's a green way of becoming a better sommelier
Picking up a new bottle of wine from a store every week is not only costly, it's wasteful. If you're looking for a good way to go green, bottling your own wine is both a literal and figurative way to do it. Reusing bottles (should you desire) is just one way you can be an enviro-friendly sommelier.
3. It's something you can proudly share with friends
On top of the great taste, there's a sense of satisfaction to gain from carefully crafting your own drink. The best part is that you don't have to keep it to yourselves. Invite friends over to try your personal line of crisp Chardonnays or peppery Australian Shiraz, or get extra creative and gift someone you love your best Pinot Noir with a custom label. It's certainly a great way to say cheers—and thanks—to any host.
4. You can bottle it just in time for summer
While there's something to be said about the experience of uncorking a vintage Cab Sauv, you really don't have to wait that long for a great glass of wine. From assorted varietals to adventurous blends, Winescapes wine only take about 4-8 weeks before they are ready to be enjoyed. Crafting your wine kit in May, means you can already start sending out RSVPs for your first of many summer soirees!
Planning a wedding? Handcrafted wine for your guests is a delightful way to make your big day that much more personalized; and there are many creative ways to use craft wine at your wedding outside of serving it on the tables. To provide some inspiration, we’ll share just a few of the many ways you can use craft wine to take your wedding game up a notch, especially when it comes to customization!
Serve, Toast & Enjoy
Winescape offers a wide array of wines perfect to suit any taste, menu, and budget – so you need not worry about having options to choose from! We recommend crafting a red and white wine, so that your guests will have the option of their preferred varietal based on their meal choice. And with a standard 750ml thirty bottles for every kit crafted, you can be assured that crafting your own wine not only offers a very personal touch, but can also be an economical choice!
Adorn your bottles with a beautiful custom wedding label that celebrates the bride and groom, alongside the wedding date in memory of your day to add an extra personal touch.
2. Table Numbers
Many brides and grooms look for creative ways to number tables at their wedding. We recommend using your handcrafted wedding wine as table numbers by either customizing a label with the table numbers on them, or by adding chic neck tags with the table numbers displayed. Your wine will serve two purposes, one as a table number and secondly, for serving and toasting to you both on your special day!
If you are really a wine lover and want to keep the theming consistent, then we’d recommend using wine corks as place card holders or for the seating chart!
3. Wedding Favours
Who doesn’t enjoy receiving wine as a gift?! Handcrafted wine makes for delightfully thoughtful and personalized wedding favours, especially with a custom thank you label with the bride and groom’s names and the wedding date. You can opt to craft a 750ml bottle as a favour, or you can craft a 375ml bottle – the latter tends to be the most common size for wedding wine favours.
4. Wedding Bar
Want to avoid the steep open bar prices, which can range from anywhere between $1,000-3,000, but still want to offer an open bar for your guests? Craft winemaking provides for a more affordable approach to providing a range of quality wines to be served at your wedding’s open bar.
Choose between red, white, and rosé wines – or if you would like to include beer or wine coolers to mix it up, we have kits for all of these products to ensure that what is served at your wedding open bar speaks to your unique personalities’ and tastes!
Interested in booking a craft wedding wine package? Contact us today to learn more about our wedding wine packages! Happy planning!
Easter Dinner Wine Pairings
Looking for wine pairing recommendations for your Easter dinner? We have some delicious and crowd-pleasing pairings to complement your meals this weekend, regardless of what you are enjoying!
Roasted turkey pairs perfectly with our En Primeur Winery Series Chile Chardonnay.
Chardonnay is a traditional dinner wine and makes for a great choice for your Easter meal. This dry wine with medium oaking strikes a perfect balance between fruit and oak – giving the wine body and a creamy mouthfeel, with lively acidity to keep it feeling fresh with each sip. The creamy mouthfeel will complement the turkey, alongside the golden delicious apple and peach characters that’ll hold up nicely against the stuffing.
Grilled lamb pairs well with our En Primeur Winery Series Australian Shiraz.
Looking for a wine to pair with a lean leg of Lamb? Look no further than Australia’s favorite red wine, Shiraz to pair with one of their favourite meats. Our Austalian Shiraz is a full-bodied wine with flavours of warm black fruit, cherries and chocolate. These intense qualities make it a natural match for weighty, rich meats — grilled lamb in particular — since the slight fattiness softens the Shiraz’s robust, mouth-drying tannins. In return, the wine’s rounded fruitiness gently curbs the lamb’s earthy character.
Baked ham is delicious in combination with our Cru Select Australia Chardonnay Style.
Depending on how the ham is cooked and the cut, there are many different pairing options. However, for the ham traditionally found on tables in Canada during Easter, which is baked or boiled, we recommend our Cru Select Australian Style Chardonnay. The wine offers captivating flavours of ripened yellow apple and tropical fruit, which matches the saltiness of the meat delightfully!
What’s Happening in the Vineyard
In February to April of every year, the Southern Hemisphere is busy harvesting grapes. These regions include Argentina, South Africa, and Australia. In terms of knowing the best time to harvest, the best winemakers are so familiar with the taste of ripeness that they can walk down a row tasting grapes and know intuitively when to pick. However, there is a fair amount of science to back this up. Did you know that the timing of the harvest is the single most important decision a grower or winemaker can make each year?
The wines typically harvested in February are: Pinot Gris, Sauvignon Blanc, Pinot Noir, Chardonnay, with Chenin Blanc and Viognier grapes being picked in end of February to early March. Merlot, Syrah/Shiraz grapes are picked early to mid-march, with Cabernet Sauvignon grapes being picked last in end of March to early April.
Meanwhile in the Northern Hemisphere (Portugal, Spain, Switzerland, France, Italy, Napa/Sonoma, Canada), depending on factors like microclimate, elevation, and grape variety, is under ‘bud break’. As the name suggests, new green growth appears on the vines during this stage. Magically, entire regions go from brown and drab – to green and vibrant over a few weeks. This sets the stage for a productive season. This process begins anytime from early March to late April. Cooler, high altitude locales or low, frost-prone valleys often experience a late bud break while warm regions like Australia’s Margaret river can sometimes go green in winter. Flowering then occurs in June, and harvest is in late August to early October.
Orchard Breezin’ Watermelon Grapefruit Salty Dog Twist
In celebration of our Orchard Breezin’ Spring 2018 limited release, Watermelon Grapefruit, we wanted to tempt your taste buds with a delicious, salty and sweet cocktail recipe. Not sure what a salty dog is? It’s a cocktail of gin or vodka, and grapefruit juice served in a highball glass with a salted rim. Our twist on this recipe is of course using our mouthwatering Orchard Breezin’ watermelon grapefruit instead of grapefruit juice. The combination of the tart sweetness of the watermelon grapefruit and salted rim makes for a delicious pairing!
Whether you’re enjoying our Orchard Breezin’ Watermelon Grapefruit wine on its own, or in this refreshing cocktail – we know that these will make great summer beverages!
Yield: makes 2 cocktails
¾ cup Orchard Breezin’ Watermelon Grapefruit
½ cup vodka or gin
Coarse salt, for rimming glasses
Frozen watermelon slices
Fresh mint sprigs
Fill a shaker with ice and add the Orchard Breezin’ Watermelon Grapefruit, and vodka/gin.
Shake vigorously for a few seconds to mix and chill the ingredients.
Rim two glasses with coarse salt and fill with crushed ice.
Divide the mixture between the two glasses and garnish with frozen watermelon wedges, grapefruit slices, and even a sprig or two of mint, as desired.
Spring will be here before we know it! And in anticipation, Winescape is pairing 3 fresh salads with some of our exceptional En Primeur Winery Series wines for a delightful wake up to warmer weather! Enjoy these delicious recipes and pairings – cheers!
Salad 1: Roasted Beet Salad with Goat Cheese and Pumpkin Seeds
Nothing brings out the tasting notes of our En Primeur South Africa Sauvignon Blanc better than fresh spring greens, goat cheese, beets and pumpkin seeds! Yum!
1 ½ pounds bulk beets
3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
1/2 teaspoon dijon
1 clove garlic, minced
1/4 cup toasted pumpkin seeds
1 head Bibb lettuce, washed and dried
4 ounces goat cheese
1/4 cup chopped walnuts (optional)
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Wash beets and place them in an ovenproof dish. Add one inch of water to the bottom of the dish and cover.
Roast until the beets are slightly soft to the touch, 30 to 40 minutes.
Remove from the oven and let cool.
Cut beets into bite-size chunks and add to a medium mixing bowl.
In a small bowl, whisk together oil, dijon, vinegar, salt, pepper, and garlic.
Pour dressing over the beets and stir in the pumpkin seeds.
Roughly chop the Bibb lettuce and divide among six small plates.
Top each plate with the roasted beet mixture (be sure to spoon up the extra dressing at the bottom of the bowl) and then crumble the goat cheese on top.
If a crunchier texture is preferred, consider adding roughly chopped walnuts on top.
Salad 2: Shrimp and Avocado Ceviche
Enjoy a light but delicious shrimp ceviche with our En Primeur Italy Pinot Grigio. The light citrus flavour of the wine will pair perfectly with the sweetness of the shrimp!
2 pounds medium shrimp
1/4 cup (about 3 limes total) freshly squeezed lime juice
6 scallions, trimmed and finely chopped
2 to 4 Serrano chiles, finely chopped
1/4 cup cider vinegar
2 teaspoons finely chopped fresh thyme
1 teaspoon dried oregano, preferably Mexican
2 large ripe avocados, peeled, pitted, and diced
1/4 cup finely chopped fresh cilantro
2 teaspoons salt
Fill a large pot with 1 quart water. Cut 4 limes in half, and squeeze their juice into pot; add lime halves. Bring to a boil, then turn off heat; let mixture steep about 10 minutes. Return to a boil.
Add shrimp to pot. As soon as water returns to a rolling boil, pour shrimp mixture into a colander; discard cooking liquid and limes. Return shrimp to pot; cover, and let stand 15 minutes. Transfer shrimp to a baking sheet and spread them out; let stand until cool enough to handle.
Peel and devein shrimp, and cut into thirds. Transfer to a medium bowl; stir in 1/4 cup lime juice and the scallions, chiles, vinegar, thyme, and oregano. Let stand at room temperature 1 hour, stirring occasionally.
When ready to serve, stir avocados, cilantro, and salt into shrimp mixture. Serve with tortilla chips.
Salad 3: Caesar Salad
Our En Primeur Chile Chardonnay pairs best with creamy dressings, and who doesn’t love a delicious Caesar salad?!
1 head romaine lettuce
2 cups (500 mL) croutons
1/4 cup (50 mL) grated parmesan cheese
1/4 cup (50 mL) vegetable oil
2 tbsp (25 mL) grated parmesan cheese
1 tbsp (15 mL) white wine vinegar
2 tsp (10 mL) dijon mustard
2 tsp (10 mL) anchovy paste
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 tsp (2 mL) each salt and pepper
1/2 tsp (2 mL) worcestershire sauce
3 tbsp (50 mL) light mayonnaise
In bowl, whisk together oil, cheese, vinegar, mustard, anchovy paste, garlic, salt, pepper and Worcestershire sauce. Whisk in mayonnaise until smooth. (Make-ahead: Cover and refrigerate for up to 1 day.)
Tear lettuce into bite-size pieces to make about 20 cups (5 L); place in large bowl. Add dressing, croutons and cheese; toss to combine
With the 2018 SAG awards and 60th Annual Grammy Awards now behind us, it’s safe to say that the awards season is well under way, as well as the Winter Olympics! If you enjoy watching the live coverage with a glass of vino, we’ve got the perfect popcorn pairings to complement whatever is in your glass; so you can spend more time enjoying the red carpet pleasantries, and of course – the awards ceremonies!
We’ve got a list of popcorn pairings with Winescape wines, to take the guesswork out of your pairings. Try them out for these upcoming award shows: Independent Film Spirit Awards on March 3, 2018, the Oscars 90th Annual Academy Awards on March 4, 2018, or save them for the Emmy Awards on September 17, 2018.
Caramel corn: Pair with a sweet wine, like our Cru Specialty Riesling Style Dessert Wine.
Cheddar or Parmesan Popcorn: The strong cheese flavours require a robust wine, such as our En Primeur Winery Series Australia Cabernet Sauvignon, or Italy Zinfandel.
Spicy Popcorn: For flavours with heat like cajun, chipotle, jalapeño flavours, pair them with our En Primeur Winery Series Germany Riesling Gewürtztraminer or our Cru International Müller-Thurgau Style. If you’d prefer a red, pair with our En Primeur Winery Series Winemakers Trio Red or En Primeur Winery Series Australia Pinot Noir.
Dark Chocolate Popcorn: This popcorn calls for a pairing with a decadent dessert wine, like our Cru Specialty Premium Dessert Wine.
Global Spices: With curry, harissa and other strong spices, pair with our Cru International Ontario Sauvignon Blanc style wine. Rosé is another option, you can try pairing with our Cru International French Rosé style.
Kettle Corn: Try an off-dry/semi-dry (slightly sweet) or sweet wine, like our Cru Select Germany Style Riesling Traminer.
Milk Chocolate Popcorn: Pair this with a port wine, like our Cru Specialty Premium Dessert Wine.
Salted Caramel Or Chocolate: A dry sparkling wine makes for a great pairing, or our Cru Specialty Premium Dessert Wine.
Truffle Popcorn: The earthiness of the truffles will pair well with an earthy wine, like our En Primeur Winery Series Australia Pinot Noir, Spain Grenache Syrah, or our Restricted Quantities 2018 Spain Tempranillo.
White Chocolate Popcorn: Dessert wines are the perfect pairing, try with our Cru Specialty Vidal Style dessert wine.
Chad & Curtis
Give the Gift of Wine this Valentine’s Day
Valentine’s Day is quickly approaching and if you’re still looking for a present for that special someone, look no further! While conventional items like jewelry, chocolates and flowers are good gifts, it’s likely you’ve gifted them before and are looking to try something new.
Nothing says, “Happy Valentine’s Day” better than wine, because you can’t drink flowers! So why not give a gift that you handcrafted yourself with love, or better yet gift an experience that the two of you can share in together? Handcrafted wine makes for an extra special gift for a loved one, and it’s easy to do!
Head into Winescape today to select a varietal of wine you know they enjoy with the assistance of our wine expert, craft it with their guidance, bottle your wine and finish it off with customized labels and shrinks for an extra personal touch. As this process can take anywhere from 4-8 weeks and Valentine’s day is much sooner – we would recommend that you purchase a gift certificate for a craft winemaking experience instead. It is a fun activity that you can do together, where you will learn and try something new, meet new people, and you will walk away with 30 bottles of delicious wine that you made together!
In addition, you will be able to sample your wine, and pair it with cheeses and meats in our comfortable lounge.
Then enjoy your handcrafted wine over a romantic meal for two, or enjoy your wine with friends and share the story of how you made it – it makes for a great conversation piece!
Happy Valenwine’s Day! 😉
Craft Wine Date Night!
There is nothing as nice as those few hours a week we get away from work, the kids and the general hustle and bustle of everyday life on date night. But, it is far too easy to fall into a familiar monotony of date night destinations, like going to the same restaurant or two every time. If you are struggling for new ideas to keep date night exciting, you are in luck! Craft Winemaking is the alternative to the “same old, same old” you are craving for date night.
Whether you are looking to learn more about wine by adding new varietals to an existing collection, or developing a whole new hobby, a date that combines creating, crafting and building something together with a partner in crime, not to mention having fun, will help to keep life interesting. Plus, you will be on the track to building your wine cellar together.
Your first date night out making wine will likely last about one hour. It all starts by contacting Winescape to let us know what you are looking to do. Book ahead for a time when you can have a private winemaking experience. Upon arrival, first take a tour of the store and learn about the process – starting with a consultation to find your perfect wine style, whether it is a single grape varietal or blend. You may end up choosing an old favorite or you may decide to discover a new wine.
Once you get started with the wine making, do as much as you can yourself, including adding all of the ingredients. Just be sure to wear suitable clothing or an apron (which we provide) in case of any splashing wine. Before you know it the juice will be fermenting away, turning itself into wine. Before leaving the store, book your follow up to return in 4, 6 or 8 weeks, depending on which wine you chose. Since the night will still be young, why not go out to continue the conversation over dinner and drinks.
The best part of your return second date will be taking the first sip of the wine you created together. Enjoy complimentary imported cheeses, meat and chocolate from around the world in our comfortable lounge. Next you will bottle and cork the wine you crafted yourself. Choose or create custom labels, along with shrink tops to complete your look.
It’s not over yet….now that you have 30 bottles of delicious wine, it will be time for date night in (and maybe a few more nights in) as you enjoy the wine you created together. Share your wine with friends and family and start pairing all your meals with your wine.
See you soon!
Holiday Gifting Ideas!
October 31st, 2017
The popularity of handmade gifts has risen both because of their uniqueness, but also because of the craftsmanship and the labour of love that goes into creating them, making them so special to receive. Especially in today’s day and age, where a new cellphone is released what seems to be every other week, and online shopping is becoming one of the main methods of shopping. The appreciation for the time and thought that goes into handcrafted has become very meaningful in a very digital age. With the holidays fast approaching, Winescape wanted to provide you with some craft winemaking gift inspirations, to help you step up your holiday gifting game. The average wine kit produces approximately 30 bottles of wine, so there are many ways to leverage craft wine for use during the holidays – outside of enjoying with meals, or on its own of course!
Holiday Wine Card:
Wine bottle holidays cards are a new take on traditional holiday cards that are extra fun, as they can drink them too and they are simple to do, so long as you plan ahead. Craft a wine that speaks to your personal taste profile – whether that be a refreshing pinot Grigio or a peppery, rich cabernet sauvignon. The Winescape product line up has something for everyone, and if not, we can help you tailor a wine to meet your preferences. Then develop a custom label, like this one from www.evermine.com, so it can be used as your own holiday card!
DIY Gift Box:
Create a fully personalized gift box for that special someone in your life that shows them how thoughtful you are! Start by crafting a wine that you know they will love, and then adding a few of their favourite things to the box – whether it is chocolate, books, candles, makeup, seasoning etc. This is a simple DIY gift that will be sure to delight any receiver!
The holiday season if filled with inevitable dinner parties and holiday events for work, friends, and family, and craft wine makes for the perfect hosting gift! You can choose to bottle your craft wine in 350ml or 750ml bottles, and personalize them with a beautiful, ‘Thank you’ label and voila – hosting gifts for the season! Take them to the next level by wrapping the bottle in off-white fabric, and securing with cording and a stamped label.
Craft Wine Making Experience:
While a handcrafted gift made is special to receive, giving the gift of an experience or an activity also makes for a great gift! So why not give the gift of a craft winemaking experience at Winescape, and you can both create and customize a wine that you will both love – and it will be the gift that keeps on giving, as you will each get approximately 15 bottles each!
With about 50+ days to go until the holidays, now is the perfect time to start crafting if you want to try any of these gifting ideas! Order online, or stop by our store today to begin your holiday wine crafting adventure!