Wine Storage Tips

Here are some wine storage tips to ensure top quality wine:

Do:
Store your wine upright for the first 3 to 5 days.
After that, store your wine on its side in order to keep the cork moist.
Store your wine in a cool, dark place.
Your wine should be stored where the temperature is CONSISTENT… Bright light, movement, and temperature fluctuations can negatively affect the quality of your wine.

Do Not:
Do not constantly turn your wine. Red wines will sometimes dust (leave residue on the inside of the bottle). This is normal. Simply decant your wine.
Do not store your wine directly on a cement floor. Put a thick piece of wood under your wine storage boxes.
Do not store your wine on heated floors.

Food and Wine Pairing

What you are looking for is harmony and balance in your pairing. Wine on its own tastes different than when it is paired with food. If it is complementary, wine can impart its flavours to a dish, thereby giving the food an added layer, or food can lend its flavours to the wine. If they clash, or if one overpowers the other, the experience will under whelm and disappoint and can sometimes lead to flavours that are not present in either, like an unpleasant metallic taste which can result from high tannin content and oily fish. With the right pairing, wine and food can combine to give your palate great pleasure!

Barrel aging offers you the opportunity to recreate the same conditions that big wineries make on their wines.  When wine is put into an oak barrel, the water and ethanol in the wine dissolve the tannins and the aromatic compounds from the wood and impart the highly coveted 'oaky' aroma and flavour profile.  Even after the wine is bottled, the contact made by the oak makes a lasting impression.       

Most of us have tasted red wines (and white too) that have been so heavily oaked that little or no fruit character remains of the grape.  This is generally because the wine has been been over-oaked by prolonged exposure to a barrel.

Dry red wines, especially robust reds (note: never oak a Pinot Noir), which have been had time in an oak barrel reap the benefit of exposure to the wood by developing interesting and complex aromatic profiles.  The typical characteristics are vanilla, spice, toast, nut and caramel.  They also tend to age better than their un-oaked counterparts. 

Research shows that four week kits don't show much benefit from it.

With the frequency of use, longer and longer time-frames are needed to extract the same effect from the barrel.  Since barrels are good for 12-18 months of constant turnover/use, they are a a great option for anyone who is working towards building up a good inventory.  Once they start to lose their immediate impact and need to sit for longer periods to achieve the same oak extraction benefit, then the barrels become ideal for anyone who would like to use them for longer, slower oak exposure as well as long term storage.

We also have acacia barrels for white wines.  The effect of an acacia barrel on a dry white wine will give a sweet honey note to the wine without actually adding sweetness. Young customers have sweeter pallets according to studies.  Please ask any of our staff members about these barrels.

The Skinny On Grape Skin Kits

They're Loaded with tannins:

Tannins come from grape skins and seeds; they provide colour, flavour, and structure, giving that astringent mouth feel characteristic of red wines. With grape skins wine kits you are increasing your wine's exposure to the skins, allowing for more tannins to be extracted, and more varietal character to develop, giving you a wine that is truer to its varietal style.

And they're loaded with antioxidants:

Resveratrol, an antioxidant found in grape skins and seeds, has been linked to numerous cardiovascular health benefits, and is one of the main reasons red wine is celebrated as a heart-healthy drink. Antioxidants are found in all wines but, because of their prolonged contact with the grape skins, they are most prevalent in reds.

Addition of grape skins means an extra step plus additional time, but these aren't a four week wine kit!  Having gone to the extra time & trouble, you'll want to allow your bounty at least a year under cork to fully appreciate the fruits of your labour.