Did you know that when you make your own wine/cider/beer, you are exempt from the Excise Tax? This is a tax that is placed on alcohol when made at a commercial winery or brewery. This is the MAIN REASON making your own wine/cider/beer is more affordable. But here's a few other reasons, if you need them....
SALT-LESS BRINES FOR MEAT
Brining meat is a great way to tenderize and flavour meat. Traditionally it's done with salt, but did you know it can be done with balsamic vinegar? Perfect for those on a low-sodium diet!
Be careful of what kind of vinegar to use. DO NOT use a strong vinegar like white distilled! The acidity in vinegar is very important to break down the proteins in meat, but brining requires the meat to sit in the liquid for a longer time. Balsamic vinegar has an acidity of 4-6%, which is much better for this purpose.
When brining, the amount of liquid and time required depends largely on the size and weight of the meat. The meat must be submerged in the liquid and kept cool. Smaller pieces of meat like steak might take 3-6 hours, but whole roasts could take 12 or more hours!
Make sure you have a large enough container to completely submerge the meat. Brining bags are available and can help for larger pieces of meat, like turkeys. You may have to double or even triple the recipe to get enough liquid to entirely cover the meat. Keep the meat cool while brining - make some room in that beer fridge!
Remember to pat the meat dry after removing from the brine and before cooking. This will seal all of those juices and flavours into your meat.
Here's a couple of our family's favourites...
1 cup Olivia's Mango or Peach White Balsamic Vinegar
1 cup orange juice
3 cups water
1-2 cinnamon sticks
3-4 whole cloves
1 cup Olivia's Sicilian Lemon White Balsamic Vinegar
4 cups water
Sprigs of rosemary & thyme
1 cup Olivia's Montreal Maple Dark Balsamic Vinegar
1 cup cranberry juice
3 cups water
Sprigs of thyme
3 cloves of garlic, minced
1 cup Olivia's Chocolate Dark Balsamic Vinegar
1 cup strong coffee
2 cups water
1 orange cut into thin slices
1 onion cut into thin slices
Excise duties are a federal tax applied to several products, including alcohol (wine, beer, cider, and spirits), manufactured in Canada for resale.
In 2017, the Government of Canada amended the Excise Act to tie excise duties on alcohol to inflation. On April 1, 2023, the tax will increase by 6.3%, which will be the largest federal tax increase on alcohol in 40 years. Thanks Trudeau - NOT!
As the tax is first paid by liquor manufacturers, it means you can expect wholesale liquor prices to increase as of April 1. When wholesale prices rise, retail prices for the customer always follow suit. The new tax increase will net $45 million of additional revenue for the federal government off the pockets of customers!
“It is a hidden tax. Most consumers would have no idea there’s such a thing,” CJ Helie, the President of Beer Canada says. “It is imposed at the manufacturer’s level as soon as they make the product. So what that means is that it’s embedded into the price initially as the supplier sells to the distributor, from the distributor to the retailer, or the bar, and so it gets marked up all along the way.”*
What does this mean for customers who make their wine/beer/cider at a ferment-on-premise such as Harvest Wine? Nothing! As the excise tax is only on manufactured goods for resale, our customers will not be affected when making it for their own consumption. But, everyone will see prices rise at their local liquor stores and restaurants.
While prices are steadily rising all around us, this is finally one area where we can out smart the taxman. MAKE YOUR OWN AND SAVE MONEY!
*information gathered from multiple online sources and from the ABLE BC newsletter.