25 years ago, Argentina’s leading red grape, Malbec, was relatively unknown to us. Some wine lovers probably knew the grape from Bordeaux blends. A few aficionados may have tried an inky black and very tannic French wine called Côt, the original Malbec from the Cahors region.
However, a dramatic rise in Argentina’s wine quality and incredible export success catapulted Malbec from the relative backwaters of the wine world to vino stardom.
Some of these Argentinian Malbec wines approach the power of a Cabernet Sauvignon with concentrated dark fruits and tasty tannins. Others, with higher acidity, have the finesse of a Pinot Noir.
Chile makes Malbecs and there are American plantings of the grape in states including California, Washington, Oregon, and Texas. There are also plenty of contrasting Malbecs within each country, depending on growing conditions and decisions made in the vineyard and winery.
Try these kits:
Original Series - 4 week kit, from Chile, flavours of blackberry, black cherry and oak
Estate Series - 6 week kit, from Argentina, flavours of black plum, clove and charred wood
- excerpts taken from Danny Wood article in Winemaker Magazine
I’m sure by now everyone has noticed the inflation we’re all experiencing lately. From utilities, to supplies, to gas and shipping costs, these increases have left us no choice but to re-evaluate our pricing.
Effective May 1st, our production fees for in-shop wine/beer/cider making will be increasing by roughly 7%. Our pricing on other products and supplies may see a 5-7% increase, depending on the supplier. We will be constantly monitoring these costs to provide our customers a fair price. Please be aware that on a $200 order, it will work out to about 47 cents more a bottle, still much cheaper than prices at the liquor stores!
This was a tough decision to make, and we understand how it affects our customers. If you wish to save money on some of your favourite wine/beer/cider, please make your purchases before April 30th.
We thank you for your ongoing support, and trust that these changes will help us continue to provide you with great quality and service.
Harvest Wine Outfitters
When more isn't really better...
Alcohol is the difference between fruit juice and wine. In a Ferment-On-Premise operation, the customer makes their wine by adding a specific yeast to their juice. The yeast essentially "eats" the sugars in the juice and leaves alcohol behind. Basically, the more sugar there is in the juice, the higher the alcohol.
The amount of alcohol in wine will determine the wine's texture, and the bitterness and sweetness we perceive when drinking it. The alcohol gives us a "mouthfeel" and provides some structure and body to the wine. It also acts like a natural preservative and allows wine to age without spoiling. Commercial wines can be easily found between 8 - 16% ABV (alcohol by volume). Depending on the style of the wine, the grapes used and the winemaker's decisions in making the wine, that ABV can vary quite a bit.
Wine kits are designed to work out with the same results, every time. These come straight from the manufacturer, already to be made. The juice concentrate has been tested, balanced for flavour and profile, and they know what alcohol percentage you should be getting, based on their instructions. Although it can be done, I would not recommend adjusting the kits to make more alcohol.
Country fruit wines can be trickier. Depending on your winemaking abilities and methods used, you can control the alcohol percentage quite a bit. Amount of fruit used. Quality and ripeness of your fruit. Selecting a specific yeast. Testing for sugars in your fruit. Determining what type of sugar to use. Adding extra sugar.... a little or a lot...
The sugar content, or Brix, of wine is determined by the ripeness of your fruit, and in the case of country fruit wines, the amount of additional sugar or honey when starting your batch of wine. Fruit that has been given the chance to fully ripen will have a higher sugar content. Fruit grown in warmer climates, or when we have a really hot/dry summer, will also have a higher sugar content. Most country fruit wines are made with fruit that does not have a high enough natural sugar content, so adding extra sugar is needed to push up that alcohol content to where it is desired.
We want to make a country fruit wine that is drinkable - one with good flavour and is nicely balanced. Cranking up that alcohol level can produce a "hot" element, burning the back of your throat and warming your insides all the way down. A hot wine can stunt the delicate fruit flavours, even giving them a "baked" or "cooked" taste. Sometimes all you can taste is the alcohol and hardly any fruit flavour.
When making a country fruit wine, ask yourself a few questions:
In the end, the customers who come into our shop have the ability to customize their wine. Ask questions! We want to make sure you are happy with your finished product.
Whether it's store bought or homemade,
Ripe fruits of dark cherry, strawberry and blackberry are complemented by notes of plum and fig preserve. Toasted oak brings hints of vanilla bean and baking spice. This medium-bodied wine delivers freshness and balance with well-structured tannins and a long, lingering finish.
Did you know....?
Cencibel is the popular name used for Tempranillo in Spain.
Did you know....?
"Manchuela" means "lesser La Mancha" as it was part of the larger La Mancha Denominación de Origen Protegida or DOP (Spain's wine quality control system).
Macabeo Sauvignon Blanc from Winexpert LE21 is also from the same region!
Pair Macabeo Sauvignon Blanc with this amazing recipe!
BAKED FETA WITH TOMATOES, CAPERS & OLIVES
Pair Tempranillo Bobal with the traditional Spanish Paella!
(Click HERE for recipe)
Any trip to inland Spain should definitely include a visit to its World Heritage cities such as Cuenca with its famous Hanging Houses!
Trulli are whitewashed, stone huts unique to the region, which date back to the Middle Ages. They were once inhabited by peasant farmers of the region. The small town of Alberobello is a UNESCO site that showcases streets of trulli.
Did you know...?
Primitivo is the same grape as California's Zinfandel!
This full-bodied wine brings aromas of dark raspberry, black currant, and preserved cherry with hints of coffee and baking spice. It’s earthy, bold, and luscious character are complemented by round tannins and a smooth finish.
Pair this wine with:
Puglia supplies about 40% of all of Italy's olive oil. In the 18th century, Charles of Bourbon proposed tax reductions for landowners in return for helping cultivating olives. Millions of olive trees exist from those first saplings.
Did you know...?
We carry Olivia's Oils and Vinegars from Kelowna, BC!