Choosing The Right Wine

Often overlooked, this is the most important part of the winemaking process — not every variety (or type of kit) is appropriate for everyone. Choosing the right wine for you will ensure maximum enjoyment.

Choose the basic style of wine you’re currently interested in:

Choosing the right brand is also important. Basically, if you need a wine for early consumption, choose a four-week kit such as Vintner’s Reserve™. But, for maximum enjoyment and quality (as long as you have some cellaring time available), the premium kits (such as Selection™) are definitely the way to go.

Light & Fruity Reds

Often unoaked, the emphasis is on light fruit flavours, such as cherry and red berries. Sometimes, these wines are best off chilled slightly. Serve with lighter fare.

  • Bergamais™  A nouveau-style red, with red berry flavours. Great served with pizza & pasta.

  • Valroza™  Smooth, easy drinking style with notes of red fruit. Serve with finger foods & picnics

  • Pinot Noir  Elegant, fruit-forward wine with aromas of black currants & cherries.

Medium-bodied Reds

Available with or without oak (your option), the emphasis is on balance – fruitiness & oak; not too light, not too heavy on the palate.

  • Merlot   Medium bodied, very smooth red, due to the ample fruitiness from this grape. Wonderful with roast beef & gravy.

  • Vieux Chateau du Roi™A Rhone-style red blend, usually with a subtle oak background. Red and black berries, with a hint of spice.

Keep in mind, most four-week kits will yield a medium bodied wine. You can upgrade to a premium Selection™ brand with any of these wines… the body stays pretty much the same, but you add quality, flavour and bouquet!

Heavy, Robust Reds

Usually the fuller-bodied reds have some element of oak (they can handle it), and it’s in the design of their profile. Emphasis is on mouthfeel – heavy on the palate, with ample flavours to roll over your tongue.

  • Selection Luna Rossa™   One of the heaviest reds on the market, simulating the big, bold Bordeaux style reds. Loaded with black fruits, oak and tannins.

  • Selection™ Nebbiolo   Deep purple colour with a very full, robust mouth-feel of oak and dark fruit.

  • Selection™ Cabernet Sauvignon   The king of the reds. Aromas and flavours of blackberry, pepper, red and black currant, with a touch of earthiness & oak.

  • Selection™ Cabernet-Shiraz   Complexity of Cab blended with the spiciness of Shiraz make for a righ, heavy blend. Well oaked, designed for longer-term cellaring.

  • Selection™ Italian Montepulciano   Deeply coloured with flavours of blackberry and black pepper. Full bodied with moderate tannin and balanced acidity.

For the fullest-bodied wines, it’s best to use the premium type kits — you must plan on aging these in the bottle for 3+ months, or you risk not being pleased with your investment. 

Blushes & Roses

Blush wines are actually made from red grapes – but without the skins, which is where 95% of the colour in red wine resides. By removing the skins prior to crush/press/ferment, the wine stays light, fruity and smooth. Add in a touch of sugar, and blush makes for a very pleasant wine on the patio, or picnic table… or anywhere!

  • Vintner’s Reserve White Zinfandel (2-3)  Sweet plums on the palate; refreshing & light with juicy, grapey sweetness.

Dry Whites – Soft & Easy Going; With Fruitiness

Most white wines are classified as dry – some (especially German & Alsatian whites) can be sweeter. This chart is for wines with no residual sugar, but which still have some fruitiness which may smooth out, or balance, any acidity.

  • Riesling   Arguably the best white wine grape (the other would be Chardonnay), it can be found sweet or dry (so watch your labels). Easy drinking with a slight fruit/floral nose.

  • Viognier   Medium bodied, aromatic white with fresh spring blossoms, peaches and apricots on the nose. Very pleasant for everyday use.

Dry Whites – Full-body, full-flavour

Dry & Crisp (herbaceous, fresh, grassy)

  • Selection™ Italian Pinot Grigio   Very bright, refreshing & crisp white, with notes of perfume & spice. Hints of citrus & almond.

  • Selection™ Sauvignon Blanc   Dry, grassy & herbaceous character, with plenty of pleasant acidity and a palate-cleansing mouthfeel.

Dry & Full-bodied (fruity, oaky)

  • Selection™ Australian Chardonnay   Very bright, refreshing & crisp white, with notes of perfume & spice. Hints of citrus & almond.

Whites – Sweeter & Fruity

You can have fruity without sweet (Rieslings, Viognier), but generally this does not occur the other way around… sweetening wine is usually done because there is a lot of acidity in the harvested grape, and some residual sugar balances this acidity beautifully.

Germany & Alsace (northern France) are famous for their off-dry white wines!

  • Selection™ Liebfraumilch (1)Floral bouquet, ripe, sweet grapey fruit flavours.

  • Selection™ Muller Thurgau (1)Crunchy green apples on the palate, with a touch of sweetness – elderflower bouquet.

Mists & Coolers

Niagara Mist & Island Mist

Mists are a uniquely refreshing wine beverage with a bold splash of fruit that is designed to bridge the gap between traditional coolers and light wines. It is a light, cool and crisp wine beverage balanced with a refreshing bouquet and flavour of fresh fruits. It is slightly sweeter than table wines, yet not as sweet as traditional coolers.

It’s simply a wine kit with a separate bag of fruit juice which provides the dominant flavour.

Each kit makes 23 litres, and is slightly lower in alcohol than traditional wines, at about 7%. They ought to be great crowd pleasers for your outdoor get-togethers, and are made the same way as wine kits are (4 weeks).

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