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The Top Ten Wines of 2017

February 3, 2018

The numbers are in. Here are Just Fine Wine’s Top Ten Wines of 2016. Have you tried them all?

Just Fine Wine wants to provide you with an exceptional craft winemaking experience each and every time you come through our doors. A big part of that is providing our clients with the very best handcrafted wines available on the market. This is why we exclusively use Winexpert products and offer you a 100% satisfaction guarantee on every Winexpert wine kit made on-premise. Just Fine Wine has over one hundred varietals and styles to choose from, sourced from around the globe. With such a wide variety, we always enjoy finding out which of these wines you, our loyal and supportive clients, have enjoyed the most over the course of the previous calendar year. Once again we have added up the numbers from 2017 and present to you your top ten wines of 2017*:

Wine  2017   2016   2015   2014   2013   2012   Times In

Top 10 **

Selection California Cabernet Sauvignon/Merlot  T9 8 7 9 7 9 9
Eclipse Lodi Ranch 11 Cabernet Sauvignon  T9 1
Eclipse New Zealand Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc 8 9 2
Eclipse Barossa Valley Shiraz 7 10 2
Eclipse French Nocturnal 6 1
Selection Italian Pinot Grigio 5 3 T3 2 3 3 9
Selection Argentine Malbec w/Grape Skins 4 1
Vintners Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon 3 6 5 3
World Vineyard Italian Pinot Grigio 2 2 T3 T5 5 5 9
Eclipse Napa Valley Stag’s Leap District Merlot 1 1 1 1 1 1 9

*Wines are listed in descending order with the previous years’ rankings included.

**Total Number of Appearances in the Top Ten Since tracking was started in 2009 (the maximum number of appearances is 9)

“-” Not Ranked That Year

“T9” Tied for Ninth

Points of Interest:

  • Up until the last year, the top four most popular wines had remained relatively constant since we started tracking in 2009. 2015 saw stalwart top 5, Eclipse Italian Piedmont Nebbiolo (Barolo), drop right out of the top ten and this year it was joined by perennial top 3 favourite, Selection Luna Rossa, that fell off the list completely. These wines remain as delicious as ever and sales remain strong for both making them both a good bet to return to the top ten in the future.
  • For the first time, last year’s “short run” Eclipse offering (Nocturnal – a blend of  Grenache, Syrah, Mourvèdre and Cinsaut from Langueduc, France) cracked the top ten. Both of the previous “short run” Eclipse releases had extremely strong showings but weren’t able to accomplish what Nocturnal did last year. It speaks volumes about the quality of these limited availability Eclipse wines as they have built a very strong following.
  • In what seems to be a yearly trend, reds hold the edge over whites with a score of 7 to 3.
  • This year was the closest race for spots 1 and 2 in the history of our tracking. Eclipse Napa Valley Stags Leap Merlot usually owns the top spot going away; however, mostly due to a Winexpert stock shortage that lasted over two months. This allowed World Vineyard Italian Pinot Grigio to close the gap to the closest margin ever.
  • As was the case last year, if you combine the numbers for both 4-5 week and 6-8 Pinot Grigios, you have the most popular style of wine overall. This also continues to be the trend commercially as Pinot Grigio was the most popular style of wine sold in BC  last year.
  • Overall, we’ve probably witnessed the most change ever on our top ten this year. There are three wines debuting on this year’s list: Eclipse Lodi Ranch 11 Cabernet SauvignonSelection Argentine Malbec w/Grape Skins, and Eclipse French Nocturnal. There two others who are back after a year or two hiatus: Eclipse New Zealand Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc and Eclipse Barossa Valley Shiraz. The Eclipse reds numbers were likely inflated a touch by the absence of Stag’s Leap Merlot at the end of the year. The return of New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc is not surprising considering the popularity of comparable wines such as Oyster Bay and Kim Crawford Sauvignon Blanc.
  • Much like the commercial wine industry, Malbec has again made a strong showing this year despite the discontinuation of the popular Selection Chilean Malbec.
  • Making big inroads this year is Vintners Reserve Diablo Rojo which has steadily climbed in popularity since its debut several years ago. If you enjoy the off-dry red wine style of Apothic Red, this wine could be right up your alley. 

With over 100 varieties, Winexpert has no shortage of top quality wines to make and it’s a sizeable task to try them all. Our facebook page is a great place to connect with fellow wine lovers who may want to swap a few bottles or even start a new winemaking partnership/group to share a batch of something new.

 

Attention Home Winemakers: Winexpert’s New Clearing Process

January 17, 2018

OVERVIEW: As of December 1st, 2017 Winexpert is launching a new clearing regime supported with revised and streamlined instructions across all brands of their craft wine kits. Two years of research and development resulted in this new clearing methodology. Benefits include improved clarity, brighter flavour, enhanced mouth feel and fuller aromatics to name just a …

OVERVIEW:

As of December 1st, 2017 Winexpert is launching a new clearing regime supported with revised and streamlined instructions across all brands of their craft wine kits.
Two years of research and development resulted in this new clearing methodology. Benefits include improved clarity, brighter flavour, enhanced mouth feel and fuller aromatics to name just a few. The new instructions are also designed to be easier to follow and include tips for success as well as a link to a new website, www.winemakerschool.com for in-depth winemaking information.
Highlights of the new instructions are:

  • 30g bentonite addition to all wine kits (excluding Après brand)
  • 14 day primary fermentation and the elimination of a secondary fermentation
  • Two-step clearing using kieselsol and chitosan
  • Selection Amarone Style with grape skins will no longer require a chaptalization step.

Winexpert is excited to introduce this new clearing regime and instructions to ensure their products and processes are always best in class while demonstrating their ongoing commitment to the consumer winemaking industry.

Winexpert New Clearing Process

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS:

1. Why are you making these instruction and process changes?
As the consumer made wine industry leader, we continuously review our products and practices to ensure they are best in class. Over the past two years, an exhaustive review of all of our brands revealed enhancements to our clearing process to deliver superior finished wines with greater clarity, brighter flavour, and fuller aromatics.

2. How did you decide on this new process?
Our new clearing regime stems from two years of R&D encompassing all brands and a multitude of processes and winemaking conditions. The net result is a revised clearing regime
selected on its ability to consistently and effectively deliver superior finished wine across all brands.

3. What are the benefits of this new process?
The new clearing process delivers numerous benefits including:

  • Improved clarity
  • Brighter flavour
  • Enhanced mouth feel
  • Fuller aromatics
  • Reduced haze in white wines
  • Improved clearing of red wines
  • Improved grape skin product clearing

4. What is the impact of the larger bentonite pack?
Tests were conducted using various amounts of bentonite. Results repeatedly and conclusively showed that 30g of bentonite delivered the clearest and brightest wines. A slurry of bentonite and water attracts particulate during fermentation to assist in the clearing process without stripping colour while eliminating proteins that can give off flavours.

5. What is the significance of 14 days vs 7 day racking?
There are several benefits of using a 14 day primary fermentation with a secondaryfermentation removed, specifically:

  • The yeast works harder and longer, converting more sugars into alcohol; this allows wine to more consistently meet S.G. targets and for more sediment to drop out in the early phase to support effective clearing overall.
  • Wines ferment dryer to create more stable finished products that meet their alcohol target
  • Stalled fermentations are significantly reduced when the full yeast load is left undisturbed to consume sugars and convert them into alcohol.

6. What is the significance of adding kieselsol/chitosan?
Exhaustive research confirmed that the combination of kieselsol and chitosan is the most reliable, effective and thorough clearing method across all brands. This powerhouse team provides a positive (Chitosan) and negative (Kieselsol) charge that work together to maximize the removal of particulate during the clearing stage.

7. I haven’t had any problems with the current method, so why change?
This new clearing method is the result of two years of R&D to ensure we deliver the highest quality products. Wines made using the new process consistently measured higher for clarity and colour, scored higher on taste tests, and had a significantly reduced margin for error (i.e. stalled fermentations) vs. wines made using the previous method.

8. I will have two different sets of instructions during the transition. What do I do?
Starting December 1st, 2017, all Winexpert wine kits will contain the new instructions with the updated process. Kits produced prior to December 1st can continue to be made with the instructions and components included.

9. What if I don’t follow the new instructions?
The previous winemaking process will still work. However, please note that all wine kits produced starting December 1st will contain only those components required for the new clearing process and therefore Winespert quality guarantee can only be honoured based on following the new instructions.

10. Who should I contact for more information?
Please contact Just Fine Wine with any questions. You can also visit www.winemakerschool.com for additional information and resources.

The Top Ten Wines of 2016

February 6, 2017

The numbers are in. Here are Just Fine Wine’s Top Ten Wines of 2016. Have you tried them all?

One of Just Fine Wine’s goals is to provide you with the opportunity to make the very best handcrafted wines available on the market. This is why we exclusively use Winexpert products and offer you a 100% satisfaction guarantee on every Winexpert wine kit made on-premise. With over one hundred varietals to choose from, we always look forward to finding out which of these wines you, our loyal and supportive clients, have enjoyed the most over the course of the last calendar year. The totals are in and so without further delay, here are your top ten wines of 2016*:

Wine  2016   2015   2014   2013   2012   2011 

 Times In Top 10 **

Vintners Reserve Riesling  T10 –  T10  –  –  2
Selection California Gewürztraminer  T10  – –  –   –  –  2
World Vineyard California Trinity Red  9 –   10 –  –   –  2
Selection California Cabernet Sauvignon/Merlot   8  7  9  9  10 8
World Vineyard Chilean Malbec 7 8 2
Vintners Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon 6 5 2
Selection Chilean Malbec 5 6 8 3
Selection Luna Rossa 4 2 3 2 2 2 8
Selection Italian Pinot Grigio 3 T3 2 3 3 3 8
World Vineyard Italian Pinot Grigio 2 T3 T5 5 5 4 8
Eclipse Napa Valley Stag’s Leap District Merlot 1 1 1 1 1 1 8

*Wines are listed in descending order with the previous years’ rankings included.

**Total Number of Appearances in the Top Ten Since tracking was started in 2009 (the maximum number of appearances is 8)

 “-” Not Ranked That Year

“T10” Tied for Tenth

Points of Interest:

With over 100 varieties, Winexpert has no shortage of top quality wines to make and it’s a sizeable task to try them all. Our facebook page is a great place to connect with fellow wine lovers who may want to swap a few bottles or even start a new winemaking partnership/group to share a batch of something new.

 

The Midas Touch

July 7, 2016

Winexpert Wine kits once again have the Midas Touch at International Competition.

Congratulations to all of the Winexpert winemakers who took home a huge haul of medals at the 2016 Winemaker International Amateur Wine Competition. Winexpert Wine Kits won the most medals overall including BEST IN SHOW Kit/Concentrate for Island Mist Peach Apricot Chardonnay. Winexpert also had more gold medal winning wine kits than any other brand!

CLICK HERE for complete result listings from the 2016 Winemaker International Amateur Wine Competition.

French Wines Are Looking Good

April 17, 2016

See what Winexpert’s winemakers get up to behind the scenes during their recent trek across Europe to visit suppliers.

Olive trees in France?  Yup – part of the experience when visiting the South of France and making friends with new suppliers for our wine kit products.

Along the Mediterranean, it’s not only grapes that flourish, but olives too.   After a whirlwind adventure visiting suppliers across Spain, Italy and France our winemakers took a well-deserved break to sample the local olives.  After all, one does need a break from wine sampling every once in a while don’t they?

The trip to France meant a visit to a Copérative to witness the crush of freshly picked grapes.  It also meant the beginning of a beautiful relationship to access additional varietal juice to make our wine kits and therefore our customers’ wines.  C’est bon!

 

 

Wine Juice Doesn’t Get Much Fresher

March 10, 2016

See what Winexpert’s winemakers get up to behind the scenes during their recent trek across Europe to visit suppliers.

Every couple of years Winexpert’s winemakers hop on a plane (or in this case 8) and visit the vineyards where they source the juice to produce the amazing wine kits that you enjoy. Winexpert’s ace winemakers, Danielle and Tara, get up close and personal with old and new juice suppliers alike to see and talk about this year’s harvest. Here’s part three of their journey

 

The Autobahn has got nothin’ when it comes to the roads leading to Bologna. Holding on for dear life in the back seat of an Audi (fitting don’t you think?) our winemakers, Danielle and Tara, made their way to the Emilia-Romagna region of Italy at a feverish 180 KM/hr.  When asked why their driver (our supplier by the way) was going that fast, the answer was simple: Because you can!

After kissing the ground when they arrived, Danielle and Tara tasted our very own crop – not wine, but yes our actual fresh Italian juice just crushed where they made adjustments to improve balance. How cool is that?issing the ground when they arrived, Danielle and Tara tasted our very own crop – not wine, but yes our actual fresh Italian juice just crushed where they made adjustments to improve balance.  How cool is that?

 

Just Fine Wine’s Top Ten of 2015

February 17, 2016

What are the most popular wines here at Just Fine Wine? Check out our latest blog to find out the best selling wines of 2015.

Just Fine Wine aims to provide you with the very best handcrafted wines available on the market. This is why we almost exclusively use Winexpert products and offer you a 100% satisfaction guarantee on every Winexpert wine kit made on-premise. With over one hundred varietals to choose from, we always look forward to finding out which of these wines you, our loyal and supportive clients, have enjoyed the most over the course of the last calendar year. Without further ado, here are your top ten wines of 2015*:

WINE 2015 2014 2013 2012 2011 2010 2009
World Vineyard Chilean Merlot T10 6 T10
Selection Australian Traminer Riesling T10
Eclipse New Zealand Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc 9
World Vineyard Chilean Malbec 8
Selection California Cabernet Sauvignon/Merlot  7 9 7 9 10 6 9
Selection Chilean Malbec 6 8
Vintners Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon 5
World Vineyard Italian Pinot Grigio T3 T5 5 5 4 4 7
Selection Italian Pinot Grigio T3 2 3 3 3 4 3
Selection Luna Rossa 2 3 2 2 2 1 2
Eclipse Napa Valley Stag’s Leap District Merlot 1 1 1 1 1 2 1

 

*Wines are listed in descending order with the previous years’ rankings included.

“-” Not Ranked That Year

“T3” Tied for Third

“T10” Tied for Tenth

Points of Interest:

With over 100 varieties, Winexpert has no shortage of top quality wines to make and it’s a sizeable task to try them all. Our facebook page is a great place to connect with fellow wine lovers who may want to swap a few bottles or even start a new winemaking partnership/group to share a batch of something new.

 

Hand Picking the Grape Harvest

January 28, 2016

See what Winexpert’s winemakers get up to behind the scenes during their recent trek across Europe to visit suppliers.

 

Every couple of years Winexpert’s winemakers hop on a plane (or in this case 8) and visit the vineyards where they source the juice to produce the amazing wine kits that you enjoy. Winexpert’s ace winemakers, Danielle and Tara, get up close and personal with old and new juice suppliers alike to see and talk about this year’s harvest. Here’s part three of their journey:

When our winemakers recently visited Manchuela, a sub appellation of La Mancha, they witnessed and participated in the traditional grape harvest.  Tara and Danielle were literally hand picking what would later become our juice crush.  Many vineyards in this region have stuck with their old school ways, allowing the grapes to grow without the support of trellises but therefore requiring a labour intensive, handpicked harvest.

With the abundance of sun and therefore a generally dry climate the grapes are sufficiently protected by their canopy in this region.  As demand grows so has automation so this was a rare opportunity for our winemakers. Consequently, they chose to celebrate a hard day’s work with a traditional “arroz” rice dish, not to be confused with paella (as their host vehemently warned)!

Stay tuned to hear more about Danielle and Tara’s European adventure!

 

Rough Landing

December 2, 2015

See what Winexpert’s winemakers get up to behind the scenes during their recent trek across Europe to visit suppliers.

 

Every couple of years Winexpert’s winemakers hop on a plane (or in this case 8) and visit the vineyards where they source the juice to produce the amazing wine kits that you enjoy. Winexpert’s ace winemakers, Danielle and Tara, get up close and personal with old and new juice suppliers alike to see and talk about this year’s harvest. Here’s part two of their journey:

ParisMadrid2

Sounds of retching are probably not what you want to hear when on a plane, let alone when you don’t speak the language of your fellow passengers.

However, when it’s windy between Paris and Madrid it’s what happens, or at least it was for Danielle and Tara on their way to visit Winexpert’s wine kit juice suppliers. In their words, it was rough and not a photo op moment, hence the snap of the scenery out the window just prior to the descent into Madrid.

Once safely on the ground though, the trip took a definite up swing. First off, a traditional Spanish breakfast of toasted bread with chopped tomatoes to settle everyone’s tummy. Then off to visit suppliers in and around the La Mancha region where they saw monstrous juice tanks able to hold up to 200,000 litres of wonderful Spanish juice.

madrid-vats

They also found out about (and most importantly tasted) new up and coming varietals. Mum’s the word on that for now though. Our loyal, fine wine loving customers will just have to wait for future limited release announcements.  Patience is a virtue – especially when it comes to great wine.

Stay tuned to hear more about Danielle and Tara’s European adventure!

They’re Off!

November 4, 2015

See what Winexpert’s winemakers get up to behind the scenes during their recent trek across Europe to visit suppliers.

 

It’s a whirlwind adventure across Spain, Italy and France.  Sounds glamourous or at least fun, doesn’t it?  Not so much.  With 8 flights in 7 days there’s not a whole lot of time to take in the scenery and culture.  But for Winexpert’s ace winemakers, Danielle and Tara, it’s a chance to get up close and personal with our juice suppliers to see and talk about this year’s harvest.

off

Every couple of years Winexpert’s winemakers hop on a plane (or in this case 8) and visit the vineyards where they source the juice to produce the amazing wine kits that you enjoy. This time around they’ve graciously agreed to share their journey as they jet set to old and new suppliers alike.  They’ll be reviewing quality standards to ensure the juice that is received meets strict specifications while forging new relationships to secure supply.  What’s really exciting though?  It’s also the time they get to see what’s up and coming in the world of new plantings and blends, discover new techniques, and discuss climatic factors influencing each region’s harvest. It’s where ideas begin or sometimes end depending on the year and the grapes. No matter what, it’s an integral part of how WInexpert brings their wine kit products to you and ensure the quality and selection you’ve come to expect.

So stay tuned to hear about Danielle and Tara’s European adventure.  Should be interesting!

 

“BOO-licious” Pairings

October 28, 2015

What’s more devilish than stealing your kids’ Halloween candy? Scarfing it back with your favourite wine of course.

What’s more devilish than stealing your kids’ Halloween candy? Scarfing it back with your favourite wine of course.

According to TheDrinksBusiness.com, the wine app Vivino has launched a “Halloween Survival guide for adults.” Here lies the pairing information required to make your Halloween frighteningly good as you learn what wine goes with your favourite chocolate bar or gummy worm.

Check out the app here so you can plan ahead for a wickedly good wine and candy filled evening. For more Halloween ideas, grab your broomstick and head over to Winexpert’s Pinterest page. Get inspired by their Happy Hallo-Wine pin board.

If You Like That, Try This.

June 18, 2015

Recently we attended an Winexpert conference and were given a list of the current top five best-selling wines in British Columbia liquor and wine stores. It was interesting to discover what is most popular among wine drinkers these days as well as to try and uncover why these wines are outselling their competitors.

Recently we attended an Winexpert conference and were given a list of the current, top five best-selling wines in British Columbia liquor and wine stores. It was interesting to discover what is most popular with wine drinkers as well as to try to uncover why. Before we get to the list, here are a few notes on these five best-selling wines:

  • The group is comprised of three reds and two whites.
  • Three are single varietals and two are blends.
  • Four can be found under $10 (before tax) in commercial liquor and wine stores.
  • Three are Canadian wines. Two are imports.
  • Three are available in bag in box format.
  • “Sweet” wines, particularly reds, are gaining much more acceptance these days especially among the younger generations. 

Granted we are working with an extremely small sample size; however, the fact that they are the best selling wines can be telling. The most significant thing that becomes apparent, and not surprisingly, is that a large portion of wine purchasers in B.C. clearly appreciate value: a decent product at a good price point.

Providing our clients amazing value is, and will continue to be, a cornerstone of Just Fine Wine. With this in mind, we think you will be happy to know that  we have comparable (we would argue better) wines for all five of these best sellers. You may be happier to know that our wines have the commercial price points beat….handily.

In no particular order, here are B.C.’s current best selling commercial wines along with a comparable wine kit that can be found at Just Fine Wine:

Commercial Best Seller If You Like That, Try This Just Fine Wine Kit Description
Jackson Triggs  Proprietor’s Selection Cabernet Sauvignon

Vintners Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon (4-5 Week).

Price per bottle = $4.41

A bold, medium-bodied red wine with rich black fruit and hints of spice. Excellent to partner with rack of lamb.
Copper Moon Malbec

World Vineyard Chilean Malbec (4-5 Week).

Price per bottle = $4.58

Malbec makes wines of great power and character, with blackberry, plums, tar, red pepper, sweet cherry, spice, licorice and deep bittersweet chocolate, or espresso. Serve with game meats.
Apothic Red Winemakers Blend

Selection California Enigma (6-8 Week).

Price per bottle = $5.74

Unoaked and off-dry, Enigma brings intense fruit aromas and notes of black cherry, coffee, chocolate and vanilla. Pairs well with pretty much everything from pizza to pasta and a particularly great match for meats like ribs or chicken with sweet and sticky marinade.
Peller Estates Proprietor’s Reserve Pinot Grigio

World Vineyard Italian Pinot Grigio (4-5 Week).

Price per bottle = $4.58

A zippy, dry white wine with floral notes on the nose and plenty of fruit on the palate. Amazing for sipping and a perfect wine to accompany a picnic.
Hardy’s Stamp of Australia Riesling-Gewurztraminer

Selection Australian Traminer-Riesling (6-8 Week). 

Price per bottle $5.74

Floral notes and apple crispness with perfumed headiness of lychee, rose petals, and hints of passion fruit. A great off-dry wine for sipping and excellent to serve with Asian cuisine, soft cheeses, oily fish and especially smoked salmon.

 

Using these wines for example, at the low end you’re saving in the neighbourhood of $2 per bottle when you make a comparable wine at Just Fine Wine. On its own two dollars may not seem very significant to some; however, if you do the math on a conservative consumption of 2 bottles per week*, you save over $200 after only one year! On the high end, using the same consumption pattern, you save over $950 a year! Incredible!   (* 2 bottles per week works out to be a consumption of roughly 3.5 batches per year)

Stop by Just Fine Wine today to get your next batch underway and breathe easy knowing that you are receiving top tier wines at a price that just can’t be beat.

Curious to know more about just how much money you can save by making your own award winning wines? CLICK HERE to find out.

And The Winners Are…..

February 4, 2015

Just Fine Wine aims to provide you with the very best handcrafted wines available on the market. This is why we almost exclusively use Winexpert products and offer you a 100% satisfaction guarantee on every Winexpert wine kit made on-premise. With over one hundred varietals to choose from, we always look forward to finding out …

Just Fine Wine aims to provide you with the very best handcrafted wines available on the market. This is why we almost exclusively use Winexpert products and offer you a 100% satisfaction guarantee on every Winexpert wine kit made on-premise. With over one hundred varietals to choose from, we always look forward to finding out which of these wines our loyal and supportive clients have enjoyed the most over the course of the previous twelve months, and from year to year. So without further delay, here are your top ten wines of 2014*:

WINE  2014   2013   2012   2011   2010   2009 
Eclipse Barossa Valley Shiraz    10      –      –      –      –      –
Selection California Cabernet Sauvignon/Merlot         9      7      9     10      6      9
Vintners Reserve Mezza Luna Red      8      9      8       –       –       –
World Vineyard California Trinity Red      7       –       –       –       –       –
Selection Italian Amarone with Grape Skins     T5       –       –       –       –       –
World Vineyard Italian Pinot Grigio     T5      5      5      4      4      7
Eclipse Italian Piedmont Nebbiolo (Barolo)      4      6      4      5      3       –
Selection Luna Rossa      3      2      2      2      1      2
Selection Italian Pinot Grigio      2      3      3      3      4      3
Eclipse Napa Valley Stag’s Leap District Merlot      1      1      1      1      2      1

*Wines are listed in descending order with the previous years’ rankings included.

“-” Not Ranked That Year

“T5” Tied for Fifth

Points of Interest:

  • The top five wines have remained relatively unchanged (with a few exceptions) since we started tracking in 2009.
  • Reds continue to dominate
  • Stags Leap Merlot proves again to be the “alpha-wine”, outselling the number two wine by a shade under 77%!
  • There are three debuts on the list: World Vineyard California Trinity Red is a 4-5 Week version of the always popular Bordeaux or Meritage blend of Cab Sauv, Cab Franc, and Merlot; 6-8 Week Selection Amarone with Grape Skins is a distinct and unique wine that is one of the best value kits available at Just Fine Wine. You will found Italian Amarone in the liquor store starting at $40 a bottle and reaching prices of over $100 per bottle! Ours works out to a little over $6 a bottle! Amazingly, it has only taken a little over a year after its introduction for 8 Week Eclipse Barossa Valley Shiraz to find its way onto the top ten list. This is an unprecedented accomplishment for a new wine kit and speaks to the quality of this Shiraz from South Eastern Australia.
  • These three newcomers to the top ten have displaced some still popular wines: Selection Chilean Malbec; Selection Chilean Carmenere; as well as Vintners Reserve Riesling and Selection Italian Montepulciano which were tied for 10th last year.    

With over 100 varieties, Winexpert has no shortage of top quality wines to make and it’s a sizeable task to try them all. Our facebook page is a great place to connect with fellow wine lovers who may want to swap a few bottles or even start a new winemaking partnership/group to share a batch of something new.

 

Just Look At The Money You’re Saving!

October 6, 2014

Over the roughly thirty year existence of the personal winemaking industry, the quality of the product has come a long, long way. Craft winemakers can now enjoy wines comparable to, and in many cases much better than, their commercial counterparts found at your local liquor stores. Besides the excellent quality of the wines, one of …

Over the roughly thirty year existence of the personal winemaking industry, the quality of the product has come a long, long way. Craft winemakers can now enjoy wines comparable to, and in many cases much better than, their commercial counterparts found at your local liquor stores. Besides the excellent quality of the wines, one of the most significant benefits of making your own wine at Just Fine Wine continues to be the cost savings to you.

Sometimes it is not ideal to have to wait up to 8 weeks to receive your wine and the savings may not be readily apparent when you pay for an entire batch of thirty bottles up front.  This is the reason we’ve sat down and did a little number crunching for you. Most everyone is aware that making your wine at Just Fine Wine is cheaper than liquor stores and restaurants but have you ever wondered just how much money you’re actually saving in the long run? We found out and the results are staggering — well worth an 8 week wait!

The following chart is based on an average person who consumes a single 5oz (or roughly 150ml) glass of wine a night. Since a standard bottle is 25oz (or 750ml), said person will consume just shy of one and a half bottles per week or slightly less than 73 bottles per year.  This works out to a little under two and a half batches at Just Fine Wine.  For ease of calculation we will round up to 75 bottles/year or 2 1/2 batches.

While these numbers are already impressive, please keep in mind they are very conservative estimates. The quality of Winexpert wines of all levels is often far superior to the price level that we have used for commercial equivalents.  Two notable examples are Selection Italian Amarone and Eclipse Stag’s Leap Merlot, whose starting price point in liquor stores is $40 and can be found for over $100. Yes, that’s per bottle! And don’t forget to factor in the increased savings if you drink more than the bottle and a half per week that the above calculations are based on.

If your thinking to yourself: “Yes, but what about my time?”.  Well, guess what? You’ll save that as well. And it’s often said time is money! If it takes approximately five minutes to shop for each bottle of wine purchased in a liquor store, these purchases would take up 6.25 hours of your life each year. If it takes 5 minutes to shop for and 30 minutes to bottle a batch at Just Fine Wine, the total for year is a whopping 1.46 hours. A time savings of 4.8 hours a year. For a couple that’s almost half a day saved to enjoy your wine rather than shop for it!

If you have ever had second thoughts about the economics of craft winemaking, we hope we’ve set those doubts at ease. Now sit back, relax, grab a glass of Just Fine Wine vino, and revel in the fact that not only are you drinking fabulous, award winning wines from around the globe, you’re doing it at a fraction of the cost compared to those who do their wine shopping at a liquor store.

 

Anti Spam Legislation

July 2, 2014

Canada’s Anti-Spam Legislation, CASL went into effect July 1st, 2014, and requires that we have your formal consent to provide you with the “Speaking of Wine” e-newsletter and other important Just Fine Wine communications. We would like to take this opportunity to remind those of you who receive our email correspondence that we have obtained …

Canada’s Anti-Spam Legislation, CASL went into effect July 1st, 2014, and requires that we have your formal consent to provide you with the “Speaking of Wine” e-newsletter and other important Just Fine Wine communications.

We would like to take this opportunity to remind those of you who receive our email correspondence that we have obtained your email address from you, with your permission, for the purposes of distributing newsletters and other information. As always, your email address and personal information is kept confidential and used for internal purposes only. Your information has not been, nor will be, solicited to any third party.

If at any time you wish to stop receiving electronic messages from Just Fine Wine you can select the unsubscribe option at the bottom of our communications or by visiting our Unsubscribe Page and following the instructions there.

If you do not currently receive our e-newsletter, there’s no better time to sign up to receive the latest details on sales, promotions, events, and more! To subscribe CLICK HERE.

 

 

Are You Properly Caring For Your Bottles?

June 3, 2014

The importance of properly caring for and preparing bottles for filling with a completed batch of wine is sometimes overlooked or ignored by craft wine makers. This can be a very big mistake.  Starting out with clean and sanitized wine bottles is paramount to having healthy, beautiful wine. The alternative can lead to spoilage of your wine and …

The importance of properly caring for and preparing bottles for filling with a completed batch of wine is sometimes overlooked or ignored by craft wine makers. This can be a very big mistake.  Starting out with clean and sanitized wine bottles is paramount to having healthy, beautiful wine. The alternative can lead to spoilage of your wine and embarrassment upon serving to friends and family.

Keeping your bottles clean is a simple task that doesn’t have to end up a big chore. All of the labels used at JUST FINE WINE are vinyl or vinyl-coated, both of which use “peel & stick” technology. This means they should peel off your bottles about as easy as they stuck on. To remove, simply lift up a corner and gently peel the remainder of the label form the bottle. If you are having any trouble, try filling the inside of the bottle with hot water and let stand for a few minutes. Then try again – the heat from the water should have loosened the grip of the label. Please note that you do NOT want to get the vinyl-coated labels (the ones that look like a paper sticker) wet as they will become gummy and extremely sticky upon contact with water.

After removing the labels and the shrink cap, rinse your wine bottle several times with hot water. A good technique is to fill the bottle about 1/3 full, put your thumb over the opening and shake vigorously, then drain. Repeat this process 3-4 times. After this is completed, leave the bottle(s) to rest upside down. When they are dry, put them back into your crate or box upside down and they will be ready to use on your next bottling appointment. Storing empties upside down prevents unwanted material such as dust, dirt, and insects from getting inside. If you are entertaining and the night is late, simply fill your bottles with water, let stand overnight, and then take care of the cleaning the next day.

Never use soap, baking soda, or anything other than household bleach to clean your bottles.  Soap and baking soda residue can be difficult to completely rinse away from the interior of the bottle and can ruin the taste of the next wine put in that bottle.  JUST FINE WINE has a great cleaning product available for purchase called Chloroclean, which is essentially a “food-grade” bleach. We also sell various sizes and styles of bottle brushes if you need to scrub inside your bottles.  It is recommended that bottles should be bleached each year, depending on usage.  When you clean with Chloroclean or household bleach, be sure to rinse thoroughly with water, MANY TIMES, to ensure there is no residue left in the bottle.

It’s important to keep in mind that even a tiny spot of mold or a single fruit fly that finds its way into one of your empty bottles can ruin your wine. To check for cleanliness, put the bottle to your eye and lift towards a light in order to do a thorough scan of the bottle, making sure it is free of dirt, grime, residue, mold, mildew, insects, etc.  Do not try to re-use any wine bottle that is dirty or contains black mold or mildew spots on the inside – it just isn’t worth it.  Send that bottle to the recycle depot and move on with a new one.

Proper care of your wine bottles is a relatively easy task that can ensure years of use with great results.

 

BC’s Top Ten Wines of 2013

April 10, 2014

Just over a month ago we unveiled the Just Fine Wine’s Top Ten Wines of 2013. As in previous years, we here at Just Fine Wine like to compare and contrast how our top ten list of most popular wines against what is most popular throughout the rest of the province of B.C. As has been the case …

Just over a month ago we unveiled the Just Fine Wine’s Top Ten Wines of 2013. As in previous years, we here at Just Fine Wine like to compare and contrast how our top ten list of most popular wines against what is most popular throughout the rest of the province of B.C.

As has been the case during the five years that we have been tracking the results, the BC Top Ten remains very consistent. Last year three wines made their first appearance on this list and they all remain there a year later. Only one wine (Vintners Reserve Gewurztraminer) is a new addition to the group this year, returning after a one year blip that saw it fall out of BC Top Ten contention in 2012. Falling off the list this year to make room, is Selection Australian Chardonnay, a perrenial strong contender. Of the ten wines presented below, five varietals appear on both the BC Top Ten and Just Fine Wine Top Ten.

Without further ado, we present to you BC’s Top Ten Wines of 2013: 

  

WINE  2013   2012   2011   2010   2009 
ECLIPSE Napa Valley Stag’s Leap District Merlot  10 10 10
Selection Chilean Malbec 9 9
Vintners Reserve Gewurztraminer 8 9 8 9
Selection Chilean Merlot 7 8 6 5 5
Selection Luna Rossa 6 6 4 4 3
Selection California Gewurztraminer 5 4 3 3 4
Selection Australian Shiraz 4 2 2 2 2
World Vineyard Italian Pinot Grigio 3 3
Selection Australian Traminer Riesling 2 5
Selection Italian Pinot Grigio 1 1 1 1 1

  

*Wines are listed in descending order with the previous years’ rankings included.

“-” Not Ranked That Year

 

With over 150 varieties, Winexpert has no shortage of top quality wines to make and it’s a sizeable task to try them all. Our facebook page is a great place to connect with fellow wine lovers who may want to swap a few bottles or even start a new winemaking partnership/group to share a batch of something new.

 

Just Fine Wine’s Top Ten Wines of 2013

February 13, 2014

At Just Fine Wine we pride ourselves on our ability to offer you the finest quality handcrafted wines available on the market. We are so confident that you will be happy with the end result that we guarantee your satisfaction for every purchase of a Winexpert product. With over one hundred varietals to choose from, …

At Just Fine Wine we pride ourselves on our ability to offer you the finest quality handcrafted wines available on the market. We are so confident that you will be happy with the end result that we guarantee your satisfaction for every purchase of a Winexpert product. With over one hundred varietals to choose from, we are always excited to find out which of these wines our loyal and supportive clients are enjoying the most.

In 2012 Winexpert completely overhauled the Vintners Reserve, World Vineyard, and Eclipse lines of wine kits. This past year Selection Original and Selection International were revamped under a single “Selection” banner. With all the Winexpert brands now being new and improved, we were curious to see if there has been any impact on our top ten most popular wines.

There are several interesting things to note regarding the Top Ten of 2013. Three wines have maintained a stranglehold on the top three spots since 2009; have they continued their dominance again this year?  The number of white wines in the top ten has dropped from four to three with Selection California Symphony and Eclipse Sonoma Dry Creek Valley Chardonnay just missing the cut this time out. Taking one of those spots is a white wine making it’s debut on the chart. Speaking of debuts, there is a total of three wine varietals making their premiere appearance in the top ten.  Another wine returns to the rankings after being bumped off it last year. One of the casualties, World Vineyard Chilean Merlot narrowly missed making the list again after placing sixth last year.

Without further delay, here they are. The top wines of 2013 – as decided by you:

WINE 2013 2012 2011 2010 2009
Selection Italian Montepulciano T10 8
Vintners Reserve Riesling T10
Vintners Reserve Mezza Luna Red 9 8
Selection Chilean Malbec 8
Selection California Cabernet Sauvignon/Merlot  7 9 10 6 9
Eclipse Italian Piedmont Barolo 6 4 5 3
World Vineyard Italian Pinot Grigio 5 5 4 4 7
Selection Chilean Carmenere 4
Selection Italian Pinot Grigio 3 3 3 4 3
Selection Luna Rossa  2 2 2 1 2
Eclipse Napa Valley Stag’s Leap District Merlot   1 1 1 2 1

 

*Wines are listed in descending order with the previous years’ rankings included.

“-” Not Ranked That Year

“T10” Tied for Tenth 

 

With over 100 varieties, Winexpert has no shortage of top quality wines to make and it’s a sizeable task to try them all. Our facebook page is a great place to connect with fellow wine lovers who may want to swap a few bottles or even start a new winemaking partnership/group to share a batch of something new.

Have a Complaint? We Want to Hear About It!

April 15, 2013

One of the best things about being a local family-owned business is that we get to know our clients quite well and we consider you all friends as opposed to just another business transaction. Not only do we strive to offer the best available products but also to provide the best possible service to our loyal …

One of the best things about being a local family-owned business is that we get to know our clients quite well and we consider you all friends as opposed to just another business transaction. Not only do we strive to offer the best available products but also to provide the best possible service to our loyal patrons. Recently Bob Negen brought it to our attention that most people do not like to complain and will go out of their way to avoid confrontation. Many are afraid they’ll be met with rudeness, hostility, or outright dismissal if they bring attention to a problem. This fact seemed pretty obvious to us since we don’t enjoy complaining at all. The thought of complaining to a friend is even worse! While this may not be breaking any new ground, the eye-opening consequence of this common behaviour trait is that when customers are disappointed with a product or service they often will simply stop patronizing the business altogether rather than have to deal with the potentially uncomfortable situation involved in making a complaint. We do NOT want this to happen with you!

We value you as a customer and truly appreciate your opinions and feedback (both positive and negative) about your experience in our store and with our products. Sharing your experience with us is how we find out that a product or service is unsatisfactory to you or hasn’t lived up to your expectations. Letting us know there is a problem or concern not only enables us to work with you to make sure you are 100% satisfied but also allows us to take any necessary action to ensure the situation does not happen again. We are human and are bound to make mistakes. If you do not share with us, it is likely we will not know there is a problem. If we don’t know then we won’t have the opportunity to make things right for you.

It all boils down to this: Please don’t be shy! We always appreciate hearing from you when you’ve had a good experience and it is even more important to hear from you if you are in any way dissatisfied.

We use the slogan “Love Your Wine. Guaranteed”. We mean it.

 

If you have a concern or complaint, please feel free and comfortable to let us know about it at any time:

CONTACT JUST FINE WINE

 

(Source: Michael LeBoeuf, Ph.D., WhizBang! Training, Kitchenware Outfitters of Savannah)

 

BC’s Top Ten Wines of 2012

March 17, 2013

Last month we unveiled the Just Fine Wine’s Top Ten Wines of 2012. Well, every year we also like to see how our most popular wines compare to what’s going on province-wide. As you can see, the BC Top Ten remains very consistent. That being said there are three wines making their first appearance on this list. …

Last month we unveiled the Just Fine Wine’s Top Ten Wines of 2012. Well, every year we also like to see how our most popular wines compare to what’s going on province-wide.

As you can see, the BC Top Ten remains very consistent. That being said there are three wines making their first appearance on this list. Of the ten, four varietals appear on both the BC Top Ten and Just Fine Wine Top Ten.

Without further delay, we present to you BC’s Top Ten Wines of 2012: 

  

WINE  2012   2011   2010   2009 
ECLIPSE Napa Valley Stag’s Leap District Merlot  10 10
Selection Chilean Malbec 9
Selection Chilean Merlot 8 6 5 5
Selection Australian Chardonnay 7 7 6 6
Selection Luna Rossa 6 4 4 3
Selection Australian Traminer Riesling 5
Selection Gewurztraminer 4 3 3 4
World Vineyard Italian Pinot Grigio 3
Selection Australian Shiraz 2 2 2 2
Selection Italian Pinot Grigio 1 1 1 1

 

*Wines are listed in descending order with the previous years’ rankings included.

“-” Not Ranked That Year

 

With over 150 varieties, Winexpert has no shortage of top quality wines to make and it’s a sizeable task to try them all. Our facebook page is a great place to connect with fellow wine lovers who may want to swap a few bottles or even start a new winemaking partnership/group to share a batch of something new.

Just Fine Wine’s Top Ten Wines of 2012

February 6, 2013

The number one objective we have at Just Fine Wine is to make sure that you are 100% satisfied with both your wine and the experience you have with us. We proud of our affiliation with Winexpert and our ability to offer you the finest quality handcrafted wines available on the market. Each time the calendar rolls over to …

The number one objective we have at Just Fine Wine is to make sure that you are 100% satisfied with both your wine and the experience you have with us. We proud of our affiliation with Winexpert and our ability to offer you the finest quality handcrafted wines available on the market. Each time the calendar rolls over to a new year we are eager to find out which of these wines you, our amazingly supportive clients, are enjoying the most.

Last year saw a lot of changes by way of Winexpert’s complete overhauling of almost their entire lineup of products: 4-5 Week Vintners Reserve; 4-5 Week World Vineyard; 8 Week ECLIPSE. This year will follow suit with the improvement of the Selection Original and Selection International series which is being revamped and merged into one series simply titled “Selection”. So with all these changes, we were especially intrigued to find out if these improvements would have any effect on out top ten list that has otherwise remained fairly consistent over the several years we’ve been tracking the numbers.

The number one wine of 2011, Stag’s Leap Merlot, holds down the top spot as it has done for three of the four years we’ve tracked the data. This year has also seen favourites Selection Merlot, Selection Italian Montepulciano, and Selection Chilean Merlot knocked out of the top ten. In their place are returnees ECLIPSE Sonoma Dry Creek Valley Chardonnay, World Vineyard Chilean Merlot and newcomer to the top ten list Vinters Reserve Mezza Luna Red.

Without further ado, we present the top wines of 2012 – as decided by you:

 

WINE  2012   2011   2010   2009 
ECLIPSE Sonoma Dry Creek Valley Chardonnay (Unwooded)  T9 T10
Selection Cabernet Sauvignon Merlot T9 10 6 9
Vintners Reserve Mezza Luna Red 8
Selection Symphony 7 7 9
World Vineyard Chilean Merlot 6 T10
World Vineyard Italian Pinot Grigio 5 4 4 7
ECLIPSE Italian Piedmont Barolo 4 5 3
Selection Italian Pinot Grigio 3 3 4 3
Selection Luna Rossa  2 2 1 2
ECLIPSE Napa Valley Stag’s Leap District Merlot  1 1 2 1

 

*Wines are listed in descending order with the previous years’ rankings included.

“-” Not Ranked That Year

“T9” Tied for Nineth

“T10” Tied for Tenth 

 

With over 150 varieties, Winexpert has no shortage of top quality wines to make and it’s a sizeable task to try them all. Our facebook page is a great place to connect with fellow wine lovers who may want to swap a few bottles or even start a new winemaking partnership/group to share a batch of something new.

Just What is “New & Improved”?

January 8, 2013

From Vintners Reserve to World Vineyard to Eclipse (formerly the Estate Series) and, coming soon, Selection International. You may have noticed that Winexpert has been revamping and reformulating their entire product line. This process goes far beyond a redesigned box and a sticker that says “New & Improved”. Winexpert’s Technical Services Director Tim Vandergrift explains just what …

From Vintners Reserve to World Vineyard to Eclipse (formerly the Estate Series) and, coming soon, Selection International. You may have noticed that Winexpert has been revamping and reformulating their entire product line. This process goes far beyond a redesigned box and a sticker that says “New & Improved”. Winexpert’s Technical Services Director Tim Vandergrift explains just what it all means for you and your favourite wines:

CLICK HERE to view if video does not appear above.

Video from Northern Brewer in Minnesota.

 

 

The Wine X Factor

June 8, 2012

Recently Just Fine Wine attended the Winexpert Conference at the River Rock Hotel and Casino. For two days the Winexpert company and authorized Winexpert retailers from across Western Canada gathered and discussed just what it is that sets Winexpert apart as the industry leader in on-premise winemaking how we can build upon this. Fittingly, the event was titled “The …

Recently Just Fine Wine attended the Winexpert Conference at the River Rock Hotel and Casino. For two days the Winexpert company and authorized Winexpert retailers from across Western Canada gathered and discussed just what it is that sets Winexpert apart as the industry leader in on-premise winemaking how we can build upon this. Fittingly, the event was titled “The Wine X Factor” and to say that there are eXtremely eXciting things happening now and in the near future is a vast understatement.

From drastic improvements to all Winexpert wine kits (beginning with the new and improved, reformulated 4-6 week Vintners Reserve line which is available now); to new products; to in-store improvements; and much more . We know Winexpert is the leader in the industry on on-premise winecrafting but we don’t want to rest on those laurels. We want to continue to find ways to maintain and, more importantly, improve your experience both in-store and at home with the wine you make with us.

Cheers!

Weekend of Winexpertise

September 27, 2010

What a great weekend. We closed up the shop a bit early on Saturday and the Just Fine Wine gang made our way to the Delta Burnaby Hotel and Conference Centre at the Grand Villa Casino for the Winexpert Western Canadian Retailer Conference. The annual event includes a Q&A with wine guru Tim Vandergrift; the Limited …

What a great weekend. We closed up the shop a bit early on Saturday and the Just Fine Wine gang made our way to the Delta Burnaby Hotel and Conference Centre at the Grand Villa Casino for the Winexpert Western Canadian Retailer Conference. The annual event includes a Q&A with wine guru Tim Vandergrift; the Limited Edition unveiling, a wine tasting and food pairing event; and a day filled with useful workshops and information sessions.

Retail Expert Kevin Graff. Photo by Tim Vandergrift.

As much as we’d like to let you in on this year’s Limited Edition lineup, we’ve been asked to keep things a secret until the public release day of October 1st. At that time we’ll forward you the information immediately. Be sure to also keep your eye on the Limited Edition Website for further details and your chance to win prizes. For anyone who absolutely just can not wait, zoom in on the banners in the background of the picture we borrowed from Tim. You will see there that this year’s lineup will be “three reds and two whites” (a one liner we also stole from Tim)! Sorry, looks like Winexpert is also expert at keeping things hush hush and have already blurred out the photo. We will say that some of us were not overly familiar with some of this year’s Limiteds but after tasting the commercial equivalents – and coupling that with the knowledge that the wines we’ll have at Just Fine Wine will be so much better – we couldn’t be more excited! We’re confident you all will be as well. We still have tickets available for our Annual Wine Tasting Sunday, October 17th. Come see and taste for yourself.  The aforementioned Tim Vandergrift will be there facilitating the event and he gives one heck of an entertaining presentation!

Winexpert did a great job of organizing a fun and information packed weekend. For anyone booking an event or conference, the staff, facilities, and food at the Delta Burnaby Hotel and Conference Centre were top notch. We’re not sure what sort of price range they fall in but as far as quality and service goes, we wouldn’t hesitate to recommend them.