Blog

Spread The WineCollective Love

 

Love is abundant this February, and we don’t just mean flowers and chocolate! We couldn’t spend our days searching for, tasting, writing about and sharing the most amazing wines from all over the world without our members; we love you guys! So, in keeping with February’s Valentine’s Day – Love is in the Air vibe, we have decided to express our warm fuzzy feelings to our members and their nearest and dearest through our relaunched referral program.

During the month of February, anyone you refer will receive a $25 credit upon signing up for a new WineCollective subscription, and you will receive a $25 credit for each referee who signs up using your name in the referral field! This credit can be applied towards an upcoming subscription payment, or you can use it in our online WineCollective Store to get even more of the wine you love.

Need another reason to tell your friends and family how much you love us? Offer them the coupon code 2LOVEWINE so that they can receive 25% off the first 2 months, when they sign up for their new WineCollective subscription in the month of February.

And a little something extra while you’re waiting for all that referral credit to roll in; use the coupon code LOVEWINE2018 to receive $20 off all orders of $100 or more in the WineCollective online store during the month of February. So much love!

 


Love Beer Too?

Our friends at Canada Craft Club are looking for a new team member. If you love beer (just as much as you love wine) this might be a great opportunity for you!

 

We are looking for a passionate and dedicated individual in charge of coordinating beer. What does that mean? It isn’t a simple job to define. The Beer Product Coordinator, in a nutshell, is responsible for finding the best brews on the planet. For real though, we take this responsibility very seriously.

 

You will work alongside our Product Coordinator, becoming a key puzzle piece to the beer team. Duties will include:

  • Create, develop and grow relationships with beer importers and brewers
  • Produce beer related content – reviews, blogs, videos, social media.
  • Manage forecasting, orders and inventory
  • Provide beer education online, in-house and at the retail shop
  • Customer service support via social media, phone, email & chat
  • Retail shifts, aka valuable face-time with our members
  • Representing the company at events, fundraisers and with our partners

 

The ideal candidate will possess all of these qualities:

  • Approachable personality with the ability to provide rockstar customer service
  • No-fear using new technology and software, and learning new systems quickly
  • Beer lover. You should have a solid beer knowledge, but a thirst to never stop learning and growing
  • You don’t need your Masters in English, but you must possess superior writing and grammar
  • Exceptional communicator. You are an integral link in the team and must be able to share information and convey thoughts efficiently and clearly

 

As with any good team member, you should be willing to jump in and help when needed. We also require for you to be organized, able to prioritize efficiently, and address problems with critical thinking.

 

This job is not for the faint of heart, it will require someone with the ability to manage many requests and deadlines, ensuring everything keeps moving. Although you are dedicated to the beer industry, you must possess a ‘Jack/Jill of all trades’ skill set and a ‘yes’ attitude. From printing labels and packing orders to beer tasting, and everything in between.

 

You are qualified because you:

  • Are Proserve certified
  • Have some sort of cicerone/formal beer training
  • Are able to haul cases of beer (20 kgs)
  • Posses solid industry knowledge, AGLC guidelines and Connect Logistics
  • Have your ear to the street and you know who’s who in the brew world
  • Can demonstrate awesome writing skills

 

All applicants should be available for full-time employment, on a schedule of Monday-Friday 9-5 and flex hours. Our office is located in the SE industrial area and accessible by public transit.

If the above sounds exciting to you, we would like to hear from you. Include in your response: resume, cover letter, availability and start date, expected salary and any writing samples. Send to amber@canadacraftclub.ca

 


Wine Price is Right

Can you guess how much a wine costs by just looking at the label? We put our team to the test to see if they could decipher the value of a wine by simply judging the appearance of the bottle.

Check it out and be sure to subscribe to our YouTube Channel and let us know what you think!


This New Year Has an Australian Accent


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Are you excited about all that 2018 has to offer? So are we! We are looking forward to another year of bringing you the best wines from all over the world and we wanted to start the New Year by showing our support for one of one of our very favourite wine producing nations, Australia. Australia Day is on January 26th and we have decided to show our appreciation for their remarkable wine industry by celebrating all month long!

Did you know that the oldest winery in Australia is Wyndham Estate Winery? Located in New South Wales, it was established in 1828. We think that Australia’s wine industry is fascinating and we think you’ll agree, here are 10 things we found most interesting about the world of wine Down Under:

1. Australia is the fourth largest exporter of wine in the world, with around 700 000 000 litres of wine exported annually.

2. Over 1 billion litres of Australian wine are consumed each year, this math tells us that Australians really like drinking their own wine!

3. More than 2400 wineries thrive throughout Australia over 6 states, with the most planted varietal being Shiraz.

4. Australia has a large organic wine industry and has even hosted the International Biodynamic Wine Forum that includes organic and biodynamic vineyard owners from around the world.

5. The oldest Australian wine producing region is Barossa Valley, you may recognize this as the home of one of our favourite producers, Schild Estate.

6. Australia’s terrain did not originally produce any native grape varietals suitable for winemaking; all varietals for production were transplanted in order to create Australia’s wine industry.

7. Barossa Valley is home to old vine Shiraz and Grenache crops dating back as far as the 1840’s, Australia’s first vines arrived in Sydney in 1788, however it took some time for the vines to thrive.

8. Sometime around 1875, a devastating outbreak of phylloxera (tiny vine eating insects) nearly abolished Australia’s wine industry by destroying thousands of hectares of crops. The cure for this plague came from the discovery that American vines were not susceptible to the damages caused by the insects. American vines were planted and European vines were grafted into the plants, creating a hybrid that was immune to this disease, ultimately saving the Australian wine industry. It took almost a century for the Australian wine industry to recover from this disaster.

9. Following the phylloxera outbreak, Australia’s wine industry was mainly focussed on sweet, fortified wine production. Now, Australia is one of the only countries that produces every major style of wine and there are over 60 wine producing regions throughout the country.

10. Australian wines have won awards at almost every major international wine competition, while setting records worldwide for the price of a single bottle.

In celebration of this great nation, we will be offering discounts on all Australian wines the whole month of January, don’t miss your chance to stock your cellar with some of our Aussie favourites!

Check out our members only WineCollective store to find all Australian wines discounted an additional 10% off our already reduced member pricing!

Not a member? Use the coupon AUSTRALIAMONTH to receive $15 off your first delivery, and gain access to all the savings!

 


Last Minute Holiday Gifts

Let’s face it, the holidays have a way of sneaking up on us. That doesn’t mean that your loved ones and ‘besties’ aren’t important, but sometimes your best intentions of gifting the perfect present gets pushed to the last minute. While you have been busy attending school winter concerts, company parties, baking dozens of cookies and prepping for family feasts, we have put together some of the easiest and most enjoyable holiday gifts.

 

All gifts are available to purchase until December 31st – you have tons of time!

All gifts begin shipping in January – give them wine/beer when they need it the most!

12 month gift options – your present lasts all year!

Bonus *FREE bottle of wine/beer each month!

 

Wine Gifts from $149.99 – $1,549.99

 

Beer Gifts from $69.99 – $999.99

 

Eau Claire Distillery Cocktail Caddy $109.99

 

All Australian Wine package $149.99

 

 

 

*Free bottle is a $25 wine or $15 beer gift card included in each month, in the 2-12 month gift options.

 

 

 

 

 


Our team is expanding! Are you the right fit?

 

 

We are looking for a full-time Warehouse Supervisor. What does this entail? The perfect candidate will be responsible for keeping the day to day operations of a busy warehouse on schedule and in tip-top shape.

 

Full-time

Hours Mon-Fri 8-4

Salary TBD based on experience, 2 week vacation after 6 months

Start date: Latest start date January 1st

 

Still interested? You should be driven, independent and a forward-thinking individual. Each day is a new challenge, candidates will need to be adaptive and able to take on variable workloads. You must be able to relay complex instructions to labourers while maintaining an organized sequence. There are lots of moving parts and you need to be able to keep ontop of all comings and goings, from people, packaging and product.  

 

Preference will be given to candidates with:

  • Minimum 5 years experience in a warehouse setting
  • Previous experience managing a team of 5 or more people
  • Experience working in a liquor warehouse, or with AGLC/Liquor Connect
  • Knowledge of liquor laws and regulations
  • Proficiency in math and estimation of resource allocation
  • Basic wine and/or beer knowledge
  • Proserve Certification (required)
  • Class 5 drivers license, clean drivers abstract with minimum 5 years driving experience (required)
  • Bondable (required)
  • Ability to lift 70 lbs (required)

 

Your responsibilities will include, but are not limited to:

  • Managing a small team, from scheduling to productivity
  • Inventory of packaging and products
  • Ensuring adequate supply of materials and scheduling orders
  • Keeping the warehouse clean and safe
  • Ensuring all AGLC guidelines and policies are followed
  • Receiving deliveries and organization
  • Managing resources and time to ensure fulfilment schedule and goals are upheld
  • Going above and beyond, ability to envision a growing process and engineer future efficiencies

 

We are a strong team, and require that all members participate actively in promoting a healthy, productive and fun work environment. As with any good team member, you should be willing to jump in and help when needed. We also require for you to be organized, able to prioritize efficiently, and address problems with critical thinking. It is imperative that you possess the following qualities and can demonstrate strong leadership skills:

  • Detail oriented, thorough, organized and clean.
  • Thoughtful and encouraging leader.
  • Quick learner – ability to confidently learn new software and systems.
  • Exceptional communicator. You can convey your thoughts professionally and clearly.

 

Beyond all, ability to present yourself and the company in a professional, but friendly and approachable manner. We are a growing company that operates on a fast-pace. All team members must be able to improvise, take initiative, identify opportunities for improvement, create efficiency and have fun!

 

Submit resume with references to jobs@winecollective.ca by Friday, December 15th.

 


Do you love engaging and helping customers? And love wine?

 

We are in search of a dynamic Customer Service Assistant

 

Full-time, 3 month contract. Opportunity to grow into a permanent role

Hours: Varied, expected to work weekends and flex hours based on demand

Salary TBD based on experience

Start date: ASAP, no later than November 15th

 

Must possess:

Proficiency with, or ability to quickly learn, new software platforms

Excellent written and verbal communication

Professional phone etiquette

Positive nature, and be an inherent people pleaser

Attention to detail, ability to multi-task and prioritize

Self-starter and takes initiative

Strong understanding and working knowledge of social media platforms

Proserve Certification (can be completed online)

Bonus: Knowledge of liquor laws and regulations

Bonus: Strong wine (and beer) knowledge and desire to continue wine/beer education

 

We are a dynamic company that is looking for a multi-talented individual. This position is ideal for someone who enjoys challenges, can think on their toes, is keen to take initiative and solve problems, but also be a rockstar team player and communicator.

 

Your main responsibility is to deliver exceptional customer service to members and potential members. Answering incoming calls and emails for several brands. You must be able to learn new systems and processes quickly, and be able to confidently answer questions and resolve problems.

 

Additionally, you can expect to contribute to warehouse and retail operations, there is no shortage of things to do – only apply if you love being challenged and despise boredom! From packing boxes, scheduling deliveries, working at the wine store, photography and proof-reading. It is imperative that candidates interested in this position are amazing at multi-tasking, time management and assessing priority of responsibilities. This is a perfect opportunity for a driven and dynamic individual to develop skills within the communications field.

 

It is essential to have a comprehensive working knowledge of the following software platforms, or be eager at learning: Intercom, Basecamp, Zendesk and Mailchimp.

 

Beyond all, ability to present yourself and the company in a professional, but friendly and approachable manner. The Customer Service Assistant will be the first line of communication with customers and must convey a positive and helpful attitude at all times. We are a growing company that operates on a fast-pace. All team members must be able to improvise, take initiative, identify opportunities for improvement, create efficiency and have fun!

Submit resume with references to jobs@winecollective.ca by November 8th.


Winemaker of the Year: Oakridge now in Canada

WineCollective is Canada’s largest monthly wine club, featuring exclusive wines, sourced from around the world. This past August, Oakridge Wines were exclusively launched online in Canada through WineCollective, giving our members a first-look at these premium Australian wines. Oakridge wines will soon be available in Canada through the winery’s DTC program. Oakridge wines have been scoring well with critics internationally, and we are thrilled to be the exclusive online retailer and offer our members insight into Gourmet Traveller’s Winemaker of the Year 2017 winner, David Bicknell, Chief Winemaker.

A conversation with David Bicknell, named Gourmet Traveller Winemaker of the Year 2017.

1. Tell us the story of how you came to be Chief Winemaker at one of Australia’s most premium wineries.
When I was recruited to take over the winemaking at Oakridge in 2002, the place was a mess. Nearly everything was broken, including much of the wine in the cellar. So over several years, I worked at putting it back together again, put a fresh face on the winemaking, and generally cleaned away all the mess. By 2008, I had been nominated by AGT for winemaker of the year, so I knew I was on course.

2. In your time as a winemaker, what has changed most in your style from the time you started to where you are now?
The biggest change has probably been vineyard sourcing. That has unfortunately moved around a bit. Early on, we didn’t have the financial robustness to hang on to some of the good vineyards. But luck’s worth a fortune, and more recently, combined with a better, healthy in business, we have been able to secure vineyards that are potentially better still. The wines from the new vineyards are just starting to filter through now. On a winemaking level, there has been a refinement in picking to earlier dates with superior natural acidity, and that combined with lower oak inputs and fermentation with indigenous yeast , has allowed for better expression of fruit without clutter. It is a minimalist expression, with sharp, clean lines. The wines should be fruit flavoured, not tree flavoured. We refer to barrels as wine coffins, where wines go to die if you leave them long enough. We replace less than 8% of our barrels every year.

 

 

 

 

 

3. What was the best advice you received when you entered into the winemaking business?
Keep your mind open. If you think you know it all, then you’re probably dead in the water. It’s one of the things I love about the industry in this land. There is a spirit of adventure and a thirst for knowledge. The pervading will of the winemaking community is always find improvement.

4. What do you think the next most popular style will be to come out of Australia? What other trends are on the horizon in the industry?
It may well be a plethora of styles. There is a drive to experiment with alternative varieties right across the country. One of the things we constantly wonder is what would the Australian landscape look like if we had planted more Iberian and Italian varieties rather than the French staples. The staples might work in the cooler reaches, but what about the warmer parts? Most of the wine produced comes from those warmer regions, so expect to see all sorts of interesting and delicious wine wines made from Touriga, Tempranillo, Montepulciano, Fiano, Vermentio, Nebbiolo etc etc

5. What are the most significant changes you have witnessed with regards to how grapes are grown and winemaking processes in your career?
Firstly, A more holistic approach to making wine where the key ingredient (grapes), should not require amelioration to achieve balance. Regions are tending to focus on local hero varieties, where, if you get it right, nothing else needs to be added. Secondly, our ability to cope with climate change. We have had to learn to be more protective of the grapes.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

6. What should Canadians know about the recent vintages of Australian wine?
The recent vintages have been very consistent. 2015, 2016 and 2017 are all loaded with good wines. The other thing you have to remember, is that is, like Canada a big country. Most of western Europe fits comfortably inside, so there are a vast range of climates within, so the range of wines is vast too.

7. In your opinion, what is the Yarra Valley’s defining feature that sets it apart from other Australian regions?
Many regions are relatively homogenous. Burgundy is a classic example of consistent geology, geography and varieties. Not so here in the Yarra. We have a mixed ancient geology of both volcanic and alluvial origin ranging from 250-500 million years old (Burgundy is only 200 million years old), and due to our mixed geography with elevations ranging from 90 metres above sea level to 450 metres above sea level, depending where you grow on that scale, almost anything is possible. At the bottom we are a touch cooler than Bordeaux and so can reliably ripen cabernet sauvignon. At the top, a little cooler than Champagne, with only sparkling base capable of ripening. Our focus has been on the mid-sections to grow chardonnay and pinot noir with excellent results.

8. What makes the vineyards you work with unique?
If we believe in the concept of terroir, then all sites, in theory, have a unique taste. We are still exploring that concept and learning what makes these differences and why some vineyards taste better than others. For instance, we are currently working with four different chardonnay vineyards that all make wines of similar high quality, however, all four have distinct differences in both flavour and texture, making them all taste different, despite using the same winemaking technique. In three of these sites, we are the sole producer, so these sets of flavours cannot be reproduced by others.

9. Outside of Australian wines, what region do you gravitate towards when drinking?
In no particular order – Chablis, Burgundy, Piedmonte, the Mosel and Galicia (Ribera Sacra etc).

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

WineCollective members have received the following wines from Oakridge. As part of the package, members receive our notes and food pairing suggestions. Take a look at our tasting cards and notes to see all that these fantastic wines have to offer.

– Oakridge Local Vineyard Series Shiraz 2015
– Oakridge Over the Shoulder 2012
– Oakridge Over the Shoulder Rosé 2016

Learn more about Oakridge Winery  and their world renowned wines.

Visit WineCollective to learn more about our ultimate wine experience and to start enjoying delicious wines just like these, from all around the world, delivered right to your door.


Backyard Bashes with WineCollective

Do you want to be the host or hostess with the mostest this season? At WineCollective, we have been gathering trendy ideas for creating a lasting impression at your summer gathering and we wanted to share some of our awesome finds with you, just in time for Canada Day!

 

Not-so-seaside Soiree

Land locked and looking for the perfect beach party this summer? Look no further, we found some great, no beach required ideas for throwing the perfect not-so-seaside beach soiree. When we think of hosting, the name Martha Stewart comes to mind. Check out this awesome recipe from Martha to create your very own stove top clam bake, perfect for creating the ultimate beach party in your own backyard. 

Clam bake photo and recipe from marthastewart.com

To pair with this delicious grouping of seafood, we recommend a delightful Portuguese Arinto, or perhaps a lovely French Muscadet easily enjoyed in our backyard ready Wine 2 Go cups

For some seaside decor, we liked the idea of writing guests names on pebbles to create beachy table place cards for your guests. Follow that up by draping an old fishing net and some sandbox toys over your bar and spend the evening imagining the crashing waves rolling in.

Campire Cookout

Looking for a more rustic approach to your Canada Day festivities? How about a campfire cookout complete with a build it yourself s’mores bar? Use Hi Miss Puff’s idea of  extra large mason jars to hold your chocolate, graham crackers and marshmallows. No fire pit required with these awesome do it yourself s’mores pots we found from Elisabeth Mcknight’s blog.

Photo and s’smore pots from Elizabeth McKnight.

Still want all the campfire coziness without the smoke and tiresome wood chopping? We loved the idea of this smokeless twilight fire pit from Sunset, to brighten up your party. And ditch the unsightly plastic coolers and complete your outdoorsy theme while keeping your beer cold in this super clever canoe cooler from RusticWeddingChic.com.

 

Photo and string light fire pit idea from Sunset.

 

Twilight Social

Prefer more of a classic garden party motif, complete with a welcoming ambience and good times all around? We’ve got you covered with some awesome ideas for creating a stunning twilight social.

Photo from ID Lights.

The best part about this theme is the opportunity to use so many kinds of lights to create a warm, welcoming atmosphere. For this look, we recommend finding all kinds of interesting bulbs and lanterns to keep the idea fresh, while delicately accentuating the natural beauty of your yard. We love trees wrapped in lights and lights hanging from branches and fences and pretty much everything!

Although we enjoy the idea of using mason jars as lanterns, we prefer our version of this classic look. Use these specially designed bottle lights to turn your empty wine bottles into beautiful lanterns; casting romantic rays on your pathways and gathering areas, or use them as centrepieces to softly illuminate your starlit dinner.

For this twinkling atmosphere, we suggest some equally dazzling fare such as these delicious and beautiful Nordic open faced smoked salmon tea sandwiches , an ideal way to incorporate your garden into your cuisine, perfectly paired with a delicate and juicy rosé.

We would love to hear about some of your summer or Canada Day entertaining ideas, we hope you have enjoyed ours! Get in touch with us on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram @WineCollective to share your ideas for creating an inspired gathering this season!

 


An Exclusive Tell-All: My Love Affair With Wine

I used to know that I enjoyed wine, but I honestly couldn’t have told you exactly why. I loved the taste, of course, but I was sure that I hated all Merlot and that white wine in general was just ‘okay’. I enjoyed the smell, but to me, all reds just smelled like wine, or if I was getting really creative, like grapes. All white wine tasted like juice, and I tended to drink it as such, without paying much attention to it at all. I was completely content with my limited wine knowledge, because I honestly had no idea how limited it was… until I joined the WineCollective team.

For the last several months I have been surrounded by my very impressive team of wine professionals and they honestly blow me away with their knowledge and love for wine. I remember the first time we did a wine tasting in the office, it was during my very first week working at WineCollective as the Customer Service Coordinator. I probably sat with an inch of California Merlot in my glass for an hour, trying to identify the things that the rest of the team were saying they smelled and tasted. Plum, cedar, vanilla, strawberry, rhubarb… what?? Since when are all of these things, and more, present in this one glass of wine? How have I missed this for all these years? And so my wine education began.

Since that day, I have focussed on learning about wine, I even enrolled in wine school and have completed my Level 1 WSET course through Fine Vintage Ltd.. I now find wine amazing! Not only because it’s delicious, but also because of the culture that exists around it, the generations of families whose way of life rely on the wine industry and the intricacies in each and every wine making process.

 

Here are some of my favourite wine related discoveries:

  • Wine is about 7000 years old!
  • There are over 10,000 grape varietals, about 1,400 of them are used to make wine.
  • Maybe the most obvious, but I swear it never occurred to me, the type of wine, ex. Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon, Pinot Grigio is the grape varietal used to make that wine.
  • Shiraz and Syrah are the same grape. Shiraz is grown in warmer climates like Australia, while Syrah is grown in cooler climates like Northern France.
  • Climate, region, growing season, altitude and winemaking practices all have drastic influences on each bottle of wine produced, so a complete dislike for one particular varietal, worldwide, would take a lot of research to confirm.
  • Cabernet Sauvignon was created by combining Cabernet Franc and Sauvignon Blanc and recent DNA testing has proven that Cabernet Franc is also a parent of Merlot
  • White wine only tastes like juice if you drink it as such. I have been most surprised by my gained knowledge of white wines! I’ve found beautiful, tantalizing aromas and flavours  in white wines such as peaches, passion fruit, pineapple, honey, caramel, vanilla and so many more, what’s not to love?
  • Riesling, though delicious, can smell and sometimes taste mildly like petrol or rubber bands, usually more apparent in aged wines. This can take some getting used to, however there are many other beautiful flavours present in Riesling to focus on.
  • “Sweet wine” is actually a style of wine, for example Ports or Sauternes. Describing the majority of wines as sweet in inaccurate. Sweetness may be implied by the flavours present in the wine, but there is actually very little sugar in the majority of quality white and red wines, which are mainly categorized as dry wines.

I could go on and on. My family and friends lovingly refer to me as a wine snob now, but I would say that the difference in my attitude towards wine is that I’m actually paying attention. I’m looking for more in wine than I ever have. It takes practice to be able to identify the complexities in wine and I have a lot to learn, but I am definitely enjoying the process. I encourage anyone who has never explored wine this way to try it out. Spend some time looking at, smelling and really tasting the wine in your glass. Don’t get discouraged if at first you don’t smell or taste anything but grapes, keep trying and you will surely enjoy what you find!

Want to talk wine or have questions about WineCollective? Pick up the phone or send a note to Jessica!

thecellar@winecollective.ca

1-855-501-WINE(9463)