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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)


For all the Wine-Lover Mothers

We can all agree, Mom deserves a HUGE thanks, and not just on Mother’s Day. We have created a gift that allows you to show your Mom how grateful you are for months to come!

Sign her up for a 1, 2, or 3 month gift of wine, and we will be sure to spoil Mom with extra goodies. The first shipment will be received in June, which means you have until the end of May to shop for Mom!

  • Includes our favourite previously featured, new, exclusive and for Moms-Only wines
  • Each gift package comes with a $25 Gift Certificate to use in our online wine shop
  • With 2 months of wine, we will also send Mom a Project Candy Box filled with sweets
  • The 3 month gift includes the candy and a WineCollective tasting card album

       

 

If you want to give some instant gratification, we also have a ‘ship now’ option. This 6 bottle mixed pack has good value and some extras for Mom. We will be shipping out these gifts as they are ordered, within 48 hours of purchase. However,  we cannot guarantee that the delivery will occur prior to May 14th.

Moms love beer, just as much as wine! We have you covered if she pours brews more often than vino. Canada Craft Club has a one-time delivery of craft beers, that come with the most practical flowers around, tulips!


Are we looking for you?

We are in search of a dynamic and energetic Communications and Promotions Coordinator, could it be you?

We are looking for a multi-talented individual to wear several hats, but with an overall focus on coordinating promotions, communications and content. 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.

Responsibilities will range the gamut from customer service, photography, wine and beer tasting, data-entry and proof-reading, and light manual labour. There is also an opportunity for someone with design and editing experience to hone their craft. With many tasks at hand, it is imperative that candidates interested in this position are amazing at multi-tasking, time management and assessing priority of responsibilities. A key responsibility of this role will be to assist with disseminating critical information through CRM campaigns, social media and blog posts. This is a great entry-level 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: Lightroom, Photoshop, Dropbox, Highrise, Basecamp, WordPress, Zendesk and Mailchimp.

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!

Here are the nitty gritty details:

Full-time
Hours Mon-Fri 9-5
Salary TBD based on experience, 2 week vacation after 6 months
Start date: Latest start date May 15th

Must possess:
Proficiency with, or ability to quickly learn new software platforms
Excellent written and verbal communication
Professional phone etiquette
Positive nature, and an inherent people pleaser
Attention to detail, ability to multi-task and prioritize
Strong understanding and working knowledge of social media platforms in a professional capacity
Knowledge of liquor laws and regulations
Basic wine knowledge and desire to continue wine/beer education
Proserve Certification (can be completed online)

 

Submit resume with references to jobs@winecollective.ca by Wednesday, May 3rd.

 

 


Cheers to Canada’s 150th birthday!

The entries submitted, the public voted, the winners announced, and now the bottles have been labeled.

We held a wine label design contest with Konzelmann Winery to celebrate Canada’s 150th birthday. The theme in mind, faithful wine lovers submitted nostalgic photos and creative designs in Canadiana spirit.

Here are the two labels you selected, which will be featured on the Konzelmann Lakefront Series Merlot and Riesling. Hayley V. submitted the winning label for the Konzelmann Lakefront Series Merlot. Hayley noted that she used warm colours and maple leaves to showcase her favourite Canadian season, autumn. She also shared, “My family takes a drive every spring to see the moose in Algonquin and for the past two years we have been fortunate enough to take friends from Ireland and Australia with us.”

Kayleen H.’s design won the label contest for the Konzelmann Lakefront Series Riesling. Contestants submitted artwork to celebrate Canada’s 150th birthday. Kayleen is already a fan of Konzelmann wine, their peach wine is a staple at her ‘girls night’! The photo was taken in Georgian Bay at Present Island, “part of cottage country where good laughs and much wine has occurred.”

The Konzelmann crew has been hard at work to ensure labeling perfection.  We are proud to launch these wines, exclusively to our WineCollective members.

Both of these wines will be featured in WineCollective April editions, en route to members April 17th. If you are not a member, you still have time to join and receive these limited edition features!