Blog

Holiday Gifting & Giving

It is that time of year when we all try to put in a little extra effort to spread joy and help those in need. We have put together a great opportunity to help you finish all the shopping on your ‘nice’ list, as well as give back to your community.

Are you a Canadian:

  • Charity?
  • Alumni association?
  • Company with a mission?
  • Non-profit organization?

If so, we would like to help you raise $$ while you finish your Holiday shopping. WineCollective and Canada Craft Club have built a significant following for our yearly Holiday Gifts – they are jammed full of delicious boutique wines and craft beer, super savings and bonus treats! We would like you to help us sell more Holiday gifts, and reward your cause for helping us spreading the word.

In the past, we have partnered with alumni associations and non-profits to help share our awesome Holiday Gift ideas with more people, and in return, we give back to these organizations. We ship across the country – expanding your reach and opportunity to fundraise from coast to coast.

How does it work?

  1. Reach out to us and let us know about you and your group, and your fundraising goals.
  2. Let us know how you plan to spread the word.
  3. You will receive a custom coupon code to share with family, friends, co-workers, or whoever you want.
  4. We will provide you with the information needed to share on your social media and email list.
  5. The coupon code will give the user $20 off their Holiday gift purchase*.
  6. AND each time the coupon code is used, your group will receive $20.
  7. You have until December 31st to get as many purchases as possible.
  8. And then you are paid!

What do we need from you?

  • Excitement – Let us know you are really into this opportunity!
  • Marketing – Let us know how you would promote this offer and encourage people to support your initiative.
  • Communication – Keep in touch. We will do our best to help support you in whatever way we can to make sure this is a success for everyone.

We think this is a pretty easy fundraiser, who wouldn’t want to give the gift of wine or craft beer delivered to your door each month? Your friends and followers can do their Holiday shopping and donate to a good cause at the same time – what’s better than that?

 

Are you interested? Get in touch and we can provide more details, learn about your mission, and find the best way to help you, help us!

 

*Minimum spend required to apply coupon codes.


Why join a wine club?

We will admit that we are a bit biased in answering this question. Even so, we have a pretty good argument as to why you should look at joining a wine club (if you haven’t already).

There are quite a few different wine clubs on the market these days; however, that wasn’t the case when WineCollective started way back in ’09 (yes, we just aged ourselves). We’re very proud of our history and the almost 10 years that we have spent sharing thousands of bottles of wine with our members.

Regardless of which club you belong to, there are some common benefits you will enjoy:

  • Convenience. We are hard pressed to find anyone who doesn’t enjoy the ease of having wine shipped directly to their door.
  • Curation. Let the club sift through the millions of bottles and bring you the best of the best.
  • Experience. Our members have described receiving their wines as being equal to having “Christmas every month.”
  • Education. Wine clubs take pride in sharing their wealth of knowledge with you in a digestible and shareable format.
  • Exposure. Try wines that you would have never picked for yourself, or that you would never have had access to otherwise.

We realize that the local liquor retailer might be just around the corner, and maybe you really enjoy shuffling through the aisles looking at the pretty labels. We think of the club as an opportunity to supplement your current wine habits, not entirely replace them.

Your time and hard-earned paycheque are important to us. We hope to reduce the possibility that your random grab at the chain retailer is a dud, and give you a selection of wines that are already pre-vetted to be of top quality and value. You can buy great wine without breaking the bank!

You deserve a gift – even if it’s from yourself. We like to think that wine clubs (and most subscription clubs) are a great way to reward yourself with something great! We want you to be excited when you see your mailman coming (we think that they appreciate us too!)

By taking this wine journey with us, we hope you pick up some tricks and tips along the way and become a more educated wine buyer. Arm yourself with the knowledge to pick that bottle from the shelf or wine list with confidence. You may find wines you appreciate, but don’t love, and others that become your new favourites. The club experience is a great way to find out what you really like in a wine.

WineCollective works hard to find unique and interesting wines for our members, and a large selection of our wines are exclusive to our club. By committing to the club and being part of the collective, you give us the power to search for wines that we think you will love, and that you definitely deserve.


Success for ARTS in September

Last month we were host to ARTS Senior Animal Rescue. Throughout the month, customers at Highfield could purchase bottles of wine with a portion of the proceeds going to the non-profit. We also collected donations from patrons throughout the month, and held a meet n’ greet with some of their ‘adoptables’. Can you think of a better way to spend a Saturday afternoon- sampling wine and petting furry friends?

We are happy to report that with your help, we raised $790 for ARTS, and one of lucky seniors found its forever home! Thanks again for all who joined us and donated!

Stay tuned for our upcoming monthly partnerships, like the donation drive for the Mustard Seed that is running until October 31st.


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!


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.

 

 

 

 

 


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!


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!


How do you like it done?

Steak, that is. From basic to gourmet sauces, seared or grilled, and rare to well, we all know how we like it done. Ritualistic and precise, there is a method to our steak madness. Do you give the same attention to pairing the perfect wine with your choice cut?

We realize that part of the pleasure of steak and wine is in it’s simplicity. The no-fuss approach is to reach for a solid Cabernet, Syrah, even Merlot or Malbec. There is nothing wrong with this, but we would like to share some tips to bring your heavenly duo to the next level.

Temperature

The rarer your temperature, the more the beef will temper your wine. If you like your steak cool and blue, you can opt for a more tannic wine. Younger Cabs, judicious oak and other wines like Syrah, should be strong enough to withhold the mellowing nature of rare to medium rare.

Method

Grills will offer the maximum amount of char, which leave a smokey and bitter taste. To offset the strong flavours from an open flame, choose a wine that is ripe and juicy. Wines like Napa Merlots, or quality Malbec will offer some sweeter tannins to balance the scorched steak.

Cut

The cut of beef will have a substantial impact on the style of wine you should select. Leaner cuts like sirloin should be paired with lighter bodied wines. Depending on the local, look for Grenache and even some Pinots. For richer/fattier cuts like Ribeye, you will want a fuller bodied wine like a hearty Cabernet.

Seasoning

Sauces will change the what wines you should be looking for. For example, a lean cut with a cream sauce might warrant a bold Chardonnay. Mushrooms have an affinity for Pinot, which would work well with flank steaks. Pepper is a bold spice that has a big affect on a wine. Liberal peppering, peppercorn sauces and crusts will increase the ‘heat’ (perceived burn from high alcohol) in a wine. High alchohol wine will seem even hotter with an abundance of pepper.

February WineCollective packages have a wide selection of steak-friendly wines. Here are our suggestions:

Beau Vantage 2010

Medium bodied, high alcohol (14%)

  • Tenderloin, seared, cooked medium, herbs and butter

Bien Salud 2013

Med-light bodied, med+ alcohol (13.9%)

  • Sirloin, grilled, cooked medium, garlic and mushroom

Secret Cellars 2014

Med+ bodied, high alcohol (14%)

  • Beef rib, grilled, medium-rare, wine sauce

Canepa Novísimo Carménère 2014

Medium-bodied, med alcohol (13.5%)

  • Flank steak, cast-iron broiled, cooked medium, chimichurri sauce

TATE Spring Street Merlot 2014

Full-bodied, med + alcohol (13.8%)

– Ribeye, grilled, medium rare, simple salt and pepper

Find these wines in the WineCollective e-Store. Available Now!


January’s Main Event: Portugal vs Spain

Portugal and Spain share many commonalities in geography and in viticulture, including varietal plantings and wine culture. However, the style of wines produced and variations in micro-climates are vast. Here is a quick study on what is similar and not so similar between these 2 neighbours.

Grapes

Portugal is like a ‘wine island’, where unique varietals are grown in almost isolation. Portugal has hundreds of indigenous varietals, many are not found anywhere else. Here are some of the most popular and obscure grapes you can find in Portugal.

  • Arinto – Widely planted, especially in Lisboa and offers a zingy, fresh and acidic profile.
  • Tinta Roriz or Aragonês – The same grape as Tempranillo, just a different name.
  • Sangiovese – An international varietal, not home to Portugal, but found in small amounts.

Spain has enjoyed significant international popularity lately, with Spanish wines being readily available and affordable. This has helped establish varietals like Tempranillo, pushing them into the mainstream. Here are some of our favourite, less-known varietals.

  • Viura- The most heavily planted white grape in Rioja (aka Macabeo) and used often for Cava.
  • Picapoll – An obscure grape mostly found in Cataluña.
  • Mencía – A well structured grape that thrives in NW Spain, Bierzo.

Regions

Portugal’s regions are almost all Mediterranean in climate, with even the furthest vineyards not very far from the ocean. The main differences in the sub-regions will be due to elevation. The plains and plateaus having more heat, while hills will have mitigating cooling breezes and nighttime temperatures.

  • Dão, named after the Dão River, is in northern Portugal. Here, the quality vineyards are grown from 150-450 meters above sea level and enjoy the affects of diurnal temperature. Most commonly, you will find Tinta Roriz and Touriga Nacional.
  • Douro produces both fortified and non-fortified wines. Most notable, Douro is known for its Port. The geography in Douro is centred around the Douro River, which was used to transport the barrels of Port from the steep vineyards, to the cellars.

Spain has over a dozen different wine regions, with more sub-regions within each. Spain’s regions vary vastly based on elevation and temperature. The arid plains of Toro produce ripe and rugged Tinto de Toro (Tempranillo), while the more northern Galicia is a cooler climate with more crisp white varietals, like Albariño.

  • Catalonia is far north-eastern Spain, near Barcelona. Near the Mediterranean Sea and with strong French influences, this are is unique from other Spanish regions. Catalonia is home to the majority of Cava production.
  • Castilla y Leon is a vast region with many sub-regions. It is impossible to categorize the entire area, because production is so variant. Bierzo, bordering Galicia and Asturias, is home to Mencía, Grenache and Godello. While Ribera del Duero is home to iconic Tempranillo, where it grows with extreme climate of hot summers and cold winters.

Cuisine

Portugal’s traditional food is rustic, hearty and full of seafood. As with any country, there are many variations and regional differences. A rule of thumb, in Portugal expect lots of pork, rice, stews and octopus. Here are some common dishes.

  • Caldo Verde – green cabbage soup
  • Blood sausage
  • Bacalhau – infamous salted cod

Spain also has a strong seafood presence, with so much coastline and variety, this should come at no surprise. Both Portugal and Spain’s bars and eateries will have ample olives and almonds, usually enjoyed as pre-meal snacks. In addition to stews, sausages and peppers, and some of the best olive oil, you will find.

  • Saffron- seasoning your potatoes, paella and prawns
  • Paella – the dish that puts Valencia on the food map
  • Pisto – Spanish ratatouille

WineCollective featured a heavy selection of wines from Spain and Portugal this month. Visit the online shop to read more about these selections:

SPAIN

Viñaguareña Mazal Barrica 

Gran Bohedal Crianza

Gran Bohedal Blanco

PORTUGAL

Vidigal Artolas

Vidigal Dom Dinis

Cortes de Cima Courela

Monte da Ravasqueira Sangiovese

 

Use the coupon code PORTUGAL5 for $5 off your order of Portuguese wines!


Welcome to WineCollective

You have just joined WineCollective, or, you are the recipient of a pretty awesome gift. What to do next? While we are busy preparing next month’s deliveries, here is what you can do to make the most out of your WineCollective experience.

  • Joining us on social media. Be our friend and keep up with what is going on in the WineCollective world, from events and education, to giveaways and contests.
  • Become acquainted with your online account. When you login to your WineCollective account, you can update shipping information and payment information and keep tabs on your upcoming delivery. Once you receive your first delivery of wine, you will also be able to view all the wines you have received.
  • Explore the online wine shop. Members receive 10% off all wines, and some selections are for members-only! Can’t wait for the first delivery, get a head-start on your WineCollective journey. The coupon code NEWWINEJOURNEY10 is good for $10 off your first online store order.
  • Learn more about us! Take some time to discover our Blog and find out why we are so passionate about giving you the ultimate wine journey.
  • In Calgary? Visit our retail store, Highfield by WineCollective for great members-only deals on wine, beer and spirits!

We understand that the anticipation must be overwhelming, waiting for a package is always exciting, especially when it is wine! Here is a bit of what to expect so that you are prepared to receive your wine.

  • We will send you our Heads Up email on the first of the month, reminding you of your delivery and providing you with an estimated ship out date.
  • Make note of our cut-off date in the Heads Up email. You have until the specified date to let us know if you need to arrange an alternate delivery date, or change your shipping information. After this date, we will not be able to amend addresses or delay the delivery, so be sure to reach out in time!
  • You will then receive a Shipped Email when your package leaves our headquarters in Calgary. This email will contain your very valuable tracking number. Use this information to arrange last minute shipping changes with your courier.
  • Your wine must be signed for by someone over the age of 19 and it can not be left on a doorstep or porch.
  • Missed the delivery? Here are the next steps with each of our couriers.
  • Share your experiences with us, from food pairings to favourite features, and even those you would rather not taste again, we love to know what you think of the wines!

Still have questions? Get in touch with us thecellar@winecollective.ca