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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!

 


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!


Schild Estate Introduces Pure Barossa Wine Club in Canada

Schild Estate is a familiar label in Canada, as a WineCollective member, you may have experienced a wine or two! Established in 1988, in Southern Australia, the Barossa Valley winery produces over 50,000 cases annually.

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This year, in partnership with WineCollective and BlackSquare, Schild Estate decided to leap into a brand new Canadian wine club, aimed at bringing the experience of Schild’s tasting room to Canadian wine lovers. As a member of Pure Barossa, you will experience new to market wines, exclusive products and a first hand look at Schild Estate.

In October, we hosted a launch of Pure Barossa at the Gerry Thomas Gallery in Calgary. Judy, the brand ambassador for Schild Estate, and daughter of founder, Ed Schild, was there to host and provide a sneak peak into the wine club.

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Schild Estate produces many wines in tribute to members of the family that made Schild Estate what it is today. Discover these wines and more through Schild’s Iconic and Privileges subscription packages, delivered quarterly.

2014 Edgar Schild Reserve Grenache: “A dedication to our father and founder, Ed Schild. Produced from 89-year-old old bush vines. A dark cherry colour to the eyes followed by a vibrant berry and pepper spice with light tannin on the palate.”

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The iconic Moorooroo is produced from 4 rows of ‘Ancestor Vines’, some the oldest in the region. Only 200 cases are made annually.

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The Alma Chardonnay is named after Ed’s mother and yet to be released in Canada. “Fragrant notes of lemon citrus, pear and stone fruit coupled with more delicate glimpses of floral blossom perfume. Complex with a subtle oak framework.”

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Schild Estate offers quarterly subscriptions and gifts. With the the Iconic Club, you will receive 6 bottles every 3 months of their pre-released wines and other special release wines. The Privileges Club offers 24 bottles through out the year, personally curated by Schild. These wines are perfectly matched to each season they will be delivered in and include Schild’s most iconic and premium selections.

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Experience Schild’s value favourites with our Mixed Pack! Featuring 4 wines and a $50 gift card to ShildEstate.ca!

For more information about Schild Estate’s Canadian wine club visit their website!


Join Us! Try Before You Buy!

Join WineCollective and Redback Wines for a Try Before You Buy event! Open to WineCollective members, friends, family and wine enthusiasts!

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Tickets are $20 and are available on the WineCollective Store or Eventbrite.

Gerry Thomas Gallery
(602 11th Ave SW)
Tuesday, June 28th
5:30 – 7:30 p.m.

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Taste over 15 previous and upcoming WineCollective features along with Redback favourites! We will also be pouring exclusive offers like Domaine of the Bee, Hart of Gold and the new WineCollective Two!

Superb discounts on online store orders, snacks and door prizes! Tickets will also be available at the door.

Extra Bonus! Book a reservation at Chef Bar for before or after the event and enjoy $20 corkage!

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For questions about Try Before You Buy, email thecellar@winecollective.ca


Villa Minelli Launch!

Last night at Highfield, we were thrilled to introduce the Villa Minelli Rosso during our pre-release tasting.

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Joined by WineCollective members, supporters and friends, we gave the fantastic wine a warm welcome into Canada as Villa Minelli wines are not available anywhere else in North America!

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To learn more about the Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon blend, visit our blog!

For the first time in WineCollective history, before this wine is featured in packages, we want to pass on our pre-release price to all members across Canada. Today, you can find a Villa Minelli pack including 6 bottles of the 2013 (only the second vintage ever produced) for just $125.99!

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Notes from the producer: “A deep cyclamen red wine with an intense nose of mature woodland berries (myrtle and mulberry) and dried dog rose. The palate reflects the nose, with mulberry in the foreground along with mature tannins and a rich, fascinating vinosity.”

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Delicious now, but we expect great things from the Rosso in the next year or two. Enjoy one tonight, another tomorrow and save the rest for a later date!

If you receive the Villa Minelli Rosso in an upcoming package, be sure to tell us what you think! Log in to your WineCollective account to rate & comment on the wine – we want to know what you think of the brand new ultra exclusive Rosso!


Villa Minelli Rosso Pre-Release!

Villa Minelli is owned by the Benetton family, best known for their world wide clothing brand, United Colors of Benetton. For years, founder Luciano Benetton, would see the grapes that grew outside of Benetton headquarters in Treviso, Italy, and one day decided they were destined for the wine cellar. In 2006, after 60 years of the family tending to the vineyard, Luciano established Villa Minelli and today, we’re thrilled to introduce the wine that has not yet seen the Americas, until now!

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A serendipitous encounter during his Euro travels, WineCollective CEO, Matthew Protti, discovered Villa Minelli and tasted their 2013 Rosso. Needless to say, Matthew wasted no time and ordered the remainder of the inventory making the Villa Minelli Rosso an exclusive to our members! You will not find this wine anywhere else in North America!

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Winemaking

The Rosso is a blend of Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon from two municipalities in Treviso, Ponzano and Villorba. Vine age is dependant on varietal; 20-year-old Cabernet and 40-year-old Merlot. Grapes are handpicked and sorted in the vineyard, then again in the winery before a long, temperature controlled maceration and fermentation, pumped daily for best extraction of colour and tannins. Later, the Rosso is transferred to stainless steel tanks and is aged on lees for 6-8 months until Spring prior to three months in bottle.

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Villa Minelli Estate. Behind it, the United Colours of Benetton factory.

WineCollective members can expect the Villa Minelli Rosso in February packages. However, our lucky local members have the chance to try and buy the wine at a pre-release tasting event!

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Producer’s Notes: “A deep cyclamen red wine with an intense nose of mature woodland berries (myrtle and mulberry) and dried dog rose. The palate reflects the nose, with mulberry in the foreground along with mature tannins and a rich, fascinating vinosity.”

For members interested in attending our exclusive pre-release tasting of the Villa Minelli Rosso, please contact us! If you’re not in Calgary, don’t worry, the Rosso is soon headed your way. Be sure to log in to your WineCollective account to rate and comment on the wine – we really want to know what you think about this one.


WineCollective’s Holiday Open House!

With the help of wine importing friends, and local restaurants and brewery’s, our first Holiday Open House at Highfield was a great success!

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This past Saturday, we invited WineCollective, Tannic and Highfield customers, members and supporters to join us for an afternoon of wine tastings. We’d like to thank those who offered their time and donations and even more, those that came for a visit!

Our Holiday House featured 9 different WineCollective & Tannic favourites including Joseph Mellot Le Tronsec, Pierre Amadieu Grand Romane and Empordàlia’s Verdera Negre thanks to Jason and Evolution Fine Wines.

Jason-OpenHouse

Scott from Redback Wines poured Les Anges Chardonnay and the delicious Les Terriades Rosé D’Anjou, which was a huge hit. The rosé nearly sold out and only 3 bottles are remaining in store!

Plaid Cap Imports poured the long time favourite, Gelso Nero and Albet i Noya’s Lignum Blanc, while the lovely Deb at Cellar Door poured Dictador Rum & Colombian Gin – now available at Highfield!

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We at WineCollective also poured Schug Estate’s Sauvignon Blanc and the Konzelmann Pinot Noir recently featured in November.

Every guest also received a gift bag, filled with goodies and special deals from our Open House sponsors Chef Bar and LDV Pizza Bar. LDV also donated pizza and bruschetta to nibble on during the tastings!

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A big thanks to Village Brewery for their donation of a raffle prize which included free tour passes and of course, beer!

All of the wines poured at our Open House are still available on the WineCollective online store and in Highfield! Thanks again to all who participated – we look forward to our 2016 Holiday House!


Fairtales, Legends, Fashion & Wine!

Last weekend, WineCollective & Highfield were extremely fortunate to take part in the Calgary Philharmonic’s Fairytales and Legends Fashion Gala!

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Featuring Holt Renfrew fashion, styled by the ladies of Styleista, this event brought together Calgary’s elite and huge sponsors. The magical event took place at Devonian Gardens, transformed into a magical forest with ambient and fashion show music from the orchestra’s finest.

WineCollective donated a variety of wines to the event’s huge raffle prize, valued at $2,000 with gifts from Craft Beer Market, Big Surf, Anējo and Lake Breeze wines. Highfield donated all of the spirits for the pre-event and fashion show after party.

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For our participation, Calgary Philharmonic spoiled us with four VIP tickets to the gala! After a quick contest, WineCollective member Michelle B and guest, joined Amber and Larissa for the evening.

We’d like to thank CPO for having us and giving us the opportunity to take part! Next year, we hope to be back with more donations and creative ideas (involving wine of course!) to further inspire this enchanting fundraiser.


The new Highfield by WineCollective!

Last summer, we were excited to briefly step away from the online world and open up our first physical store in Calgary, Highfield by WineCollective. As we reached our one year anniversary, we decided to spruce up our little store and are thrilled to present the newly renovated Highfield!

Before:

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After!

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Our renovations included some new flooring and much needed racking for WineCollective and Highfield wines, as well our selection of fine spirits.

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We also installed a brand new WineKoolR to properly cellar some premium Tannic wines. This 240 bottle cellar is available to all WineCollective members for only $995 in the online store!

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WineCollective and Tannic members will now experience VIP service when coming into Highfield. On Thursday and Friday from 4 – 7 and Saturday’s 12 – 4, you can find Leah, Amber or Larissa pouring new and featured wines to taste!

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As a WineCollective member, you will receive 15% off wines in store, as well as 5% off liquor and beer purchases. For September, we are offering the remainder of our Schug WineCollective Cuvée at 25% off for members. With only 3 bottles of Pinot Noir and 15 of Chardonnay left, you may want to hurry over!

Before:

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After!

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We have some excellent deals and events planned for Highfield in the next coming weeks. We invite you to come visit at 22 1259 Highfield Crescent S.E. Highfield is open weekdays 10 – 7 and Saturday 12 – 4.

P.S. Pop by Highfield and you can enter to win a pair of tickets to Oktoberfest AND Rocky Mountain Wine & Food Festival!


Experience Destination Tours

Summer is now in full swing and it is time to get out and enjoy what beautiful British Columbia has to offer with numerous excursions to the Okanagan Valley via Destination Tours.

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Destination Tours’ passion and expertise lies in creating unique, exciting tours and vacation getaways in our own Canadian backyard. Okanagan Wine Tours are a great way to experience the fine wineries in the Okanagan, some of which have been previously featured in your WineCollective packages.

As a WineCollective member, Destination Tours would like to offer $25 off per person off any of their tour packages by using the promo code “WineCollective”.

Destination Tours holds six different wine tours within the Okanagan region from our Kelowna to Summerland and Naramata as well as Whistler Getaways. In addition, with each unique tour, Destination Tours will find a variety of accommodations for you, minutes away from wine hot spots.

Each tour includes:

  • 2 nights accommodations
  • Visits to 4-5 different winery’s with over 25 tastings!
  • Included lunch at participating wineries.
  • Professional driver with wine and region knowledge and all rides in the AC touring vehicle.

To take advantage of this exclusive offer, visit www.destinationtours.ca to pick your tour and add in the promo code “WineCollective”. If you require any assistance, you can reach Destination Tours’ office at 1-877-507-5596.