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Featured February 2020 Wines

Battling the Winter Blues with Winter Wine!

February can be a pretty hard month. Winter is dragging on, the weather can be extra cold, and spring seems far away. Even though celebrations like Valentine’s Day and Family Day/Louis Riel Day warm our cold hearts, we’re ready for sunshine! With March quickly creeping up on us, we wanted to take a look back at the great wine that got us through the month of February 2020. Hopefully these bottles were shared with loved ones and opened in the warmest of homes. We’re excited about sunnier days and new wine next month, so don’t forget to leave some room in the wine rack! Here’s to high hopes that the snow stays in the mountains, the freezing rain stays in the clouds, and warmer days are ahead.

WineCollective Featured Wine

WineCollective.ca © 2020

We hope you loved the winter wine you received in February and members don’t forget: shop the WineCollective online store to stock up on your favourites from the month. If you aren’t a member of WineCollective — Canada’s best wine club — you’re missing out on some really great wine! What are you waiting for?! See you next month when we recap all the amazing March wine or check out last month to see what else we shared!


Featured January 2020 Wines

Start the Year With Canada’s Best Wine Club

Well it’s finally here. A whole new decade to start fresh in. 2020 is the 11th year WineCollective has been Canada’s best wine club! We’ve been sharing wine with Canadians for over a decade now and boy does it feel good. January is always an exciting time at WineCollective because all the lucky people who received a club subscription for Christmas receive their first package. This gives us the chance to broaden our audience and share even more bottles than we usually do! If you follow these monthly recap posts you’ll notice there are more bottles than usual, and that’s exactly why. More members = more wine! This gives you all the more reason to shop away and try out some bottles you didn’t receive this month.

WineCollective Featured Wine

We hope you loved the wines you received and members don’t forget: shop the WineCollective online store to stock up on your favourites from the month. If you aren’t a member of WineCollective — Canada’s best wine club — you’re missing out on some really great wine! What are you waiting for?! See you next month when we recap all the amazing February wine or check out last month to see what else we shared!


Featured December 2019 Wine

There’s Always Time for Wine

Oh my goodness, the holiday season can be so overwhelming! We likely aren’t alone in being at least a little glad the hustle and bustle is over. That being said, December is also a great month in WineCollective’s calendar. We get to share wine with our members that are part of many memorable moments and nothing is better than that. From engagements to family gatherings, bottles from WineCollective are popped open all month long. We are so honoured to be part of the chaos and fun of the holiday season! Let’s take a look back to the wonderful featured wine we shared in December 2019.

WineCollective Featured Wine

  • El Camino — Malbec | Mendoza, Argentina
  • Adulation — Pinot Noir | California, USA
  • Amata Prosecco — Glera | Veneto, Italy
  • Cavazza — Tai Rosso | Veneto, Italy
  • Diatom Bar-M — Chardonnay | California, USA
  • Sunrock Illumina —Zinfandel, Shiraz | Okanagan Valley, Canada
  • Montepeloso A Quo — Montepulciano, Cabernet Sauvignon, Sangiovese, Marselan, Alicante | Tuscany, Italy
  • Opal Ridge — Semillon, Chardonnay | South Eastern, Australia
  • Tridente Gota de Arena — Tempranillo | Castilla y León, Spain
  • Clos d’Alzan Signargues Villages — Grenache, Mourvèdre, Syrah | Côtes-du-Rhône, France
  • Westcott Estate — Chardonnay | Vinemount Ridge, Canada
  • Burnt Ship Bay — Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Cabernet Franc | Niagara Peninsula, Canada

We hope you loved the wines you received and members don’t forget: shop the WineCollective online store to stock up on your favourites from the month. If you aren’t a WineCollective member, you’re missing out on some really great wine! What are you waiting for?! See you next month when we recap all the amazing January wine that will be going out to members later this month!


Featured November Wine

Enjoying Your Wine Club During the Holidays

We are quickly approaching the end of the year and we can’t be alone in thinking how crazy it is that this decade is coming to a close! It’s been a real whirlwind, considering at the start of this decade was when WineCollective began! We’ve had the best time growing over the last 10 years, sharing wine with Canadians. It’s an honour to be included in your everyday dinners, celebratory toasts, and beyond. As the year (and decade) wind down, we think there is no better time than over the holidays to be part of a wine club. What better way to be stocked up for festivities than to have a wine club like WineCollective deliver new bottles right to your doorstep?! We hope your membership is enjoyed even more over the coming weeks and in honour of the last month of 2019, let’s take a look back on the many bottles we shared this past November.

WineCollective Featured Wine

  • Ray’s Creek — Chardonnay | California, USA
  • Ray’s Creek — Pinot Noir | California, USA
  • Indigo Eyes — Cabernet Sauvignon | California, USA
  • Casa Santos Lima — Syrah | Lisboa, Portugal
  • El Casetero — Macabeo | Campo de Borja, Spain
  • Joel Delaunay — Sauvignon Blanc | Loire Valley, France
  • Teusner The Riebke — Shiraz |Barossa Valley, Australia
  • Arloren Miriar Rubí Reserva — Monastrell | Jumilla, Spain
  • Ferraton La Tournée — Vermentino, Viognier | Vin de France, France
  • Spartan Hills — Malbec | Paso Robles, USA
  • Jury Cellars — Cabernet Sauvignon | Oakville, USA
  • Longfellow — Grenache Blanc | Napa Valley, USA

We hope you loved the wines you received and members don’t forget: shop the WineCollective online store to stock up on your favourites from the month. If you aren’t a WineCollective member, you’re missing out on some really great wine! What are you waiting for?! See you next month when we recap all the amazing October wine or check out last month to see what else we shared!


2019 Holiday Wine Gifts

Give a Wine Subscription This Year

The days keep rolling by and before we know it — the holidays will be here! This time of year can be extremely stressful with busy schedules, deadlines, and the looming pressure of gift giving. Giving presents to loved ones is a highlight we certainly don’t take for granted, but it can be overwhelming thinking of new, fun ideas. Each year to help ease the stress of the holiday season, we launch our special WineCollective Gift Subscriptions. And 2019’s holiday wine gift roster is finally here! We’re so excited to share these wine subscription gifts with you and the wine lovers in your life. This year we have some exciting perks that are unlike anything we’ve shared before.

Wine Gifts to Remember

We truly think there is no gift quite like receiving wine at one’s doorstep, so we work hard to put together really great wine subscription gift options! This year we have gifting available in 2 to 6, and 12 month intervals — so there is truly something for everyone. We’re also very excited to be offering a mixed AND all-red Essential+ pack! We heard lots of feedback about offering a more premium all-red package, and it’s finally here. The red wine fan in your life will really love this wine subscription option.

Holiday Wine Gift Perks

This year we’re offering a variety of perks to complement the wine gift you purchase.

  • All 2+ month gift subscriptions receive a monthly $25 gift card for your recipient to stock up in our online store on their favourite wines!
  • 3 to 12 month subscriptions will also receive a WineFolly wine glass polishing cloth that not only does a great job getting those glasses shining, but is a really fun addition to your bar, cellar, or kitchen.
  • Lastly, all gift purchases include a $25 gift card to our sister site CanadaCraftClub (where you can find the world’s best craft beer) and of course, access to our WineCollective member exclusive online store.

A Holiday Wine Gift For Everyone

Our priority is always to share the best wine with you, while also teaching you some things about wine along the way. Wine should be fun and shared, which is why we have no doubt our wine gifts are the best holiday present! If you’re looking for corporate or large volume purchases, please send us a quick email to thecellar@winecollective.ca and we will find an option that works for you. Happy Holidays!


Discovering Wine Podcasts

Learn About Wine with Podcasts

The podcast world is a vast one. With thousands of choices, on every topic imaginable, it’s daunting to figure out where to start. Obviously one of our biggest interests is wine, and podcasts are a great way to learn about a new topic without investing in books or hours on the internet. The best way to learn about wine is by drinking, but that’s not always acceptable during your commute or while you’re on the treadmill. In honour of International Podcast Day (yes, there’s a day for that too), we’re taking some time to break down a few of our favourite wine podcasts!

Vino 101

If getting down to the basics or starting from the beginning is your main goal, then this is a great place to start. Touted as a “fun way to learn about wine”, Vino 101 is the perfect podcast to get lots of wine knowledge without any of the snobbiness you might get elsewhere.

Wine For Normal people

Feel overwhelmed by wine vocabulary and tasting notes that are just way over-the-top? Wine For Normal People is a really newbie-friendly wine podcast, hosted by Sommelier and Specialist of Wine, Elisabeth Schneider. This podcast is super approachable and fun to listen to!

I’ll Drink to That!

Former Sommelier Levi Denton spends his episodes interviewing great wine minds who are connected to the wine world. Ranging from other sommeliers to winemakers to restauranteurs, “I’ll Drink to That!” provides a lot of in depth knowledge about a very complicated and interesting industry.

Wine Podcasts are the Accessible Way to Learn

Like most topics, there are a ton of options in the podcast world to choose from when it comes to wine. Depending on what your goal is, you’ll find many wine podcasts that can be a good resource. The important thing is to find one that is hosted by people you trust and enjoy listening to. Wine should be fun! So pour a glass, get your headphones on, and take a listen.


Decanting Wine: Why and How

Is decanting wine necessary?

It’s an age-old question in the wine world and something that comes up when first starting to improve your wine-game: do you have to decant wine? When it comes to young, tannic wines and aged, sediment-prone wine, decanting is going to be an important step before enjoying a glass. Decanting is the process of pouring out the wine from the bottle into a larger vessel and allows for two things:

  1. Preventing sediment from reaching your glass by excluding it from the decanting vessel. No one wants to be sipping on gritty wine. Wine Folly suggests decanting your wine for 1 hour per 10 years of aging, which is a pretty good time gauge to generally adhere to.
  2. Aerating the wine by allowing it to breathe prior to serving. Younger wines in particular benefit from the aerating decanting offers. The extra exposure to oxygen allows the wine to open up and push forward important aromas and flavours.

How do you decant wine?

There are a number of methods you can use to decant wine and not all of them require expensive crystal. By first figuring out why you are decanting — to prevent sediment? to open up the wine? — you will then be able to have a good plan of action in how to decant. The simplest method that is great for young wine that needs to get some oxygen, is to pour yourself a glass and swirl away! It looks snobby but there is an actual purpose to swirling your wine glass. The movement will aerate the wine and make a difference in taste and aroma. Give it a shot!

If you’re decanting a more aged wine, using a decanting vessel is going to be helpful in preventing sediment from making its way to your glass. Wine Folly does a great job myth-busting some decanting methods without requiring a ton of new clutter for your kitchen cupboards and drawers.

Decanting looks fancy, but we’re confident you’ll quickly realize the benefits to letting your wine sit out decanted for awhile before sipping away. We also wrote about this topic before and have some quick tips you can check out on our last post!


Featured August Wine

Can you believe August is over?! Time sure does fly when you’re enjoying vacation days, (somewhat) sunny weather, and many shared bottles of wine. We’re excited to welcome in the fall, but it’s always with a bit of sadness for Canadians to wrap up the summer. Take a look back with us at the featured WineCollective bottles that are bridging the gap into September. We’re sure some of these Italian reds, French whites, and all the bottles in between will be a welcome oasis between hockey tryouts, gymnastics meets, and all the school activities that come along with September. Cheers to more great wine and to another summer in the books!

WineCollective Member Wines

  • Jasci & Marchesani NerubèMontepulciano | Abruzzo, Italy
  • Rocca di Montemassi CalasoleVermentino | Maremma, Italy
  • Pyrène Pays de CocagneMerlot, Tannat, Syrah | Comté Tolosan, France
  • Penner-AshViognier | Oregon, USA
  • Castello di Albola OsoSangiovese, Merlot, Syrah | Tuscany, Italy
  • Barrel BurnerCabernet Sauvignon | Paso Robles, USA
  • Undurraga AliwenCabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Syrah | Colchagua Valley, Chile
  • Cavit Maso CervaraTeroldego | Trentino, Italy
  • Giusti Sant’EustachioIncrocio Manzoni Bianco, Sauvignon Nepis, Chardonnay | Veneto, Italy

We hope you loved the wines you received and if you aren’t a member, you’re missing out on some really great wine! What are you waiting for?! See you next month when we recap all the amazing September wine or check out last month to see what else we shared!


Exploring Italian Wine

Get Your Glasses Ready!

Where does one even begin when it comes to Italian wine? As one of the most prominent members of ‘old world’ wine country, with nearly 400 grape varietals, Italy’s wine landscape is understandably huge. The country may not look big on a map, but when it comes to wine, Italy is a major wine producer. So how do you even get started? We’re here to help on your journey with Italian wine. You’ll be well on your way to being an expert in no time! The good news is, you just have to pay attention and drink a lot of wine.

Italian Reds

The star of the wine world in Italy is arguably red wine. Some estimates put Italy’s red wine production at double that of their white, so you know they aren’t messing around. Red wine in Italy is serious business. The most commonly grown varietals include:

  • Sangiovese (aka Chianti, Brunello di Monalcino, Montefalco Rosso, and more)
  • Montepulciano (aka Rosso Canero, Rosso Piceno)
  • Nebbiolo
  • Barbera
  • Primitovo (aka Zinfandel)

You’ll notice a lot of these varietals have different names. That can make things tricky, but if you check the labels correctly and learn the most common synonyms, you should be able to figure out what you’re picking up.

What’s the difference?

All of these reds are going to lean on the drier side, so if you have a sweet tooth when it comes to wine, Italian reds probably isn’t going to be where you want to start things out. Barbera and Primitivo are medium-bodied wines with earthy and fruit-forward notes, respectively. Bolder wines include Sanviovese, Montepulciano, and Nebbiolo. Montepulciano is fruitier, whereas the other two will give you more earthy notes with higher acidity and tannins. Any of these choices are going to give you a really good base to get started on your Italian red wine journey.

Italian Whites

White wine might not be Italy’s prominent export, but the whites they are producing are some of the best. With a wide range of varietals growing in their vineyards, there are a ton of options for you. Some of the most common varietals of white you’ll find coming from Italy include:

  • Pinot Grigio
  • Trebbiano
  • Verdicchio
  • Prosecco (aka Glera)
  • Sauvignon (aka Tocai Friulano)

Pinot Grigio goes by Pinot Gris in France and isn’t native to Italy. However, the varietal has been growing in Italy for over a century now and is one of the most popular wines in the world.

Choosing the Right White

The 5 wines listed above are varied in taste profiles, so there is bound to be something you enjoy. Besides Prosecco, they are all still wines. Pinot Grigio and Verdicchio fall on the ‘light and zesty’ spectrum of white wines. If you’re looking for something bolder and drier, Trebbiano could be the right wine for you. Sauvignon is generally herbaceous and rich — not to mention a “love it or hate it” kind of wine. Lastly Prosecco typically has a lighter body and med-high acidity, along with of course lots of bubbles!

Something For Everyone

The Italian wine landscape is huge and would take many lifetimes to fully explore. However, we hope you’re able to take the time and have some fun sipping your way through the amazing offerings this great wine country has to offer. No matter what your tastes are, there will be something you love!


Frosé Friday

Embrace the Rosé

Since we work with wine pretty much everyday, it’s nice to switch things up sometimes. And since it’s still the summertime, what better way to mix wine and sunny days than to whip up a batch of Frosé! We know that Rosé has a bit of a reputation. However, we think it’s completely undeserved. Rosé is a beautiful, delicious wine that livens up your tastebuds, cools you in the heat, and refreshes your palate. We love a crisp, chilled glass on fall evenings too. Made from red grapes, Rosé is technically a red wine — which some “red wine snobs” might argue. But if you ask us, it doesn’t matter. All we care about is drinking really great wine and we promise you, there are some exceptional Rosés to be enjoyed!

Choosing the Right Rosé

We chose a mid-August Friday to break up the day with some Frosé — which is not typical for most offices. However, we are a lucky bunch who get to enjoy wine during work hours. One of our favourite Rosés for the summer in particular is a past WineCollective feature: Rosé Piscine. It’s a Rosé made to be served super chilled and on the rocks! A match made in Frosé heaven. Here is the recipe we used, which is a combination of resourcefulness, internet tips, and good old-fashioned determination.

WineCollective Frosé Recipe

  • Pour a bottle of Rosé Piscine into ice cube trays
  • Freeze for at least 6 hours. Because of the alcohol, the Rosé cubes won’t be frozen solid — which is perfect!
  • Empty all of the Rosé cubes into a blender
  • Add in 6 quartered strawberries
  • Add in 1 TBSP honey or agave syrup to taste — if you want to sweeten it up
  • Pulse blend until mixed. Don’t over-blend!
  • Serve with halved strawberries for garnish

Time to Stock Up!

Our store is full right now with great Rosé options, including the Rosé Piscine. We also have a 6 bottle pack of a French Rosé new to Canada, for those on extra hosting duty. There’s always a perfect time for Rosé, as far we’re concerned.

Cheers!


Bowls for Beswick Charity Event

On Saturday August 10th, some of our WineCollective crew got their game faces on and hit the lawns for a charity lawn bowling event! The weather was gloomy, but everyone was ready to bowl despite the lack of sunshine. We had a really great time competing against 15 other teams and helping to raise $4200 in support of The Sharp Foundation in Calgary AB. As a sponsor for the event, we took extra joy in seeing such a good turnout.

We’re always happiest when we can give back to our communities and spend some time in meaningful ways. Cheers to another successful event this year! We can’t wait to do it again in 2020.


Featured July Wine

As we welcome in August, let’s take a look back to July! So many fond memories. Some rain, some sunshine, but most importantly: great wine. We like to share the wonderful wine WineCollective members enjoyed in the previous month in case anything piques your interest. Or to just settle your curiosity. Our July wines had us all over the world, with a few different bottles from France. And since it’s summer and there is no better time, we shared a really great French Rosé — perfect for those hot days.

WineCollective Member Wines

  • Triennes Les Auréliens RougeCabernet Sauvignon, Syrah | Méditerranée IGP, France
  • Las Niñas Inocencia — Carmenère | Colchagua Valley, Chile
  • Portal del Montsant SantesTempranillo | Montsant, Spain
  • Landmark OverlookPinot Noir | California, USA
  • Saveurs du TempsSyrah, Grenache | Costières de Nîmes, France
  • Frog’s LeapSauvignon Blanc | California, USA
  • Cantine Faliesi Arbosto BiancoCoda di Volpe | Campania, Italy
  • Château GantonnetSauvignon, Muscadelle, Semillon | Bordeaux, France
  • Susana Balbo CriosMalbec, Syrah, Petit Verdot | Uco Valley, Argentina
  • Château PicourneauCabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Petit Verdot | Haut-Médoc, France

We hope you loved the wines you received and if you aren’t a member, you’re missing out on some really great wine! What are you waiting for?! See you next month when we recap all the amazing August wine!