Vine Styles is the Shrieking Shack!

Vine Styles is the Shrieking Shack!

We’re excited to be taking part in turning Kensington into Diagon Alley for a day! Join us as we celebrate JK Rowling’s latest release, ‘The Cursed Child’ and our neighbourhood gets a wizarding makeover for a day! On Sunday, July 31st we’ll be sampling three of our bestselling potions: Amorentia (love potion), Felix Felices (liquid luck) and Veritaserum (truth serum) – taste them free, if you’re brave enough! Amorentia– Love Potion (D’Arenberg Love Grass Shiraz) “Amor” Roman God of Love + “Tentia” to hold It causes the drinker to fall into powerful infatuation with the one who administers the potion. It smells differently to each person, according to what attracts them. I, for example smelled plums, dark licorice, violet and earth. Be aware, this potion does not elicit true love, it merely mimics it and the effects will wear off – use wisely! Felix Felices – Luck Potion (D’Arenberg Lucky Lizard Chardonnay) “Felix” Latin for luck + “Felices” is a Latin derivative of luck, therefore: Luck’s Luck Use this potion with care! Drinking this will give the imbiber a period of luck after drinking. Use sparingly, for if one drinks too much it can become highly toxic and cause the drinker to become reckless and dangerously over confident. It’s known to be a brilliant gold hue, and it smells of pineapple, honey suckle and butter ripple. It is not to be used in sport and is banned in Quidditch.  Veritaserum – Truth Sereum (True Myth Cabernet Sauvignon) “Verit” means truth + “Serum” a liquid Use of this potion is highly restricted, its use on children is strictly forbidden. Those...
Wine Storage: It’s Got to be Juuuust Right!

Wine Storage: It’s Got to be Juuuust Right!

Our Social Stylist, Selena just moved into her new condo this weekend. It’s got a lot of great features…including a built-in wine rack in the kitchen. Sadly, it won’t do much but gather dust – Selena explains ‘why’ below. Storing wine in the kitchen is a BIG no-no! If you’re keeping your wine in your kitchen you might want to re-think your storage strategy for a couple of reasons: Temperature Fluctuations Wine is like Goldilocks trying to pick a bowl of porridge…not too hot, not too cold. It’s happiest when kept at a constant, cool temperature. Your kitchen is likely the place in your home that undergoes the most temperature fluctuations thanks to your oven/stove. Room Temperature If you’re committed to a take-out-food-only lifestyle like Carrie Bradshaw, your wine must be safe in the kitchen, right? Wrong! Long-term storage of wine at room temperature will cause your wine to become dull and lose freshness. Direct Light Not only can exposure to sunshine from those great big windows you got installed in your kitchen wreak havoc on your wine. Even your kitchen lighting can be dangerous, not only does the light play a role, but also the heat emitted from the bulbs! That being said, leaving it in the kitchen for the short term will be fine. Just keep it far away from the stove! Just like when you’re hungover: cool and dark is best for wine! So, if you have a basement, keep your wine downstairs, lying down in a cool, dark place. If you’re in an apartment I’d recommend investing in a small wine fridge. My solution? Our...
Behind the Styles: Andrew Albert

Behind the Styles: Andrew Albert

Andrew, a stand-up comedian and sommelier spills on his time in the wine business, his favourite spots in Kensington and his honest advice for anyone wanting to get into the world of wine! Come in for a bottle and you’ll get a great dose of edu-tainment along with your perfect pairing for dinner! VS: You’re a double certified sommelier – what first attracted you to wine? AA: Probably food…I got into the restaurant game after university. Also became a craft guy (cook that feeds everyone) in the movie business. The more I fell in love with food the more I wanted to understand what to drink with it. VS: Give us a brief rundown of your years in the wine business. AA: I got my start in 2005 in Halifax, Nova Scotia. After getting a job at a wine store I asked if they would be into having me start the CAPS program. I worked in two private stores in Halifax, first in store and then as a rep selling wine to restaurants. I moved to Calgary in 2011 and landed a job down at Willow Park but when Vine Styles was opening I was attracted to a more personal approach,  I’ve been here since the day the shop opened. VS: You’re always telling us about delicious meals you cook up at home, what is your favourite dish to cook? What wine pairs perfectly with it? AA: Hard to say, I’m a big fan of many things, I’d say it’s a coin toss between duck breast and rack of lamb. For me Duck and Pinot Noir are the best...
Current Cocktail Crush: White Rye & Cola

Current Cocktail Crush: White Rye & Cola

Bartending and mixology has become an impressive art form. From shakers, to syrups, strainers and herbs – the whole thing can be a little overwhelming to take on at home. But it doesn’t always need to be! Our feature this month is an ode to Stampede, we simplify things and mix up a rye and coke. We of course, had to put a little spin on it, but that comes from nothing more than some quality Canadian products, no fancy tricks or infusions! (Recipe adapted from the good folks at Dillon’s Small Batch Distilleries, you can find the recipe here and where to find their bitters in Calgary here). What You’ll Need (makes 1) Ice 1 ½ oz Park Glacier Rye (Unaged) 3-4 dashes Lime Bitters (I used Dillon’s) Cola (I used classic Coca Cola, but feel free to opt for fancier craft sodas) Lime for garnish What You Need To Do Fill a rocks glass with ice. Pour in rye, top with cola and add bitters. Gently stir and garnish with a lime wedge. Drink and repeat. What It Tastes Like Rye and coke was my first ‘real’ drink when I started getting away from horribly sweet concoctions and coolers when I was younger. Since then my ‘go-to’ drink has transformed with my palate, but after a sip of this, I could be making rye and coke my go-to again! What I loved about this drink was two-fold. The unaged rye is smooth and subtle but it’s wonderfully unique character is still very much present in the cocktail. On top of that the lime bitters cut the sweetness...

Crisp

Whites with snappy acidity and vibrant flavours that will awaken your senses

Our crisp whites offer lovely refreshing acidity and a nice citrus punch; these wines will revive you and make you feel like you’re enjoying fresh fruit in an orchard in the middle of July. Think about of the last time you were out somewhere in the heat of the summer; one of those days when the pavement was melting, the paint was peeling off buildings and all you could think about was how badly you wanted something to quench your thirst. When you stumbled onto a lemonade stand and took that first sip, you were cured.

We can’t say our wines will cure dehydration but they are a great option while you’re enjoying patio weather.

 

Varietals

You’ll find varietals like Pinot Grigio, Sauvignon Blanc, Dry Riesling and Vinho Verde and more!

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Mellow

Loved for their understated qualities these whites are beautiful and exotic

Talking about mellow wine is like talking about a classic film star. She’s a lady with international acclaim and classic appeal. Mellow wines don’t jump up and down screaming for attention; instead they prefer to lure you in with their quiet charm and feminine wiles. Swirling a nice Viognier or Pinot Gris is all about soft, intricate and attractive flavours that might make you think about your favourite perfume, stepping into a flower shop or leaving a patisserie where they’ve just taken almond pastries out of the oven. This is Sophia Loren in a glass.

 

Varietals

If you enjoy varietals like Pinot Gris, Gewurztraminer or Chenin Blanc you’ll love this style!

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Lush

Whites that ask to be a muse. This is Claude Monet’s water lilies’ in a wine glass.

Lavish and luxurious wines with all the razzle-dazzle. Think about the things in life that make you feel like you’re living large. Imagine yourself wearing layers of pearl necklaces, leading a ticker tape parade, eating popcorn laced with truffle oil and lounging on the king bed of the Ritz Carlton penthouse all at the same time. Lush wines are what we drink when we’re feeling on top of the world and when we want to celebrate life. This is 4th of July fireworks and the clock striking midnight on New Year’s Eve all rolled into one beautiful gold package. Bottoms up!

 

Varietals

Varietals like Chardonnay, Marsanne, Roussanne and Viognier are found here.

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Elegant

Ruby reds with a timeless style and appeal; wines that will never go out of fashion.

Elegant reds ask you to dig a bit deeper. Some people enjoy them for the romantic ideas they conjure while others enjoy the subtle nuances that each bottle possesses. We can’t think of a better way to describe elegant reds than talking about Coco Chanel. Think about No. 5, the little black dress or the most importantly the iconic Chanel suit, a true couture item that is well lined, carefully crafted and something that will always be in vogue. An elegant wine is like a nice stroll along the promenade in the seaside town of Biarritz or a day at the ballet in red maillot.

 

Varietals

Here you’ll find Pinot Noirs, Gamays, Chiantis and more!

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Smooth

Reds that are pleasant from start to finish

Supple and velvety, smooth reds are a real crowd pleaser; something that everyone loves. Like a popular jazz standard, the best way to sum up these wines is to think about hearing Miles Davis on vinyl. Everyone has heard those tunes and when the horns come in on the track you can’t help but connect over the sheer universal joy in hearing something so incredibly smooth and pleasing to the senses. Miles Davis was one cool dude and that’s how we feel about the wines in this section. You’ll feel like you’re slipping on a new pair of driving gloves every time you pour yourself one.

 

Varietals

Varietals such as Grenache, Merlot and mouth-watering blends can be found here.

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Bold

Our deepest most complex reds; these wines make a statement

Full and flavourful with an intense fruit core, these reds are the talk of the town. Bold wines have an intensity about them that not only commands your presence but also asks you to stay a while. Pretend for a minute that Clint Eastwood has just walked into a bar, stared at you for a long hard second and proceeded to put out a cigar out on his forearm before challenging you to an arm wrestle. You’re heart might skip a beat but you’ll be happy that you tried it. That arm wrestle might be one of the best things you ever do in your life. That’s how we describe a bold wine.

 

Varietals

Food friendly varietals like Malbec, Cabernet Sauvignon and Zinfandel are right at home here.

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Bubbly

There’s nothing quite like hearing that cork pop!

Call us crazy but the sound of a cork being popped just makes everything better. Headaches dull, clouds seem to part and even the sound of crying children can be drowned out by the wonderful thought that you’ll soon have a stem in hand and an effervescent treat to tickle the end of your nose. A glass of bubbly just spells a plain good time. It might be a celebratory drink with friends, an excuse to get all gussied up for a fabulous night out or it might just be a date with the couch to watch Sex and the City re-runs solo.

 

Varietals

Here you’ll find everything from Champagne to Cava, Prosecco, Lambrusco and everything in between!

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Rich

Wines made with a little extra TLC

What are you going to find in this section? You’re going to find late harvest nectar, ice wines, delectably sweet Rieslings and 5 puttonyos worth of sweetness. And why are you going to love these wines? The grape juice that you’ll find in our Rich section took a lot of extra TLC to make the transition from vine to glass and can be used to make some of the most magnificent food and wine pairings known to man. We just have 3 words for you: Oysters and Sauternes.

 

Varietals

This style houses dessert wines like Sauternes, Ice Wine and Tokaji.

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Clean

Simple and Straightforward

When you think of simple and uncomplicated you can’t help but think of a guy in his college freshmen year. The beers that we’ve categorized as Clean are straightforward and unassuming with bright flavours and not too much complexity. You’ll enjoy these beers more than a keg stand and find them to be about as fresh as a 19 year-old guy at an all girl frat party. Big time!

 

Examples

Light and easy, simple Lagers, Pilsners & Blonde Ales.

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Balanced

Find your zen on our beer wall

Life Coaches and self-help books will tell you that balance is the key to a happy life. That may true but when we’re talking about a balanced style of beer we’re talking about the merits of a good pale ale with well integrated hop and malt flavours. Balanced beers won’t help you understand the deeper meaning of life but they’re still worth sampling for their easy-drinking quality. Take that Deepak Chopra!

 

Examples

Brews such as Brown Ales, Red Ales, Cream Ales, Black Lagers & Dunkels.

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Fruity

For your fun side, beers not meant to be taken too seriously

There is fruity like the Village People and there is fruity like wonderfully citrus kissed Hefeweizen, warm kirsch Belgians and bubbly orchard fruit ciders. While there is no denying the fun of disco and flamboyant cowboys, our Fruity section will give you options to keep you singing and dancing all year long. This is an amiable selection to accompany garden time, dinner parties and of course they pair wonderfully with dessert.

 

Examples

If you’re after a Cider, Radler or any fruit infused brew, you’ll find it here alongside Wheat beers.

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Intense

The safe way to have an intense experience…

Here’s a short list of things that are truly intense: squirrel suit jumping, big wave surfing and the insane ramblings of Gary Busey. While our Intense selection of beers could be described as big and loud, they certainly won’t lead to death on impact, shark attacks or being verbally abused on Celebrity Apprentice. You’ll love the IPAs and scrumptious Trapist ales. Gary agrees.

 

Examples

Some like it hopped! Here you’ll find IPAs, DIPAs, Trappist brews, Sours & Barleywines.

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Robust

Beer that leaves an impression

Powerful, sturdy and strapping are all great words to describe the Robust section. Everything you find here possesses strong brawny flavours that leave a lasting impression. Just think back to Arnold Schwarzenegger’s version of Conan the Barbarian; despite the horrifically bad acting that comes with those 80s classics we just can’t help but love the brute force and thick accent. Conan would call you an infidel for drinking anything else.

 

Examples

Home to heartier brews like Stouts and Porters & some Barrel Aged offerings.

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Examples

We have many amazing wines in our online shop.

Shop Clean
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Rosé

Effortless and exhilarating in any season

It’s undeniable, Rosé is in vogue. It’s enjoying a renaissance following the White Zinfandel craze that swept North America in the 70’s. Today, Rosé is the queen bee. Rosé is your ever fashionable friend. It’s the timeless accessory you can turn to in any season. In the spring it’s like wearing peeptoe shoes on a warm day. In the summer, a breezy dress. In the fall it’s the perfect boots and in the winter, a cozy knit scarf.

 

Varietals

Rosés are the product of a myriad of varietals, some of the most common are: Grenache, Cabernet Sauvignon, Pinot Noir, Cinsault.

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