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What’s Up in the Vineyard: Summer Edition

Our last installment left off in April the vines had been trained and trellised, bud break was impending. Fast forward to June and our lovely little vines have flowered. Vineyard teams work through vines row by row and adjusting the vines and trimming off any unnecessary foliage to allow for optimal air flow and sunshine. As the summer days wear on and the grapes begin to grow the next critical step in the vineyard is called green harvesting. Any grape bunches that may not reach full ripeness are cut off, this allows the vine to focus on ripening the remaining fruit fully. After green harvesting, the fruit left on the vine continues to ripen and then a magical and beautiful time called Verasion happens! Verasion is the colour change of grapes that usually happens in late July/early August. The small, hard and rather acidic grapes swell and sweeten, white wine grapes turn from green to golden, or more translucent. Grapes destined to become red wine change from green to a range of blues and purples to nearly black. Verasion takes roughly a week, ripening has begun! From here, the vines kick it into high gear ripening the grapes. Generally 30-70 days after verasion the grapes will be ready for harvest. Keep in mind: harvest time depends on a lot of factors. Each varietal ripens differently, the temperature and weather during this ripening period can accelerate or slow down the process and the winemaker’s intended style for the finished wine can also dictate harvesting. So now, we wait – and visit, if you can, late July and August are beautiful...

May Wine Feature

Your favourite wine is on sale (seriously!) Maybe you met the Ramato Pinot Grigio at a tasting, maybe someone from our team suggested it for you. No matter how you were introduced, we’re willing to bet you fell in love the same way we did, it is our best-selling wine, after all! May is a special month for us, as it marks our first month in business four years ago! We’ve come a long way in those four years and it’s largely thanks to you – so as a thank you, we’re putting our most popular wine on sale! Now until the end of May (Thursday, May 31st at 9 pm) or until stock lasts, Tenuta Corte Giacobbe, Ramato Pinot Grigio (2017) is on sale! Regular shelf price is $22.95 but we’re knocking it down 25% off to $17.20/bottle for minimum six bottle purchases! Six bottles will run you $103.30 and a full case, $206.60. Of course, there is a bottle open for you to taste in case you forgot how delicious it is! If you’d like to order either pop down to the store (we have some available for immediate pick up!), call us, 403-474-8367 or email selena@vinestyles.ca. We’ll need your name, contact info, how many bottles and payment information. Not familiar with the wine? Here’s what you need to know: This is technically an orange wine, or skin contact wine. That means it’s a white wine treated like a red wine! After pressing the grapes, the juice and skin are left in contact for 12 hours, this turns the juice a lovely, orange colour. In Italy they...

Wine is Like a Good Pair of Jeans

A good bottle of wine is like the perfect pair of jeans. Why do we wear jeans that aren’t the perfect fit? Probably because they’re familiar and we’ve had them for a long time. It’s easy to pull on the same pair because you know how they fit, wine can be the same way, especially if you’re used to that same bottle. Just like shopping for jeans can feel overwhelming, wine can totally feel that way too. But it doesn’t have to be that way. You just need to shop where the employees want to help you find the perfect fit, where they carry inspiring products that are well-made, that they are proud to offer to you! It feels so damn good to put on a pair of jeans that feel like they were made for you! That’s exactly what we want to do here at Vine Styles. Whether you’re in to buy one bottle or one case, we want every bottle to feel like it was made for you, like that first sip just gets you. It’s that same feeling you get when you pull that pair of jeans over your hips and they sit right where you want them, perfectly snug. When you turn around to check out your butt (everyone does that, right?) and it’s voluptuous in all the right ways, kind of like the tannin in your perfect red wine. Length is important too and on these perfect jeans they reach down just as far as you want, you almost feel like buying another pair, or taking another sip. The perfect shade of denim curves...

Founders’ Letter: Nathalie on our first four years

When I sat down in my WSET III class in 2013 I knew I was embarking on a new career, a new adventure. What I didn’t know is that I would meet my now business partner, Darren in that class and weeks into our course we would hatch a plan to start a business – a wine shop. Darren and I used to sit at Higher Ground, watching out the window, observing the neighbourhood buzzing around us, knowing that this was the place. We’ve shared countless memories here, in fact, each and every one of you who took the time to read this has more than likely been part of at least one moment or memory. We’ve played host to winemakers and even shoemakers. We’ve tasted more wines than we can count (though we’re curious what that number could be), we’ve paired wine with just about everything we can think of. We’ve learned a lot about ourselves, and maybe even more about wine. We’ve had the honour of being wine judges. We’ve had the chance to brew beer and been blindsided by the popularity of a summer day devoted to muggles & magic. We were lucky enough to visit the Okanagan, Niagara and New York State wine regions. Most of our memories have been happy ones, but don’t get us wrong, there have been bumps in the road, some much bigger than others. But those bumps in the road don’t seem to matter when we remember that we’ve met some of our best friends here and been fortunate enough to do what we love every single day. Owning and...

What’s Up in the Vineyard: Spring Edition

I’m almost positive we’re just skipping spring here in Calgary.  Wistfully, I flip through photos that Nathalie is sending me from her adventures in Italian wine country and hope that if we’re having a rough spring that at least wineries have things to be excited about! There are three important things going on in the vineyard in the spring that set the stage for the growing season: bud burst, trellising and de-budding. I wait for crocuses in Alberta the same way vineyard teams eagerly await the arrival of bud burst from the vines that are rousing from their winter dormancy. It’s exactly what it sounds like: a little bud on the vine will begin to swell until it ultimately breaks and the shoot begins to grow, the leaves soon to follow. Just like that the season has begun! After bud burst the vines get to growing, and they do it quickly! You’ve probably noticed that vineyards are often quite manicured – much unlike myself after a long winter nap. Vineyards look so neat and tidy because of pruning and more importantly, trellising. This is the process of attaching a vine to a trellising system, though it’s aesthetically pleasing to those of us with a degree of OCD it has a much more significant purpose. Trellising ensures each bunch will have adequate space to grow, enough air flow, sunshine and shade. This allows even ripening and prevents pests and disease from finding a home, among other things! As with other plants, suckers (little green shoots) are common to find along the trunk and it’s important that these are removed in...

5 Easter Picks & Pairings

With any holiday, our mantra stands firm, “be nice, be useful, and bring wine”! From turkey to take out, here’s five of my picks and pairings for Easter. On the Menu: Ham At the request of one of my brothers, ham is on the menu for my Easter dinner. Ham makes for an intriguing wine pairing, depending on your preferences there are plenty of options. A rich, California Chardonnay could be quite wonderful. However, given the persistent chill in the air, I’m opting for Beaujolais. A small region in France, south of Burgundy that is famed for delicate red wines made with the Gamay grape. They’re low in tannin and have vibrant acidity that will complement the richness of the ham. Chill it down for 20 minutes before serving and enjoy the magic. Robert Perroud, Pollen Brouilly, 2015 – $30 On the Menu: Turkey We find particular delight in spring because fresh vintages of Rosé start making their way into our glasses! Once temperatures creep above zero, even fair-weather pink drinkers start seeking out bottles again. Rosé is a total chameleon for lighter fare like turkey dinner or any spreads that entail many dishes and flavours.   Haywire, Secrest Mountain Rosé, 2016 – $27 Broc Cellars, Love Rosé, 2017 – $32 On the Menu: Chicken I’m not often one to get overly excited about chicken. However, when it’s paired with a spicy little wine and you just might have my attention! An aromatic white wine can really lift a chicken dish. Notes of white flowers, tropical fruit, rich spices and just a touch of sweetness for good measure will...

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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