I remember going to my Grampa’s basement when I was around 11 or 12 and getting him a glass of wine straight from his big, round wooden barreled wine kegs that lined the thick heavy shelves, almost every day around 2 o’clock. I always hated the smell of that wine because it was oaky and had a musty aroma but I loved the rich, dark burgundy colour of the wine. In fact, my first time drinking as a teenager was when my best friend and I pilfered a green, dusty label-less bottle off his basement shelf and drank it really fast in the field next to my house right before the school dance. That was also my first time getting sick to my stomach and waking up with a headache so bad I swore never to drink again.
Of course, when I became an adult and learned to appreciate a good wine that all changed. I can’t imagine enjoying a scrumptious plate of rigatoni or a Keg classic steak; https://www.kegsteakhouse.com/locations/yaletown-keg/ without an accompanying glass of Merlot or Cabernet Savignon. I also have 2 fabulous Wine Stores on my block by my rental apartment in West Vancouver. – So when my wine loving family decided we should try to make our own wine, I was all in. But making wine that compares to a high end wine store wine is not as easy as you may think and it took quite a few unsuccessful attempts to get it right. I’m talking about some nasty tasting wine substitute. YUCK!
On our first outing, we ended up going to a local wine making store in the West End that supplied the bottles, labels, corks and just about everything you need to begin. The first batch was disgusting and the wine had a chalky, bland taste to it. It was a 4 week kit and although the bottling was a gas, the actual taste of the wine (and I use that term loosely here) was as far away from the wine we were used to, as possible. To be honest, the owner of the shop was a little quirky and quite chatty and seemed to be more interested in the “tasting of the wine” then the actual making and developing of the wine. We tried six separate batches, 3 white and 3 red before finally throwing in the towel.
But determined to give it the old college try again, we chose a different spot and the second experience was a much better tasting wine in the end. The store was called Cork It Wine Making in North Vancouver and it was a great second effort. The staff were very friendly and solidly know their wines and their products. The actual location where the wine is made, is very clean and the staff are there to help at all times which was a bonus for us novices. Plus, at Cork It Wine Making, they offer weekly specials and have contests, so it feels more like an adventure than a chore. To clinch the deal, they have extended hours of operation to fit everyone’s schedules. http://www.corkitwinemaking.com/
There are many stores like this one if you prefer to shop in your own community and we highly recommend giving wine making a shot. Super fun – great way to save some money and spend time with your family! Most wine making stores start with a 4 week wine and offer right up to an 8 week product and also can offer ice wine, port and champagne which all make great gifts for business acquaintances.
Once we master the wine, who knows, maybe we’ll move on to micro brewing.
Give it a try and let us know on facebook how successful you were.