<![CDATA[CARAFE GEORGETOWN - Wine Guy's Blog]]>Thu, 28 Jan 2016 15:10:05 -0800Weebly<![CDATA[Wine Consumption and Price]]>Mon, 03 Dec 2012 20:29:49 GMThttp://www.carafegeorgetown.com/wine-guys-blog/wine-consumption-and-priceIt's been a while since my last blog and it's clearly time for a new topic.

For this return I have picked a topic that has been in the news recently, Alcohol consumption and Price. It is the belief in Canada, that if the "Social Conscious" (whoever they may be) decides that we are overindulging that the inevitable solution is to increase the price to curb this "problem"

Although on the surface it makes sense, when you look closer this can't be a logical assumption.  Actually the net result in increasing prices is that the consumer will buy lower price items or find another way to get the quality alcohol they enjoy (Ferment on Premise perhaps). So now the only people enjoying a wide variety of alcohol are the rich. And we don't care if the rich are overindulging?

The real solution is to create programs to help those that overindulge on persistent basis. The government seems to be able to do this for Gambling so I wonder why they can't do this for alcohol.

I wonder why that doesn't happen? Anybody have any ideas?


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<![CDATA[It's that time again!!]]>Sun, 04 Sep 2011 16:10:39 GMThttp://www.carafegeorgetown.com/wine-guys-blog/its-that-time-againWhat I am referring to is Grape harvest season. After what was arguably fantastic summer, it has now come to the time to harvest grapes and produce what is hope to be a banner vintage.In Australia, they expect a larger than expected harvest leading to a surplus of wine. This is good news for the consumer as this keeps prices low but creates financial hardships for the vineyard. Let's hope everything works out.

Closer to home, the Niagara is saying that the warm summer and cool evening have produced phenomenal grapes. They are waiting for the Brix (sugar content) to increase and project harvest in late September.

If you want to experience the fall harvest, I suggest you check out the Prince Edward wineries. Having grown up in the area, I spent a lot of time in "The County" and can say the hospitality of the people is a fantastic mix with the addition of the vineyards. Trust me, it's a real treat!!

Check out the following link:

http://grangeofprinceedward.com/2011/08/23/harvest-experience-2011/
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<![CDATA[Every Cabernet Sauvignon tastes the same....]]>Tue, 24 May 2011 21:34:03 GMThttp://www.carafegeorgetown.com/wine-guys-blog/every-cabernet-sauvignon-tastes-the-sameTrue or False?  I am going to be bold and presumptuous here and say the statement is false. I cannot guarantee this, however, as everyone tastes different things.

But why would i say false? All Cabernet Sauvignon's come from the same grape so they should all taste the same. Well, no, there are several other factors that determine taste.

1. Soil that the vines grow in. The grapes will pick up different tastes from different types of soil.

2. Temperature and other environmental factors such as rainfall and sunshine.

These things make up what is called "terroir" and it does affect how the grape matures.

Next time you purchase a wine, try the same varietal from another geographic area. You will be surprised at the difference. Or, maybe not.
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<![CDATA[Get out there and Vote!!]]>Sun, 01 May 2011 17:18:42 GMThttp://www.carafegeorgetown.com/wine-guys-blog/get-out-there-and-voteWhether you believe there is no choice at all, get out there and Vote who you think is best to govern. None of the Party's are prefect and we should not expect they will be.

There have been many men (and women) that have died protecting our democracy. Do not beliitle thier sacrifice by not voting!!

We live in the greatest country in the world and should be proud of our accomplishments. So stand up, be proud and cast that vote so that we can continue to show the world what freedom really means!!
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<![CDATA[Red Wine? Not for me!]]>Sun, 01 May 2011 15:06:33 GMThttp://www.carafegeorgetown.com/wine-guys-blog/red-wine-not-for-meEven though Sales of Red Wine exceed those of other types of Wine, there are still those that do not like Red Wine.

In 2004, i was one of those people but then again, i did not know much about wine at all. But owning a Wine  Store dictated i know something about all type of wine including red wine. After all, I had a stream of customers asking for something called Valpolicella.

It was time I learned about red wine and fast, but how do i that when the thought of taking a sip made me cringe. Perhaps I have changed, so i tried a sip and to my dismay nothing had changed. I was starting to break out in a cold sweat. What do i do?

Well I started doing research into wine and discovered what this "body" thing was all about. Simply stated it equates to the intensity of flavour. Could this be the answer I thought? I researched more and discovered that the lowest body is a 2 out of a scale of 5. And what fall into that range? The answer is Chianti!

Now I had heard of Chianti from the movie "Silence of the Lambs" but had never tried it before. I headed out to the LCBO to get a bottle.

I poured a glass, swirled the wine in the glass and took a sip..... Now that is more like it!!  It was not overpowering and had i could actually taste many more flavours then my old white wine standby.

Since that time, i have tried all types of red wine like: Amarone, Carmenere, Malbec and of course Shiraz. I can now enjoy them all.

The trick was, start with a low body. I have had many customers successfully make the transition like i did. Now i see that white wine sales in the store are starting to take on the sales of red wine..... Back to the drawing board!
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<![CDATA[Who wants to pay less tax?]]>Sun, 03 Apr 2011 16:06:52 GMThttp://www.carafegeorgetown.com/wine-guys-blog/who-wants-to-pay-less-taxHere in Canada (specifically Ontario), we all pay a large amount of tax. when the HST came in, we all paid more on taxes,but surprisingly, the tax went down for making your own wine.

Why you may ask?

Well that is because the Ferment on Premise industry (aka Winemaking) had it's own special tax. It was called the U-brew tax and was based on the amount of litres of wine or beer you make. With the introduction of the HST, this tax was eliminated. The only tax that is paid by the consumer for making wine is the HST (13%) on the service fee. For a typical store, the service fee is somewhere around $40 so that tax is $5.20 tax and that equates to about $0.17 a bottle.

This coupled with fact that you can make wines comparable to commercial wines for a fraction of the price, results a huge consumer savings. For example:


 Style                 Ferment of Premise        LCBO                             Savings

French Merlot    $5.30                              $12.95                           59%

The example is for one bottle, so the savings are even greater for the entire 30 bottle batch.

We all pay too much tax already, so winemaking is a great way to save on taxes!!

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<![CDATA[To cork or not? That is the question!]]>Sat, 26 Mar 2011 17:49:57 GMThttp://www.carafegeorgetown.com/wine-guys-blog/to-cork-or-not-that-is-the-questionCork shortage?  Oh no!!!  To wine lovers that is the real doomsday scenario.

But wait, Is it true? No, not at all all. Nobody is quite sure how this rumor started... perhaps it was due to a forest fire they had in Portugal a while ago. Wherever or whenever it started, it is simply not true.

Ok, but then why are wineries using screw caps? This is because of something called cork taint. Since cork is a wood product (made from the bark of an Oak tree) it is porous and thus cannot be sterilized. Bacteria can be present in the cork and after a while with exposure to the wine, the wine goes bad. The wine industry loses a lot of wine to cork taint every year.

The first solution was synthetic cork, however there were situations where the cork was difficult to extract. So what to do now?

The best closure for wine is screw-caps.  But hang on a second, wasn't that the closure used on inferior wines years ago? Yes it was and here in Ontario we have come to see screw caps associated with inferior wine. But alas, that is is not the case now. Most wineries are making the jump to screw caps now.

The only remaining issue is unscrewing a cap is not as romantic as popping a cork!

For more information on cork and cork products, please visit the Corkhouse at www.corkhouse.com


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<![CDATA[Juice, Juice... Who's got the Juice?]]>Thu, 17 Mar 2011 21:53:58 GMThttp://www.carafegeorgetown.com/wine-guys-blog/juice-juice-whos-got-the-juiceEverybody knows that pure juice will produce a better product, whether it's Orange juice or Grape juice. However one must consider another question, How good is the juice? And, is it really juice? There are a lot of Winemaking establishments that claim to have "pure juice" but do they really.

I ask you to consider the Orange Juice analogy. If you had pure orange juice would you leave it un-refrigerated? Not likely as it would spoil in a short amount of time at room temperature. Well the same is true with grape juice. No cooling and it will spoil. Don't get me wrong, there are places that do carry pure juice but they have coolers.

Simply stated, no Coolers....  No Pure Juice

And is pure juice better than a Juice/Concentrate mixture? It depends on the quality of Juice. In some cases, the mixture is better than pure Juice.

Back to the Orange juice analogy. we have all had bad Orange juice that is not from Concentrate.


Need I say more?
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<![CDATA[Are all Winemaking stores created equal?]]>Thu, 17 Mar 2011 12:27:18 GMThttp://www.carafegeorgetown.com/wine-guys-blog/are-all-winemaking-stores-created-equalAre all Winemaking stores created equal?


Well, the short answer to that question is no. There are many things to consider when choosing the store to make your wine. The biggest items are as follows:

1.       Cleanliness  – This one is real simple. If the proprietor is not  ensuring the store is clean, then you have to wonder how much attention they are paying to sterilization. Simply stated, this is THE MOST IMPORTANT attribute. Take a look at the floor and if it looks like it hasn’t been cleaned since Jean Chrétien was Prime Minister, then chances are the product they produce is inferior.

2.       Sales – Does it seem like they just want to get your money and are not willing to help you understand the process?  Chances are you will not enjoy the finished product that’s is produced in that establishment. Wine is a PERSONAL TASTE and you should never feel rushed or pressured.

3.       Disclosure of process – Your wine is being processed by the establishment so they should be willing to show you any part of the process. If they don’t want to show you, what do they have to hide?

4.       Selection and Price – Price is most likely the reason why you came in but don’t be fooled. The lowest price is not necessarily a good product and in some cases the highest price does not mean the best product.  Ask about the supplier of the wine as well as where it is from. The supplier is the most important part of this question. For instance, if the supplier is RJ Spagnol’s, then they can tell you it is a Vincor/Constellation company and has access to a wide range of quality juice from around the world (Vincor owns Jackson trigs and Inniskillan).

5.       Environment – Does it look like a place you can bring or refer your friends to? Do they have an assortment of Wine Accessories? Winemaking is supposed to fun, not a chore! ]]>