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Best Varieties to Order for In Store Wine Making

One of the most exciting things about the world of wine is the endless variety of styles to chose from. Whether it classics varietals like Cabernet Sauvignon and Chardonnay or tradition blends like Cabernet/Merlot and Traminer Riesling to exciting new proprietory blends- the choice is endless and can be intimidating.  

In Store Wine Making with Wine Sense’s locations in Winnipeg and Brandon offers you all of the choices you expect. The following list offers the best seven varieties to order for wine making in store. We look at the style itself, the foods they best pair with and the ocassions or seasons to best suit your needs and our most popular brands.

Using this list for your wine making in store wine choices will give you the basis for a great collection of wine. Wine making in store saves you enough money that you can easily build a cellar’s worth of wine for a fraction of the cost. In fact you can save 50% and more on great wine compared to the liquor store!

Whether you start with one wine and build up over time with wine making in store you won’t go wrong with the red, white and rosé wine options below:

Cabernet Sauvignon- The Bold Red

The benchmark wine of France’s Bordeaux region and California, Cabernet contends as the greatest red wine of the world and is grown in almost every winemaking region on the planet.

From Bordeaux to California and everywhere in between- Cabernet Sauvignon is grown around the world… and every wine rack should have a Cabernet! The world’s superlative winemaking grape, Cabernet Sauvignon is capable of producing the most complex, well-balanced, and lasting red wines you’ll ever come across. As one of the most tannic grapes used in winemaking, Cabernet Sauvignon has long been misunderstood as a wine that required ageing in order for it to develop and soften. But after decades of research, growers have learned to identify when the grapes are ready to be harvested based on the tannic ripeness, rather than sugar content alone. Although these wines are ideal candidates for ageing—and will develop beautifully when laid down—it is well within reach for wine making in stores. You can produce excellent, structured Cabernet Sauvignons at Wine Sense wine making stores!

Cabernet Sauignon is of course the go to wine for flavourful red meat dishes and of course grilled steaks.

Cabernet Sauignons are a year round staple for your wine rack but are a must have for the summer grilling season.

Our Best Selling Cabernnets are:

Winexpert Private Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon from the Lodi Ranch 11 region of California:

• Black currant, dark cherry flavours, baking spice, toasted oak. Big flavour, structured well-integrated tannins.

Winexpert Reserve Cabenernt Sauvignon from Australia:

• Blackberry, dark chocolate, licorice, smoke.

Winexpert Classic Cabenernt Sauvignon from Chile:

• Blackcurrant, black cherry, toasty notes.

Malbec- the Trending Red

Native to the Bordeaux region of France, Malbec is one of the 6 original grapes that go into the classic Bordeaux blend. Once nearly wiped out in France from frost in 1956 it was replanted due to its reputation as a great grape. Over the years Malbec has gone from being a key to traditional blends to being vinted as a highly regarded, single varietal wine.

Malbec has since become Argentina’s signature wine and is now being found in other regions of the world like Chile and beyond. However Malbec’s thin skin does prefer warmer climates with lots of sunshine hours. Thriving in Argentina, Malbec’s from the region have softer tannins than their French grown counterparts.

Malbec wines have blackberry and cherry notes, are rich and luscious and pair fabulously with flavourful beef dishes and grilled steaks.

This full-bodied wine is the perfect companion for lean red meat, pork, or dark meat poultry. Argentina is known for its beef and there’s a reason why they love Malbec- it goes great with steak!

Make sure you start your Malbec at Wine Sense winemaking stores in the spring!

Our best selling Malbecs are:

Winexpert Reserve Malbec from Argentina:

• Blackberry, clove and smoke with bold tannins.

Winexpert Classic Malbec from Chile:

• Blackberry, black plum, spice.

Pinot Noir- The Everday Red

Pinot Noir is grown in cooler growing regions around the world. Because it is difficult to grow it is known as the ‘heartbreak grape’ .

Pinot Noir at its best is silky, deceptively powerful and elegantly subtle. Pinot Noir features more cherry notes than berry notes. Pinot Noir is the grape French Burgundy is made with. Burgundy makes the most expensive wines in the world. Wine Sense wine making stores bring you Pinot Noir at a price that everyone can afford!

Pinot Noir is considered one of the “founder varieties”. Its exact origins are unknown, but modern genetic study has revealed Pinot to be the parent of countless grape varieties including Chardonnay and Corvina, as well as hundreds of mutations of itself, including Pinot Gris and Pinot Blanc. Flavors and aromas are overwhelmingly fruit-forward—raspberry, plum, rhubarb, pomegranate, and strawberry—with subtle notes of earth and damp leaves. Burgundy, France enjoys the highest acclaim for its Pinot Noir, but this grape is no less renowned in Oregon and California in the U.S. and New Zealand in the southern hemisphere.

Pinot Noirs typically fearture more cherry and earthy flavours than Cabernets and Merlots which are more red berry notes. What Pinot Noir is know for is it’s soft velvety tannins which make it so much more approachable than many other red grapes.

Pinot Noir is a great wine for every cellar as it’s a great cross-over wine for food pairing. It will pair well with beef but because Pinot Noir wines are not super heavy they will pair well with pork and heavier fish like tuna, salmon and mahi mahi.

Pinot Noir is a great wine to have during the Holiday Season because of its food pairing capablilties while the delicate tannins make it a great wine anytime when you just want to enjoy a glass of wine or two on its own.

Our Best Selling Pinot Noirs are:

Winexpert Private Reserve Pinot Noir from Solano California:

• Cherry, plum, red berry flavours, subtle toasty oak, vanilla, spice.

Winexpert Reserve Pinot Noir from Australia:

• Black raspberry, red cherry, earthy nuance.

Winexpert Classic Pinot Noir from Chile:

• Strawberry, cherry, earthy notes

Rosé- Because Rosé is Awesome!

Yes- Rosé!

Today’s Rosés are different from those 10 to 20+ years ago. They are not sweet and cloying but bright, crisp and refreshing. Rosé wines typically feature lighter strawberry or cherry notes, have crisp acidity and are very refreshing. They are now popular as bone dry to off-dry. Off-dry has just a barely perceptable touch of sweetness which creates a gulpable drinkability!

Rosé wines are popular! Commercial Rosé wine sales increased by 300% from 2016 to 2020 and continued to grow from 2020-2024. In France Rosé wines are now more popular than white wines and Rosé even has it’s own hashtags like #roseeveryday #yeswayrose and more. Rosé wines are best when served chilled and Rosé doesn’t mind if you drop a few ice cubes in it!

Rosé pairs with a variety of foods from roast chicken and pork, light salads, burgers, pizza and anything with BBQ sauce… or even a second glass!

Because of it’s food pairing capablilties it never hurts to have a Rosé on hand but you definitely want to stop by one of six Wine Sense wine making stores and start a Rosé for the summer months- Rosé is the perfect summer wine!

Our Best Selling Rosés are:

Winexpert Reserve Grenache Rosé from Australia:

• Black raspberry, red cherry, earthy nuance.

Winexpert Classic White Zinfandel from California:

• Cherry, strawberry, refereshing

Pinot Grigio- for Every Occassion

No wine list is completed these days without a Pinot Grigio. Also known as Pinot Gris in France and and in the U.S. If you like one you’ll like the other! Pinot Grigio is a mutation of the Pinot Noir grape and has created its own mark on the wine world. Pinot Grigio is most famous from Italy but is now grown in most major growing regions. In recent years Pinot Grigio’s popularity has sored and is the most popular white wine in Canada!

Pinot Grigio often features green apple and citrus notes, has good acidity and a refreshing finish. It’s easy to approach and is a great sipping white.

Keep the food pairings light and pair with seafood dishes like crab cakes, calamari, or a bowl of spicy ceviche.

Pinot Grigio’s popularity makes it an “anytime wine” but makes sure to visit Wine Sense in Winnipeg and Brandon in the spring and make sure you have it on hand for the summer. Pinot Grigio is perfect for the summer.

Our Best Selling Pinot Grigios are:

Winexpert Private Reserve Pinot Gris from Yakima Valley Washington:

• Bright and fresh palate of green apple, melon, lemon zest. Fruit-forward, crisp acidity.

Winexpert Reserve Pinot Grgio from Italy:

• Green apple, lemon zest, refreshing acidity.

Winexpert Classic Pinot Grgio from Italy:

• Green apple, lemon, lime  

Sauvignon Blanc- Versatility in a Glass

One of the most widely planted white grapes in the world Sauvignon Blanc originates in the Bordeaux region of France. It is thought that Sauvignon Blanc’s name originates from the French “sauvage” or “savage white” as it is indiginous to southern France.

Sauvignon Blanc is now planted around the world including Chile, California, Australia and beyond. You will also find Sauvignon Blanc referred to as Fumé Blanc in new world regions like California.

Sauvignon Blanc offers a variety of styles as its profile is greatly affected by the climate it grows in. Cooler climates produce grapes that have more grassy and herbal notes while warm climates can coax out tropical fruit notes. Regardless of the region Sauvignon Blanc is always crips, elegant and fresh!

Sauvignon Blanc is a great wine for the white food- white wine rule. It matches nicely with chicken and fish and lighter fare. Sauvignon Blanc works particulary well with sushi!

Sauvignon Blanc will serve you all year and works very well with turkey dinner during the holiday season!

Our Best Selling Sauvignon Blancs are:

Winexpert Private Reserve Sauvignon Blanc from Adleide Hills in Australia:

• Vibrant, aromatic, generous flavours of passionfruit, tropical fruit, citrus. Notes of melon and herb. Juicy, crisp, refreshing acidity.


Winexpert Reserve Sauvignon Blanc from California:

• Gooseberry, lime, tropical fruit.

Winexpert Classic Sauvignon Blanc from Chile:

• Herbaceous, peach, pineapple.

Chardonnay- It’s the most widely-planted major wine grape variety in the world for a reason!

Originating in the Burgundy region of France, in such famous appellations as Montrachet, Meursault, Poilly-Fuisse and Chablis, Chardonnay is now the most popular white wine style in the world. Chardonnay thrives in a wide range of soils and weather climates from France to Australia.  Winemakers love Chardonnay because it produces such a wide range of complex, flavorful wines. From fruit forward and crisp, to lean and minerally, to hedonistic, rich, and oaky, no wine sparks as much stylistic debate as Chardonnay.

Whether it’s an expressive ‘fruit bomb’ from Australia or a classic, clean Chardonnay from California- you will understand why Chardonnay so wildly popular.

Featuring Apple and Pear notes, Chardonnays have crisp, expressive fruit with vanilla notes from the oak that Chardonnay is traditionally fermented on.

Chardonnay is food friendly and nicely pairs with well with cream dishes and rich meals.

Our Best Selling Chardonnay are:

Winexpert Private Reserve Chardonnay from the Sonoma Dry Creek Valley in California:

• Gentle citrus aromas, generous tropical fruit flavours, subtle oak. Rich mouthfeel, vanilla undertones.

Winexpert Reserve Chardonnay from Australia:

• Ripe pineapple, mango, vanilla, creamy texture .

Winexpert Classic Chardonnay from California:

• Pineapple, mango, vanilla.

The Top Three!

The all sound great for wine making in store! If we had to choose one each of a red, white and rosé from our list we would go with the following to give you a well rounded cellar, a wine for each occasion and food and to appeal to all of your guests!

The Top Red:

Go with a Malbec- it has slightly softer tannins than Cabernet Sauvignon and still covers off on the pork or red meat pairings. Malbec is a broad appeal wine as it will satisfy a ‘BIG’ wine drinker while not overpowering to enjoy a few glasses on its own.

The Top Rosé:

Pick the Grenache Rosé in the Winexpert Reserve line. It’s dry while refresshing and is so perfect with the middle of the food spectrum… poultry, pork and fish love Rosé! It pairs with burgers and anything with barbeque sauce. You need a Rosé in the summer!

The Top White:

Pinot Grigio is the way to go! Pinot Grigio is popular for a reason- it pairs well with food and pairs well with a second glass! Your friends and family will always be happy with a Pinot Grigio!

We stock all of these wines at our Wine Sense wine making stores in Winnipeg and Brandon. Our staff are always ready for you to stop in and start a wine- whether it’s from the above list or one of our countless other styles or lim