It's easy to make your family whine - just leave out your dishes, stop changing the toilet paper or sniff loudly at the table. What isn't easy is making your family wine, though they'd much rather you do that. Today's WagJag delivers a tasteful experience: $69 for a craft winemaking experience from The Wine Butler (a $199 value).
This craft winery produces more than 250,000 bottles of wine each year, with visiting wine crafters like yourself producing 22 to 23 litres of wine over the course of two visits. Choose from a selection of international wines that include cabernet sauvignon, pinot noir, pinot grigio and varietals harvested from Australia, Chile, South Africa and the United States. Once you've chosen your wine, book an appointment online. This process, called dropping yeast, only takes a couple minutes. When you come in for your appointment, the ingredients will be ready to go. All you have to do is mix the ingredients with the grape juice.
Then you can go home, put your feet up, and relax. Over the next six to ten weeks, The Wine Butler will take care of the intermediate processing steps like racking, stabilizing and filtering your wine and getting it ready for bottling. When that's done, they'll let you know that your wine is ready to be bottled. On the second visit, vintners bottle and package their wine into approximately twenty-eight 750-millilitre bottles. The Wine Butler supplies labels, foils and corks, but winemakers can bring their own clean bottles or purchase them from The Wine Butler for a dollar each. The Wine Butler can sterilize your bottles for you, then set you up at one of their three bottling stations. As your bottles get filled, you'll use the air-powered corker to cork them, shrink-wrap the tops in the colour of your choice, and apply your labels. You're also welcome to sample your wine in the lovely tasting lounge.
With such excellent service, it's no wonder The Wine Butler won a prestigious "Best of" award from Post Magazine eight years in a row. They save more than 140,000 bottles from entering landfills or consuming energy/resources to be recycled each year. At The Wine Butler, wines contain 1/7 fewer preservatives than those available commercially.