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Author Topic: thoughts on wine shops in 2023?  (Read 667 times)

Offline fredthecat

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thoughts on wine shops in 2023?
« on: February 15, 2023, 09:21:06 am »
i have never made wine, since it just doesnt really interest me. obviously.made still mead, cider and rice wines though

but wine shops that ive gone to always seem totally clueless to a degree way, way more than even the most basic old school LHBS. just stopped by one to ask about if they had any kind of oak. they did the old "awww geeez... uhhhhh" thing and in the end showed they had little paper packages filled with oak powder. they didnt even seem to be aware that oak cubes or larger could be bought claiming oak chips had to be brought from a location halfway across the country. thats funny because there are a few big online retailers just in this province for beer that have oak spirals, staves even barrels for sale.
not just this issue, but ive popped into wine shops before to ask about super basic cleaning stuff or things hoping for a cheaper price potentially since these places look old school, but they are usually clueless about a lot of stuff that seems obvious for home fermentation in general in the 2020s.


Offline denny

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Re: thoughts on wine shops in 2023?
« Reply #1 on: February 15, 2023, 09:36:49 am »
That is certainly not the case around here.  Wine supplies and equipment are sold and rented in the same stores as beer supplies. The employees are highly knowledgeable.  Of course, this is prime wine country.
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Offline Drewch

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Re: thoughts on wine shops in 2023?
« Reply #2 on: February 15, 2023, 10:04:25 am »
Must be market-to-market variation.  The brew shop here is pretty knowledgeable --- the local vintner? club is closely tied to the same store.
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Offline fredthecat

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Re: thoughts on wine shops in 2023?
« Reply #3 on: February 15, 2023, 03:26:08 pm »
im basing this off of probably at least 5 wine stores ive gone to. ive bought random stuff off them like a carboy cleaner, chemicals, etc. the main LHBS which is adequate for beer also does wine but i never bought or used any of their wine stuff.

just saying how it is here, but i guess im just describing what ive seen/experienced. as ive said many times i guess, canada feels easily a decade behind the US in terms of homebrewing, and here there is a LOT more price incentive to use DIY wine shops to make cheap booze. there are still several "u brew" only beer shops, where ive gone in and they say they dont sell any grain or even equipment, its just for people to come and add yeast to containers of wort.

next time i go to the states i really should check out a recommended homebrew shop to compare i guess. whitelabs yeast has jumped up in price, going for $11.49 up to $14.99!! now for common strains (wlp004 is $14.99 for some reason).

thats all i guess...

Offline Drewch

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Re: thoughts on wine shops in 2023?
« Reply #4 on: February 15, 2023, 08:53:03 pm »

I can only speak for the two areas I've lived in, too. COVID killed the LHBS at my last home, but they didn't really sell much wine-making stuff even at their peak.  The one here may be anomalous in being almost as much a wine-makers' shop as a brewers' shop.
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Offline reverseapachemaster

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Re: thoughts on wine shops in 2023?
« Reply #5 on: February 22, 2023, 06:03:24 pm »
Depends a lot on who runs the shop. I've been in shops that started focused on winemaking that moved into selling homebrewing equipment. The older staff knew a lot about winemaking. Homebrew shops that sell winemaking supplies in my experience tend to lean more towards selling kits and there is very little help to give.

For winemaking I think it's easier to run a shop where the staff only knows to sell kits and encourage people to follow kit instructions. Most of the people I've ever known who made wine only knew to follow whatever the kits said. Unless you really commit to growing grapes or buying from harvests, you're stuck with kits. There's not a lot of in between there, unlike brewing where you can go anywhere from pure extract to all grain and everything in between.
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Offline Drewch

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Re: thoughts on wine shops in 2023?
« Reply #6 on: May 31, 2023, 04:31:14 pm »
I just picked up an old book (1970s vintage) on winemaking. One of the things that describe is using fruit enough to flavor the batch and filling out the rest with concentrate. I guess you could consider that "extract with steeping grains" for wine.  :o
« Last Edit: May 31, 2023, 04:34:23 pm by Drewch »
The Other Drew

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Offline fredthecat

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Re: thoughts on wine shops in 2023?
« Reply #7 on: May 31, 2023, 07:26:35 pm »
I just picked up an old book (1970s vintage) on winemaking. One of the things that describe is using fruit enough to flavor the batch and filling out the rest with concentrate. I guess you could consider that "extract with steeping grains" for wine.  :o

im amazed they have concentrate from that era tbh.

i found this when i was a teen https://archive.org/details/firststepsinwine00cjbe/page/6/mode/2up
apparently from 1960 and has about 100 recipes that are all literally just

2lbs pears mushed up, 3lbs white sugar, wine yeast etc = "pear wine"

2lbs raspberries, 3lbs white sugar, wine eyast = "raspberry wine"

some of them are simply a flavour like ginger or cinnamon or something and then 4lbs of sugar.

its truly amazing how far this has come





Offline Drewch

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Re: thoughts on wine shops in 2023?
« Reply #8 on: June 01, 2023, 03:59:26 pm »
This one is The Art of Making WINE by Stanley F. Anderson with Raymond Hull. Hawthorn Books, 1970.

Most of the fruit wines are some variation of -- water + fruit + sugar + yeast nutrient + acid blend + campden tablet + wine yeast. A lot of them include raisins or grape tannins.

But the grape wines (is that redundant?) usually call for domestic or imported grape concentrate. They really don't look that different from modern wine kits.
The Other Drew

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