top of page
  • Writer's pictureStuart Ray

Vintner’s Cellar Cochrane March/April 2023 Newsletter

Federal Government Raises Taxes on Alcohol by 6.3% (Reduced to 2%)

You may have heard that the Federal Government is raising the taxes on alcohol by 6.3% starting April 1, 2023. Back in 2017 the Federal Government put in place measures to automatically increase the excise tax on Alcohol when inflation increases. We also know that inflation has been at an all time high of late and that’s the reason for this huge increase.

BUT here at the Cellar you are not exposed to this tax at all! Because of our liquor license you are not required to pay the federal excise tax. The excise tax only applies to alcohol produced under other liquor licenses like wineries, distilleries and breweries. So, making wine at the Cellar is one way to avoid paying more to the federal government for the wine you have come to enjoy!

It is not too often you can avoid paying taxes but by making your favorite wine here at the Cellar you are beating the tax man and we think that’s a win (e) win (e) situation!

Trivia Question of the Month – True or False. Salting food on the plate will amplify the tannins and alcohol in the wine. - Answer at the end of the newsletter.

Barrel Club

The Barrel Club is where we create a large batch of wine, 10 kits which equals 230 litres and then batch age the wine in a Hungarian Oak Cask, creating a high-quality wine with tons of character and flavour. Just choose which variety or varieties you want to join in on and then give us a call to pay & hold your spot. Payment can be made over the phone to save a trip to the shop. Once it is sold out, we will contact everyone to come in to pitch the yeast. Just like all of our kits this opportunity will get you about 30 bottles of wine.

Next Up – Big Hill Cabernet Blend

We have decided to make our very own Cochrane blend of Cabernet Sauvignon, Shiraz, Merlot & Syrah. This wine will have an intense red color with deep garnet hues. Fruit flavours of blackberries, cherries, and currant will burst from the glass along with fresh pepper. The finish will be oaky and slightly spicey making it a great pairing for steak, strong cheeses, lamb dishes and pastas.

Cost for this variety is $348.50 and any bottles required.

We only have 5 more spots left before this one is sold out.

Don’t hesitate, call or stop in today to reserve your spot!!

Wine of The Month – Barbera

Recognized for its intensity of color and good structure of tannin and acid, it presents nuances of gooseberries and a smoky, peppery bouquet and is often added to a blend to liven it up. Smooth on the palate this wine ages well and mellows with time. Barbera can be grown in warmer climates without producing overblown, flat wines. Even warmer sites in Sonoma Valley and the Sierra Foothills of California have produced balanced Barbera-based wines. This acidity complements the cherry flavors found in typical Barbera wines and has contributed to the (largely justified) stereotype of Italian red wines as being ripe, bright and tangy rather than voluptuous and earthy. When young, most Barbera wines have a bright-red cherry character, distinguished from Nebbiolo (which often overshadows Barbera) by softer tannins and a certain roundness. When matured in barrel and allowed to age in bottle for a few years, this turns to a denser, sour-cherry note. A warm, Merlot-like plumminess is also commonly detectable, although the variety is more closely related to Mourvèdre than Merlot. When overheated, a Barbera vine will produce comparatively flat, dull wines with notes of baked prunes and raisins, while its trademark cherry flavors turn towards kirsch (a cherry liquor)

Comparable Wines: Zinfandel

Pairing: Lasagna and red meats pair well with this wine.

Oak: Heavy Body: Full Aging: 9-12 months

Available In: Supreme Sterile Juice Only

Sparkling Wine

We are making new sparkling wine in the Cellar every week! Thank you to everyone who has made sparkling wine. We appreciate your support in our new endeavor and your positive feedback has been appreciated! If you enjoy sparkling wine, we encourage you to come in and start a batch with us – you will not be disappointed. 23L of sparkling wine seem like too much – we can sparkle half your batch for you and keep half the batch regular.

This week we are sparking the following varieties for our customers– Raspberry Zinfandel, 2 Pinot Grigio’s, Black Cherry Pinot Noir and a Peach Chardonnay. What variety do you want to make?

Recipe of the Month

Chicken Piccata with Lemon Sauce


  • 8 boneless skinless chicken breast halves (4 ounces each)

  • 2 large eggs

  • 2 tablespoons plus 1/4 cup dry Vintner’s Cellar white wine, divided

  • 5 tablespoons lemon juice, divided

  • 3 garlic cloves, minced

  • 1/8 teaspoon hot pepper sauce

  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour

  • 1/2 cup grated Parmesan Cheese

  • 1/4 cup minced fresh parsley

  • 1/2 teaspoon salt

  • 3 teaspoons olive oil, divided

  • 2 tablespoons butter


  1. Flatten chicken to 1/4-in. thickness. In a shallow dish, combine the eggs, 2 tablespoons wine, 2 tablespoons lemon juice, garlic and hot pepper sauce. In another shallow dish, combine the flour, Parmesan cheese, parsley and salt. Coat chicken with flour mixture, dip in egg substitute mixture, then coat again with flour mixture.

  2. In a large non-stick pan, brown 4 chicken breast halves in 1-1/2 teaspoons oil for 3-5 minutes on each side or until juices run clear. Remove and keep warm. Drain drippings. Repeat with remaining chicken and oil. Remove and keep warm.

  3. In the same pan, melt butter. Add the remaining wine and lemon juice. Bring to a boil. Boil, uncovered, until sauce is reduced by a fourth. Drizzle over chicken.

Trivia Question answer is TRUE. Salting food on the plate will amplify the tannins and alcohol in the wine.

5 views0 comments

Recent Posts

See All

Vintner’s Cellar Cochrane May 2023 Newsletter

Amateur Winemakers of Canada – Alberta Chapter Competition The Results are in … Since opening Vintner’s Cellar in Cochrane, there had not been any provincial winemaking competitions held due to the Co

Vintner’s Cellar Cochrane February 2023 Newsletter

What’s in a bottle of wine? We all know that there is wine in that 750ml bottle, but did you know what else makes up our favorite beverage? Well, here are some interesting facts about what’s in that b

Vintner’s Cellar Cochrane January 2023 Newsletter

Happy New Year to everyone from both of us here at the Cellar! Sparkling Wine Update We are excited to announce we now have the sparkling wine process well in hand! Do you enjoy a bottle of bubbly for


bottom of page