An in-depth knowledge of wine can enliven humdrum dinner parties, just as an in-depth knowledge of dynamite fishing can enliven foundering job interviews. Give palates an executive education with today’s Groupon: for $25, you get a winemaking and beer-making class for two at The Home Vintner (a $50 value). This Groupon is valid at the locations in Northwest Calgary, Northeast Calgary, and Airdrie. Check the schedule for class times.
The Home Vintner's resident potable-producer draws upon 36 years of wine-crafting and beer-making experience to equip students with the power to make level-grade brews in their own homes. During a 3.5-hour class, the instructor walks through all the steps of crafting wine from a kit, including how to rack, use a hydrometer, remove carbon dioxide, and cork bottles to preserve quality and hamper their proclivity for belting power ballads. Novice winemakers learn easily avoidable pitfalls, while seasoned pros discover new methodologies to help pep up their homemade libations. The brew-master then illuminates the finer points of crafting full-malt beers using a microbrewery-style Barons Premium Beer Kit without having to boil concoctions, add sugar, or practice telekinesis. Finally, students mingle and test their palates by pairing a variety of wine samples with nibbles from a cheese platter. Graduated brewers can purchase their first premium wine or beer kit at a 15% discount.
The Home Vintner
Founded in 1994 by former commercial airline pilot Paul Sass, The Home Vintner supplies connoisseurs and novices with an abundance of award-winning pours and do-it-yourself kits for individual winemaking and beer brewing. With Winexpert kits, at-home vino makers blend varietal juices from around the world that will be ready to drink or cellar in 4–8 weeks, depending on the kit. Alternatively, brewers dive into barley bubbles with Barons beer kits that contain measured ingredients to make a hoppy Canadian blond ale, an English-style redwood ale, and a crisp Dutch-style lager, among others.
During classes, the staff of certified wine- and beer-makers walks pupils through each step of the brewing and vintning process, such as carbon-dioxide removal, corking, storage, and determining each libation's year by monitoring its reaction to different songs. Courses dispense both basics of production and new methodologies, so apprentices can discover new approaches and skills to try with their next batches.