Personal Service,
Incredible Selection.

Wine in a What?

Bottle vs Can – an age-old battle


The argument over bottle vs can has raged in the beer industry for many years and intensified 15 years ago, when Oskar Blues Brewery decided to put their pale ale in a can, a first for the craft beer industry. If the current trend of packaging is any indication, it seems cans are clearly in the lead.


This battle has spilled over to the wine industry and can advocates are making many of the same points as my independent brewing friends.


I must admit that when I first saw canned wine in the store, I snickered and thought, “wow canned wine, how good could that be?” Now that I have done some research, I think canned wine would be perfect for a novice wine drinker like myself or an advanced wine lover like my mother who enjoys a glass on the deck, on the beach and even on a boat.


Still not convinced? The following points were taken from a study at Susquehanna University and Texas Tech University of 1,000 people aged 21 to 88.


1. Convenience: The can format lets consumers take wine where it is inconvenient or illegal to take wine in a bottle, such as poolside, camping, the beach, etc. It also offers opening convenience, as it does not require a corkscrew, (a flame or a shoe and a wall) to open or glasses to consume. The individually-sized portion also means consumers don’t need to finish the bottle all at once (you mean you aren’t suppose to finish a bottle in one sitting).
2. Occasion expansion: The can expands the occasions or locations in which wine can be enjoyed—boating, tailgating, and concerts, among them. (This point seems like a redundancy of point one, but it is still valid, wine-to-go.)
3. Sustainability/cost savings: Aluminum is 100% infinitely recyclable, a feature which ranks high in today’s global market. The study claims that aluminum cans are less expensive to fill and ship, are easier to stock and stack, result in less breakage, and are easier to pack in singles or in multipack cases. (All of these points have been proven by the craft beer industry)
4. Quality: Notes the study, wineries say wine in a can maintains quality better, since it prevents light and oxygen egress. And, because it only holds one portion, there’s no risk of leftover wine degrading in quality. (Once again, the beer industry has known that light and oxygen are mortal enemies to sustained quality for years.)

5. Portion control and variety: The can allows waiters and bartenders to more easily measure portions and allows for single-serve consumption. It also lets consumers sample more variety due to its small size versus a large bottle. (This is great news for your next special event, no more half drunk bottles, missing caps or broken corks.)

6. Visual image/branding: Cans can be decorated with 360-deg labels, digital printing, or shrink wrapping, and multipack cases can also be printed with eye-catching branding, making it very “instagrammable.” (Let those hashtags fly.)


Why did I feel it was important to share this information with you? Cans can be found in every liquor store, in every city in the world. This first canned beer in North America was sold in 1935, in Richmond Virginia by the Gottfried Krueger Brewery (Oh Damn, I’m babbling  again.)


But wine in a can? If I scoffed at it, I am sure many of you have as well. I felt that bringing forward some facts might open the conversation, reduce your fears and open your horizons.


So stop in and pick up a can or two, so you can take your wine to places you have never dared.

The Well Heeled Libationist

How to Buy Wine as a Gift

Wine is a gift perfect for any occasion, especially Christmas and New Years, but if you don’t know much about wine, like myself, it can be a daunting task. There are several things you need to consider when selecting wines; budget and season are the most important, according to my research. 

Set your budget: It may be tempting to purchase a super inexpensive, nationally advertise brand especially if you don’t know much about wine, but even I know better than that. You will want to set your budget based on the occasion, the person you are buying for and their level of wine appreciation. There a many great mid-range wines available which will impress any recipient.

Consider the season: I know we are talking about Christmas and winter right now, so heavier wines such as Cabernet Sauvignon, Bordeaux blend, Syrah, Zinfandel and Malbec are the perfect reds for the meals consumed at this time of year. If you are looking for a white check out an Unoaked Chardonnay or something with bubbles it is a festive time of year after all.

Once Spring has sprung (in 5 months or so) look for lighter fruiter wines such as Chenin Blanc, Pinot Grigio, Rose or Pinot Noir.

As the summer heat quickly rolls through, you may want to select something a little lighter such as a Merlot, Sauvignon Blanc or a Riesling.

Finally, for Autumn look for a fuller bodied white wine such as an oaked Chardonnay or Viognier or if you are looking for a red select a Pinot Noir or Cabernet Franc.

Look at me babbling on like I know all about wine, thank goodness I love doing research.

Don’t be afraid to go with something unusual: If you know your wines or the person you are buying for don’t be afraid to go with something unique. Just be careful not to pick something too obscure that the recipient won’t be able to find it again.

Pick a pretty label or bottle: Just as with beer, I would never suggest picking a product based solely on the label. However, if you have narrowed it down to a few choices select the one with the label/bottle which speaks to you.

Above All

Ask Questions: If you are like me, gazing at walls of wine can be quite overwhelming so don’t be afraid to ask questions. At Liquor on McLeod we are very fortunate to have Terry, our wine specialist and a group of very well-educated staff (with the exception of Ginger in the beer cooler), who will be able to guide to the perfect bottle within your budget.

 The Well-Heeled Libationist



Hops and Vines - October

Hops and Vines

It seems that Fall (looking like Winter) has arrived, although we hope there are a few more warm sunny days still ahead. We have lots of activities and events coming up and here’s a list of the current plans.

Special Events and Loft Tastings:
October 11-15 – Okanagan Wine Tour
October 17 – Reel Wednesday Wine Tasting
October 20 - Alberta Beer Week Part 1
October 27– Alberta Beer Week Part 2
November 3 – Corks and Kegs
November 14 – Reel Wednesday Wine Tasting
November 16 – Loft Tasting of Italian Wines from the Tommasi family
November 24 & 25 – Liquor on McLeod 25th Anniversary Celebration
December 15 – Christmas Open House

In Store Tastings:October 5 & 6 --Chateau Souverain Wine

October 6 --Two Brewers Single Malt Whisky & Yukon Brewing

October 12 --CMS White and Red Wines

October 13 --Alberta Pure Raspberry Vodka

October 17 --Reel Wednesday Wines

October 19 --Kendall Jackson Sauvignon Blanc and Cabernet Sauvignon

October 20 --Alberta Beer Week Part 1 (6 Vendors)

October 26 -Glam Prosecco, Torreon de Paredes, Zenato Rosso Venteo

October 27 --Alberta Beer Week Part 2 (6 Vendors)

November 2 --Wines from Moldova

November 2 --Parallel 49 Brewery

November 9 --Wines to be determined

November 10 --Canadian Club Apple Whisky

November 14 --Reel Wednesday Wines

November 24 --25th Anniversary Tasting (6 Vendors)

December 14 --Wines to be determined

December 15 --Christmas Open House (6 Vendors)

Keep watching for updates on Tastings as most Fridays and Saturdays will be booked soon.


Craft Corner

There are many things to celebrate in October, Thanksgiving, Halloween and Alberta Beer Week. 

Alberta has a such a rich beer culture because everyone involved is passionate and proud—from the producers and retailers right down to beer drinkers themselves and Alberta Beer Week is a chance to celebrate.

From October 19 - 27 there will be a number of craft beer related events throughout the province, including two at Liquor on McLeod. We will be hosting two sampling events with six or more vendors at each.

October 20  from 1-5 p.m. -  The Dandy Brewing Company, Alley Kat Brewing Company, Blindman Brewery, Coulee Brewing Company, Hell's Basement Brewing Company, Bent Stick Brewing Company & Dog Island Brewing Company.

October 27 from 1-5 p.m. - Siding 14 Brewing Company, Folding Mountain Brewing Company, Troubled Monk Brewing Company, Brewsters Brewing Company & Analog Brewing Company

Hops and Vines - September

It certainly doesn’t feel like Summer any more, but let’s hope for a nice, warm Fall as students and teachers head back to school. In this newsletter we want to let you know about some events in the coming months. We don’t have any Seated Tastings in the Loft scheduled yet, but will publish a newsletter update when we have made those decisions.

In September, we will be visiting On Par Golf for Tastings at two of their special occasions. On Saturday, September 15, from 1:00 – 4:00 for their Grand Opening, sampling Tamarack Jack’s Meads. On Thursday, September 27th from 6:00 – 9:00, Introduction to Golf, sampling Big House Red and White Wines.

From October 11th to 15th, we will be in Kelowna for our Annual Okanagan Wine Tour.

On Saturday, November 3rd, from 7:00 – 10:30 we will join the Parkland Food Bank as a Sponsor of their fundraiser, Corks and Kegs. Tickets are available online at their website. We will, with the help of several vendors, provide samples of wine, beer, and spirits, and there will be appetizers, door prizes, and a Silent and Live Auction.

Craft Corner

Alberta Beer Week is coming together nicely. We already have an number of breweries signed up for this year's festivities. This celebration of Alberta Craft Beer will be held from 1-5 pm on Saturday October 20 and 27. This is great opportunity to sample new products, revisit old favorites and find out more about the breweries. 

Craft Distillery Spotlight
West of the 5th - truly a family affair.

Quality . Family . Comunity
West of the 5th is spear headed by Nathan and Caleb Zdrodowski the two oldest brothers from Shady Lane Estate. Shady Lane Estate is a their families farm and fruit winery located on 158 acres of land 60km off the heart of Alberta. 

West of the 5th has released its first line of Moonshine the beginning of February 2018. Starting with "White Lightning" our straight distilled spirits and "Spiced Shine" our cinnamon and molasses spirit. Nathan and Caleb have big plans for the future with adding to there Moonshine line with more flavours as well as working on different spirits as well.

For more information and recipes visit

In-Store Tastings

September 8th --          Shady Lane Fruit Wines and West of the 5th Spirits

September 14th --        Flor de Cana Rum and Nugan 2nd Pass Shiraz

October 6th --              Two Brewers Single Malt Whisky & Chateau Souverain Wines

Hops and Vines - August

Although the weather has been unsettled and changeable, it is still summer so let’s take advantage of the warm days while they last. Come in and chat with us about new and exciting beers, wines, and coolers. At this time, we have no major events planned until Fall, so watch for our newsletter at the beginning of September with a calendar of upcoming events, including the Parkland Food Bank fundraiser, “Corks and Kegs”.

Terry’s Tastings – It’s All About the Taste

Summer Sippers/Patio Wines: We of course, drink all styles of wine all year round, but there are some that seem to taste better on a warm evening on the deck. While sitting outside with family and friends on a warm summer day, a cool, crisp Rose is a great accompaniment to conversation. Originally produced and enjoyed in southern France, roses now come from winemaking regions around the world. Excellent on their own or with appetizers, they also pair well with salads and lighter dishes of seafood and poultry.

Here are some dry Roses you may want to try:

AIX Rose – France     $21.25 Grenache, Syrah, Cinsault, and Carignan –Floral aromas with strawberry and watermelon; flavours of strawberry and red currant.

Pino Cellars Rose of Pinot Noir – Oregon     $27.25 Pinot Noir – Aromas and flavours of strawberry, cranberry, and raspberry with a long, crisp finish.

Oyster Bay Rose – New Zealand       $18.65 Pinot Noir – Strawberry, cherry, and a hint of citrus.

In-Store Tastings:

August 25 – Eau Claire Gin and Ready to drink

August 30 – AVA Grace Chardonnay and Merlot

August 31 – Craft Importers – a variety of European Beers

September 8 – Shady Lane Wine & West of the 5th Whisky

September 1 – Founder’s Brewing Company

October 6 – Two Brewers Single Malt Whisky

Craft Corner

I hate to say this but, summer is drawing to a close this means two things; for coffee drinkers pumpkin spice season is drawing near and dark beers are reappearing.  The craft selection will be "darkening" over the next few weeks and before that happens stock up on your favorite summer brews before they go into hibernation. 

A new IPA trend has hit the market, Brut IPAs. What is a Brut IPA you ask? The Brut IPA borrows its name from the wine world; in champagne, Brut means very dry.  These brews are pale, bone dry and highly effervescent. In short, it’s as close to champagne as an IPA can get; and it’s nothing like the fruity, hazy, creamy IPAs that currently dominate the market. Currently we have two examples of this trend, Chateau D'Outcast from Outcast Brewing and Station to Station a Dandy Brewing collaborative with Blood Brothers Brewing. Coming soon with be Russell Brewing's version.

I am in the planning stages for this year's Alberta Beer Week events, check our Facebook page and Website for more details.


Terry & Shelly

Think Pink!


I was once asked what I knew about wine and I said, “It comes in red, white, pink and it some times sparkles”.

I thought today, with the sun beating down on me, it would be a good day to learn about Rosé wines, something I know very little about, other than they bridge the color gap between red and white.

Rosé occurs when the skins of red grapes “kiss” white wine. It could be a short kiss or a long kiss, this is up to the wine maker. The longer the grape skins stain the white wine the darker the color becomes, hence the variation from light pink to a deep rosy blush.


The primary flavors found in Rosé are red fruit, citrus, melons and flowers. Some can slightly pull crisp green flavors, think celery or rhubarb.

Since Rosés vary in color and flavor they pair well with a variety of food. Fruity, light and medium Rosés pair well with seafood, salads, goat cheese and warm sunny weather. Full bodied Rosés are the perfect compliment to bar-b-que and spicy curries.

One of the best parts of exploring the world of Rosé is the price point, it varies as much as the color and flavor profiles.

Next time you are looking for a bottle of wine, don’t forget to Think Pink!


Welcome to Libation Learnings

All things in the world of libations will be explored from the basics of food pairings, flavor profiles, cocktails, do’s and don’ts and so much more.

Our learnings will take us to the United Kingdom to explore Scotch, Irish Whiskey and London Dry Gin. From there we may head over to Germany and Belgium to learn about monks making beer and the variety of truly European beers. Our educational journey may see us traipse through France and Italy to learn more about Champagne and the wines stomped out in these regions.

We could find ourselves in South Africa, where the first bottle of wine was produced in 1659. By the way, hops are even being grown there. Speaking of hops, we could head even further south to find out why New Zealand hops are da bomb. They also make wine down under.

South America holds many wine soaked secrets, ready to be told. We will tumble a little further north to the lands of sweet rums and spicy tequilas (which pair very nicely with cheese).

North America holds many libation lessons from Bourbon, Canadian whisky, single malt whisky, craft beer, small batch spirits and wine, oh, so much wine.

I will be learning right beside you and it is going to be one heck of a journey.

- The Well Heeled Libationist