Sunday, October 14, 2012

Wine Whine

Make your own wine in 28 days

Wondering around the supermarket, we discovered home wine making kits for sale, along with bags of corks and cases of wine bottles.  Unusual we thought, not something we'd ever seen for sale in a grocery store.  Then we noticed that most shopping centers and strip malls have a least one business that caters to the home wine maker.  Our curiosity was piqued, why is home wine making so popular when the island has a selection of wineries and wines to choose from?  Do Canadians, rugged individualists that they are, just prefer their own home blends?  Our first trip into a liquor store to buy wine answered our questions.  Wine and alcohol are shockingly expensive in Canada because they are heavily taxed.  However, if you make your wine at home, you pay much less tax.  The situation has created a whole cottage industry related to home wine making and home vintners across Canada.

The local wineries are just about ready to harvest

We attempted to find out the tax rate on wine, but it varies greatly depending upon its source.  For instance, a tourist bringing alcohol into the country is allowed one liter per person.  If you go over that limit, and bring in another $8.00 bottle of wine for example, you will pay an additional $8.69 in taxes!  Businesses that import wine and alcohol are taxed at an ever higher rate. Curiously, the more expensive the bottle of wine, the less tax percentage you will pay. (Umm... wouldn't someone who could afford that expensive bottle be in a better position to pay the tax then someone buying that $8.00 bottle?)

Locally produced wines don't seem to be any less expensive than their imported counterparts.  If this is due to taxes or just premium pricing, we couldn't determine.  Whatever the reason, we've been reluctant to try many Canadian wines because of the cost.  If we are going to spend so much on a bottle of wine, we're going to buy something that we are familiar with and know we will enjoy.  That's too bad...but we're probably not the only tourists that make that choice.

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