Monday, May 15, 2017

Sharing the Fun ... Just some helpful wine basics

How do you know what Wine you like?

You know sometimes it's helpful to take a step back from what we are doing and look at things from the beginner's point of view. We are always talking about winemaking, wine kits, new products, and the next "batch".  But for someone who is new to the winemaking, or possibly even the wine drinking world, we figured a few simple thoughts on "where to get your feet wet" may help.  The more you make what you like, the more fun you will have.
There are hundreds of types of both red and white wine grapes (called varietals) contributing to their diversity. But to keep it simple, there are some general categories to consider for the next time you’re thinking of making and drinking wine.  Plus we put up a cool picture above to help you with the sliding scale of "Major Reds & Whites":-)
So here we go with some basics across the board:
Sparkling – Sparkling wine ranges from very dry to very sweet, and generally contains less alcohol than other table wines. You’ll usually find that sparkling wine is either white or rosé. Interesting note: only sparkling wine produced in Champagne, France is technically given the title of Champagne.
  • Pair with: Poultry or seafood, a creamy sauce, cheese, or enjoy on its own.
  • When to serve: Celebrations and parties
White – With white wine, grapes are separated from their skins and made into juice before fermentation. They’re not all light wines. They can be light-, medium- or full-bodied, which represents how thick they feel in your mouth. Sweet wines like Riesling tend to be on the lighter (thinner) end while Chardonnay is at the fuller end, with a higher alcohol content, and a rich, creamy flavor.
  • Pair with: Fish, salads, and meals with sour flavors like lemon, as well as desserts.
  • When to serve: Light whites for summer events, or fall for full-bodied whites
Rosé  If you’re looking for an in-between selection, Rosé is a good option.It is a versatile wine that can be paired with many dishes. It’s typically made from black grapes (red-wine grapes), giving it subtle color. However, like whites, it’s best served soon after its release for optimal flavor and aromas.
  • Pair with: Most cheeses, pasta dishes, as well as any spring or summer meal.
  • When to serve: Spring and summer events and parties
Red – Red wines have bold, complex flavors, but it’s hard to generalize them because they have so many flavor profiles and aromas. As a rule, most are commonly paired with red meat. When choosing the type you want to pair with your meal, consider the meat (if any) you’ll be serving. The bolder the wine, the richer the meat should be.
  • When to serve: Great year-round, but should be your go-to for fall and winter dinner parties and gatherings.
  • Pair with: A main course that includes red meats, strong cheeses or salty foods
Dessert – Made from naturally sweet grapes, these wines are the sweetest. These always taste delicious alongside fruit, chocolate and other desserts. Keep in mind that you want to serve one that’s sweeter than the dessert, so the food doesn’t take away or change the wine’s flavor.
  • When to serve: After the main course in any meal
  • Pair with: Other desserts, or salty foods


The key to successful wine selection is developing your palate. The most basic way to start is to begin with what you smell and taste – from there, you’ll unearth the many aromas and flavors that go into a single sip. Wine can have aromas ranging from fruit to herbs to smoky scents, and over time you’ll pick up on the different hints of each.
Hope this helps orient a few beginners out these in "wineworld".  And please, always feel free to call us or email us anytime, we are pleased to help.

Friday, May 5, 2017

Celebrate & have some Homerbrew Day fun this weekend!

National Homebrew Day

There is definitely one thing home brewers love more than sampling the fruits of their own labors, which is sharing a pint of their brew with other beer-loving friends. Beer aficionados across the US will participate in a simultaneous toast at noon on May 6, which is National Homebrew Day.

You could raise a glass in your own home, but there are also some fun events happening around the country to celebrate the world of homebrew. National Homebrew Day is organized by the American Homebrewers Association (AHA), and you can check with the AHA to look for gatherings in your area.

Events can happen in a home or backyard, a brew shop, a local brewery – there are lots of possibilities and only one rule: all revelers should raise a glass together for a simultaneous toast at 12 p.m. CDT.

If you need inspiration for a fun celebration, the AHA has released 3 recipes on the National Homebrew Day page of its website. You can view all grain or extract recipes for Rushmore American IPABattre L’oie Saison, and Klang Freudenfest Oktoberfest Lager.

The AHA expects thousands of people to participate though hundreds of local bars, breweries, shops and home-brew clubs. National Homebrew Day pays homage to the 1 million+ home brewers in the U.S.

It's Pink Moscato Time!

Light and refreshing tasting with flavors of fresh strawberry, raspberry and cherry.

Dollar Days are here for May!

April showers bring May Dollars...

Hey Friends of Leeners T&V here. We hope everything is fantastic in your world.

We just kicked off our May Dollar Days will get $10 Off any $60 order or $20 Off any $120 order. This promotion runs the entire month of May.

As always, have fun & enjoy!!!


Thursday, May 4, 2017

WOW - these are serious Homebrew tools...

Check these bad boys out!!!

Awesome new Brewer's Best pots & kettles with cool accessory options.

Pots & kettles available in both 8 gal & 16 gal sizes...they are just waiting here for you!!!

8 gal pots - $49.99
16 gal pots - $69.99

8 gal kettles - $69.99
16 gal kettles - $89.99

Look forward to seeing you soon!


Monday, May 1, 2017

Are you really ready for summer???

Shandy just arrived in the Fun House!!!


Get in the mood for Summer...
Only $29.95

Come on in!


Thursday, April 27, 2017

Tis the Season for Fresh Chilean Grapes & Juice

Did you hear the great news?

It's not to late to order & pick up all the fresh wine grapes & juice you 
want right here at Leeners in Northfield, Ohio...

For the next several weeks we have 18 lb cases of grapes & 6 gallon pails
of juice available from the following Chilean Vineyard Locations:
Aconcagua Valley
Leyda Valley
Maipo Valley
Peumo Valley
Colchagua Valley

Chilean Grape & Juice orders will be available for pick up weekly at Leeners!!!

***Call us 330-467-9870
***Email us at

We will email you a Region Description of the Vineyard Locations & Price List with Availability for all Grapes & Juice.

Please note that items will be reserved on a first come first served basis.


Wednesday, March 1, 2017

Homebrewing fun - Good Reasons & the Equipment you need

Home Beer Brewing 102

Picking up where we left off in our previous blog post, we are really hoping to help the newbies get their "beer feet" wet and not feel out of place because they don't know something. Homebrewing is supposed to be an adventure and its supposed to be fun damn it:-)

Americans are drinking more craft beer than ever and homebrewing is gaining in popularity. This shouldn’t come as a surprise as craft beer and homebrewing have always been closely associated. In fact, many of America’s biggest craft brewers started out as homebrewers. With so much great beer out there, some may ask why you’d want to bother with brewing in your kitchen. 

Here are a few reasons why you should give homebrewing a try:

It’s cheap. After the initial cost of equipment ($100 - $140), the ingredients for a 5 gallon batch can cost as little as $40 dollars. That’s less than $1 per beer. While that’s may be more than a Bud Light at home will cost you, it’s a much better deal than a higher end craft beer at a trendy local hot spot. What’s more, when you homebrew, you make exactly the beer you want to drink. With a little practice, you’ll soon be able to create amazing beer right in your kitchen that rivals many craft breweries and you will do it with your own touch of love.

It’s easy. The brewing process is surprisingly simple. If you can boil water, you can make beer. By far the most difficult part of making beer is cleaning the bottles to put your homebrew in. Who can’t do that?

It’s fun. Making beer can be a great way to spend time with your fellow beer lovers and family members. Although it certainly can be done single-handedly, making beer is quicker and more fun with others. There is a fair amount of waiting involved; meaning there’s plenty of time to crack open a beer and enjoy it with your brewing partner.

It’s educational. When you see a brew go from raw ingredients to finished beer, you’re better able to appreciate all that goes into making beer and how each ingredient impacts the final outcome. This will help you understand what beers are your favorites and why.

It’s legal. Although home wine making was re-legalized in the US with the repeal of prohibition in 1933, beer was actually excluded from this due to a clerical error. Homebrewing wasn’t legalized until 1979. Today it’s legal to make 100 gallons of beer per person over the age of 21 per household, up to a maximum of 200 gallons per year.

Now with respect to the equipment, here is what a homebrew kit generally includes ($100 or less):

An obvious first question most new brewers ask is, "What do I need to get started?".
None of the equipment setups in home brewing require a degree in rocket science, 
and some of the needed equipment you may already have on hand. Start-up costs will
depend what you already have and how elaborate you want to get, but usually $100 
or less will get you started.

Airlock - Several styles are available. They are filled with water to prevent 
contamination from the outside atmosphere.

Bottle Capper - Two styles are available: hand cappers and bench cappers. Bench 
cappers are more versatile and are needed for the champagne bottles, but are more 

Bottle Brush - A long handled nylon bristle brush is necessary for the first, 
hard-core cleaning of used bottles.

Fermenter - The 6.5 gallon food-grade plastic pail is recommended for beginners. 

These are very easy to work with. Glass and plastic carboys are also available, in 3, 5, 
and 6.5 gallon sizes. The carboy is used for secondary fermentation and possibly to 
help with bottling.

Siphon - Available in several configurations, usually consisting of clear plastic tubing
with a racking cane and optional bottle filler.

Racking Cane - Rigid plastic tube with sediment stand-off used to leave the trub 

behind when siphoning.

Bottle Filler - Rigid plastic (or metal) tube often with a spring loaded valve at the tip 

for filling bottles.

Stirring Paddle - Food grade plastic paddle (or spoon) for stirring the wort during 


Thermometer- Obtain a thermometer that can be safely immersed in the wort and has 

range of at least 40°F to180°F. The floating dairy thermometers work very well. Dial 
thermometers read quickly and are inexpensive.

Bottling Bucket - A 6.5 gallon food-grade plastic pail with attached spigot and 

fill-tube. The finished beer is racked into this for priming prior to bottling. Racking 
into the bottling bucket allows clearer beer with less sediment in the bottle. The spigot
is used instead of the bottle filler, allowing greater control of the fill level and no hassles 
with a siphon during bottling.

Hydrometer - A hydrometer measures the relative specific gravity between pure 

water and water with sugar dissolved in it by how high it floats when immersed. 
The hydrometer is used to gauge the fermentation progress by measuring one aspect 
of it, attenuation. Hydrometers are necessary when making beer from scratch 
(all-grain brewing) or when designing recipes. The first-time brewer using known 
quantities of extracts usually does not need one, but it can be a useful tool.

***These are helpful extras to have ($40 or less for all):

Boiling Pot - Must be able to comfortably hold a minimum of 5 gallons; bigger. 
Use qualitpots made of stainless steel are best. A 5 gallon home canning pot 
(those black, speckled ones) is the least expensive and can also be a good choice for 
getting started.

Bottles - You will need (48) recappable 12 oz bottles for a typical 5 gallon batch. 

Alternatively, 30 oz of thelarger 22 oz bottles may be used to reduce capping time. 
Twist-offs do not re-cap well and are more prone to breaking.

Bottle Caps - Either standard or oxygen absorbing crown caps are available.

Funnel - A simple plastic funnel to make transfer of wort to initial fermentation

Pyrex(tm) Measuring Cup - The quart-size or larger measuring cup will quickly 
become one of your most invaluable tools for brewing. The heat resistant glass ones 
are best because they can be used to measure boiling water and are easily sanitized.

Wine Thief or Turkey Baster - These things are very handy for withdrawing samples 
of wort or beer from the fermenter without risking contamination of the whole batch.

At the end of the day, how do you put a price on fun anyway?  So what are you waiting for? There’s really not much to buy. You can pick up your supplies at a homebrewing store near you

Get your kids or your significant other involved and kick up some home brew family time!

Sunday, February 19, 2017

Thinking of Beer Brewing at home? - Start with a basic understanding of Beer

Home Beer Brewing 101

For many of you out there beer making may seem complicated.  If you believe all the beer commercials you see then you may be thinking that 100 years of experience is necessary to make some brew. The truth is that home brewing is easy & fun.  And the trend is growing everywhere!

You may also believe that home brewing is a "cult" and that the "secret know how" is hard to come by?  Heck no, home brewers love to share new things and chat up their latest "brew tips" anytime they get the chance.

So we are going to keep it simple when it comes to passing on our beer knowledge by starting with the basics...

Beer Ingredients

Beer is made from four basic ingredients: Barley, water, hops and yeast. The basic idea is to extract the sugars from grains (usually barley) so that the yeast can turn it into alcohol and CO2, creating beer.


The brewing process starts with grains, usually barley (although sometimes wheat, rye or other such things.) The grains are harvested and processed through a process of heating, drying out and cracking. The main goal of malting is to isolate the enzymes needed for brewing so that it’s ready for the next step.


The grains then go through a process known as mashing, in which they are steeped in hot, but not boiling, water for about an hour, sort of like making tea. This activates enzymes in the grains that cause it to break down and release its sugars. Once this is all done you drain the water from the mash which is now full of sugar from the grains. This sticky, sweet liquid is called wort. It’s basically unmade beer, sort of like how dough is unmade bread.


The wort is boiled for about an hour while hops and other spices are added several times. What are hops? Hops are the small, green cone-like fruit of a vine plant. They provide bitterness to balance out all the sugar in the wort and provide flavor. They also act as a natural preservative, which is what they were first used for. 


Once the hour long boil is over the wort is cooled, strained and filtered. It’s then put in a fermenting vessel and yeast is added to it. At this point the brewing is complete and the fermentation begins. The beer is stored for a couple of weeks at room temperature (in the case of ales) or many many weeks at cold temperatures (in the case of lagers) while the yeast works its fermentation magic. Basically the yeast eats up all that sugar in the wort and spits out CO2 and alcohol as waste products.

Bottling & Aging

You’ve now got alcoholic beer, however it is still flat and uncarbonated. The flat beer is bottled, at which time it is either artificially carbonated like a soda, or if it’s going to be ‘bottle conditioned’ it’s allowed to naturally carbonate via the CO2 the yeast produces. After allowing it to age for anywhere from a few weeks to a few months you drink the beer, and it’s delicious!

Learn More