So many wines, so little time. With the LCBO Vintages stocking their store shelves with new inventory of wines every 2 weeks, it can be mesmerizing to figure out which wines to purchase. Unlike trying on a pair of new shoes or flipping through a book to read the author's writing style, the tough part about wine shopping is that you really can't try the wines before you decide to put them into your shopping cart.
Comes along my savvy idea of ‘If I only had $100, I would buy.” (go ahead & say this with the tune of the Barenaked Ladies song in your head!)
As part of the small community of wine writers & media, I am invited to sample the wines several weeks before they arrive on the store shelves at Vintages. This means, I have made my list of ‘must buy wines’, weeks before the wines are in stock at your local LCBO.
To help you navigate through the rows of newly released wines, I will post my ‘If I only had $100, I would buy” blog , before each Vintages release (the 2nd and 4th weekend of every month). This is simply a list of good value wines that will amount to no more than $100. By no means do you have to buy what I suggest, this is simply my list of what I plan to buy.
Click here to download & print this handy shopping list. Let me know if this is helpful or to pass along your wine tips.
Cheers & Enjoy,
If I only had $100, I would buy…
For the May 2, 2009 LCBO Vintages release
Can’t get enough of -Pierre Sparr Cremant d’Alsace Rosé, France (sparkling rosé)
Outstanding! Refreshing, dry, crisp, well made & easy drinking with a nice light mousse (winespeak: fine bubbles). Made with Pinot Noir grapes, this salmon coloured bubbly is perfect for any occasion, welcome friends with a glass when you have a dinner party, or have on hand to unwind. No need to wait for a celebration to pop a sparkling wine – life is too short!
My new House White Wine - Domaine Gérard Neumeyer Le Berger Pinot Gris, France
Did you know that Pinot Gris is the same grape as the popular Italian Pinot Grigio? In France, the Alsace region is famous for making dry, crisp, refreshing Pinot Gris wines….and this is a mighty fine example! Refreshing with pear, light floral aromas & a taste that reminds me of the yummy juice in a can of mandarin oranges. The zippy acidity creates the clean taste with a long finish. Serve chilled on its own, or with white fish or a meal of ham with sweet potato. Delicious!
My new House Red Wine - Santa Julia Reserva Cabernet Sauvignon, Argentina
Created by Familia Zuccardi Winery – the same winery that produces the ever popular FuZion Shiraz-Malbec red (that is only $7.45), this wine is another example that price tags are not indicators of quality. Full bodied, with intense aromas & flavours of figs, delicious red fruit, cedar, vanilla with a hint of smoke (these last 3 characteristics come through because the wine has been aged in oak barrels). Perfect for the nights when you fire up the BBQ to grill hamburgers, steak, sausages & pork chops.
Go local - drink Ontario - Niagara College Teaching Winery Unoaked Chardonnay 2006 VQA, Ontario
Ontario continues impress & this is another fine example. This is the college that many of Canada’s new winemakers are learning from the experts & getting their hands on training. Believe it or not this wine is a class project! Not to be overlooked as the college is turning many heads with the coveted awards it is winning for their wines. This Chardonnay is light bodied with aromas that remind me of the first bite into a green apple with lively acidity & minerals (think a sandy beach). Every sip is refreshing, with a lime & lemon finish. At this price, it is easy to stock up your fridge. Chill to drink on its own or with rainbow trout, cold shrimp, sushi, or as you nibble on cheddar or parmesan cheese.
INSIDE SCOOP: Niagara College Teaching Winery will be featured in our Savvy Selections wine of the month club. Every month, three different bottles of premium Canadian wine from a featured winemaker are delivered straight to your door. These are wines you won’t find at the LCBO or SAQ — handpicked by us for your enjoyment. Subscribe online at www.savvyselections.ca
For your weekend BBQ - Porta Boldo Reserva Cabernet Sauvignon, Chile
Made with organically grown grapes, this big bold full bodied red wine is loaded with luscious flavours of blackberry, fig jam that warms you with every sip. Delicious with a hint of mint & smoke as it lingers in your mouth. This one is begging to be enjoyed with anything from the BBQ. Fire it up!
GRAND TOTAL: $89.75
Tags: Debbie Trenholm, Domaine Gérard Neumeyer Le Berger Pinot Gris, good value wines, LCBO Vintages, Niagara College Teaching Winery Unoaked Chardonnay, Pierre Sparr Cremant d’Alsace Rosé, Porta Boldo Reserva Cabernet Sauvignon, Santa Julia Reserva Cabernet Sauvignon, Savvy Company, Savvy Selections, sommelier, The Savvy Grapes, wine shopping, wine tasting