You need to upgrade your Flash Player This is replaced by the Flash content. Place your alternate content here and users without the Flash plugin or with Javascript turned off will see this. Content here allows you to leave out noscript tags. Include a link to bypass the detection if you wish.

Posts Tagged ‘good value wines at LCBO’

If I only had $100…I would buy at LCBO Vintages

Posted by Julie

Saturday, July 25th, 2015
FacebookTwitterGoogle+PinterestShare

If your birthday coincides with the LCBO Vintages release on July 25th, your horoscope is dictated by Leo the Lion. You are supposedly characterized by being highly outgoing and independent, possessing a highly social nature so to give these characteristics adage, you should go shopping at Vintages.

LCBO Vintages Magazine July 25This release displays some old tried and trues with a focus on “Wines to Chill”, (probably both figuratively and literally) Argentina and Greece, great new choices for our last week of July 2015 and at terrific price points as you can see below.

And for a little trivia, July 25 is the 206th day of the year (207 in leap years), in the Gregorian calendar. How many of you knew that?

Summertime and my living is easy.
Cheers,
Julie

 

 

If I had $100, I would buy these wines at LCBO Vintages…
July 25
, 2015

 

Trius Divine WhiteTrius Divine White 

VQA Niagara Peninsula
$19.95 (Vintages #054957) 12.5% alcohol

Aromas of white blossoms and orchard fruits. Pale in colour, this delicate white wine is one beautiful light bodied blend of Riesling, Pinot Gris, Gewurtztraminer and Chardonnay. The taste really is divinely light and fresh. I almost detected a slight effervescence on the palate combined with tastes of pear and melon with a little citrus on the finish. Makes for a lovely afternoon sipper or with some soft cheese, maybe some skewered shrimp in a Thai dressing. A class act.

 

Pietro Marini Torrontes 2013Pietro Marini Torrontés 2013

Salta, Argentina
$12.95 (Vintages #408443) 13.2% alcohol

The Argentinian signature Torrontes grape never fails to disappoint with its pale golden colour and aromatic nose of white flowers and fruit.Harvested at 1750 feet above sea level gives this wine a distinct light bodied appearance but with a backbone of fresh acidity, pear and lime flavours on the palate. It is a wonderful light-bodied summer white wine; great on its own or with seafood/ summer salads.

 

Squealing PigSquealing Pig Sauvignon Blanc 2014

Marlborough, New Zealand
$21.95 (Vintages #414789) 13.5 % alcohol

Aside from great marketing (and you should see the bottle!) your nose really perks up with pineapple and strong citrus aromas of lime. Lots of green apple and stone fruit on the palate of this white wine which makes it interesting for a Sauvignon Blanc. It’s so fresh and racy with a slightly herbaceous edge, makes you literally squeal with delight on the finish. Great acidity makes it a fab food partner. It’s fun and very yummy.

 

 

Valle Los Acequinas Oak Cabernet SauvignonValle Las Acequias Oak Cabernet Sauvignon 2011

Mendoza, Chile
$16.95 (Vintages #287516) 13% alcohol

This 100% Cabernet Sauvignon has it all. Spending 10 months in French Oak has created layers of ripe plums, blackberries and blueberries with aromas of cedar and pencil shavings. Although only 13% alcohol, it’s gutsy. Bone dry but luscious, velvety with soft tannins and a long fruity sweet spice finish. Deserving of a fine quality steak with the hottest horseradish you can find. This red wine stands up to be counted – nirvana.

 

Grant Burge 5th Generation ShirazGrant Burge 5th Generation Shiraz 2013

Australia
$18.95 (Vintages #361295) 14% alcohol

This 5th generation winery never fails to disappoint. This dense purple in colour and fruit forward Shiraz is loaded with opulent ripe plums and black fruit characteristics from start to finish. Some woodsy aromas prevail in this red wine with rich bouquets of the fruit. Ripe tannins with sweet spice and a little menthol on the finish. It reminds me of a chocolate coated mint that sends you back for another (sip) – delicious.

 

Grand Total: $90.75

 

If I had $100…I would buy at LCBO Vintages

Posted by Julie

Friday, July 10th, 2015

The LCBO Vintages release for July 11 focuses on Cool Climate Chardonnay’s, wines from Spain and more Flagship In Store Discoveries (ISD). It’s so easy to find new discoveries with every LCBO release especially this time of year when sitting outside on the patio is everyone’s favourite pass-time…browse through the magazine then off to shop!

LCBO Vintages Magazine July 11Ontario also celebrates Cool Climate Chardonnay, dare I say festival ? from July 17-19 in St.Catherines at various venues including local wineries. Everything from Ontario’s best cuisine to tasting dozens of the region’s finest Chardonnays.

I attended the celebration several years ago when it was held at the Tawse Winery. It might be time for a return trip.

Summertime and the living is easy.

Cheers,
Julie

 

If I had $100, I would buy these wines at LCBO Vintages…
July 11
, 2015

 

Sunnybrook Redhaven Peach Wine 2013Sunnybrook Redhaven Peach Wine 2013

VQA Niagara Peninsula
$16.95 (Vintages #426551) 12% alcohol

Many years ago, my husband and I visited Sunnybrook Wine Farm and were literally blown away by the vast array of fruit wines. I recall bringing plum and pear wines home to serve with Thanksgiving dinner. They were bone dry but very fruity. The winery produces a huge array of fruit wines that reflect all the ripe fruit grown in the Niagara region. This peach wine is new to LCBO Vintages, medium weight and would be nice over ice as an aperitif served with some soft cheese. It was downright peachy!

 

Toro de Piedra Gran Reserva Chardonnay 2014Toro De Piedra Grand Reserve Chardonnay 2014

Maule Valley, Chile
$17.95 (Vintages #417493) 14.9% alcohol

A first class Chard. from the Maule Valley. Tropical heady fruits, smooth as silk on the palate, robust layers of pineapple, mango and almonds. A full bodied white wine, rounded with a pinch of sweet spice on the finish.

 

 

Cave Spring Estate Bottled Chardonnay 2013Cave Springs Estate Bottled Chardonnay 2013

VQA Beamsville Bench, Niagara Peninsula
$18.95 (Vintages #256552) 12% alcohol

An easy going Chardonnay that is perfect for the summer. Tropical fruits, yellow and green apples abound in the aromas of this white wine. On the palate are suggestions of almonds, pineapple, apricots and a little butter. Medium to full bodied, it is mouth filling with deliciousness with a long finish of fruits and toast. On its own or with some grilled chicken or salmon, it’s one fine wine.

 

Rosehall Run Cuvee County Pinot NoirRosehall Run Cuvée County Pinot Noir 2011

VQA Prince Edward County
$22.95 (Vintages #225748) 12.% alcohol

I’m always a fan of Rosehall wines! Winemaker Dan Sullivan does not disappoint with this delicate but complex Pinot Noir. Gentle and silky on the palate, aromas of cranberry and sour cherries with tastes of ripe cherries and some raspberry. It’s soft but rounded, lots of body and interest and you could serve this with anything from light fish to steak or burgers. A versatile red wine with soft tannins and just plain yummy.

 

Zuccardi Q MalbecZuccardi Q Malbec 2012

Mendoza, Argentina
$19.95 (Vintages #723478) 14.5 % alcohol

Ripe plums and blackberries, dark and inky, another rich dark Malbec that is a must for the grill. Juicy and rich, full bodied with soft tannins. Also aged in a oak, this red wine finishes long with some sweet spice, sending you back for another sip. With some steak fajitas it would certainly impress.

Grand Total: $ 96.75

 

If I had $100…I would buy at LCBO Vintages

Posted by Julie

Friday, May 1st, 2015

The LCBO Vintages release on May 2nd focuses on New Zealand, Germany and rosé wines (High time for the latter). If you’ve had the pleasure of visiting “greenland” down under, you will know that the region is famous for the crisp LCBO Vintages new arrivals magazine May 2Sauvignon Blanc’s and Pinot Noir’s. New Zealand even has an official Sauvignon Blanc day in April; how’s that for promoting the varietal?

Although New Zealand only produces less than 1% of the world’s wine, there is an impressive array of varieties and styles.

Rosés just never go out of style and are a fabulous accompaniment to many foods. This release will display all kinds of pink on the shelves so I hope you pick up one or three and think “pink”. Here’s to warm weather and the patio!

 

Cheers,
Julie

If I had $100, I would buy these wines at LCBO Vintages…
May 2, 2015

 

Te Whare Ra Sauvignon Blanc

Te Whare Ra Sauvignon Blanc 2014

Marlborough, South Island, New Zealand
$24.95 (Vintages # 411603) 13% alcohol

Gooseberry and grassy aromas support the fleshy backbone of stone fruit. Flavours of ripe peach, the citrus has some spicy notes but this white wine is smooth as silk. It’s harmonious and gave me the impression of a well made wine. Balanced with an aftertaste of sweet pink grapefruit pith. A great sipper or with some fish tacos or salmon salad.

 

 

Frogpond Organic ChardonnayFrogpond Organic Chardonnay 2013

VQA Niagara on the Lake
$15.00 (Vintages # 203547) 12.2% alcohol

A fresh and lively new Chard. from the Niagara region. The winemaking philosophy behind Frogpond is “harmony in nature is the prerequisite for truly authentic wine”. I was not disappointed and more than amazed at the price point of this white wine.

It’s lively with some tropical fruit, green grass and apple, light bodied but very satisfying on the palate with a respectable fruity finish.

Perfect for a summer luncheon, salad fare or a wonderful sipper on its own.

 

Carpineto Dogajolo RosatoCarpineto Dogajolo Rosato 2014

IGT Toscana, Italy
$14.95 (Vintages #699934) 12.5% alcohol

Pale salmon in colour, floral and fruity aromas. Tart cherry and apple flavours, great acidity and soft in the mouthfeel. It’s light bodied, soft and juicy with a light fruity finish. A beautiful summer rose. I have served this with everything from fish to chicken and someone always ends up checking the beautiful label on the bottle, not (as we know) that that makes the wine! I recently found a recipe for crispy cod taco with a smoked pineapple sauce – this will be my summer match!

 

Wirra Wirra Church BlockWirra Wirra Church Block Cabernet/Shiraz/Merlot 2012

McLaren Vale, Australia
$19.95 (Vintages #24034) 14.5 % alcohol

There is lots going on here with 49% Cabernet, 35% Shiraz and 16% Merlot, not a bit of wonder this masterful red wine blend brings on aromas and flavours of dense, velvety, rich fruit. Impressive structure with soft tannins, lots of backbone! It is a rich wine that would stand up to anything grilled or just on its own – almost approaching nirvana. This is really yum.

 

Lenz Moser TrockenbeerenausleseLenz Moser Prestige Trockenbeerenauslese 2012

Prädikatswein, Burgenland, Austria
$20.95 (Vintages #729657) 10% alcohol

Deep golden yellow the flavours in this desert wine are absolutely delectable. Sweet luscious honeysuckle flavours of baked apple raisin compote with toasted almonds. Creamy deluxe with a seam of acidity that sends you back for more. Absolutely mouth coating and a perfect end to a dinner regardless of the season. Balanced and outstanding, it’s desert on its own but with a strong cheese, your tastebuds are pretty close to heaven.

 

Grand Total: $ 95.80

 

If I had $100…I would buy at LCBO Vintages

Posted by Susan

Friday, March 20th, 2015

One of the sure signs of spring is when California rolls into town for their annual Wine Fair. Always a date on the wine event calendar, this year they are stopping in at Ottawa on April 10 and Toronto on April 13. Aligned with their arrival, the LCBO stocks some extra special California wines in Vintages with the latest release.

March 21 Vintages catalogueI was away on holidays (unfortunately not California!) so Savvy Sommelier Susan Desjardins did the hard job of tasting the wines before they hit the store shelves. Here are her wine tips that will put a spring in your step and some smooth reds – from California and further afield – that will keep you warm on those days when winter seems that it will never ever leave.

Here is our shopping list…if I only had $100 to spend at Vintages this week.

Cheers!
-Debbie

 

 

If I had $100, I would buy these wines at LCBO Vintages
March 21, 2015

 

March 21 Cotes du RhoneGuigal Côtes du Rhône Blanc 2013, France

AC Côtes du Rhône
$18.95 (Vintages #290296) 13.5% alcohol

Consistently and reliably tasty, this versatile white wine is wonderfully aromatic – spring time notions of white flowers, scents of peach, citrus and tropical notes drift from the glass. Dry, medium bodied, it’s smooth and ripe, notes of spice and a replay of luscious stone fruit bathing the palate. Well balanced, with a pleasing touch of bitterness on the finish, this is a great value. Enjoy with roasted spring chicken stuffed with lemon & herbs.

 

March 21 Chateau BellevueChâteau Bellevue la Forêt 2011, France

AC Fronton
$13.95 (Vintages #354134) 14.5% alcohol

This is an unbelievable price! Made primarily from Negrette grapes (an unusual grape variety), then blended with the Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc and Syrah, this red wine has an earthy note—reminiscent of freshly pulled beets—that drifts over the aromas of berry and plum, licorice and spice. Dry, full bodied, the concentrated dark fruit flavours wash across the palate, tinged with a replay of licorice and spice, while that that earthy note persists. Firm in structure, clean in texture, the wine offers a long-lasting and fruit-filled finish. Serve with duck confit and be wowed, or splash some into your glass with leftovers.

 

 

March 21 JoyaBisquertt ‘La Joya Gran Reserva’ Syrah 2012, Chile

Colchagua Valley
$16.95 (Vintages #325407) 14.5% alcohol

This Syrah is an excellent value red wine – period. Good complexity, a well-defined structure and great depth of fruit. On the nose, there are lifted aromas of spice and pepper, dark berries and cherry, with just a whiff of dried herbs. Dry, full bodied, it’s plush and warm, loaded with powerful fruit flavours, notes of chocolate and toast, and a warm, fruity finish. Want me to go on anymore? For this price, serve this as your house red while the snow melts.

 

March 21 YalumbaYalumba ‘The Guardian’ Shiraz/Viognier 2010, Australia

Eden Valley
$21.95 (Vintages #396499) 14.5% alcohol

How to warm up on a chilly night? Look no further for this plush wine with great concentration of fruit flavours. On the nose, cherry, berry, kirsch, spice and vanilla burst through. Dry, medium-full bodied, the intense berry fruit is balanced by a certain freshness to the texture and firm ripe tannins. Tasty, spicy and smooth, get into the habit of firing up the BBQ and enjoy this red wine anything off the grill.

 

I have a confession to make…

Being on a budget of $100, I wanted to make sure that there was some money in the bank to add a California wine to this shopping list.  No matter how hard I try, I sill came over budget by $8.  Hopefully you will forgive me and return enough empty wine bottles to make up the overage!

 

March 21 RidgeRidge Three Valleys 2012, California

Sonoma County
$35.95 (Vintages #652875) 14.2% alcohol

Principally Zinfandel, this blend is of both grape varieties and terroirs to showcase great depth and intensity of aromas and flavours. Opulent fruit is showcased—dark berry and black cherry—mingling with sweet notes of spice and vanilla, with a dash of cracked black pepper. Dry, big and bold, this red wine has polished tannins and plush texture that make it dreamy. Finishing long and warm, it will be a great match for barbequed ribs.

 

GRAND TOTAL: $107.75

If I had $100…I would buy at LCBO Vintages

Posted by Debbie

Friday, March 6th, 2015

OK wine shoppers, the wait is over!  There are amazing wines in the latest release at LCBO Vintages at INCREDIBLE prices.  Yes you heard me correctly, here are 6 wines that should in fact be double their price tag.

LCBO Vintages magazine March 7When I taste wine, I never consider the price until the end.  I sample the wine for its quality, guess to the price, then flip through the catalogue to seek out the actual cost.  The 6 wines I selected in this shopping list, I am baffled why the winemaker is ‘giving them away’.

You will see the shelves are well stocked with wines from British Columbia (yeah!) and Israel (give one a try – you’ll be amazed – guaranteed).  To remind us that St Patricks Day is in a few weeks, there are three different bottles of Irish whiskey on the store shelves.

“Start the car!” and get ready to fill your trunk with these gems.

 

Cheers!
Debbie

 

If I had $100, I would buy these wines at LCBO Vintages…
March 7, 2015

 

Bisol Jeio ProseccoJeio Colmei Extra Dry Valdobbiadene Prosecco Superiore, Italy

Veneto, Italy DOCG
$16.95 (Vintages #30601) 11.5% alcohol

Grab three bottles (you will thank me) and be prepared to come back for more wine after you popped the cork on bottle #1.  Warning, once this sparkling wine is gone, it’s gone for good!  Aromas of fruit salad, crunchy apples, freshly grated ginger with a lime finish…and lively bubbles that are never ending. Chill, sip & repeat. 

 

 

Tinhorn Creek GewurztraminerTinhorn Creek Gewürztraminer VQA 2013, British Columbia

Okanagan, BC
$19.95 (Vintages #904185) 13% alcohol

A classic Gewurz with elegant aromas of green melon, lychee fruit and candied ginger.  Refreshing acidity with a long lingering finish makes this white wine beautiful & simply delicious. A classic match is spicy foods – Chicken Phad Thai, Morroccan Tangine  or a Asian Red Curry with coconut milk will be delicious.

 

 

Puklus Takaji Yellow MuscatPuklus Pincé Tokaji Yellow Muscat, Hungary

Tokaj-Hegyalja, Hungary
$15.95 (Vintages #46508) 13.5% alcohol

I am always on the lookout for hidden gems.  Knowing little about this particular wine, I thought I would give this wine a whirl (errr swirl). I was immediately impressed! Aromas of cantaloupe, honeydew melon and peach jump out of the glass.

Full bodied white wine with refreshing acidity that enhances the fruit – apple, mango, lime – flavours. A great white wine to serve with brunch, appetizers, Indian curry, or pork tenderloin with mango chutney.

“The volcanic/clay soils and hills of northeastern Hungary are to Muscat as Paris is to love or orange is to the new black.” – LCBO Vintages tasting notes

 

Olivares Altos de la HoyaOlivares Altos de la Hoya Monastrell

DO Jumilla, Spain
$13.95 (Vintages #163154) 14% alcohol

This red wine completely caught me off guard.  Everyone at the tasting was talking about the ‘Altos’ wine.  With one sip, I too have been talking about this wine ever since.  Deep ruby colour. Rich aromas, full bodied with predominant red and black fruits in each sip.  A long smoky finish with super smooth tannins.  I am sticker shocked that it is less than $15!

 

 

BenMarco MalbecBenMarco Malbec

Uco Valley, Mendoza Argentine
$18.95 (Vintages # 657601)

I have to confess, I chose this one because of its stunning label. This is a topnotch Malbec  loaded with fruit – pomegranate, boysenberry, ripe & juicy blackberries.  This red wine that is medium to full bodied with a long dark chocolate and coffee finish can be enjoyed with the full range from meatloaf to prime rib.

 

 

Emiliana Novas Grran Reserva Syrah MourvedreEmiliana Novas Gran Reserva Syrah/Mouvédre

Colchagua Valley, Chile
$15.95 (Vintages # 399360)

I have always been a fan of this organic winery.  This red wine blend of Syrah & Mouvédre  grape varieties (more common to French Côtes du Rhone) certainly WOWed me again.  Dark opaque in colour, it is concentrated with red fruit, dark chocolate, warm spices & pencil shavings with lots of tannins that will mellow out over time (cellar for 5 to 7 years) or when enjoyed with rich foods.   A rich wine that seems to last forever.  Fire up the BBQ for steak or get ready for a roast beef feast. An amazing price!

 

GRAND TOTAL: $101.70

 

If I had $100…I would buy these wines at Vintages

Posted by Julie

Friday, February 6th, 2015

Heritage Canada recently put out a pamphlet called “This is why I love Winter”, but they failed to mention the new wines in Vintages. For folks like myself this was a miss since indoor activities can offer up wonderful new tantalizing adventures. The LCBO Vintages release for February 7 offers all kinds of new kids on the block: “South of the Equator”, “Italy’s Native Grapes” and of course, “Valentine’s”.  Talk about something for everyone.

LCBO Vintages Magazine Feb 7Aside from the 37th Winterlude festivities, February can sometimes be dull, so why not sparkle it up with an afternoon brunch or lunch, featuring some new releases. Start with a sparkling or a new white wine and a red. A grouping of cheese, another for meats: interesting cold cuts, salamis’s with a few baguette thins and great mustard, tiny quiches, maybe a little soup (hot or cold) in a shooter, some one bite cupcakes or cocoa brownies to finish. It doesn’t have to be complicated or expensive to make it fun and very satisfying. Introduce a little Port when the cappuccino machine goes on and folks will be talking about this for ages. Different and edgy.

Now this is why I love winter!
Julie

 

If I had $100, I would buy these wines at LCBO Vintages…

February 6, 2015

 

Poulet et Fils Cremant de DiePoulet et Fils Brut Crémant De Die

AC, Rhône, France
$17.95 (Vintages # 392555) 11.5% alcohol

The aromas are like putting your face into a bouquet of roses. Pale golden in colour, those tiny bubbles are just bursting with ripe strawberry and raspberry flavours that continue to effervesce with lemon-lime juiciness. It is a beautiful sparkling wine, perfect for a brunch or to share with a special someone during February. Would be divine with strong cheeses or just on its own.

 

 

Eradus Sauvignong BlancEradus Sauvignon Blanc 2013

Awatere Valley, Marlborough, New Zealand
$18.95 (Vintages #225557) 13.5% alcohol

While not new to Vintages, this 2013 release offers everything in a great Sauvignon Blanc. Pale in colour with lively green apple flavours that give your mouth a vivacious squirt of acidity. Very fresh with lots of lemon-lime on the palate this white wine is also soft and creamy, with a tangy and clean finish. Not overpowering but there’s lots of backbone and it will stand up to spinach spanakopitas.

 

 

Rolf BinderRolf Binder Heinrich Shiraz/Mataro/Grenache 2010

Barossa Valley, Australia
$24.95 (Vintages #995092) 14.5% alcohol

You can’t go wrong with a 65% Shiraz, 25% Mataro and 10% Grenache blend. Aromas of ripe plums and sweet spice carry through to the palate in this bold rich wine. Smooth as silk on the tongue with soft tannins and a fruity finish almost reminiscent of  Christmas cake. Layered and complex, lots going on with every sip and you could easily cellar this beauty for a few years. This red wine would be fabulous with a Cottage pie and don’t skimp on the garlic mash topping.

 

Lamadrid BonardaLamadrid Single Vineyard Bonarda 2011

Mendoza, Argentina
$14.95 (Vintages #232652) 14% alcohol 

Dark and inky in colour, smokey aromas waft from the glass. After just one sip of this red wine, sweet, very ripe dark berries coat the palate that seem to last forever. Blackberries and sweet spice permeate the long fruit finish. Tannins are soft but complex, the wine has good body and would stand up handsomely with anything grilled or some hot salami and olives. It’s also a  great sipper on its own with a page turner book and a fireplace.

 

Warre's Warrior Finest PortWarres Warrior Finest Reserve Port

Douro, Portugal
$16.95  (Vintages# 197202) 20% alcohol

DOP means Protected Denomination of Origin which means it has identifiable characteristics from a certain area in Portugal. With an unbelievable price point it did not disappoint. “Warrior” is the oldest brand of Port in the world, having been shipped continuously since the 1750’s.

A nose of buttered toast, hazelnuts and coffee, it is so big and smooth and deliciously sweet on the palate it reminded me of raisin pecan pie. Silky red fruits partner with the above on the tongue making this one delicious drink. I also got a little lemon and licorice the finish, the flavours did not stop coming and I was pretty impressed for that price. With some strong smelly cheese and a bowl of warm mixed nuts, that would be a powerful afternoon or after dinner delight. (Would also make a great hostess gift).

 

Grand Total: $93.75

 

If I only had $100, I would buy these wines at Vintages…

Posted by Debbie

Friday, January 9th, 2015

I can hardly believe that I am writing 2015! And what better way to start the new year but with “The Smart Buys Issue” from Vintages.  This makes my homework really easy when there are so many tried & true great value wines. I am also happy to report that the several new wines to LCBO`s Vintages do not break the bank.

Smart Buy WinesVintages magazine states, “The definition of value is the quality of something compared to the price paid for it”.  Many times I have written about finding an outstanding wine at a popular price point. It really feels like a bargain although I’m never sure of the price you can put on real quality. After all there are some quality wines at $15 and also at $20. So in this release, I challenge you to find your smart buys, albeit I‘ll help with a few suggestions in this shopping list below.

This Smart Buys issue also celebrates the 256th birthday of Robbie Burns and while I didn’t get around to tasting the Bunnahabhain 18-year old Islay Single Malt at $179.95 (Vintages #247049), I’ll bet you for those malt fans out there, it would not disappoint.

So let’s start our new year out right with some “smart buys” and we’ll just go from there.
Julie

 

If I had $100, I would buy these wines at LCBO Vintages…

Saturday January 10, 2015

 

Jan 10 See Ya LaterSee Ya Later Ranch Chardonnay 2012

VQA Okanagan, British Columbia
$17.95 (Vintages # 126912)  13% alcohol

With the highest elevation vineyard in the Okanagan Valley this lovely Chardonnay is an example of what British Columbia grapes can produce. Pale in colour, fruity, crisp, light and smooth, with tastes of soft apricots and almonds on the palate. It is a delicate Chardonnay with a soft buttery finish and a little lime zest. This white wine is wonderful on its own or try this with some Mac n’ Cheese – Monday night dinners will never be the same.

Haha 2013 Sauvignon Blanc

Marlborough, South Island, New Zealand
$17.95 (Vintages # 388363)  13% alcohol

You just have to love a wine called “Haha” and I’m not sure if the winemaker was wanting to play a trick, but there was nothing tricky about this fabulous Sauvignon Blanc. Looking into it further, Hãhã is a Mãori word which means savoury and luscious. I`ll buy that!  The usual culprits descriptors for Sauvignon Blanc spring to mind: grapefruit and lime citrus, a little gooseberry (also known as cat’s pee – strangely, this is a good thing!).  This white wine is lively with a little pithiness on the finish and lots of fresh pizzazz.  Your taste buds burst with saliva which makes it a fabulous appertif. With some fig and hazelnut Raincoast crackers and soft cheese in an endive leaf it would be divine. A lovely new Sauvignon Blanc at a very nice price point.

Jan 10 Devils Corner wineDevils Corner Pinot Noir 2013

Brown Brothers, Tasmania
$23.95 (Vintages # 317966)  14% alcohol

On the east coast in Tasmania’s Tamar river valley lies the Devil’s Corner Vineyard. No doubt named on account of a treacherous bend in the river the winery has become a sanctuary for growing several award winning varietals entrenched deep with family history.  Soft aromas of cherries with herbs, a little forest floor and ripe plums on the palate to give this medium bodied, silky gem a delicious mouthfeel. Fine tannins and refreshing acidity make it an attractive companion with everything from charcuterie to rabbit.

 

Monasterio De Las Vinas Reserva 2006 

DO Carinena, Spain
$14.95 (Vintages # 166579)  13% alcohol

A beautiful deep ruby red wine with a heady blend of Grenache, Carignan and Tempranillo grapes, all being aged in either American or French oak for approximately 12 months. Rich ripe fruits in the aromas; black ripe plums and cherries spring to mind  that carry through on the palate with a little vegetal, peppery taste that adds interest to the melange of flavours. There’s little sweet spice on the long finish that makes this a lovely wine to sip on its own or with any grilled meats or strong cheese. There’s also enough fruit that I would say you could cellar for a couple of years.

 

Lafage Cote Sud 2012Jan 10 Lafage

IGP Cotes Catalanes, Roussillon, France
$14.95 (Vintages # 395236)   14% alcohol

After tasting some wines I have to go back and look at the price point, just to confirm I hadn’t mistaken it for more than its actual price tag. This is one of those wines that tastes like it is $10 more! Bright ruby and garnet with rich ripe currants and blackberries in the aromas and tastes. It’s full bodied and fruity with sweet spices lingering through the soft tannins in the aftertaste. It would be wonderful with any wintery roast with all the trimmings.

 

 

Grand Total: $ 89.75 (look what Ive saved you already!)

 

The 12 SAVVY Days of Christmas…

Posted by Debbie

Friday, December 20th, 2013

Can you believe Christmas is tomorrow!?! Don’t despair…Be Savvy! Our team of Savvy Sommeliers are here to help! There is still time to wrap up these gifts:

Our #1 gift: Savvy Selections wine of the month club 3, 4 or 6 month subscription

Our ever popular Wine Appreciation 101 ‘Class’ with Savvy Sommelier Debbie Trenholm

NEW this year! Cheesey FUN-damentals ‘Class’ – a full day with our Cheese Sommelier Vanessa Simmons


And don’t forget to stock up on wines!

Our Sommeliers have a special holiday assortment of Ontario wines that will WOW your family & friends. And be sure to have our special bubbly for $18.95 (regular $27.95) for New Years Eve!

The Savvy Holiday Hotline is 613-SAVVYCO (728-8926)
or cheers@savvycompany.ca

 

The Savvy Elves are in the festive mood! We’ve been singing holiday songs in the office all month long. Here is the SAVVY version of The 12 Days of Christmas!

On the 1st day of Christmas, my true love gave to me. . .

1 Wine Appreciation 101 ‘Class’ on January 18 with Savvy Sommelier Debbie Trenholm. Join Debbie for a full day of learning about wines from around the world, wine lingo, the importance of glassware & decanters, tricks for ordering wine at a restaurant . . . AND Debbie will even show you how to sabre a bottle of bubbly!

On the 2nd day of Christmas. . .

2 Back-to-Back weekends featuring Wine Appreciation 101 ‘Class’ (January 18) & Cheesey FUN-damentals ‘Class’ (January 25) by the Savvy ‘Teachers’ & dynamic duo: Debbie Trenholm (for wine) & Vanessa Simmons (for artisan cheese). Join us for one or come to both ‘classes’ for a true wine & cheese experience like you have never had before. Homework never tasted so good!

On the 3rd day. . .

3 Savvy gift certificates for tickets to upcoming Savvy Events in 2014. Ideal for those hard-to-buy-for friends . . . and as a thank you gift for colleagues & clients too.

On the 4th day. . .

4 month subscription to Savvy Selections wine of the month club . Our #1 gift! Each month, three different hard-to-find Ontario wines selected by our team of Savvy Sommeliers conveniently arrive at your home or office. “It’s like Christmas for adults. Wines arrive on my doorstep every month!” – Colleen

On the 5th day. . .

5 ‘Must Buy’ wines from the LCBO featured in our blog If I only had $100, I would buy at LCBO. Use this shopping list for great value wines at Vintages as chosen by our Savvy Sommeliers Julie Stock & Susan Desjardins

On the 6th day. . .

6 month subscription to Savvy Selections – Ontario’s largest wine of the month club. The perfect gift for any wine lover . . . yourself included! Three bottles of wine that you won’t find at the LCBO are delivered directly to you each month – can shopping be any easier?

On the 7th day. . .

7 days a week you can contact us online with our NEW Live Chat. Ask us any question about wine, artisan cheese & craft beer. Try it out now on www.savvycompany.ca . . .”Operators are standing by”!

On the 8th day. . .

Our Savvy Elves are working over 8 hours a day & we’re online around the clock! Call our Savvy Team on 613-SAVVYCO (728-8926) each day leading up to Christmas or reach us online anytime at cheers@savvycompany.ca

On the 9th day. . .

$9 off sparkling wine from Niagara-on-the-Lake – so delicious you’d think it is French Champagne! Pop the cork when your friends drop in during the holidays or stock up for New Years Eve. ONLY $18.95 – and shipping is FREE when you order 12 bottles.

On the 10th day. . .

Round up 10 friends, colleagues or clients for a private Savvy Sommelier led wine, artisan cheese or craft beer tasting – a fun way to entertain in your home or at the office. Call on us to create a fun & memorable event. You invite the guests – we do the rest.

On the 11thday. . .

11 fantastic years in business – thank you for your continuing support as Savvy Company grows. Here’s to what in store for us in 2014!

On the 12th day. . .

12 different bottles of incredible Ontario wines – you won’t find these wines at the LCBO – delivered to you to enjoy during the holidays. Order today & your wines will be delivered in time for Christmas.

 

Happy Ho-Ho-Ho Holidays from all of us at Savvy Company.
Here’s to an exciting & delicious New Year together discovering wines, artisan cheeses & craft beers!

Debbie, the Savvy Team & Savvy Elves too!

 

PS – Have you seen the articles showcasing Debbie & her festive ideas in the holiday issue of Ottawa at Home Magazine (page 42 & 43)? And be on the lookout for her in this coming Saturday’s Ottawa Citizen

 

California Wine Fair coming to Ottawa & Toronto

Posted by Susan

Thursday, February 28th, 2013

The California Wine Fair is visiting Canada this spring with stops in Toronto (April 8, the Fairmont Royal York) & Ottawa (April 5, Westin Ottawa).  Always a sell out, we recommend that you don’t miss this opportunity to enjoy a huge assortment of the newest wines & styles coming from the west coast wine regions.

Cutting-Edge California trends

To prep you for the California Wine Fair, March is the feature month for California wines in the LCBO.  To kick it all off, this weekend’s LCBO Vintages release focusing on ‘Cutting-Edge California’ trends. The Wine Institute of California has identified some of the evolving trends, including emerging regions and varietals, as well as more extensive use of environmentally friendly practices, such as dry farming, which relies only on rainfall and fog.

The new generation of California winemakers and grape growers is strongly committed to sustainable agriculture, which has become a common approach for California producers determined to preserve the quality of their vineyards and the state’s water resources. California is blessed with a wide range of growing conditions thanks to its varied topography, proximity to the Pacific Ocean and diverse soil conditions. As a result, grapes produced from international varieties such as Riesling Gewürztraminer, Merlot and Tempranillo are now appearing on California wine labels, while lesser known regions such as Mendocino and Napa’s Lake County are introducing wine from varieties long grown in California, such as Chardonnay, Cabernet Sauvignon and Pinot Noir.

Must try California wines ….

I’d recommend in this release to seek out the classic Chardonnays, a Gewürztraminer from Monterey County, a unique blend of Viognier, Verdelho, Sauvignon Blanc and Vermentino from Paso Robles.  When it comes to red wines, try the organic Pinot Noir from Bonterra, Napa classics such as Frog’s Leap Cabernet Sauvignon, or a Vintages favorite, Liberty School Syrah.

… there are Italian wines featured too!

The secondary feature of this release draws attention to the native grapes of Italy’s southern mainland and the islands of Sardinia and Sicily, including wines produced from white grapes varieties such as the well-known Verdicchio, and from red wine varieties such as Montepulciano d’Abruzzo, Nero d’Avola, Cannonau di Sardegna (Grenache) and Italy’s noble southern grape, Aglianico.

Other wines to consider adding to your shopping cart – a lovely Pinot Gris from Malivoire, a fabulous Gamay Noir from Tawse, an award-winning Alsatian Pinot Blanc from Jean Geiler (only $14.95!), as well as Piñol’s Ludovicus, a Grenache blend and outstanding value at just $13.95.

There were so many great wines in this release that it made it difficult for me to keep within my $100 budget —I am over by 75 cents – no pennies required!

Cheers and Enjoy!

Susan

 

Vina Robles White 4 2010

Paso Robles, California
$18.95 (Vintages #313460) 14.2% alcohol


This assemblage of Viognier, Verdelho, Sauvignon Blanc and Vermentino offers great complexity and style. It’s perfumed and aromatic, displaying floral notes, passion fruit, citrus, mango and stone fruit. Dry, medium bodied, creamy and rich in texture yet lively on the palate, the harmony of the fruit flavours replays and amplifies through the crisp finish. Lovely integration, balance, flavour and texture. Enjoy as a sipper or with light fare.

 

 

 

Bonterra Pinot Noir 2010

Mendocino County, California
$19.95 (Vintages #317685) 14.1% alcohol
Here’s another great example of the flavourful organic wines Bonterra has been producing for years. Enticing aromas of red cherry/berry fruit, sweet spice and a touch of toast rise from the glass. Dry, silky, the luscious core of ripe fruit mingles with notes of milk-chocolate-coated cherries and vanilla, the sweet spice and toast replaying. A very approachable wine, balanced and flavourful, it has the heft to pair with roast beef tenderloin with root vegetables.

Aldiano Montepulciano d’Abruzzo ‘Riserva’ 2008

DOC Montepulciano d’Abruzzo, Italy
$17.95 (Vintages #61706) 14.0% alcohol
Inky, opaque and intensely aromatic, this is a stunning wine and a great value. Notes of plum, blueberry, pipe tobacco and vanilla tease the nose. On the palate, it’s dry yet velvety, mid-full weight, rich in dark fruit that’s framed by fine-grained tannins. There’s a freshness complementing the ripe fruit, while notes of espresso bean and a hint of earth linger on the finish. Serve with meat-based pasta.

Konzelmann Heritage 2010

VQA Niagara Peninsula, Ontario
$24.95 (Vintages #149179) 14.0% alcohol
Here’s finely crafted assemblage of Shiraz, Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot offering alluring aromas of fully ripened red and black fruits, baking spice, pepper and a whiff of smoke. Dry, medium-full bodied, the texture is velvety, the tangy flavours of black cherry, cassis and raspberry mingling with notes of spice, dried herbs and toasty oak. Soft ripe tannins and fresh acidity underpin the ripe fruit, lending fullness to a persistent warm finish graced with notes of spice and pepper. Pair with rare roast beef. It’s sold out at the winery, so don’t miss this opportunity!

 

Barossa Valley Estate ‘E Minor’ Shiraz 2010

Barossa Valley, Australia
$18.95 (Vintages #295907) 14.5% alcohol
Classic Shiraz from a reputable and reliable producer equals great value! Savour the high-toned aromas of black berry, kirsch, smoke, crushed pepper and sweet spice. Dry, full bodied, the wine offers a rush of intense, concentrated dark fruit and black pepper, along with a subtle earthy quality and notes of char. This is a big, powerful, well-balanced wine, well structured with a lasting fruity-filled finish.

Grand Total: $100.75

 

Got the urge to splurge?

Frog’s Leap Cabernet Sauvignon 2010

Napa Valley, California
$56.95 (Vintages #932400) 13.9% alcohol
This is a powerful, complex cellar-worthy wine, inky purple and enticing with its layers of aromas and flavours—hints of menthol, lavender, dried herbs, cedar, cassis, black cherry and smoke. Dry, full bodied, firmly structured, it displays a clean tangy texture and a concentrated core of full-flavoured fruit. Finishing dry and long, it’s your wine of choice for rare red meats.

 

Wines to warm your winter

Posted by Julie

Friday, February 15th, 2013

Ottawa in February offers many wintery activities but Winterlude is truly our city’s greatest celebration: skating on the canal, viewing the ice sculptures, walking around the market restaurants to taste what the chef’s have specially prepared to celebrate, so that you do not have to waste much time doing routine things like shopping, here is a quick ‘must by list’ of wines available in LCBO Vintages release as of February 16.

This release features heart warming Cabernet red wines, a few  Kosher wines for Passover as well as some Ontario award winning wines.

What is Kosher wine?

I have never written anything on a Kosher wine, but after tasting many delicious Kosher wines in this release, I found myself doing research on Jewish traditions. Familiar with the term “Kosher”, I did not realize that kosher wines must be processed by only Sabbath-observant Jewish males touching the grapes from the crushing phase through to the bottling.

Kosher wines also differ from those made specifically for Passover. These wines must be made from mould (all wines require some mould or yeast) that has not been grown on bread and cannot have any common preservatives such as potassium sorbate. There is also a “P” on the label which means it is meant for Passover.  While I wrote on one Kosher wine below, there is another in this release I really liked called Segal’s Fusion Merlot/Cabernet Franc/Cabernet Sauvignon (KPM) 2001 (Israel)  that is made by a former poet, journalist and barman. With all that on his CV, he probably sleeps well at night.

If you too are curious about Kosher wines, this is the time of year when there are many at the LCBO – so pick one up & give it a try!

I won’t be blogging again until April since I am off to work in Shanghai, but I can’t wait to catch up with you again in April.

Cheers to Winterlude…and Happy Passover!

Julie

 

Clay Station Unoaked Viognier 2011

Lodi, California, U.S.A.
$16.95 (Vintages #25411) 13.5% alcohol

I have read that the Viognier grape is somewhat temperamental to grow but am grateful that some winemakers got it right. It has been described similarly to Chardonnay in that it shares tropical fruit flavours and has a creamy mouthfeel. This Viognier is pale golden in colour with tantilizing aromas of blossoms and honey. It is smooth and velvety in texture and oh so deliciously mouthcoating with apricots, mango and a little vanilla and caramel on the after taste. It’s bone dry but with distinct richness in flavour. For the price point, I think it’s spectacular.

 

Fielding Estate Riesling 2011

VQA Niagara Peninsula, Ontario, Canada
$18.95 (Vintages #251439) 10.5% alcohol

This Riesling is so deliciously fresh and clean tasting. Lots of citrusy expression with an undermining of minerality and stone, softly textured with subtle fruit flavours and plain lip-smacking good. It is a fabulous afternoon sipper or would be great with spicey chicken, pork chops and of course any fish dish. It’s a very versatile food wine.

Château Cailleteau Bergeron 2010

AC Blaye-Cotes-de-Bordeaux, France
$17.95 (Vintages# 309138) 14% alcohol

This wine won a Gold Medal at the 2012 Concours Général Agricole in Paris! I try not to pick the “already winners”, but write on ones that I think are really good wines. With a blend of 80% Merlot, 10% Cabernet Sauvignon, !0% Malbec, how could this Bordeaux not be delicious.  Aromas of violets and red ripe berries that follow through on the palet, medium bodied with a little tobacco, soft tannins, and a tad spice are all the yummies that develop in your senses. They persist and make for a really smooth finish.

Five Stones Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon (KPM) 2010    *KOSHER

Margaret River, Western Australia Beckett’s Flat
$19.95 (Vintages #157305)  13.5% alcohol

The Five Stones Winery used to be called Beckett’s Flat and has been producing kosher wine since 1998. They are located in the southwest corner of Australia surrounded by three sides of ocean. Their wines are processed without the use of any animal products and under strict kosher supervision, all suitable for Passover and Mevushal.

I just couldn’t spit this wine and had to swallow. If that sounds funny, try tasting over 50 wines in a morning. Sound familiar to any other sommeliers out there?  Blends of dark fruits, blackberries, plum, tobacco, leather  and spice on the nose following through with a harmony of bone dry fruit flavours, soft tannins and oh so drinkable.  Since I am not Jewish I kept wondering if I would be in frowned upon. But it’s a lovely, well-made Cab and I’d be proud to have it on my dining table – regardless of what denomination is comng for dinner.

 

Fairview Caldera Grenache/Shiraz/Mourvedre 2008

WO Coastal Region, Charles Back, South Africa
$22.95 (Vintages #3013330) 14% alcohol

This is another fabulous blend of 50% Grenache (68-70 year old bush vines), 25% Shiraz and 25% Mourvedre aged in old wooden 225-liter barrels. Lots of dark berries and quite peppery that makes it interesting and edgy. Very dry but elegant on the palate with strong blackberry flavours making it quite a rich wine. Would be fabulous with a steak or rack of lamb with some buttery spuds.

 

Grand Total: $ 96.75