Posts Tagged ‘Benjamin Bridge Nova 7’

Ooooooo Canada!

Posted by Julie

Tuesday, June 26th, 2018

Everyone is gearing up to celebrate Canada Day.  Across the country on July 1 there will be loads of free musical concerts, fireworks, carnivals, on BBQs and outdoor events of all sizes. Those of us spending the long weekend at a cottage, on a sailboat, on a golf course or on the backyard deck, here’s my suggestions on what to drink July 1 – all-Canadian of course!

Did you know…

….that Canada’s first commercial estate winery, Vin Villa, was established on Pelee Island (the southern most wine region in Ontario) in 1866?

….that 6 provinces in Canada have their own wine regions?

…that VQA (Vintners Quality Alliance) on a bottle of Ontario or British Columbia wine means that it is the province’s “appellation of origin” system which define the grape-growing regions and set standards for the wines.


Let’s pop open some bottles!

The recent Vintages release at the LCBO has several suggestions for Canada Day. I was lucky to sample some & have also included my top picks of the LCBO’s General List products that you can enjoy on Canada Day…and for that matter all year round. My selection will take you from brunch to dinner with choices in between for a burst of invigoration.  Our Canadian wines and beer make us very proud!

Happy Canada Day,



From Nova Scotia…

Benjamin Bridge Nova 7  Sparkling 2016
(LCBO #256289)  $26.95

Aromatic and fresh with soft orchard fruit flavours, this sparkling wine with golden mousse offers lively acidity. Instead of a traditional champagne cork, the screwcap opens like a regular bottle of wine with a treat of effervescence flows into the glass. It is a perfect wine for brunch or mid-afternoon thirst quencher or to serve as an aperitif.  From quiche to seafood, it goes with everything.


From British Columbia….

Quail’s Gate Rose 2017
(LCBO #275842)  $19.95

If you like fresh rhubarb & strawberries, this rose wine tastes just like that!  It reminds me of the aromas & taste of the juicy ripe strawberries that have just been picked.  The problem  with this tangy & delicious wine is that it goes down too smoothly. I could sip this summertime wine all afternoon.


From Ontari-ari-ariooo…

These outstanding wines are always available & always reliable.

Kacaba Vineyards Unoaked Chardonnay VQA
(LCBO #326975)  $15.95

Mea culpa, I always encourage people to try something new but I confess…this is my go-to white wine. Pale in colour, loads of tropical fruit flavours, always crisp, always delivers. As I write this I am already thinking how nicely it will taste with my grilled chicken, some crusty bread and my everything salad for dinner tonight – how Canadian is that ?


Trius Sauvignon Blanc VQA
(LCBO #221804)  $15.95 (on sale for Canada Day weekend for $1 off)

If you are a fan of New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc, here is a home-grown Sauvignon Blanc that you definitely should to try. Zingy grapefruit, some lemon-lime flavours, it is crisp and light-bodied, a perfect afternoon sipper.  A great price point for this Canadian gem.


Featherstone Cabernet Franc VQA
(LCBO #64618)  $19.95

A few months ago I was looking for something different and an LCBO product consultant introduced this red wine to me. (Don’t ever underestimate the knowledge of LCBO consultants) I admit that I hesitated since Cabernet Franc is not a varietal I would normally seek out, however with every sip of this wine, I was NOT disappointed. Slightly floral on the nose, this is an impressive, smooth red wine with generous lively berry flavours.  Medium-bodied, this wine has enough weight to partner with grilled meat but light enough you could easily place it beside grilled salmon.

I’ve long been a fan of Featherstone wines, ever since I visited the winery along the Beamsville Bench (in Niagara) & saw sheep nibbling at the grape leaves in the vineyard.


The Foreign Affair Winery – The Conspiracy VQA
(LCBO #149237)  $19.95

This medium-bodied blend of Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Cabernet Franc is berry-rich. Made in the Ripasso style (grapes are air dried) increases volume and depth of flavour. It provides absolutely lip smacking goodness with steak or hamburgers, lamb burgers or a rack of ribs – sheer yum.


Heading to The County?

For those of you who are lucky to be visiting Prince Edward County on the Canada Day weekend, here’s my tips on where to go, because there are now over 40 picturesque wineries that it is next to impossible to visit them all – even during a long weekend.

Casa-Dea offers a lovely patio for lunch overlooking the vineyards with many of their wines not readily available at the LCBO.

Neighbouring winery, Rosehall Run Vineyards also has some award winners – especially their Pinot Noirs – there are always a collection of medallions hanging around the bottle’s neck.  And down the road there is the stunning country setting of The Grange Winery. This former cannery is one of the first wineries in The County. The huge barn is now a tasting room with views of a nearby stream and fields, you feel like you’ve have been transported back into pioneer days.

Finally, while idyllically meandering about The County, pop into Lighthall Vineyards in Milford & say “Hi” to a long time Savvy fan & friend – Glenn Symmons. He is the one-man-show running this winery with his top selling Progression sparkling wine made of 100% Vidal grapes.  That wine alone is worth the trip to The County just to pick up a few of those bottles. When you are down that way you, visit County Cider for a splash of something different and fill up at Fifth Town Artisan Cheese. Your taste buds will love you for it and with the wine you pick up while on tour, it will be one delicious Canada Day.

Check out our 101 Things to do in The County tips too!


Featured wines available at the LCBO…






















Spotlight’s on Top Canadian wines!

Posted by Amanda

Friday, August 29th, 2014

Are you a wine enthusiast?    So many people in Ottawa want to discover fine wines from across Canada & this summer we hosted our first annual All Canadian Taste & Buy wine event, featuring 100% Canadian wines from British Columbia, Ontario, Quebec & Nova Scotia.

It was an incredible night with 25 wineries serving 100+ wines – none of which are available at the LCBO. What a way to be introduced to hard-to-find wines from different places & provinces…under the stars with music playing, fine foods to nibble & nosh while you sample amazing wines – many that you have never tasted before.  With each sip, it was a chance to be WOWed & proud of the wines made across our country.

All Canadian Wine event July 16_o

You can still order ANY of the featured wines from us! This is a great way to stock up on new discoveries of Canadian wines & have them shipped directly from the winery – delivered to your home or office.  For a limited time offer you can order ANY assortment of 12 wines from any province & shipping is FREE.

To make it easy for you to receive the best of the best from coast to coast, click here for the top selling wines from each winery.


Top Selling Canadian Wines

Sparkling Wines

Casa-Dea Estates Sparkling Rosé

Tawse Estate ‘Spark’ Riesling (dry) VQA 2012

The Grange Sparkling Riesling VQA 2013


White Wines

new bunches 2Benjamin Bridge – Nova 7 (white wine with slight bubbles)

Devil’s Wishbone Pinot Gris VQA 2013

Di Profio Wines ‘The Kitchen Zinc’ (white blend) VQA 2013

Hubbs Creek Pinot Gris VQA 2013

Huff Estates Riesling Off Dry VQA 2012

Redstone Winery Viognier VQA 2012

Rosewood Estates Sussreserve Riesling VQA 2013


Red Wines

grapes purple NOTLCarone Vignoble BIN 33 2011 (red blend)

Château des Charmes Gamay Noir VQA 2012

Fielding Estates Rock Pile Red (blend) VQA 2012

Kacaba Vineyards Terrace Vineyard Syrah VQA 2011

Keint-He Winery Voyageur Pinot Noir VQA 2012

Lailey Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon VQA 2012

Lighthall Vineyard Pinot Noir VQA 2010

Palatine Hills Estate Cabernet Merlot VQA 2010

Pondview Estates Cabernet Merlot Reserve VQA 2011

Poplar Grove Merlot VQA 2009

Riverview Cellars Salvatore’s Cab Sauvignon VQA 2011

Southbrook Vineyard Triomphe Cabernet Franc VQA 2012

Sue-Ann Staff Winery Cabernet Merlot VQA 2010

Vineland Estates Pinot Meunier VQA 2011


Dessert Wines

Ferme Guy Rivest La Donzelle (fortified strawberry wine with raspberry)


Savvy Events

Not to worry if you missed this event, we often organize fun, interactive wine tastings for groups of all sizes. Stay tuned for our next big event in November, shining the spotlight on Ontario wines this time. Send an email to for more information on what we’re doing around town.

Find out more about Canadian Wines

fall vineyard3This weekend, go exploring and discover great Canadian wines. Why not take a road-trip and meander the country roads of Niagara, Prince Edward County or Quebec, where you can get to know the people behind our wonderful wines and find out more about producing award-winning grapes, working with the land and choosing that perfect combination of grape varieties.

Alternatively, sit back and read about the many wineries that participate in our Savvy Selections, Ontario’s largest wine of the month club. We give you family history, background, ambition and good old ‘love of the land’ as well as food pairings, recipes and our Sommeliers’ tips on these boutique wineries around Ontario.



keep calm

Remember to Keep Calm

& Drink Canadian wines with us!








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

Posted by Debbie

Saturday, July 19th, 2014

I’m off to to Niagara this weekend with many other wine fantics who do not subscribe to the wine world’s ‘ABC’ that is Anything But Chardonnay. World-class wines will be on show!  In case you can’t make the trip, why not check out this week’s offerings at LCBO Vintages for the July 19 release, you can get your fill of Chardonnay at your local LCBO.

LCBO Vintages release July 19History of the Chard 

I have never understood why one grape variety can create two different camps…those who like drinking Chardonnay wines and those who won’t ever touch a bottle with that word on it.  I think it began when Chardonnays were introduced as big bold full bodied white wines that had been aged in oak barrels until they tasted predominantly of buttered popcorn, oak and vanilla (classic aromas & taste characteristics of heavily oak aged wines).  But I have caught ABC-ers who like Chablis (which is unoaked Chardonnay) or Blanc de Blanc sparkling wines (made with 100% Chardonnay).

I admit that I subscribe not to ‘ABC’ but to the ‘DEFG’ Definitely Everything (made) From Grapes.  There are so many wines, why limit yourself.

Celebrating Chardonnay

This weekend is the 4th annual International Cool Climate Chardonnay Celebration (aka i4C).  Yes another acronym.  I left the high tech world because of all of the acronyms were confusing and found that the wine industry used few.  So this weekend’s i4C in Niagara is an exception to that rule and promises to be an exceptional wine weekend.

Imagine an afternoon that will carry into the evening of only Chardonnay wines.  I can’t wait to discover all of the different ways Chardonnay is used.  Winemakers from all over the world will congregate in Niagara to showcase their Chardonnays at events that include bonfires & pig roasts, lunch in the vineyard, Sunday brunch and a “Grand Tasting”. This is my first time to i4C and stay tuned for Tweets & my next blog to let you know how the weekend unfolds.

Until then, these are my picks of Chardonnay & other summer time sippers that you will want to pick up from Vintages this weekend.



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

July 19, 2014


Benjamin Bridge Nova 7

Benjamin Bridge Nova 7 2013

Gaspereau Valley, Nova Scotia
$25.95 (Vintages #256289) 7% alcohol

A refreshing wine with a slight fizz.  Just enough bubbles to tempt you to serve it with brunch or to sip on as you get ready for a BBQ.  We recently poured this unique white wine as a ‘welcoming wine’ for our 1st annual Celebrate Red & White! It was a huge hit. A blend made with 100% NS grapes (The primary grape is New York Muscat with Chardonnay, l’Acadie Blanc, Seyval, Perle, and others. Each vintage is a little different as a reflection of the NS growing season and what Mother Nature brought the winemaking team at Benjamin Bridge). This beautiful copper hued colour has refreshing racy flavors that resembles rhubarb.



Zuccardie Seria A ChardonnayZuccardi Serie A Chardonnay/Viognier 2012

Mendoza, Chile
$14.95, (Vintages 262097) 13.5% alcohol

The Zuccardi family, makers of FuZion wines,  has become one of Argentina’s largest wineries.  A beautiful blend of Chardonnay with one of my favorite white grape varieties – Viognier – this is a beautiful white wine to have in the fridge for any occasion. Loaded with tropical aromas & tastes (think mango, pineapple & guava) with a citrusy zing that makes it refreshing.  Serve with steamed mussels, lobster, grilled fish or chicken satay skewers. TIP: pick up more than 1 bottle.  This wine will sell quickly.



13th Street June's Chardonnay13th Street June’s Vineyard Chardonnay VQA 2012

Niagara Peninsula, Ontario
$21.95 (Vintages 236745) 13.9% alcohol

OK…I have to confess.  One stop that I make every time I visit Niagara wine region is to 13th Street Estate Winery. Why? For their buttertarts.  Yes, this winery has hands down the best buttertarts around. Their wine is outstanding too.  And their tasting room & patio is a worthwhile reason to stop.

The winery team is very much involved in i4C hosting several events including Barrels & Bonfires – a Chardonnay soaked pig roast.   There will be a lot of this Chardonnay served.

This white wine is an unoaked Chardonnay with notes of apple (green apple or is it Macintosh?) with fresh juicy pears with a minerality that is the terroir coming through.  “Limestone and Chardonnay are like peanut butter and jam…they were just made for each other!”, comments 13th Street winemaker Jean Pierre Colas who was born and raised in Chablis, France – a region that specializes in unoaked Chardonnay.


Rancho Zabacco ZinfandelRancho Zabaco Heritage Vines Zinfandel 2012

Sonoma County, California
$19.95 (Vintages #434605)

What tipped me off that this would be a good wine?  The word Lodi.  This is the rarely mentioned wine region that neighbours Sonoma & Napa.  When I visited it, I was reminded more of grape farming than a wine region.  Like corn, rows of vineyards traced the hillside as far as the eye could see.  Ford F150 trucks & John Deer tractors lined the roads more than rental cars of tourists.

Zinfandel vines are over 100 years old in Lodi and grow more like small trees than trellised vines. Wines made with Lodi grapes (sometimes blended with grapes from Sonoma or Napa) will promise you rich texture, dark berry jam aromas & tastes with a full body.  This one is definitely one to crack open when you fire up a BBQ. It is no wonder that it was given a score of 90 by Robert Parker Jr & named as Wine of the Month by the team at Vintages. This red wine will be a hot seller.


Vina Tarapaca Gran Reserva CarmeneraVina Tarapaca Gran Reserva Carmenère 2011

Maipo Valley, Chile
$17.95 (Vintages #57513)

Another one of my favorite wine words: Carmenère.  For the longest time grape growers in Chile thought Carmenère grapes were in fact Merlot until someone put it under the microscope.  An extra lobe on the leaf of the plant let the secret out about this grape variety.  Carmenère was a long lost variety that was once grown in Bordeaux France before the nasty Phylloxera bug decimated countless European vineyards back in the 1800s. This grape variety grows so well that the Chileans are making this as their signature red wine.

This red wine is loaded with flavour of anything black – plums, black berry & black cherry, this smooth full bodied red wine is  90% Carmenère with the rest topping up with Syrah grapes. Another one to serve with anything off the grill.