Posts Tagged ‘Canadian ice cider’

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

Posted by Julie

Friday, May 13th, 2016

In the 2016 merry month of May, LCBO Vintages brings back all kinds of “Customer Favourites”. In the May 14 release, there’s a varied collection of wines from around the world that you will just LOVE!

LCBO Vintages Magazine May 14These are tried & true bestsellers that come with our Vintages customers’ seal of approval.  There are also some great new picks from New Zealand to help us give summer a push.  Believe me when I say…this is the time to go looking for new favorite wines.

I found a little trivia on the month when I was scouting on the internet. Things I did not know is that 1) May was named after the Greek goddess Maia, of fertility and 2) in any given year, no month ever begins or ends on the same day of the week as May does. How’s that for (useless) information.

But it’s a beautiful month and everything with legs is out there walking, running, cycling etc…and speaking of legs, there are some great wine picks here and some even have legs!


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

Saturday May , 2016


Dog Point Sauvignon Blanc 2015Dog Point Sauvignon Blanc 2015

Marlborough, South Island
$24.95 (Vintages #677450) 13.5% alcohol

Year after year “Dog Point” produces first class Sauvignon Blanc’s.  Pungent aromas of lemon, lime, a little ginger that follows through on the palate. It’s light to medium weight delivering great fruit flavour. There’s some grapefruit on the aftertaste that pulls it all together with a tangy white peppery finish. Clean and fresh, it never disappoints. It’s one great sipper.


Fielding Rosé 2015Fielding Estate Rosé 2015

VQA Niagara Peninsula
$15.95 (Vintages #53421) 12.3% alcohol 

For those of you who follow my column, you know I am a big fan of Fielding wines and this rosé is the best ever.  And so pretty in PINK, a lighter colour than other years; I really do prefer the lighter coloured rosés, they just seem to have more “class”. There’s a hint of sweetness in the off dry candy floss taste but it’s very smooth and edgey with enough acidity to make it interesting while delivering culprits of tart rhubarb and ripe strawberries.  It is a lovely rosé. I hope winemaker Richie Roberts made enough to last the summer.  There’s a case of this on my list.


Conundrum Red 2013Conundrum Red 2013

25th anniversary edition, California
$24.95 (Vintages #294298) 14.2% alcohol

A fabulously deep ruby red and the label on this bottle tells that the Wagner family has gone all out to celebrate. There is outstanding intensity to this big robust red. Rich ripe dark berries that are generous in flavours make it extremely palatable. Soft tannins offer good balance and a delicate mix of spice at the end make this year’s Conundrum special indeed.  With the usual food groups that demand a red wine, this is superb.


Zolo Reserve Malbec 2013Zolo Reserve Malbec 2013

Mendoza Fincas Patagonica, Argentina
$18.95 (Vintages# 81091) 14% alcohol 

Aged 14 months in American and French oak barrels makes this Malbec even more delicious than other years. Ripe nose of violets, blueberries and black currants, it’s dark and inky in colour.

The palate is full-bodied with fine-grained tannins , a touch of mint on the finish; it’s just begging for some rare grilled steak.


Ardal Crianza 2010Ardal Crianza 2010

DO Ribera del Duero
Bodegas Balbás, Spain $17.95 (Vintages #167601) 14% alcohol

A winemaker can hardly go wrong with a blend of Tempranillo and Cabernet Sauvignon grapes, certainly two of my favourite varietals. Intense dried black fruit notes, full bodied and nicely polished. There is good volume and it just flows on the palate with tannins building into a spicy bramble, peppery aftertaste.  One great choice for spicy burgers.


Grand Total = $101.75    

(oops, I changed coats so I am looking in my pockets for spare change)




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

Posted by Debbie

Friday, March 18th, 2016

Easter is on its way! For me that marks that spring is around the corner. It is interesting to see some of the wines shifting in style while the seasons begin the change. I had the opportunity to sample a number of the wines in this spring-will-soon-be-here release of Vintages and found some neat Easter eggs to share with you.

Celebrate spring by popping the corks. There is a larger than usual selection of sparkling wines along with a feature of wines from Israel that stirs up great memories when I visited the wine regions there a couple of years ago while on a media tour. If you haven’t yet tried some from this region, there are definitely some good red wines worth the money -Recanti David Vineyard Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon ($35.95). Tada! Just like that you will have explored a new wine country.

Italian Barolo, Barbera Brunellos and Chiantis are plentiful too. Many ready now and others to tuck away in the depths of your cellar.

With only $100 to spend, it is a hard task to pick a handful of good value wines that won’t break the bank – there are many to choose from in this release. Here’s my shopping list to take with you when you head into your local LCBO store. Hope this helps!



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

Saturday March 19, 2016


Domaine Félibre Givré Ice Cider 2012Domaine Félibre Givré Ginger Ice Cider

$19.95 (Vintages #393611) 6.5% alcohol

This was a flyer and I really liked it! A Gold Medal winner at the 2015 Berlin International Wine Competition soothes with its fresh ginger, honey & ice cider combination. Not too powerful in flavour nor too sweet either. This ice cider is refreshing and flavourful. WOW your guests with it as an on arrival drink, after or after a meal. Chill & serve it straight up, over ice or mixed with sparkling wine.


Vinum Africa Chenin Blanc 2012

Vinum Africa Chenin Blanc 2013

Stellenbosch, South Africa
$15.95 (Vintages #739995) 13.5% alcohol

A lot going on in this white wine! Amazing value for a well made wine with smokey notes combined with apple, pears that round out in your mouth with each sip. This wine makes me want to create a pasta with cream sauce loaded with bacon bits or seafood.



Primus The Blend 2012Primus the Blend 2013

Colchagua Valley, Chile
$19.95 (Vintages #712463) 14.5% alcohol

What a blend! 35% Carmenere, 29% Cabernet Sauvignon, 25% Syrah, 6% Petit Verdot, 3% Cabernet Franc and 2% Merlot to finish it off.The result of this recipe? A deep coloured wine with aromas and tastes of black cherry, over ripe blackberry, dark chocolate and a peppery finish. My notes say – Smooth. Smooth. Smooth. Fire up the BBQ & get a steak, burgers or spicy sausages on the grill to enjoy with this big bold red wine.


Le Gravillas Côtes du Rhône-Villages Séguret 2011Le Gravillas Cotes du Rhone-Villages Seguret

Cotes du Rhone, France
$15.95 (Vintages #309260) 14.% alcohol

I was lured to the name on this one as I visited the town of Seguret when backpacking through France during my 20’s. I could almost spot the hostel in the etching on the wine label. This is a beautiful Rhone blend has impressive red fruit aromas and flavours with grippy tannins that would mellow if cellared for two to five years. Impressive and well blended, this wine needs food and would be delicious if you were planning to serve roast lamb for Easter. For nostalgia as well as quality, at this price, I will buy a case – they are giving this red wine away!


Frascole Chianti Rufina 2011Frascole Chianti Rufina 2012

Tuscany, Italy
$17.95 (Vintages #85167) XX alcohol

An Italian classic. A medium bodied red wine delivering intense red fruit flavours (think strawberry, plums and currants) laced with dried herbs and white pepper. Solid tannins begging to be enjoyed with food – spaghetti and meatballs no less! A classic Italian wine for a classic Italian dish. Mama Mia!



Grand Total: $89.75

Pretty good for 4 bottles of wine and a neat treat!




Best Bordeaux? The 2010 vintage critics say

Posted by Julie

Friday, October 25th, 2013

This weekend you are in for a treat. The LCBO Vintages release of October 26 is exceptional! It is time to stash a few bottles of the latest Bordeaux wines away for either a short or long time if you are into cellaring wine.  Every fall, Vintages offers the Classic Collection of Bordeaux wines.  The wine industry is abuzz that the 2010 Bordeaux vintage will be the best one in living history. The pages of this elegant catalogue has grand French chateaux showcasing their 1st, 2nd, and 3rd Grand Crus (winespeak: high end wines).  Most of these wines are well over $100 – which makes it out of my ‘If I only had $100’ blog budget, but it’s sure is interesting to read about them & imagine what the wines are like now and after a few years in a wine cellar.

Oregon – the Bordeaux of the Pacific Northwest

The supporting actor in this weekend’s feature are wines from Oregon. I confess Oregon was not on my travel agenda until I tasted some of these wines. Oregon is known for its erratic weather patterns often drenched with over 40 inches of rain in a year so the winemakers deserve extra kudos when showcasing some of their vintages.  I discovered refined and delicious Merlots, a Cabernet  Sauvignon, even a Pinot Noir caught my attention.

So this blog was a tough one to keep within my $100 budget.  Here are my wine finds that should find the way into your shopping cart.  If you only pick up one bottle, I hope that you would grab a bottle of our Canadian ice cider.

Happy Shopping!



Château Lacombe Noaillac 2010

AC Médoc   (Jean-Michel Lapalu)
Bordeaux, France
$18.95 (Vintages #199091) 13.5% alcohol

Glorious bouquet of toasty rich dark fruits that carry through on the palate. Medium to full-bodied red wine with creamy texture, intense berries complimented by firm tannins with a little vanilla  spice on the aftertaste. It has texture and strength and could probably lay down for a few years. It would be lovely with a pot roast surrounded by root vegetables on a winter’s night.


Domaine Wachau Terraces Gruner Veltliner 2012

Wachau, Austria
$17.95 (Vintages #155812)  13% alcohol

Pale golden in colour, with yellow apple and citrusy aromas, this white wine is bone dry with flavours of lemon zest and citrus on the palate that make it a little tart. There’s some minerality making it fresh and zippy. Light-bodied in weight makes it a fabulous appertif or it is food friendly to any number of white meat or fish dishes. Served with some chicken stuffed with tarragon and goat’s cheese would be a match made in heaven.


Columbia Crest Grand Estates Merlot 2010

Columbia Valley, Oregon, U.S.A.
$15.95 (Vintages #263418)  14.5 % alcohol

This red wine is an extravagant Merlot with heady aromas of violets and blackberries. Smooth and earthy on the palate, lots of luscious black fruit, velvety smooth with soft tannins. There’s a little lavender, peppery finish that makes it interesting. It is an expressive Merlot, certainly not run of the mill, and a fabulous price point.


Journey’s End Shiraz 2007

WO Stellenbosch, Single Vineyard, South Africa
$20.95 (Vintages #337642)  14% alcohol

How could I not love a wine with the same name as my cat “Journey”? But before you dismiss me with a “guffaw”, I must point out that this red wine was a Gold Medal winner at the 2013 Sommelier Wine Awards. Smooth as silk on the mouth, excellent replays of blackberry fruit, and peppery. It’s full bodied with a long grippy, berry finish and strong enough that it could cellar quite nicely for a few years. I love lamb chops, so bring them out with some garlic and rosemary marinade.


La Face Cachée de la Pomme Neige Premiere Ice Cider 2011

Quebec, Canada
$24.95  (Vintages #39305) 11% alcohol

Inspired by similar techniques used to make ice wine, this ice cider or apple ice wine is born in extreme cold winter temperatures in Quebec. This past September, we happened to pick up a bottle of this ice cider in Quebec City knowing it would be a lovely finish to our Thanksgiving supper. (Our company thought so too). Juicy and Canadian, crisp and sweet green and yellow apples! I don’t know how else to describe this luscious ice cider drink. It is smooth & creamy, your taste buds squirt saliva with the acidity, but sweet apple prevails on the palate. There has been no sugar or alcohol added. It is a perfect after dinner drink and with a piece of blue cheese or stilton – oh my!


Grand Total: $ 98.75