Posts Tagged ‘International Wine Challenge’

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

Posted by Amanda

Friday, November 7th, 2014

The November 8 LCBO Vintages Release features Star Quality products and ports.  Just like a squirrel scurrying to store nuts for the winter, I’m collecting a few bottles from each release to keep for the winter months. My husband reminds me that the wine stores stay open in the winter, but it’s good to have a little stash for unexpected company. Unfortunately with star quality products come star quality quality prices, however I am so pleased and proud with my $100. shopping basket, that I hope you will be too.

LCBO Vintages Magazine Nov 8There is something compelling about Port, whether its because it hails from a timeless land where grapes have grown for centuries or that it is such a great match for strong deliciously stinky cheese. I could cheerfully enjoy a glass of port on just about any occasion. It also makes a lovely hostess gift instead of the usual bottle of wine and chances are a bottle of Port will last a lot longer. There are at least 6 in this release so I hope one finds its way into your shopping basket.

There’s something for everyone and don’t forget Beaujolais Nouveau arrives on our shelves November 20.


Happy shopping,

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

November 8, 2014


Dow's Late Bottled Vintage PortDow’s Late Bottled Vintage Port 2009

DOC Douro, Portugal
$17.95  (Vintages #613927)    20% alcohol

First of all, its hard to argue with a Silver Medal winner at the 2014 International Wine Challenge. Deep ruby in the glass, this port is deliciously sweet with ripe berry aromas and tastes. It has just the right amount of acidity that helps promote the dark berry flavours – it is mouthwatering delicious. I think this would also make a lovely afternoon drink on ice with some toasted walnuts and cheddar, or with mincemeat tarts or do I dare say Christmas cake? It’s also an amazing price point.


Megalomaniac BubbleheadMegalomaniac Bubblehead 2011

VQA Niagara Peninsula
$28.95  (Vintages #363655)  12% alcohol

When the cradle was released (that’s the little crossed wire on the cork) it just burst with fine bubbles overflowing. I thought this sparkling wine was about as close to Champagne as it comes. The mousse (little tiny bubbles that tickle the nose) went on forever bursting with delicious cranberries and cherry flavours with just a little citrus on the finish.  It is a sheer “bubblehead” delight and not a bit of wonder it was awarded Overall Best in Show and Best in Show White at the 2014 Royal Wine Competition.  Well deserved, I shall serve it chilled on its own.



Menade VerdejoMenade Verdejo 2013

DO Rueda, Spain
$16.95 (Vintages #392159)  13% alcohol

This white wine is new to Vintages, made from 80-100 year old Verdejo grape vines. It’s very pale in colour, almost watery, but oh so fresh and it would be dynamite with seafood.  It’s quite aromatic and flavourful. Some folks may think it more of a summer wine being light-medium bodied but it has so much soft tropical fruit flavour that I wanted to feature it as a change from our usual grape varietals. After the release (when I can pick up a bottle or 3)  I’m planning to serve it with spaghetti and clams and an uncomplicated side salad,. Guess whose coming to dinner?



Casas del Bosque Reserva CarmeneraCasa del Bosque Reserva Carmenère 2012

Rapel Valley, Chile
$14.95 (Vintages #205872)  14.5% alcohol

Carmenere is Chile’s signature premium grape varietal. This wine displays characteristics of a great Carmenere being full bodied with depths of blackberry and spice flavours.

There is a hint of something vegetal or like a green leaf on the finish. It’s a hearty wine, not for sissies. I’m planning to enjoy it with a sausage and bean stew with some crusty bread. You just cannot beat that price point.



Layer Cake PrimitivoLayer Cake Primitivo 2011

IGT, Puglia Italy
$19.95 (Vintages #384065)  13% alcohol

I longed to have a big bowl glass and not just a sip. Inky in colour with tastes of jammy black cherries and plums,this red wine is rich and smooth. The wine was fermented in stainless steel to preserve the fruit flavours. The bottle label suggests that the wine should taste like a layered cake, with chocolate and mocha and spice and a little earth at the end. I couldn’t say it better. It’s layered with complexity and the fruit flavours go on forever. Primitivo is also known as Zinfandel in North America so if you are a fan of the latter, this beauty will not disappoint.

This wine also received the first-ever Certificate of Label Approval with Primitive and Zinfandel used as synonyms on the label. My signature winter dinner party dish is Osso Bucco;  a labour of love for my friends, so that’s where I’m going with this wine. I can’t wait for that December dinner party to wow them.



Grand Total: $ 98.75  (now that’s value !)



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

Posted by Julie

Friday, June 6th, 2014

While LCBO Vintages helped us celebrate Mother’s Day showcasing sparkling wines and rosés, for Father’s Day there are some high end whiskeys, cognac, and Italian  wines too.  That’s quite the collection of treats to help Dad celebrate his day.

TLCBO Vintages June 7he Italian whites were not available at the time of my tasting but generally I think most men, prefer a hearty red wines to match steak or ribs and there are some fabulous wines to match for the barbecue. I did notice a return of a red wine that I featured last December – Grant Burge, The Holy Trinity Grenache-Shiraz-Mourvedre 2011 (Vintages 236257) at $29.95 a bottle, and was tempted to do it again, but like this one, there are so many big bold reds from Australia, I felt I should  take my own advice – expand and try something new. (Truth be told, I did pick up a bottle though!)

If you give your Dad the winning lottery ticket for Father’s Day tip him off that Macallan Sherry Oak 25 years old Highland Single Malt Scotch Whisky can be purchased for $999.95. (Vintages #179150). Yes, you read that right, there is no typo in the price – Three 9”s after the $ sign.

Whatever you give your Dad & however you celebrate Father’s Day, here is my top picks to use as your shopping list at Vintages.

Cheers & enjoy!


If I only had $100, I would buy these wines at LCBO Vintages…
June 7th, 2014 

Don David Reserve Torrontés 2012

Cafayate, Salta, Argentina (Michel Torino Estate)
$13.95 ( Vintages 727677) 13.9%

New to Vintages, this Torrontés was a Gold Medal winner at the 2013 International Wine Challenge. Medium bodied in weight, a little citrus, some ginger and spice, dried fruit flavours, bone dry and lots of guts. Don’t be fooled by the price, this is a white wine that would hold up to meats as well as fish. Fresh, fresh, fresh.


Carpineto Dogajolo RosatoCarpineto Dogajolo Rosato 2013

IGT Toscana, Italy
$15.95 (Vintages # 699934)  12.5% alcohol

Remember that old saying “real men eat quiche”?  Well I’m here to say that “real men drink rosé” too!  There is nothing that says summer like an engaging pale cranberry coloured wine in a big bowl shaped wine glass. This Tuscan rosé is bone dry made from the classic Chianti grapes: Sangiovese and Canaiolo. Aromas of red berries, some vegetal overtones, light and smooth and just slips down too easily wanting you to come back for more. A great companion to any summer fare; pasta, salads or on its own. The bottle also has a beautiful label which tells me if someone has gone to such lengths to produce an artistic label, something delicious inside must match. Try serving this wine with some chicken enchiladas and Caesar salad and everyone will not only love the wine I guarantee they will pick up the bottle to view the label…just you watch!


Geyser Peak Cabernet Sauvignon. jpgGeyser Peak Cabernet Sauvignon 2009

Alexander Valley, Sonoma County, U.S.A.
$19.95 (Vintages #343467)   13.8% alcohol

Geyser Peak Winery is over 125 years old, so it’s no wonder they have had lots of time to perfect their Cabernet Sauvignon.  Not new to Vintages but new to me, this red wine is a power house red packed full of black currant aromas and flavours. Noticeable tannins but are very smooth, with a little chocolate, tobacco and pencil shavings on the finish. Proud structure and weight in this wine.  I’ve got this bottle ready for Father’s Day BBQ….who is picking up the ribs?


Domaine Tournon MathildeDomaine Tournon Mathilda Shiraz 2011

Victoria, Australia
$19.95 (Vintages# 327395) 13% alcohol

In the Vintages catalogue it states that wine critic Robert Parker awarded this wine 94 points.  Strangely there was no accompanying tasting note. I am little intimidated as to what he may possibly have said!  In this red wine I picked up lots of spice and black pepper combined with big robust juicy red and black berry flavours. There was also some campfire, leather and woodsmoke and a long blackberry finish. I liked the combination of the spice and fruit and did not find it too fruit forward like some Shiraz wines that just taste like berry juice. A beaut! Serve with a rack of lamb would score points with Dad.


Konzelmann HeritageKonzelmann Heritage Reserve 2012

VQA Niagara Peninsula
$26.95 (Vintages # 149179) 13% alcohol

Herbert Konzelmann is a pioneer in the Ontario wine industry and has received dozens of accolades both locally and internationally. Thankfully the family has continued his traditions of premium wine-making. This 2012 reserve red wine is a product to be collected. Rich and dark garnet in colour, it has a heady fragrances of ripe red berries, some plum with nuances of chocolate, coffee and cherry on the finish. There is something about the taste of a well made wine, the flavours and structure just integrate on the palate. Refined and elegant and a perfect match for a prime rib or some T-bone steaks.


GRAND TOTAL – $96.75