Posts Tagged ‘Robbie Burns Day’

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

Posted by Julie

Friday, January 22nd, 2016

For someone who is not a winter person the LCBO Vintages release this Saturday Jan 23 are real perk me ups. This release features the dynamic duo of Argentina and Chilean wines and since Buenos Aires is on my travel list, it’s great timing. Not to mention there are fabulous wines at a popular price point.

LCBO Magazine Sat Jan 23Don’t forget that Robbie Burns Day is right around the corner and if you are a whisky lover the LCBO has whisky tastings to help you celebrate. While I can’t fit many single malts into my shopping basket without going over my $100 budget, there’s nothing to stop YOU!

If you have cabin fever, I noticed that all over Ontario, the LCBO is offering workshops on everything from wine appreciation, to pairings to “bubbles”. So if you have the winter blah’s, one of these workshops, plus a couple of new releases will surely beat the mid-winter blues.

Light the fire & enjoy a glass of one of these wines,


Trivento Amado Sur Malbec Bonarda Syrah 2013Trivento Amado Sur

Mendoza, Argentina
$16.95 (Vintages #37036) 14% alcohol

A powerful trio of 70% Malbec, 20% Bonarda and 10% Syrah this black inky beauty is one fine red wine. Loads of ripe blueberries, blackberries and plums. If you like big fruity and dense wines, this one is for you. Although the Malbec grape steals the show, the Bonarda grape, offers the black cherry easy going fruit flavours. Soft tannins, creamy and smooth, a great hallmark for a classic Argentinian blend. Charred meats, grilled veggies, it’s worth the splurge of a porterhouse steak under the oven grill.


Trapiche Broquel Bonarda 2013Trapiche Broquel Bonarda 2013

Mendoza, Argentina
$14.95 (Vintages #055558) 14.5% alcohol

The Bonarda grape slipped into the country in the 19th century (sounds like an illegal) and has mysterious origins. There’s 3 different Bonarda grape varietals grown in Italy, one in Croatia and another in California where is known as Charbono. It’s the second most planted grape in Argentina after Malbec and has become known as a workhorse for its easy, less demanding growth compared with other varietals.

Lots of juicy plum and chocolate flavours in this red wine, very smooth sipping and spicy on the long finish. Talk about Argentina’s best kept wine secret, this one is a steal.


Santa Alicia Gran Reserva de Los Andes Cabernet Sauvignon 2011Santa Alicia Gran Reserva De Los Andes Cabernet Sauvignon 2011

Maipo Valley, Chile
$15.95 (Vintages #60244) 14% alcohol

Maipo valley is the closest wine region to Santiago, the capital of Chile, extending east from the city to the Andes mountains. Although Chile is known for its Carmenere, the Maipo valley is often described as the Bordeaux of South America with its rich fruit-driven Cabernet Sauvignon. Aged in French oak , this nectar offers scents of dark fruit and ripe red berry flavours that follow through on flavour of this red wine. The finish delivers easy going tannins with pencil shavings, tobacco and a little spice. Fantastic value with great character.


Gnarly Head Viognier 2013Gnarly Head Viognier 2013

$17.95 (Vintages #396416) 13.5% alcohol

Great Viognier at a reasonable price tag is hard to find. These golden hue beauties often have a higher alcohol content than other whites since the thick-skinned grape has to be left on the vine a long time before developing its characteristic heady aromas. That said, when the scents of orange blossoms, apricots and honeysuckle hit the olfactory, it is paradise to the nose. Slightly off dry, creamy smooth with loads of orchard fruit flavours make it extremely palatable. There is not much acidity, but its a lovely sipper or try it with a seafood casserole. I’m already planning my next dinner party.


Duck Pond Cellars Pinot Gris 2014Duck Pond Cellars Pinot Gris 2014

Willamette Valley, Oregon
$19.95 (Vintages #333286) 14% alcohol

Pale in colour but not in taste. The Pinot Gris grape originated in France and is the same grape varietal as the Italian Pinot Grigio but the change in names have come to infer a slightly different style of wine. The latter being more light-bodied with stone fruit and floral aromas. I never used to pay much attention to the Pinot Gris grape varietal, but recently I’ve found such fabulous citrus and zesty acidity; this one really shines. Layered with vibrant fruit and a medium rich texture: honeymelon, yellow and green apple, aromatic nectarines and lots of citrus. How could anyone not love this white wine? It’s fresh but the earthy minerality at the end adds interest and depth. It’s a versatile match for all kinds of lighter fare food. Delicious.


Symington Altano 2013Symington Altano 2013

DOC Douro
$12.95 (Vintages #579862) 13.5% alcohol

Some wines are just meant for cheap and cheerful spaghetti nights and this is one of those.

Altano is the name given to warm summer thermal winds that blow across the vineyards. Ripe blackberries, blueberries and cherries pretty much sum up this red wine, medium bodied with firm tannins. A little young and bone dry and made for the above.


Grand Total – $98.70




Warm up your winter with this shopping list of wine from the LCBO

Posted by Julie

Friday, January 17th, 2014

The LCBO Vintages release for this weekend offers a fabulous assortment of reasonably priced wine to ward off winter chills. If you want some HOT new wines – go to Spain, or easier still, taste some of these trendy Spanish releases from Ribero del Duero, Catalonia & Rioja.  And we are treated with some British Columbia wines too.

VintagesI can hardly believe (is it almost the end of January already?) that this release is offering celebratory single malts for Scottish poet, Robbie Burns (born January 25, 1759) whose contribution to Scottish culture is best known for his work of “Auld Lang Syne”. Many pubs celebrate Burn’s night by offering traditional hagis. This release offers Bunnahabhain 18 Year old Islay Single Malt (Vintages $247049 at $149.95) or Edradour The Distillery Edition 10 years old Highland Single Malt (Vintages# 904995 at $83.95). I have not ventured into the world of scotch yet, so these fine whiskies will not be in my basket but if you like your wee drams – enjoy!

Now, if I was tempted to really splurge, I would pick up “The King’s Ginger Liqueur” (Vintages #269407 $44.95). For anyone who loves candied ginger and vibrant lemon flavours, you will be over the moon with a glass of this decadent treat. Besides if you happen to catch a cold, it’s always good to have something remedial on hand – I am certain that this would do the trick!

Wishing you delicious tastings in 2014,


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


Dirty Laundry Not So Knotty white wine ChardonnayDirty Laundry Not So Knotty Chardonnay 2012

VQA Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, Canada
$26.95 (Vintages #353144) 13.9% alcohol

You have to love the play on words “not so knotty” which means while fermenting, the grapes did not soak in oak barrels for months or taste of trees. That said, there was some partial barrel fermentation but its final destination was in stainless steel. It’s a beauty Chard, with all kinds of apple and stone aromas and flavours, a little spice and a fresh lengthy smooth finish in this white wine. While I don’t usually spend this much on Chardonnay this one really caught my attention; it’s so silky ! This gem would be perfect with a crown roast of pork.

Beronia Viura white wine from SpainBeronia Viura 2012

DOC Rioja, Spain
$14.95 (Vintages#190801) 12% alcohol

This is so different. For many of us, Rioja (located in northeastern Spain) means red wine, so it was a surprise to also discover this white wine from Rioja. Made from the Macabeo grape also known as the Viura grape, it is often blended with other grapes perhaps because it has characteristically mild fruit flavours. This wine is bone dry and crisp with subtle lemon lime aromas and seam of acidity. It has a little wet stone but with such a clean taste and oh so fresh. I would normally associate this as a hot summertime wine, but since it’s been brought to Vintages for January, I could not pass it by.  It would be delicious with a meal of fish – we still eat fish in the wintertime, right?

Sister's Run Cabernet Sauvignon red wineSister’s Run Bethlehem Block Cabernet Sauvignon 2011

Barossa Valley, South Australia
$16.95 (Vintages #360636) 14.5% alcohol

This hearty red wine just calls out for a fireplace, some artisan bread and hearty stew. Having said that it’s medium to full bodied, beautifully coloured dark crimson, with some spicy, woodsy aromas and an abundance of dark fruit flavours. The tannins are soft but expressive and the raspberry and smoke flavours offer huge sips of satisfying richness.

Chateau de Nages vieilles vignes red wineChateau De Nages Vieilles Vignes

AC Costieres de Nimes, France
$17.95 (Vintages #040964 14% alcohol

This is not just another pretty label! You can’t go wrong with a blend of 60% Grenache, 30% Syrah, and 10% Mourvedre? A beautiful dark rich purple colour with flavours and aromas of cassis, blackberries and currants, some forest floor that just made me heady after one sip. This red wine shows complexity and strength, it’s beautifully balanced, full-bodied and at that price point, I thought at first I must be mistaken. I’ve put 2 bottles down on my shopping list to have on hand for those wintery nights that call for a prime rib.

J. Lohr South Ridge Syrah red wineJ. Lohr South Ridge Syrah 2011

Paso Robles, California, U.S.A.
$19.95 (Vintages #948240) 13.5% alcohol

For those of you who read my blogs, you know I always try to seek out new and unusual wines to write about. When I tasted this, it just reminded me how well made and delicious a Syrah can taste. J. Lohr wines never disappoint and we always have a bottle of their regular list Cabernet Sauvignon red wine in our cupboard. It also makes a nice hostess gift for an unexpected invite. This dark cherry Syrah is elegant and delicious, lots of ripe fruit forward berries, wrapped in a little spice and pencil box,with a long velvety finish. Soft tannins prevail and with some slow braised lamb shanks it would make a fabulous, casual but classy dinner.

Grand Total: $ 96.75