Posts Tagged ‘shopping list of wines to buy’

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

Posted by Julie

Friday, June 9th, 2017
Share

Trust the LCBO to shine the spotlight on single malt scotch, cognac and specialty wines just in time for Father’s Day. This release also focuses on Flagship ISD (in-store-discoveries) from Australia and France. That covers a wide span of the wine world.

While Dad may be part of the focus in this release, I discovered two great sparkling wines from Niagara that were so reasonably priced you could pick something up for Mum as well.

Contraband Sparkling Chardonnay (#443705)
and Contraband Sparkling Riesling (#400127), both under $20.
These bubblies are full of lively fruit flavours that is perfect for Mum, Dad or to ring in Canada Day.

I hope you find more than one wine to enjoy in the picks that I ‘bought’ on my $100 budget.

-Julie

If I only had $100, I would buy …
LCBO Vintages Release for Saturday June 10, 2017

 

Creekside Reserve Viognier 2014 

Queenston Road Vineyard, VQA St. David’s Bench, Niagara-on-the-Lake, ON
$29.95 (Vintages #264168) 14 % alcohol

I don’t usually spend so much on one bottle of wine for obvious reasons, yet this time, I have to make an exception.

There aren’t many wineries in Ontario that produce Viognier because it is such a difficult grape to grow.  It’s prone to mildew, low yields and it has to be picked when it’s absolutely prime & ripe or it fails to develop its amazing colour, aromatics and fine fruit flavours. Creekside Winery won a gold medal winner in 2010 for their Viognier and this 2014 release is too delicious for words.

Aged for 9 months in French oak, this white wine delivers lush lingering aromatics of honeysuckle, mango, peach flavours that carry through to the palate. Slightly oily but fresh. Weighty and balanced – it’s one class act.  It also makes a beautiful gift for someone, especially someone who knows their wine. It’s so good on its own but could handle a spicy foods like a Moroccan Tagine or fresh sushi with panache.  Only 136 cases produced so I’ll grab a couple of bottles and leave the rest for you.

 

 

Medeiros Rosé

Vinho Regional Alentejano, Portugal
$12.95 (Vintages #451385)  12.5% alcohol

A pretty blend of Touriga Nacional (45%), Syrah (41%) and Aragonês or Tempranillo (14%) grapes.  This Rose is unreal at this price point. Pale pink in colour, with a little peach, almond and green melon flavours on the palate.  It is so light and refreshing. There’s not a huge finish but a great patio sipper or with seafood/summer salads. Summer in a glass!

 

 

Sister’s Run Bethlehem Block Cabernet Sauvignon 2014

Gomersal, Barossa, South Australia
$18.95 (Vintages #360636) 14.5% alcohol

Aromatic hints of  concentrated black fruit translate onto the palate. Bone-dry, full-bodied red wine with black currant and raspberry flavours. Gentle tannins that make it quite approachable on the palate and a very easy summer sipper.

It would be fabulous with assorted cheeses, lamb burgers or spicy sausages hot off the BBQ.

 

Gérard Bertrand Grand Terroir Grès De Montpellier Syrah Grenache

AP Languedoc, France
$18.95 (Vintages #493635) 15% alcohol

Aged in French oak barrels for 12 months lends hearty robust flavours to this classic red wine blend.  Ripe plums and layers of dark fruit flavours are velvety smooth on the palate with a peppery, charcoal edge on the finish and length.

It’s a big, rich red wine that would partner beautifully with BBQed steak with all of the trimmings or saucy ribs off the grill.

 

Tomassi Arele Parziale Appassimento 2015

IGT Della Venezie, Italy
$19.95 (Vintages #224188) 13% alcohol

You expect full flavour, texture and richness in a blend with Corvina, Rondinella, Oseleta and Merlot grapes.  This red wine holds no surprise. “Arele” is the name of the wooden trays used to partially dry the grapes that is part of the magic in creating this unique wine.

Loaded with dark fruit berry flavours, ripe red currants with hints of violets. Medium to full-bodied with a persistent sweet spice finish and a touch of cedar. Mark my words, this red wine is hard to resist. Perfect choice to accompany some grilled meats or summer vegetable lasagna. Stock up!

Grand Total = $100.75

The 3 extra quarters are totally worth going over budget!

 

 

Share

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

Posted by Julie

Thursday, May 25th, 2017
Share

South Central Italy & Flagship In Store Discoveries (LCBO speak: ISD) as well as California are a prominent features in this LCBO Vintages release.  Where to start?

Frankly, the ISD’s are a little rich for my $100 budget for this blog, yet there are some pretty enticing looking wines.  Worth saving your pennies (or I guess it is now nickles!)

With the weather changing, I’m in a white wine mood so that’s what will be focused on finding the best to put in my shopping basket. You can’t go wrong with any of these great wines but remember when buying wines in the Vintages section, if you find something you like – grab a few bottles since they won’t be here again until next year and even that’s not a rule of thumb either!

Enjoy,

Julie

 

If I only had $100, I would buy . . .
LCBO Vintages Release for Saturday May 27, 2017

 

Santa Barbara Winery Chardonnay 2015

Santa Barbara County, California
$24.95 (Vintages # 989152) 13.7% alcohol

Talk about typicity! It doesn’t get much richer or better for a classic California Chardonnay.  If you can imagine putting your nose in a creamy rich butter bar, or creme caramel, you’d probably not be far off when smelling the aromas in this wine. Lots of ripe pineapple and baked apple flavours, a full-bodied white wine, balanced, lots of fruity layers, creamy smooth with a citrusy finish. Rich, fragrant and delicious. Enjoy with seafood or chicken alfredo pasta, sounds like a dinner party to me.

 

 

Beauvignac Picpoul De Pinet 2016

AP, Les Costières Pomerols, France
$14.95 (Vintages #350124) 12.5% alcohol

This light, crisp perfect summer wine called “Picpoul” is a direct reference to the vibrant natural acidity of this grape. A loose translation of Picpoul means “stings the lip” which refers to the high acidity level in this varietal. It’s super fresh and floral, white blossoms and lemon-lime flavours are too easy on the palate.

There’s a bounty of  green Granny Smith apple flavours in this white wine which also offer natural acidity that makes it so refreshing. Serve well chilled with a seafood salad, or cold poached salmon and you’ll have rave reviews.

 

Vesevo Beneventano Falaghina 2015

IGT Beneventano, South Central Italy
$16.95 (Vintages #289538) 13% alcohol

One sip reminded me of sitting in an piazza in Rome, starring at busts of bronze and a nearby coliseum. Fresh, lots of minerality and tastes of wet stone (this is a good thing), especially if you are prone to liking some earthy wine with loads of lemon flavours. A light white wine and delicate and a perfect afternoon sipper. If you happen to have a few shrimps handy – serve chilled or grill em up to have an awesome afternoon snack.

 

Frescobaldi Castelo Di Pomino Bianco 2015

DOC,  Tuscany, Italy
$19.95  (Vintages #65086) 12.5% alcohol

The history books state that in 1855, Chardonnay and Pinot Blanc were planted in Tuscany for the first time. Pomino (meaning little apple in Italian) is a small DOC located in central Italy that includes vineyards within the Chianti Rufina sub-zone in the province of Florence. It earned it’s DOC status in 1983.

Softly floral, ripe apricots and gentle peach flavours coat the palate with a lemony finish. A Fresh white wine that is delicate and delicious.

 

 

Feudo Maccari Grillo 2015

IGP Terre Siciliane, Italy
$14.95 (Vintages #477877) 12.5% alcohol

If I wrote in a sommelier exam that the wine tastes like fresh green grapes, I probably wouldn’t have passed the course but it is what it is (keeping in mind all our taste buds are different). This pale golden nectar is aromatically floral with some minerality on the palate and a pinch of effervescence, perhaps from the citrusy fruit flavours. It’s crisp and dreamy and a very easy white wine sipper especially at this price point. Salads, soft cheese, fish tacos or on its own.

Bottom line…I’m stocking up, this wine is too good to be true!

 

 

Grand total = $91.75 

5 great wines and look what I’ve saved you

Share

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

Posted by Julie

Monday, November 28th, 2016
Share

As we move towards the holiday season, Vintages always features “Our Finest” and it is a magnificent release. Everything from single malts to brandies, Grappa, Champagne and all delicious new delectable fine wines.

vintages-nov-26th

The only thing that I am complaining about is my measley $100 budget for this blog.  There are so many incredible luxuries in this release that a much bigger budget is required.  Note to self…I should talk to my editor about a ‘raise’.

Whether you are on a budget or like to splurge, there are still some tried and true wines that I always love to see.  The new styles are calling, like new shoes…like wine, you can never have too many shoes!
Enjoy,
– Julie

 

If I only had $100, I would buy…
LCBO Vintages Release for November 26, 2016

domaine-de-vaugondy-brut-vouvray

 

Domaine de Vaugondy Brut Vouvray

Méthode Traditionelle, AC
$17.95 (Vintages #154567) 12.5 % alcohol

 In 1936 the Village of Vouvray was created as an Appellation d’origine contrôlée (AOC). Located along the right bank of the Loire river, Chenin Blanc is the dominant and almost exclusive grape of Vouvray.

Vouvray produces more than a million cases of wine a year. This straw coloured sparkling offers fine moussey bubbles that release alluring aromas of tropical fruit, toasted almonds, green apple and apricot. They also replay on the taste buds. Dry, medium bodied, it captures the senses with fruit flavours and a honey’d note towards the end. It’s a divine and elegant sparkling wine as an apperitif or to accompany grilled fish.

 

gerard-bertrand-la-clapeGerard Bertrand Grand Terroir La Clape

Syrah/Carignan/Mouvedre 2013
France
$18.95 (Vintages #370262) 13.5 % alcohol

I have become a fan of Bertrand wines, fantastic quality at great price points. This rich, sexy blend has aromas and tastes of dark cherries, plums and currants. A medium bodied red wine with soft tannins, some mocha and a savoury spice on the finish. Would be a perfect match to a hearty stew or lamb shanks.

 

san-felice-chianti-classico-2013San Felice Chianti Classico 2013

DOCG, Tuscany
$19.95 (Vintages #282996) 13% alcohol

Expressive wafts of floral red cherries introduce you to this classic Chianti. It’s an easy drinking red wine as sweet cherry and raspberry fruits explode on the palate. Bone-dry, medium weight and offers some earthy, leather notes on the finish. With a spicy lasagna, you’ve found yourself a great dinner party.

 

union-forte-2012Union Forte 2012

VQA Niagara Peninsula
$17.95 (Vintages #361758) 19.5%

This fortified port style wine is deep mahogany in colour with aromas of Christmas cake, dried fruit, roasted almonds and berries. The mouthfeel is smooth, creamy and mouthwatering. A range of layered fruit flavours on the palate, medium bodied and a deliciously sweet with a long dried blackberry finish.

Serve on ice as an aperitif or it would make a superb after dinner drink with some stinky blue cheese – a classic!

 

georgian-hills-bartlett-frozen-to-the-core-2014Georgian Hills Bartlett Frozen to the Core 2014

Blue Mountains, Ontario
$19.95 (Vintages #347401) 8.5% alcohol

Deliciously sweet but not cloying with intense aromas and flavours of ripe pear.

Georgian Hills produces other desert icewines: a Frozen to the Core Ida Red, a Vidal and Baked Apple all of which embrace fruit farming in the cool climate of the Georgian Bay wine region. Less expensive than other icewine their nectars are fruit driven and refreshing, deliver good acidity and plain delicious. Another reason to showcase our Ontario wines.

 

Grand Total = $94.75

Share

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

Posted by Julie

Friday, November 11th, 2016
Share

About this time every year LCBO Vintages showcases ‘Star Quality’ as a feature of the release. We all know what this also means…’star prices’.   Icewine, French Champagne and sparkling wines flow prominently on the pages. I wish I could buy one of each however with my blog budget of $100, I’ll have to leave the Champagne for another time.

vintages-nov-12However, there are some star quality wines that I’d recommend to stock up on.

Also, there are several great wines coming out in large sized 1500 mL bottles. It sounds like a lot of wine, but if you are having a dinner party or a holiday feast, they are super easy to decant at the table and good value too. In particular, I’m thinking of the J. Lohr Seven Oaks Cabernet Sauvignon 2011 at $44.95 or Catena Malbec 2014 at $39.95.  Both red wines are heavy duty crowd pleasers and great accompaniments to lasagna, roasts or ribs.

No shortage of star quality in this release.

Enjoy,
-Julie

 

 

If I only had $100, I would buy…
LCBO Vintages Release for Saturday November 12, 2016

 

dog-point-sauvignon-blanc-2015Dog Point Sauvignon Blanc 2015

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

I wouldn’t recommend wines with animals in the name unless it was star quality and this white wine is definitely one that gets top marks. Any easy sipping white wine that is pale in colour but packs a punch in taste and texture.  Aromatic white flowers start the senses with peachy apricots, tree fruit on the palate and a crisp lemon lime finish. It is a light-bodied Sauvignon Blanc with gentle finesse and one mouthwatering taste. Enjoy it on its own, with appetizers or light meals.

 

 

clayhouse-cabernet-sauvignon-2015Clayhouse Cabernet Sauvignon 2015

Paso Robles, California
$17.00  (Vintages #057869) 13.5% alcohol

Paso Robles is known for its abundance of olive oil, hot springs, almond orchards and wineries.  Mid-way between Los Angeles and San Francisco the landscape is mainly dry grassland. Roughly 24 miles from the Pacific Ocean, the climate is almost Mediterranean with long hot summers and brief cool winters. This landscapes allows the grapes to reach their absolute maximum potential which we then can enjoy in such vintages as the above. It tastes much richer than its’ terrific price point. Dark and opaque, black currant and plum flavours, smooth as silk with a some pencil shaving oak on the finish. Fruity but structured makes for easy drinking red wine. I’d pair it with any grilled meat or a prime rib roast. Delicious.

 

clos-de-los-siete-2013

Clos de los Siete

Mendoza, Argentina
$23.95 (Vintages #622571) 14.5%

Since returning from a trip to Argentina this past February, a wine from Mendoza always makes its way to my shopping basket. This red wine blend nearly reaches nirvana for me. Predominantly Malbec (57%) with Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon and Syrah in the follow up. Dark ruby with aromas and flavours of ripe blueberries, black cherries, currants with some mocha on the finish. This nectar  integrates soft tannins with fabulously smooth intensity and depth. Pair with the usual red meat suspects but worthy of a veal chop splurge.

 

reif-vidal-icewine

Reif Vidal Icewine 2014

VQA Niagara-on-the-Lake
$24.95  (Vintages #544791) 10% alcohol

Reif Estate Winery has been a long time producer of fine Canadian icewine. This one is harvested from a 12 acre block planted in 1981. Those grapes have had lots of time to think about their future! The average picking temperatures range from -10 to -12 C and this vintage was harvested in January 2014.  Lusciously sweet with honey, toffee, apricots and peaches fill the senses with a memorable creamy mouthfeel. There is a little marmalade on the finish and it is a divine expression of icewine.  With some soft blue cheese it would be over the top.

 

Grand Total = $90.85

 

Share

Start 2012 with Smart Buy wines at LCBO Vintages

Posted by Susan

Friday, January 6th, 2012
Share

To kick off the new year, the first LCBO Vintages release on Saturday January 7th offers the opportunity to experiment with some relatively unknown European varietals and to re-stock your wine cabinet with some excellent well-priced values. Consider two whites, shoulder to shoulder in the Alpine regions of France, Roussette de Savoie, and Switzerland, the classic Chasselas (known locally as Fendant). Both offer lovely aromatics, good balance and texture, and under $20.  Among the reds, the little-known region of Irouléguy in southwestern France offers a powerful blend of Tannat and the Cabernet grape varieties, while Italy’s Sicily wine region delivers a classic savoury wine just made for meaty pasta dishes called Nero d’Avola.

Among the ‘Smart Buys’, there’s great value in Konzelmann’s Reserve Sauvignon Blanc (just off-dry) and Sue-Ann Staff’s mouthwateringly delicious Semi-Dry Riesling – both under $15 and both wineries featured in our Savvy Selections. Among the red wines, Chile offers great value and powerful flavours in the Koyle Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon.  Argentina delivers loads of flavour with the Urban Uco Malbec/Tempranillo red wine blend while Australia’s award-winning Jip Jip Rocks Shiraz fills your mouth with full-bodied fruit. Italy’s Tuscany offers the ripe yet dry Ripa delle Mandorle from Vicchiomaggio, a site with a historic castle where Leonardi da Vinci is reputed to have painted the Mona Lisa.

LCBO’s general release (main shelves in the store) also offers some excellent values, including the rich round Bordeaux Supérieur, Château la Croix de Queynac and the outstanding full-bodied Sabor Real crafted from the fruit of 70+-year-old vines. And don’t miss Pondview’s Bella Terra Cabernet Franc, a wine that was featured in Savvy Selections in the spring of 2011.

Below is my shopping list for 6 good value wines at prices that will be kind to your wallet!

Cheers and Happy 2012,
Susan

If I only had $100, I would buy . . .
LCBO Vintages Release as of Saturday January 7, 2012

Sue-Ann Staff  Semi-Dry Riesling 2008
Niagara, Ontario
$14.95 (Vintages #258632) 10.0% alcohol
Produced from grapes harvested from 4 separate parcels, this is Sue-Ann Staff’s first wine as proprietor. Pale yellow-green, there’s a whiff of petrol over mineral notes and the aromas of zesty citrus, ripe stone fruit and fresh-picked apple. Light-medium bodied and off-dry, this wine displays a great balance of fresh acidity, underlying minerality and tangy fruit that persists through the lasting finish.

Domaine de Mignaberry 2008
AOC Irouléguy, France
$18.95 (Vintages #251611) 13.0% alcohol
Primarily Tannat blended with the Cabernets, this deep violet wine from southwestern France is dry, medium-full bodied, and loaded with flavours framed by a firm structure. There’s intriguing complexity on the nose—earthy herbal notes, a whiff of spicy flowers, an elusive gamey nuance and the richness of ripe dark berries. The tannins make their presence felt, the lush berry fruit balanced with fresh acidity, the herbal notes suffusing the palate and lingering on the extended dry finish. Choose a hearty stew to match this hearty wine or cellar mid-term.

Koyle ‘Reserve’ Cabernet Sauvignon 2008
Alto Colchagua, Chile
$15.95 (Vintages #256073) 14.0% alcohol
An outstanding value, this deep ruby Cab, hand harvested and aged in French oak, is refined and stylish. There’s beguiling complexity at first scent—minty herbal notes, spice, tobacco leaf, cedar and berries. Dry, medium-full bodied, the fresh texture and ripe tannins frame vibrant red fruit—raspberry and cherry—with hints of cedar and spice persisting on an extended dry savoury finish. Pick up a few bottles. Try a bottle with prime rib and cellar the remaining ones mid term.

Montes ‘Limited Selection’ Pinot Noir 2009
DO Casablanca Valley, Chile
$14.95 (Vintages #37937) 14.0% alcohol
Here’s another great value, a dry medium-bodied ruby Pinot that offers enticing aromas of earth, beetroot, red field berry and mineral. Dry, medium bodied, the silky texture is complemented by lively acidity and vivid red berries—strawberries, red currant, cranberries. Just lovely balance, the attractive notes of spice and white pepper carrying through the tantalizing vibrant finish. This is another multiple purchase that would pair well with duck confit on yam chips served with a cranberry-orange garnish.

Vicchiomaggio Ripa delle Mandorle 2009
IGT Toscana, Italy
$15.00 (Vintages #677930) 13.5% alcohol
From a storied Tuscan property, this blend of Sangiovese and Cabernet proffers a lovely nose—floral nuances, berry fruit, spice and vanilla captivate. Beautifully balanced, it’s dry yet silky, medium bodied, ripe berry fruit caressing the palate, the spice and vanilla replaying right through the scrumptious finish. Just delicious, it would be a good match for osso bucco.

Sabor Real 2008
DO Toro, Spain
$15.95 (Vintages #172932) 14.5% alcohol
The last release of October offered the Sabor Real Vignas Centenarias, and here is yet another great Tempranillo, produced from 70+-year-old vines. Inky purple, the plush aromas are of rich dark spiced fruit, exotic spice, cigar box and some elusive floral nuances. Subtly structured, it’s dry, full-bodied, velvety with great depth of flavour – just loaded with spicy dark fruit. Lingering notes of spice, vanilla and sweet toast persist on a warm finish. A candidate for medium-term cellaring, it’s a great value.

Grand Total: $95.75

Share