Posts Tagged ‘wines for Canada Day’

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…






















Stocking up on wines for Canada Day!

Posted by Julie

Friday, June 26th, 2015

This LCBO Vintages release for Saturday June 27 focuses on Flagship ISD (in store discoveries), Canada Day, and the Pan Am Toronto Games games. I was wondering what the term “flagship” meant and still do not have a definitive answer.

LCBO Vintages Magazine June 27However, having just returned from working in the UAE, I think of “flagship” similarly to a city like Dubai. It’s about the biggest, the best, the shiniest, the most opulent, the tallest, definitely the most expensive etc. So I will sum it up by saying that the LCBO has likely identified Flagship ISD wines as those that are pretty good and leave it at that.

July is my favorite month and this tantalizing new releases reminds me of what I am going to enjoy on my balcony with my husband and friends. I just can’t wait to shop in my favorite store, especially when Canada Day is around the corner. I buy mostly Canadian wines since I believe we have a fabulous selection, so cannot apologize for the mostly Canadian content below. There’s just no place like home so let’s celebrate; Oh Caaanaaadaaaa…..

Accredited Sommelier Julie Stock


If I had $100, I would buy these wines at LCBO Vintages…
Saturday June 27, 2015


Featherstone Sauvignon BlancFeatherstone Sauvignon Blanc 2013

VQA Niagara on the Lake
$17.95 (Vintages # 089011) 12% alcohol

Solid fruit aromas emanate from this lovely pale coloured white wine that just breathes summer. It’s delicate but has lots of backbone, great acidity and fabulous grass and grapefruit flavours. Lots of depth and expression, and I may have found my new favourite Sauv. Blanc. It has a racy, crisp finish that make it a great sipper on its own or with a wide range of summer salads and pasta.


Calamus Steely Unoaked Chardonnay 2013

VQA Niagara Peninsula
$14.95 (Vintages #210062) 12.5% alcohol

If you could blend a little sunshine with tangerines it might describe the aromas in this lovely white wine. Pale in colour for a Chardonnay, it comes by its name honestly since there are definite crisp steely notes with an abundance of tropical fruit flavours. It’s clean tasting and very fresh, nothing cloying about this Chardonnay, medium bodied with citrus aftertastes. At this price point, don’t miss out, it’s a great Niagara find that won’t last long on the shelves. With some grilled salmon or chicken and veggies it would be a lovely summer dinner.


13th Street White Palette13th Street White Palette 2012

VQA Niagara Peninsula
$15.95 (Vintages #207340) 12% alcohol

It’s impossible to go wrong with a blend of Riesling, Sauvignon Blanc, Gewurtztraminer and Chardonnay Musqué; talk about bringing the best of each grape varietal forward. Super fragrant and another incredible price point for the complexity of fruit flavours. A delicate blend of cantaloupe, tangerine and lemon tea almost a hint of residual sugar no doubt from the Gewurtztraminer, but bone dry, fresh and delicious. This is one of those wines that slips down very easily so don’t hesitate to stock up while supplies last. Proud to be on any dinner table for lighter summer fare. It’s as dazzling as the winery it comes from, an art gallery of fine wines nestled in a forest setting with slopping hills. 13th Street never disappoints.


Thirty Bench Small Lot RieslingThirty Bench Small Lot Rosé 2014

VQA Beamsville Bench, Niagara Peninsula
$22.20 (Vintages #414227) 12.7% alcohol

So aromatic of red roses and only 466 cases of this made so you may not want to line up but this won’t last long. Intense rhubarb and raspberry flavours dance on the palate, great acidity with a slightly off dry taste on the crisp finish. It’s a elegant and refined rosé, that is great on its own or with some grilled seafood, delicious and yummy says it all.



Montes Alph CarmenereMontes Alpha Carmenere 2012

Colchagua Valley, Chile
$19.95 (Vintages #143230) 14.3% alcohol

I thought I should at least put another country in my $100 basket so this is it. A powerful Carmenère for those steak nights or when mixed grill is on the menu. Intense dark purple, with aromas of plums and blueberries, blackberries that carry onto the palate. A Smooth red wine with medium tannins resulting in full bodied lusciousness. Some dusty earth tones on the subtle dark fruit finish. Oh man, it’s good.

So call on some friends, heat up the barbeque, pick up some shrimps and sirloin, accompanied by some if not all the above, wave our flag, sing our anthem and that sounds like my kind of Canada Day.

Grand Total: $ 91.50    

P.S. I left you enough to buy some Canadian cheeses too!