Vintages Customer Favourites


Several times a year Vintages puts out “Customer Favourites”.  I confess I never really asked how they were chosen but I assume these are the wines that consistently sell the most.

I have read many articles from wine writers offering an opinion on the best buys for $10 and the best ones for $15-20 and so on. Of course, it all comes down to what you as a consumer like to drink. We all have our popular price point. I confess mine has gone up a little since doing pre-release tastings & having the opportunity to taste different wines I may not have otherwise tasted. But having said that, even I have my $10-$12 dollar go-to favourites, & often try different wines at that price point. I think of the Chilean Cono Sur Riesling & Viognier as an example, as well as Montalto from Italy as another. In sparkling wine, the Spanish Cava Frexienet & Italian Prosecco are great values under $15 & finally you can even find some lovely Ontario late harvest wines around that price. I’m not sure these are “LCBO customer favourites” but they are definitely some of mine, at prices where you can have an extremely elegant dinner party & not having blown your budget on wine.

In this release however, I have forecast wines that were included in the Vintages customer favourites as well as a couple I think are really good value.  Perhaps some of these are your favourites too?

Cheers and Enjoy!

Carpene Malvolti Cuvee Brut Conegliano Valdobbiadene Prosecco Superiore

DOCG, Veneto, Italy
$14.95 (Vintages # 727438) 12% alcohol
Pale, light crisp white bubbles, who could not love the freshness of Prosecco on a hot summer day? This to me is always a “go-to” sparkling wine at a popular price. Always festive with hints of orange & lemon & a perfect match with salty antipasto. I always describe Prosecco & fresh and fruity & very food-friendly from appetizers through to dessert.

Flat Rock Nadja’s Vineyard Riesling 2011

VQA Twenty Mile Bench, Niagara Peninsula
$19.95 (Vintages #578625) 11.6% alcohol
I adore the family stories behind the Niagara Peninsula wineries & this one is no exception. Winemaker, Ed Madronich, made his mother proud naming this lovely wine after her. Doug (my husband & also a sommelier) & I visited this winery last June & was told that there is the absolute minimum influence from the winemaker that goes into this lovely Riesling. Consequently it highlights the unique features of the soil in which the grapes are grown. I have bottle tucked away & remember aromas of blooming white flowers & flavours of lime, green apple, delicious minerality, a bit of tropical like pineapple with a zesty finish. Sip after sip brings you more delicious fruit flavours – it’s really easy drinking.

Momo Sauvignon Blanc 2011

Marlborough, South Island
Seresin Estate, New Zealand
$17.95 (Vintages #9167) 13.5 % alcohol
If I had to choose only one varietal to drink the rest of my life, it would be the beautifully polished looking & clean mouth-feel of a Sauvignon Blanc. And that is not to make it sound like mouthwash. Pale gold in colour, aromas of tropical fruit but with grassy & wet stone minerality flavours. Finishes crisp, a little gooseberry (well it is from New Zealand!) & just plain tantalizing. It squirts saliva from the tastebuds & works them into getting ready for dinner.

L.A. CETTO Cabernet Sauvignon 2009

Guadalupe Valley, Baja California, Mexico
$11.95 (Vintages 114066)  13.5 %alcohol
I’ll bet you did not know that Mexico is the oldest wine producing country in North and South America? All this, thanks to the Italian family of Don Angelo Cetto, who in 1924 came to Mexico from Italy. Their various Cabernet Sauvignon’s have won international awards & this dense ruby-coloured beauty demands some grilled meat to enjoy with it’s grippy tannins & dark fruit flavours. Concentrated & an amazing price for the quality. One of the LCBO’s best kept secrets.

Grant Burge Barossa Shiraz 2010

Barossa Valley, South Australia
$18.95 (Vintages#738567) 13.5 % alcohol
A deep plum colour full of dark berry favourites; black currants, blackberries, hint of blueberry with a mouthcoating velvety texture. A medium-full bodied wine that reminds me of Christmas cake spices such as cinnamon & allspice with medium tannins, acidity & a little peppery on the long finish. Absolutely perfect for a butterflied leg of lamb.

Chateau D’Angles La Clape Classique Syrah/Grenache/Mourvedre 2007

AC, Langedoc, France  Famille E. Fabre
$14.95 (Vintages #286484)  14% alcohol
This is without a doubt the classic blend of great French wines. There are so many great flavours that sift from the glass & carry on to the finish. Chocolate, leather, deep plums & blueberry, a little earth & just plain delicious with anything from a peppery steak to an assorted cheese platter. A great value, truly representative of the wines that give France its’ reputation.

Grand Total: $98.70

Well folks, I only have $1.30 left and I can’t even buy a gelato or a decent box of crackers for that price, oh I guess I could try the dollar store. But having spent my $100 on 6 great wines, much as I dislike the expression “getting a lot of bang for the buck” – I think that’s exactly what I got. Here’s hoping your dollar goes as far. Julie


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