13th STREET WINERY L. VISCEK VINEYARD CHARDONNAY 2019, VQA Creek Shores, Niagara Peninsula, Ontario, Canada


Cost: $34.95
Grape: Chardonnay
Category: White Wine
Location: Winery
Country: Canada
Region: Creek Shores, Niagara Peninsula, Ontario
Format: 750 mL
Producer: 13th Street Winery
Alcohol:  12.5% Alcohol/Vol.

Classic quality cool climate, Vegan friendly, Chardonnay that will get better with aging. Score: 90/100.

Tasting Note: Light bright gold in colour with good acidity, medium intense nose & a long length on the finish. This wine features: Lemon, green apples, pear, clementine, baking spice & limestone.  

Negatives: None

Interesting Point: 13th Street Viscek Vineyard Chards have consistently been good.

Pairings: Drink this now or in next 7-10 years on its own or pair it with garlic roasted chicken.

My Opinion: Recommended

Tasted: Sept 11, 2021

MAGNOTTA BLANC DE BLANCS CHARDONNAY, NV, Traditional Method, VQA Niagara Peninsula, Ontario, Canada


Cost: $26.95 (Sale Price until Sept 30, 2021: $23.95)
Grape: Chardonnay
Category: Sparkling Wine
Location: Winery Stores
Country: Canada
Region: Niagara Peninsula, Ontario
Format: 750 mL
Producer: Magnotta Winery
Alcohol:  13.6% Alcohol/Vol.

This XD- Extra Dry sparkling wine is easy drinking, full body & well suited for those that don’t like the classic Champagne taste. Score: 88/100.

Tasting Note: Gold in colour with fine mousse, good acidity, medium intense nose & a good length on the finish. This wine features: Lemon meringue, green & golden apples, pear, kumquat, pineapple, kiwi, nutmeg & vanilla.  

Negatives: None

Interesting Point: There’s an additional icewine dosage, which gives it the colour & tropical notes.

Pairings: Drink this now or in next 5-7 years on its own or pair it with Grilled Spicy Mahi Fish Tacos with homemade jicama slaw. 

My Opinion: Recommended

Best Buy at the sales price

Tasted: Sept 5, 2021

GRAN FEUDO RESERVA 2016, DO Navarra, Spain


Cost: $18.95 (Sale Price until Sept 12, 2021: $16.95)
Grape: 37% Cabernet Sauvignon, 33% Merlot, 30% Tempranillo
Category: Red Wine
Location: LCBO Vintages
Country: Spain
Region: Navarra
Format: 750 mL
Producer: Gran Feudo
Alcohol:  13.5% Alcohol/Vol.

Clean, lighter style, not a complex blend of Cab/Merlot/Tempranillo which is pleasant to drink. Score: 88/100.

Tasting Note: Medium ruby in colour with good acidity, medium intense+ nose, mild tannin & a good length on the finish. This wine features: Cherry, blackberry, raspberry, plum, mulberry, turmeric & leather.

Negatives: None

Interesting Point: My preference is using a Tempranillo style glassware as this isn’t a bold wine

Pairings: Drink this now or in next 3-4 years on its own or pair it with lamb chops with pesto sauce.

My Opinion: Recommended

Best Buy

Tasted: Sept 3, 2021

LCBO: 479014

NIAGARA COLLEGE TEACHING WINERY BALANCE DRY RIESLING 2020, VQA Lincoln Lakeshore, Niagara Region, Ontario, Canada


Cost: $16.95
Grape: Riesling
Category: White Wine
Location: Winery
Country: Canada
Region: Lincoln Lakeshore, Niagara Region
Format: 750 mL
Producer: Niagara College Teaching Winery,
Alcohol:  12.5% Alcohol/Vol.

Crisp, clean, dry & not complex but has quality. Score: 88/100.

Tasting Note: Light straw in colour with high acidity, medium intense+ nose & a long length on the finish. This wine features: Lime, kiwi, pear, green apples & limestone.

Negatives: None

Pairings: Drink this now or in next 10+ years on its own or pair it with sweet chilli wings

My Opinion: Recommended

Best Buy

Tasted: Aug 31, 2021

MATAHIWI HOLLY CHARDONNAY 2020, Wairarapa, New Zealand


Cost: $25.95
Grape: Chardonnay
Category: White Wine
Location: LCBO Vintages
Country: New Zealand
Region: Wairarapa
Format: 750 mL
Producer: Matahiwi Estate
Alcohol:  13.0% Alcohol/Vol.

Not your typical oaked Chard, which may turn off people. I’m on the fence with this one regarding taste but think it’s overpriced. Score: 86/100.

Tasting Note: Straw in colour with high acidity, intense nose, mild tannin & a long length on the finish. This wine features: Lemon, brioche, fig, apple pie with cinnamon, oak spice, overripe orange & huge smoked notes on the nose.

Negatives: Too much smoke on the nose to be pleasant & overpriced.

Pairings: Drink this now or in next 3-5 years on its own or pair it with shrimp tempura.

My Opinion: On-the-Fence

Tasted: Aug 26, 2021

LCBO: 12622

PIERRE JOURDAN BELLE ROSE SPARKLING WINE, NV, Méthode Cap Classique, Western Cape, South Africa


Cost: $19.95
Grape: Pinot Noir
Category: Sparkling Wine
Location: LCBO Vintages
Country: South Africa
Region: Western Cape
Format: 750 mL
Producer: Haute Cabrière, Franschhoek
Alcohol:  12.0% Alcohol/Vol.

Simple yet elegant brut rosé sparkling wine. Score: 90/100.

Tasting Note: Pale copper in colour with good acidity with fine mousse, medium+ intense nose & a long length on the finish. This wine features: Strawberry, cherry & red apples.

Negatives: None

Interesting Point: “Beautiful Rose!” said the grandmother of our Cellar Master when she saw the colour.

South Africa is producing the best rosé sparkling wines at great prices

Pairings: Drink this now or in next 5-7 years on its own or pair it with whipped Ricotta cherry crostini.

My Opinion: Recommended

Best Buy

Tasted: Aug 15, 2021

LCBO: 18569

PAUL MAS RÉSERVE NICOLE VINEYARD VIOGNIER 2019, Pays D’Oc, France


Cost: $14.95
Grape: Viognier
Category: White Wine
Location: LCBO Vintages
Country: France
Region: Languedoc
Format: 750 mL
Producer: Paul Mas
Alcohol:  13.5% Alcohol/Vol.

Crisp, clean, full of orchard fruits. ‘Luxe rural’ (simple luxury). Score: 89/100.

Tasting Note: Straw to gold in colour with good acidity, medium intense nose & a long length on the finish. This wine features: Lemon-lime, peach, apricot, pear, limestone & honey.

Negatives: None

Pairings: Drink this now or in next 4-6 years on its own or pair it with Caprese Salad

My Opinion: Recommended

Best Buy

Tasted: Aug 22, 2021

LCBO: 370098

HIDALGO TRADICIÒN H RESERVA 2015, DOC Rioja, Spain


Cost: $19.95
Grape: Tempranillo
Category: Red Wine
Location: LCBO Vintages
Country: Spain
Region: Rioja
Format: 750 mL
Producer: Vinicola Hidalgo
Alcohol:  13.5% Alcohol/Vol.

Classic Rioja Tempranillo. Score: 90/100.

Tasting Note: Medium ruby in colour with good acidity, medium+ intense nose, round tannin & a long length on the finish. This wine features: Plum, dark cherry, raspberry, cassis, star anise, sage, tobacco, espresso, arugula, vanilla, baking spice, leather & sandalwood on the nose.

Negatives: None

Pairings: Drink this now or in next 5-7 years on its own or pair it with grilled lamb chops

My Opinion: Recommended

Best Buy

Tasted: Aug 20, 2021

LCBO: 18933

CALLAWAY CELLAR SELECTION CHARDONNAY 2018, California, United States of America


Cost: $17.95
Grape: 93% Chardonnay, 5% Viognier, 2% French Colombard
Category: White Wine
Location: LCBO Vintages
Country: United States of America
Region: California
Format: 750 mL
Producer: Callaway Cellars
Alcohol:  13.0% Alcohol/Vol.

A Cali Chard that is not overtly flabby or having high alcohol. Score: 86/100.

Tasting Note: Bright light gold in colour with good acidity, medium intense nose, soft tannin & an average length on the finish. This wine features: Lemon zest, pineapple, green apple, banana, butterscotch, coconut, vanilla & oak spice.

Negatives: Aggressive with too much banana & butterscotch for my taste.

Interesting Point: Aged 6 months in 90% American oak & 10% unoaked

This might be the lowest alcohol Cali Chard that I’ve ever tasted.

Pairings: Drink this now or in next 3-4 years on its own or pair it with

My Opinion: On-the-Fence

Tasted: Aug 12, 2021

LCBO: 18627

CHÂTEAU DE NAGES JT 2018, AOP Costières de Nîmes, Rhône, Frane


Cost: $27.95
Grape: 70% Roussanne, 15% Viognier, 15% Grenache Blanc
Category: White Wine
Location: LCBO Vintages
Country: France
Region: Costières de Nîmes, Rhône
Format: 750 mL
Producer: Château de Nages
Alcohol:  14.5% Alcohol/Vol.

Big, bold & beautiful, very Montrachet in style without being a Chard. Score: 97/100.

Tasting Note: Bright yellow gold in colour with good acidity, medium intense nose, soft tannin & a long length on the finish. This wine features: Lemon pie, lemon zest, apricot, peach, orange pith, pineapple, golden apples, granny apples, pear, honey, vanilla with orange blossoms & honeysuckle on the nose.

Negatives: None

Interesting Point: Use the larger Montrachet glassware and don’t over chill it to bring out all that this wine has to offer.

Pairings: Drink this now or in next 5-7 years on its own or pair it with Mahi-mahi ceviche with pineapple salsa.

My Opinion: Highly Recommended

Top Pick

Tasted: Aug 2, 2021

LCBO: 485854