REDSTONE MERLOT 2014, VQA Limestone Lakeshore, Niagara Region, Ontario, Canada


Cost: $46.15
Grape: Merlot
Category: Red Wine
Location: Winery
Country: Canada
Region: Lincoln Lakeshore, Niagara Region, Ontario
Format: 750 mL
Producer: GFA Rodet Recapet
Alcohol:  12.9% Alcohol/Vol.

An aged Merlot that is pleasant, but for me it’s overpriced. Score: 89/100

Tasting Note: Dark ruby in colour with good acidity, an intense nose, smooth tannin & a long length on the finish. Wine features blackberry, blackcurrants, blueberry jam, coffee, chocolate & leather.  

Negatives: The price

Pairings: Drink this now or in the next 3-5 of years on its own or pair it with roast beef.

My Opinion: Recommended

Tasted: October 20, 2020

CHATEAU LA GRAVIÈRE, CUVÉE LES TERRASSES 2016, AOC Côtes De Bourg, Bordeaux, France


Cost: $16.95
Grape: 70% Merlot, 30% Cabernet Sauvignon
Category: Red Wine
Location: LCBO Vintages
Country: France
Region: Côtes de Bourg, Bordeaux
Format: 750 mL
Producer: GFA Rodet Recapet
Alcohol:  14.0% Alcohol/Vol.

An excellent wine that you would easily pay twice the price. A nice, juicy Merlot based wine that is drinking well now and will also age nicely. Score: 92/100

Tasting Note: Dark to opaque ruby in colour with good acidity, a medium+ intense nose & a long length on the finish. Wine features dark cherry, plum, blackcurrants, blackberries, turmeric, pencil shavings, leather & fresh cut carnations on the nose.  

Negatives: None

Interesting Point: This AOC is one of the oldest wine producing regions in France, in large part due to its highly trafficked location off the river and vine friendly soil. Historians date Côtes de Bourg”s viticulture back to the Second Century where Romans planted “Vitis Biturica”, an ancestor of Cabernet.

Pairings: Drink this now or in the next 5-7 of years on its own or pair it with .

My Opinion: Highly Recommended

Best Buy & Top Pick

Tasted: October 15, 2020

LCBO: 14454

GREENLANE ESTATE WINERY OLD VINES RIESLING RESERVE 2011, VQA Lincoln Lakeshore, Niagara, Ontario, Canada


Cost: $35.00 (Clearance Price: 25.00)
Grape: Riesling
Category: White Wine
Location: Winery
Country: Canada
Region: Lincoln Lakeshore
Format: 750 mL
Producer: Greenlane Estate Winery
Alcohol:  10.8% Alcohol/Vol.

Here’s a nice dry Riesling that has already been nicely aged for drinking now & it’s on sale. For all this, you can’t beat the price. Score: 89/100

Tasting Note: Gold in colour with good acidity, high intense nose & a long length on the finish. Wine features lemon-lime, green apples, pear, dragon fruit & lovely petrol on the nose.  

Negatives: None

Interesting Point: In partnership with Trees for the Future, a nonprofit that has planted over 180 million trees, Trinity Oaks plants one tree per bottle purchased. The grapes are grown in sustainably farmed vineyards.

Pairings: Drink this now or in the next 10 years on its own or pair it with Jerk Chicken .

My Opinion: Recommended

Tasted: October 10, 2020

QUEENSTON MILE VINEYARD BARREL FERMENTED CHARDONNAY 2017, VQA St. David’s Bench, Niagara Region, Ontario


Cost: $35.00 (Clearance Price: 24.55)
Grape: Chardonnay
Category: White Wine
Location: LCBO Vintages
Country: Canada
Region: St. David’s Bench, Niagara Region, Ontario
Format: 750 mL
Producer: Queenston Mile Vineyard
Alcohol:  12.8% Alcohol/Vol.

Ontario winemakers are making top quality Chards that are not high in alcohol, so why go elsewhere? This is beautiful & bold, while still being in balance. Score: 93/100

Tasting Note: Bright yellow gold in colour with good acidity, a medium intense nose & a long length on the finish. Wine features lemon, green & yellow apples, pear, peach, mango, pineapple, butterscotch, dill, oak spice, vanilla & some wet stone on the finish.  

Negatives: None

Pairings: Drink this now or in the next 5-7 of years on its own or pair it with

My Opinion: Highly Recommended

Top Pick & Best Buy at Clearance Price

Tasted: October 6, 2020

LCBO: 10137

TRINITY OAKS CHARDONNAY 2018, California, United States of America


Cost: $17.95 (Sale Price until Oct 11, 2020: $15.95
Grape: Chardonnay
Category: White Wine
Location: LCBO General List
Country: United States of America
Region: California
Format: 750 mL
Producer: Trinity Oaks
Alcohol:  13.5% Alcohol/Vol.

Who says you can’t find a good inexpensive California Chard that isn’t either overly oaked, sweet or high in alcohol? Might have been me. Well look no further in this well styled & balanced Chard. Score: 89/100

Tasting Note: Bright gold in colour with good acidity, a medium intense nose & a good long length on the finish. Wine features lemon, green & red apples, pear, peach, dill, oak spice, vanilla & limestone.  

Negatives: None

Interesting Point: In partnership with Trees for the Future, a nonprofit that has planted over 180 million trees, Trinity Oaks plants one tree per bottle purchased. The grapes are grown in sustainably farmed vineyards.

Pairings: Drink this now or in the next 3 – 4 of years on its own or pair it with rotisserie chicken.

My Opinion: Recommended

Best Buy

Tasted: October 4, 2020

LCBO: 15762

MARQUÉS DE CÁCERES EXCELLENS CUVÉE ESPECIAL 2016, DOC Rioja, Spain


Cost: $17.95
Grape: Tempranillo
Category: Red Wine
Location: LCBO Vintages
Country: Spain
Region: Rioja
Format: 750 mL
Producer: Marqués de Cáceres
Alcohol:  14.0% Alcohol/Vol.

This is a gem of a find for those who love their aged Tempranillos. The label is true to form as this wine is “excellens” Score: 92/100

Tasting Note: Deep dark blood ruby in colour with good acidity, a medium intense nose, firm tannin & a good long length on the finish. Wine features dark cherry, raspberry, tamarind, graphite, clove, black tea, espresso & sandalwood.  

Negatives: None

Interesting Point: Wine Spectator also rated this at 92.

Pairings: Drink this now or in the next 7-10 of years on its own or pair it with rack of lamb.

My Opinion: Highly Recommended

Best Buy & Top Pick

Tasted: October 3, 2020

LCBO: 10684

TRIUS BARREL FERMENTD CHARDONNAY 2019, VQA Niagara Peninsula, Ontario, Canada


Cost: $19.95 (Sale price until Oct 11, 2020: $17.95)
Grape: Chardonnay
Category: White Wine
Location: LCBO General List
Country: Canada
Region: Niagara Peninsula, Ontario
Format: 750 mL
Producer: Trius Winery
Alcohol:  13.0% Alcohol/Vol.

Fresh new label, both on the front & back, which I really like, and although this wine is still very young, it presents balance between the oak aging & citric notes. Score: 89/100

Tasting Note: Bright light gold in colour with good acidity, a medium intense nose & a good long length on the finish. Wine features lemon, green apples, pear, peach, dill, ginger, oak spice & vanilla.

Negatives: None

Interesting Point: New label on the front & back with the back label giving the consumer a lot of good information.

Pairings: Drink this now or in the next 5-7 of years on its own or pair it with seared scallops.

My Opinion: Recommended

Best Buy

Tasted: October 2, 2020

LCBO: 251470

GREENLANE ESTATE WINERY CHARDONNAY 2017, VQA Lincoln Lakeshore, Niagara, Ontario, Canada


Cost: $27.95
Grape: Chardonnay
Category: White Wine
Location: Winery
Country: Canada
Region: Lincoln Lakeshore, Niagara, Ontario
Format: 750 mL
Producer: Greenlane Estate Winery
Alcohol:  14.5% Alcohol/Vol.

If the winemaker, Dianne Smith, wanted to make a quality, complex, balanced, full body buttery Chard in the style of California’s, at a reasonable price, well she has succeeded. Score: 92/100

Tasting Note: Bright gold in colour with good acidity, a medium+ intense nose & a fairly long length on the finish. Wine features lemon, green apples, pear, peach, pineapple, mango, dill, ginger, oak spice, limestone & vanilla custard.

Negatives: Some heat from the high alcohol

Interesting Point: “Hand-picked, whole bunch pressed, then fermented in 7 very different French oak barrels with 7 specially selected yeast strains, making this is our Winemaker’s ode to California. Aged in 20% new French oak barrels for 32 months, this hot climate style wine is luscious and ripe with notes of tropical fruit and custard.” Greenlane Winery

Pairings: Drink this now or in the next 5-7 of years on its own or pair it with Lobster Thermidor.

My Opinion: Highly Recommended

Top Pick

Tasted: September 30, 2020

GREENLAND ESTATE WINERY CHARDONNAY 2018, VQA Lincoln Lakeshore, Niagara, Ontario, Canada


Cost: $19.95 (Sale price: $17.95)
Grape: Chardonnay
Category: White Wine
Location: Winery
Country: Canada
Region: Lincoln Lakeshore, Niagara, Ontario
Format: 750 mL
Producer: Greenlane Estate Winery
Alcohol:  13.4% Alcohol/Vol.

Not complex, but pleasant. This is a nice bridge between un-oaked and oaked Chard. Score: 89/100

Tasting Note: Straw to light gold in colour with good acidity, a medium+ intense nose & a fairly long length on the finish. Wine features lemon, green apples, pear, peach & vanilla custard.

Negatives: None

Interesting Point: 50/50 between oak barrels & stainless tanks.

Pairings: Drink this now or in the next 3-4 of years on its own or pair it with Chilean Sea Bass with lemon, dill & caper sauce.

My Opinion: Recommended

Best Buy

Tasted: September 27, 2020

PELEE ISLAND CHARDONNAY 2018, VQA Ontario, Canada


Cost: $12.45 (Sale price: $11.45)
Grape: Chardonnay
Category: White Wine
Location: LCBO General List
Country: Canada
Region: Ontario
Format: 750 mL
Producer: Pelee Island Winery
Alcohol:  12.5% Alcohol/Vol.

A simple, crisp unoaked Chard that is priced right. Score: 87/100

Tasting Note: Straw in colour with good acidity, a medium intense nose & a good length on the finish. Wine features lemon zest, green apple, pear & passion fruit.

Negatives: None

Interesting Point: The 2018 label is a lot nicer than their previous ones for this Chard.

Pairings: Drink this now or in the next couple of years on its own or pair it with tangy Caesar salad.

My Opinion: Recommended

Best Buy

Tasted: September 26, 2020