MANOIR DU CARRA BEAUJOLAIS VILLAGES 2017, AOC Beaujolais, France


Cost: $15.95
Grape: Gamay
Category: Red Wine
Location: LCBO Vintages
Country: France
Region: Beaujolais
Format: 750 mL
Producer: Manoir du Carra
Alcohol:  13.0% Alcohol/Vol.

This maybe the best Beaujolais Villages I’ve tried. Full of flavour which taste more like a Cru rather than a Village. Score: 95/100

Tasting Note: Light to medium ruby in colour with good acidity, a medium intense nose, soft tannin & a long length on the finish. Wine features Bing cherry, strawberry, pomegranate, raspberry, mulberry, cassis, cloves, leather & peat moss.  

Negatives: None

Interesting Point: Many thanks to Jean-Pierre Colas from 13th Street who 1st served this wine to me, and who happens to have taught the winemaker at Manoir du Carra. This wine is also unfiltered. Use a balloon style glass & chill the wine to about 15C.

Pairings: Drink this now or in the next 3-5 of years on its own or pair it with Broiled Pork Loin with Pomegranate Clove Sauce.

My Opinion: Highly Recommended

Best Buy & Top Pick

Tasted: November 3, 2020

LCBO: 14735

THE FEDERALIST CABERNET SAUVIGNON 2017, Lodi, California, United States of America


Cost: $19.95
Grape: Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Cabernet Franc
Category: Red Wine
Location: LCBO Vintages
Country: United States of America
Region: Lodi
Format: 750 mL
Producer: Federalist Winery
Alcohol:  13.7% Alcohol/Vol.

A rarity to have a full body red wine from Lodi, that is under $20, under 14% alcohol, not overtly sweet but flavourful with complexity. Score: 90/100

Tasting Note: Medium ruby in colour with good acidity, a medium+ intense nose, soft tannin & a long length on the finish. Wine features dark cherry, plum, blackberries, mulberry, mocha, cassis, cloves, cinnamon, oregano, leather, pencil shavings & sweet oak.  

Negatives: None

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

My Opinion: Recommended

Best Buy

Tasted: October 28, 2020

LCBO: 479105

KACABA FUMÉ BLANC 2016, VQA Niagara Peninsula, Ontario, Canada


Cost: $30.15
Grape: Sauvignon Blanc
Category: White Wine
Location: Winery
Country: Canada
Region: Niagara Peninsula
Format: 750 mL
Producer: Kacaba Vineyards
Alcohol:  11.5% Alcohol/Vol.

There’s quality in this Fumé that has a nice crispness at the beginning & ending with a roundness. Score: 91/100

Tasting Note: Light gold in colour with good acidity, a medium+ intense nose & a good length on the finish. Wine features lime, kiwi, gooseberry, green apple, shale rock & flint.   

Negatives: None

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

My Opinion: Highly Recommended

Top Pick

Tasted: October 26, 2020

RAIMAT CASTELL CHARDONNAY 2018, DO Costers Del Segre, Spain


Cost: $15.95
Grape: Chardonnay
Category: White Wine
Location: LCBO Vintages
Country: Spain
Region: Costers Del Segre
Format: 750 mL
Producer: Raimat
Alcohol:  13.0% Alcohol/Vol.

Lots of orange pith makes this very linear. Score: 84/100

Tasting Note: Yellow gold in colour with high acidity, a medium intense nose & a good length on the finish. Wine features orange pith, lemon & green apples.  

Negatives: Too sour

Interesting Point: Organic wine

Pairings: Drink this now or in the next couple of years & pair it with grilled shrimp.

My Opinion: Not Recommended

Tasted: October 25, 2020

LCBO: 15413

GHOST PINES MERLOT 2017, 90% Sonoma County, 5% Napa County, 5% Lake County, California, Unite States of America


Cost: $21.95 (On sale until Nov 8, 2020: $19.95)
Grape: Merlot
Category: Red Wine
Location: LCBO Vintages
Country: United States of America
Region: 90% Sonoma County, 5% Napa County, 5% Lake County, California
Format: 750 mL
Producer: Ghost Pines
Alcohol:  14.5% Alcohol/Vol.

A full flavoured & lushes Merlot from 3 different counties in California.  Score: 89/100

Tasting Note: Medium ruby in colour with good acidity, a medium+ intense nose, soft tannin & a long length on the finish. Wine features dark cherry, plum, blackberries, blueberry pie, cocoa, mocha, cloves, cinnamon, turmeric, pencil shavings, leather, smoke & violets on the nose.  

Negatives: Lots of heat from the 14.5% alcohol

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

My Opinion: Recommended

Best Buy

Tasted: October 24, 2020

LCBO: 454876

REDSTONE SEMILLON SAUVIGNON BLANC 2019, VQA Niagara Peninsula, Ontario, Canada


Cost: $22.15
Grape: Semillon, Sauvignon Blanc
Category: White Wine
Location: Winery
Country: Canada
Region: Niagara Peninsula, Ontario
Format: 750 mL
Producer: Redstone Winery
Alcohol:  11.5% Alcohol/Vol.

Crisp, clean & simple. Score: 88/100

Tasting Note: Straw with a green tinge in colour with high acidity, a medium intense nose & a long length on the finish. Wine features lemon-lime, green apples, gooseberry, passion fruit & hay.

Negatives: None

Pairings: Drink this now or in the next 3-5 of years on its own or pair it with Mahi Mahi in a butter sauce with lemon & herb spices.

My Opinion: Recommended

Tasted: October 23, 2020

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