CALVET BRUT CRÉMANT DE BORDEAUX ROSÉ TRADITIONAL METHOD 2016, AOP Bordeaux, France


Cost: $19.95
Grape: Cabernet Franc
Category: Sparkling Wine
Location: LCBO Vintages
Country: France
Region: Bordeaux
Format: 750 mL
Producer: Dulong Calvet
Alcohol: 12 % Alcohol/Vol.

Not complex but it’s pleasant & easy drinking

Positives: Light rosé colour with fine mousse. Wine features strawberries, cherry, light yeast and red apples.

Negatives: None

Ageability: Drink now or over the next 3-5 years on its own or pair it with delicate tarts.

My Opinion: Recommended

Tasted: May 12, 2019

LCBO: 624759

13th STREET WINERY SANDSTONE VINEYARD GAMAY NOIR 2016, VQA Four Mile Creek, Niagara Region, Ontario, Canada


Cost: $29.95
Grape: Gamay Noir
Category: Red Wine
Location: Winery
Country: Canada
Region: Four Mile Creek, Niagara Region, Ontario
Format: 750 mL
Producer: 13th Street Winery
Alcohol: 12.5% Alcohol/Vol.

Probably one of the worldwide best Gamays & the best Canadian Gamay that I ever tasted.

Positives: It starts with a beautiful smoky nose followed on the taste by dark cherry, raspberry, mulberry, Champagne mushrooms, nutmeg and fried bacon.

Negatives: None

Interesting Point: Use balloon style glass and slightly chill it.

Ageability: Drink now or over the next 5-7 years on its own or pair it with Arrosticini.

My Opinion: Highly Recommended

Top Pick

Tasted: April 30, 2019

PIERRE JOURDAN TRANQUILLE CLASSIQUE STILL WINE NV, Franschhoek, Western Cape, South Africa


Cost:$25 US
Grape:60% Pinot Noir, 40% Chardonnay
Category: White & Rosé Wine
Location: Tasting Room, Cayman Islands
Country: South Africa
Region: Franschhoek, Western Cape
Format: 750 mL
Producer: Haute Cabrière
Alcohol: 11.5% Alcohol/Vol.

A very pleasant wine made like a sparkling wine with Pinot Noir & Chardonnay grapes, but take out the carbonation and ergo you get still wine keeping the same low alcohol level.

Positives: Wine has a light rosé colour, and features lime, kiwi, raspberry, Spy Apples, tangerine and peach.

Interesting Point: “The emphasis of Tranquille being a ‘still Champagne’ type wine relates to the production process, whereby the juice is recovered from whole bunches of grapes that have not been crushed, which excludes the tannins out of the wine structure, creating the fine elegance.” Wine.co.za

Negatives: None

Ageability: Drink now or over the next 3-5 years on its own or pair it with plethora of different styles of olives.

My Opinion: Recommended

Tasted: April 18, 2019

CAVE SPRINGS ESTATE CHARDONNAY 2016, VQA Beamsville Bench, Niagara Region, Ontario, Canada


Cost: $19.95 (Clearance Price: $14.00)
Grape: Chardonnay
Category: White Wine
Location: LCBO Vintages
Country: Canada
Region: Beamsville Bench, Niagara Region, Ontario
Format: 750 mL
Producer: Cave Springs
Alcohol: 13.5% Alcohol/Vol.

Not a complex wine, but very delightful Canadian Chard with eloquence & it’s under $20

Positives: Bright gold in colour featuring lemon, green & yellow apples, peach, ginger and dill.

Negatives: None

Ageability: Drink now or over the next 3-5 years on its own or pair it with lobster Alfredo.

My Opinion: Recommended

Best Buy & Amazing Buy at the Clearance Price

Tasted: April 27, 2019

LCBO: 256552

MAGNOTTA CABERNET SAUVIGNON CALIFORNIA, California, United States


Cost: $10.50 (sale price: $9.50 until April 30, 2019)
Grape: Cabernet Sauvignon & red blends
Category: Red Wine
Location: Winery
Country: United States
Region: California
Format: 750 mL
Producer: Magnotta Winery
Alcohol: 13% Alcohol/Vol.

Probably one of the best generic inexpensive California Cab Sauv on the market, as it’s smooth but not sweet, not high in alcohol, fruit forward yet has some complexity to it, and it’s pleasant to drink

Positives: Medium to full body with light tannin featuring black currants, cherry, raspberry, sage, tomato leaves, vanilla and a touch of leather.

Negatives: None

Interesting Point: 1) I usually abhor these generic reds especially ones that Magnotta has from outside Canada, but I like this one for BBQs, or opening a 2nd, 3rd wine? 2) There is no vintage on the label, 3) 75% of this wine is Cabernet Sauvignon from California with the rest are red grapes from Niagara, 4) New label, which is a lot nicer than the old one.

Ageability: Drink now or over the next couple of years on its own or pair it with anything from the BBQ.

My Opinion: Recommended

Amazing Buy

Tasted: April 11, 2019

SEGURA VIUDA BRUT RESERVA CAVA, NV, DO Cava, Spain


Cost: $15.95
Grape: Macabeo, Parellada, Xarel-lo
Category: Sparkling Wine
Location: LCBO General List
Country: Spain
Region: Cava
Format: 750 mL
Producer: Segura Viudas
Alcohol: 12% Alcohol/Vol.

Fruit, freshness & complexity

Positives: Bright gold in colour with a fine mousse and a long creamy finish. The wine features toasty yeasty notes with lemon, green & yellow apples, pineapple, kiwi, pear, peach and macadamia nuts.

Negatives: None

Ageability: Drink now or over the next 5-7 years on its own or pair it with clams casino.

My Opinion: Highly Recommended

Best Buy

Tasted: April 7, 2019

LCBO: 216960

WESTCOTT PINOT NOIR ESTATE 2015, VQA


Cost: $30.00
Grape: Pinot Noir
Category: Red Wine
Location: Winery
Country: Vinemount Ridge, Niagara Region, Ontario
Region: Champagne
Format: 750 mL
Producer: Westcott Vineyards
Alcohol: 12.9% Alcohol/Vol.

A sweeter style Pinot, but without the high alcohol

Positives: Garnet in colour featuring cherry cola, blackberry, tarragon, vanilla, caramel and violets on the nose.

Negatives: A little too sweet for my taste

Ageability: Drink now or over couple of years on its own or pair it with Peking duck.

My Opinion: Not Recommended

Tasted: March 30, 2019

FOUNDERS SELECT CABERNET FRANC 2016, VQA Niagara Escarpment, Ontario, Canada


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Cost: $44.95
Grape: Cabernet Franc
Category: Red Wine
Location: Winery
Country: Canada
Region: Niagara Escarpment, Ontario
Format: 750 mL
Producer: Kacaba
Alcohol: 13.9% Alcohol/Vol.

On the pricier side of Canadian reds, but this Cab won’t disappoint in taste & smoothness

Positives: This wine features blackcurrants, black cherry, raspberry, anise, cassis, cigar box, leather, tarragon and roasted green peppers.

Negatives: None

Ageability: Drink now or over the next 5-7 years on its own or pair it with slow cooked BBQ beef ribs.

My Opinion: Highly Recommended

Top Pick

Tasted: April 6, 2019

QUAILS’ GATE CHARDONNAY 2016, VQA Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, Canada


Cost: $24.95 (Clearance Price: $20.00)
Grape: Chardonnay
Category: White Wine
Location: LCBO Vintages
Country: Canada
Region: Okanagan Valley, British Columbia
Format: 750 mL
Producer: Quails’ Gate
Alcohol: 13.5% Alcohol/Vol.

Classic oaked Chard that delivers balance, complexity with tropical fruit, spice & oh yes, it’s delicious

Positives: Bright gold in colour with a long finish that features toasted oak, lemon, peach, pineapple, coconut pie, clove, cinnamon, oak spice, dill, ginger, and on the nose smoked amber and Easter Lily.

Negatives: None

Interesting Point: I first tried Quails’ Gate Chardonnay in 2006 when a co-worker brought it for me from BC. At the time the LCBO had only a pittance of BC wines. This wine was amazing, so when it hit the LCBO stores some years later I was excited only to be disappointed. The wine was thin and not impressive. Quails’ Gate Chard is now a regular at Vintages, but I was sceptical to try it again. However, it was on clearance so I decided to try it. Glad I did. Restored my faith in this wineries Chard.

Ageability: Drink now or over the next 5-7 years on its own or pair it with rotisserie chicken.

My Opinion: Highly Recommended

Best Buy and Top Pick

Tasted: April 4, 2019

LCBO: 377770

BELCANTO DI BELLUSSI EXTRA DRY PROSECCO DI VALDOBBIADENE SUPERIORE, NV, DOCG Valdobbiadene, Treviso, Veneto, Italy


Cost: $21.95 (Clearance Price: $17.60)
Grape: Glera
Category: Sparkling Wine
Location: LCBO Vintages
Country: Italy
Region: Valdobbiadene, Treviso, Veneto
Format: 750 mL
Producer: Bellusi
Alcohol: 11.5% Alcohol/Vol.

This easy drinking Prosecco delivers with full flavour and some added complexity

Positives: Bright straw in colour with a fine mousse and a long finish. Wine features peach, pear, orange, green apples, lemon, yellow plum and clay on the finish.

Negatives: None

Interesting Point: The Valdobbiadene area is widely considered to be the home of the finest quality Prosecco.

Ageability: Drink now or over the next 2-4 years on its own or pair it with Grana Padano cheese.

My Opinion: Highly Recommended

Best Buy and Top Pick

Tasted: April 2, 2019

LCBO: 53215