LE NOBLE CUVÉE RÉSERVE 2018, AC Bordeaux, France


Cost: $12.95
Grape: 80% Merlot, 20% Cabernet Sauvignon
Category: Red Wine
Location: LCBO Vintages
Country: France
Region: Bordeaux
Format: 750 mL
Producer: Caves de Rauzan
Alcohol:  13.5% Alcohol/Vol.

This inexpensive wine is deceptive. At 1st it’s simple, but if you let it sit for an hour, the wine opens up to give pleasant tertiary notes. Can’t beat the price for this full flavoured, easy drinking & very pleasant wine. Score: 91/100.

Tasting Note: Medium ruby in colour with good acidity, mild tannin, medium+ intense nose & a good length on the finish. This wine features: Blackberries, black cherries, mocha, dry herbs, Allspice, turmeric, vanilla & cedar.  

Negatives: None

Interesting Point: Sustainable winegrowing

Pairings: Drink this now or in next 4-7 years on its own or pair it with Crispy BBQ smashed potatoes drizzled in tangy BBQ sauce

My Opinion: Highly Recommended

Amazing Buy

Tasted: Sept 16, 2021

LCBO: 18782

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