NIAGARA COLLEGE TEACHING WINERY DEAN’S LIST CHARDONNAY 2013, VQA St. David’s Bench, Niagara Region, Ontario, Canada


Cost: $23.15
Grape: Chardonnay
Category: White Wine
Location: Winery
Country: Canada
Region: St. David’s Bench, Niagara Region, Ontario
Format: 750 mL
Producer: Niagara College Teaching Winery
Alcohol:  13% Alcohol/Vol.

An aged Chard this is balanced between the oak, fruit & minerality

Positives: Gold in colour, this wine features medium toast, lemon pie, clementine, green & yellow apples, yellow plums, ginger, dill, oak spice, limestone and Easter Lily on the nose.

Negatives: None

Ageability: Drink now or over the next 3-5 years on its own or pair it with grilled buttered halibut.

My Opinion: Recommended

Best Buy

Tasted: September 29, 2019

TOM THOMSON 100th ANNIVERSARY COLLECTION ALGONQUIN RED 2018, VQA Niagara-on-the-Lake, Niagara Region, Ontario, Canada


Cost: $19.15
Grape: Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Cabernet Franc
Category: Red Wine
Location: Winery
Country: Canada
Region: Niagara-On-The-Lake, Ontario
Format: 750 mL
Producer: Teaching Winery
Alcohol: 13.5% Alcohol/Vol.

Excellent value red from Ontario made in Bordeaux style

Positives: Dark ruby in colour this wine features cherry, plum, blackberry, blackcurrant, pomegranate, turmeric, green peppers, pencil shavings, leather, spinach leaves

Negatives: None

Interesting Point: Current vintage is far superior than the last one.

Ageability: Drink now or in the next 3-5 years on its own or pair it with grilled T-Bone steak.

My Opinion: Recommended

Best Buy

Tasted: November 2, 2019

PAUL CLUVER ESTATE ELGIN CHARDONNAY 2017, South Africa


Cost: $29.95 (Clearance price: $24.00)
Grape: Chardonnay
Category: White Wine
Location: LCBO Vintages
Country: South Africa
Region: South Africa
Format: 750 mL
Producer: Paul Cluver
Alcohol: 13.5% Alcohol/Vol.

A high end Chard at a bargain price

Positives: Bright gold in colour featuring light toast with butter, lemon, green & yellow apples, white plum, tangerine, honeydew melon, peach, kumquat, ginger, dill, roasted almonds, vanilla, limestone, cinnamon, cloves, oak spice and honeysuckle on the nose.

Negatives: None

Interesting Point: South African wines in my view are best value wines you can get

Ageability: Drink now or in the next 5-7 years on its own or pair it with Chilean sea bass with lemon, dill and capers.

My Opinion: Highly Recommended

Best Buy at sale price and Top Pick

Tasted: November 6, 2019

LCBO: 570952

ANGELS GATE ARCHANGEL BRUT CHARDONNAY BLANC DE BLANC 2013, Traditional Method, VQA Beamsville, Niagara Region, Ontario, Canada


Cost: $29.95 (Clearance price: $21.00)
Grape: Chardonnay
Category: Sparkling Wine
Location: LCBO Vintages
Country: Canada
Region: Beamsville Bench, Niagara Region, Ontario
Format: 750 mL
Producer: Angels Gate
Alcohol:  12% Alcohol/Vol.

A nice balance Blanc de Blanc that has some complexity, good acidity, fruit and most importantly, taste good.

Positives: Golden straw in colour with a fine mousse, this wine features light brioche, lemon, kiwi, green apple, and limestone.

Negatives: None

Ageability: Drink now or in the next 7-10 years on its own or pair it with triple cream Brie.

My Opinion: Recommended

Best Buy at the clearance price

Tasted: November 17, 2019

LCBO: 227009

CANYON ROAD CHARDONNAY 2018, California, United States of America


Cost: $9.95
Grape: Chardonnay
Category: White Wine
Location: LCBO General Listing
Country: United States
Region: California
Format: 750 mL
Producer: Canyon Road
Alcohol: 13% Alcohol/Vol.

An entry Chard that has character, and I really like its creamy texture, but it’s not fat, tropical fruit yet has acidity as backbone and it’s only 13% alcohol. May I stress that it only has 13% alcohol for a California Chard!

Positives: Bright gold in colour featuring pineapple, mango, lemon meringue, yellow plums, yellow apples, crème brûlée, butterscotch, cinnamon and dill.

Negatives: None

Interesting Point: Canyon Road Winery is located in Alexander Valley, which is one of my favourite AVAs.

Ageability: Drink now or in the next 3-5 years on its own or pair it with triple cream Brie.

My Opinion: Recommended

Amazing Buy

Tasted: November 9, 2019

LCBO: 552513

SMOKING LOON CHARDONNAY 2017, California, United States of America


Cost: $14.95
Grape: Chardonnay
Category: White Wine
Location: LCBO General List
Country: United States
Region: California
Format: 750 mL
Producer: Smoking Loon
Alcohol: 13.5% Alcohol/Vol.

An excellent entry level Chard that is simple, yet elegant, and not above 14% alcohol, which is, unfortunately, the norm for California Chards

Positives: Light gold in colour the wine features lemon, pineapple, yellow apple, papaya, green tea and limestone.

Negatives: None

Ageability: Drink now or in the next 3-5 years on its own or pair it with rotisserie chicken.

My Opinion: Recommended

Best Buy

Tasted: November 6, 2019

LCBO: 633594

CRÉMANT D’ALSACE BRUT ROSÉ NV, Méthode Traditionelle , Alsace, France


Cost: $19.95 (Clearance price: $16.95)
Grape: Pinot Noir
Category: Sparkling Wine
Location: LCBO Vintages
Country: France
Region: Alsace
Format: 750 mL
Producer: Cave de Beblenheim
Alcohol: 12.5% Alcohol/Vol.

An easy drinking sparkling wine with lots of red berry flavours

Positives: Pale salmon in colour with fine mousse this wine features strawberry, red currants and pomegranates.

Negatives: None

Ageability: Drink now or in the next 3-5 years on its own or pair it with baked salmon with garlic and Dijon.

My Opinion: Recommended

Best Buy

Tasted: November 3, 2019

LCBO: 168948

NIAGARA COLLEGE TEACHING WINERY DEAN’S LIST PRESIDENT’S RED 2017, VQA Niagara Peninsula, Ontario, Canada


Cost: $31.15
Grape: 43% Merlot, 35% Cabernet Sauvignon, 22% Syrah
Category: Red Wine
Location: Winery
Country: Canada
Region: Niagara Peninsula, Ontario
Format: 750 mL
Producer: Niagara College Teaching Winery
Alcohol:  13.0% Alcohol/Vol.

One of Ontario best blended red wines that is fruit forward with complexity & structure

Positives: Deep ruby to purple in colour having medium tannins and featuring blackcurrants, blackberry, plum, fennel, black & white pepper, cloves, vanilla and spinach leaves.

Negatives: None

Interesting Point: Spent 21 months in French oak

Ageability: Drink now or over the next 5-7 years on its own or pair it with grilled rib-eye steak.

My Opinion: Highly Recommended

Top Pick

Tasted: October 8, 2019

G. Marquis The Silver Line Blanc De Blancs Sparkling, Icewine Dosage, NV, Traditional Method, VQA Niagara On The Lake, Ontario


Cost: $29.95 (Clearance Price: $20.25)
Grape: Chardonnay
Category: Sparkling Wine
Location: LCBO Vintages
Country: Canada
Region: Niagara-On-The-Lake, Ontario
Format: 750 mL
Producer: Magnotta Winery
Alcohol: 13.0% Alcohol/Vol.

A simple sweet sparkling wine due to the icewine dosage

Positives: Yellow gold in colour with fine mousse, this wine features orange, nectarine, peach and yellow plum

Negatives: Too sweet

Ageability: Drink now on its own or add orange juice and make it a Mimosa.

My Opinion: Not recommended

Tasted: October 27, 2019

LCBO: 644617

MISSION HILL OCULUS 2007, VQA Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, Canada


Cost: $70.00
Grape: 50% Merlot, 24% Cabernet Sauvignon, 21% Cabernet Franc, 5% Petit Verdot
Category: Red Wine
Location: LCBO Vintages
Country: Canada
Region: Okanagan Valley
Format: 750 mL
Producer: Mission Hill Winery
Alcohol: 14.5% Alcohol/Vol.

After 12 years in the bottle, this Oculus is still showing its complexity & flavours

Positives: Dark garnet in colour with an intense nose, this wine features plum, dates, blackberry, blueberry pie, Champagne mushrooms, tobacco, vanilla, turmeric, coffee, black pepper, black olives and leather.

Negatives: Lots of heat from the 14.5% alcohol

Interesting Point: Current vintage in store, 2013, now sells for $130

Ageability: Drink now on its own or pair it with prime rib Au Jus.

My Opinion: Highly Recommended

Top Pick

Tasted: October 25, 2019

LCBO: 9316