Wine Picks

Shari’s Picks for December!

The busiest gift-giving month is here! I always think of wine as a great gift, but which ones? 

I have curated a selection of 10 wines for you and I have a family tradition to share. Looking for a gift of wine for a loved one, an aficionado, an event host, a good friend, or to self-indulge? Please read on!

Crowd pleasers under $20.

Stellenbosch Chenin Blanc 2021, offers a change from the popular Sauvignon Blanc wines. It is a dry, fresh white with floral aromas and sharp acidity. At an attractive price of $15.95, it pairs nicely with foods including sushi, seafood and salads.

Rustenberg Stellenbosch Chenin Blanc 2021 | Chenin Blanc | Stellenbosch, South Africa | 750 mL | 13.3% alc/vol | sugar 2 g/L | screw cap | VINTAGES +698274 | $15.95

Whenever I serve Bersano Costalunga Barbera D’Asti DOCG 2018, people comment about how much they like it. It pairs with cheese boards, pizza with mushrooms and pasta dishes. With soft aromas and balanced tannins, $14.95 makes this red wine perfect for gatherings.

Bersano Costalunga Barbera D’Asti DOCG 2018 | Barbara | Piedmont, Italy | 750 mL | 14 % alc/vol | sugar 2 g/L | cork finish | LCBO +348680 | $14.95

Wine gifts under $30.00. 

Right from the glass, Italy’s Bortoluzzi Pinot Grigio 2021 wine screams of summer! Just released in VINTAGES for $23.95, this serious Pinot Grigio has a rich texture and many flavours. It is fresh, forward and crisp and makes me smile! 

Bortoluzzi Pinot Grigio 2021 | Pinot Grigio | Venice, Italy | 750 mL | 13.5% alc/vol | sugar 2 g/L | cork finish | VINTAGES+ 27621 | $23.95

Muga is a family-owned winery in Rioja, Spain that produces high-value wines. Muga Reserva 2018 for $27.95 is ready to drink now and can age for five years. This food-friendly red is dry, with forward berry aromas and spicy flavours. 

Muga Reserva 2018 | Tempranillo, Grenache, Mazuelo, Graciano | Rioja, Spain | 750 mL | 14% alc/vol | sugar 2 g/L | cork finish | VINTAGES +177345 | $27.95

Local Canadian Icon.

Wines made by one of Canada’s top winemakers, Thomas Bachelder are always delicious and complex. They seem to sing to me! Wines like his take talent, skill and passion. Bachelder les Villages Pinot Noir 2020 over-delivers at the price of $34.95. You might want to stock up!

Bachelder le Villages Bench Pinot Noir 2020 | Pinot Noir | VQA Niagara Escarpment | 750 mL | 12.5% alc/vol | sugar 2 g/L | cork finish | VINTAGES +11582 | $34.95

Italian Icon.

From Veneto, Italy is the powerful Zenato Amarone della Valpolicella Classico 2017. Made from partially dried grapes, it has aromas and flavours of dried fruit with a rich, silky finish. Bonus! Until January 1, it is $49.95, thanks to a $5 discount.

Zenato Amarone della Valpolicella Classico 2017 | Corvina, Rondinella, Molinara | Veneto, Italy | 750 mL | 16% alc/vol | sugar 9 g/L | cork finish | VINTAGES +413179 | $49.95| *Sale $44.95 (Save $5.00 until January 1)

Gifts that sparkle!

Back for another season in VINTAGES is one of my favourites from Italy, for $46.95. Ca’ del Bosco Cuvée Prestige Extra Brut Franciacorta is bone-dry and made from organic vineyards. This medium-bodied gem is packaged beautifully. Shop early. This sells out quickly!

Ca’ del Bosco Cuvée Presige Extra Brut Franciacorta | Chardonnay, Pinot Noir, Pinot Blanc | Lombardy, Italy | 750 mL | 12.5% alc/vol | sugar 2 g/L | cork finish | VINTAGES+ 105353 | $46.95

One of the best value Champagnes at LCBO comes from Champagne Victoire in Epernay. For $49.35, Champagne Victoire Brut Rosé has a deep salmon colour, fresh flavours and a lingering finish of cherries. Also available is Champagne Victoire Brut Prestige at $41.95 until January 1. Both are also available in half bottles for under $25.

Champagne Victoire Brut Rosé | Pinot Noir, Chardonnay, Pinot Meunier | Champagne, France | 750 mL | 12% alc/vol | sugar 10 g/L | cork finish | LCBO +16396 | $49.35

Big budget reds. 

A pair of impressive, iconic, high-scoring red wines are freshly available VINTAGES. From Stags Leap Winery in Napa, California, The Leap Cabernet Sauvignon 2018 for $125.95 can age for the next 15 years.

Stag’s Leap The Leap Cabernet Sauvignon 2018 | Cabernet Sauvignon | Napa Valley, California | 750 mL | 14.5% alc/vol | sugar 3 g/L | cork finish | VINTAGES+ 142844 | $125.95

Available for $171.95 from Bolgheri, Italy, Antinori’s Guado Al Tasso 2019 is a Bordeaux blend from the excellent 2019. Both will grace the aficionado’s wine cellar in style!

Guado al Tasso 2019| Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, Merlot |Tuscany, Italy | 750 mL | 14% alc/vol | sugar 3 g/L | cork finish | VINTAGES+ 986380 | $171.95

My family tradition.

My mother and husband are both from England. Our tradition is to open presents on Christmas morning with sausage rolls and Sherry. I love Sherry. It is one of the best wine bargains on the shelf! This year I will be sharing Emilio Lustau Los Arcos Amontillado Dry Sherry. A bargain at $15.95, it has nutty aromas, and a lingering finish that makes it an excellent aperitif.

Emilio Lustau Los Arcos Amontillado Dry Sherry | Palomino | Jerez, Spain | 750 mL | 18.5% alc/vol | sugar 2 g/L | cork finish | VINTAGES+375097 | $15.95

Enjoy this magical season! 



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