Wine Picks

Shari’s Picks for January!

As January breezed in, two traditions emerged. 

The first is the popular New Year’s resolution. In my case, I resolved to consume less sugar. The second is to save money and recover from excess holiday expenses. 

Good news! 

Did you know there could be a lot of sugar hidden in your wine? To learn more, there is a number on the LCBO shelf ticket that I would like to bring to your attention. To the left of the price is a number in brackets that shows the amount of sugar in the wine, measured in grams per litre. To have your wine, and drink it too, pay attention to this number and look for a low value. Wine shelves are rife with wines in the 15-30g/L ranges and higher. Since drinks like sodas, chocolate milk and juices, have sugar ranges between 85-100+ g/L, it is not surprising some consumers gravitate to wines with higher sugar content.

Location of sugar content

Every four weeks, LCBO offers Limited Time Offers, or LTOs. These are modest discounts on a small selection of the products they sell. 

I have picked two wines under $15.00 and a Gin from one of my favourite districts in England. Each has an LTO until January 29. Both wines have 2g/L of sugar, the driest number you will find on LCBO shelf tickets. 

Jacob’s Creek Reserve Chardonnay 2020 is a dry white wine from the Adelaide Hills in Australia. It is bargain-priced at $12.95. It is pale gold and flavourful with soft butter aromas, forward fruit flavours and a creamy texture. Serve Jacob’s Creek Reserve Chardonnay 2020 chilled with roast chicken, risotto, creamy pasta and Brie cheese.

Jacob’s Creek Reserve Chardonnay 2020
| Adelaide Hills, Australia | 750 mL | 13% alc/vol | sugar 2 g/L | screw cap | LCBO + 270017 | $14.95 | *Sale $12.95
(Save $2.00 until January 29)

Moving across the globe for a red wine, from the Rioja region of Spain, Beronia Elaboración Especial 2021 is 100% Tempranillo and is $3.00 off. Aromas of leather and vanilla with earthy flavours lead to a tart cherry finish. It is best enjoyed with food. I recommend decanting Beronia Elaboración Especial 2021 before serving with roasts, spicy foods, lasagne and Manchego cheese.

Beronia Elaboración Especial 2021
| Tempranillo | Rioja, Spain | 750 mL | 14% alc/vol | sugar 2 g/L | cork finish | LCBO + 426981| $17.45 | *Sale $14.45 (Save $3.00 until January 29)

Missing the taste of summer? From the beautiful district of Devon in southern England comes Plymouth English Gin. The area is steeped in history and has spectacular landscapes. As Sean Harrison, the master distiller, describes it, “From deep earthy notes to wonderfully fresh juniper and a lemony bite, its great flavour is just one of the reasons it is truly unique.” Plymouth English Gin is versatile and makes a delicious cocktail base. If you like Gin and Tonic, remember tonic averages 80g/L of sugar.

Plymouth English Gin
| Devon, England | 750 mL | 41.4% alc/vol | LCBO + 277004 | $49.25 | *Sale $46.95
(Save $3.00 until January 29)

Cheers to a less sweet new year!


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