Wine Picks

Shari’s Picks® for July!

I have a renewed passion for wines from South Africa. 

Last month I visited Africa for three weeks. I had the pleasure of exploring Namibia, Zimbabwe and Botswana. It was awe-inspiring! Watching the wildlife, seeing the diverse scenery and meeting the fascinating people was an extraordinary experience. No matter where I visited, the wine selection was exclusively South African. I enjoyed Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc, Chenin Blanc, red blends and sparkling wines. Without exception, the wines were delicious and offered exceptional value! 

Enjoying wine in Windhoek, capital of Namibia..

I am happy that Pongrácz Brut Cap Classique Sparkling is now available in VINTAGES. Sharply priced at $17.95 and made in the traditional method, this is a solid value. It is a versatile wine for summer gatherings. It has a toasty aroma, soft and gentle bubbles, with citrus and fresh apple flavours. Pair Pongrácz Brut Cap Classique Sparkling with Charcuterie boards, grilled fish, pizza and portobello mushrooms.

Pongrácz Brut Cap Classique Sparkling| Chardonnay & Pinot Noir | Western Cape, South Africa | 750 mL | 12% alc | sugar 8 g/L | cork finish | VINTAGES +404111 | $17.95

A regular favourite go-to white is Boschendal 1685 Chardonnay 2021. The Boschendal winery, established in 1685, demonstrated the heritage of winemaking in South Africa. Expect a balanced, full-bodied and rich chardonnay. The price has crept up $3.00 a bottle to $18.95 in the last two years, likely due to aggressive freight rate increases at LCBO. Serve Boschendal 1685 Chardonnay 2021 with roast chicken, creamy pasta dishes, shellfish and cheddar cheeses.

Boschendal 1685 Chardonnay 2021| Coastal Region, South Africa | 750 mL | 13.5 % alc | sugar 2 g/L | screw cap | VINTAGES +367698 | $18.95

Looking for a refreshing summer white wine? A customer favourite (including my mother) is Collavini Villa Canlungo Pinot Grigio 2021, for $16.50. (I understand this price will change to $15.95 in a few weeks). Collavini is a family-owned winery located in the Friuli region of northeastern Italy. Founded in 1896, Collavini is a significant producer of Pinot Grigio. The distinctive dachshund on the label pays homage to the family’s first pet, Ribolla. The wine has fresh, forward aromas with mineral and citrus flavours and a crisp finish. Serve Collavini Villa Canlungo Pinot Grigio 2021 with seafood dishes, quiche, light pasta salads and vegetable risotto. 

Collavini Villa Canlungo Pinot Grigio 2021| Friuli, Italy| 750 mL | 12.5 % alc | sugar 4 g/L | screw cap | LCBO +33340 | $16.50

While the Collavini Pinot Grigio has been on LCBO shelves for decades, new at LCBO is Collavini Villa Canlungo Cabernet Sauvignon 2021 for $15.75. This juicy red is lively, with cherry and herbaceous flavours, good acidity and soft tannins. Serve Collavini Villa Canlungo Cabernet Sauvignon 2021 with burgers, duck, meat pizza and Pecorino cheese.

Collavini Villa Canlungo Cabernet Sauvignon  2021| Veneto, Italy| 750 mL | 12.5 % alc | sugar 6 g/L | cork finish | LCBO +31793 | $15.75

Despite my fantastic trip to Africa, it is always nice to be home. Happy Canada Day!



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