Wine Picks

Shari’s Picks® for May!

The blooming flowers and tree leaves bursting open signal a shift toward more rosé, sparkling, and light red wines.

Rosé wines are enjoyed chilled, making them popular in warmer months. Rosés are lighter in colour than red wines because they spend less time in contact with red grape skins during the fermentation process. Some are blends of red and white varietals. Colours range from pale pink to deep salmon. Often, they have forward fruity, floral aromas and flavours. I always prefer dry rosé wines with about 2 g/L sugar because they pair well with food and are refreshing. So, when shopping for rosé wines, pay attention to the sugar content on the shelf labels at LCBO. On my last visit, I saw 52 g/L, 70 g/L and another with a whopping 107 g/L!

In their distinctive bottle, the popular Cellier Des Dauphins from the Rhone is a trusted brand. I was curious and decided to try the new arrival, Cellier Des Dauphins Prestige Rosé 2023. The brand was created in 1967 by bringing 2,300 winemaking families together, covering 12,500 hectares of vines. Over the years, innovation has fueled the brand’s growth and global success. Cellier Des Dauphins Prestige Rosé 2023 delivers great value for $13.70! It has a forward floral nose, flavours of rose petals, and a lingering fresh finish. Serve this rosé with seafood, grilled vegetables, and feta cheese.

Cellierer Des Dauphins Prestige Rosé 2023 | Blend of Cinsault, Grenache and Syrah | Rhone, France |
750 mL | alc  13% | sugar 2 g/L | cork finish |
LCBO +37193 | $13.70

New at VINTAGES is a brand extension of the trendy white wine, Santa Margherita Pinot Grigio, called Santa Margherita Brut Rosé Sparkling. A friend brought this to a recent dinner party. It was a big success! Everyone agreed it was smooth, with soft bubbles and light floral aromas and was not overpowering. Everyone liked the unusual shape of the bottle and considered Santa Margherita Brut Rosé Sparkling a crowd-pleaser since my friends all thought it was “fun.” I agree! Serve with summer salads, prosciutto-wrapped melon appetizers, grilled shrimp and goat cheese.

Santa Margherita Brut Rosé Sparkling | Blend of Chardonnay, Glera and Malbec |  Italy | 750 mL |
alc  11.5% | sugar 11 g/L | cork finish | VINTAGES +302752 | $21.95

Another sparkling wine I very recently discovered is Bedin Asolo Prosecco DOCG Superiore. Sharply priced at $17.95, it launched in VINTAGES in March and is almost sold out. Located halfway between Venice and the Unesco World Heritage Dolomites, it is from a small, premium wine region within the larger DOC area for Prosecco. This new region received the DOCG designation in 2009. Made from the Glera grape, this sparkling wine has finesse and minerality. Its forward nose of stone fruits is complemented by fresh, balanced acidity. Serve Bedin Asolo Prosecco DOCG Superiore with appetizers, sushi, brie cheese, and light pasta salads.

Bedin Asolo Prosecco DOCG Superiore | Glera | Veneto, Italy | 750 mL | alc  11.0% | sugar 15 g/L | cork finish | VINTAGES +36172 | $17.95

If you are a die-hard red wine lover and want to break away from the heavier reds enjoyed during the winter, why not opt for a lighter style? Pinot Noir is my favourite, but I also enjoy Gamay Noir. Serve both a little chilled.

From Cono Sur is a relatively new organic red wine, Cono Sur Pinot Noir Organic 2022, with the brand’s iconic bicycle on the label. According to my mother, “Bicycle wines are always good”! As for me, I honestly do not know how this highly rated, organic, vegan Pinot Noir can be sold at the modest price of $15.00! Cono Sur Pinot Noir Organic 2022 wine has forward cherry aromas and flavours with soft tannins. Serve this with grilled mushrooms, baked salmon, goat cheese and pizza. 

Cono Sur Pinot Noir Organic 2022 | Pinot Noir | Casablanca Valley, Chile | 750 mL | alc  14% |
sugar 3 g/L | screwcap | LCBO +16363 | $15.00
*100 bonus aeroplan points until May 25

Closer to home, Thomas Bachelder continues to make delicious, well-priced wines in the Niagara Region. A few years ago, he began embracing Gamay and converted me! Thomas Bachelder Pinot Noir wines never disappoint. They are available directly from Bachelder Niagara. Questions are answered at

Cheers to spring and refreshing wines!

Shari 🥂

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