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LCBO Vintages Saturday December 11, 2010

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THE LOW DOWN: While most of my picks suggest the Christmas season they will also taste pretty good after the tree comes down. I’ve included a few rustic Italian reds to help balance the richness of the season.

Keep checking this blog for more Holiday picks at regular LCBOs. Bettter still, get a copy of Billy’s Best Bottles Wines for 2011! A year’s worth of buying tips for $20…the price of one of these bottles. And it supports my habit!  Here’s the site for paypal orders….we ship the same day.

Slainte
Billy

beckSPARKLING
GRAHAM BECK Brut Sparkling, South Africa 593483 $17.95
One of the world’s great value-priced sparkling wines. Crisp, refreshing, and yeasty in the Champagne style – with a shade more flavour and friendliness. Let the party begin.

sumacSUMAC RIDGE Brut Sparkling ‘Steller’s Jay’, VQA Okanagan 264879 $24.95
We all know about the excellent Niagara sparklers, but west coast Sumac Ridge’s wine is up there with the best. Dry with a suggestion of richness. Aperitif, with seafood or sip for celebration.

pellerPELLER ESTATES ‘Ice Cuvée’ Rosé Sparkling, VQA Niagara 113035 $35.20
Pink coloured sparkling wine infused with Icewine. Hits a middle ground between dry and sweet but there’s no mistaking the delicious flavour and charm. Big time yummy. A lovely treat for anyone who’s been nice to you.

WolfBlassWHITE/ROSÉ
wine style: fresh white
WOLF BLASS 08 Riesling ‘Gold Label’, Australia
606269 $199.95
Wonderful combo of citrus, mineral freshness and joie de vie. Instant happiness. Could be the hit of the holidays. For anytime sipping or with the big bird.

pellehautwine style: dry Rosé
DOMAINE de PELLEHAUT 09 Rosé, VDP Cotes de Gascogne, France 199570 $11.95
Dry Rosé is a must-have for the holiday season because it’s refreshing, it goes well with all foods, and most importantly, it’s fun. This is an amazing value.

salREDS
wine style: rustic red
SALCHETO 08 Chianti, Colli Senesi, Tuscany, Italy 184903 $15.95
The Colli Senesi Chiantis are the juniors of the region – full of enthusiasm and gusto. Great entertainment for the taste buds, especially when there’s something Italian on your plate. Would make a refreshing break from richer reds.

fillipinowine style: rustic red
ELIO FILIPPINO 07 Nebbiolo, Langhe, Piedmont, Italy 184952 $15.95
Very dry, woods with a fall day feeling. If you like PInot, and other less dense reds, this is the wine for you.

montwine style: rustic red
MONTARIBALDI 08 Barbera D’Asti ‘La Consolina’, Piedmont, Italy 182212 $15.95
Many of today’s Barbera’s are enriched for commercial success but here’s the real thing. Tangy dry, invigorating and without a trace of chocolate or plums. Red wine that grabs the taste buds and says, “let’s eat!” And “drink lots!” A perfect partner for roast chicken.

rhonevillageswine style: rustic red
LES VIGNERONS du CASTELAS 07 Cotes du Rhone-Villages, France 199299 $13.95
I’ve been recommending rich style Rhones all year but here’s a gutsy, earthy character. Lots of pucker power. Very bistro, very refreshing and very good with almost any food or situation.

peleewine style: rich red
PELEE ISLAND 08 Cabernet Sauvignon, VQA Pelee Island 530576 $19.95
Cabernet ripens really well down Pelee way, and this is wonderful local steak wine. Medium-rich with a little rustic edge. Pour from a decanter and celebrate Canadiana.

acusticwine style: rich red
ACUSTIC 08 Monstant, Spain 190728 $18.95
Monstant (Catalonia) reds remind me of the Rhone (same grapes) but with more heft. And the difficult to describe ‘Spanish feeling’. Strawberries! Wonderfully refreshing for a rich red. Grilled steak or lamb.

jesterwine style: rich red
MITOLO 09 Cabernet Sauvignon ‘Jester’, McLaren Vale, Australia 43224 $21.95
If you’re craving a big Aussie (wine that is) have a date with the Jester. Combines character with easy drinkability and warmth. Better with steak than traditional holiday fare. Impressive looking gift.

warresSWEET
WARRE’S Quinta da Cavadinha 1996 Vintage Port, Portugal 189605 $54.00
Big bold Vintage Port at an appealing price. Enjoy with a cheese platter. Needs decanting as there’s sediment.

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