LCBO Vintages Saturday December 11, 2010

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.


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.

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.

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.

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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