Going to Niagara?

If you’re headed to Niagara, here are a few picks from my recent tastings. And at last month’s All Canadian Wine Championship, THIRTY BENCH, FEATHERSTONE and JACKSON-TRIGGS did really well with several wines, so you may want to visit them.

KACABA 11 Syrah~  $24.95 . . . one of the best kept secrets in local wine.

13th STREET 11 Syrah Reserve~  $29.95 . . . another classy Syrah. Love the setting of this winery.

REIF 12 Gewurztraminer $19.95 . . . big, bold, seductive. A must for fans of Gewurz.

WESCOTT 12 Chardonnay $29.00 . . . new kids in Jordan are off to a great start with a very Burgundian Chard.

DOMAINE QUEYLUS 11 Pinot Noir $30.00 . . . a bunch of Quebecois friends have hired Thomas Bachelder to make top Pinot, and he has.

MALIVOIRE 12 Gamay, Small Lot, VQA Beamsville Bench $19.95 . . the most seductive Gamay in Canada.

STRATUS 10 White $44.20 . . . up there with the world’s great big whites. Super concentration.

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  • Nice to highlight these local wines BUT I am continually dismayed at the extremely high prices for many Ontario wines. I know there are less pricey alternatives and thank you for continuing to feature many of them but often, especially with a lot of the newer Niagara wineries the prices are simply too high. A recent trip to the Czech Republic, Hungary and Austria really opened my eyes to the ridiculous prices we pay for local product in Ontario. I was only consuming wines in restaurants and bars and never paid more than $5 for a glass of delicious local wine. What’s more I was always surrounded by crowds of locals similarly enjoying a glass like it was nothing. So affordable and so not a big deal. Why do I have to pay
    $12 a glass and up for local wines of similar quality here at home? Thanks for letting me blow off some steam!

    • The short answer is our local wine industry is new and set-up costs are high. As is labour and taxes. Ditto for our restaurant industry – again with high labour costs and taxes. The end result is expensive prices.

      Another factor is the LCBO make restaurants pay almost full retail for wine. In Europe and the US, they get wholesale prices.

      However, I think some restaurants over-charge for wine, and drink in general. “We cannot make money on food, so need to get it from drink” is the usual response when asked about pricing.

      Your ‘home’ café is the best place to enjoy wine.

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