Allow me to bring some good news in the midst of Covid restrictions, and lockdowns. Below are six of the best wine buys I’ve seen in ages ““ all regular LCBO wines. You have until JANUARY 31 to grab these at the sale prices.

What more can I say about one of my favourite wines in the world. It expresses the original purpose of red wine, to invigorate the palate and dance with your food. While also offering soulful, earthy feelings. Classic Italian rustic wine for any food or mood in that category. Lightly chill. However, if nice and smooth are your thing, skip this one.BERSANO 17 Barbera “˜Costalungo’, Piedmont, Italy 348680 $14.30 ($12.30 till Jan 31)

For sure we associate light reds with Summer patio and picnic drinking, however, they have other moments. Such as last Tuesday’s curry, Wednesday’s chicken risotto, and tonight’s pan-fried salmon fillets. Bouchard’s 19 vintage has a bigger than usual hit of flavour, comes in a handy screw cap ““ and it’s on sale. I highly recommend chilled glasses of Beaujolais to beat the lock-down-blues. At this price, I’m going to invest in a stash for the Summer picnics and lunches.
BOUCHARD AINE & FILS 19 Beaujolais, France 9431 $12.95 ($10.95 till Jan 31)

A dream come through! Your own farm in the beautiful Ventoux hills. A smarter move however, might be to just buy and enjoy the wines. A lot less expensive, and less stressful. Ventoux wines are similar to Cotes du Rhone ““ herbaceous and full of joie de vivre. Fresh, frank and dying to sing along with “˜home cooking’. Lightly chill, get chopping and enjoy an evening in France for eleven dollars. Or, live it up on a French holiday ““ with a case purchase.
PERRIN 19 “˜La Vieille Ferme’ Red, Ventoux, France 263640 $12.90 ($10.90 till Jan 31)





I like three things about this wine: the smoky notes, the brightness of the flavours, and the “˜something different’ quality. Fans of Rhone reds will identify some similar characteristics, but the SF edition of Syrah is very much its own thing. BBQed meats are the natural partner for the smoky quality, but I find that grilled or roasted works equally well. Burgers for sure. Think novel, and you’re sure to enjoy the adventure.
BOEKENHOUTSKLOOF 19 Syrah “˜Porcupine Ridge’ South Africa 595280 $14.95 ($12.95 till Jan 31)

My first response to Frescobaldi’s Remole was, “Wow, where’s the picnic” What delicious bright fruity flavours. For now, let me suggest a glass or two of lightly chilled Remole as you prep or ponder dinner. No traditional Tuscan rustic character here ““ it’s about lighthearted, and full of good cheer. Tastes/feels a lot like Gamay or light Pinots, so no need for food. The perfect party red. Fans of light, low alcohol reds should be charging out the door to grab this ““ probably by-the-case. Or two.
FRESCOBALDI 19 “˜Remole’, Tuscany, Italy 105429 $13.95 ($11.95 till Jan 31)

Want Tuscan rustic, Rocca della Macie’s got it. The full monty of Chianti earthy/bitter/edgy quality. And so much vitality. Grabs you by the collar saying “we need food on the table, we’re Italian.” What a wonderful virtual trip to Italy. I could have this wine every night ““ right after a few glasses of chilled Remole.
ROCCA DELLE MACIE 17 Chianti Riserva, Tuscany, Italy 111641 $15.75 ($13.75 till Jan 31)

What might it take to convince people to drink Sparkling as often as other wines? Maybe Toro Bravo, will be the vehicle of change. It certainly has all the credentials ““ gently sparkling, moderate alcohol, brightly cheerful, faintly sweet, and a lot of fun to sip ““ after work, at a party or whenever. During work also comes to mind in this age of working from home!! Every fridge should have an opened bottle ““ in handy screwcap. Just another reason to love Toro Bravo.
TORO BRAVO Sparkling, Spain 16191 $11.95 ($10.95 till Jan 31)
P.S. Is this similar to Cava. No, it’s not Traditional Method, so less dry, more lighthearted.

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