low priced good wines
- pizano May 16, 2003 12:32 AM
i've gotten spoiled being able to find great california wines in the US at trader joes for prices between $2-5 a bottle. while i know those prices are probably impossible here because of heavy taxation, i still believe it's possible to find good bottles for less than $10. anybody have any recommendations? i'm not particular to where the bottle is from, as long as it's ready to drink. grazie.
The latest vintage of the Farnese Sangiovese is good and it's way under $10, about $7. I think it's the 2001.
I follow Gordon Stimmell's recommendations in the Wednesday Star, he's usually spot on with the bargains.
If you like a fruity white wine try the Aresti Gewurztraminer, $9 and change but a nice easy drinking wine, perfect for spring.
The Portuguese reds stocked by the LCBO represent pretty good value. Portugal makes a lot of wine and tends to focus on everyday, drinkable stuff that sells here for under $10. In particular look for Perriquita, made by Fonseca, which is around $9. Portugal also makes white wine, particularly of the young slightly fizzy variety, Not my cup of tea, but maybe yours.
It is becoming difficult to find inexpensive quality Californian wine here. If you are going to explore on your own, best to try other new world wines from places like Chile, Argentina and European countries that don't yet have cachet here--Portugal and Spain are good options.
That said there are some out there that are a deal for $10 from what many Ontarians consider traditional wine regions. A very drinkable Italian red that cost only $8.30 is Tollo Montepulciano Colle Secco. For its price it stands well with and sometimes in heavier meals. It does tend to fly off the shelf.
If you do follow recommendations in the paper, be advised that a glowing recommendation usually creates a short term run and can lead to the local LCBO being termporarily out of stock.
If you want to make a trek to the north end of the GTA, try Magnotta winery (highway 7 & weston road). Sometimes it is luck of the draw... and you will get the occasional bottle of drek - but their dinner wine is good for the price. And they have sales (?!) so you can pick up a bottle of wine for around $5-6.
for Ontario wines, stick with Cave Springs and Pelee (sp?) Island both make decent gewurztraminer
if you like reds... my boyfriend and i have been going insane over the Lindeman's shiraz recently. we're lushes, so we always buy the 2L bottle; $16.95. definitely let it breathe for 1/2 hour or so... the flavours are enormous. feels like your whole mouth is being invaded. lovely.
You might want to make a trip down to the Niagara, and surrounding, wine region. There are many, many great wines there that never make it to the LCBO because of gov't regulations. You might be able to find some there
Red: Tyrell's Long Flat Red has had my vote as best value in the LCBO for a while. $10.
White: Try B&G's Partager Blanc. $12 for 1.5L
I've found these two to be very consistant, in pretty good supply and remarkably good value.
A couple of my favourite reds are the Inniskillin Gamay Noir and Pinot Noir, at under $15 a piece, both are great buys. If you were looking for a white, Jackson-Triggs makes an excellent Dry Riesling, the crisp, lemon undertones makes it the perfect wine for seafood. These wines are all from Ontario and should be available at the LCBO, but I usually get mine at the Wine Rack.