I watched you several times on CTV Your Morning. I have a question regarding wine and was wondering if you could help me. My parents used to make red and white wine at home the "Italian way". This is the only wine we were drinking at home. Now that they cannot make it anymore, I have to purchase it at LCBO. I was wondering if you could suggest a good "generic" red and white wine. In addition, my daughter turned 20 and she would like to try wine as well. I went to LCBO and I was lost as there are too many choices, sweet, dry, etc. In addition, could you please recommend a good Champagne?
Dear Filomena, thank you for making the time to email me, and for tuning into my segments.
I appreciate you trusting me with some recommendations, that means a lot!
The taste of homemade wine can be tricky to replace as, of course, it is linked to fond memories; however, below are a few smooth and delicious recommendations that I find are crowd pleasing and affordable, perfect for sharing. Feel free to stay in the regular LCBO Wines section, or to try wines from more artisanal wineries, have a look for the same things in Vintages. You may find the bottles only cost $1-2 more, there are plenty of good options under $18-20)
- Italy: Montepulciano d’Abruzzo; Puglia; Sicilia
- Europe: Garnacha from Spain; red blends from Portugal (labels may read Alentejo or Tejo); wines from Nemea, Greece (label may read Agioritiko)
- New World: Shiraz or Merlot from Australia; Merlot from Chile
- Italy: Soave or Soave Classico; Pinot Grigio (ideally from the north, i.e., Veneto, Friuli); Greco di Tufo
- Europe: Muscadet or Muscadet Sevre-et-Maine, France (Loire Valley); Rueda, Spain; white wine from Douro or Setubal, Portugal (Vinho Verde is easier to find but those may sometimes be a little sweet)
- New World: Chenin Blanc from South Africa; unoaked Chardonnay from Ontario; Sauvignon Blanc from Chile
- Good authentic Champagne from France usually starts around $45. Tarlant is the most widely available at that price and it’s pretty good. A further step up would be Taittinger or Piper Heidsieck, and if you’re in the mood to splurge, I suggest trying Pol Roger or Billecart-Salmon.
- Great alternatives at a lower price would include Franciacorta, Cremant d’Alsace or Cremant de Jura.
Please keep me posted on what you end up choosing, and what your family thinks of the wines. I’d love to hear from you.
Buon Natale and stay safe,