Jane’s Gems: A Festive Lineup of 90 Point Wines in Vintages November 14, 2015

ChristmasgiftwineBy Jane Staples

With the holiday season right around the corner, it’s time to pick out some special wines. For parties, to give as gifts, and to stock up on classic favourites for entertaining with family and friends.

Some of the sections at the LCBO will expand at this time of year with a wonderful selection of sparkling wines, liqueurs, cognac and specialty products. So many choices! Not to worry!

Many of the larger LCBO’s have an in-store Product Consultant with extensive wine knowledge and training. These individuals are a goldmine of information on the latest Vintages release wines and also on the regular stock. They love to share their knowledge.

The myriad choices on the shelves can be a bit overwhelming, especially if you’re trying to pair a wine with a special meal. Product consultants often have sommelier training and are experts at food and wine pairing.

They enjoy keeping up with the latest releases. On your next visit to the LCBO, give yourself an extra 10-15 minutes to talk with one of them. Try something new with each visit and enjoy your new wine discoveries during the festive season.



Osoyoos LaRose Le Grand Vin 2010
BC VQA Okanagan Valley, British Columbia

An elegant full-bodied red from BC’s Okanagan Valley with a lovly fragrant nose of ripe strawberries, violets, slight earthy notes and mocha. The palate shows ripe cassis, raspberries, strawberries, maocha and tobacco. Very harmonious with a long complex finish. A terrific gift wine.
Alcohol: 13.5%
Sweetness: XD
750 ml
Drink: Now
Price: $44.95
Score: 93



Marqués de Cáceres Gran Reserva 2008   Marques
DOCa Rioja, Spain

A smooth, full-bodied, world classic made from hand-picked Tempranillo, Garnacha and Graciano. Pure fruit fragrances and flavours with cherry, baking spices, vanilla, leather and sweet tobacco. From delicious nose to silky finish, this is a memorable wine.
Alcohol: 13.5%
Sweetness: Dry
750 ml
Drink: 2015-2019
Price: $29.95
Score: 93




Stratus White 2012
VQA Niagara-on-the-Lake, Ontario

Stratus was the world’s first LEED-certified winery. This blend of Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc and Semillon has fragrances of white florals, mild gooseberry and vanilla, unfolding into a delicious layered palate of vanilla fudge, guava, tropical fruit, and lemon notes. Medium-bodied with a long fruity finish.
Alcohol: 13.5%
Sweetness: XD
750 ml
Drink: 2014-2019
Price: $44.20
Score: 91



Flowers Sonoma Coast Chardonnay 2013Flowers
Sonoma Coast, California, USA

Butterscotch, floral and citrus aromas lead into a luscious satiny palate with butterscotch, tropical pineapple, passionfruit and lemon. Full-bodied and creamy with a long tropical fruit finish.
Alcohol: 13.5%
Sweetness: XD
750 ml
Drink: 2015-2019
Price: $64.95
Score: 93





Warre’s Late Bottled Vintage Port 2003Warre's
Unfiltered, DOP Portugal

Aromatic decadence with raisins, stewed fruit, honey and toffee on the nose. Velvety layers on the palate of toffee, stewed fruit, Christmas cake, sweet baking spices, dark chocolate, honey and tea. Rich and sumptuous. A great holiday gift!

Alcohol: 20%
Sweetness: Sweet
750 ml
Drink: 2014‐2021
Price: $34.95
Score: 94



Bio photoJane Staples
Wine Columnist
Jane graduated from Algonquin College’s Sommelier Program with the Gold Medal in Food and Wine Pairing and a score of 94.5% in the final exam.
She completed courses in Winetasting, Grape Varieties, Food and Wine Pairing, Old World Wines, New World Wines, Vinification and Advanced Sommelier Techniques. She also has a BA from the University of Toronto. She has taken masterclasses in Portugal and Italy and toured vineyards in France, Spain, Italy, Portugal and California.

Jane is a principal wine columnist for nataliemaclean.com, with this regular column, as well as for her own site, Bellovino.ca. Jane is also the regular wine columnist for Ottawa Wedding Magazine.





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