How do you buy the best wines at the LCBO?
Can you find wines less than $20 that are tasty? Less than $15?
How can you pair those wines with great dishes & recipes?
Here are my tips to help you get the most from your shopping at the LCBO. It helps to understand the categories of wines at the LCBO:
1. General list: regularly stocked items, often in the store year-round and often moderately priced. This category includes the larger brands that have the production to fill most stores, most of the time. I recommend wines from this category almost every month and call those reviews "Values."
2. Vintages Essentials: this category is part of the Vintages program at the LCBO, but these wines tend to be in the stores longer than those in the monthly Vintages releases. Often you can find them throughout the year. They can be on average more expensive than the general list lists, but they’re usually good value. I recommend wines from this category with my monthly Vintages reviews and mention in their tasting notes "Part of the Vintages Essentials Collection."
3. Vintages: every two weeks the LCBO offers more than 100 new wines in a Vintages release. These include wines from around the world and range in price from about $12 to $200, with most being in the range of $15 to $35. I taste almost all of the wines and recommend at least 50 to 60 of them per release. These are often the most interesting wines, but they come and go quickly in the stores.
4. Classics: you order the wines from a catalogue for this category of wines. These tend to be the LCBO’s most expensive wines and often include the first growth Bordeaux, Super Tuscans, cult cabernets from Napa and so on. I recommend these wines whenever I get to taste them.
5. Vintages Online Exclusives: A mix of wines, usually in smaller quantities available for order from the LCBO’s web site Vintages.com. Again, I recommend these whenever I get the opportunity to taste them.
In all of my reviews, I pick the best value and top rated wines: those that I feel offer the best value (usually under $15) or best quality among the group of wines reviewed. Many wine lovers who subscribe to my reviews simply use those top-ranked wines as their regular shopping list.
All of the wines I choose come with tasting notes, food matches, complementary recipes, aging potential, alcohol level, region, bottle shot, serving temperatures and tips and background notes on the grapes used to make the wine. It’s a complete package of information to help you make a better and tastier buying decision.
Let me know if you have questions about shopping at the LCBO to find the best wines. I hope my reviews and scores of these wines help you the next time that you’re in the store.