What's happening in the wine world


Naked shelves?

Noticing the recent gaps on the LCBO shelves, I wondered what was going on. Despite the fact that every month some products are advertised as "Limited Time Offers", many are clearly visible due to their absence at the moment.

It's not that we don't have different alternatives as consumers, but it's just curious that at a time when these products should be prominently in sight, they are nowhere to be found. This was the case recently with the Canadian Club 100% Rye Whiskey in the 750 ml. format. It has been identified as one of the top 100 spirits in the American publication of last year.
This absence may represent a small problem for consumers, but it is greater for producers who expected greater sales and visibility through the program.

When an agent has an item like LTO, whatever the discount -say, $ 1- the supplier pays the LCBO of that amount for each bottle sold. In addition, the supplier also pays a commission of $ 1500 to cover the printing of LTO video cards.

If they want an extendable shelf or terminal display for the LTO period, this can cost up to $ 30,000. There is big money at stake.

As for the cause of the current interruptions, it appears that the LCBO is establishing a new computerized warehouse / distribution system, and there are errors.

Many stores do not receive the trucks they normally expect. How long it will take to figure out what remains to be seen, but the scuttlebutt is that it took more than a year to solve similar distribution problems with a large food company.

Given the problems of the warehouse, the umbrella group, Drinks Ontario, asks the LCBO for a credit for the brands in promotion influenced by inventory interruptions.
I believe the same programming company responsible for the federal payroll is involved here and we are probably all familiar with the headaches and difficulties associated with this launch.

We can only hope better this time.

Here as a Judge!

In France, two important leaders in Bordeaux, Hervé and Régis Grandeau of Chateau Lauduc, were recently convicted in a questionable court case. The verdict has been appealed. The Bordeaux community, frustrated and angry with the conviction, practically canceled its collective nose at the Court, re-electing Hervé Grandeau as president of the Federation des Grands

Bordeaux wines.

The very interesting factor in this case is that, according to the Wine Spectator, "in the eyes of the French administrative and judicial system, Hervé and Régis have defrauded the government of pre-destined wine for industrial distillation, selling it instead as table wine. strict French regulations, if the farmers produce yields higher than the amount allowed in a denomination, they must deliver the excess wine to the government for distillation.If the grower does not send the surplus for distillation, then it is illegal to sell any wine as wine of Appellation d'Origin Contrôlée (AOC). "

That producers should give production that exceeds their allocation to the government is in itself appealing.
It remains to be seen whether the sentence is fair or excessive. In their defense, the brothers explained that all this happened a number of years ago, when the rules had just been introduced, and were not clear on how they would be applied. Now they know it.

Aeration and decantation

When we pour a glass of wine, we want to maximize the flavor. A key element is "oxygenating" the wine. Getting the air in it can really open things up, making them harmonious and tasty. (Too much air, of course, is a negative, and the wine begins to oxidize. It's not nice.)
A recent Wine Enthusiast online article provides a good overview of how aeration and decantation work.
The aerators are devices through which a wine is poured, they can be inserted into the bottle or held in the hand so that the wine can pour them. As the wine travels through the aerator, it is exposed to more air.

The writer, Marshall Tilden III, explains: "these low-profile aerators are ideal for young, opulent and tannic reds that may be slightly damped (closed) immediately after opening a bottle, or whose tannins can overwhelm the balance of the wine. One of the main functions of aeration is to soften the tannins, which allows the fruit and acid to shine.Most of the wines will benefit from a little of aeration. "

Older reds, particularly those that may have developed sediment, are better managed through decantation. Here, a wine is poured into a ship that offers a much larger surface, open to the air. The wine is carefully poured so that, as soon as the sediment approaches the neck of the bottle, the jet stops and the wine remains clear.
We do not recommend the use of an aerator with a wine that tends to throw away sediment, since the sediment could clog the aerator.
The wine stewards will also put a light – a candle or a flashlight – under the neck of the bottle so that they can more easily detect the arrival of the sediment.

Tilden suggests that if you want to maximize oxygenation, you can pour your young and muscular red through the aerator directly into a decanter.

It matters trouble

In an article on the SevenFifty Daily website, a Seattle restaurateur complained of obstacles in trying to import B.C. wines for his restaurant. He said it is easier to get wine from India than from Okanagan. He would like to have the wines, because he believes "that the best wines of British Columbia have done what many other wine regions promise but not always offer – they have balanced a sense of maturity and generosity of the New World with acidity, the structure and tasty notes of the Old World. "

One of the biggest obstacles apparently is the reluctance of the wineries to offer the wines for export at a wholesale price. Tom Pennachetti of Cave Cave of Niagara explained to me that B.C. producers "receive significant subsidies from the provincial government which grants them a very high margin on their British Columbia liquor distribution branch and private wine store sales. Given the high demand in their market, it is not uncommon for producers to have of unrealistic wholesale prices for export markets as they expect the same wholesale price they buy in BC for export markets. "

By extension, I must hypothesize that this could also be an obstacle for B.C. wines arriving in Ontario. Given the premise that the subsidies are already raising prices, unless there is a wholesale discount for our province, the wines become a little pricey when the Ontario adds the his taxes to the mix.
Enough said.

By the way

For those of you who have come to appreciate the value of Toro Bravo Red, the new Vintage is now reaching our shelves, and there are enough quantities for the shops to "order at will". Furthermore, combining the red Tempranillo / Merlot blend is the new Toro Bravo White, a refreshing combination of Verdejo and Sauvignon Blanc.

Verdejo is widely planted in Spain. The Wine Folly website explains "Verdejo produces thin but extraordinary white wines with aromas of lime, Meyer lemon, grapefruit, grass, fennel and citrus flowers. It is often compared to Sauvignon Blanc but, in reality, it deserves its own category. unlike most whites, Verdejo continues to improve for several years in the bottle, where it acquires a rich consistency and flavors of toasted Marcona almonds, supported by a marked acidity.The bitter flavors of the grass and fennel enter the final and almost make the crunchy wine taste. "
The Toro Bravo White, $ 7.95, is very tasty and refreshing. Simple, round and balanced, it has a pleasant pear aroma for appetizers, and a nuanced note of peach on the palate, all brought to a thirst-quenching finish. It is quite dry and goes well with summer salads, cold cuts and fish dishes. This is easy to love, easy to drink and a tremendous deal, all said and done.

The 2018 Toro Bravo Red, $ 7.95, may be slightly lighter in body than the original harvest, but remains tasty with good fruit during the day. There are tannins here, so this would be a perfect aeration and / or decantation wine. In reality it is a good red for the warm climate we experienced.
Release of the vintages of 20 July


Featherstone Rosé 2018, $ 15.95, is an excellent choice from Niagara. it is predominantly a blend of Cabernet Franc / Gamay – the variety with which the region excels – with a good portion of Merlot in the mix for a softening effect and 8% of Pinot Noir. Vic Harradine of winecurrent.com refers to an acrid river of red currant and blueberry dressed in spicy spices, "- 90.

Famille Perrin Réserve Rosé 2018, $ 15.95 – The Perrin family produces exceptional wines in the Rhône, including the Beaucastel Chateauneuf-du-Pape. More precisely, they are also responsible for the popular Jolie / Pitt Miraval Rosé, retailing for $ 24.95. In comparison, this Réserve is a great deal. Expect the tart of cherries, peaches and plums along with the herbal garrigue that adds a distinctive note of the South of France to the experience.

Simi Sonoma County Dry Rosé 2018, $ 19.95, from California, is dry as a great French example, but still shines with a good sour fruit in harmony with the balance of citrus fruits – a hint, even of strawberry, and what I consider a delicate "copper penny" known at the end. Very satisfying.


Rustenberg Stellenbosch Chenin Blanc 2018, $ 14.95, is the most popular white variety in South Africa from what is probably the best wine region in the country. The vintages say that the palate is clean and crunchy, evoking "ripe tree fruits, sweet spices and chalky minerals. Try it.

Wakefield Clare Valley Estate Chardonnay 2017, $ 16.95, is a gold medal, Best of Show wine (Mundus Wines Spring Tasting 2018) from South Australia. A very good value, it has a creamy palate with peach and tropical fruit character, along with a nutty element provided by a judicious use of the oak.

Citra Ferzo Abruzzo Pecorino Superiore 2017, $ 17.95, is the only one of the best Italian whites in this version intended for Sault Ste. Marie. He got a 90 at the Decanter World Wine Awards 2018, and is described as having intense flavors of melon, banana and green apple with a stony note on the finish.


The Post Estela Armando Bonarda 2017, $ 14.95, really impressed me when I tried it a month ago. The Bonarda can be a "work horse" grape, but this economic version is bright and balanced with a large raspberry / plum fruit and a hint of chocolate. Drink beautifully.

Cimal Garnacha 2015, $ 15.95, is another new wine for Ontario, this one from La Mancha in Spain. James Suckling's references focus on fruit: dark plum, black cherry, with dark chocolate. He writes: "The depth is impressive. A bold ending." – 92.

Thomas Goss Shiraz 2016, $ 16.95, is new to Vintages by Australian McLaren Vale. This is a 4-star value, with winepectator.com saying "shows a good density for the bittersweet flavors of chocolate, hazelnuts and blackberries with tannins that sink their teeth into their tannins that add richness to the complex mixture of flavors." – ninety two.

Bieler Born To Run Cabernet Sauvignon 2016, $ 21.95, is another new wine in the listings. Unusual since it is a 50/50 blend of fruit from California and Washington, this wine is forward with California marbled fruit married to spectral Cabernet grapes from Washington State. The vintages tell us that "it is rich in cassis, vanilla and tasty oak and is balanced and structured like a boss." The Bielers previously owned Chateau Routas in Provence, and over the past 10 years have created wines in California and Washington.


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