Next Monday January is Blue Monday. It’s apparently the date when the Christmas bills come in. You may have already cheated on your resolutions and for We The North, it could be one of the coldest weekends of the year.
For wine drinkers like me, this budget-challenged time is a good time to explore some new wines. Over the holidays, I found some outstanding wines in Quebec and Ontario between $15- $20.
There are lots of tasty value wines to be found on the general list shelves of the SAQ and LCBO. Here are a few I tested, served to guests and MOST important, bought them again.
Bibi Graetz Casamatta Rosso, IGT Tuscany $15.95 (SAQ $18.95) Cassamatta means “Crazy House” in Italian and this little gem is tucked away in the Tuscan section of Vintages for a crazy price. It is juicy, fruity and full-bodied and perfect for pizza night, If it is all about the numbers-for you, it earned a 90 from wine writer James Suckling,.
Nederburg, The Winemasters Sauvignon Blanc 2014, $11.95 LCBO This South African white was a fan favourite at a recent holiday gathering, It is crisp, delicious and aromatic at an unbelievable price. Nederburg has been producing wines for more than 200 years. If you like this one, try the Winemasters Cabernet Sauvignon – it is earthy full-bodied and approachable at an equally approachable f$11.95
La Posta Pizzella, Malbec 2015 Mendoza, Argentina $15.95 This holiday finds that had me going back for more. It is a Malbec that is deep and deliciously balanced. If you’re looking for something meaty sample these smooth mocha notes.
Finally a tip to help in your search, keep it in the family. Check out some of the names you recognize. Many of the bigger producers have a portfolio that includes value wines worth trying. Monte Antica, from the Antinori Family is $15.95 in Vintages, Caparzo Rosso $13.10 also makes a delicious Brunello and the Beronia Rioja 2013 $13.95 has a Reserva and Gran Reserva on the shelves of Vintages.
Most important, when you come across a great find, share with your friends. You will make their Blue Monday just a little bit tastier.