Budget wines for your January wallet
January means reigning in the spending and paying down those pesky credit cards. That can mean less money to spend on indulgences like wine, too. But if you know where to look, there are affordable wines of great quality. January is also a time to try new things, so it’s a good time to discover a couple of new wines, too. Here are several recommendations so that you can continue to enjoy great wine at moderate prices. All these wines are priced between $10 and $15. Enjoy!
FARNESE FANTINI SANGIOVESE
This lip-smacking fruity red wine is an excellent example of why Sangiovese is such a popular wine style. Tart cherry and sweet spice aromas are followed by a delicious palate full of more cherry, vanilla, sweet spice, tobacco and dark chocolate. Vibrant acidity makes it very food-friendly, especially with pasta or chicken in tomato sauce, or a platter of cheese and salumni.
Extra dry • LCBO#512327 • $8.95
13TH STREET WINERY BURGER BLEND
NIAGARA PENINSULA VQA, ONTARIO
13th Street Winery was awarded No 1 Winery in Ontario at the 2022 National Wine Awards of Canada. They craft beautiful wines that showcase the terroir of the Niagara Peninsula. Located near St. Catharines, 13th Street Winery is a perfect destination when you are visiting that area. Located on 60 acres, they offer not only a tasting bar and vineyard tours, they also have a bakery reknown for its butter tarts and artisanal cheeses, and for art lovers, there’s a sculpture garden and gallery. There’s also a bistro open seasonally for lunch. Burger Blend is a dry red wine is crafted from two wine grapes that grow very well in Ontario; Gamay Noir and Pinot Noir. This flavourful wine shows fragrant red fruit with slightly savoury and floral notes. Pair it happily with a casual meal of burgers and fries or pizza.
Dry • LCBO# 419945 • $14.95
CARMEN WINES RESERVA 1850 PREMIER CARMENERE
This aromatic, medium-bodied wine hails from Chile's oldest winery, founded in 1850. Although Carmenère is indigenous to France, because of Chile's particularly long growing season, it grows extremely well there. It’s a lesser-known wine variety in Canada, but well worth getting acquainted with. This wine shows notes of dark berries, prunes, mocha, toast, nuts and honey. In a word, delicious! It has lively acidity and lots of juicy flavour right through to the finish. It would pair well with spicy sausages, steak or leg of lamb. It’s also surprisingly tasty with dark chocolate.
Extra dry • LCBO#169052 • $12.45
CAROLINA RESERVA CHARDONNAY
When you’re looking for excellent quality wines at moderate prices, the aisle with wines from Chile will be the spot to look. Chardonnay lovers will be glad to discover this dry, full-bodied Chard, with its notes of ripe tropical fruit, citrus, apple and hazelnut. It’s creamy and smooth, well-balanced and versatile with food. Pair it with roast chicken, salmon or a crab salad.
Dry • LCBO# 304022 • $14.95
DEINHARD GREEN LABEL DRY RIESLING
The Mosel region in Germany makes some of the most famous Riesling wines in the world, known for their delicacy and beautiful aromas. Deinhard is known for consistent, impeccable quality in their wines. Riesling is made in several styles, from dry to dessert wines. This one is dry and medium-bodied, with lovely notes of pear, white peach, lychee and brioche, with a characteristic salty minerality too. Enjoy it with sushi, smoked fish, or a Thai shrimp and mango salad. There’s extremely good quality at this price point for this wine. If you’re new to Riesling wines, this is a beautiful introduction.
Dry • LCBO# 60004 • $13.95
You don’t have to sacrifice quality when the wine budget is tight. There are lots of options for both red and white wines from around the world and you will be proud to share your wine discoveries with friends. Try out a few of these suggestions and enjoy good wine at very reasonable prices.
For more wine and food discovery from Jane Staples, visit www.bellovinoj.com