Red and White Wines for Canada Day Eh!

On July 1st, we’re celebrating Canada’s 156th birthday!  It’s a national holiday and a perfect time to relax and enjoy the summer weather with friends and family, whether you’re at the cottage or at home, firing up the barbeque.

Canada Day is an ideal time to pour a glass of Canadian wine to enjoy with your dinner. We have excellent wineries in British Columbia on the West Coast, many in Ontario, and several in Nova Scotia on the East Coast.

Here’s a curated list of Canadian wines we can be proud of.

Okanagan Valley, B.C.

Lush, satiny and bursting with flavour. The appetizing nose gives Damson plums, blueberries and cloves; then the palate adds vanilla and more spicy notes with a gorgeous sandalwood aspect. The mouthfeel is silky smooth, and the tannins are soft. An elegantly balanced wine with a delicious long finish. This would pair perfectly with roast pork or mushroom risotto.

Dry • LCBO# 585737 • $42.95

Okanagan Valley, B.C.

Quail’s Gate was one of the original wineries in the Okanagan Valley, and their Chardonnay grapes grow on premium spots in the region. This bright, medium-bodied Chardonnay exhibits apricot, orange peel and tropical fruit aromas. There’s star fruit, citrus, tropical fruit and subtle baking spices on the palate, along with a refreshing acidity. Pair this with salmon or a chicken salad.

Dry • LCBO# 37777O •  $23.95•  on sale ’til July 16th

VQA Niagara-On-the-Lake, Ontario

Pinot Noir is a grape that grows well in Ontario.  Silver Line is very aromatic, with vanilla, cloves and red plum aromas. The palate starts with tart red plums, cherries and vanilla, then adds a peppery note and hints of tobacco and dark chocolate, followed by a long spicy vanilla finish. It has great versatility with food matches, pork, duck or turkey, and it pairs surprisingly well with chocolate desserts. This is an Ontario wine we can be very proud of!

Extra Dry • LCBO Vintages# 258673 • $19.95

VQA Niagara, Ontario

Chardonnay is grown in several different regions of the world, and it’s exciting to compare them. This Ontario Chard tastes noticeably different than the one from B.C.  It was crafted from Niagara grapes, fermented using indigenous yeasts from the vineyard and matured in barrels made from Ontario oak.  Ripe and rich, this fruit-forward Chard has tree fruit (pear and apple) and vanilla aromas. It shows lovely apple and pear with hints of maple on a creamy palate balanced by crisp acidity.  Enjoy it with grilled scallops, roast poultry or cheddar cheese.

Dry • LCBO# 149302• $24.95

Nova Scotia is an emerging wine region. Wine tourism has exploded in Nova Scotia in the last ten years, so if you’re heading down east this summer, be sure to tour some of their excellent wineries. There are at least twenty wineries in the Wolfville area. The Magic Winery Tour Bus will take you to several without the need to drive yourself. Here are two of my favourite wines from Canada’s ocean playground:

Annapolis Valley, Nova Scotia

This is the wine that is putting Nova Scotia’s sparkling wine on the world map. Aromatic and flavourful, it is low in alcohol at 6.5%. It shows aromas of mango, marigold blossoms, peach, green apple, lime and Asian pear, repeated on the palate with a creamy texture and characteristic minerality. The bright acidity balances its slight sweetness. It will be a hit served with fish tacos, lobster or fresh fruit. The 2022 vintage is considered their best vintage to date, so this is the perfect time to try this wine.

Medium-dry • LCBO Vintages# 256289 •  $25.95

Nova Scotia

This is Nova Scotia’s iconic white wine.  It’s refreshing and crisp with subtle notes of lime, apple, pear and wildflowers. The medium-bodied palate adds the distinctive saline minerality that reflects the sea breezes of the Annapolis Valley. It’s a perfect match for a lobster roll or grilled scallops.

Dry • Winery direct • $23

Luckett wines are available from the winery, and they will ship to Ontario. It’s well worth trying several. Their Phone Box Red is very popular, and they also make a crisp, refreshing Rosé.


SANGRIA makes a perfect sipper on sizzling hot evenings.  Originally from Spain and Portugal, the name suggests summer, with its bright colours and fruity flavours. I lived in Madrid for a couple of years, and a friend passed on her recipe for Sangria. There are several variations, but she told me that Spaniards like to keep it simple when the temperatures soar.


1 bottle (750 ml.) of red wine.  A medium-bodied, fruity red, such as Garnacha or Beaujolais Nouveau, works best.
1 cup soda water
1 peach, sliced
Orange slices and a handful of berries, such as cherries, blueberries, or strawberries
Ice cubes
That’s it!

For white wine lovers, here’s a refreshing variation on the usual red Sangria:


1 bottle (750 ml.) of white wine.  A light, fruity white such as Pinot Grigio works well.  If you want a slight fizz, try Moscato d’Asti or Vinho Verde.
1 cup soda water
1 cup green grapes
½ cup blueberries or cherries or ½ cup of sliced lemon and lime
Optional – 1 cup sliced apricots, great with Moscato d’Asti
Ice cubes
Mint leaves for garnish

Chill your glasses in the fridge for an hour before serving.  Serving in a pretty pitcher makes a delightful aperitif at brunch or on a sultry evening.


For more wine and food discovery from Jane Staples, visit

Photos: iStock