Treat your tastebuds to the wines of Chile
Chilean wines hit that sweet spot where value and price meet. They offer consistent quality and variety in both red and white wines. Canada is a major wine market for Chile, and we have a great selection of them at the LCBO.
- Chile is that long skinny country on the west side of South America.
- It’s bordered by the Pacific Ocean to the west and the Andes to the east.
- The country's geography provides a variety of natural terroirs that are conducive to cultivating several grape varieties.
- Cooling breezes from both the Andes and the Pacific Ocean slow the process of grape maturation. This results in mouth-watering wines with flavour complexity and great natural acidity.
- Chile is recognized as a world leader in sustainable wine production.
Although Spanish explorers brought vines to Chile in the 1600s, wine-making in Chile took off when French grape varieties were introduced about 150 years ago. Several grape varieties are grown today, with Cabernet Sauvignon, Carmenère, Chardonnay, and Sauvignon Blanc among the most well-known.
Discover these fantastic white wines!
Vina Tarapaca Reserve Sauvignon Blanc 2022
Casablanca Valley, Chile
A delightfully dry and refreshing white wine with beautiful fruit and floral notes of orange peel, orange blossom, grapefruit, and tropical passion fruit. The well-balanced palate also shows savoury herbal and pink peppercorn flavours, along with bright acidity and a lingering finish. Pair this with green salads, fish tacos, ceviche, or Chicken Alfredo.
Extra dry • LCBO# 634402 • $14.95
Santa Carolina Reserva Chardonnay 2021
Maule Valley, Chile
This is a favourite at my house. I love its aromas of tropical pineapple, star fruit, and green apple. The creamy palate blossoms with additional flavours of citrus, toast, coconut, and vanilla. It’s a classic match for roast chicken or turkey, and when you’re looking for a white wine to pair with salmon or grilled scallops, this will do the trick. A real crowd-pleaser!
Dry • LCBO#304022 • $14.95
You need to taste these Chilean red wines too!
Santa Rita 120 Reserva Especial Cabernet Sauvignon 2021
Central Valley, Chile
This dry red wine is smooth and elegant. It was crafted from hand-picked grapes, which results in clearer fruit flavours. You’ll taste dark berries, ripe cherries, vanilla, and a touch of tobacco. Polished tannins and a long fresh finish add to the reasons why you’ll love this Cab. Pair it with your next steak, brisket, or roast lamb. This is a great wine to introduce to friends at a party or barbeque. Look at the price; it’s hard to beat this wine for value!
Dry • LCBO#218644 • $12.95
Carmen Reserva 1850 Carmenère 2020
Colchagua Valley, Chile
This 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. Carmenère is Chile’s signature grape. It was mistakenly thought to be Merlot until it was identified in the 1990’s as Carmenère.
This budget-friendly wine is dark ruby in colour with lots going on in the glass; notes of dark berries, prunes, mocha, toast, nuts and honey. It's aromatic and medium bodied, with lively acidity and lots of juicy flavour right through to the finish. It’s a great match with spicy sausages, and it would equally well suit steak or leg of lamb. I just happened to have some dark chocolate on hand and discovered that this also paired very well with it!
Dry • LCBO#169052 • $14.95
Santa Rita Medalla Real Gran Reserva Syrah 2021
Limari Valley, Chile
A velvety Syrah with beautiful aromas of blackcurrant and subtle spices. The flavourful palate is very well-balanced, with wonderful fruit expression of blackcurrants and cherries, along with notes of smoked meat, vanilla and subtle spices(peppermint). Silky in the mouth with an elegant long finish. A highly recommended Syrah to accompany your next steak or barbequed ribs.
A total bargain at this price!
Extra Dry • LCBO#19236 • $17.95
When you want excellent wine quality at affordable prices, head to the aisle with the Chilean wines. You’ll notice that all of these wines are priced under $20. It’s spring! Try something new and discover the beautiful wines of Chile!
For more wine and food discovery from Jane Staples, visit www.bellovinoj.com
PHOTOS: Courtesy the author