4 thrilling alternate options to your favorite LCBO bestsellers

The Avis automobile rental firm’s well-known slogan, “Once you’re solely No. 2, you strive tougher” was wildly profitable as a result of it was so plausible. It launched within the ’60s and was one of the profitable advert campaigns in historical past. The corporate turned a revenue the primary 12 months, after dropping cash for greater than a decade. “After all, they’re giving it their all,” individuals thought. They should in the event that they’re chasing a competitor. The concept applies to wine, too.

Wines striving for market share are definitely more likely to strive tougher than coasting opponents. Perhaps they shave a bit off the value to boost the worth, they develop or supply extra concentrated fruit, or they merely put in additional effort all the best way round. The one query is, which of those under-sung wines overdeliver? Listed below are my picks for 4 nice values that vary from $16 to $30 however might promote for extra.

An alternative choice to Santa Margherita Pinot Grigio

2021 Tiefenbrunner Pinot Grigio IGT, Alto Adige-Trentino, Italy (Vintages $21.95)

2021 Tiefenbrunner Pinot Grigio IGT, Alto Adige-Trentino, Italy (Vintages $21.95)

For those who just like the ever wildly well-liked Santa Margherita Pinot Grigio Valdadige DOC, Italy (Vintages Important, $22.95), you’re not alone. It’s a bestseller for a motive. However it can save you a greenback by reaching for the scrumptious 2021 Tiefenbrunner Pinot Grigio IGT from Alto Adige-Trentino in Italy (Vintages $21.95) as an alternative. Every swirl of the glass takes you to a rocky riverbank after the rain with its damp, stony-cool aroma. Then, the silvery liquid floods in with glassy purity and quiet ideas of lemon zest, sliced pear and dried bay leaf in addition to a sprinkle of sea salt that lingers on the end. Regardless of the beneficiant middle-palate weight of this dry wine, it clocks a mere 12.5 per cent alcohol. It’s the type of wine each Pinot Grigio desires to be when it grows up. Rating: 93

An alternative choice to Ruffino Chianti

2020 Melini Chianti DOCG, Tuscany, Italy ($16)

2020 Melini Chianti DOCG, Tuscany, Italy ($16)

If Chianti is your go-to wine fashion, it’s possible you’ll attain for the ever-popular Ruffino Chianti from Tuscany (LCBO $17.60). A sensible different that’s $1.60 much less is the 2020 Melini Chianti DOCG, Tuscany, Italy ($16). This gem delivers distinctive worth.

First, there’s the perfume of candy cherries, plump plums and black earth laced with pink, inexperienced and black peppercorn. Then, a slick lick of earthy, berry-rich fruit slides in tasting sunny and saturated earlier than cascading with fruit-spice-nuts-and-a-touch-of-olive. It’s simply the medium-bodied, crowd-pleasing pink you may depend on this time of 12 months. A lot enjoyable to drink and simply 13 per cent alcohol. Rating: 92

In case your curious concerning the uncommon form of the Melini bottle — it’s a nod to these straw-covered flasks often called fiascos that Chianti was bottled in historically.

An alternative choice to Gérard Bertrand Côte des Roses Rosé

2022 Hampton Water Ros�, Languedoc, France (Vintages $29.95)

2022 Hampton Water Rosé, Languedoc, France (Vintages $29.95)

For those who discover you benefit from the bestselling rosé, Gérard Bertrand Côte des Roses Rosé from the Languedoc area of France (Vintages $19.95), contemplate taking it up a notch with the 2022 Hampton Water Rosé from that very same area (Vintages $29.95). This elegant, sophisticated-tasting wine with the cool label and glass stopper — just like the Côte des Roses Rosé — is a magnificence. Constituted of Grenache with a splash every of Cinsault and Mourvedre, Hampton Water is a pale coral-coloured wine with gentle rose-gold inflections that shine starbright within the glass. Then, it attracts you in with ethereal scents of untamed strawberry, cherry blossom, candied almonds and nougat. All of that echoes delicately on the palate together with a beautiful be aware of bitter orange zest that comes into give attention to the end. Only a pleasant medium-bodied, bone-dry rosé with 13 per cent alcohol. Proof superb wine now is available in three colors. Rating: 93

Enjoyable truth: Hampton Water is a partnership between musician Jon Bon Jovi, his son Jesse Bongiovi and the identical French vigneron who makes Côte des Roses Rosé — Gérard Bertrand.

An alternative choice to Apothic Crimson

2020 Lost Poet Red, California ($19.95)

2020 Misplaced Poet Crimson, California ($19.95)

For those who gravitate to Apothic Crimson from California ($17.95) time and time once more, you’ll love the 2020 Misplaced Poet Crimson from that very same sunny state ($19.95). It’s two {dollars} extra however price it.

The 2020 Misplaced Poet Crimson from California is a wine partnership between nameless poet Atticus whose books are New York Occasions Greatest Sellers and Winc Wine Firm. The wine emits burnt embers, strawberry jam and black espresso on the nostril earlier than sweeping in with palate-drenching generosity, riveting the eye. It’s ahead, sure — identical to Apothic, however barely drier. You’ll discover flavours of toast and jam, black espresso, fire-roasted meat and extra — all of which hyperlink to reminiscences — earlier than tapering towards a bonfire and cherry-vanilla end. This oaked, pink mix of 68 per cent Merlot, 24 per cent Cabernet Sauvignon and eight per cent Petite Syrah is dry however not too dry and clocks 14 per cent alcohol. Rating: 91

In keeping with Atticus, “A superb bottle of wine ought to take you on a journey. It ought to make you are feeling one thing.” To assist that concept, the again label of each Misplaced Poet Crimson bottle consists of both a poem or a clean house so that you can write your personal.

So subsequent time you stroll into the LCBO, contemplate one in every of these wines as an alternative of your regular go-to. In spite of everything, spring is right here and it’s a brand new day. Make it depend.

Carolyn Evans Hammond is a Toronto-based wine author and a contract contributing columnist for the Star. Wineries sometimes sponsor segments on her YouTube collection but they don’t have any position within the collection of the wines she chooses to assessment or her opinions of these wines. All costs are topic to alter. Please drink responsibly. Attain her by way of electronic mail: carolyn@carolynevanshammond.com


Conversations are opinions of our readers and are topic to the Code of Conduct. The Star doesn’t endorse these opinions.


Leave a Reply