I randomly picked up the Flat Rock Pinot Noir 2020 on a weekend trip to the LCBO. I was looking for a Pinot Noir for my dinner that night and was immediately attracted to this bottle! The Flat Rock Pinot Noir comes from Flat Rock Cellars located on the Twenty Mile Bench in the Niagara Ontario region. The beautiful new labels are inspired by Flat Rock’s 80 acres of unique terroir. The designs are rock formations of limestone samples from their vineyards! The wine itself also speaks to the uniqueness of the Flat Rock soil. The Flat Rock Pinot Noir 2020 is a beautifully structured, complex and elegant red wine. It’s medium-bodied and on the bold side for a Pinot Noir with flavours of red berries and herbs. I paired this wine with a mushroom lasagna and it was perfection! It will also pair really nicely with rack of lamb, grilled salmon and roasted chicken. Perfect for all the upcoming spring holiday meals! You can find the Flat Rock Pinot Noir 2020 at the LCBO for $22.95, or through the winery’s online shop.
We’re all likely having smaller Easter celebrations this year, but that doesn’t mean it can’t be festive! I’m going to be enjoying fish on Friday, rack of lamb on Saturday and ham for Sunday brunch. And, of course, all will be paired with delicious Ontario VQA wines! I’ve discovered some great “Easter” themed Ontario wines, with fun bunnies and blooms on the bottles. These 5 Ontario wines are absolutely perfect for Easter weekend!
I love drinking Pinot Noir in the early spring. Rainy days, the smell of wet earth and nature beginning to blossom match so well with a glass of Pinot Noir. The 2019 Inniskillin Niagara Estate Series Pinot Noir is one of my favourite spring sippers. This Ontario VQA wine is medium-bodied and dry with flavours of earthiness, black cherry and a hint of spice. The Inniskillin Pinot Noir pairs really well with mushroom dishes, roasted vegetables and cheeseboards. You can find the Inniskillin Pinot Noir at the winery online shop, the LCBO and the Wine Rack for a great value price of $15.95. It’s currently on sale at the Wine Rack for only $14.95. The Inniskillin Pinot Noir is the perfect wine to welcome in the start of spring this weekend!
The Era Montepulciano D’Abruzzo DOC Organic is one of my favourite budget friendly red wines. This Italian red wine is priced low, tastes great, pairs well with a variety of foods and is organic – a really good value wine! The Era Montepulciano is medium-bodied and dry with flavours of plum, cherry and herb. I love pairing the Era Montepulciano with beef Bolognese but it will also pair perfectly with stuffed peppers, pizza and eggplant lasagna. You can find the Era Montepulciano at the LCBO for only $9.95. As it is mine, the Era Montepulciano is likely to become your new go-to budget friendly Italian red wine!
Here in Ontario, we are in the thick of winter which means red wine. We’re also in a new year with new budget goals. And the pandemic restrictions still carry on, so we want to support local businesses as much as possible. Combine all three and we get a girl on a budget who wants to drink red wine and support local wineries. So I give you 13 Ontario red wines under $13.00!
I was in love with the Vineland Cabernet Franc at first sip! It is the perfect red wine to drink on a cold winter day, or to pair with a hearty meal. I enjoyed it both ways! The Vineland Cabernet Franc is a medium-bodied dry red wine made with 100% VQA Niagara Cabernet Franc grapes. And, wow, does it have the most wonderful flavours! You’ll find lush flavours of blackcurrant, raspberry and plum with hints of fresh cedar and chocolate. You can easily enjoy the Vineland Cabernet Franc by itself on a cold winter day curled up in front of the fire. It’s also amazing paired with a wide variety of foods. I enjoyed it alongside Korean beef but will also pair great with stew, chili or tomato based pasta dishes. If you’re not sold yet, wait until you hear the value of this wine! The top quality Vineland Cabernet Franc is only $14.95, and currently on sale for $13.95. It’s widely available at LCBO stores, or you can purchase through the wineries online shop. I think I’m about to go stock up!
A lot of people are participating in dry January, or trying to drink a bit less this month. But there are not a lot of great alcohol free options available. Zero alcohol wines, beers and liquors tend to be too sweet or really bland. However, add all the mulled wine spices and flavours to that non-alcoholic red wine, and you have a delicious alcohol free drink! My sister doesn’t drink, so over the holidays I made two batches of mulled wine – one with real red wine (for me, of course!) and one with zero alcohol red wine (for my sister). I tried both mulled wines back to back and could barely tell the difference! So if you’re looking for a good non-alcoholic drink to get you through dry January, this delicious alcohol free mulled wine is your answer. And if you’re still drinking this month, don’t worry, this recipe is equally as delicious with real red wine!
The Konzelmann Pinot Noir is one of those wines that checks all the boxes for me. Local, well priced and pairs with a wide variety of foods – check, check, check! And of course, tastes amazing! Konzelmann Estate Winery is located in Niagara-on-the-Lake, along a gorgeous stretch of Lake Ontario. The Konzelmann family has been making wine in Ontario since the 1980’s and their experience shows! The Konzelmann Pinot Noir is a light-bodied dry red wine with flavours of cherry, earth, pepper and a hint of smokiness. Pair this wine with a wide variety foods like mushroom wellington, chicken alfredo or cheese and charcuterie. You can find the Konzelmann Pinot Noir for the great value price of $14.95 at most LCBO locations or the winery’s online store. Supporting local, well priced, pairs with lots of different foods and tastes great – the Konzelmann Pinot Noir is the perfect red wine to have on hand for the holiday season, no matter how you are celebrating!
The Coffin Ridge Back From the Dead Red is my go-to Halloween wine. And it’s likely soon to be yours too! Located in northern Ontario’s Grey County, Coffin Ridge Winery specializes in bringing back to life grapes suited to a cool climate geography. Like the Maréchel Foch and Baco Noir grapes in their devilishly delicious Back From the Dead Red. Flavours of dark berries, spices and earth will come to life as you sip on this full-bodied wine. Pair Back from the Dead Red with all your favourite cold weather dishes like pot roasts, beef wellington and mushroom stew. Get your paws on a bottle of the Coffin Ridge Back from the Dead Red at the LCBO or the winery online shop for $19.95. I guarantee you a hell of a ghoul time!
It’s more important than ever to support local wineries right now. With so many options here in Ontario, buying and drinking local wine is not difficult! But sometimes the price tag on local wines can be a bit too much for a girl on a budget. Trust me, I hear you! So I’ve compiled a list of my favourite 14 Ontario wines under $14.00. Shop local and stay on budget!