Travels, Wine

A Friendly Challenge to Re-Stock

A few weeks ago my friend Danielle told me about an article she’d seen in the star where the writer offered some wines to re-stock your wine rack for under $100. If I remember correctly, her exact words were “you could do a much better job”. Well, Danielle, thank you for the compliment and challenge accepted!

In the original article the writer offers five wines – one rosé, two whites and two reds. I suppose the rosé snuck in there because the article was published in March and maybe the writer wanted to prime us all for rosé season. But I think rosés are too seasonal and ethereal to go in a list like this, so instead I’m offering you a sherry.

With a theoretical $100 to spend, here is what I would choose.

Relax Riesling

$12.95 for 750mL

Relax Riesling

Germany is pretty famous as the Riesling capital of the world, so I’m inclined to trust almost any bottle of German Riesling I’ll come across. This one is a little sweet (off-dry, technically), which isn’t what I normally go in for, but if you offered me a glass of this with something from the BBQ on a hot summer day I’m not sure I could say no. Plus, it’s in a pretty blue bottle!

Errazuriz Estate Series Chardonnay

$13.15 for 750mL

Errazuriz Estate Series Chardonnay

I had this one a couple of nights ago and was pleasantly surprised at how much I liked it. It was bright and fruity and crisp with just enough oak to give it some weight and body. This might be my new go-to Chardonnay.

Caliterra Cabernet Sauvignon

$11.10 for 750mL

Caliterra Cabernet Sauvignon

This wine never would have jumped into my hands were it not for a recommendation I got from another wine lover. I’m so glad I listened. This is a great weeknight wine, when you just want to relax with a glass and enjoy your evening. Nice on the palate and on the wallet. Win-win.

Sogrape Vila Regia Reserve

$12.10 for 750mL

Sogrape Vila Regia Reserve

Super dark and almost purpley in the glass, this wine is a great example of how much bang for your buck you can get with Portuguese wines. A wine this cheap really shouldn’t have so much going on, and yet this one has red fruit and tobacco and earth and soft tannins to boot. Worth well over $12 in my opinion, but I am very happy it’s not sold as such.

Lustau Dry Oloroso

$11.85 for 750mL

Lustau Dry Oloroso

Lustau is one of the biggest purveyors of sherry which is my guess as to why it can sell this sherry for so little. Oloroso sherries have been aged in barrels for quite a while before making their way into the bottle and then to us, which creates a rich intensity along with nutty and dried fruit flavours. Definitely worth picking up if you’re into deep, delicious wines.


Huh. Look at that. Five bottles for only $61.15! Since you made it through the whole post, here’s a splurge bottle using the remainder.

Henry of Pelham 2010 Speck Family Reserve Pinot Noir

$34.95 for 750mL

Henry Of Pelham Speck Family Reserve Pinot Noir 2010

Because of its thin skin, Pinot Noirs can be tough to grow and fickle to make into a great wine. It can also make it tricky to find a good inexpensive Pinot Noir. That, plus the fact that Ontario’s wine industry focuses more on luxury products over bulk ones, make this Henry of Pelham wine worthy of a splurge in my opinion. The LCBO website says it has lots of red currant and pomegranate flavours, along with dried berries and a tangy acidity. Sign me up!


All that, and $2.90 left over!



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