Tag Archives: LCBO

History Lessons

This is a brilliantly produced history lesson on Malbec. And really, isn’t a good history lesson  just story-telling  [granted, with facts you have to memorize for a test later on]. But a history lesson on wine? That’s worth a taste test later on isn’t it? That’s my kind of test.

I highly recommend these wines that you can get in Ontario from Cantena – producers of high altitude Malbec and Chardonnay in Argentina. Don’t know why high altitude makes a difference? You didn’t watch today’s history lesson did you? Watch the video – and then take the test 😀.

Catena MalbecVINTAGES# 478727 | 750 mL bottle
Catena Malbec

Catena High Mountain Vines Chardonnay 2016VINTAGES# 918805 | 750 mL bottle
Catena High Mountain Vines Chardonnay 2016




Who’s more elusive in your opinion – The Polka Dot Door’s Polkaroo, Sesame Street’s Snuffleupagus, or Baroness Orczy’s Scarlett Pimpernel?  Or as i like to swear-quote in my house “that damned elusive Pimpernel”.  Yes, I know, this started off all cute and kid friendly and has gone south fast.

What is elusive is the best whisky in the world – despite it being from Canada – where i’m.

If you haven’t heard … the Whisky of the Year, as declared by whisky connoisseur Jim Murray, author of the Whisky Bible [no relation to the real bible]  is Crown Royal Northern Harvest which retails at $33 at the LCBO.


Good news! We won an international contest.  Bad news! Due to it’s international demand it’s proved itself to be “damned” elusive.  Or in the words of the Baroness, “They seek him here, they seek him there, those Frenchies [and Anglos and everyone else] seek him everywhere. Is he in heaven? Or is he in hell ?[sorry again for the quotefanitiy] That damned elusive (Northern Harvest)“.

There’s a happy ending. My daughter M came through for me and found me two bottles in a remote northern outpost called Barrie, Ontario.

I’d go into the tasting notes but honestly i’m just too pleased to have found something so elusive – and by me i mean someone else.

*most joke swears ever in the history of this blog – sorry to the offended – but they made me giggle – that is all.

Postal Code?

I love a conspiracy theory as much as the next guy.  No, wait!  I hate conspiracy theories.  Usually they are made up by paranoid people who can’t come up with a simple explanation so they are certain that Big Brother is out to get them – or the Free Masons – or Hydra.  I’ve read 1984 recently and I don’t believe my TV, computer, or iPhone is watching me.

But what about the LCBO?  Are they watching you?  You bet they are.  Do you remember the last time you checked out at the LCBO and they asked  you for your postal code?  Did you know that everyone in Ontario on that day was being asked for their postal code?  Sounds like a conspiracy to me Kathleen Wynne.

Guess what all you paranoid beer and wine buyers – they were just gathering data so that they could serve you better.  True story.  If people are driving 20 kms to pick up their favourite wine, whisky, or whiskey [yes, there’s a difference] then the good people at the LCBO will start shipping some of your product to a closer store without you even asking.  Hey ME Generation – the LCBO is looking after you. This time it is all about YOU.

So unless your name is Winston Smith, don’t freak out next time you’re asked for you postal code – it just might make your life a little easier.


World’s Cheapest Husband

I’m not always the world’s cheapest husband – but sometimes I like to see if I can save a little money and see if anyone noticed.

I have my parameters around this demi-mantra. I don’t buy cheap chicken [that seems like an unnecessary health risk] and I don’t stay in cheap hotels [same reason].

But last week I tried buying the cheapest red wine possible at the LCBO and didn’t tell my wife. And in a class re-creation of a Life cereal experiment I let my wife try it first. Guess what? “She likes it! Hey Mikey!” [if you are under the age of 40 you have no idea why I just wrote that].


20140419-113020.jpgSeriously a decent wine for $7.45? Hooray for the Cheap Husband!

LCBO 588996 | Price $ 7.45 


In the Spirit of things

Sometimes I get in the spirit of sophistication and order a martini.  There are many great quotes about the Martini.  Gin or Vodka is a question for another time.

“A man must defend his home, his wife, his children, and his martini.”
Jackie Gleason

“He knows just how I like my martini – full of alcohol.”
Homer Simpson

”I had never tasted anything so cool and clean.” “They made me feel civilized.”
Ernest Hemingway novel Farewell to Arms.

“I never go jogging, it makes me spill my martini.”
George Burns

With this in mind I visited Dillon’s Small Batch Distillers in Beamsville, ON.  I had already purchased the White Rye from the LCBO but wanted to have a go at the Gin and the Eau de Vie. The Gin is a botanical lovers dream – delicate enough that I think the gin martini made with it should be straight. That’s so dry that you aren’t even allowed to think the word Vermouth while pouring it.  The people at Dillon’s also have a little bit of fun on their website – PulltheCork approved fun! In their Spirit descriptors they mention Papa Hemingway, Khan [the Mongolian ruler not the Star Trek guy], Smith and Wesson, and generally entertain throughout. Their collection of bitters would make any mixologist giggle like a school girl – well maybe only if they liked making cocktails – but you get the point.

If you are driving down the QEW past Beamsville stop in and have a look – their tasting room is simply stunning. Otherwise stop in at the LCBO – the Gin is dang good.




LCBO 358556 | 750 mL bottle Price $ 39.95 

LCBO 337600 | 750 mL bottle Price $ 37.95 

Uncle Albert’s detour

Few things give me greater pleasure than mentioning Albert Einstein in my blog. Here goes …


Hey Uncle Albert – fish are stupid!


This got me to thinking about stupid beer.  If you are going to spend your whole life drinking cheap beer then you will live your whole life believing that it is good – and that you are a genius.  If, however, you want to really be a genius then you have to try new stuff – like Muskoka Brewery’s Detour IPA. This weekend I had it on tap at Baker Street Station in Guelph and found it again in a 6-pack at the LCBO.

I think “Stop drinking stupid beer” should be on the front of the Detour IPA t-shirt.  This is a big hop ale with a clean finish that is the perfect detour from winter beer drinking to clean, genius, spring beer drinking.  I think Uncle Albert would approve.


And I want a kick back on the “Stop drinking stupid beer” t-shirt sales.

What the …

Stopped by the LCBO today. This was hanging on the exterior wall of the building. I’m not exactly sure what is going on here?  It looks like a Zara ad. Hey outrageously good looking [likely French] dude , watch out or that overly affectionate lady is going to spill red wine all over your new white sweater!


Pinot for the People party

When my man Orest throws a party it’s a good one.  This Saturday [the 14th] at the LCBO Scottsdale in Guelph there is a party and you are invited. I know that because I was invited and the guy who invited me told me to invite you too.  The party is PINOT for the PEOPLE [sounds very “French Revolutionary” but with glasses of wine instead of beheadings].  With 10 confirmed producers attending there will be lots to choose from.  So if you’ve always wanted to be a wine locavore then this is the time to start.

For a modest $10 admission [which goes to the United Way of Guelph] you can taste Ontario Pinots and taste food stuffs from OX Guelph [I’ve seen the sneak preview menu and it’s very good – pork rillettes, mussels, lamb skewers]. Come and meet the owners and winemakers of some of Ontario’s finest.

This Saturday 11:30 - 3:30

Scottsdale LCBO this Saturday 11:30 – 3:30

Restocking at the LCBO

My top shelf is empty.  For those who follow this blog you will recall that the top shelf is the vin ordinaire – the wine that my wife can open without asking “is this saved for something special?”.

So a restocking is in order.  Here’s what I came up with – 8 bottles for $90. They are the wines that are good and inexpensive too.


  1. France – GEORGES DUBOEUF BEAUJOLAIS  LCBO 212480 |Price $ 10.95
  2. Pelee Island – PELEE ISLAND BACO NOIR VQA LCBO 485128 | Price $ 10.45
  3. Spain – BODEGAS CASTANO HECULA  LCBO 300673 | Price $ 11.80
  4. Niagara – CHATEAU DES CHARMES ALIGOTE VQA ST. DAVID’S BENCH  LCBO 296848 |Price $ 13.95
  6. Spain [Cava} – CODORNIU BRUT CLASICO SPARKLING LCBO 215814 | Price $ 12.95
  7. Portugal – BERCO DO INFANTE RESERVA LCBO 253864 |Price $ 9.20
  8. Niagara – CALAMUS RIESLING 2010 VINTAGES 158642 | Price $ 16.95 [I spend big $$ on this one because my man Orest vouched for it]

Piña Coladas?

On my most recent visit to the wine store I was approached by another customer.  I took this as a sign that I appeared to be a confident shopper and therefore likely to have answers for a lady who frankly, looked lost.  “Excuse me”, she started, “do you put rum in your piña coladas?” she asked.

I was completely taken back.  I looked down at my shirt thinking maybe I had the same one on as the employees. I didn’t.  I realized I wasn’t really sure what she had just asked me.

“Do I put rum in MY piña coladas?”, I replied, “Or do you mean is rum the alcohol that is used to make piña coladas?”.

By this time I had said the words “piña colada” more than any other time in my life combined.  I’ve also never had a piña colada so I wasn’t sure of the answer.

Then I became alarmed.  Not because I started singing that horrible “If You Like Piña Coladas” song [which I  haven’t gotten out of my head yet], and not because I didn’t know the answer, but because apparently I looked like a guy who drinks piña coladas.

That’s not the look I’m going for. I may not get over this for a while.

For the record the last rum I purchased was a sipping rum and it was delicious.


LCBO 105742 | 750 mL bottlePrice $ 35.95