$15 or less
What : Angove's Bear Crossing Chardonnay 2004 (white) Rating: NNN
Where : South Australia
Why : Less than $15? Let's try less than $10. If you don't mind a wine that invokes the cute and fuzzy, this inexpensive Aussie is an excellent buy. Full and surprisingly concentrated, it will do the trick for those who like affable Chardonnays. And although it cries out for the summer deck, you could drink this any time.
Price : 750 ml/$9.95
Availability : Most LCBO stores (product #592758)
What : Montresor Amarone della Valpolicella 2000 (red) Rating: NNNN
Where : Veneto, Italy
Why : So you're having a cheese-tasting party and that big rank tray of pungent dairy and mould is making your wine rack tremble in fear. Time to pull out an Amarone della Valpolicella. Montresor's has lots of alcoholic oomph and a very soft, luxurious finish. Fine for funky fromage but could also work with venison or grilled beef.
Price : 750 ml/$25.85
Availability : Selected LCBO stores (product #240416)
Sips and nips
Have you heard that Hamilton's the new, happening place to be? It sounds weird, but the city is blazing a bold trail when it comes to selling beer. Hamilton is home to one of southern Ontario's two new drive-through beer stores. You drive up, place your order, pay at the window, proceed to the pickup area and a beer store employee brings the beer out to your car - no extra charge - and away you go. If this pilot project passes the test, the drive-through could come to T.O.