$15 or less
WHAT: Tommasi Valpolicella Classico Superiore 2004 (red) Rating: NNN
WHERE: Verona, Italy
WHY: Here's a regular LCBO (as in not a limited Vintages release) bottle that should come in handy if you're looking for a good dinner-party wine. It's medium-light-bodied, with a touch of licorice but not over the top, which makes it a versatile food matcher. Finish is a little insubstantial, but that's all right for casual long-haul sipping.
PRICE: 750 ml/$13.50
AVAILABILITY: At selected liquor stores (product #669150)
WHAT: Ch&âteau des Laurets Puisseguin St-Emillion 2001 (red) Rating: NNN
WHERE: Bordeaux, France
WHY: Looking to impress with your Old World worldliness? Here's a general release (again, not just at Vintages) that will do the trick. It comes from Puisseguin St-Emillion, competent stepsister of the glamorous St-Emillion. It's got one of those great chateau labels, and it tastes good now, unlike some other Bordeaux you might run into.
PRICE: 750 ml/$17.90
AVAILABILITY: At selected liquor stores (product #371401)
Sips and nips
WHAT: Gibson's Finest (Canadian Whisky) Rating: NNN
WHERE: Quebec City
WHY: This Sunday is the Grey Cup, which means you will be attending a Grey Cup party. There you will drink rye: rye and coke, rye and ginger, Ryan Seacrest... whatever. Make it a Gibson's. It's buttery and slick, but with a nice grainy kick, perfect for manhattans or sours.
PRICE: 750 ml/$24.95
AVAILABILITY: At most liquor stores (product #3558)