$15 or less
WHAT: Ken Forrester Petit Chenin 2006 (white) Rating: NNN
WHERE: Stellenbosch, South Africa
WHY: Chenin Blanc has a checkered past in South Africa, but this one's worth tasting. It's got lots of full, bright flavour that gives the impression of sweetness without being sugary. And while it's refreshing, there's enough weight to match up to lots of springtime food choices.
PRICE: 750 ml/$11.95
AVAILABILITY: At selected Vintages outlets (product #029322)
WHAT: Châ teau Pesquié Les Terrasses 2004 (red) Rating: NNNN
WHERE: Southern Rhone Valley, France
WHY: Here's a deft blend combining the generous fruitiness of the Grenache grape and the tighter, spicier Syrah. This wine is regularly and deservedly given high scores by the glossy wine journalists, so don't expect this bottle, at $15.15 (including deposit), to gather dust on LCBO shelves.
PRICE: 750 ml/$14.95
AVAILABILITY: At selected Vintages outlets as of May 12 (product #652313)
Sips and nips
WHAT: Chateau des Charmes Riesling Icewine Rating: NNNN
WHERE: Niagara Peninsula
WHY: Canadian icewine is so special, we've given it its own name: icewine. Clever, eh? This is regularly considered one of the very best, so if you want to explore this esoteric, expensive style, start here. Sweet, acidic, incredibly concentrated but still betraying its Riesling varietal.
PRICE: 375 ml/$59.95
AVAILABILITY: At selected Vintages outlets as of May 12 (product #413724)