$15 or less
WHAT: Aveleda Vinho Verde 2006 (white) Rating: NNN
WHERE: Costa Verde, Portugal
WHY: We've got three solid days of backyard boozing, campground pounding or May 2-4 patio action ahead of us, so let's start with something light and easy. We're not talking fine wine here, but this will get the ball rolling in the right direction. Very floral with just a hint of fizz.
PRICE: 750 ml/$8.15
AVAILABILITY: At most liquor stores (#5322)
WHAT: Cave Spring Riesling Reserve (white) Rating: NNN
WHERE: Niagara Peninsula
WHY: We can't have an Ontario long weekend without some Ontario wine. As a cool-climate region, Niagara is well suited to Riesling, the other white grape. Here the emphasis is on minerality, with a nice undercurrent of grapefruit. In other words, it taste good.
PRICE: 750 ml/$18.15
AVAILABILITY: At most Vintages outlets (product #286377)
Sips and nips
WHAT: Duchy Originals Organic Ale Rating: NNNN
WHERE: Oxfordshire, England
WHY: It's Victoria Day weekend, so let's give some props to that wacky royal family. Prince Charles has been regularly kicking sustainable, organic ass with his Duchy Originals line of food and drink. This ale's got great hoppy bite and a long malt finish. All profits go to Chuck's charities. Puts the "high" back in Your Highness.
PRICE: 500 ml/$3.60
AVAILABILITY: At selected liquor stores (product #26971)