It never hurts to keep red wine stashed at home in case of emergency. If, say, unexpected steaks show up on your doorstep or you succumb to a seasonally influenced emotional meltdown, these local bottles should serve you well.
Earth & Sky Pinot Noir
Why The sentimentalist in me loves that: a) this wine is made by a family, the Boscs; b) Château des Charmes is a member of Sustainable Winemaking Ontario; and c) it's balanced, local and affordable, expressing strawberries and wet earth.
Price 750 ml/$15.95
Availability LCBO 343368
Creekside Cabernet Shiraz 2011
Why I don't usually crave cab, but I did enjoy this. Creekside's blend (49 per cent Cabernet Sauvignon, 48 per cent shiraz and a touch of Cab Franc) doesn't smash its black pepper and smoky dark berries in your face, but firmly insists you stay for one more glass. It's bold but not a bully.
Price 750 ml/$16.95
Availability LCBO 305300
Pelee Island Cabernet Franc 2011
Why Easy and affordable, this Cab Franc brims with currants and spice and has a sturdy tannic finish. Now all I need is a lamb chop.
Price 750 ml/$11.95
Availability LCBO 433714