Ontario reds for the homestead

It never hurts to keep red wine stashed.

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

Rating: NNNN

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

Rating: NNN

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

Rating: NNN

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

drinks@nowtoronto.com | @s_parns

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