It's officially boots, coat and scarf season. And gloves. And toques. Technically, it's still Fall although it certainly feels like Winter. Have you noticed that appetites are changing along with the weather? We're hankering more for Cassoulets and Cornish hens than corn on the cob and cucumber salad, so it's no surprise that we're reaching for heartier wines that complement these foods.
To help you navigate dinners, family gatherings, and other festive occasions that happen throughout this season, we've compiled a list of fantastic Canadian wines for under $20 - all of which are available right here on the site!
An oaked Chardonnay is a great white for the Fall/Winter because its toasty flavours tend to enhance the richness of roasted poultry and pork dishes, as well as root vegetables. A personal favourite, this Chardonnay is well-balanced with a pleasant roundness from the oak ageing and has notes of citrus, green apple, baking spice and vanilla.
Many rosés have a hint of sweetness, this version from L’Acadie Vineyards is bone dry which is why it stands up so beautifully to festive dinners of the ‘turkey, stuffing, cranberry sauce, mashed potatoes, and vegetables’ ilk. The grapes in this rosé are Marechal Foch and L’Acadie Blanc, both grow extremely well in Nova Scotia. The Marechal Foch provides the backbone of the wine while the L’Acadie Blanc enhances the aromatics. The wine has big fruit flavours of red cherry, cranberry, and raspberry, but is well supported with acidity giving it an overall crisp and refreshing taste.
This Pinot Noir from Thornhaven Estates in the Okanagan Valley is fantastic and pairs with just about anything. It’s medium-bodied and very fruit forward with cherry, strawberry and raspberry notes and hints of savoury herbs and spices. If you prefer red with your aforementioned turkey, goose or duck dinners, this is the bottle to reach for. The wine’s herbal, savoury notes balance the flavours found in supporting dishes, while the fruit offers a delicious lift to the meal. It’s also fabulous with salmon, pork tenderloin, and mushroom dishes. Serve lightly chilled and pat yourself on the back for wowing your guests with a $19 Pinot!
“Deep, rich and bold” is how the winemaker at Ridge Road Winery proudly describes their Baco Noir. This varietal is largely grown in cooler climate regions of North America, and this offering from Niagara is very dark in colour with intense aromatics of dark cherry, blackcurrant, and smoke. It begs to be matched with similarly smoky, rich foods like red meat – from charcuterie to roast beef to BBQ steaks – and game meat. Pastas with wholesome tomato-based sauces are also a natural fit.
One of the flagship wines from Creekside Estate Winery in Niagara, Laura’s Red is a perfect blend of Syrah, Merlot, Malbec, and Cabernet Sauvignon. With four years in the bottle already under its belt, this wine has great structure and complexity. Bold red and black fruits, with pepper from the Syrah, and almost two years in oak ageing makes this wine a perfect complement to pizza, hearty tomato pastas such as Bolognese or ragout, and grilled lamb and beef dishes. The amount of time, energy, and care that has gone into this bottle is as remarkable as the under $20 price tag.