Daily Archives: January 20, 2008

In 2008, wine is going to get cheaper at the LCBO (good news for under $10 fans!)

The globeandmail.com has an article on how the LCBO will now stock cheaper wine in 2008. Fans of wine under $10, take heart! 🙂

Some highlights from the Beppi Crosariol article:

– Wine drinkers in Ontario may soon notice a strange trend taking shape at their local liquor stores: more shelf space given over to bargain imports. (Why is this strange? -bm)- Portugal is likely to be a key source of some of the best buys. The LCBO has reduced its minimum selling price for wines from that country to $6.95 for a 750-millilitre bottle, down $3 from last year’s minimum price of $9.95. Similarly, wineries from South Africa and Australia, two other low-cost regions known for abundant bargains, can now submit products for consideration priced as low as $7.95.

– The new $6.95 threshold also applies to “cellared in Canada” blends.

– Bargain wines acquired under the new purchasing program issued this week … are expected to reach shelves over the coming year, starting as early as April.

– The LCBO also sells a rotating selection of limited-release premium products through Vintages… may also choose to source under-$10 deals…

– Chris Churchill, president of Churchill Cellars Ltd., which represents such popular Australian brands as Banrock Station and Hardys, said quality at all price points has improved significantly during the almost 20 years he has been travelling to wine fairs around the world and that $8 and $9 no longer means a gamble with mediocrity. “With better-trained winemakers and better technology, it’s now difficult to find really bad wines, even in the less-than-$10 category.”

– Ontario would still have miles to go before catching up to bargain-wine trends in the United States, where mass-produced brands such as Barefoot Cellars often sell in … for as little as $4 a bottle (which are $9.95 in the LCBO! 😦 -bm))

See the article here with the misleading title of LCBO flips anti-plonk policy, since all LCBO outlets have always had alot of plonk on it shelves that never seems to shrink. Low cost wine isn’t synonymous with plonk.

P.S. for more on some of the fine, award winning and non-plonk wine from Barefoot, see here and here for some good examples.