Finally, the opportunity to try new drinks without the hassle.
Good news, Toronto booze lovers: you can now have your favourite drinks delivered right to your door.
Yesterday, the LCBO announced the launch of its e-commerce site, which makes picking up wine or beer as easy as clicking a mouse. Products can be delivered directly to your house for a flat fee of $12, or to your preferred LCBO at no charge.
Some critics have already slammed the new service, claiming the process is slow and arduous. Home delivery will be made using Canada Post and is expected arrive in two to three days, while delivery to a local LCBO should take between four and 12 days. Others say it’s too expensive, and some are concerned about the risk of minors getting their hands on booze due to the lack of safeguards in place.
But this e-commerce program is a clear win in my eyes.
Many casual shoppers tend to make due with whatever is on the shelves at their local store. But the delivery program will allow many to expand their horizons when it comes to trying new spirits. If you find a bottle of wine that you really enjoy (or perhaps hear of one that may be hard to find from your favourite wine writer, wink wink) and it isn’t available at your local store, you can now get it sent there. And I’m willing to overlook the flat fee for shipping, because lugging a 40-pound case of wine on the TTC is not my favourite activity.
I am quite vocal of my objections to the way the LCBO limits selection of products to the consumer. While the current selection of wines is limited, there is a huge selection of beer available. This province is huge, and selection of product varies greatly from store to store even within Toronto. It will take some time, but as the online selection grows, shopping for your favourite bottles of anything will get much easier.
Here are a few great bottles that we hope will be available online soon.
2011 16 Mile Cellar Rebel Pinot Noir – Vintages 461731 – $22.95 – ****+
The first of (hopefully) many releases we see from this small winery on the shelves of vintages, this pinot noir will have you rethink what it means to pick up a good bottle at a great price. In the year that has passed since I last tasted this wine, a beautiful elegance and delicacy has worked its way into the bottle. The aromas are still fruit driven, with red cherry and cranberry. You also have a nice damp earthiness that has worked its way out of the glass. You may not pick it up on the first sip, or the second but there is some nice depth to this wine, with dried violet and damp moss on the finish that lingers for a moment before being washed away by clean acidity. To really unlock the potential in this bottle, serve it after putting it in the fridge for 30 to 45 minutes.
2013 Jackson-Triggs Grand Reserve Sauvignon Blanc – Vintages 367797 – $19.95 – ****+
This is an interesting bottle of sauvignon blanc, which features a tropical intensity that pulls you right into the glass. The nose is all passion fruit and grapefruit, though there is a nice depth, with hints of straw and mineral. One of the hallmarks of sauv blanc from Ontario is the bright, crisp acidity. This is a great wine to pair with freshly shucked oysters or grilled fish.
2013 Fielding White Conception – Vintages 203737 – $18.95 – ****
This is a wine that is perfect for the patio or a large family gathering. It drinks very easily, its flavours are subtle, and it is very food friendly. The wine is a blend of chardonnay, pinot gris, and viognier, and it gets muted characteristics from each grape in the bottle. There are flavours of apple and melon with a nice soft floral quality. While it is light on the palate, the pinot gris does give it a bit of an oily texture. The finish is clean with just a hint of the white floral notes that linger. Enjoy this with chicken or fish off the grill, or on its own in the warm weather.
2012 Chateau des Charmes St Davids Bench Vineyard Cabernet Franc – $27.95 – ****1/2
If you’re looking for a bottle of Ontario wine to add to the cellar, look no further. Well-priced coming in under the $30 price mark, this is a serious bottle. The nose offers up dark chocolate, raspberry, black currant, and smoke. The tannin is still firm and grippy, but it will soften with 30 to 60 minutes in a decanter. In spite of the tannin, fruit overwhelms you once it’s in the glass, with black currant, blackberry, raspberry, strawberry, dark cherry, plum, and just hints of herbaciousness. This is drinking great now, but it will last in the cellar for five to seven years. Serve this with steak or roast beef.