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Staff Picks

Alanna McIntyre

Product Specialist

The Dolcetto grape makes a deeply pigmented red wine with medium to high tannin and soft approachable acidity levels. Though the name, Dolcetto, means “little sweet one” in Italian, this is in reference to the grape’s ability to ripen before the region’s other red grapes, not the sweetness of the final wine (as it is a dry wine). The result is a deeply pigmented wine with fragrant and grapey notes, lots of plush black fruit, plum, licorice all balanced by a slight bitter almond note on the finish thanks to the grape’s naturally high tannins.  Osvaldo Barberis grows and produces biodynamic wines in the Dogliani appellation (Langhe region in Piemonte.).  Dogliani is considered the capital of Dolcetto and this wine is an honest and delicious expression of that terroir.  Enjoy with salumi, pastas, pizza, mushroom dishes. 

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Cody Osmond

Retail Staff

Botanica Wines is a young winery, having vines planted only beginning in 2009, but already have found their speciality- a wide variety of grapes that showcase well with South African terroir and biodynamic vineyard practices.  This Cabernet Franc is full-bodied, structured, and displays firm tannins.  The fruit is dark, rich, and concentrated with Cabernet Franc’s typical savoury, green bell pepper-like undertones.  I love this wine on its own but also try give it a try with roast beef, dishes that feature strong herbs (rosemary, sage, etc.), or vegetarian/vegan meals based around mushrooms or lentils.

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Jason MacLeod

Assistant Retail Manager

Another example of why the best Sauvignon Blancs come from the Loire Valley (sorry New Zealand, Chile et al).  Cheverny is a rather large appellation in the Loire and rather than a lot of its mono varietal neighbours, it is allowed blended wines with the majority being Sauvignon Blanc, allowing winemakers more freedom in the cellar.

Domaine du Salvard has long been thought of as one of the best white producers in the region.  The 2019 captures the appellation’s calling card of zippy acidity with orange rinds and citrus flavours all supported by a mineral backbone.  A solid bet to go well with a vegetarian and goats cheese pizza or a simply prepared fish dish.

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photo of staff member Jason MacPhee

Jason MacPhee

Wine Category Manager

Feudo di Santa Tresa is one of Sicily’s oldest and finest wineries, producing top quality, indigenous varietal wines from Vittoria

All of their efforts are focused on creating the most authentic and fully organic wines that the microclimate and biodiversity of their estate allows them to. 

This wine is 70% Grillo 30% Viognier from the Rina Inca (White Sands) of Sicily. The minerality and freshness of the Grillo is perfectly complemented by the intensity and body of the Viognier

Notes of Peach, Apricot, Vanilla, and Citrus. On the palate it has a mouth watering texture that still has great acidity and a nutty finish. 

As the weather warms up this wine will compliment anything that comes from the sea or I’ll be enjoying it on its own while watching pre season baseball dreaming of Opening Day.

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Kathryn Harding

Sommelier and Retail Manager

I was feeling like something a little different on one of the recent cold blustery nights so I reached for the Stompers Cabernet Sauvignon from Australia. Made by Nugan Estate, a large family run winery in sunny New South Wales.  I was hoping this big Cab Sauv would warm me up and it did not disappoint!

This wine is dark crimson in the glass I could tell even before tasting it that it was going to be big and warming. The nose showed notes of dark cherry cola, wine gums and smoky vanilla oak. The palate is full of dark fruit; blackberries, plums and black cherries. The vanilla from the nose is there but not in a fake sweet way more like a vanilla bean. The wine is full bodied with a little tannin grip on the finish, a perfect warming hug on a cold night. I didn’t have it with food but it would go well with a burger, lamb sausages or some hard cheese.

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Keegan Patey

Retail Staff

“Hear me out…I love cracking a cold beer, and It doesn’t take much of an occasion to do just that. But you and I both know those calories do add up, or sometimes it’s just not the right time to relax with an alcoholic beverage. Well I’ve found the perfect solution!

Libra Non-Alcoholic Pale Ale, by Upstreet Brewing. Based in Charlottetown PEI, Upstreet is brewing this beautiful North Cape Pale Ale. This beer is lightly hopped, carrying tropical aromas and finishing extra crispy.. did I mention its only 0.4% ABV!

I know what you’re thinking, that most non-alcoholic beers don’t taste very good, but I can promise this one is not like the rest. You’ll be pleasantly surprised after trying this beer, and you might even find yourself reaching for a Libra next time you open the fridge.”

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photo of staff member Lucas Mader

Lucas Mader

Beer Category Manager

Woohoo is right! That’s what I said when I took my first sip from this new brewery (not really, but I was pretty excited). Slake is a brand new brewery from Prince Edward County, Ontario. We’ve got a selection of pale ales and pilsners, like this one – Woohoo is a Czech style pils, it’s got fresh notes of baked bread, light crackery character, and a hearty dose of Saaz hops, known for their spicy character. This is a really nice lil’ beer, great for anything, anytime, anywhere.

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Martha Kelly

Retail Staff

This has been a favourite Pinot Noir of mine for quite some time, as it consistently delivers on both quality and value. 

In the glass, clear, very reflective and bright. Aromas of ‘almost-in-the-oven’ Cherry Pie that include dominant red fruit and bread/pastry dough. Notes of leather, newer oak, and a pleasant amount of smokiness. The palate delivers what the nose has promised; generous bright red fruit and wonderful baking spice aromas to round everything out. Fine, integrated tannins make this suitable on its own or ready to pair with anything from a cheese plate to a traditional turkey dinner!

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Ryan Almeida

Retail Staff

Rocca di Castagnoli sits on land that was farmed as far back as 1730, nestled in the town of Castagnoli just south of Florence in the prized wine making region of Chianti. Made up of 90% Sangiovese and 10% Ciliegiolo, this Chianti undergoes skin maceration for 8-10 days, malolactic fermentation, is aged in oak for at least 4 months and sees an additional 3 months in bottle. On the nose: floral and red fruit notes such as cherries, raspberries, and currants and much of the same on the palate with an added touch of slight oak and light tannins. This is lovely with some pizza, lighter pasta dishes, chicken or fish. As the weather gets warmer (hopefully!), I would put this in the fridge for ~30 mins and pair it with charcuterie!

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Sandy Gribbin

Back in a simpler time, I thought it was a clever move to buy wine based on how little proper English there was on the back of the bottle. Old World wines not packaged to sell to English speakers must be hidden gems! Honestly, I still think it’s a good theory. Looking at the broken English throughout the Domaine J. Laurens website after drinking their delicious Blanquette de Limoux reaffirms my hunch.

Blanquette is the name traditionally given to the local white wines of Limoux in the south of France, perhaps after the fine white coating which dusts the grapes’ leaves. A blanquette must contain 90% Mauzac grape and is made in the methode traditionnelle. Indeed, Limoux is the region where sparkling wine was first made by Benedictine monks in the 1530s, a full 150 years before Champagne. Traditional indeed!

This delicate wine tastes like a magically fizzy apple cake drizzled with sugared lemon. It can be enjoyed as a simple aperitif or with fresh seafood.

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Erica Penton

Drinking this shiraz from the Adelaide Hills is like wrapping yourself in your favourite cozy sweater and looking great while doing it. 2017 was a very cool vintage with intermittent rainfall, prolonging the ripening period and enabling good fruit flavour development *without* high sugars.
Well-integrated oak, tannins, and acidity make for a soft mouthfeel and a lighter finish that works equally well with a variety of foods (short-ribs for the win!) or simply to sip on its own. Notes of black cherries, violets, plums and pepper. A delicious wine for staying in.
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Payton Wood

Lightfoot Ancienne Chardonnay

You don’t have to travel far to find one of the most beautiful Chardonnay’s you’ll ever taste! Cool air and an abundance of Fundy saltwater breezes add to the complexity of this lively Chardonnay. Aged for 18 months on french oak, look for subtle notes of vanilla, lemon sorbet and peach blossom. This wine is fresh, balanced, with a creamy mouthfeel as a result of wild fermentation. Try it with lobster to top off a true Nova Scotian feast! (Fun fact: look at the hawk on the label, holding a traditional Acadian farming tool and a Nova Scotia mayflower to honour their roots).

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Tess Durham

For their tenth anniversary, Bodegas Caro has chosen to showcase a 100% Malbec called Aruma, from the Mendoza region. Aruma means “night” in the language of the Indigenous Quechua people, whose land the vineyard sits on. This truly is the wine of mountainous nights. The cool breezes that pass through the hillside smooth the tannins to produce a velvety, medium bodied wine. On the nose, you’ll get juicy cherries and blackberries that carry through to the palate with a long finish that teases flavours of cedar and jalapeno.  

I enjoyed this wine with eggplant parm and it’s pairing with fatty meats would also be delicious! 

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Stefan Nielsen

Retail Associate

Have you ever been listening to your “Discover Weekly” on Spotify and then you stumble upon THAT song? The one that makes you say, “Hold up. What is this?” and then you’ve gotta rewind it and start it over. Liked. Saved. Added to Playlist.

That’s the feeling I got when I first tasted Filippo Antonelli’s Grechetto. This is a wine for basically everyone: it’s complex and interesting enough to please the geeks, but it’s also approachable and tasty enough to appeal to even the most casual of wine drinkers. Antonelli’s wines are particularly notable for being the darlings of Alice Feiring – one of natural wine’s most respected writers and critics.

Grechetto is an indigenous grape to the region of Umbria, in Central Italy. More specifically it is part of the Montefalco DOC, a protected style of high-quality wine. A soft pressing of organic grapes, if you’ve ever seen “Orvieto” on a wine list… this wine is exactly what those wines are trying to be. Vibrant and fruity, salty and refreshing, with a pleasing texture. It’s like popping a whole fresh apricot in your mouth and crunching down.

Serve this any time you’d drink a Pinot Grigio; with a seafood appetizer, cheese board, or just on its own after a long day. Maybe picture yourself drinking this on the beach in a few months while you’re doing it. I’ll meet you there.

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Matt Nettle

Ever tried mead before? Whether you are new to this ancient beverage or you would feel right at home in the mead halls of old Norse legends, I highly recommend Mountain Meadworks 2020 sparkling ginger mead. The ginger is sourced from Seabright Gardens in Antigonish, and the honey comes from Sunny Acres farm in Tatamagouche. Your nose will enjoy spicy ginger aromas along with apple and honey, while the palate has a dry crisp finish and subtle ginger notes. Highly effervescent and refreshing, I like to say this mead tastes like a mountain meadow in the hight of spring time.

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Matt Hodgson

Since coming on the scene 4 years ago, 2 Crows quickly became one of my favourite breweries in town. The Oud Bruin, or old brown, is a classic Belgian style sour brown ale. 

Roughly 3 months after its initial fermentation, it’s transferred to freshly emptied port barrels. Where it is allowed to condition for 14 months, before being bottled and bottle conditioned.  

Lively acidic notes of balsamic rounded out with fresh cherry flavours from the port barrels. Not your typical Friday night beer, but it’s the perfect addition to a roasted Porchetta dinner. It is ready to enjoy now, but worth grabbing an extra to throw in your cellar.

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Genny Dow

The Languedoc region of France continues to emerge as a destination for good wines at good prices, and Le Cinq from Mas de Bertrand is no exception. Certified organic and biodynamic, I am always impressed with the boldness and intensity packed into the bottle. The blend of Syrah, Carignan and Mourvedre has a dark and extracted hue. The spice-driven nose doesn’t disappoint when coupled with juicy black fruit on the palate. Like a bold red? Pick this up to pair with your warming winter meals, especially roasted or grilled meats.

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Jesse Galati

Amarone della Valpolicella is a great wine to cheers winter one last time before welcoming spring!

This rich luscious red blend from Italy is a great pairing for warm rich pot roast or stew. The grapes are dried slightly before pressing to give a warm raisin and chocolate flavour to this, bold wine that has a similar mouthfeel to port.

Zenato Amarone gives lots dried fruit flavour with very little sweetness on the palate making a really unique style of red that will make you crave this wine.

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Leslie Lee

This Chenin Blanc from South Africa tends to be crispier and zestiest than those from the Loire Valley in France. This is 100% Chenin Blanc that has had some skin contact before being fermented naturally with wild yeast in a combination of stainless steel and old french oak barrels. To add to the mouth feel and give some complexity this wine has been aged on the lees for 4-6 months. You will find the fruitiness of green apple, apricot and peach along with flavours of honey, beeswax and bread crust. The plate is rich and well balanced with a lengthy finish. This medium bodied wine will pair well with anything seafood, chicken or even a spicy Asian dish. With food or all by itself this wine won’t disappoint!

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Stephanie Duchon

As a huge fan of sparkling wine and an equally big fan of breakfast, prosecco is a staple. The Vino Dei Poeti makes for a great Sunday morning bubbly or addition to your morning OJ. Being a prosecco, it has a little more fruit on the palate than a traditional method champagne, and a much smaller impact on your wallet.

This prosecco is a brut style, so you won’t be overwhelmed by sweetness if you drink it on its own. It’s a refreshing drink with a hit of green apple and lime. Its that hint of lime that makes this go so well with that OJ for your mimosas.

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