How to Buy My Wines: Sourcing the Goods

18 Jan

I’ve received a lot of feedback that the wines I recommend are already out of stock when people arrive to claim their prize. This is unfortunately a sad truth. In other cases the local LCBO is wanting for selection, or readers are outside Ontario, or outside Canada.  So, I’m going to suggest a few ways to ensure that you get good wine to drink – which is the whole point, isn’t it?

In Ontario? 

For the LCBO crowd, if a wine strikes your fancy, click on the link which will direct you to check availability in your area. If you see that one of your local stores is holding, you should be able to reserve a few bottles simply by calling the number provided with the location. Now, some stores don’t like to reserve after the Tuesday before the Saturday release but many will. I try my best to get the reviews out Tuesday, latest.  Alternatively, check availability and get to the store Friday evening (as some stores stock in advance of Saturday) or early Saturday.

In Canada? 

If in Canada, but not in Ontario, click the following links  for availability:  QuebecNova ScotiaNew BrunswickPrince Edward IslandNewfoundlandManitobaSaskatchewanAlberta; and British Columbia, plus there are independent merchants in your area that you will know better than me.

Also in Canada, there are several direct online sales web sites.  Wineonline.ca offers a great selection and from time to time free delivery. You may not see the exact same wine as I recommend but there is good information on in-stock wines and many are great values. A drawback is that you have to order in full cases and delivery to some places is expensive). Winery to Home is a great route to Canadian wines and they have a pretty cool Wine of the Month program, which makes for a fabulous gift.  Another online merchant is Savvy Selections, I can’t vouch for them but the service looks good.  Others worth exploring: Lifford Wine AgencyHobbs and Company,  Select WinesFamily Wine Merchants. If you know of others that you may have used, let me know your recommendations.

In the U.S.? 

If you are living in the US and want to get imported wine, you can probably access these wines direct through the merchant who may export the wine. Check the wine’s website (I will have this link on many occasions) or try googling the wine. Your search will turn up the merchants that carry the wine, or options to order     directly from the winery.  For less available wines, you can access one of the many web sites that sell wine directly:  Lot18is a worth a try.  Live near a Total Wine store?  Go nuts on the selection and happy sipping!

Outside North America?

If you are living elsewhere, I can’t really provide a solid recommendation. Europe and Asia have different cycles and marketing regimes. However, if you are in the UK and keen, there’s the following resource – Decanter magazine and web site (www.decanter.com) list the outlets for the wines they recommend, with pricing. It’s a stiff subscription but probably worth it. You could compare my recommendations with their assessment of that wine.

Wrapping up, yes it’s true — this post holds no humour whatsoever. That’s because getting the right wine for the right price is a pretty serious business. Please let us know if you try any of these suggestions and you are successful or not.

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