500 Best-Value Wines in the LCBO, 2017


Vancouver: Whitecap Books, 2016. CA$19.95.                                           Available on-line at amazon.ca and chapters.ca, as well as in book stores.


I’ve been writing this guide annually since 2008. The LCBO (Liquor Control Board of Ontario) is Ontario’s province-owned liquor retailing system, and its stores carry about 1600 wines that are continuously available. (Thousands more wines come and go in smaller volumes during the year, but I don’t review those wines in this guide because very few of them would still be available when the book appeared.)

In April each year, importing and distribution agencies and wineries send me their wines that are carried by the LCBO: reds, whites, rosés, sparkling, and fortified. I taste them all and select the 500 that I think offer the best value. Wines have to be at least good quality to be included (there’s no value without quality) and I rank their price-quality ratio on a five-star scale.  There are no minimum or maximum price-points for the wines I include: great-value wine can be found at $10 and at $75.

This book appears in October each year (dated for the following year) and it generally sells out before the end of December.