The holidays are the busiest time of the year, but thankfully there's wine. Need a last-minute gift idea? Wine. Running out of days in your very grown-up advent calendar? Wine. Something to impress thirsty dinner guests? Wine. OK, you get the point.
Shopping at the LCBO can be a tad overwhelming, so we've got you covered with this ultimate list of the best LCBO wines to buy for the holidays, or anytime, really. The best part is, you don't have to be a sommelier or Jeff Bezos-Moneybags to enjoy the bottles on this list — most of them are under $20 with a few treat-yo-self splurges sprinkled in.
Once you're done with your vino shopping, dust off those hosting skills with some dinner party etiquette tips, or a lesson on how to build the perfect charcuterie board. Remember, the holidays are supposed to be fun, so no sweat, you got this. Cheers!
The best LCBO wines under $20
Smoking Loon Pinot Grigio, $15.85
This bright, zesty white from California is a great aperitif to kick things off but also pairs well with most dishes.
Barbera Ascheri Langhe DOC, $15.10
When you finally catch up with friends this holiday, you need a bottle that can keep you talking long into the night. This red from Piedmont, Italy, hits the spot.
Cono Sur Bicicleta Viognier, $11.95
This grape originated in southern France but Chile’s warm climate makes it a smart pick. Tropical fruit aromas and great acidity.
Fuzion Organic Malbec Cabernet, $12.95
If you love malbec, Mendoza, Argentina, is where you’ll find the best of this robust wine, and Fuzion’s organic option makes for a crowd pleaser this season.
Gnarly Head old vine Zinfandel, $18.40
California’s Lodi area has some of the oldest zinfandel vines (up to 80 years old). The result? A smooth, intense, delicious red.
Rosehall Run Pinot Noir VQA Defiant, $19.95
Prince Edward County is known for its excellent pinot noir, so show some local love for this medium-bodied red with dark fruit notes.
The best LCBO wines: sparkling wine
1. Collavini Prosecco, $16.75
The next time you make a beautiful cheese board, enhance it by serving it with this round, aromatic prosecco. On the nose, the notes are fresh and fruity, with a bouquet of apple, white flowers and baking bread crust. It’s round on the palate with a hint of tartness and a lengthy finish.
2. Chateau de Montgueret Cremant de Loire Brut, $19.95
Pale in colour and zippy on the palate, this citrusy cremant with honey aromas will give you a reason to celebrate this season.
3. Louis Bouillot Perle d’Aurore Brut Rosé Crémant de Bourgogne, $22.95
Louis Bouillot has been around since 1877 and was a pioneer in making sparkling burgundy wine. It doesn’t just look good — this extra-dry fizz is popping with juicy red berries.
4. Grande Cuvee 1531 De Aimery Cremant De Limoux, $19.40
Made from chardonnay and chenin grapes grown in France’s Languedoc-Roussillon region, this extra-dry bottle is balanced with notes of quince, grapefruit, herbs and nuts.
The best LCBO wines: red wine
1. Kilikanoon Killerman's Run Shiraz, $19.95
This red from Southern Australia’s Clare Valley has points for the coolest name. It's popping with black fruit aromas, but those apricot and floral notes elevate this wine above your average shiraz.
2. C'est La Vie! Pinot Noir Syrah, $12.95
Sometimes uncommon partnerships work really well together, like this unusual blend of pinot noir and syrah from France. It's a little funky on the nose at first but opens up to a wonderful medium-bodied fruity red that's anything but boring.
3. Frank Hellwig Shiraz Grenache, $15.70
Named after a legendary winemaker, this simple shiraz lets the grapes speak for themselves. Smoky coffee flavours mingle — but we’ll step aside so you can see for yourself.
4. Stags' Leap Winery Cabernet Sauvignon, $62.95
Bring out the crystal because this bold red calls for something special. Goes well with an anniversary-dinner steak or an I'm-sorry-I-forgot-our-anniversary roast beef.
The best LCBO wines: rosé
Maison No 9., $29.70
From hip-hop artist Post Malone, this Provençal rosé is made from grenache grapes. You’ll taste strawberry, watermelon and lemon zest.
Mimi en Provence Grande Réserve Rosé, $21.95
Provence-grown grenache, cinsault and syrah grapes combine for a red fruit-forward, spicy and herbaceous rosé. It pairs well with grilled fish and shrimp dishes.
Cono Sur Bicicleta Pinot Noir Rosé, $11.95
Expect floral notes with toasted oak and sour cherries in this rosé from Chile’s Bío Bío Valley. Bright and refreshing.
Veuve Clicquot Rose Champagne, $93.45
Veuve has been making its rosé for over 200 years, so those citrus, strawberry and biscuit notes are no accident. You’re worth it.
Bread & Butter Rosé, $18.95
A Californian rosé with notes of berry, melon and hibiscus. Balanced acidity and a zingy finish. Pair poolside with prosciutto and brie.
The best LCBO wines: icewine
Pondview Cabernet Franc Icewine, $44.95
Head over to the dark side with a red version of the dessert wine. This cabernet franc comes from Pondview, a family-owned winery in Niagara-on-the-Lake that’s been growing grapes since 1974.
Inniskillin Vidal Icewine, $49.95
The 1989 vintage of this Inniskillin tipple won the Grand Prix d’Honneur at Vinexpo, putting Canada on the world’s wine radar. Packed with notes of sweet ’n’ creamy peach and honey.
Reif Estate Vidal Icewine, $24.95
Celebrate icewine season with a visit to Niagara from the comfort of your living room. Reif Estate has a longstanding history of creating the drink, first making it in 1984. This internationally acclaimed bottle is rich in marmalade and peach flavours.
Peller Estates Private Reserve Vidal Icewine, $27.95
It might not be your go-to when you set out the cheeseboard, but this icewine pairs nicely with gorgonzola or stilton. Peller Estates’ grapes are picked on frozen winter days and worth saving for a special occasion.