Margaret Swaine’s Wine Picks: Easy to drink bottles

These easy-to-drink wines are ultra friendly and affordable.  Find them via

Grooner Grüner Veltliner 2009
LCBO No. 168625; $13.35 (87 Points)
Despite its kitschy label, what’s in the bottle is pleasing, cheerful and easy to enjoy. From the Lower Austria wine region (Niederösterreich), this white is fresh, fruity and medium-light bodied with crisp apple and hints of white peppercorn typical of the varietal. It’s versatile: have as an aperitif, with salads, vegetarian dishes, light meats or fish.

Fairview Goats do Roam Red 2011
LCBO No. 718940; $12.95 (87 Points)
Winery owner Charles Back claims the Goats do Roam blend (syrah, cinsault, mourvèdre, carignan and grenache) represents their goats’ favourite vineyard picks when his son let them out one day. It’s a smooth, slightly spiced Rhone-style red with a medium body, berry fruit and some oak notes (gained from inner staves). Value priced with spot-on commercial appeal.

Apothic Red 2009
LCBO No. 234369; $15.95 (86 Points)
Apothic Red, which launched nationally across Canada in 2011, has reinvigorated the California “red blend” category. A bold blend of syrah, zinfandel and merlot, it fills the mouth with tastes of sweet raisiny fruits, dark chocolate, brown sugar and mocha. Rich, plush and off-dry with soft tannins, it can accompany hearty braised dishes, Asian spiced meats or even chocolate desserts.