VQA Shelves in the LCBO

15 post(s)

The Analyst 7 posts

Michael Pinkus (a.k.a. Ontario Grape Guy) constantly complains about this and I completely agree; why does the LCBO put non-VQA wines on the VQA shelf and vice-versa? Shouldn’t that be considered some kind of false advertising or something? In fact, I think that any wine from any country made with imported grapes should be grouped into an “International” section. That way consumers can be assured that any wine they choose off a specific country’s shelf will be made with grapes from that country, and wines on the “International” shelf are bottled in the country on the label, but made with grapes that were imported. Full disclosure. Isn’t that the point of having a control board anyway – so that deceptive marketing techniques are not used against consumers?

lynnard 1 post

yes about a year ago the LCBO changed their signage. It now states CIC or Cellared in Canada to let the consumer know these wines contain both domestic and imported grapes. The VQA shelf are always 100% Ontario grapes. You can always look for the symbol on the bottle too.

Mike G 10 posts

It will be nice when LCBO finally comes to its senses and reduces the tax burden on Ontario wines (and Ontario wine purchasing policies) so that we see better Ontario produce value at point of sale with more profit going to the winemaker and less of it to taxation.

I love Ontario wines, but after speaking to many growers and perusing the aisles at my local LCBO enough, I really feel that there is no benefit to the small, craft wineries to have their product represented at the LCBO. Further, there is no incentive for me as a consumer to buy Ontario wines over any other domestic/international bottling.


jonny kirwin 2 posts

Very true Mike, there are no incentives other then pride of course in drinking domestic product. When the government takes such a large percentage that would otherwise go directly to the winemaker (or affect affordability to consumer) and the people that invest so much time, effort and passion into each bottle.

Working in the industry nothing makes me happier then when i change someones opinion and open there mind to Canadian wines.

mericol 5 posts

We moved to Ontario from quebec two years ago. One of the benefits for me has been discovering Ontario wineries.

The LCBO really needs to seperate the CIC wines from the VQA wines, some do but some don’t. In think that overall Ontario produces many quality products and I feel that after two years that I still have a lot to discover.

Janet Grondin 7 posts

Let’s be realisitic people, the governement will never give up their cash cow. Cut the taxes on wine??? give up their money making monopoly????what colour is the sky in your world.?


0 posts

The LCBO has come a long way, kicking and screaming, separating CIC, or Canadian International Blends as they’re called now, from VQA. They are still too close to the VQA shelves but how big a store can it be to be far enough so that I won’t complain is ‘not big enough’. The next step is for the CIC commercial companies to make their profit from a legitimate wine business. Perhaps as the artisan wineries strengthen their marketing efforts and when the older CIC Executive retire or die off, the combination may bring more Ontario wines to the shelves. And I can only dream about the day BC artisan wines are displayed on LCBO shelves. Most of the wines offered in the goLOCAL glossies are Pop wines, wines made from recipes… let’s see more if not all artisan wines advertised… and more events like the Brick Factory showing by real wineries. Wineries like Nyarai, 2027 (virtuals), Lailey, Rosewood, etc. etc.

Wine 4 Me 55 posts

I don;t think that you will ever see BC artisan wines on the shelves. They can sell the wines themselves, why would they cut the LCBO a big portion of their profits?


0 posts

I wish I knew how to taste BC wines without having to tour the Okanagan. Reading columns of wine reviews of European, Californian, etc. etc knowing they will never be available in Ontario is already frustrating my hobby. Not to have access to Canadian wines adds more…. but you say it’s because there’s not enough to ‘export’ out of BC. I didn’t know the BC artisan wineries were that small.

The LCBO addons would be on top of whatever the BC winery gets locally. Perhaps the BC Gov wants their share regardless where it’s purchased…. or perhaps complying with LCBO testing, schedules and paperwork? You’re right… I’ll never see them here.

David Lawrason 3 posts

Reply to Janet Grodin – It was forecast by the Ont Gov’ts own study about three years ago, and by the experience in other Cdn provinces and US states that government makes more money when they privatize their alcohol retailing system. So privatization is not a financial issue, it is a social (people believe govt retailing is safr), and political (Queens Park will not stand up to the public service unions).

Wine 4 Me 55 posts

Yes, privatization would result in a more efficient wine retail system in Ontario with vastly better selection.

Even the LCBO admitted as much to me in an email several years ago when I questioned why red Bordeaux was so much more expensive at Vintages than it was at US retailers. They replied that the LCBO has far higher overhead than US retailers and cannot afford to sell these wines at US prices.


0 posts

… and there’s no pressure to reduce that overhead. Gawd, what an archaic system. Perhaps like this mornings G&M article: Niagara Parks Commission expense account of $395,751 from 2006 to 2009 with continuing decline in tourism. Are there expenses that go unaudited? (I’ve often wonder where the ‘Lost Bottles’ go.) The Auditor hasn’t mentioned any. Perhaps this monopoly is outside her purvue. Cheers, Ww

Michael Valaitis 2 posts

I’m not disagreeing that LiCkBO’s excuse was “overhead”, but overhead – schmoverhead. They are either #1 or #2 largest (depends on who you ask) beverage alcohol purchaser in the world. They have way more buying power than any private retailer in the U.S. Hell yeah they can afford to sell wine at those prices, but why would they. MONOPOLY pure and simple.

winewarrior 1 post

Quite frankly, would love to see more “Canadian” wine at the LCBO and less imports! I don’t care if it is blended (similar to other countries) as long as it employs Canadians which is more than i can say for imports like Fuzion and Yellow Tail

Wine 4 Me 55 posts

Personally, I don’t care if “blended” wines create a few dozen extra jobs in Niagara. These wines are generally mediocre and I won’t support mediocrity even in the name “Canada”. I don’t buy Fuzion or Yellow tail for the same reason.

I buy Canadian wines when the quality is justifies it.