Pressing information for agents and wineries

Dear agents and wineries,

Although it appears the LCBO will remain open, fewer and fewer consumers are willing to go out to shop, and restaurants and tasting rooms are closed. This means that Direct To Consumer (DTC) has become an even more critical sales channel for everyone. 

WineAlign would like to help spread the word about DTC wine deliveries by providing as much information and guidance to Ontario consumers as possible, in the form of wine reviews and recommendations. We will be supplementing our usual bi-weekly LCBO Vintages Report (see below re: Vintages) with new buyer’s guides to Canadian wines and imported consignment wines.

To do so, we will continue to hold regular office tastings with modified protocols: bottles will be sterilized on arrival at our office; only one taster will be in the office at any time; bottles will be sterilized between tasters. Samples will be held open for a maximum of two days to allow as many WineAlign critics as possible to review. We are requesting two bottles of each wine to extend the tasting window and ensure that at least 3 or more critics will have the opportunity to review.

Canadian and Consignment Wines

If you wish to be have your wines reviewed and potentially included in these new buyer’s guides, please send samples to the WineAlign office (address below) with a filled out spreadsheet, indicating the number of cases available on the day delivered, retail price tax in, bottles per case or minimum order, contact phone and email to place an order, and any delivery fees associated. Please email the spreadsheet to [email protected] . Please download the spreadsheet here.

Please no tech sheets with rubber bands, and keep packaging minimal – no styrofoam please!

All wines sent will be reviewed and published, subject to our usual editorial policies. We will continue to publish bi-weekly on Thursdays, so wines received the Friday before will be eligible for the following week’s buyer’s guide. Our next report is scheduled for April 2nd.

Please don’t send wines that you expect will be depleted in less than a week. 

Wineries outside Ontario: please don’t send samples if you will not ship into the province. 

VINTAGES listings

LCBO media tastings have been cancelled for the foreseeable future. To obtain coverage of wines at Vintages, please purchase two samples from the LCBO on the day of the release (often wines are on shelves as early as the Thursday before the Saturday release) and send to the WineAlign office by Monday (or the Friday before), or, send from stock already in hand. Vintages repots will now be published the Thursday after the Saturday release.

WineAlign has suspended all wine submission admin fees for the time being – you need only supply the samples.

Please instruct drivers on touchless delivery: text and/or knock at the WA office and leave boxes in the hall.

WineAlign DTC Tastings
222 – 4195 Dundas St West
Etobicoke, ON M8X 1Y4

Thank you for your collaboration. Let’s get through this together!

WineAlign Team