Top Values at the LCBO (May 2020)

May Top Values + Getting Wines on your Doorstep

by Steve Thurlow

I continue my home isolation and am grateful to those agents who have brought wine samples to my house for me to taste. As a consequence, I have been able to be quite productive in finding new wines for the Top50 list since I last wrote to you.

There are several ways that you too can get wine delivered to your door. Winery tasting rooms are closed but they are still shipping and most are shipping for free. Restaurants are now allowed to include wine with their takeout meal service. So, if you are ordering food for takeout, you can now add wine to your order.

LCBO Shop Online is open and Canada Post is delivering on their behalf, but you now have to collect from the nearest Post Office, since they will no longer bring wine to your door.

However many WineAlign Exchange members have recently been receiving mixed cases of both restaurant-only wines (without restaurant markups) and Canadian wines on their doorsteps.


Exchange Summer BBQ Case

As you maybe know, wine importing agencies sell wine to restaurants by the case using the LCBO’s “Consignment program”. Such wines are not in LCBO stores nor can you buy them at LCBO Shop Online.

With dine-in meals at restaurants eliminated for the time being, some of these wines are now available by the bottle. At WineAlign we are helping out our agency colleagues by offering mixed cases from their consignment portfolios using the technology and logistics developed for the WineAlign Exchange program. Discover great wines (like this Summer BBQ Case), support local businesses, never leave the house!

However if you are still willing to venture out to visit an LCBO store, I have selected twelve wines below that are on my current Top50 Best Value List and most are on offer for the next month.

I have chosen four whites plus eight reds, so below there are 12 to read about. Of those, 10 joined the list and one delist was also on last month’s list.

However I do encourage you to consult my entire Top50 Best Values List given all the discounts (LTOs) and BAMs for the next 4 weeks.

Among the wines in today’s report about the Top50 :

  • Ten wines that joined the Top50 this month
  • Nine for less than $12
  • Some big discounts; one is $3.00 off
  • All wines below scored 87 or more

The current promotional period runs until May 24th so don’t hesitate. Thanks to WineAlign’s inventory tracking, I can assure you that there were stocks available, when we published, of every wine that I highlight.

Realize that today we are one day closer to the end.

Stay safe and healthy… 

Top Value Reds

Vicente Faria 2018 Animus, Douro, Portugal $11.95 will be $8.95 (from May 14 -20 only) – New to Top50 – This is a pleasant very drinkable Douro Valley red with a fragrant nose of cherry and plum fruit with some spicy hints. It is well balanced and midweight with mild tannin and lively acidity which turns a little tart on the finish. Decent length. Try with BBQ meats or tomato pasta sauces.…

Paid ContentThere are eleven other top value picks available to premium members. The article becomes visible to non-premium members 30 days after publication. We have implemented changes around our LCBO and VINTAGES content. We would ask you to take a moment to understand why we have made these changes and invite you to subscribe today to unlock our top value picks.

Premium Chart

“For the cost of a good bottle of wine we’ll help you discover hundreds of great ones.”

How does a wine get selected for the Top Value Report:

Today’s report pulls best buys from Steve’s Top 50 which is a standing WineAlign list based on quality/price ratio of the 1,600 or so wines in LCBO Wines and the VINTAGES Essentials Collection. 

There are three ways that a wine gets into this monthly report of wines that are always in the stores either on the LCBO “General List” or the VINTAGES Essential Collection. (You can access these lists under the Wine tab on WineAlign.)

• On Sale (LTO’s or Limited Time Offers): Every four weeks the LCBO discounts around 200 wines I have looked through the current batch and have highlighted some of my favourites that offer better value at present…. so stock up now.

Bonus Air Miles (BAM’s): If you collect Air Miles then you will be getting Bonus Air Miles on another 150 or so wines…a few of these have a special appeal for a while.

• Steve’s Top 50: Wines that have moved onto my Top 50 Best Values this month. This is on an-on going WineAlign selection that mathematically calculates value by comparing the price and rating of all the wines on the LCBO General List. The Top 50 changes all the time, so remember to check before shopping.

I will be back next month with more news on value arrivals to Essentials and the LCBO.



Top 50 Value Wines
Wines on Limited Time Offer
Wines with Bonus Air Miles

Editor’s Note: You can find our complete critic reviews by clicking on any of the wine images or links highlighted. Paid subscribers to WineAlign see all critic reviews immediately. Non-paid users wait 30 days to see new reviews. Membership has its privileges; like first access to great value wines!