Buyer’s Guide to Canada's Best Wines

As you likely know, the National Wine Awards of Canada are not happening this year due to COVID-19. However, we feel it is still important to conduct an annual survey of the Canadian wine landscape, and provide consumers with a guide to the country’s best wines in 2020.

The plan is to have four NWAC judges and WineAlign critics taste and review submissions over the month of October. Wines will be submitted in 16 categories, and we are asking wineries to only send their best, with a minimum price of $20 including taxes. In order to limit the number of entries wineries will be limited to two wines per category.

While we are still tasting we will start to release results category by category with the goal of getting all of the results published by mid-November. We’ll culminate with “best of” lists and the top scoring wineries in the country.

Why should you enter your wines?

  • Each wine submitted will be reviewed by multiple writers (up to four reviews)
  • Your wines will be added to the WineAlign database
  • You only need to ship one bottle of each wine (save on entries and shipping)
  • All wines will be available for one-click DTC (Direct to Consumer) case sales via WineAlign
  • Top scoring wines and wineries will be featured in multiple articles and newsletters associated with Buyer’s guide
  • We will create Exchange mixed cases of the top scoring wines that will be available in time for the holidays
  • 700,000 different wine-loving Canadians visited WineAlign in the last 12 months

What are the costs?

  • $50/wine + HST

What do we need to do to enter?

  1. Download this spreadsheet, rename it to the name of your winery and fill in the wines you want to submit. Please email it to [email protected].
  2. Please go here to pay for the entries (https://winealign.myshopify.com/products/buyers-guide-wine-review) .
  3. Your wines need to arrive at our logistics partner Timax, by September 30th. Note that you only need to send one bottle of each wine.

Please label your case(s) with the following:

Canada’s Best Wines
c/o Timax
2844 Bristol Circle
Oakville, Ontario, L6H 6G4


Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ):

Q: Where can I download the spreadsheet for entries?
A: Here is the link to the spreadsheet to download.

Q: What are the 16 categories?
A:
Cabernet Franc
Cabernet Sauvignon
Chardonnay
Gamay
Merlot
Other (Skin fermented whites, Sweet, Dessert, Fortified, etc.)
Pinot Gris/Grigio/ Pinot Blanc
Pinot Noir
Red Blends
Red Single Varietals – All Others (Including: Malbec, Grenache, Petit Verdot, Carmenere, Zinfandel and all other)
Riesling
Rosé – All Varieties
Sauvignon Blanc/Semillon
Sparkling – All Types
Syrah/Shiraz
Aromatic Whites (Including: Tidal Bay, Gewurztraminer, Viognier, white blends and all other single white varietals)

Q: What if my wine has already been reviewed by WineAlign, do I need to re-submit?  Will existing scores be taken into consideration?
A: All wines to be considered for inclusion in this Buyer’s Guide need to be submitted into the program. Wines will be scored and reviewed in flights with similar wines to ensure consistency and fairness. We also want to make all wines available to all writers. This is meant to be a completely fresh update of wines available for sale in Canada. We don’t know which wines are still available for sale unless they are submitted.

Q: What if my wine does not fit into one of the named categories?
A: If your wine does not fit into one of the named categories, you may enter it into the category called “Other”.

Q: What if a bottle is corked, should we not send two?
A: To keep logistics manageable we are asking for one bottle of each wine. If your wine is corked, we will contact you and ask for a second bottle for re-tasting.

Q: Based on the review received we think our bottle was corked or off.
A: If you suspect your bottle was off, please contact us and send a second bottle for re-tasting. We will re-taste and the subsequent score and review will stand.

Q: Can I enter an aged vintage sparkling wine?
A: Yes, aged vintage sparkling wines may be entered. Please choose NV in the dropdown list but be sure to include the vintage with the product name and we will make sure it is entered correctly.

Q: Why is this more expensive than your regular tasting service?
A: This is a major endeavor involving warehousing costs to receive and store the entries before shipping to our offices, increased costs to categorize, enter and organize all samples into tasting flights, increased costs for space to allow safe distancing for simultaneous tasting during COVID, costs of creating and publishing results with an estimated 20 articles and newsletters associated with the Buyers Guide.