Buyers’ Guide to VINTAGES January 11th, 2020

By John Szabo MS, with picks from Sara, David, and Michael

Welcome to the roaring 20s! The new decade brings more potential changes to Ontario’s outdated alcohol laws. If passed, The Better for People, Smarter for Business Act, 2019 will eliminate up to 80 “unnecessary or outdated rules and streamline regulations that need updating,” according to a government news release from last October. Included in the act is a proposal to allow bars and restaurants at airports to serve alcohol 24 hours a day, an expansion from the current hours of 9:00 AM to 2:00 AM, welcome news for weary travellers. And more importantly for Ontarian wine lovers, the government is looking to drop exemption limits on the amount of wine and other beverage alcohol that individuals can bring into Ontario from other provinces for personal consumption. Yes, that means you can bring home as much wine as you like from BC, or Nova Scotia or Québec, which would be great news for the growing Canadian wine industry. What’s next? New private retail shops alongside the LCBO? Much remains to be seen, but my feeling is that 2020 will bring more needed, and long-sought changes to our alcohol distribution regime. We kick off the year with a buyer’s guide to be best values in the January 11th VINTAGES release; most should age into February and beyond, if you’re having a dry January.

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Niagara Icewine Festival 

Buyers’ Guide January 11th: Smart White Buys 

Pierre Sparr Sol Calcaire Riesling 2015, AC Alsace, France ($18.95)
John Szabo – A maturing, ready-to-drink, appealing dry riesling, textbook stuff. Drink 2020-2023. …


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That’s all for this report. See you around the next bottle.

John Szabo, MS

Use these quick links for access to all of our Top Picks in the New Release. Non-Premium members can select from all release dates 30 days prior.
John’s Top Picks
Lawrason’s Take
Michael’s Mix
Sara’s Sommeliers Selections

New Release and VINTAGES Preview