Smoky Bay 

found at IGA and Metro stores
Price: $11.89 (1L)
Made in: Australia
By: Smoky Bay

This Australian red wine has a sweet nose from the cherries, plums, with hints of leather, and some alcohol dryness. The taste is sweet as well with all the dark fruits, but watered-down. Decent light dryness in the mouthfeel. Slightly tarty in the finish. For a real cheap wine, that seems to be a blend, it is not too bad. Not a great one though.

Rating: 2.9/5

Yellow Tail Red Muscato Bubbles

LCBO#: 429951
Price: $13.95
Made in: South Australia, Australia
By: Casella Wines

This red Sparkling Muscato looks like beet juice with a big pink fluffy head that lasts longer than most. Sweet aromas of berries with hints of sourness to balance things a little. The sweetness is a little stronger in the taste, but at least not really syrupy. Strawberries, raspberries and other berries. The mild dryness in the finish helps out as well. Not too bad for the style, for nothing too fancy.

Rating: 3.4/5

Trapiche Pure Malbec 

LCBO#: 370924
Price: $15.95
Made in: Argentina
By: Penaflor/Trapiche
Year: 2016

A 100% Malbec Argentinian wine that seems pretty light at first, but shows balls after breathing. Sour cherry aromas with the grapes and hints of leather. The mouthfeel is pretty thin, but a nice soft dryness in the finish helps. Light vanilla, caramel does come out in the nose, which makes the smell quite beautiful with time. The weak spot is the taste, not in a bad way, but just mild. Great with food.

Rating: 3.4/5

Domaine du Vieux Lazaret Châteauneuf-du-Pape

LCBO#: 957266
Price: $67.75
Made in: Rhône, France
By: Vignobles Jerome Quiot
Year: 2007

This French wine came in a nice wooden box with some safety packaging hay inside. Pours a purple red colour and the aromas are a beautiful bouquet of fruits (plums, cherries, and other berries). Also notes of leather, caramel and tobacco. The taste has some nice sharp bite of bitterness with all of the fruits and the smokey leaf. Decent tannins and dryness in the finish. Some yeasty tart lingers leaving a mild nutty flavour. Quite a nice red wine that has loads of fruity notes and tobacco.

Rating: 4.3/5

Uprising

imageLCBO#: 428581
Price: $9.25
Made in: South Australia, Australia
By: Nugan Estate Pty.

Beautiful dark skull artsy label that caught our eye but then… nothing. Weak Cabernet Sauvignon overall. Alright, so after breathing an hour, I get some mild Cab aromas with leather, tobacco and the red grapes. The taste does not have much of this though. Earthy, but watery. Not well-balanced red grapes with some tart eventually. Maybe some tannins. Some sweetness, some bitterness (dryness). OK, so it gets a little better with time, and the price represents well the quality. Much better for a buck more.

Rating: 2.3/5

La Cuvée Mythique 2013

imageLCBO#: 426031
Price: $15.95
Made in: Pays d’Oc, France
By: Les Vignerons De La Mediterranee

Bought this one for our annual Halloween party with friends, as the little cape was nice around the bottle, and the orange and black label. Decided to have this one with our leftover cheese and pate from that party, as says good with spicy foods, pork and hard cheeses. We are covered here. Smells pretty, but overly sweet with the red grapes and some sugars. The taste is where we hit a wall. Tasted weak, watery with some metallic notes in the finish. Decided to have without the food after a while, and the flavours became a little better. Still hardly any tannins, but some bite with somewhat dryness. Still, not one we would buy again.

Rating: 2.3/5

Peninsula Ridge Cabernet Merlot VQA

imageLCBO#: 261305
Price: $14.95
Made in: Ontario, Canada
By: Peninsula Ridge Estates Winery
Year: 2013

This red wine blend is composed of Cabernet and Merlot, and it shows in the red colour… being not as dark like Cabernet Sauvignon. The Cabernet notes are present with tobacco and leather, but much milder. Lots of berries all around. Raspberries, cherries, blackberries, etc. Medium-light tannins and dryness. Goes down well and is nice with food. A pretty good blended red wine with a classy look.

Rating: 3.6/5