100% Tempranillo wine from Spain’s Rioja region. Deep ruby in colour, it shows a cedary, cherry nose with sandalwood and floral notes; medium-bodied and dry, expect elegant, savoury, strawberry and blackcurrant flavours with lively acidity and a lovely mouth-feel. Food match: red meat dishes; Manchego. $14.95 • LCBO #527291
Argentina may have stolen some of Chile’s thunder these days, but I was mightily impressed by this Cabernet Sauvignon from Chile’s Maipo Valley. Dense purple in colour; it has a cedary bouquet of blackcurrants with vanilla oak notes; medium to full-bodied, it’s dry with cassis and black plum flavours and an engaging sweetness of fruit in mid-palate, finishing firmly with zesty acidity.
Food match: lamb dishes; beef stroganoff. $17.95 • Vintages #18721
Valpolicella and Amarone are usually blends of three grapes varieties with Corvina being the dominant player. But more and more winemakers in the Veneto region are producing wines made from 100% Corvina. I’m here to tell you that this is one of the best bargains on the general list at the moment. Deep ruby in colour, it offers a floral nose of cherry and blackcurrant, flavours that are replicated on the medium-weight palate. Fruity and fresh, it’s remarkably elegant for its $9.85 price tag. Food match: meat pasta dishes; pizza with salami. $9.85 • LCBO #519199
A very reliable Riesling in vintage after vintage. Pale straw in colour; spicy, minerally nose of honeyed grapefruit; light-bodied, off-dry, honey, grapefruit and lemon flavours that finish crisply with good length. Food match: lightly curried dishes; Asian food. $18.95 • Vintages #89029
See more of Tony’s picks at www.tonyaspler.com