Avoiding the overpriced alcohol in Canada (excluding Quebec) and site update

Being born and raised in California, where I my parents would often stock up on cases and cases of $2 bottles of decent table wine from our local Trader Joes, coming to Canada and walking into the alcohol stores was a bit depressing.  Montreal wasn’t too bad, having at least a top quality microbrewery scene (cheap beer included), but coming to Ontario was downright outrageous.

In a province where there are only two alcohol shops, the government run LCBO and the Beer Store, my family and I were out of luck on Family Day, where all the alcohol stores (among most other shopping malls etc) were closed, we were in dire need of some booze.

and then the wonderful discovery of a handful of wineries in the suburbs of Toronto.  as they were the only places open at all, we had no room to be picky.

lo and behold, aisles and aisles stocked full with every kind of wine, wine mixture, iced wine, and even beer.  Magnotta winery store offered compimentary tastings (but a limit of four glasses) of most of their selection.

the best thing was PRICES

after deciding which bottles we wanted from the tastings, prices ranged from $5-$10 for a large variety of vintages and the quality to price point was very good.

we couldn’t ask for more, and left the store with a case full of their True North Strong Ale (the most deeply flavoured dark beer), their 2009 Gewürztraminer Medium Dry Special Reserve, a surprisingly complex fruity white, and one of their international blends, the 2009 Cabernet Sauvignon Chile.

Even when the alcohol stores are open, if you can afford the short drive over, explore the surrounds of Toronto and get your alcohol directly from the source.  There were at least two other wineries in the area, but we didn’t get a chance to visit.

cheaper, more variety, free tastings and good quality


just a quick little update:

after the transfer to a new wp template, smaller posts such as restaurant revisits, mini reviews, comments, opinions, or just photos will be listed in the left hand column under the heading “Crumbs”  the main body will be reserved for longer, more in depth posts such as restaurant reviews and recipes.

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