20060201

Top Ten European Wines for the money

I promised myself I would not do this but now I'm too excited to stop myself. I'm going to encourage sales for the swindling crooks at the SAQ, who are hopefully on their way out.

Background: For so many years, Quebeckers have watched prices go up and up at their wine stores, which are operated by a liquor agency that has a province-wide monopoly. Until today, I can only recall one bottle ever going down in price as our Canadian dollar gradually grew stronger on world markets. Finally, with close to a 10% reduction on numerous mid-priced European bottles that are available across the chain, consumers have a chance starting today to shop with satisfaction (as long your satisfaction isn't dulled by the fact that currency rates have in fact fluctuated by 15% -- they give us an inch because they know we can't take a mile).

In the end, I don't see the following list as an encouraging slap on the back to the SAQ and their half-assed pricing. It's merely an attempt to tell local consumers where the best deals now lie when they are about to make a purchase.

(I have tasted all of the vintages below -- more recent vintages in stock are likely just as good.)

Top 5 red wine values:


  1. Magellan Ponant Vin de pays des Côtes de Thongue 2003 $14

  2. Alves de Sousa Quinta das Caldas Douro 2003 $14.60

  3. Antonin Rodet Pinot Noir Bourgogne 2003 $17.95

  4. Château Sainte-Eulalie Cuvée Tradition Minervois 2003 $15.35

  5. Clavel Les Garrigues Coteaux-du-Languedoc 2003 $17.55


Top 5 white wine values:

  1. Vieilles Vignes du Domaine Langlois-Château Saumur 2002 $21.90

  2. Idylle Cruet Cuvée Vieille Vigne Vin-de-Savoie 2002 $16.50

  3. Domaine du Salvard Cheverny 2004 $15.20

  4. Château Tour des Gendres Cuvée des Conti Bergerac (sec) 2003 $15.50

  5. Sparr Pinot Blanc Alsace 2003 $13.75



Delightful and back under $13 (where they belong!):

  • Umani Ronchi Medoro Marche 2003 $11.05

  • Ijalba Genoli Viura Rioja 2003 $12.50

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