Best Bars: Three trendy alternatives to merlot, pinot grigio and chardonnay

Best Bars: Three trendy alternatives to merlot, pinot grigio and chardonnay

Order the same bottle every time? Sheila ­Flaherty, the 25-year-old wine director at Mercatto who has won the Italian mini-chain three Wine Spectator awards, recommends trendy alternatives to the old standbys

Best Bars: The Wine Change-up
Casa Lapostolle ­Carmenére
INSTEAD OF MERLOT,
TRY CARMENÈRE

“Chilean carmenère has a beautiful dark colour and those great plummy vanilla flavours of merlot, but it’s fruitier and has softer tannins and acidity.”
BUY: Casa Lapostolle ­Carmenére.
$16. LCBO 168740

Rabl Reserve Vium Optimum Grüner Veltliner
INSTEAD OF PINOT GRIGIO,
TRY GRÜNER VELTLINER

“Grüner veltliner is one of my all-time favourites, and it often flies under the radar. The federspiel from Austria is light, fun and refreshing. It balances soft fruit with herbal dryness, and it has that crisp finish of pinot grigio, but it’s spicier.”
BUY: Rabl Reserve Vium Optimum Grüner Veltliner.
$20. Vintages LCBO 216473

Valminor Albariño
INSTEAD OF CHARDONNAY,
TRY ALBARIÑO

“If you love soft, citrusy, acid-driven chardonnays, albariño from Spain is a great alternative. The apple and pear notes remind me of a white burgundy.”
BUY: Valminor Albariño.
$16. LCBO 266924

By Denise Balkissoon, Ariel Brewster, Andrew D’Cruz, Matthew Hague, Malcolm Johnston, Emily Landau, Jason McBride, Alexandra Molotkow, Mark Pupo, Peter Saltsman, Courtney Shea and Eric Vellend