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The world’s finest wines tell a unique story.
Did you know that the wines of California’s Napa Valley — revered as some of the finest wines in the world — are actually quite rare? We enjoy a wide choice of wines from Napa and other marquee regions of the world, here in Ontario, but it can be hard to find the real gems on store shelves — the ones that stand above the rest for their true craft and passion — and a story that is all their own.
I recently discovered GALLEON a new online source for Ontario wine lovers, which launched this week. The site not only presents educational resources about some of the world’s finest wines, but it allows online ordering for direct delivery to your home. You won’t find these wines in any stores, though you may see them on the lists at fine restaurants. That’s because the website is powered by GALLEON. This agency is revered by Ontario sommeliers and wine enthusiasts for exceptional artisan-crafted wines, as well as award-winning and world-famous labels like Frescobaldi, Fontanafredda and Torres. You might be familiar with the names of some of these wine houses, but GALLEON carries rare and exclusive bottles from these wineries that you won’t find elsewhere.
You’ll find wines in every price point. It’s GALLEON’s intent to source the hidden beauties, lesser-know labels, or perhaps a winery that has just released its first vintage — these are the wines that provide maximum bang for your buck. While prices can range into the higher end for some world-renowned luxury wines, you can also find some incredible values from Spain’s Familia Torres, with their 2018 Sangre de Toro Rosé for $14.95 and the ever-popular Viña Esmeralda, a delicious white, at $16.95. From Italy’s Torresella winery, their Pinot Grigio from Venezia is just $14.95.
From the Napa Valley, you can order a pure and delicious Chardonnay from Montevina, with refreshing and complex citrus-pineapple flavours, for under $20. Fans of Napa’s bold and beautiful red wines will be excited by the 2014 Hands of Time Red Blend from the legendary Stag’s Leap Wine Cellars. This prestigious wine is predominantly Cabernet Sauvignon, with small amounts of Merlot and Malbec, and sells for $49.95. And you might also enjoy knowing that these wines — and all of the other wines featured on the website — can not be found in stores nor anywhere else in Ontario.
Under the “new arrivals” section of the website, you’ll see that GALLEON has just received an exclusive allotment of wine from Tuscany, where the Frescobaldi family has been making their renowned wines for generations. The remarkable 2016 Tenuta Perano is made with 100 percent Sangiovese and — you guessed it — it can only be ordered directly from GALLEON and is available in very limited quantities. The wine is less than $25 and was scored 93 points by wine writer James Suckling and 92 points by Wine Spectator.
Just in time for the hottest days of summer, the 2018 Belleruche Rosé, rated 96 points by Wine Spectator, is a Grenache-Syrah blend brimming with red berry fruit and exotic spice. Remarkably, this exemplary wine can be had for under $18. For a rosé lover like myself, also a dedicated fan of the wines from the Chapoutier family in France’s Côte-du-Rhône region, this wine is a treat. Up until now, I’d never had the pleasure of tasting this lovely wine.
The website is fun to navigate, which makes finding interesting wines entertaining as well as educational. There are curated sections — check out “summer wines” or “90+ points wines” or “prestigious wines” — to discover new bottles that fit your flavour profile.
In the 90+ points section, fans of sparkling wine will find a 100 percent Chardonnay from the historic Ferrari winery in Trentino, Italy. For under $30, this traditional method sparkling wine gives Champagne a run for its money.
Once you’ve placed an order, delivery is free in the GTA — there is a nominal delivery fee for customers living in other parts of Ontario. And to get you started, first-time customers will receive 10 percent off their first order using the code that appears at the top of the website. (For a limited time.)
Wines are constantly being added to the website, sometimes in very limited quantities, so you’ll want to subscribe to the newsletter to receive up-to-the-minute alerts. Subscribers also receive invitations to events, such as dinners with visiting winemakers, along with other special offers. Keep an eye out for special deals, too. For adventurous wine drinkers, these are great ways to explore new wines — and even share them with friends (if you want).