Holiday Wine Guide: 22 of the LCBO’s best bottles under $20

Holiday Wine Guide: 22 of the LCBO’s best bottles under $20

Stock your cellar (or just your closet, whatever) without breaking the bank

2018 Humante

$9.60 | Spain
The wine inside this eye-catching bottle is one of the best values at the LCBO right now. This garnacha teems with dark cherry, spice, and candied raspberry notes, with a very smooth and restrained finish. LCBO 11705

2018 Lacour Tourny

$11.85 | France
This gateway to Bordeaux punches well above its weight, with intense cassis and blackberry notes, and a silky smooth texture that’s ready to pour without any further delay. LCBO 17447

2018 Fleur du Cap Chardonnay

$12.95 | South Africa
For fans of chardonnay with big vanilla and spice notes, this is the bargain bottle to look for. There’s ripe peach and tangerine, and quite a bit of acidity, giving the wine a food-friendliness that isn’t typical of entry-level chard. LCBO 358960

2019 Goats do Roam

$13.95 | South Africa
This South African homage to Côtes du Rhône front-loads syrah and grenache in an eight-varietal blend. It delivers great value when compared to its French counterpart. LCBO 718940

2018 13th Street Burger Blend

$14.95 | Ontario
Blends of pinot noir and gamay are becoming all the rage in Ontario winemaking. Don’t wait for summer grilling season to open up this one: it’s a great all-around sip with cherry, blackberry and cranberry, with just a hint of spice on the finish. LCBO 419945

2108 Château De Courteillac Bordeaux AOC

$14.50 | France
This merlot-cabernet blend from Bordeaux really brings the flavour with dark fruit and mocha all wrapped in a tannin structure that doesn’t overwhelm. The wine opens pretty quickly allowing for easy enjoyment. LCBO 360552


2019 Labet Côtes du Rhône

$13.95 | France
A good all-around bottle with a super-juicy core of red fruit and a hit of chocolate cherry on the finish. The tannins and acidity are balanced and there’s a nice length to the finish. LCBO 630657

2017 Rocca Delle Macie Chianti Reserva

15.95 | Italy
This well-rounded Chianti is easy drinking with notes of cherry, blackberry and black currant, and a subtle earthy note that brings a toastiness along with it. LCBO 111641

2019 Ruelas Reserva Red

$11.95 | Portugal
Portugal regularly delivers great value wines, and this is another simple yet tasty offering. Look for plum and floral notes, and plenty of plush fruit. LCBO 17519

2013 Monasterio de las Viñas Gran Reserva

$18.95 | Spain
For those without the patience to cellar a wine for seven years, this bottle is ready to drink now. It still packs a punch with its acidity and tannins. It also shows dried plum, subtle wood and plenty of mocha. There’s even a little vanilla that emerges if you have the patience to wait for it. LCBO 82024

2018 Casillero del Diablo

$11.95 | Chile
The aromas of rich cassis and hints of wood smoke are a good reminder of how reliable Chilean wines are at this price range. It might even be worth cellaring for a few years. LCBO 278416

2018 Slow Press Cabernet Sauvignon

$18.95 | California
A good open-anytime California cab that won’t change your life, but will deliver a juicy experience with vanilla, black cherry and good tannins. LCBO 15760

2018 Paradiso Darione Podere Belmantello Primitivo

$18.95 | Italy
The Italian take on zinfandel is a bit more elegant and restrained than its California counterparts. But it’s equally at home next to grilled red meats, making this an essential bottle for year-round barbecue enthusiasts. LCBO 10816

2020 Yealands Sauvignon Blanc

$16.95 | New Zealand
Sauvignon blancs under $20 are usually very heavy on bell pepper and grassy notes. But this value-priced bottle from Yealands delivers an abundance of super-ripe yellow grapefruit and peach flavours. LCBO 277731

2019 Ruffino Lumina Pinot Grigio IGT

$11.95 | Italy ($13.95 after Jan 3)
This uncharacteristically nuanced pinot grigio teems with nectarine, pear and grapefruit flavours, but with finish that is clean and crisp. LCBO 589101

2019 Calmel & Joseph Villa Blanche Chardonnay

$15.25 | France 
This surprising chardonnay hits all the right notes: creamy mid-palate, lots of butter and apple, a touch of vanilla and even some floral and subtle spice. LCBO 375071

2019 Bonterra Chardonnay

$19.95 | California
This organic California chardonnay offers remarkable restraint compared to what is expected at this price point. Expect apple, peach and pineapple flavours, whispers of vanilla and spice and crisp acidity on the finish. LCBO 342436

2018 Zonte’s Footstep’s Chocolate Factory Shiraz

$19.95 | Australia
As the name suggests, this wine is deeply concentrated with dark cocoa on the palate, along with deep cherry and blackberry notes. Drinks like a much more expensive bottle. LCBO 396481

2018 Chombart & Speck Cave Mystère Merlot 2018

$18.95 | France
This Bordeaux brims with juicy and plump fruit—cassis, blackberry—balanced with cedar, oak and anise. Opens quickly, and reaches its lush peak within 20 minutes. Consume now or hold until 2027. Vintages 17232

2020 The Pavillion Chenin Blanc

$11.95 | South Africa
Aromas of beeswax and white flowers play on the palate with notes of ripe peach. There is a bit of texture on the mid-palate, but it doesn’t linger thanks to bright crisp acidity. This wine is bone dry, with not a hint of sweetness. A wonderful bottle to pair with sushi or Thai food. LCBO 281311

2017 Villa Wolf Pinot Noir

$15 | Germany
Light and elegant with aromas and flavours of cherry and violet, this may be the best value pinot noir in the LCBO right now. LCBO 291971

Tokaji Szamorodni Sweet

$16.20 | Hungary
With aromas and flavours of honey, canned peaches, pear and apricot, this dessert wine is also a suitable pairing with hard cheeses or Asian cuisine. LCBO 460493