Sometimes you’re not looking to invest in a bottle for a special occasion, but instead, an easy drinking wine for the everyday that you won’t feel guilty about opening. Here are 10 homegrown, food-friendly bottles from across Canada that you can open at any time to enjoy with friends for a casual get-together – all for $15 or less.
Mission Hill Family Estate Five Vineyards Pinot Blanc
Pouring a pinot blanc at your next dinner party may surprise and delight skeptics of this underappreciated wine, often overshadowed by pinot gris. British Columbia’s Mission Hill Winery’s unoaked take on the varietal makes a pleasing pairing with your next sushi craving.
Mission Hill Family Estate Five Vineyards Pinot Blanc, 750 mL, $14.99, from the winery.
Southbrook Vineyards Seriously Cool Chardonnay
Crack open a bottle of Southbrook Vineyard’s easy drinking Seriously Cool Chardonnay as a casual summer sipper or a creamy pasta partner. It’s crowd-pleasing, crisp and patio-ready.
Southbrook Vineyards 2016 Seriously Cool Chardonnay, 750 mL, $14.95, from the winery and LCBO.
Sprucewood Shores Estate Winery Riesling
A crisp and light riesling is a good choice to have on hand for hot summer evenings. This version, from Sprucewood Shores Estate Winery on Lake Erie’s North Shore, marries well with the poultry and fish recipes on the menu.
Sprucewood Shores Estate Winery Riesling, 750 mL, $13.95, from the winery and LCBO.
Konzelmann Late Harvest Gewürztraminer
Spicy flavours and gewürztraminer make a sweet pairing, so, if you’ve got some heat on the table from Thai, Indian or Malaysian curries, consider adding a wine such as the Niagara-on-the-Lake-based Konzelmann winery’s Late Harvest Gewürztraminer to your glass.
Konzelmann Late Harvest Gewürztraminer, 750 mL, $14.75, from the winery and LCBO.
Nk’Mip Cellars Dreamcatcher
Sometimes, one of the pleasures of opening a bottle with friends is sharing the history of the winery that makes it. This compellingly named blend of five white varietals (riesling, sauvignon blanc, pinot blanc, ehrenfelser and chardonnay) from Okanagan Valley’s Nk’Mip Cellars showcases the efforts of the first Aboriginal-owned winery in North America. Enjoy it with a fresh salad and create some stories of your own.
Nk’Mip Cellars Dreamcatcher, 750 mL, $14.79, from the winery and various wine merchants.
Henry of Pelham Rosé
On-trend rosé is having a moment, and this version from Niagara region’s Henry of Pelham Winery will have you viewing your summer through rosé-coloured glasses. Add a twist to the traditional and enjoy alongside a cheese plate – this wine is a dream with a creamy triple Brie, in particular.
Henry of Pelham Rosé, 750 mL, $13.95 to $14.95, from the winery and LCBO.
Sandbanks Winery Cabernet Franc
This approachable wine from Prince Edward County, Ontario’s Sandbanks Winery offers a late-summer, early-fall alternative to richer, winter-weather-ready cabernet sauvignon. Lovely with lamb, steak and other meaty favourites, as well as peppery pasta carbonara.
Sandbanks Winery Cabernet Franc, 750 mL, $14.95, from the winery and LCBO.
Jost Vineyards Ceilidh
Named after a lively celebration, Ceilidh, from Nova Scotia’s Jost Vineyards, blends marechal foch and baco noir grapes to help you add some fruity fun to a kitchen party of your own. Pass it around with a plate of appetizers for a casual cocktail party or a roast chicken dinner – anything goes.
Jost Vineyards Ceilidh, 750 mL, $14.99, from the winery and NSLC.
Château des Charmes Brut Sparkling Méthode Traditionelle
Start your evening off with a glass of sparkling wine for a festive touch. If you’re pairing other wines at dinner, a half bottle, such as this sparkling brut from Château des Charmes, works perfectly for two people, and pairs well with oysters, popcorn or truffle-salted potato chips.
Château des Charmes Brut Sparkling Wine Méthode Traditionnelle VQA, 375 mL, $14.95, from the winery, LCBO and SAQ.
13th Street Burger Blend Gamay Pinot Noir
Having red wine on hand for a BBQ burger dinner is one of summer’s greatest pleasures. A gamay and pinot noir grape blend keeps things affordable and approachable in this wine from 13th Street, designed to be paired with robust grilled foods.
13th Street Burger Blend Gamay Pinot Noir, 2016, 750 mL, $14.95, from the winery and LCBO.
Leslie Wu is a Toronto-based food and travel writer, editor and explorer. Follow her on Twitter at @leslie_wu.