Forget the boozy cult movies of the 1970s. A classier-than-oak handcrafted wine is thriving today in Quebec. And that is the Quai Vert wine region, which includes many areas with some of the most interesting vineyards in the province. The fall and spring wine tastings at the SAQ (Regional Production Stores) are always an opportunity to find great wines you can’t get any other way, such as this aromatic, delicate 2010 Chardonnay from Beaujon, southwestern Quebec. It will set you back $8.20 a bottle.
SAQ Cellars Series
If you’re looking for a rosé, we highly recommend this rosé from Cuffel Cellars, which is currently offered at $7.75. They make a lot of unique rosés and this is one of their standouts. If you want to make a trip to the Terre St-Louis on the Île Sainte-Justine, then try a 2004 Château le Paradox, a special French blend of a very rare red grape called Shiraz. It’s currently offered at $28.35 a bottle at the SAQ.
Accessories that go well with your wine
Wine stained glasses or glasses that look stained when you sip? Be prepared to pay extra at the SAQ. Pieces of glass that match red wine are $8.50 at most Quebec wine shops. On the other hand, you can get more unique, natural materials for $25.99, like paper glasses or an old battered tissue container. Wearing socks is the best way to avoid many of these stains, especially if you’re standing in the vineyard watching the vines.
You’ll pay a premium for wine with bold, bright colours, but you can also find those wines very reasonably at the SAQ. Both amber wine and pink wine are available in Quebec at $9.49 a bottle, though of course pink is the more popular colour. Sauvignon Blanc, Pinot Gris and Cabernet Sauvignon are all reasonable choices for $12.69 a bottle, and you can find a lot of exciting reds at $14.49 a bottle. Keep an eye out for a lot of your favourite wines available at these price points.
Books on wine making
Looking for a new cookbook or book on winemaking? We suggest a few that have been highly recommended by wine lovers. The first volume of Jenny Lahey’s memoir “L’Etage au Temps” is currently priced at $19.98 at the SAQ, which is a great value. Canadian-born Lahey is a world-renowned master winemaker from the biodynamic winemaking movement.
A wider choice of grape varieties and more wine regions are also available at this price. And while Cutchogue, in eastern Ontario, is a great place to discover wines for under $10 a bottle, if you want to experience great wines that are a little more sophisticated, you can get a good deal at the SAQ. From Kay Pellan, you can get a delicious 2006 Muscat Noir for $6.99.