By Anthony Gismondi
Earlier this week Wine Access released its
first ever International Value Wine Awards results, a competition they
positioned as “the search for the best wine in Canada under $25.”
I should make it clear I’m an editor at Wine
Access but like the other 15 judges invited from across Canada to judge the
wines I too sat in a Calgary hotel room for the better part of a week to blind
taste over 760 wines in search of that elusive best wine under $25.
With so many awards worldwide Wine Access
chose to do something different and look at the lower end of the market where
almost 95 per cent of all purchases are made.
The wines were mostly tasted on the basis of
grape, that is to say all the chardonnay, all the sauvignon, all the cabernet
regardless of origin competed against each other. In some cases, particular
blends or styles that could be considered regional were left to be tasted
By the time we finished we tasted almost 1,000
wines, both domestic and imported from 17 countries, with the retail price of
each being $25 per bottle or less somewhere in Canada. This includes government
stores, private stores, and the consignment programs in Ontario and British
The results are illuminating and in the
inaugural year certainly exciting for two B.C. wineries that topped their
categories. Jackson Triggs took home the best cabernet sauvignon in the
competition, and Lang Vineyards snagged the riesling title.
The IVWA will be the cover story of the
November issue of Wine Access, due to hit newsstands the third week of October,
just in time for the busy Holiday buying period. The issue will feature photos
of the top wines, detailed information about the categories and tasting notes
on all winning wines and the unveiling of the Best Red, White and Sparkling
Wine Under $25 as judged in a final taste-off at the end of the competition.
They will also publish an extensive list of the best red and white wines in Canada
In the meantime I wanted to share with you
some of the early results so you can get out shopping. And the winners are…