CTV Morning Live

November 25, 2015 – Ottawa, ON

Today on CTV Morning Live, CTV’s Melissa Lamb and Sommelier Matt Steeves discussed holiday wine gift options for anyone looking for an extra special wine to gift to that wine lover in your life.

CTV Video Link – Holiday Wine Gift Top Picks

Holiday gift shopping can be a challenging task, especially when looking for that person that already has everything under the sun!  What could you possibly get them that they don’t already have or that doesn’t involve socks, sweaters, or kitchen utensils?  My solution, consumable treasures, and wine is at the top of my list.  Fine wines, when gifted to those that appreciate them, do more than simply provide that person with a great tasting wine,  they come with the potential to create an everlasting  memory.


Whether gifting to a family member, close friend, business associate, boss or mentor, selecting that extra special bottle of wine makes a big statement.  In addition to showing how thoughtful your wine gift was, that bottle when shared with the right people in the right setting has all the potential to make for a truly priceless and memorable experience.

The wines showcased below are guaranteed to be a hit with any wine lover  (or aspiring wine aficionado) and if you’re lucky you may get in on the action when the cork gets pulled.  As an extra special touch, consider writing a few kinds words on the bottle, or in a card, and include a food pairing or cellaring timeframe recommendation to help guide the recipient on how they may choose to enjoy the wine.  Printing a cute wine tag and writing a message on it is another way of customizing, easily but with impact, that special wine gift.  Check out Pinterest for some great ideas.

Click to access wine.gift_.tag_.printable.pdf

Traditional method sparkling wines are an excellent wine to gift this time of year as there are always reasons to be celebrating over the holiday season.  Robust reds, Port, and Icewine are also great wines this time of year as they complement the meals we’re enjoying now that the cool weather has arrived.

Whatever fine wine you choose, rest assured it will be appreciated when that wine lover opens that gift and sees the thoughtful and special wine that you got them!

Here are some great wines to consider gifting and enjoying this holiday season:

Blue Mountain’s Gold Label Brut – a gorgeous traditional method sparkling wine from the beautiful Okanagan Valley in BC. $28.95 via Vintages.

Blue Mountain’s Gold Label Brut – a gorgeous traditional method sparkling wine from the beautiful Okanagan Valley in BC. $28.95 via Vintages. An ideal celebration wine, it would also make a very thoughtful gift for any bubbly lover.

Blue Mountain is renowned for producing some of the finest traditional method sparkling wines in Canada. The NV Gold Label Brut is a blend of 56% Pinot Noir, 39% Chardonnay, and 5% Pinot Gris, all from their picturesque estate vineyards in Okanagan Falls, British Columbia. The nose shows fresh orchard fruit, brioche, and flinty minerality. Fine micro bubbles refresh the palate with tart apple, pear, and mineral persisting on the long finish. A wonderful sparkling wine to enjoy with rich dishes such as seared scallops with mushroom risotto, cocktail party hors d’oeuvres, or Blue Mountain’s Truffle Popcorn Recipe. Terrific value. Highly recommended. Tasted November 2015. 92 points. Matt Steeves – http://www.quercusvino.ca

Buy Award Winning Blue Mountain Winery Gold Label Brut at Vintages this fall

Painted Rock Estate Winery’s Red Icon 2013 – One of Canada’s leading premium wineries, Painted Rock has garnered international acclaim with their high end wines. The Red Icon is available winery direct http://www.paintedrock.ca in 750ml and 1.5l formats.

Painted Rock Red Icon – One of Canada’s most iconic wines -$55 winery direct.  Red Icon is the award winning premium Bordeaux blend from Painted Rock Winery, one of Canada’s leading wineries, located in the heart of the Okanagan Valley. A Right Bank blend of 33% Merlot, 29% Cabernet Franc, 21% Petit Verdot, 12% Malbec, and 5% Cabernet Sauvignon, all from their estate vineyards, this is a serious wine, built for the long run, which will continue to evolve for many years in the cellar. The nose of this youthful wine shows sweet and mouthwatering layered dark fruit, cassis, roasted beets, and charcoal. Dry and tightly wound, with an abundance of extra fine tannins, this would be enjoyed best with charcoal grilled premium cuts of beef, and cellaring is certain to pay-off as this young wine has yet to reach its great potential. Drink 2018-2028+. Tasted September 2015. 92 points. Matt Steeves – http://www.quercusvino.ca

Buy the iconic Painted Rock Red Icon – $55 or Red Icon in Magnum format for $120 also check out Painted Rock’s Holiday gift options here


Super deal on this Chateauneuf-du-Pape – $29.95 over the holidays ($5.00 off!). The only Chateauneuf-du-Pape available at that price in Canada…

A super value priced Chateauneuf-du-Pape from the world-renowned Michel Chapoutier. Smoky dark berries, baking spice, herbs, and pepper on the nose. Medium-full bodied, the palate is rich and refined, with refreshing acidity. Ideal with hearty stews, grilled sausage, charcuterie, and tomato based dishes, you’ll be hard pressed finding better value out of Cahteauneuf-du-Pape. Enjoy 2015-2025. 91 points. Matt Steeves – http://www.quercusvino.ca

M. Chapoutier Les Grand Merisiers AVAILABILITY in LCBO

Rutherford Ranch Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon – $53.95

Rutherford Ranch Winery is adored around the world for their quality, complex, and value priced wines. Europe, Asia, and North America can’t get enough, and this Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon is a great example of just how wonderful their premium line of wine is. Rutherford Ranch’s Cabernet Sauvignon is a great wine that’s been well decorated from wine writers around the world. The Reserve is a whole other level of intrigue, complexity, and power; a wine designed for cellaring yet can be enjoyed now as it’s so perfectly balanced and rich in flavour. The 2012 vintage in Napa Valley can be described as a textbook perfect vintage and it’s just now that wine lovers are seeing how true that descriptor really is. Allow a two hour decant and enjoy with charcoal-grilled premium steaks, or cellar for up to 15 years and enjoy its evolution. Tasted July 2015. 93 points. Matt Steeves – http://www.quercusvino.ca

Rutherford Ranch Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon AVAILABILITY in LCBO

Value priced Napa Cabernet Sauvignon – $24.95

Pop and pour and enjoy! Nose displays rich Napa Cabernet aromas and the palate is lush and velvety smooth with dried fruits, vanilla, and a finish that makes you crave that next taste. Fabulous value priced Napa Cab that I’d recommend buying by the case. A favourite of Sommeliers and savvy consumers as it over delivers on taste and quality for such a low price. Enjoy 2015 – 2022. Tasted May 2015. 92 points. Matt Steeves – http://www.quercusvino.ca

Rutherford Ranch Cabernet Sauvignon AVAILABILITY in LCBO

Baron de Ley Gran Reserva 2008 – $29.95

Deep ruby red with a garnet hue, you’re greeted by a lively bouquet packed full of sweet plum, dried fig, dark cherry, clove, dark chocolate, balsamic notes, dried leaves, truffles, and cedar aromas. The nose continues to open with more layers evolving after a one hour decant. This great wine is now becoming fantastic! Rich and opulent, the palate is packed full of flavour, with a repeat of the aromas, perfectly balanced and woven into a fine micro-tannin quilt that ever so gently covers your palate. This Gran Reserva Rioja spent 24 months in American and French oak before resting for 36 months in bottle where everything fell beautifully into place prior to its release. A terrific Rioja that offers great value at ~$30. Enjoy with fall and winter stews, sautéed mushrooms, duck confit, or roasted squab or pheasant with a fig and red wine reduction. Tasted October 2015. 92+ points. Matt Steeves – http://www.quercusvino.ca

Baron de Ley Gran Reserva AVAILABILITY in LCBO

Baron de Ley Reserva 2010 – $21.95

Deep ruby red with a hint of garnet, the nose shows sweet dart fruit, black cherry, vanilla, baking spices, smoke, and cedar. Tart cherry, plum, dried herbs, and volcanic rock lead to a mouth coating grippy tannin finish that commands a rich Spanish meal. This 2010 Reserva Rioja spent 20 months in new American oak before resting for 24 months in bottle where all its components fell into place and any harsh corners were polished smooth prior to its release. This would be a great hosting gift to bring to a dinner party or enjoy at home with shellfish paella, roasted leg of lamb, wild mushroom risotto, lamb tagine, grilled chorizo, barbecued beef brisket or ratatouille. Tasted October 2015. 90 points. Matt Steeves – http://www.quercusvino.ca

Baron de Ley Reserva AVAILABILITY in LCBO

Ruffino Ducale Oro Riserva 2011 – $46.95

Ruffino’s Riserva Ducale Oro is only produced in outstanding vintages, a tradition started in 1947 to showcase the finest fruit from Ruffino’s acclaimed vineyards. The 2011 sourced fruit from Ruffino’s Gretole and Santedame Estates in the renowned Castellina subregion of Chianti Classico. Less fruity than the 2010 vintage, the nose is full of fresh sage, violet, plum, dark chocolate, cherry, espresso, leather, and cedar. Terrific structure, very well balanced, fine tannins coat the palate making this fine wine ideal for rich dishes such as pasta Bolognese or Beef Stroganoff. Decant one hour and enjoy over the next decade. Tasted February 2015. 91 points. Matt Steeves – http://www.quercusvino.ca

Ruffino Ducale Oro Riserva Chianti Classico Gran Selezione AVAILABILITY in LCBO


Ruffino’s Super Tuscan “Modus” – terrific value at $29.95

Modus has become a fan favourite selling out quickly upon each release, vintage to vintage. The 2011 shows juicy layers of dark fruits, plum, spice, leather, and cigar box. A super value priced Super Tuscan that I’d highly recommend buying by the case. Enjoy with spaghetti, Osso Buco, or other rich Italian cuisine. Tasted June 2015. 93 points. Matt Steeves – http://www.quercusvino.ca

Ruffino Modus 2011 AVAILABILITY in LCBO


For anyone whom loves Canadian Icewine, this iconic producer’s 40th anniversary release would be an incredible trophy wine to display in your cellar, to gift to a very special person in your life, or to enjoy over the holiday season and into the new year.

In the four decades since its inception, Inniskillin’s iconic Icewine has reigned supreme, gaining wide appeal in over 80 countries.

This ultra-premium anniversary edition Riesling Icewine was crafted by Inniskillin winemaker Bruce Nicholson with grapes from their prestigious Niagara Pratt Vineyard. Very limited production, each bottle is individually numbered and signed by Nicholson.  It comes complete with a fancy crystal stopper all wrapped-up in a beautiful gift box.

Inniskillin’s 40th Anniversary Limited Edition Ice Wine is available winery direct (sold out via Vintages).