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New Feature: Ontario Winery Information

WineAlign is a proud supporter of Canadian wine and our local Ontario Wineries.  It is in that spirit that we proudly announce our latest WineAlign feature, detailed Ontario Winery information.

From the main menu you will now see a new tab, “Wineries” with a drop-down menu of Ontario Wine Appelations.


Under each appelation, you will see a list of wineries located in that appelation.  You can explore that appelation with a list of wineries, each with a short description and a list of wines currently available at your local LCBO.


You can also access winery information for your favourite wine by clicking on the winery name in the wine description.


When they click on the Winery link you will be taken to a detailed  page for that winery.  Information includes a link to the winery website, address, google map, email address, telephone number, hours of business, description, winemaker(s), winemaker’s choice and of course the wines available from the winery at the LCBO.


We hope you take a moment to explore the wines and wineries of Ontario on WineAlign and perhaps even use the information to plan a visit to a few of the many outstanding wineries of Ontario.  As always, we encourage any comments and suggestions you may have in the comments section below.

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LCBO Stock Availabilty

With bottles  flying off the shelves at LCBO outlets across the province,  many consumers are now discovering that their favourite wines are out of stock or unavailable at their regular LCBO store.   WineAlign is a new online and mobile service designed to help consumers find great wines in all prices ranges that are currently in stock in their local store, or available at other LCBO outlets nearby.

 If your favourite $20 Cabernet Sauvignon is out of stock, you can use WineAlign to find the top-rated Cabernet under $20 that is available in your store.
 Use WineAlign to locate the closest LCBO store with your favourite wine in stock.
 WineAlign can also provide consumers with alternative wine suggestions meeting their selected price range.

WineAlign returns a ranked list of available wines meeting using wine ratings from noted top critics including David Lawrason (Toronto Life), Gordon Stimmell (Toronto Star), Anne Martin, Rod Philips (Ottawa Citizen), Margaret Swaine (National Post) and Michael Pinkus (Ontario Wine Review).

Find out more at .

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LCBO Strike Initiatives

This post will be continously updated when ne LCBO Strike news becomes available.

    Breaking News: Tentative Deal Reached In LCBO Talks

    A tentative deal has been reached in the LCBO talks, avoiding a strike that would have shut down or restricted access to some liquor stores in the province. Talks had been extended since a midnight deadline passed on Wednesday. Via

    Breaking News – Strike Deadline Extended to June 24th in LCBO Contract Talks

    The Ontario Public Service Employees Union and the LCBO have agreed to an extension on the strike deadline that had been set for 12:01am. June 24.

    WineAlign Announces Free Services During LCBO Strike

    As of Wednesday June 24, 2009 at 12:01am employees of the LCBO are in a legal strike position. According LCBO spokesman, Chris Layton, the LCBOintends to deploy management staff to keep some stores open in the event of a strike.

    With LCBO management running select LCBO stores, consumers can expect there will be limited staffing and no Product Consultants to help consumers with their wine selections. While our service could never replace the expertise of the LCBO staff, WineAlign can help you make smart, informed purchasing decisions.

    In order to help consumers cope with the LCBO strike WineAlign is implementing two initiatives:

    Throughout the strike period, WineAlign will be offering access to our premium service with detailed critics’ reviews FREE OF CHARGE.*

    By the end of the day Wednesday, and dependent on information provided by the LCBO, WineAlign will also provide consumers with the ability to find wine at stores that are open that day as management rotates through stores.

    Together these changes will enable consumers to find top rated wine, in any price range, in stock, at the store that is currently open closest to them.

    WineAlign processes thousands of wine reviews and thousands of wines to create ranked lists of the top rated wines available in stock at your localLCBO. The service helps consumers answer the question, “What is the top-rated Pinot Noir under $25 in this store?”

    You can also follow strike developments on this Blog or follow us on twitter @WineAlign with the hashtag #lcbostrike.

    *WineAlign members who have already subscribed to the premium service, will have additional days added to their subscription period to reflect the strike period.

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Father’s Day Weekend Top Picks & Top Values from the Vintages June 20th Release

“This is a really interesting release with many 90 point and over wines. There is yet another tranche of ever popular Argentine malbecs, and I draw your attention to Susana Balbo, who I place among the best winemakers of Argentina. Then there are the excellent 2005 Bordeaux. This vintage is very strong, so if you have shied away from the idiocy of Bordeaux pricing in recent years you might want to dip your toe into this pool, all rating 88 to 93 points. I found most of the New World reds to be very good but with few standouts or astounding values, except for the return of the Porcupine Ridge Syrah from South Africa, and the very impressive Ojai Syrah from California.

One of the pleasant little surprises is the demure Swiss red from Cave De La Côte Morges (what better red for a summer eve?). Among whites I loved the underpriced Stags’ Leap Winery Chardonnay from California and the sensational Schloss Gobelsburg Steinsetz Grüner Veltliner from Austria. The Ontario VQA selection has several very good wines, but only one excellent wine, the exciting Hidden Bench 2006 Terroir Cachet, a Bordeaux blend from the undersung little vintage that could. Enjoy, and OPSEU willing, we will be back for the July 4 release for which tasting is already underway..”

– David Lawrason, VP of Wine at WineAlign

Click here to see ranked lists and reviews of over 100 wines in this release.

Top Pick Red
Château Franc-Mayne 2005 Saint-Émilion
Château Franc-Mayne 2005 Saint-Émilion, Bordeaux  $59.00

Top Value Red
Porcupine Ridge 2008 Syrah
Porcupine Ridge 2008 Syrah $15.00

Top Pick White
Stags' Leap Winery 2007 Chardonnay
Stags’ Leap Winery 2007 Chardonnay, Napa Valley $29.95

Top Value White
Schloss Gobelsburg Steinsetz 2007 Grüner Veltliner
Schloss Gobelsburg Steinsetz 2007 Grüner Veltliner, Austria $23.95

Best Buy Pink
Château Cahuzac 2008 Tradition Rosé
Château Cahuzac 2008 Tradition Rosé, France  $14.95

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Discover the top picks and top values from the Vintages June 6th release

“If the weather ever does warm up you might be inspired to crack a couple of the rosés in this release. But when the time comes, consider the quieter wines that might best accompany your al fresco meal, not those that aspire to be day-glo soda pop quenchers. Often the best pinkies are the palest, more subtle wines, not the most extroverted and colourful. I was very impressed by Chateau Latour de l’Eveque (89pts, $18.95) which has really pulled up its socks; by Tawse Sketches of Niagara (only $12.50, 89 pts) and Domaine Houchart ($14.95, 87 pts) all in this elegant style. Although, I must also admit really enjoying California’s pillow soft Folie A Deux Menage a Trois ($17.95, 89pts) in a fruitier style.

In this release there are some serious, pricy Burgundies but the only one of real collector interest is the very tidy, sleek Domaine Du Château De Melin La Corvée Des Vignes 2007 Puligny-Montrachet ($59.95, 92pts). Rosewood of Niagara makes a smart debut at Vintages with winemaker Natalie Spytkowski (ex Angels Gates) crafting a terrific value 2007 Pinot Noir ($17.95, 89 pts) and 2006 Riesling ($17.95, 89 points). Gems under $20 from farther flung corners of the wine universe include the Domaine Allimant-Laugner 2007 Muscat from Alsace ($17.95, 90 points, does anyone actually love Alsatian muscat?) and Bricco Rosso 2006 Dolcetto Di Dogliani from Piemonte ($18.95, 90 points) plus Georges Duboeuf Jean Descombes 2007 Morgon ($18.95, 90pts).
– David Lawrason, VP of Wine at WineAlign

Click here to see ranked lists and reviews of over 100 wines in this release.

Top Pick Red
Jim Barry The Lodge Hill 2006 Shiraz, Australia
Jim Barry The Lodge Hill Shiraz 2006, Australia, $24.95

Top Value Red
Tabalí Reserva Especial 2006

Tabali Reserva Especial, Chile,   $21.95

Top Pick White
Francis Blanchet Calcite Pouilly Fumé 2007
Francis Blanchet Calcite Pouilly Fume, 2007 (Sauvignon Blanc), France, $23.95
Top Value White
Pratello Lieti Conversari Manzoni Bianco 2006
Pratello Lieti Conversari Manzoni Bianco 2006, Italy, $18.95

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WineAlign Reviews

Coldstream Hills Pinot Noir 2008