Thousands of wineries all over the world produce billions of litres of wine every year, and much of it gets consumed by people guzzling the liquid either to get drunk, or with a meal, without knowing much about provenance, and/or quality. They just go by “like” or “don’t like” notion. The more you know about any consumable, the more you appreciate it, and more importantly, can evaluate it at different levels.
Dr. Pasteur discovered and publicized that wine offers the optimal alcoholic concentration (approximately 12 – 13 per cent ABV) versus 5 per cent for beer, and 40 per cent for spirits. The alcohol concentration of beer is too low, and that of spirits too high.
Wine consumed in moderation and daily (approximately 250 – 300 millilitres at 12 – 13 per cent ABV) seems to be the optimal amount to yield health benefits.
Excessive consumption affects health fatally overtime, and occasionally immediately.
While it is true that there are health benefits gained from alcohol consumption, it must be noted that the government takes in huge amounts of revenue through taxes that are imposed on alcoholic beverages.
In some countries, illicit alcohol production is a thriving industry e.g Russia, India, and parts of the USA.
When Gorbatchev, the last president of the USSR, imposed high taxes on vodka people hoarded so much sugar to distil their own alcohol that there was a temporary but severe shortage.
Distillation is a relatively simple process, but done poorly, can result in poisonous beverages,
Alcohol is addictive and destructive if it is of the wrong type (methanol), and consumed in excessive quantities on an empty stomach, or in conjunction with medical or recreational drugs.
Norway, Sweden, Finland, Canada (except Alberta) and several States in teh USA own and operate alcoholic beverage distribution companies. In some, beer is sold in grocery stores, in others in convenience stress, yet in others grocery stores may sell wine and spirits may be sold Monday to Saturday, but not on Sundays.
In Ontario the LCBO (Liquor Control Board of Ontario) is the government- owned distribution company, along with brewery-owned Beer Store originally created to sell exclusively locally produced beer. The LCBO operates a little more than 610 stores throughout the province and grants concessions to grocery stores in remote locations during the summer months.
The LCBO has several levels of distribution e.g. general list, Vintages (bi-weekly releases of approximately 100 Canadian and imported wines in limited quantities), Classics catalogue (three to four releases of exclusive wines and spirits), and consignment warehouse.
Pricing formulae of the LCBO is perceived as excessive, but my research indicates volume wines in the New York State is comparable, if not somewhat lower than in Ontario, but high-end wines compare favourably.
In addition the LCBO subjects all general list and Vintages products to laboratory tests to determine that all comply with rigorous standards established.
The general list products offer some value wines.
Value is much a desired brand, which is worth relative to other brands or objects in the same category.
Another definition of value is – the amount of money that is considered to be a fair equivalent for another consumable or good.
Below, please find a few LCBO general list value wines.
Viognier, 2010,Cono Sur, Chile $ 10.00
Painter Bridge Chardonnay, 2009, J.Lohr, California $ 12.95
Pinot Grigio, 2010, Citra, Italy $ 7.95
Chenin Blanc/Chardonnay, 2010, Fusion, Argentina $ 7.75
Pinot Grigio, 2010, R.Oatley, Australia $ 17.95
Cabernet Sauvignon Reserva, 2009, Santa Rita, Chile $ 15.95
Limited Selection Pinot Noir, 2009, Montes, Chile $ 14.95
Tempranillo, 2007, Beronia, Spain $ 10.95
Syrah Reserva, 2008, Cono Sur, Chile $ 12.95
Stone Dweller’s cabernet Sauvignon, 2008, Australia $ 9.95
Nero d’Avola, 2010, Angel, Italy $ 10.95