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Meet Your New House Wine

All you have to do is double down.

Cantina di Negrar Valpolicella 2012 $20.99 per magnum

The new wine pricing scheme is being rolled out on April 1 here in BC, and while it’s still shrouded in way too much mystery given that this is a government agency we’re dealing with, the conventional wisdom is that it’s going to be terrible for the consumer. So the gap between BC and Alberta in this key area grows yet again. One area that wine prices may down is the very low end, so cheapskates who love iffy wine rejoice!

In all seriousness, finding good wine at a reasonable price has never been harder in BC, Alberta, Saskatchewan or Manitoba. Where under $10 used to be the cut for a good affordable bottle of wine, that marker has moved well past $15 in recent years and that’s a travesty. All of which makes this wine all the more special. For starters, it’s a magnum, and while that term is normally reserved for double bottles of a higher value I think the quality of this wine warrants its use despite the modest price. Secondly, it doesn’t take the easy out of most lower priced wines, masking flaws with all kinds of trickery (oak chips and the like). This is a wine that tastes exactly like it’s supposed to—it’s a light rustic Northern Italian wine. Thirdly, the low alcohol (12%) helps keeps the flavour profile fresh and zippy and it’s a wine that works with even just a very small amount of chilling. All of which adds up to one of the very top values available in the market today. The only proviso I’d add is that unlike many of its Italian brethren, it doesn’t keep as well as I’d thought. It was dynamite on the first day, just fine on the second, but by the time day three rolled around the wine didn’t hold up as well as I’d have liked. The solution is to invite more friends over—win/win I guess.

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