The best affordable SAQ wines and pairings for Spring.
In order to help you save without compromising quality, we could also consider the following five recommendations (as well as the ones featured in parts one and two of this series) to be weekday wines.
Le Grand Ballon Val de Loire Chardonnay
The Loire region is not on recognized for its magnificent castles and landscapes but also for their wines. Here is a less expensive alternative to entry level Burgundy chardonnays. We get yellow apple, pear, ripe lemon, fresh acidity, balance, nice texture, an impression of minerality, and it is rather long in the mouth. Their fresh sauvignon blanc (SAQ code 12489456) and their light gamay red wine (SAQ code 13993013) are just as noteworthy for the mild price. Pairing: white fish, salad.
100% Chardonnay, Centre-Ouest, France, 750 ml, $13.75, SAQ code 13284647
Sauvion Val de Loire Chenin Blanc
Another interesting wine from Loire is this Chenin Blanc, produced at Château du Cléray. The three best known white grapes are Melon de Bourgogne (muscadet), Chenin Blanc and Sauvignon Blanc in this region; this wine is fresh and lively, full of yellow apple and pear, beeswax, somewhat mineral and round. Truly a deal. Pairing: sushi, pork chops with apples, lobster roll.
100% Chenin Blanc, Loire, France, 750 ml, $12.85 (currently $12.10), SAQ code 13993312
La Vis Simboli Pinot Grigio Trevenezie
Veneto in the North of Italy near the Dolomites offers us a rosé in which grapes are hand picked. A delight of strawberry and exotic fruits, floral delicate aromas, definitely dry (not sweet) and fresh, with an impression of minerality and a nice texture, so comforting! Such a pleasure value offering! Pairing: salmon tartare, tomatoes bocconcini with basil, light charcuterie.
100% Pinot Grigio, Frioul-Vénétie Julienne, Italy, 750 ml, $12.70, SAQ code 12667911
Carmen Premier Pinot Noir Reserva Valle de Leyda 2018
This Chilean wine is a good choice all night long. In a bling tasting, I scored it higher than some of its $15+ rivals. This is not high end Burgundy, but you will find the traditional ripe cherry and black pepper aromas you can expect with a soft touch of smoke. Great acidity, silky tannins, and well balanced. Pairing: charcuterie board, beef tartare
100% Pinot Noir, Valle de Leyda (Aconcagua), Chile, 750 ml, $12.50, SAQ code 11579644
La Piovra Rosso del Molise 2018
What can you expect from imported bulk wine bottled in Québec, aka grocery store wine? At least one surprise! This medium bodied 100% Montepulciano DOC wine is full of red and black fruits, with notes of green pepper, violet, soft spices, and a hint of bitterness. Start the bottle to cook your sauce and finish it with the dish. Pairing: Pork osso bucco, spaghetti bolognese.
100% Montepulciano, DOC Molise, Italy, 750 ml, $12, SAQ code 14262925
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