International Value Wine Awards announces 

The best wines in Canada under $25

By Anthony Gismondi

Earlier this week Wine Access released its first ever International Value Wine Awards results, a competition they positioned as “the search for the best wine in Canada under $25.”

I should make it clear I’m an editor at Wine Access but like the other 15 judges invited from across Canada to judge the wines I too sat in a Calgary hotel room for the better part of a week to blind taste over 760 wines in search of that elusive best wine under $25.

With so many awards worldwide Wine Access chose to do something different and look at the lower end of the market where almost 95 per cent of all purchases are made.

The wines were mostly tasted on the basis of grape, that is to say all the chardonnay, all the sauvignon, all the cabernet regardless of origin competed against each other. In some cases, particular blends or styles that could be considered regional were left to be tasted together.

By the time we finished we tasted almost 1,000 wines, both domestic and imported from 17 countries, with the retail price of each being $25 per bottle or less somewhere in Canada. This includes government stores, private stores, and the consignment programs in Ontario and British Columbia.

The results are illuminating and in the inaugural year certainly exciting for two B.C. wineries that topped their categories. Jackson Triggs took home the best cabernet sauvignon in the competition, and Lang Vineyards snagged the riesling title.

The IVWA will be the cover story of the November issue of Wine Access, due to hit newsstands the third week of October, just in time for the busy Holiday buying period. The issue will feature photos of the top wines, detailed information about the categories and tasting notes on all winning wines and the unveiling of the Best Red, White and Sparkling Wine Under $25 as judged in a final taste-off at the end of the competition. They will also publish an extensive list of the best red and white wines in Canada under $15.

In the meantime I wanted to share with you some of the early results so you can get out shopping. And the winners are…


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