Liquor Control and Wine Tastings

Straight Up: The Issue of Alcohol in Ontario
Liquor Control and Wine Tastings
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Cynthia Silversides

Cynthia Silversides

Cynthia Silversides is an accredited Sommelier certified by both the Court of Master Sommeliers (CMS) and Canadian Association of Professional Sommeliers (CAPS). Passionate about great wine, food, and travel experiences, Cynthia is owner of Niagara Vino providing tutored wine tasting and tour services in the Niagara Peninsula wine region of Ontario, Canada.Follow me on Twitter and Facebook.

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There has been increasing controversy as of late about the monopoly that is the Liquor Control Board of Ontario (LCBO) and over the fact that Ontario still seems to be living in the days of prohibition where the sale of beverage alcohol is concerned.

The LCBO system was created in 1927, and in recent years many movements have taken place to promote sales of beverage alcohol in other places including the present “Pairs Perfectly” campaign promoting independent wine stores. The Beer Store is also a bone of contention, and people are calling for an end to this monopoly as well.

An excellent documentary by the name of “Straight Up: The Issue of Alcohol in Ontario” is worth a watch. It explores what is referred to as “the peculiar system of alcohol retail and distribution in Ontario” and history of how we arrived where we are today. You can watch it via the Ontario Beer Network website. A recent CBC news article includes a video clip about “the way wine and beer is sold in Ontario” stating that these beverages may soon become available in large supermarkets providing customer convenience, possibly more choices and savings, and promoting competition.

But, what about spirits? A CBC article notes that “hard liquor producers do not want to be left out” if beer and wine are allowed to be sold in supermarkets. Another article by the Star points out that Ontario-based spirits would be excluded from the new selling opportunities potentially being offered to beer and wine producers.

So for now you have LCBO and The Beer Store, also Wine Rack and Wine Shop stores in some supermarkets. Select wines are available for complimentary tastings this month at the LCBO Olde Oakville Marketplace:

Friday, April 10, 2015: 4 – 8 pm
Kendall-Jackson Vintner’s Chardonnay Reserve

Saturday, April 11, 2015: 11:30 am – 3:30 pm
Let’s Get Together: Primavera Dinner tasting

Friday, April 17, 2015: 4 – 8 pm
Myx Fusions Moscato: Peach & Mango

Saturday, April 18, 2015: 11:30 am – 3:30 pm
Barossa Valley Estate Shiraz & Oyster Bay Sauvignon Blanc

Friday, April 24, 2015: 4 – 8 pm
Smirnoff Double Black & Crown Royal

Saturday, April 25, 2015: 11:30 am – 3:30 pm
Altoona Hills Cabernet/Shiraz & Bartenura Moscato



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