Is it true that supermarket wines are lesser quality than the ones found at the SAQ? Good news: nope! We asked sommelier Nathalie Richard a few questions in order to break the myth. She also gave us a few suggestions of grocery store wines we should pick up next time we go to the supermarket!
Pssst. We also love the Veraci!
Why are we so reluctant towards grocery store wines?
I think that people do not have enough information about viticultural products sold in groceries (notably varieties), and that affects the way they see the quality of grocery store wines. Fortunately, we can find the varieties on the wine bottles sold in supermarkets now, so shoppers are exposed to more information about what’s inside the bottle.
What’s the difference between grocery store sold wines and SAQ sold wines?
Wines sold in groceries are often the same quality as the ones sold at the SAQ. Wines are selected amongst different independent producers and / or shared cellars, sent to the bottling site, bottled with an impressive quality check, managed by the SAQ, and distributed.
Certain wines are available in supermarkets and at the SAQ. They aren’t mutually exclusive! The fact that some supermarket wines are sold both in groceries and at the SAQ simply facilitates our access to good and affordable wines all across the province.
What are some of your grocery store wine recommendations?
Being able to purchase wine in a supermarket is super practical, and allows you to plan ahead right away!
The Sauvignon blanc is a wine that needs to be kept cold, and can be served at cocktail-time with tapas a well as salads, sushis, grilled veggies, salmon tartars, calamari, oysters, and other crustaceans. The Morgan Hill, for example, goes perfectly with fresh cheeses, goat cheese, and grain cheddar.
The Pinot Grigio is a vibrant and laidback wine that can be paired with various meals, in any circumstances. Aerial, the WallarooTrail can be served simply and without pretention, during cocktail season or at mealtime, and is perfect with pasta, pizza, grills, and any summer BBQs. The 1L version is ideal when hosting large groups or for any celebration.
Elegant and classic, the Silverthorne is bold, yet tastes light in the mouth and features hints of vanilla and apples. This Chardonnay is perfect with poultry meals and other white meats, like porc filet. It is also excellent with lobster (whereas other crustaceans usually taste better with a Sauvignon Blanc), scallops, grilled salmon, and any cream sauce pasta. Let’s not forget about hard crust and soft middle cheeses (brie and camembert) and medium-hard cheeses (emmenthal).
With a pretty ruby dress and hints of black cherry and spices, the Veraci will seduce your tastebuds with its warmth and the explosion of berries that emanates from it. This generous Cabernet-Sauvignon goes perfectly with meats like ribs paired with caramelized onions, or with a classic osso bucco (without tomatoes). It would also pair well with roasted chicken, a shepherd’s pie, or a meat lasagna.
Fruity and generous, the Shiraz is the ideal wine to drink when eating comfort foods such as BBQ, ribs, sausages, pulled-pork, etc. This is the second most popular red variety after the Cabernet-Sauvignon. The Wallaroo Trail offers hints of red fruits and prune, while being slightly spiced and chocolaty.
The Bordeaux is always a winner, both for the neophyte and the connoisseur. The Henri de Bricourt merlot and its slightly smoked floral hints tastes of savory red and black fruits once in your mouth, with a pleasant bitter finale. It’s the perfect aperitif choice with charcuteries, or with a beef tataki, a good flank, a duck steaklet ,or any simmer dish. It can even accompany a hard and lightly smoked cheese at the end of a meal.