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Are any of the Canadian forumites members? If so, any recommendations (for or against) on their suppliers or their wines, which I gather tend to repeat from year to year?

(The Opimian Society is a non-profit wine club that lets you select which, if any, of their offerings you wish to buy. I understand that they will only ship within Canada. Their website, for those interested, is www.opim.ca ).
 
Posts: 198 | Location: Edmonton, Alberta, Canada | Registered: Mar 12, 2003Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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A guy at work is a member of the Opimian society. I've looked through the offerings a few times, but never saw anything of real interest.
 
Posts: 10799 | Location: Toronto, Canada | Registered: Apr 17, 2002Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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I just checked it out for the second time (the father of a colleague at work is a member) and all 36 offerings at the moment are European. I seem to recall the same thing the first time I checked. Nothing wrong with that of course, but my interests would more towards never-seen high QPR Aussies and other New Worlders.

snow sucks.......
 
Posts: 10604 | Location: Oakville Ontario | Registered: Jan 07, 2002Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Back in January folks were asking about Opimian society in Canada. I've been a member for just under 2 years and will be quitting once I've received the last of my orders. The descriptions in the offerings turn out to be imaginative marketing and the wines mostly suck. When Parker has been quoted they've extracted positive statements and failed to mention the negative. I've had more success buying wine at random in the local liquor store.
 
Posts: 3 | Location: northern Canada | Registered: Nov 05, 2004Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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I'm a member, and don't order a huge amount (I do get the 6-bottle mixed case "surprise" wines which I like). However, I do sometimes find interesting orders so it's worth it for me to stay a member. Also, the events tend to be a good deal (prix fixe wine tasting/dinners at various Toronto restaurants).
 
Posts: 64 | Location: Toronto, Ontario, Canada | Registered: Jul 29, 2004Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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I've never joined, though a colleague has been a member for about 20 years, so I've had opportunities to buy through her.

I've split a case of wine (a couple of lesser Bordeaux) a couple of times, and was disappointed relative to the descriptions and the prices. While you don't get any bargains, the chief advantage would seem to be that the selection wouldn't otherwise be available to us.

The best thing I bought through Opimian was a single malt Scotch, the name of which escapes me now, about 4 or 5 years ago-- it was outstanding and worth the price.

Just one other comment: while I suppose technically this is a non-profit enterprise, someone is paying for a full-time director and plenty of other staff including tasting panels, buying expeditions to Europe and other places, membership management, printing and distribution of catalogues, etc., etc. My friend says she's never seen a financial statement breaking down their costs, but it doesn't take a financial genius to figure out who's paying for all of that. It's also my understanding that most of their products are ordered after receipt of members' orders, so there's minimal warehousing and distribution involved, yet the prices-- while basically in-line with provincial liquor distribution prices-- are certainly not bargains. There's also an annual membersip fee of around $75. No one is losing money in this outfit; is it possible that someone is making money? I don't know, but my uncertainty is the main reason I never joined.


___________________________

Cheers!
 
Posts: 8307 | Location: Vancouver, BC | Registered: Oct 17, 2001Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Just one minor thing, I know I receive financial statements from them, at least once a year, maybe more (?), but I haven't looked at them in great detail... Smile So your friend, also, will ahve received statements and could probably dig them up if you want to take a look at them.
 
Posts: 64 | Location: Toronto, Ontario, Canada | Registered: Jul 29, 2004Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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It sounds like they make enjoying wine a very hard thing to do in the Great White North. You can get cuban cigas, codine over the counter (222's) and Tim Horton's donuts, but you have to jump through hoops to get a frikin bottle of fine wine.

Sounds like after trying to track down your bottles ar LCBO or wherever you need a 222 just to take the edge off the headache they gave you. Smile
 
Posts: 1500 | Location: Dem Hills, CA | Registered: Jan 03, 2004Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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I think you'd have to talk to someone who's lived in both the U.S. and Canada to get a real answer...

I would assume that a store like "Sam's" in the U.S. would have a better selection than any Ontario LCBO store. However, I would assume the selection at stores in Toronto would be a lot better than in small-town U.S.A. Overall the LCBO does have the advantage of purchasing power (I think I've read it's the largest single purchaser of wine in the world? Since a government monopoly). And I've generally been happy with the available wine. Plus, additional stuff available at auctions (only one major "private" auction each year, but many more charity auctions). Also can private order stuff (albeit minimum 1 case), though on the two occasions I wanted to do that, there was a problem with the maker (NOT with the LCBO, but the maker wasn't willing to do the order).
 
Posts: 64 | Location: Toronto, Ontario, Canada | Registered: Jul 29, 2004Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Re: Opimium Society

My wife's cousin joined 5 or 6 months ago. He's not really a wine guy, but he tells me he saved a ridiculous amount of money on his car insurance just by being a member of The Society. I've read over some of their literature, and he tells me he gets some free wine for joining, but neither the literature nor the list he gets to choose his freebies from, struck me as being special.

Imagine, saving money on car insurance by joining a wine club! Just another one of those things that lets you go "Hmmmmmm"
 
Posts: 564 | Location: Toronto, Canada | Registered: Nov 16, 2003Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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I am a member and it's always a debate whether to continue or not.

The plus - access to wines you can't get at retail.

The minus - most wines aren't reviewed anywhere, so it's tough to get a handle on what they are really about.

I typically find that you can do better at retail with less work.
 
Posts: 127 | Location: Winnipeg, MB, Canada | Registered: Jan 24, 2003Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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First of all, welcome Fly! Cool Whereabouts are you?

I'm sticking with my earlier decision to stay out of this group, though if I ever have enough extra income I might join just to get the chance to try different things. But as long as I cannot afford all the wines already available, even some of the cheaper ones, I'll stick to the LCBO.


-------------------
Go Bruins!!
Go Tigers!!
Go Pistons!!
Go Lions!!
 
Posts: 10604 | Location: Oakville Ontario | Registered: Jan 07, 2002Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Living in northern Manitoba, just one govt. booze outlet and 8 hr drive from private wine stores in Wpg, Opimian looked pretty good. Specially liked the idea that an "expert" (MW) would give descriptions so wouldn't be buying blind.... Turns out, far as I can see, the descriptions are pretty imaginative, as mentioned before, so the appeal fades away...

As to financial statements, they do an annual report but there is no detail to speak of. The general manager (presumably a salaried position) provides all the office services through his private company, categorized loosely. No way to know how reasonable any of it is. And with the same guy performing oversight as provides the services, it is a poor structure. May be a saint, for all I know....

I don't regret joining as it fired up my interest and got me trying lots of wines. Once I subscribed to WS and Decanter and my buddy signed up for the Parker database I guess I outgrew it....

Anyone living where there are good wine selections via public or private stores does not need Opimian, far as I can see...
 
Posts: 3 | Location: northern Canada | Registered: Nov 05, 2004Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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My Manitoba geography is not all that it might be, but are you in Lynn Lake? Are you Lynn Johnston's husband?

No, I'm not with CSIS, just curious to track the whereabouts of posters, especially Canadians. I think you are only the second Manitoban, and the other rarely appears.


-------------------
Go Bruins!!
Go Tigers!!
Go Pistons!!
Go Lions!!
 
Posts: 10604 | Location: Oakville Ontario | Registered: Jan 07, 2002Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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I am currently a member and I am torn on whether or not I should renew for 1 more year. I probably will as I have a bit of a credit left to use. The yearly membership costs about 65 bucks and it includes a subscription to wine tidings magazine. Its a decent magazine for being canadian and all the wines they review can be found in most provinces.

Here in Saskatchewan the secretary sets up alot of group gatherings for food and tastings. They always sound great, with amazing food and decent wines to try. Having a membership usually saves about $20.00 per couple and first crack at the events.

I notice that you are from Edmonton, and I will say that Alberta has by far the BEST prices for opimian wines. That alone might be a reason to sign up.

I will probably sign up again for these reasons: To attend a few of the gatherings to meet some other wino's, to use up my extra credit, and to keep getting the wine tidings magazine (even though I could buy it in a book store).

If you are looking for a wine club that offers the best wine, this is probably not the one. Only because you could just spend the money on wine from your local liqour stores and find a better selection.

Jason
 
Posts: 732 | Location: The Great White North | Registered: May 02, 2004Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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I've been a member for a year now. The tasting notes in the offering publication is just marketing schill. The wines tase nothing like the description, in many cases having no taste at all (water). The wines are not cheap, a typical Chianti Classico will run $20+ and of dubious quality. One has to buy wines by the case and if it sucks you are stuck with 11 other bottles of plonk. Frankly I just don't trust them anymore, wine is terrible and marketing material is unreliable and not trustworthy. Canadians will eat and drink anything generally and this proves such. My membership will be cancelled upon anniversary.
 
Posts: 291 | Location: St. John's, Newfoundland | Registered: Mar 04, 2006Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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FWIW I had an awesome German Gewurzt from a family members friend who received the wine through this society. The wine was good enough to give me interest in the society, but atlas the wine is not available to Albertans. So I will not be joining, as I see nothing else of interest and from most peoples comments this appears to be a crap shoot at best.


________________________________________
Oh.......Give me a woman that tastes like Rum or put me a-shore to Die!!!
 
Posts: 2645 | Location: Edmonton | Registered: Feb 06, 2007Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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quote:
Originally posted by Vino san:

Canadians will eat and drink anything generally


If it weren't for that and hockey and snow, we wouldn't have a lot to brag about.

I guess.
 
Posts: 8307 | Location: Vancouver, BC | Registered: Oct 17, 2001Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Are you forgetting "Oh, Niagara?"


Just one more sip.
 
Posts: 36743 | Location: NY | Registered: Oct 18, 2001Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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quote:
Are you forgetting "Oh, Niagara?"


It will never be forgotten..... Wink Big Grin

BTW, aren't you due for a return visit there? Or here, for that matter?


-------------------
Go Bruins!!
Go Tigers!!
Go Pistons!!
Go Lions!!
 
Posts: 10604 | Location: Oakville Ontario | Registered: Jan 07, 2002Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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The warmer places have a bit more allure this time of year, though we have enjoyed Bal de Neige in the past.


Just one more sip.
 
Posts: 36743 | Location: NY | Registered: Oct 18, 2001Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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quote:
The warmer places have a bit more allure this time of year


Indeed! But summer is only 6 months away! Frown Roll Eyes


-------------------
Go Bruins!!
Go Tigers!!
Go Pistons!!
Go Lions!!
 
Posts: 10604 | Location: Oakville Ontario | Registered: Jan 07, 2002Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Really?

I have to tell you that I have had the opposite experience with Opimian.

I admit that when I read the offerings pretty much every wine sounds fantastic so it is hard to decide what to order but in my 5 years with the club I have yet to have a poor wine. And it’s not like I am only ordering the more expensive wines. I don’t remember the exact amount but this year I spent maybe $500-600 on 4 cases and again every wine I have had has been great. Maybe Opimian is not for you but I certainly have no complaints about it and would gladly recommend them to anyone.
 
Posts: 6 | Registered: Aug 23, 2010Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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quote:
Originally posted by ThatWineGuy:
Really?

I have to tell you that I have had the opposite experience with Opimian.

I admit that when I read the offerings pretty much every wine sounds fantastic so it is hard to decide what to order but in my 5 years with the club I have yet to have a poor wine. And it’s not like I am only ordering the more expensive wines. I don’t remember the exact amount but this year I spent maybe $500-600 on 4 cases and again every wine I have had has been great. Maybe Opimian is not for you but I certainly have no complaints about it and would gladly recommend them to anyone.


Hey, if it is working for you then great! Are you able to share with us the wines you've had recently that you have enjoyed?
 
Posts: 2272 | Location: Brights Grove Ontario | Registered: Jun 08, 2006Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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No problem.
Now I will tell you that the majority of the wines I order are New World however I do dab in some of the traditional selections as well and for the most part I am a red only type of guy.

The Paul Sapin "On the Billabong" Cab/Shiraz is something I order every single October.

The Mount Vernon Sauvignon Blanc is arguably my favorite white wine.

Songlines Shiraz is one I ordered last year after attending a Martin Krajewski tasting event. This wine was pricy at about $90 a bottle but it was heaven. It is extremely young but drinks perfectly well already.

Cornellana Carmenere out of CHile was once that came recommended. Its still a ltitle young so have really only had one bottle. I do love Carmenere however.

I've also been told that their Spanish selections cannot be beat. Something to do with a partnership or something with Vinoselleccion out of Madrid. Anyway I went with the Torremilanos Crianza in 2010.
 
Posts: 6 | Registered: Aug 23, 2010Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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