Canadians - Where Do You Buy Your Wine?

A subject of interest to us Canadians, who are subject to liquor control board monopolies.

I'll start:

LCBO (day to day plus some fine wines)

WineBid (most of my finer and all of my older wines)

WineCommune (only 1 bottle to date)

Chicago Wine Company (working on it)

SAQ (heading to Montreal this month)

Does anyone do "private ordering". How does the pricing and process work?

Cheers

Julian
Original Post
Anywhere and everywhwere. Mostly LCBo and some SAQ. Some from auction and from buy/sell on the boards. Many fellow forumites and I have traded, bought/sold wines. I'll bring some back from travels (Cali/France/Italy/Aossie). Probably the same as most on these boards. The choices to Canadians is limited (as is the selection). Despite that, I have managed to procur some decent wines over the years. I have a few bottles resting in the cellars of friends in Chicago and Montreal.
quote:
Originally posted by Captain Cancun:
The BCLDB, while travelling and with kind friends and family who procure bottles for me when they visit. Auctions occasionally too.


Have bought wine several times while in Vancouver visiting family. In most cases, between private stores and the BCLCB, I find the prices higher, sometimes much higher, even than Ontario.
quote:
Originally posted by Jonanator:
Are these American auctions? If so, how do you get them shipped up to Canada? What's the process like?


You can ship to a UPS Store across the border. FEDEX will also hold for you. You can then pick them up. Duties and taxes vary from Province to Province. In Ontario, they total 50%.
quote:
Originally posted by Jonanator:
Are these American auctions? If so, how do you get them shipped up to Canada? What's the process like?

There are a number of reputable auction sites. HDH (HartDavisHart) in Chicago is one of the very best, IMO. Excellent provenance of their products auctioned. This will be of utmost importance to you if buying aged wines.

They will hold for some months if needed, and arrange for shipping to any Hotel or address you may have in the States. I've arranged shipping to a Hotel when visiting. Easy.

Getting them back is up to you. You are allowed 150ml upon any overnight visit. Beyond that is up to you.

Cellar Raiders, Chicago Wine Company, Flickenger. All excellent retailers of aged wines.
quote:
Originally posted by KSC02:
quote:
Originally posted by Jonanator:
Are these American auctions? If so, how do you get them shipped up to Canada? What's the process like?

There are a number of reputable auction sites. HDH (HartDavisHart) in Chicago is one of the very best, IMO. Excellent provenance of their products auctioned. This will be of utmost importance to you if buying aged wines.

They will hold for some months if needed, and arrange for shipping to any Hotel or address you may have in the States. I've arranged shipping to a Hotel when visiting. Easy.

Getting them back is up to you. You are allowed 150ml upon any overnight visit. Beyond that is up to you.

Cellar Raiders, Chicago Wine Company, Flickenger. All excellent retailers of aged wines.


You can bring back upto 46 liters at a time (please check for the exact #). But you have to pay the duties. And may I suggest that you declare all; I have a friend who is paying the legal price of not declaring. He told me of the ongoing impacts. It's not worth the savings. Don't take the risk.
All big-ticket bottles with a value over any possible duty-free exemption were bought in Canada: Yes they are more expensive but that's how it goes. Luckily most of these were purchased years ago when the prices were realistic on release day and have appreciated well enough. Since 2005, Bordeaux prices just got beyond sanity so from now on duty exempt bottles are it. But if they never enter Canada there's no problem and for sure it is one of the joys of having time off to rest, get some sun, drink some incredible wine and recharge for the work ahead in the coming year.
Mostly at the SAQ, but also at the LCBO when I or a friend go to Ontario. Started also to buy in the USA locally (when I travel) and shipped (at a friend's or a pickup location).

From the US I tried:

Empire Wine, Albany NY
Sussex Wine, New York
Owen's Liquor, Myrtle Beach SC
Various New Hampshire Liquor Stores
Cellaraiders (doing my first command as we speak...)

Tried Costco in Burlington VT, but nothing worth the buy there. Was much better in SC...

dzitt
isn't there wine available at costco in QC? i've never been .. just heard about it. i've never heard anybody say "you gotta hit costco in QC for wine!". so i'm guessing the selection is not worth the drive. Wink

i've also heard about the big names available at costco in the US! is that still true?
quote:
Originally posted by TallGirl:
isn't there wine available at costco in QC? i've never been .. just heard about it. i've never heard anybody say "you gotta hit costco in QC for wine!". so i'm guessing the selection is not worth the drive. Wink



In Qc, no wine is worth the drive. Only bad wines are selled there...

dzitt
quote:
Originally posted by dzitt:
quote:
Originally posted by TallGirl:
isn't there wine available at costco in QC? i've never been .. just heard about it. i've never heard anybody say "you gotta hit costco in QC for wine!". so i'm guessing the selection is not worth the drive. Wink




In Qc, no wine is worth the drive. Only bad
wines are selled there...

dzitt


It's worth to buy beer at Costco in Qc. Wink
quote:
Originally posted by Gsmfan:
LCBO as well as some independent distributors/wine agents: Arthur Sellers, Robert Groh Agency... The agents allow you to buy wine you cannot get at the LCBO. Sadly you still have to pay the LCBO markup.


Same here in QC. Forgot to mention that I also buy with some agencies here (Rezin, Trialto, Syl-Vins, Le Maitre de Chai, Vins Alain Belanger, etc...). Unfortunatly, not all agencies are easy to deal with and to have products from...

dzitt

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