Brett happens

All wine, most of the time


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The LCBO’s February 19th Vintages release includes 17 wines also available at the SAQ. Here’s how they match up.


$14.75 / $13.95 Brampton Sauvignon Blanc 2009 Western Cape (Rustenberg WInes)
$16.10 / $14.95 Château Mourgues du Grès Les Galets Rouges 2009 Costières de Nîmes
$16.20 / $16.95 Codorniu Pinot Noir Rosé Brut Cava
$16.40 / $16.95 Tedeschi Capitel Nicalo Appassimento Valpolicella Classico Superiore 2008
$19.70 / $17.95 Liberty School Chardonnay 2008 Central Coast
$19.95 / $21.95 Cloudline Pinot Noir 2008 Oregon
$20.20 / $21.95 Château des Charmes Late Harvest Riesling 2007 Niagara-on-the-Lake
$20.65 / $18.95 Domaines Schlumberger Les Princes Abbés Riesling 2007 Alsace
$20.90 / $19.95 René Bouvier Le Chapitre Bourgogne 2008
$21.30 / $12.95 Weinstock Cellar Select Chardonnay KPM 2007 Sonoma
$23.50 / $19.95 Gregg Norman Australia Estates Chardonnay 2008 Eden Valley
$23.65 / $19.95 Château Mazeris 2006 Canon-Fronsac
$24.20 / $19.95 Palacio Glorioso Reserva 2005 Rioja
$25.25 / $21.95 Frescobaldi Tunuta di Castiglioni 2008 IGT Toscana
$70.50 / $69.95 Concha y Toro Don Melchor Cabernet Sauvignon 2006 Maipo Valley
$71.50 / $72.95 Smith Woodhouse Vintage Port 2007
$84.25 / $84.00 Château Haut-Bailly 2007, Pessac-Léognan

SAQ 5, LCBO 12. And when the LCBO is cheaper, it’s often by a wide margin, whereas the opposite isn’t true. (That said, I suspect that the Weinstock Cellars Chardonnay – a whopping 64% more expensive in Quebec – is actually two different products. Though the listings are identical, the SAQ’s price is more in line with the price at the few US retail stores I checked. Or maybe it’s a typo and the LCBO meant $21.95 instead of $12.95. Or maybe Weinstock is looking to clear out its current inventory in the run-up to Passover and the LCBO was at the right place at the right time.)

At the retail level, wine and spirits pricing is affected by several factors including when the products were purchased by the retailer, the currency they’re paid for in, the exchange rate, the producer’s ex cellar price, volume discounts, shipping, government duties and taxes and the retailer’s and agent’s (aka “importer’s”) markups. On January 1, the Quebec sales tax was ratcheted up one percentage point. And in early February, the SAQ’s fixed markup was increased due to its now being tied to tied to the consumer price index. Whether or not these last two developments alone explain the outcome of the most recent shoot-outs, the trend is clear: the LCBO increasingly beats the SAQ on price.

Written by carswell

February 11, 2011 at 12:29

Posted in Shoot-out

Tagged with ,

2 Responses

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  1. You were right on about the Weinstock typo. That LCBO, it likes to invert $21 pricetags. Hope no one went to Hawkesbury for it!


    February 16, 2011 at 17:17

    • Ah ha. Doubt anyone’s gone to Hawkesbury as the wine won’t be released until this Saturday. And now, thanks to your heads-up, we all know it’s cheaper in Quebec.


      February 16, 2011 at 19:17

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