Category Archives: Wine

Wine Stores As Well As The LCBO

One thing that has really been a hard thing to accept after learning to like wine while living in the USA and then moving back to Canada is the stranglehold that the provincial liquor control boards have on the alcohol that’s sold in this country.

In Ontario, the only alcohol sold in the province is brought in and offered to the public by the LCBO.  This means two things: (1) a small, controlled selection, and (2) crazy mark-ups.  Alcohol can only be sent across the border to someone with a license to receive it – generally, for consumers like me, that means the LCBO – due to customs regulations.  Similarly, other provincial liquor control boards will not send product across provincial lines to regular consumers.

For instance, when I was in Columbus, OH, I fell in love with a little wine by Orin Swift Cellars called The Prisoner (2006).  Nothing from this winery is available in Ontario, however, it can be purchased in Alberta and British Columbia for anywhere between $50 and $75.   And while it’s a good wine, it’s definitely not worth more then the $35 per bottle that I would pay for it in the US.

The LCBO can order wine in, however, they state that the mark up could be 4x the price that they pay, and that a whole case would need to be ordered.

And that just makes me sigh.

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