Including great local wineries
When it comes to wine in Canada, no two provinces are alike. One thing that most of them have in common, though, is an increasing number of agents, retailers and wine-makers offering contact-free wine delivery.
Wine might not be at the very top of our hierarchy of needs right now, but, as Québec Premier François Legault pointed out, if the lockdown stress gets overwhelming, “a glass of wine may help.” And wineries across the country are doing their part for stress relief by offering new (often free) delivery services that see these essential workers bring the wine, leave it outside and call you from a safe distance so you can bring it inside.
With a tagline like “Heaven Sent,” it’s hardly surprising Okanagan’s Blasted Church winery was quick to set up contact-free delivery through its courier. Known for its uncommonly good Merlot and its best-selling white blend, Hatfield’s Fuse, Blasted Church also offers creative packages, including the Big Bang Theory, a 12-pack of half-bottles of food-friendly red—an elegant solution for weeknight pizza pairings. Follow @blastedchurch on social media for new promotions.
When Sandhill wines had to cancel its traditional Happy Hour tastings at its winery in Kelowna, it wasted no time setting up a safe delivery system with its courier. That was happy news to the legions of fans who are loyal to its super-popular pink wine and its crisp and fresh Chardonnay—all delivered free to your porch.
Of Naramata Bench’s many charming wineries, the family-run, natural wine-focused Daydreamer was already one of our faves—even before it started offering free contactless delivery on six bottles or more. It’s as good a time as any to join its “Dream Club,” which gets you mixed cases of the best new limited releases twice a year.
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There are more upstart wineries in Alberta than most people realize, but the total output isn’t quite enough to meet demand, so it’s probably best to order wine through its many retailers and private wine agents for now.
In Calgary, wine merchant Metrovino has suspended in-store shopping for the well-being of its staff and the community and, instead, does free contactless delivery for orders over $100—not hard to get to, given its next-level wines. Order directly through the website and Metrovino will donate $10 per order to Meals on Wheels.
Andrew Hilton Wines in Lethbridge will happily take your order over the phone and deliver wine (and/or spirits) to your porch.
In Edmonton, Color de Vino has put together an Essential Case of the Month club for pick-up and delivery—a mixed case of wines assembled every month, so there’s always something new.
If you’re in Ontario and trying to order online from the LCBO, note that orders are taking two weeks or more to ship—and you will have to go to a Canada Post office to pick your order up when it comes. Thankfully, here’s no shortage of wineries in Ontario offering contact-free delivery, including these three:
When paying for your 13th Street online shopping experience, just enter the devilishly clever promo code “free” to get free contact-less delivery of this winery’s world-class Niagara bubbles and other wines to your door. A personal fave is the Blanc de Blanc ($29.95), a fresh, citrusy, light-bodied wine with key-lime-pie notes and gorgeous bubbles. Oh, and they have plenty of great still wines, as well.
We love Malivoire’s commitment to sustainability, vegan-friendly production and, now, safe wine delivery directly to your door from their Beamsville winery (use the code “STAYSAFE” for free shipping for orders of six bottles or more). Try their bright, fruity and floral Melon Wine (not made from actual melons; Melon de Bourgogne is the name of the grape) as well as the crowd-pleasing Ladybug Rosé.
You might not be able to visit the big purple barn in Prince Edward County that houses the Closson Chase winery, but you can get its rosé, Chardonnay and Pinot Noir via contact-free delivery anywhere in the province—and even into parts of Québec. (The winery is also offering contact-free curbside pickup.) Free shipping on orders of four bottles or more with this code: FREESHIP4.
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Although Québec wine is definitely an up-and-comer, options for direct-delivery are limited. Fortunately, the SAQ has really stepped up by teaming with Purolator to offer a delivery service that sees drivers check your ID from two metres away. Sure, it costs $12, but all the money from that fee goes to the province’s food banks.
When it comes to wine delivery in Nova Scotia, there’s a wealth of options, from local wineries like Blomidon, which offers contact-free delivery to Halifax and around the Valley, Domaine de Grand Pré, which offers contact-free delivery in Kings County and the HRM area of Halifax, and Avondale Sky, or retailers like Bishop’s Cellar in Halifax, which sends out mixed cases.
This year’s spring launch of Benjamin Bridge’s famous Nova 7 sparkling wine was different in two ways: First, the tasting and celebration was virtual. Second, BB donated proceeds from every purchase of the 2019 vintage made through the Nova Scotia Liquor Corporation to help front-line workers. The winery offers contactless local delivery to Wolfville and Halifax areas—the perfect opportunity to get to know its other, lesser-known non-bubbly wines.
A few provinces are under-represented here, since their wine industry is a little small. Good news is, though, that many wineries now deliver across provincial lines. And Newfoundland Liquor offers “click and collect” through its stores and, in Winnipeg, the Manitoba Liquor Mart offers contactless delivery on all pre-paid online orders.
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For anyone still falling through the cracks, ratings hub/publication and online wine seller Wine Align just launched the Great Canadian Wine Exchange, a fantastic new service that delivers mixed cases of Canadian wines anywhere in Canada. A Niagara sampler pack is already available—and B.C. options are coming soon.