Brrr, baby it’s cold outside. I know it’s January, whom some like to refer to as Dry January. A time when they take a month away from (over) indulging the month before with all the holiday festivities. I get it, but why can’t we just be more selective in our indulgence?

With the pandemic still in full swing, and most places closed, I think we can agree we need to treat ourselves sometimes. Here are three bottles of wine I recently tried that are above the regular day-to-day options we often go with. For a few dollars more, you can up your ante and ease our way through this 4th (?) wave.

Cheers all, and stay safe and warm out there!

Bodega Norton Privada Family Blend 2016 (14%, Mendoza, Argentina)

Deep opaque ruby; aromas of blackberry, vanilla and cigar smoke; on the palate it is dry and full bodied with plush tannins and moderate acidity; flavours of cassis, mocha and pepper. Available at LCBO

Also at LCBO is the Bodega Norton Barrel Select Malbec (14%, Mendoza, Argentina)

Clear medium ruby colour; smoky, floral and rye bread aromas, along with hints of black plum and honey; dry with medium body, balanced acidity and firm structure; smoky black fruit is enhanced by notes of honey and spice, and the flavours linger on a medium length finish.

Emiliana Coyam Syrah Blend (Vintage, 14.5%, Colchagua Valley, Chile)

Named for the oak forests in Colchagua, this wine is mostly Syrah and Carmenère but can include up to seven other varietals such as Cabernet, Mourvèdre and Petit Verdot. It’s elegant and refined, with floral notes, cassis, chocolate, mint and nutmeg. Pair with lamb chops and mushrooms. LCBO

About the Author

Bryen Dunn is a freelance journalist based in Toronto with a focus on tourism, lifestyle, entertainment and community issues. He has written several travel articles and has an extensive portfolio of celebrity interviews with musicians, actors and other public personalities. He’s willing to take on any assignments of interest, attend parties with free booze, listen to rants, and travel the world in search of the great unknown. He’s eager to discover the new, remember the past, and look into the future.