Frequently Asked Questions
As agents for respective producers listed on this website, Argentum Wine Imports and The Full Wineglass Agency & Imports do not sell beverage alcohol. We act as a sales conduit, arranging for the customer in Ontario, Canada to purchase the products listed on this website from the LCBO. Find out how to purchase the products shown on our website.
In general, no...and here's why: We represent small and medium-sized artisanal producers that have small and medium-sized budgets. Producers need deep pockets and large quantities to get bottles onto those store shelves on a sustained basis.
They are required to commit to a print advertising campaign and promotional support custom-made for the Ontario market while the product is being sold here.
It's difficult for most small and medium-sized producers to take on those financial commitments that fit just one market. A marketing budget has to be stretched in many directions in these days of globalization.
This also means that small producers often don't have available for Ontario the very large quantities that could enable the expensive marketing campaign to be cost effective. They therefore place their products with agents like us who can promote them for purchase through other channels.
Sommeliers at many fine restaurants purchase these wines, known as Consignment wines, through us because they appreciate their quality, value, and relative exclusivity when compared to wines that are widely available.
Having said that, in these unprecedented times you may see some of these wines popping up in LCBO stores for a short time as the LCBO sells off some of its existing stock of Consignment wines in their stores, potentially at a discount.
- You had it at a restaurant and you really like it!
- You'll have the wine you like on hand for whenever you feel like opening a bottle...
- Give some of the bottles as exclusive gifts and keep some for yourself...
- You'll have enough for everyone when you entertain...
Ratings and awards have their place in identifying wines you might want to try, but they shouldn't be your only guide. Besides the fact that many excellent wines are never submitted for ratings, we all have individual tastes and preferences and should explore them personally, rather than following trends. Your tasting experiences will vary and depend on many factors.
Experts' tastings have a different context from your own, including a date that's now in the past. Keep in mind that wine changes over time, even in an unopened bottle. Some wines are undrinkable when first bottled but are a joy after six months in the bottle. A wine that wowed a judge a year ago could be even better now or could be disappointing. And many wines, though they don't impress judges who are swishing and spitting, are outstanding when enjoyed with food.
We encourage you to check if the alcoholic beverage you are looking for is available through an agency in your province. If it is not, we may be able to ship it to you, but the cost of shipping a case of wine across Canada might be more than you want to pay.
No we don't...and here's why: U.S. Food and Drug Administration regulations do not allow us to ship alcoholic beverages directly to consumers in the U.S. Anyone shipping alcoholic beverages from any country to the U.S. must have an importing agent. It makes sense for a producer to have an agent in the U.S. but not for us as importers to Canada.
* Find an importing agency or alcoholic beverage seller in your country. They may very well carry the product you are looking for or know where you can purchase it.
* Visit the winery/brewery and purchase the product while you are abroad (first check your country's import regulations for travellers).
* If you have friends or family living in Ontario, you can purchase the alcoholic beverage through us and ask to have it delivered to their address. Then pick it up when you visit them.
* Come to Ontario for a vacation or weekend getaway and purchase the alcoholic beverage while you are here, for delivery to you at your hotel. (You can contact us for suggestions if you like.)
Whereas a free market system exists in many other places, here in Ontario the LCBO determines the cost to us of incoming alcoholic beverages. The fluctuation of the Canadian dollar influences this process. The taxes, duties, and freight charges involved in importing to Ontario are often higher than those involved in importing to other places.
If our products occasionally appear in an LCBO store at a lower price, it's a way for the LCBO to reduce some of its warehouse inventory by holding a sale of these products in their stores for a limited time.
As far as factors that are within our control are concerned, we are committed to keeping our prices fair and competitive with those of other wine agencies in Ontario.
A few possible reasons include: 1) The alcoholic beverage may no longer be available from the producer; 2) A new vintage of a previously available wine does not live up to our expectations; 3) Overall client demand is too low to continue bringing the product; 4) The cost of bringing the product becomes too high relative to a competitive selling price.