Are the imported alcoholic beverages you represent available at LCBO stores?
In general, no...and here's why: We represent small and medium-sized artisanal producers that have small and medium-sized budgets. But the LCBO, as a major retailer, accepts products for its stores on the basis of producers committing to a print advertising campaign and promotional support here in Ontario while the product is on the store shelves. Large wineries/breweries/distilleries operate on a scale that supports such a marketing program.
But it's more difficult for most small and medium-sized producers to take on those required financial commitments. They are trying to get their products into markets all over the world, so their marketing budget has to be stretched in many directions. 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.
Having said that, the LCBO has recently implemented their "Products of the World" program, where a range of products from small producers like the ones we represent are being made available to consumers at select LCBO stores. Therefore, you may be able to find some of our wines being sold by the bottle at LCBO stores through this program.
Where can I find the products shown on your website?
Mainly at restaurants and events, but private individuals may also purchase these products by the case. Fine restaurants purchase these products because sommeliers appreciate the opportunity to carry wines with the quality, value, and relative exclusivity that smaller producers can offer them.
Find out how to purchase the products shown on our website.
Why buy a case of wine? It seems like a lot...
- If 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...
How much importance should I place on ratings?
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.
Do you ship to other provinces within Canada?
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 can ship it to you, but the cost of shipping a case of wine across Canada might be more than you want to pay.
Do you ship to the United States?
No we don't. 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.
How can I obtain the alcoholic beverages sold through your website in my own province/country?
* 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 enjoy the alcoholic beverage while you are here. (You can contact us for suggestions if you like.)
An alcoholic beverage that you represent is being offered at a lower price in Alberta/U.S./Europe than what you are charging here in Ontario. Why the difference?
Whereas a free market system exists in those places, here the LCBO determines the cost to us of incoming alcoholic beverages. The fluctuation of the Canadian dollar influences this process. Also, and perhaps more importantly, the taxes and duties as well as freight charges involved in importing to Ontario are different from (i.e. often higher than) those involved in importing to other places.
As far as factors that are within our control are concerned, we are committed to keeping our prices fair and competitive within Ontario.
Why are some products discontinued from your portfolio?
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.