Fresh for November

Treat yourself to one of these newly available wines.

Not sure what to serve or even how to choose what’s good? Wine columnist and author Natalie MacLean shares her top picks for mid-priced wines that are currently available near you. Her no-fail scoring method guarantees a quality bottle every time. Look for MacLean’s column, Pulling corks, in each issue of the magazine.

JACKSON-TRIGGS ‘PROPRIETORS’ ‘GRAND RESERVE’ CHARDONNAY 2003 VQA Niagara Peninsula VC: This wine won a bronze medal at the 2005 Canadian Wine Awards and a ‘Special Mention’ at Vin Italy 2006. It’s a lovely and luscious chard with oaky, buttery notes. Full-bodied. Drink with corn dishes and lobster. $19
Score: 89/100.

WITHER HILLS SAUVIGNON BLANC 2005 Marlborough, South Island, New Zealand: Stunning herbal aromas, refreshing and mouth-watering. Perfect for salad, vegetarian, pork, chicken and seafood. $20
Score: 90/100.

LA FORTUNA MERLOT 2005 Lontue Valley, Chile: This organic wine is a stunning value. Aromas of blackcurrants and ripe black fruit with a bit pf spice. Serve with steak or lamb. $13
Score: 89/100.

MAS JANEIL CÖTES DU ROUSSILLON-VILLAGES 2003 AC (Sarl Jacques & Francois Lurton): Cedary and peppery with aromas of ripe cherries and raspberries. Fresh and full-bodied. Excellent wine for grilled meats. $16
Score: 88/100.

Wines are scored using a scale of 100 points – although wines under 80 points aren’t included – who wants to keep track of all the less-than-stellar wines when there are thousands of good ones? Wines scored 80 and above are all worth drinking – it’s up to you to decide your own cut-off point for scoring and whether a wine at 86 is worth $12, $17 or $25.

80-84: These wines are pleasant – something you’d be happy to bring to a casual get-together with friends or drink on a weeknight.

85-89: These wines are delicious and have more depth of flavour and texture – something you might break open on the weekends (though, of course, you can treat yourself any time).

90-94: These are the wines that make you pause – they are rich in character with a unique and complex flavour.

95-100: These wines are extraordinary, spectacular – words fail to capture them. Truly a treat.

Natalie MacLean is the author of Red, White and Drunk All Over: A Wine-Soaked Journey from Grape to Glass. She was named the World’s Best Drink Writer for the articles and wine picks in her free wine newsletter, available at