Home > VINTAGES Essentials > Wine Styles

VINTAGES Essentials are a collection of hand-selected, finely crafted wines and spirits from around the world. Proven favourites. Always available.

We've developed this system of styles to help make it easier to find a wine you like. Every wine has its own unique personality, of course. But wines of the same style will share some key characteristics, and pair well with the same types of food.

White wines

Light & Crisp

These whites are known for their quenching character and crisp acidity. Fresh, light and invigorating, their flavours will remind you of green herbs, citrus and green apple. They’re social sippers and great with many different dishes.
You may taste: Citrus, green apple, fresh herbs, grassy flavours, mineral notes
Great examples: Unoaked Chardonnay (France), Dry Riesling (Ontario), Pinot Grigio (Italy)
Sip them with: Appetizers, light chicken, light seafood, light pasta dishes

Off-dry & Fruity

You’ll love these wines for their kiss of sweetness. They have fruit-forward aromas and flavours.
Think ripe apple, fresh peach and juicy melon, balanced by a pleasant acidity.
You may taste: Peach, melon, red apple, citrus
Great examples: Riesling (Germany), Riesling, Gewürztraminer (Alsace), Semi-dry Riesling, Vidal (Ontario), Muscat/Moscato (California)
Sip them with: Spicy Thai dishes, Indian curry, smoked meat

Aromatic & Flavourful

These whites are true show-stoppers! Their bold, exotic fruit flavours of lychee, papaya and mango shine through. With thrillingly intense floral aromas, these wines have personality to spare.
You may taste: Lychee, mango, melon, cantaloupe, papaya
Great examples: Sauvignon Blanc (New Zealand), Gewürztraminer (Alsace), Torrontés (Argentina), Muscat (California)
Sip them with: Baked salmon, sea bass, pork, cured meat

Full-bodied & Rich

Meet the most flavourful whites! They have a luxurious texture, often described as “buttery.” They have nutty, vanilla and spice notes thanks to oak-barrel ageing. Their fullness makes them an excellent choice for rich food.
You may taste: Vanilla, pineapple, fig, hazelnut, toasty flavours
Great examples: Chardonnay (California), Chardonnay (Australia), Burgundy; white blends (Rhône), Pinot Gris (Alsace)
Sip them with: Cream sauces, lobster with butter, roasted turkey, poached salmon

Red wines

Light-bodied & Fruity

These easy-drinking wines are fresh and fruity, with bright berry flavours. They’re great anytime sippers.
You may taste: Raspberry, cherry, tart cranberry
Great examples: Beaujolais (France), Gamay Noir (Ontario), Pinot Noir (New Zealand)
Sip them with: Appetizers, soft cheeses, pizza

Medium-bodied & Fruity

These versatile crowd-pleasers are deliciously balanced, with fruit-forward flavours and a casual go-with-anything style.
You may taste: Cherry, raspberry, plum
Great examples: Valpolicella, Montepulciano (Italy), Cabernet Franc, Merlot (Ontario), Côtes du Rhône, Burgundy (France)
Sip them with: Weekday meals, pizza, pasta, grilled chicken

Full-bodied & Smooth

Try these velvety smooth reds with intense, dark fruit flavours. They have soft tannins, spice and vanilla.
You may taste: Plum, vanilla, cassis, clove, blackberry, cinnamon, blackcurrant, black pepper
Great examples: Shiraz (Australia), Merlot, Cabernet-Merlot (California), Ripasso (Italy), premium red blends (Ontario and British Columbia)
Sip them with: Steak, sausage, lamb, mushrooms

Full-bodied & Firm

Try these captivating and powerful reds with complex flavours of black fruit, spice and vanilla.
You may taste: Plum, vanilla, cassis, clove, blackberry, cinnamon, blackcurrant, black pepper
Great examples: Cabernet Sauvignon (California), Amarone, Barolo (Italy), Bordeaux (France), premium Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet blends (Ontario)
Sip them with: Steak, roasted meat


You can drink wine in any glass but if you really want to enhance the taste experience, try a glass specifically designed for the type of wine you are consuming.

An investment in decent stemware will pay off in the long run. Clear glass or crystal is preferable. Avoid coloured or beveled glass.


Aerating can enhance the aromas and flavours of a wine and there is certainly no harm in it. A fancy decanter is not required to accomplish this. Just pour the wine into any clear glass pitcher as fast as you can, to let in lots of air. Try it with white and rosé wines too! Avoid coloured or beveled glass.

Serving Temperatures

The fastest way to chill a bottle is to submerge it in a bucket of half water and half ice for 10 to 20 minutes.

If you have more time:

• Whites can be chilled in the fridge for up to 3 hours (any longer will deaden the aromas and flavours)
• Light-bodied reds such as Pinot Noir (red Burgundy) and Gamay Noir (Beaujolais), can be refrigerated for 15 to 20 minutes before serving to bring out their fresh fruit flavours. If you accidentally over-chill your wine, just let it warm up a few degrees before serving. Your guests will thank you!