At the LCBO, an inherent risk in buying wine (or anything else, for that matter) is not being able to try before you buy. While most of us want to expand our repertoire of go-to brands – and have some fun experimenting — it’s tough shelling out for something that turns out to be disappointing.

Riesling grapes. Photo from

Riesling grapes used to make the feature wines. Photo from

But if whites are your thing, you can try an assortment of Rieslings – and help a good cause – by taking part in the Ontario Consumers’ Choice Riesling Challenge at Guelph’s Scottsdale LCBO (615 Scottsdale Drive), on Saturday, May 24, from noon – 4 p.m. This unique event, now in its 8th year, will highlight dry and off-dry Rieslings from 16 Ontario wineries.  Cost is $10 for four samples. Sample stations in the Scottsdale location’s tasting room will be staffed by winemakers, owners, or staff from the winery. As well, several local food retailers will also be providing samples during the tasting, including Ouderkirk and Taylor and Eric the Baker. Better yet, all proceeds from the event will go to Bracelet of Hope charity.

Other LCBO branches should follow Scottsdale’s lead. The LCBO is continually criticized by people (me, included, and by many Ontario wineries) for not doing enough to promote Ontario products.  You can’t aim that criticism at the Scottsdale store, with promotions like this.