While it’s true that stores like the Wine Rack sell wine, they are owned and operated by large wineries and offer only a limited product range.
What would be the difference between a wine shop and a store like the Wine Rack or Vineyards Estate Wines?
Along with greater convenience, wine shops will offer a much wider selection of wines from across Ontario and around the world.
Individual owners will be able select the products available in their stores, whether they are from Niagara, Prince Edward County, Napa Valley or elsewhere.
Just like you wouldn’t buy tires from a clothing store, your wine shouldn’t come from the same place you get a lottery ticket or a chocolate bar. Wine shops will be dedicated to offering Ontarians a vastly wider selection of wines while still offering greater convenience and responsibility.
The simple answer is no. Wine shops will follow the same stringent government guidelines as bars and restaurants. Each wine shop will be licenced and inspected on a regular basis by the Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario.
The LCBO does an outstanding job of offering a variety of wines to Ontarians, but its stores have only so much shelf space. Wine shops will be a complementary service to the LCBO and provide greater selection, convenience and specialization.
Just like opening a bar or restaurant, any person would be able to apply to the AGCO for a licence to open a wine shop.
Wine shops will follow the minimum pricing standards set by the province of Ontario and, just as at the LCBO, the price of an individual bottle of wine will vary based on factors like the winery that produced it and its age.
In recent years, Alberta, British Columbia, Manitoba and Nova Scotia have allowed individuals to open privately owned wine shops.