I often get asked where people can find the wines that I write about. There’s actually a really simple, quick answer: go to Liquor Connect and search for the one you want.
Liquor Connect is a website (and an app) by Alberta Gaming, Liquor & Cannabis (AGLC), the provincial agency that oversees liquor (as well as gambling and cannabis). It is a searchable directory of all liquor products in the province.
Simply do a name search for the product you’re looking for, or search by various categories, and you’ll get a list of matches. From there, click on the product you want, and then click on the big “Where to Buy” button in the middle of the page.
You’ll see a map of Alberta which you can use to pinpoint stores near you that have ordered it in the past, or search by postal code.
Now, here’s the catch: the site will show all the liquor stores that have ordered this product in the past, but it doesn’t necessarily mean that it’s currently in stock there. You’ll need to call the store to check if they still have it (and the Liquor Connect site broadcasts this advice at the top of the page).
If they don’t, ask if they are planning to order it again. Most stores would be happy to order you a full case or even a half case. Granted, that’s a big ask if it’s something you’ve never tried before and don’t want to take a chance on.
Occasionally you will find something that’s not available anywhere. Some wines are very rare and/or heavily allocated, meaning that very little was brought into Alberta and most (if not all) has already been reserved for certain stores or restaurants. In these cases, your best bet is to reach out to the import agent and check on the availability.
The agent name is a clickable link listed on the main product page; click on that and you’ll pull up the contact information for the agent. Give them a call or shoot them an email and they should be able to tell you if any local places carry that product, and when to expect more if there’s none left.
And that’s it! Go forth and search out those wines.