The LCBO’s latest specialty store carries a wide range of alcoholic beverages from across East Asia.
The new “Destination East Asia” store offers an impressive list of wines and spirits from countries such as China, Japan and Korea, all available for the rst time outside licensed bars and restaurants. Located in Toronto on Steeles Avenue East near Markham Road, the store comes on the heels of the success of the Liquor Control Board of Ontario (LCBO)’s rst East Asian specialty store, which opened in April 2016.
Sake and shochu
The new store stocks over 80 different wines and spirits from Asia, and of course an extensive selection of sake and shochu are on the list. Sake, also known as nihonshu in Japan, is a traditional wine made of fermented rice. It has a lower alcoholic content than shochu, which is a hard liquor. Shochu is commonly distilled from sweet potato, barley, rice and buckwheat, among other ingredients.
It’s a safe bet customers will be able to find their drink of choice here. And for those who need more guidance choosing the perfect pairing, specialty customer service staff and a dedicated product consultant are on hand to advise about the rarer offerings in-house. This latest store is the fteenth of the LCBO’s “Products of the World” specialty stores, and the second dedicated to Asian wines and spirits, after the first store in Markham saw products being sold out faster than they could be stocked. Combined, the two stores represent one of the best assortments of speciality alcohol from Asia in North America, and the selection is always changing and growing.
The store’s products are also offered on the LCBO online store. With a few quick clicks customers who can’t make it out to the in-store location can have the store’s speciality liquors shipped out, but note that delivery is only available in Ontario. The website highlights a few of their products such as the Kaika Sanomaru Cup Sake, which is described as “steamed rice harmonized with citrus fruit” and features an adorable cartoon dog on the container, and the Wakatake “Demon Slayer” Sake, described as “watermelon-tinted.”
On the website, customers can search for specific brands and check their prices. Orders can be delivered to a home address or to a nearby store, though home delivery is the quicker of the two. The store offers a wide range of options, from inexpensive bottles that start around $8–$10 to premium options for around $100–$150 a bottle.
Other “Products of the World” stores include a Greek store, a Portuguese store and kosher locations with plans for more specialty stores in the future.
LCBO Destination East Asia store
5979 Steeles Ave. E., Toronto
For online purchases go to www.lcbo.com and click on A World of Choices > Eastern Asia.