Buying wine in Montreal

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#1
920 Posts
Joined Jun 2006
I'll be staying at the Le Meridien Versailles in Montreal the night before my cruise. HAL lets you bring on as much wine as you want. Is there someplace "convenient" to the hotel where I could pick up some on the morning before my cruise? I'll have two large suitcases and a good size carry on, so I'm still debating the logistics of how to handle 4 - 5 bottles of wine along with the other stuff. Any suggestions, as I've never tried to do this before.

Thanks.
#2
Montreal, Quebec, Canada
3,773 Posts
Joined Jul 2004
Wine sales in Quebec are divided in two markets.

The provincial liquor commission, called the SAQ in Quebec has the largest selections of wine and alcohol in the province. Depending on the classification of the store, you can expect to see a large selection of French and Italian fine wines as well as wines from many other countries as well as Canada.

Depanneurs (Convenience stores) and grocery stores are allowed to sell wine and beer during most (but not all) open hours. They are allowed to sell only varietal wines (vin de cepage), in which the type of grape is not allowed to be disclosed.

If you want fine wine, go to the local SAQ. Their website is at http://www.saq.com you can see prices, locations and even inventory.

The closest SAQ is the one in Le Faubourg at 1616 St-Catherine West. As far as Depanneurs (or deps as we call them in English) there are so many that there is no point to give you an address, just ask at the hotel if you don't see them. There are at least 3 within a block of the hotel.
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#3
montreal - Canada
5 Posts
Joined Aug 2008
There is a SAQ two blocks down from the hotel (I live a block away). You can buy wine there, or if you want "cheap" wine, you can buy it at the "Couche tard" (it's open 24 hours) down the street from the hotel.
#4
Plano, Texas
307 Posts
Joined Feb 2006
Ephraim et al,

Does the SAQ or deps carry wine in a box (Black Box or Hardys)? We like to keep wine in our cabin for a before dinner drink and find the boxed wine works well and stays good. Since we will be in Montreal for 3 days before sailing we've like to buy it in Montreal rather than pack it.
#5
Montreal, Quebec, Canada
3,773 Posts
Joined Jul 2004
Both the SAQ and the Deps carry wine in a box. At the deps you will find basically wine by colour, as I said, varietal wines or table wines. You likely won't recognize the names. For example, Cuvée Saint-Honoré for CAD$32.50. Many of the same boxes are carried at the SAQ outlets, since most fine wines don't come in boxes.

There are a few that are reviewed (ie have detail cards) on the SAQ website. As for the specific brands that you asked for, I only see Hardy's (Australia) in bottles. You can check for yourself at the SAQ website.
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#6
Plano, Texas
307 Posts
Joined Feb 2006
Ephraim - you are wonderful. We arrive in Montreal this weekend and I can't tell how much your advice on these boards has helped me with my planning for our 3 days before our cruise - now all I have to do is figure out how to ask for boxed wine in french!!!
#7
Montreal, Quebec, Canada
3,773 Posts
Joined Jul 2004
Originally posted by VicKen
Ephraim - you are wonderful. We arrive in Montreal this weekend and I can't tell how much your advice on these boards has helped me with my planning for our 3 days before our cruise - now all I have to do is figure out how to ask for boxed wine in french!!!
"Un boite de vin, s'il vous plait" (Oon bwaht dhe vhen, sil voo pleh.)

Remember, when you are visiting that American fast food chains should be avoided so you can try the local fare. If you must have fast food, try Tim Horton's and Harvey's or a local joint. Remember to look for people in the window.

If you go to Prince Arthur for Greek food (I live near the end of Prince Arthur) or Duluth, the restaurants are mostly BYOB. During normal hours there are SAQ outlets close by, but after hours there are deps that keep a lot of wine as well.

Enjoy Montreal. And you will see that for the most part you don't have to worry about speaking French in Montreal, unless you are far on the east side of the city or in the 'burbs off the island.
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