Vancouver: where to taste/buy Okanagan, and YVR Buys

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Mark R
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Joined: February 28th, 2019, 8:14 am
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Vancouver: where to taste/buy Okanagan, and YVR Buys

#1 Post by Mark R » March 20th, 2019, 7:07 am

Headed to Vancouver tomorrow for Spring Break, and have the restaurant research done. Just wondering if anyone has recent experience with good venues to taste (ideally by the glass) Okanagan reds in the downtown area?

Also looking for insight on any finds in the duty-free at Vancouver YVR airport - recommended?, or should I buy something pre-airport?
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Siun o'Connell
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Re: Vancouver: where to taste/buy Okanagan, and YVR Buys

#2 Post by Siun o'Connell » March 20th, 2019, 12:26 pm

Haven't been in a few years but the duty free was not helpful except for Ice Wine's.

I don't see a wine list on their website but I had a wonderful meal at YEW at the Four Seasons - and they focus on local in food so their lounge may well do a good job with BC wines. Otherwise, I am just jealous since I miss going to BC so I could bring back Tantalus Rieslings.

Mich@el Ch@ng
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Re: Vancouver: where to taste/buy Okanagan, and YVR Buys

#3 Post by Mich@el Ch@ng » March 20th, 2019, 12:33 pm

I got a nice bottle of Le vieux pin single vineyard Syrah at the airport duty free.

Alan Huang
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Re: Vancouver: where to taste/buy Okanagan, and YVR Buys

#4 Post by Alan Huang » March 20th, 2019, 1:14 pm

There are a few wine shops that typically host wine tasting inside the store:

1) Swirl (Yaletown): it's a VQA store so they only sell BC wines. Here are their upcoming events (https://swirlwinestore.ca/collections/in-store-events). Some are paid and some are free. This is probably your best bet to taste some BC wine with minimal costs (or even free). VQA store also sells BC wines that you normally won't be able to find in other wine stores as VQA store, like Swirl, sell only BC wines. If you want to buy BC wine, buy it here as they have more selection, including the premium ones.

2) Marquis Wine Cellars (Davie Street): They have a wine tasting bars inside the store and you can ask for a taster. They sell wines from all over the world, including BC (https://www.marquis-wines.com/). Staffs are very knowledgeable.

3) BC Liquor stores (many in downtown BC): Many stores typically offer wine tasting (not just BC wines), but the flagship store is on Cambie and 41st in Vancouver (http://www.bcliquorstores.com/store/locator ; http://www.bcliquorstores.com/event)

There are a few other wine stores (e.g. Everythingwine, Liberty, Legacy in Olympic Village, Village Wines in Kitsilano, Broadway International Wine Shop) that are outside of downtown areas and they frequently offer wine tasting events too.

As for wine bars to try out BC wines, many restaurants in downtown all offer BC wines. My fav wine bars are Brix and Motar, Salt Tasting Room, Uva Wine and Cocktail Bar, and TWB - The Wine Bar. They have a good selection of BC wines to try.

As for buying wine at the airport, the selection there is very small. If you fly from US to Canada or Canada to US, the selection is even smaller. Many wines are from Ontario rather than from BC. Lots of icewine at a premium price too (even though it's duty free). I would say, if you can, taste and buy from stores and ship in luggage.

Keep in mind, that wines purchased in BC including BC wines are relatively more expensive as we have a hefty tax here. There is also a 15% tax on top of the shelf price.

hope this helps.

Mark R
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Joined: February 28th, 2019, 8:14 am
Location: South Florida

Re: Vancouver: where to taste/buy Okanagan, and YVR Buys

#5 Post by Mark R » April 1st, 2019, 12:47 pm

Great recommendations, and I'll add also "Provence Marinaside" restaurant, which has a "tappy hour" from 3-5pm that had a huge selection of BTG, including some top-end local stuff. Bonus point: the local Costco sells $100 gift cards for $80.

On the topic of YVR duty free, I found myself in the domestic terminal (I connected in Toronto before flying over the border), so no duty free to even see for me!

Alan: I looked at several local of the BC Liquor stores but none had tastings on my dates. Wish I'd had time to try Swirl or Marquis - great recs!

The best wine/meal I had was at Botanist (which trounced local fave Hawksworth in every category), where the Somm Stephanie was 'best in class' and was so kind as to write down a list of recommendations based on my love for the 2016 Averill Creek I enjoyed there. Highly recommend a dinner at Botanist (runner-up: St. Lawrence was also outstanding, but the wines were not local and not cheap).
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