Vancouver Wine Shops

Headed to the Olympics today and looking for wine shop recs. No need to carry super high end stuff, just looking for a place that would have good Oregon and Cali pinot. Staying in Yaletown if that helps. Thanks in advance.

Worthwhile wine stores include: Kitsilano Cellars (4th Avenue between Vine and Yew in Kitsilano) and Liberty Wine Merchants (four locations, including one on Granville Island, across False Creek from Yaletown). There’s also a provincial store downtown on Alberni just west of Thurlow that has a specialty section that often has good stuff. (Most of the provincial stores carry only downmarket stuff.)

You’ll probably be disappointed with the selection of Oregon and California pinots – indeed of U.S. wines in general – in Vancouver. And be forewarned that because of taxes, prices are high. I do occasionally find good deals on European wines, though, where a big score or cachet has driven up the prices in the U.S.

(FYI, I grew up in Vancouver and my parents still live there, which is why I know the retail stores.)

Thanks John!

If you want a great meal, try La Quercia on 4th Avenue at Alma, toward U.B.C. The food is largely Piemontese and it’s first rate, and the wine list is decent. You could take the 4th Avenue or Dunbar buses there from downtown if you don’t have a car.

I’ll second what John said regarding prices and availability of US wines. Wine shops are “state” runned and they try to showcase Canadian (Okanagan Valley in the case of BC) wines over US. Prices are definitely high and with the exchange rate what it is these days, you might be in for a big sticker shot. If you got to Whistler, you’ll be surprised at the Aussie selection in the big shop located in the IGA market mall.

If you’re part of the anti-flavor elite, you won’t care about the Aussie selection then. [wink.gif]

If you like fantastic mussels, you have to try Chambar:" onclick=";return false;

The congolaise is amazing.

Jorge – For at least 10 years there have been private shops in B.C., which have the best selections. The great bulk of the selections in the private stores are foreign. That’s true of the provincial stores, too, which are loaded up with cheap Aussie, French and Italian stuff.

Most of the provincial stores are a bit grim – think Pennsylvania. But the ones with specialty selections (the Alberni St. store I mentioned above and another on Cambie at 40th Ave.) are worth checking out if you’re prowling around.

Grab some Burrowing Owl Pinot Noir (Okanagan Valley) - it is top notch.

Didn’t realize that John…my bad. You sure about ten years though? Last time I was at Whistler (2004), which is where I normally shopped around, it seemed like the shops were still government runned. In any case, I limited the comparison to US wines. I can’t recall seeing a good selection of CA or OR wines, which are what Sean is looking for.

Marquis wine cellars. 1034 Davie St.