Vancouver: BC wine
We are coming up from Washington State this coming weekend to visit Vancouver and want to get our hands on some of that great British Columbia wine we read about, but can rarely get this side of the border. Can anyone recommend any restaurants (can go up to expensive, but not super-expensive) with good Canadian wine lists?
My information is somewhat dated as we have not dined in Vancouver very much of late so hopefully some Vancouverites will "chime" in with more contemporary recommendations.
Our experience has been pretty good when it comes to B.C. wines in Vancouver restaurants. We usually "drink" BC when visiting.
The ones I can recommend are The Raincity Grill which has quite a good wine program but it has not been getting very good reviews of late from what I have seen here and at other "foodie" web-sites.
Cru is an interesting spot on West Broadway and Granville which has a very good wine list and emphasizes small plates. We had a good evening there with some local friends who we introduced to Poplar Grove cab franc and their excellent tiger blue cheese and Nota Bene's "bordeaux" blend.
A year and a half ago we introduced the same friends to Tantalus Riesling at West Vancouver's Beach House at Dundarave Pier. The same restaurant usually has some good Canadian wines like those from La Frenz.
I am not sure if the Beach Side Cafe is still open in West Van. It usually had a number of good Canadian wines like those from the hard to get Blue Mountain and the popular Burrowing Owl vineyards.
The winelists at the Salmon House up on Folkestone Way [sp?] in the same general area and the Fish House in Stanley Park had a number of good Canadian selections as did Cin Cin, Joe Fortes and others downtown.
Places that have good food and and good B.C. wine programs:
Aurora Bistro has killer food and an all B.C. Wine program. Lots of hard to find bottles/small allocations.
Raincity Grill has a good program, haven't eaten there for a long time though.
Salt Tasting Room usually has about 1/2 - 1/3 of their wines by the glass and flite from B.C.. Also a cool place to hang out.
I'm sure other people will chime in with more recommendations. Have fun!
We drink product of two BC wineries at our house this year: La Frenz (Viognier, Chardonnay, Riesling) and Herder (Josephine blended red, Three Sisters blended white, and Pinot Noir). These small wineries don't produce much and have no trouble selling everything but you might find them in restaurants. These are good examples of the latest generation of BC winemakers. They have serious education and great international experience.
Recently, we visited Gastropod and enjoyed the 9 course Grand tasting menu with wine pairings. Angus An is a young chef with plenty of confidence. I can still taste the fresh oysters with horseradish snow served over sauternes jelly and shallot reduction. This little dish was bright and assertive but so delicate. The restaurant is small and simple. We encouraged the servers to talk about the dishes and the wines served for each course. I don't think that should have taken prompting but that's my only complaint about the evening's experience.