If Alberta won’t be importing in any B.C. wine any time soon, all the more reason for B.C. residents to step up to the plate–or glass–and drink a little more.
The import halt comes thanks to Premier Rachel Notley’s new “ban” on the cross-border booze in response to the B.C. government’s decision to further review the expansion of the Kinder Morgan Trans Mountain pipeline from Alberta through B.C. Notley says this adversely affects Alberta’s economy, and the premier suggested her constituents drink some Alberta craft beers instead.
It’s not exactly prime wine tourism season in B.C. (many of us, surely picture sipping wine after wine on a hot day’s tasting tour in the Okanagan region) but there are still some easy ways you can support B.C. wineries right now.
1. Take a wine tasting road trip
There are a handful of terrific wineries located not too terribly far from the city, and ideal for wintery weekend road trips. Hop a ferry to Vancouver Island and head to the Duncan area where you’ll find spots like Blue Grouse, Averill Creek, Unsworth, and more all in the same general area. Other local communities a short drive away like Langley and Abbotsford have growing winery scenes (yes, even in Abbotsford, where places like Singletree are doing great things alongside their peers in the Mt. Lehman area). Since it is off-season, be sure to plan ahead and check with the wineries for their hours or to make appointments for tastings.
2. Dine out and drink up
B.C. recently crowned its 2018 Best Sommelier, Sean Nelson, who you’ll find at Vancouver’s Vij’s. Among the two fields of competitors there are 15 restaurants represented, 14 of which are in Metro Vancouver. Make some reservations to eat and drink in one of these spots, and have these talented wine minds guide you through drinking the best of the province. They’re all superstars, but the wine programs at Botanist, Yew, Burdock & Co, Tap Restaurant, and The Stable House really stand out in my experience.
3. Join a wine club
Hop online and sign yourself up for wine deliveries from your favourite B.C. wineries, or wine shops. One of my favourite wineries in the Okanagan is Road 13, and they have a great wine club that offers three shipments of six wines per year. Some wine shops may be able to tailor your shipments to focus on B.C. wines, or you may prefer to go right to your favourite collective or winery and buy exactly what you love.
4. Have a tasting party
Which B.C. winery makes the best Pinot Gris? Whose B.C. bubbles tickle your palate the most? What do wines from the crop of young wineries in Kamloops taste like? What B.C. reds do your friends love right now? The easiest, and most delicious, way to find out is to have a themed tasting party. If you trust your friends’ judgement, have them pick, or if you want to zero in on a few specifics, assign some purchases. Invite everyone over and enjoy–and take notes for what you want in your shopping basket the next time.
5. Shop, shop, shop
This last one is the easiest one of all. Buy some B.C. wine this weekend. Pick up something cheap and cheerful, or splurge on something you might open up for a special occasion. Head to your favourite wine shop or liquor store and make a beeline for the B.C.s.
And of course, please drink responsibly!