I finally visited Everything Wine in North Vancouver and, without the beer and liquor, it’s the closest thing to Bottle Barn I’ve seen in Canada. It’s a clean, well-lighted, 12,000 sq ft place for wine, where expansive aisles and substantial stacks make it a wonderland to browse.
Everything Wine is a private store with Liquor Board prices. Its selection and value make it perfect for shoveling cases into a shopping cart. Plus, they offer a token 5% discount off 12 or more bottles. Of the store’s 3,000 labels, half are speculative, which means the Liquor Board does not list them and they are usually not available outside the odd restaurant. There are mountainous case displays featuring spec wines at prices ranging from $11 – $15, a sight unseen in any private or provincial store. A wine slut could go nuts in a place like this.
Bottles are arranged first by country, then by producer, which is an excellent way to shop. In the California section, Ivana and I found the Taz Santa Barbara Syrah and Pinot Noir – alas, not the Chardonnay – which is a rare label in these parts. In Argentina, we found the very first Torrontes I ever tasted, the organically-grown Pircas Negras. And, they also carry the Crios Torrontes, which I’ve never seen in Canada. In the BC department, we found several wines from Pentage and a generous array of Le Vieux Pin. We saw so many old friends and so many new; it was like a wine reunion,
The store has a dedicated wine bar and features daily tasting from 2-6pm. On the Saturday of our visit, they poured a flight of Trefethen wines from Napa, including a $109.00 Cabernet Sauvignon. Its luxurious mouthfeel and deep black fruit tasted all the more splendid while touring the well-appointed Vintages room. A knowledgeable clerk told us that the store carries about 3,000 labels, 600 of which are displayed in the cool darkness of that cave. They stock more Rombauer Chardonnay than I ever saw in Bottle Barn.
Other upsides include free parking, ample accessories and lots of literature. The staff is so helpful you almost want to fight them back with a magnum. Specially designed shopping carts have an extra-long bottom rack that might be helpful for piling cases, but seemed otherwise dangerous to the ankles. The Web site is clear and attractive, and would be perfect if it had an inventory search engine. The site does have a Feedback page and that’s where I’m going to make a formal request for the Taz Chardonnay. We’ll see if they can source it.
Everything Wine has a store in Victoria, but what I want to know is when will they open here in Vancouver?
Details: 998 Marine Drive (Across from Indigo Books) North Vancouver, BC. 604-929-7277. Hours: Monday – Saturday 10-9, Sundays 11-6
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