BC Trip Report – Part 1

October 25, 2005

Some brief observations about wine in BC.

What’s up with the private stores? Victoria is full of them, yet Vancouver seems to only has a few. In fact, I had a hard time finding anywhere to buy wine near my hotel on Robson Street. There’s a good private store (Marquis Wine Cellars) on Davie, and I found a BC Liquor store (government-run) on the street behind my hotel. But that was it. In the densest part of Vancouver, I could only find one private store, with the nearest (but unimpressive) neighbour on the edge of Gastown.

My traveling companion and I hopped on the SeaBus to North Vancouver’s Lonsdale Quay in the hopes of finding the Liberty Wine Merchants outlet that was rumoured to be there (okay, it was listed in the phone book). Sadly, the outlet had closed down after last Christmas. So we ogled the 95-pound halibut that was for sale in the fish market and caught the boat back to Vancouver.

Contrast that with my experience in Victoria. While wandering around the depths of suburban Oak Bay, I came across two wine stores – right across the street from each other. It seemed like every time I turned around, I found a new wine store. I counted six different stores in my brief time there – and I spent all my time in Oak Bay and downtown Victoria. I have no idea what else is in the metropolitan area.

The prices weren’t too impressive though. One of the stores in Oak Bay was selling Little Penguin Shiraz for $16.75 – on sale. Marquis was quite reasonable, but on the whole, wine prices in BC are higher than in Manitoba (except for BC wines). The selection was OK at best, but nothing like what you’d find in Manitoba. Again, Marquis was the best. The rest of the stores had a much more limited selection.

Tasting notes to follow soon…


  1. Who told you Liberty was at Lonsdale Quay? There used to be a crappy winestore on the Quay, but it was put out of its misery. Liberty is in Park Royal, a few minute busride away from Lonsdale. A great store!

  2. I’ve been to the Park Royal store before – it was great! I saw a Liberty outlet listed in the phonebook and felt like a quick jaunt on the SeaBus. But no luck on the store.

    Next time I will make the trip to Park Royal.

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