By LESLEY TRITES
Bocata (Photo: Riccardo Cellere)
When it comes to wine, there’s no better place than Montreal to try something a little off the beaten track. Well-crafted wine lists abound at chic spots in this city full of sommeliers. Just ask for la carte des vins at one of these top wine bars.
Drink in Montreal’s best wine bars »
Photo: Segue Lepage
Photo: Amielle Clouâtre
Photo: Zebulon Perron
Photo: Aurelie Jouan
Photo: Riccardo Cellere
Photo: Kenneth Kunin
Lesley Trites writes about wine at Girlonwine.com
Delectable food and wine pairings at Giovane Cafe. Photo by KK Law
Tucked into the Fairmont Pacific Rim, near the Vancouver Convention Centre, Giovane Cafe is handy for quick bites and great coffee. At night, though, the space transforms into a sophisticated wine bar with Italian cheeses and house-made meats, pizzas and, of course, wine. The list features more than 40 wines by the glass, including Barolos and Barbarescos, kept fresh by the state-of-the-art Enomatic system.—Tim Pawsey
GIOVANE CAFE $–$$. B/L/D (daily). Fairmont Pacific Rim, 1038 Canada Place. 604-695-5501. www.giovanecafe.com
Edible Canada photo by KK Law
Head to Granville Island to discover Edible Canada, a sleek bistro, wine bar and retail store that celebrates all things comestible and Canuckish. Nibble on crispy, bronzed, Fraser Valley duck fat fries; slurp richly flavoured West Coast seafood bisque; or savour BC birch syrup and kasu-roasted sablefish, all from a menu that includes plenty of vegetarian and gluten- and dairy-free options. Refreshments range from hard-to-find Okanagan and Vancouver Island wines to “eastern” beers such as Steam Whistle and Propeller, for homesick Torontonians and Haligonians.—Tim Pawsey
EDIBLE CANADA AT THE MARKET Full-service bistro celebrates the best in BC and Canadian cuisine, with fresh ingredients and artful presentation. Take-away window, patio and demo kitchen. Also a retail space with artisanal foods and unique kitchen wares. Sign up for a culinary tour. $$. B/L/D (daily).
1689 Johnston St. 604-682-6675. www.ediblecanada.com
Obladee on Barrington Street. Photo: Lisa Enman
Shining like a beacon on Barrington Street, Obladee has brought a touch of style and class to its downtown neighbourhood. Intimate and tony, the casual wine bar serves some 30 wines by the glass and 40 more by the bottle. Vintages are artfully paired with
artisanal cheese and charcuterie.
Kushi oyster, caviar, Buddha's hand and finger limes at Divino. Photo by KK Law
Winemakers visiting for the Vancouver Playhouse International Wine Festival (Apr. 19 to 25) like to taste at a growing number of savvy wine bars.
1 Divino Surprising find on The Drive offers a solid by-the-glass selection, with well-crafted plates to match.
2 Salt Tasting Room Pioneering, red-brick haunt tucked away down a Gastown alley specializes in hard-to-find drops paired with local charcuterie and cheeses.
3 The Refinery Cozy, wood-clad, upstairs escape off busy Granville Street creates adventuresome platters served with an extensive BC-focused wine list.
4 Uva Wine Bar Sommelier Sebastien Le Goff susses out hard-to-find labels for a global list that goes well beyond the ordinary.
5 Au Petit Chavignol Worth the trek to the east side, this intimate bistro specializing in fondue and raclette also packs the city’s most serious Riesling list.—Tim Pawsey