Stretching along the coastline of the Pacific Ocean and tucked along the edges of centuries-old rainforest, Vancouver is a young city defined by its natural geography in ways unlike any other. It’s known by many names: Lotusland in reference to Homer’s Odyssey, the City of Glass from a Douglas Coupland novel, and Hollywood North thanks to a few seasons of the X-files and oodles of films.
Vancouver is a port city that came of age in the prohibition era and grew up into a diverse urban center with much to offer, including a burgeoning culinary scene and wine culture. Destination or layover, Vancouver is where you want to spend a few hours or days to eat and drink your fill.
Ah, champagne. The magic in these tiny bubbles captivated our hearts long before the incomparable Don Ho sang those words. We saw champagne as decadent in the 1920s, with flappers and prohibition, and it has marked our celebrations and milestone moments for decades. They’ve been reserved for special occasions and have become almost mandatory to properly welcome a new year. For me, bubbles are part of a typical Tuesday. Research? Yes. And preference.
Technological advancements in the cellar have helped to reduce labor costs in sparkling wine production and introduced new ways to get those bubbles in the bottle, removing barriers and bringing the party to the people without as hefty a price. These developments have also provided some confusion as to what sparkling wine is – and could or should be.
While it might be best known for maple syrup and hockey, Canada’s cool climate winegrowing is earning a hot reputation. Dedicated enthusiasts might know something about Ontario’s Niagara region, or perhaps heard whispers of the Okanagan Valley in British Columbia. Canadian wine is the cool and obscure band that your hip friend’s favorite cool and obscure band says they listen to.
With small production wines rarely leaving their home provinces and complicated liquor laws thwarting ease of movement within the country, local wine can be a rare commodity even to Canadians. Each province is the main consumer of what it makes; like many niches, it’s best to experience these wine regions in person.