Ask for Luigi, 305 Alexander Street

Ask for Luigi, 305 Alexander Street

Contrary to what the name suggests, most diners at this jam-packed Railtown favourite are actually busy asking for creative, Italian comfort dishes – and the thorough wine list. An emphasis on bottles of white from France, Italy and Spain is showcased, but house pours are available by the glass and from the tap. “It’s a fun, easy and affordable option so you can focus on what’s important: catching up with friends and family,” explains general manager Matthew Morgenstern.

UVA Wine & Cocktail Bar, 900 Seymour Street
Credit: Clinton Hussey

UVA Wine & Cocktail Bar, 900 Seymour Street

When a lounge’s name translates to “grape” in a foreign tongue, visitors can reasonably expect a wine-soaked respite. Tucked into the ground floor of the Moda Hotel, Uva promises a dedication to “adventure, comfort and satisfaction” with its impressively curated list. Four flights are on offer, ranging from the floral- and fruit-focused Pretty Things to the Italian Tourist (pictured above), which showcases Prosecco, white and red for those times when you just can’t decide.

The Wine Bar at Provence Marinaside, 1167 Marinaside Crescent
Credit: The Wine Bar

The Wine Bar at Provence Marinaside, 1167 Marinaside Crescent

“One size fits all” doesn’t cut it at Yaletown’s Wine Bar at Provence Marinaside. Wines on tap are offered in four sizes: small glass, large glass, half litre and full bottle. Eight varietals of whites (including a number of Okanagan favourites and one rosé) as well as half a dozen reds are available from the kegs.

Sipping a crisp white or savouring an earthy red has become a whole new adventure at a number of popular Vancouver eateries
Credit: Clinton Hussey

Sipping a crisp white or savouring an earthy red has become a whole new adventure at a number of popular Vancouver eateries

Bambudda, 99 Powell Street

As fine as the nectar of the gods is on its own, sometimes wine also collaborates. A fortified Cabernet Sauvignon is used as a float on Bambudda’s delicious Powell Street Sour, creatively devised by bartender Tarquin Melnyk. A delightful visual, this recipe boasts two varieties of Scotch topped with red wine and a whimsical vermouth “air,” created in a glass bowl atop the restaurant’s bar. “It’s compelling to look at. It gets people asking questions right away,” says Melnyk.

The Sardine Can, 26 Powell Street
Credit: Clinton Hussey

The Sardine Can, 26 Powell Street

It sounds like something from a Tennessee Williams play set in the Deep South: red wine and citrus soda. But the unique blend is one of many highlights at the tiny space occupied by The Sardine Can in Gastown. The tapas venue creates tinto de verano with red wine and San Pellegrino Aranciata for a tangy, tart treat. “It’s a street-food calibre sangria; a pretty good hangover cure and an even better hangover inducer,” jokes co-owner Chris Stewart.

Mamie Taylor's, 251 East Georgia Street

Mamie Taylor's, 251 East Georgia Street

Chinatown’s Mamie Taylor’s is well known for its backwoods decor, so diners may not consider fine wines as a viable beverage option here – but they certainly are, especially as integral ingredients in two popular cocktails. Cava (a Spanish sparkling wine) is central to the effervescent bite of the Ducatti Thief while the Pressed Apple Flip (pictured) folds in house-made port with a noticeable cherry finish.

Vancouver Urban Winery, 55 Dunlevy Avenue

Vancouver Urban Winery, 55 Dunlevy Avenue

Gone are the days when wine aficionados had to leave the city to enjoy their favourite pastime. For two years now, the Vancouver Urban Winery has offered up a traditional tasting experience in the heart of downtown. “For anyone looking to understand the Okanagan wine scene, our space is one of the most unique experiences in Canada,” says co-founder Steve Thorp. An on-site tasting tour allows visitors to sample some of the three dozen B.C. wines on tap. In the adjacent Belgard Kitchen, four different flights of wine are showcased.