I’m on a mission that speaks to the winelover in me. Find restaurants and bars where their Happy Hour wine offerings are front of mind and not an afterthought. Chewie’s is one of those places. On a recent visit to the Coal Harbour location their white wine was Lock & Worth Sauvignon Blanc Semillon and the red was The Hatch Pinot Noir. Both are relatively new entries to the B.C. wine scene but they should be on your radar. Given that Chewie’s Happy Hour has some of the freshest oysters available in the city the Lock & Worth white is the perfect choice. The food options reflect the restaurant’s Cajun inspired menu. I also tried the crab cakes and the house made sausage which is not to be missed. The Hatch Pinot Noir worked so well with the sausage. Their Kitsilano location was pouring different B.C. Wines but they too were quality choices. What also caught my wine eye was the modest mark-up on premium pours like Nota Bene, Caymus Zinfandel and Osoyoos Larose Le Grand Vin. No 150% gouging that’s commonplace at many restaurants. That reflects a wine forward approach that I support. I like saving at Happy Hour so I can go back on special occasions and splurge. Chewie’s makes that option less expensive too. Well done!
Chewie’s Steam and Oyster Bar in Coal Harbour and Kitsilano
Happy Hour daily from 3-6 p.m.
There’s a very good reason for the playfully named “Tappy Hour” at The Wine Wine Bar which is adjacent to Provence Marinaside. The restaurant and wine bar have dozens of wines on tap including the largest list by far for Happy Hour. Many are on tap, just like beer, hence “Tappy Hour.” Equally important for the quality of the wine you’ll enjoy is the relationship building of Rachelle Goudreau who runs the wine program. She works with some of B.C’s best wineries to create blends unique to The Wine Bar. The white wine pictured on this review comes from Evolve. It’s a delicious blend of Pinot Blanc, Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc and Semillon. Absolutely note perfect with the chilled seafood salad. That’s just one example of how “Tappy Hour” raises the bar in Vancouver. Each of the wines on offer are $5.00 a glass. The accompanying bites are $5.00 or $6.00. For variety, quality and taste of wine and food I think The Wine Bar at Provence Marinaside is, in my opinion, the best Happy Hour of the dozens I’ve visited in YVR.
The Wine Bar/Provence Marinaside
Tappy Hour 3-5 daily
The amount of rose wine being produced and purchased in B.C. grows year after year. No surprise really. It’s easy to drink, affordable and pairs with anything and everything. Now Monster Vineyards has added a new twist to their lineup with Rosie. Essentially a sparkling rose. It’s absolutely the perfect wine for your next party or reception. I love the strawberry aroma in the glass. The taste of strawberries carries through with your first sip and there’s also a touch of cranberry. Grab this fizzy pink and let the fun begin!
Price: $19.12 (plus tax)
Available: Swirl Wine store in Yaletown
Price: $23.39 (plus tax)
Available: Marquis Wine Cellars
It’s been less than two years since B.C. allowed bars and restaurants to offer Happy Hour promotions. The results have been decidedly mixed. As much miss as hit. For the record a cheap highball and deep fried pickle is NOT my definition of a proper Happy Hour. Jules Bistro in Gastown gets it with classic French cuisine paired with three quality wines. A white, red and rose. The three wines are pictured in this review. At $5 a glass these wines are what I expect from a restaurant that takes wine seriously. I’ve been a fan of Jules Bistro’s food for years. For Happy Hour you can enjoy classics like Moules and Frits or Beet Salad with warm goat’s cheese at $8 each. Don’t miss the cheese plate. Quality and value make this Happy Hour a Cheapandcheerful pick.
216 Abbot Street
Happy Hour daily 3:30-5:30
You can’t be a wine lover without noting the explosion in rosé on your favorite store shelves. Drink pink seems to be tapping a huge market. The range in style and flavor seems to be finally ending the dated view of rosé as cotton candy sweet. Take this offering from Argentina where Malbec is king. As you’d expect from a wine made from that grape it’s full bodied and loaded with fruit. You’ll taste cherries with a hint of citrus. A bracing acidity makes this wine a great match for a charcuterie year round. Terrific value too.
Price: $13.99 (plus tax)
Available: B.C. Liquor stores
In my never ending campaign to make rosé the wine of choice twelve months a year I have this little beauty to offer you. Unlike other full bodied rosé I’ve recommended this is lighter bodied but still offers plenty of flavour. Bone dry as you expect from a French rosé and full of fresh fruit. Think strawberries and cherries. Something we all miss once the leaves fall. A refreshing rosé for sipping on its own but it’ll pair with any dish.
Available: Marquis Wines on Davie