B.C. Wines: Unsung Players in Rise of Vancouver’s Culinary Scene

As you can see from elsewhere here, and from the crescendo this week of the on-line buzz surrounding the live launch of this year’s 200 plus menus, Dine Out Vancouver has more than earned its place as the country’s biggest restaurant promo of its kind.

Now while you will hear plenty about deals on meals, you won’t hear a whole lot about the fact that Wines of British Columbia also play a major role in this two week dining out extravaganza—that’s turned into a life saver for many restaurants in a typically very soft time of year—post holidays and pre-tax time. Especially this year.

Digging through the raft of on-line info has turned up one revelation: you can tell very quickly those restaurants who take their wine programs seriously, as they include some smart wine pairings along with every dish mentioned on their Dine Out menu.  Or, perhaps we should say, you can easily tell those who really don’t care—because they don’t bother. (However, some places actually do have good programs but, curiously, don’t actually mention them on the site—so it does pay to ask…)

Dine Out owes at least a part of its success to the BC Wine Institute’s earlier promotions, such as the (for its time) ground-breaking Salmon & Pinot Blanc—A marriage made in BC—way back in the 90s, when a score of restaurants participated in Vancouver’s first food and wine pairing festival, as a way to promote what was then BC’s most widely planted white varietal. (Only a few years later did growers jump on the Chardonnay bandwagon.)

As BC Wine Institute executive director Miles Prodan notes in today’s North Shore News, promos such as Dine Out are often responsible for introducing BC wines to new consumers. In fact, those original BC Wine initiatives were often responsible for getting wineries a toehold on lists that previously would never have dreamt of allowing a BC wine within sniffing distance—in some cases (in those early days) with good reason.

Making the most of Dine Out is all about tracking down restaurants that truly do offer good value for your dining dollar, so it pays to also check out the wine angle of your DoV reso. Some rooms offer a smart, optional add-on that pairs three wines (including a late harvest or icewine), usually for a pretty fair price.  There are some exceptions, however, as others see an unfairly inflated by the glass price as one way of getting you, the diner, to subsidize their Dine Out experience.

Read the North Shore News column here.

About the image…

This is a shot from an excellent lunch with St. Hubertus wines, last year at Sun Sui Wah. Read about it in the current issue of Vancouver Magazine, under ‘Liquid Lunch.’

By | 2018-01-21T15:05:42+00:00 January 9th, 2011|Belly's Best Bites, Belly's Budget Best, Top Drops|2 Comments

About the Author:

Tim has been covering the food and wine revolution for about 20 kilos. Count 15 kg alone thanks to the blossoming cuisine and wine culture of British Columbia, Canada. Tim’s hallmark is seeking out and recommending value wines from BC and around the world that offer quality at every level. He also scopes out noteworthy restaurants that live up to their promises—and often over deliver. Readers depend on the Hired Belly for his “Belly’s Best” and “Belly’s Budget Best” picks to help them find the right wine for the occasion. He writes, tweets and shoots his own images for columns in the Vancouver Courier and North Shore News. He also contributes to WHERE Vancouver magazine, as well as to several other publications. They include Taste magazine, Tidings Magazine, and Montecristo. His columns are frequently picked up by major newspapers across Canada. Tim is a frequent judge for wine competitions, such as Vancouver Magazine International Wine Awards. He is a founding judge of The BC Lieutenant Governor’s Awards for Excellence in Wine. He is frequently invited to judge at The BC Wine Awards, and others. Tim has traveled to taste in many of the world’s leading wine regions, most recently in Burgundy, Argentina and Chile.


  1. Tweets that mention B.C. Wines: Unsung Players in Rise of Vancouver’s Culinary Scene — Hired Belly -- Topsy.com January 10, 2011 at 2:49 pm

    […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Vancouver Retweeter. Vancouver Retweeter said: RT @judybishop RT @hiredBelly: http://tinyurl.com/2co3vpu More on #DineOut and wines. A little background to #Vancouver wine and food promos […]

  2. Dine Out Vancouver: So Many Restos—So Little Time! Our $18 Best Bets — Hired Belly January 13, 2011 at 7:24 pm

    […] First of all, we looked at value (food, ambiance, service), based on what we’ve found at the restaurant before and on their Dine Out menu; we also looked at the calibre of cuisine, and creativity behind the menu—and that includes the wine suggestions and how well they’re paired. And, if you’re on a budget, ask about the wine prices in advance … See our comments here. […]

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