Italian wines are so well loved and respected, they’re almost synonymous with quality.
While many might think of Tuscany and its Chianti with their pasta dishes, or Veneto and it’s prosecco and amarone, Italy is home to 20 wine regions and around 350 indigenous grape varieties.
For many years, Italy has topped the charts as the world’s largest producer of wine, with almost 20 percent of the world’s bottles – around double that of all the USA, yet the country is only three- quarters the length of California. And with a population of only 60 million people, Italians can’t drink all the wine they make, so nearly half is exported – and Canada is Italy’s 5th largest market!
Whether you’re a fan of Barolo or Brunello, or the wines from Sicily or Sardinia, finding a store with a top-notch selection (and the people who can help you find the right bottle) can be intimidating.
So where do we find the best selections of Italian products in BC?
With many of us staying in and looking for quality wines to drink at home, the Italian Trade Commission set out on a quest to find the liquor stores in Western Canada that have the finest selections of Italian wines, spirits, and liqueurs.
Over 300 beverage importers were asked to nominate the sales staff and their stores, to find out who is working with a wide variety of Italian wines – not just the well known producers and regions – and who really embraces what Italian wines have to offer. Then for judging, the stores with the most nominations were asked to sum up in a video of less than two minutes, their approach to Italian wine, the breadth and depth of their selection (variety of prices, uncommon wines, appellations, and producers) to encapsulate their passion.
The competition celebrates the very best liquor store selections and sommeliers with a clear Diamond Award winner, as well as two Gold Award runners up. We’re delighted to announce the BC winners:
- Diamond Award: Legacy Liquor Store, 1633 Manitoba St, Vancouver. Sommelier: Kady Smith
- Gold Award: Everything Wine, 8570 River District Crossing, Vancouver. Sommelier: Jordan Carrier
- Gold Award: Village Taphouse, C1-900 Main Street, Park Royal, West Vancouver. Sommeliers: Tyler Dawson and Rich Francis