Bartlett pear, clover honey, and a good hit of stone with a dry, abrupt finish, but an acidity that breaks through cured meats, olives and firm cheese. Wait: this isn’t a wine review. This is the saga of the sorry state of affairs when it comes to wine in BC.
Let’s start here: Some good memories, years ago, drinking decent everyday Italian wines, some Corvo, Frascati, Verdicchio. Then let’s jump forward and try to find those working horse wines in BC. Good luck.
True story: I went into a well stocked private wine store and asked if they had any Verdicchio. The proprietor said “Verdicchio? I wish.” That really says it all.
So when a local distributor had some organic bottles available we decided to get a case. Not because we wanted a case, because short of driving all over the city, from store to store to store, trying to find a single bottle, the only way to order through the distributor is by the case.
Wait, you say. It’s 2020. Search online. Oh, you’re hysterical. Let me know which nights you do standup. Search online indeed. [Note for another post: The three wine stores in the province with search friendly online databases.]
Get this: After you order you wait a month. Even though the wine is here, even though you’ve specified where you want to pick it up, it takes three or more weeks to cross the city. Then the local store calls you and, you go, and you pay. And you have a case of wine to drink.
There could be a better way. Gismondi has written widely on the price point of BC wine, on a lethargic and unwieldy government system, on barriers to wine trade. But really, we live in a modern democracy. We should have wine clubs like the New York Times and Wall St Journal and umpteen other American versions. But we don’t.
The online databases for most stores are poor, inaccurate or nonexistent. The best of the online databases, Everything Wine, is even a little clunky and can be awkward when they run lower than a case at any given store. In other words often.
So, in short, if you are passionate about wine, the system is set up to ensure your passion is quelled and you drink at the mercy of higher ups that have a grander notion than personal taste.
Price: Is it relevant? In the grand scheme of things?
Market Liquidity: A lot of work to spend a lot of money for what was, last time I checked, a pleasure of adulthood, not a penalty.