5 summer wines under $20 for outdoor drinking in Vancouver

Jun 22 2016, 11:02 pm

By David Stansfield

Drinking outdoors is a beautiful thing. Bring a cold bottle of something good to the beach and you’ve got plans for the day. Bring enough to share and you’ve got a party. Summer living can be that easy.

It seems wrong to lock our booze inside when all of Vancouver’s best bits are outside. Unfortunately, the buzzkills-that-be don’t think we can handle the menacing combination of drinks and nature. Odds are you disagree. The brown bags, illicit cans, and red Solo cups dotting the city’s beaches stand as proof.

To celebrate this thirst-quenching act of civil disobedience, here are five summer wines perfect for outdoor drinking. Bonus points: Each has been paired with an iconic Vancouver beach.


Vinya Nostra Organic Xarel-lo – Spain ($14.97)

This crisp, cool Spanish white is made from Xarel-lo, an indigenous grape from the Catalonia region that’s rarely made into still wine. Typically, its the backbone of cava, Spain’s answer to Champagne. You’ve probably never heard of it. On its own, it’s like the low-key side project from that dude from that band you like. All that hipster cred makes it perfect for Third Beach — so does being organic and sporting a label with a black and white owl that doubles as a tattoo design.

Available at: Private stores and BCLD
Goes with: Third Beach

Herdade do Rocim Mariana Branco – Portugal ($17.99)

As Vancouver’s most populous beach, English Bay has lots of everything. It’s an effortless blend of locals and tourists with beauty that never fails to impress. Much like this complex, yet balanced, white blend from Portugal, the masters of the field blend and made from a handful of native varieties. Don’t ask how it works. Just enjoy the fireworks.
Available at: Private stores and BCLD
Goes with: English Bay

Vancouver Urban Winery Rosé – BC ($17)

An urban oasis, Crab Park is a slice of grass and sand wedged between the convention centre and the port on the other side of the tracks from Gastown. The Vancouver Urban Winery is the same. A bonafide BC winery in the heart of Railtown. Their (technically our – I helped make this!) dry and refreshing rosé made from Pinot Noir and Bacchus grown in East Kelowna clocks in at a cool 10% ABV. Perfect for day drinking.
Available at: Vancouver Urban Winery
Goes with: Crab Park

Yalumba Christobel’s Moscato – Australia ($15.99)

Drake drinks Moscato. Specifically, with “the girl who’s a student and her friend who’s a model.” Sounds about right for Kits Beach – Vancouver’s see and be seen, bikinis-and-bros beach. Yalumba’s Christobel’s Moscato is a bang-on, bright and sunny Aussie version of Italy’s low alcohol, slightly sweet, fizzy wine of the moment. Try it on ice with a splash of vodka when it’s time to turn it up.
Available at: Private stores and BCLD

Goes with: Kits Beach

Summerhill Pyramid Winery ‘Alive’ Organic White – BC ($17.99)

A truly sublime match: An all-natural, easygoing, aromatic blend of Pinot Gris, Viognier, Riesling and more from BC’s original counterculture and first certified biodynamic winery, paired with Vancouver’s au naturel, just about anything-goes, sixties throwback beach. The screwcap means no need to clutter your fanny pack with a corkscrew.
Available at: Private stores and BCLD

Goes with: Wreck Beach

David Stansfield began his wine career as a teenage cellar hand twenty years ago. Today, he’s an independent sommelier, the Wine Director at Vancouver Urban Winery, and co-host of the popular Sunday School wine school.

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