Meet the wine lover: Michelle Kanis of Vancouver's Bar Corso

Apr 21 2021, 4:00 pm

Earlier this year we introduced you to a new expertly curated wine club called Wine Vikings.

This subscription service offers members six hand-selected hidden gem wines each quarter. Bottles arrive with a link to a video hosted by the local Wine Viking (aka Vancouver industry pro who chose those bottles) to guide you through their picks.

Next up? A fantastic group of bottles curated by Michelle Kanis and Anson Lo, Operating Partner and Wine Director at Vancouver’s Bar Corso, respectively.

Wine Vikings

Anson Lo, Wine Director at Bar Corso (Photo: Ruben Nava)

For each box, we’re introducing you to the Wine Vikings behind the bottles, so check out this Q&A with Michelle and get a taste of what’s in store if you’re subscribed.

If not, get on it!

Tell us a bit about your journey as a wine lover

Coming from a European family, wine has been something introduced to me at a young age to have with dinner (or food). However, I did not get to appreciate it until I was much older and my social circle became more diverse with different age groups, cultures, and experiences. They just simply wouldn’t put up with my vodka soda b.s. and introduced me to having “experiences” with wine and food rather than just “having drinks.” (However, I still like to just do that too! – Full circle.) Now I get to teach my friends and customers my shared experiences and knowledge, which is one of my favourite things about my day-to-day work.

Which wines are the most frequently ordered at Bar Corso?

Funny enough, everyone always wants to order the classic Italian wines (Amarone, Barolo, Chianti, etc.), but we actually try really hard to bring in harder-to-find grape varietals that are not the norm to help show the complexity and variety of wines offered from all over Italy.

What has been the biggest change in the wine world since you started your career?

I’m sure there have been many notable changes since I’ve started drinking wine. However, I just like going against the current. I like when old stigmas of wine are changed by new and upcoming wine producers recreating classics. You hate Primitivos? Let me help change your mind. I love a challenge.

What are the qualities to look for when purchasing a wine?

Do your research before buying wine. Check out the region, grape-style and producer. You will see wines that are well-awarded will have a higher quality wine.

What’s the most exquisite pairing of food and wine in your opinion?

Cheese. Stinky, soft, melty, aged, it doesn’t matter. Cheese and wine will always win in my heart.

What is an affordable, underrated wine you can find in most liquor stores?

Lambrusco by Merdici Ermete. It is a dry, sparkling red wine that is super affordable and delicious. Can’t go wrong.

Any off-the-beaten-track restaurants with exceptional wine programs in Vancouver?

Arriva (old-school family-style Italian restaurant) has a crazy good wine list, and of course, you can never go wrong with French picks at La Faux Bourgeois.

Wine Vikings

Michelle Kanis, Operating Partner At Bar Corso (Photo: Ruben Nava)

How did you get involved with Wine Vikings?

No-brainer wine subscription, how could you not get involved? I love it when friends are creating great things, and Wine Vikings is just that.

How did you go about choosing your wines for Wine Vikings?

My Wine Director, Anson Lo, and I are very particular and wanted to showcase some classic wines from typical regions, but also push the boundaries and showcase unusual and surprising wines as well to help broaden the typical person’s wine knowledge.

Which bottle from your Wine Vikings box are you most excited about?

I’m really excited about the Lambrusco. It’s just not that common, but if you know, you know.

To learn more, be sure to check out Wine Vikings’ website.

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