Vancouver Would Be Cooler If is a column that advocates for things that exist in other cities that could, in one way or another, serve to improve life in our own. Archive here.
On a recent visit to Los Angeles, a friendly (if not strikingly familiar) storefront caught my attention. Tucked away among the modest character homes and leafy streets of Silver Lake is Vinovore, an airily cozy wine shop that has its shelves stocked with specially selected bottles that highlight the female winemakers who are crushing the grape-crushing game around the world. What that amounts to is hundreds of bottles, everything from from bubbles to robust reds, plus a small selection of some notable offerings from the beer and cider realms. The ‘labour of love’ aspect of the business outdoes itself when you hone in on each individual bottle to read the detailed, handwritten tags explaining each wine’s story.
What could be an overwhelming experience is made playful and simple by consulting the species-specific legend to guide sippers through their wine purchases — depending on your mood and flavour preferences, you figure out “What Kind of Vinovore Are You?” The only trouble with this system that I can foresee is a digression from helpful and novel tool to minor humiliation or – worst case scenario – some serious self-reflection and wine therapy! Otherwise, it’s the perfect shop assistant for indecisive folks like me.
The clever concept is executed elegantly in a homey, pressure-free atmosphere that includes a settee centrepiece for reclining on while pondering whether you’re feeling more mammal than reptile. Since Silver Lake is virtually a mirrored sisterhood of Mount Pleasant, Vinovore could be airlifted from its Hoover Street address to one of the more retail-heavy stretches of Main Street. Take a closer look:
Mount Pleasant is a poor facismle of Silver Lake. For Vancouver to have anything close would require a merger of the Chinatown, Gastown, Stratchona and parts of Grandview-Woodlands (not the Drive). Oh and a healthy dash of the Kitsilano/Yaletown pretension.