The Goods from Vessel Liquor
Since opening doors in December 2015, Vessel has become Victoria’s hub for all things wine, beer, spirits, cider, and the conversation and culture surrounding them. Our locally-owned, independent company was built around supporting authentic products and producers, from our BC backyard and from around the globe.
Awarded Best Liquor Store in Victoria four years running, Vessel remains even more committed to serving the community. In 2022 we greatly expanded the footprint of our store, allowing for hundreds more listings. And in 2023, we expanded provincially, with an extensive new website and online store, allowing customers from across BC to shop Vessel from home.
From local producers to international imports, we have pulled a few of our favourite things from the shelves to show you a what we are all about. Here are our top recommendations for October:
MADE IN BC
Bella Wines Sparkling Chinato, Naramata, BC ($29.99)
This special wee fizz is a unique sparkling and fortified wine made in conjunction with Marrow Vermouth, and perhaps the world’s first such wine?! Inspired by Barolo’s Chinato, this project began in the shadows in 2014 with a Bella Solera Cabernet Franc, further merged with local flavours like local honey, organic botanicals, and cinchona bark sourced by Marrow. Blended, fizzed, and capped, this digestivo is a special gift and late night wonder. Find it online.
Cape Fynbos Gin, South Africa ($59.99)
Fynbos is a fragrant, iconic, and scrubby family of bushes, widely and wildly growing across South Africa, imbuing its environs with a distinctive herbal oily scent. Those aromas are captured in this striking gin, along with 30 botanicals (check out the beauty of a label) and pristinely pure spring water from the Franschhoek mountains. Partner with a DRY, artisanal tonic for best results. Find it online.
CROSS CULTURAL COLLAB
Fernet Hunter, Austria ($94.99)
Fernet Hunter BC is a unique collab between Austria’s cultish Fernet Hunter, and BC’s Endeavor Snowboards, including wild blueberries from both regions, united strongly with arnica, orrisroot, and lavender. Bitter in the best way, enjoy this edgy fernet on the rocks, with or sans soda – preferably at the top of a mountain. Find it online.
OLD OLD VINES
De Martino Viejas Tinajas Cinsault 2020, DO Itata Valley, Chile ($49.99)
While driving through vineyards in super southern Chile, the De Martino brothers found abandoned tinajas (handmade clay jars of varying shapes and sizes), which they tried making wine with, as their ancestors did. This Cinsault comes from a single vineyard in coastal Itata’s granite and quartz soils, own-rooted and dry-farmed. The result is a striking, light, near gossamer red, with tight and fine siding housing layers of wild plum, peony, iris, boysenberry, wild blueberry, thorns, and tea leaves across the slender, saline palate. Find it online.