The Lift Bar and Grill is one of those places I’ve walked in front of a hundred times and yet never thought I would ever enter. It just always seemed a bit too fancy (and to be honest, expensive) for me.
But when my friend Dianne Chow mentioned their monthly Wine Club events for 25$, I thought, what a great occasion to try this place! And since I want to dip a little deeper into the world of wines, I couldn’t pass up an unpretentious and un-fancy occasion to taste wines chosen by the restaurant’s wine director, Steve Lobsinger, paired with delicious tapas from the restaurant’s menu.
Yesterday’s choice of wines focused on this holiday classic: the Riesling. I’m already a fan of Riesling, so it wasn’t too hard to sell me on the wines.
The tasting featured five Rieslings from around the world (including two from BC). These were:
- 2009 St-Hubertus Dry Riesling from the Okanagan
- 2008 Claar Cellars Riesling from Washington State, US
- 2010 Dr. Loosen Riesling from Mosel, Germany
- 2009 Pierre Sparr Riesling from Alsace, France
- 2010 Tantalus Riesling from the Okanagan
My favourites were the Dr. Loosen and the Tantalus, with the St. Hubertus not too far behind. I’m a sucker for sweeter, more fruity wines, and these suited by tastes better.
All of these wines are entry-level, between 15$ and 25$, which is great for trying your favourites again at home.
The accompanying food was perfectly paired with the wines: Japanese-style spicy eggplants with shrimp, fried squid, spicy sushi rolls, salmon patties and a delicious wild mushroom polenta. As I learned, Rieslings are best paired with spicy foods, and the eggplant and sushi sure were spicy… I ended up splurging on the softer polenta, salmon patties and squid.
The greatest thing about the wine club is its unpretentiousness. Steve might be a wine expert, but he acknowledges that not everyone is, and that, in the end, wines are a matter of taste. You’re allowed to like or dislike anything, even if you can’t use the specialized vocabulary. And, newbie as I am, I indeed felt very welcome and not intimidated at all. I could ask silly questions (“am I right to think this wine tastes flat?”) and I got thoughtful and helpful answers from Steve. You also leave with a short pamphlet full of interesting information about the type of wine itself and some tasting notes about the wines of the evening.
Bonus: they saved my life by giving me two band-aids for my blistered feet (new shoes=bad idea). Excellent customer service, excellent food and excellent wines make for a great evening!
You can follow the Lift Twitter account for announcements about the next Wine Club. It happens once a month and costs 25$. When the event is up, you can buy tickets through Eventbrite (but the next one isn’t up yet).
25$ to learn about and taste five wines and get some food on a Tuesday sounds like a good deal to even kind of broke me. There are only 12 spots available each month, so grab your tickets as soon as they become available!
Disclaimer: I paid for this wine club on my own dime. No post was expected.