Wine List Once-Over: Hook Seabar

How's the wine list view from this English Bay newbie?

August 1, 2018

By Neal McLennan

The Spot: Hook Sea Bar, the newish seafood spot on Davie and Denman that aims to blend casual and quality with a bitchin’ view thrown in.

The Theme: Tough to say, really. All things to all people, maybe?

The First Impression: A lot of OK, which is o.k and little snippets of interest here and there.

The Steal: The 100% Pinot Noir Rose from Le Vieux Pin is $24 at the winery and only $48 here – the rare only 2x mark-up, made even more special when it’s a more reasonably priced wine. Also, they’re offering the same great deal that Homer Street Cafe does on Moet—$125 for a $65 bottle of wine that’s normally subject to much higher mark-ups. And the Chablis from Brocard is only $70, on a $38 bottle of wine—I’ll have 2!

The Gouge: I can’t really find any bottle that nudges overs 2.5 times mark-up except for the rose from la Vieille Ferme which at $36 for a $13 bottle of wine is perfectly fine.

Cool Factor Bottle: Not a lot of wine nerd fodder here, but there’s a Pecorino and a Friulano, both on the esoteric side of Italian whites. And while Falanghina has become pretty mainstream, the bottle here, from Quintodecimo, is pretty rare and very, very tasty,

The Head Scratcher: This is a seafood restaurant but the list has 23 bottles of red to only 19 bottles of white. And while I appreciate that red can frequently go with fish the list is overly heavy in beg reds—there’s 8 Cabernets or Cab/Merlot blends to 1 Gamay, which is a shameful ratio for a fish spot. (or any spot really)

The Grade: B+. This is a list that is pretty straightforward and it’s balance is a little off, but the prices are dynamite, especially considering the prime real estate they sit on.

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