I know I know you are saying to yourself - Earl's Really? Why yes... REALLY!
I have always been a proponent of the fact that Earls has some great people creating their wine list. Pound for pound I have rarely seen a list with that many good whites and reds on it, and guess what - some fantastic BC wines feature! That being said I am not going to talk about the BC ones today.
Earl's prides themselves on consistent quality and excellent value for your money. WHen it comes to wine ( and actually I think food too), I think they accomplish this goal. My usual favourite for a bottle of wine at Earls is the Meomi Pinot Noir ($27.99 Fort and Foul Bay). This is a new world pinot that has body, fruit, and really speaks to you more like a merlot than a pinot noir - it is thoroughly wonderful. Hard to resist really. And... you pay $30 for it at the liquor store and $50 for it at Earls - less than 100% markup - good value too.
Of course through the Winter, you can go to Earls and on Wednesday nights every bottle is $10 less than the menu price - the value just got even better - especially for a wine at a restaurant. It is not the only good wine - so have a great look at some of their reserve wines and their premium ones too.
They have just added two new wines to their list, an Argentinian Malbec, called The Show and a Zinfandel from California by Joel Gott. I am not a huge Zinfandel fan, so my thought was to try the Malbec, even though I have had it before and liked it. When I asked the night manager for a taste, which they would normally not do with a bottle of wine that they do not serve by the glass, he obliged, what a great guy! That actually has been my experience at Earls, they aim to please the customer and will do what it takes, the sign of well trained empowered employees!
When we tasted the Joel Gott Zinfandel, it was a surprise. It had good fruit, but was not overpowering as a Zinfandel can sometimes be - it was an emminently drinkable wine just on its own, let alone with food. We were having a little calamari, steak and spinach salad and really the wine worked with it all. With the fried calamari, I think I was actually craving a tarter white, but that was just me maybe. With the salad, and it sounded like with the steak too, from the rumblings I heard across the table, it really worked. Wow - another great find at Earls. This one was on the menu at $34, and so on a Wednesday it was a paltry $24 - pretty darn good if you are going out for a bite to eat and something to drink.
Definitely check out the Joel Gott Zinfandel at Earls and for that matter the Meiomi Pinot Noir and The Show Malbec, they are all great. More about Earls Wines in the future!