Getting distracted in a Winnipeg Liquor Mart…

It started off innocently enough… “Let’s go pick up a few things for tomorrow’s open house!”

My sister and her partner kindly host a gathering when I’m back in my hometown of Winnipeg. This time her partner suggested we head over to the local “LC” (Liquor Commission) and grocery store to stock up on a few drinkables and edibles for the celebration.

Cue wide-eyed kid in a candy store dazed expression… because the array of wines, beer and other liquid libations available in your regular old liquor store in Winnipeg far outdo your local Mumbai “wine shop”. They also have multiple tasting corners to try before you buy – I’m a HUUUGE fan of this concept!

First I was introduced to a “Growler Bar” where you re-fill your empty growler (1.89 L) or howler (946 ml) with beers on tap. Naturally everything is available to sip before you commit.

Growler Bar (Photo:

Growler Bar (Photo: Liquor Marts)

Then I was distracted by the whisky section and a helpful lass who shared tales of her adventures with craft distilleries in BC… which turned from various whiskies to other offerings…

Fort Richmond Liquor Mart

Followed by further digression to another sampling counter where I revisited the delightful Caorunn gin. Which lead in turn to an exploration of:

  • Dillon’s Unfiltered Gin 22 40% (Batch 18) from Ontario – remarkably nuanced with 22 botanicals weaving together to awaken your senses with a teasing perfume
  • Spain’s Gin Mare 42.7% with its Mediterranean flavours of olives, rosemary, thyme, basil and mandarin is bolder and shouts out to be transformed into a wicked martini

Dillon's + Gin Mare

Apparently my father’s quest to obtain Crown Royal Northern Harvest Rye was remembered! “Hey you are the one that lives in India and writes about whisky, aren’t you?”

Rather than hoard bottles, when Northern Harvest Rye initially flew off the shelves after Jim Murray catapulted it to his global top spot, Canadian liquor stores were re-stocked with the remaining 200 cases at the same price… with free samples being generously shared so the public could enjoy. How utterly Canadian, eh?

While we were decidedly delayed in completing our simple shopping list, what fun to while away some time with friendly knowledgable staff while sampling a few interesting wares not readily accessible in Mumbai!

Any local liquor store that you enjoy visiting?

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