It was by happy accident that Alan and Joni Finston fell into the food and wine industry, but the couple couldn’t be happier.
Alan, a physio therapist by training, wanted expand his workspace and fitness studio when they discovered the possibilities of a large building in downtown Blaine, WA. Looking for a way to best use the additional space the property provided, the two landed on The Vault Wine Bar.
Paying homage to the former bank that once occupied the space, “The Vault” also reflects the quality of the wines to be sampled – some of the best of the West Coast and Western Washington, but also labels from farther afield.
“Part of our success has come from the fact that people north of the border have become aware of what we’ve been doing and find it unique and interesting,” Alan says of their Canadian customers.
“We welcome friends for dinner or to pick up a favourite wine at very reasonable prices. And since we have some more unique offerings, you’ll find wines here that you won’t find everywhere else, yet they’re so darn good.”
Scratch cooking showcases local flavours
Extending that local focus into the kitchen, everything is scratch made with as many locally sourced ingredients as possible, like Twin Sisters Creamery cheese, gourmet olive oils and vinegars from Bellingham’s Drizzle and saison beers from Blaine’s own Atwood Ales complementing the wine collection.
“We’re trying to celebrate everything about the region’s food and wine,” Joni says. “Pairing the right foods with the right wines brings out some of the more subtle, hidden flavours, allowing you to taste wine a little differently.”
One must-try recipe? Definitely the stuffed poblano peppers – panko-breaded and pan fried, stuffed with portobello and cremini mushrooms, provolone cheese and cilantro, topped with a spice pepper tomato sauce, served with a house salad. “Our stuffed peppers will just blow you away!” Alan says.
In addition to a delicious menu, winemaker’s dinners and wine educational evenings, special events include Wasabi Wednesday, Vinyl and Trivia Thursday, Friday Night Flights, live music on Fridays and Saturdays, and even cooking classes.
“It’s become more of a social house, in a way,” Alan reflects, pointing to evenings of live music locals and visitors alike are enjoying. “It’s been a whole lot of fun, introducing the live music scene to Blaine.”
And while the adjacent space hosts fitness classes during the day, the wood sprung floor is ideal for dancing and with seating for 80 has hosted numerous weddings and special events.
Visit The Vault today: Save & Win!
Visit The Vault Wine Bar at 277 G St. in Blaine, WA Wednesday and Thursday from 3 to 9 p.m. and Friday and Saturday until 10 p.m. Show your Nexus Card or Passport and save 10 per cent off your food order.
Learn more at thevaultwine.com