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My wife and I have a new favourite restaurant in Banff. We just got back from a weekend there. The Bison Mountain Bistro is several notches above the chain restaurants with fresh ingredients and a creative menu, but is reasonably priced and has an informal atmosphere. Very nice wine list and (rare in Banff) a reasonable corkage of $15 a bottle. The service was attentive and friendly, though the wait staff know nothing about wine.

I had a filet of Pacific wild salmon that was done perfectly. My wife had a smoked bison pizza from the wood fired oven.

Good food, reasonable price, and decent corkage. We'll be back for sure. The only other place we knew of in Banff that allowed corkage is the Keg at the Caribou Lodge. Stay away from there!
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The list is organized by wine style. Heavy on BC. The markups are pretty standard 100-125 % over retail, which makes their $15 corkage very attractive. I couldn't remember many of the wines on the list, as I ordered by the glass, but they were kind enough to email it to me:



cave spring cellars GAMAY, niagara, ontario, canada 46
lailey vineyard PINOT NOIR, niagara, ontario, canada 65
nichol vineyard ‘capriccio’ GAMAY | PINOT NOIR, okanagan valley, b.c., canada 70
parducci PINOT NOIR, mendocino county, california, usa 44
wine by joe PINOT NOIR, willamette valley, oregon, usa 66
golden mile cellars PINOT NOIR, okanagan valley, b.c., canada 78
road 13 PINOT NOIR, okanagan valley, b.c., canada 59
schug PINOT NOIR, carneros, california, usa 78

Medium (ish):

vineland estates CABERNET FRANC, niagara, ontario, canada 47
benton lane ‘estate’ PINOT NOIR, willamette valley, oregon, usa 92
castle rock PINOT NOIR, mendocino county, california, usa 50
bonny doon vineyard ‘cal del solo’ SANGIOVESE, san benito county, california, usa 68
enotria BARBERA, mendocino county, california, usa 44
uvaggio BARBERA, lodi, california, usa 58
the organic wine works ‘a’notre terre’ RHONE STYLE BLEND, california, usa 47
wente murrieta’s well ‘zarzuela’ TEMPRANILLO BLEND, california, usa 99
cline cellars ZINFANDEL, california, usa 50
paul dolan vineyards ORGANIC ZINFANDEL, california, usa 61
bonny doon vineyard ‘le pousseur’ SYRAH, central coast, california, usa 60
magnificent wine co. ‘boom boom’ SYRAH, washington, usa 66
palmina DOLCETTO, santa barbara, california, usa 64
tinhorn creek MERLOT, okanagan valley, b.c., canada 54
cedar creek MERLOT | CABERNET, okanagan valley, b.c., canada 58
okanagan vineyards CABERNET | SHIRAZ, okanagan valley, b.c., canada 42
sumac ridge ‘black sage’ CABERNET SAUVIGNON, okanagan, b.c., canada 68
mandolin CABERNET SAUVIGNON, central coast, california, usa 56
magnificent wine co. ‘HOUSE RED WINE BLEND’, washington, usa 54


kunde estate ‘reserve century vines’ ZINFANDEL, sonoma valley, california, usa 95
william roan SHIRAZ, mendocino county, california, usa 56
silver wines SYRAH | MOURVÈDRE, santa barbara, california, usa 92
robert hall ‘rhone de robles’ GRENACHE | SYRAH, central coast, california, usa 80
inniskillin ‘dark horse estate vineyard’ MERITAGE, okanagan valley, b.c., canada 79
osoyoos larose ‘pétales d’osoyoos’ BORDEAUX BLEND, okanagan valley, b.c., canada 85
kettle valley ‘old main red’ BORDEAUX BLEND, okanagan valley, b.c., canada 115
laughing stock ‘portfolio’ BORDEAUX BLEND, okanagan valley, b.c., canada 130
bogle vineyards MERLOT, california, usa 52
benziger MERLOT, sonoma, california, usa 64
flora springs NAPA MERLOT, california, usa 86
rock & vine CABERNET SAUVIGNON, north coast, california, usa 49
ch. ste. michelle CABERNET SAUVIGNON, columbia valley, washington, usa 65
santa barbara winery CABERNET SAUVIGNON, santa ynez valley, california, usa 69
abeja CABERNET SAUVIGNON, columbia valley, washington, usa 128
kettle valley ‘barber vineyard’ CABERNET SAUVIGNON, okanagan valley, b.c., canada 120
crauforD ‘tattoo’ CABERNET SAUVIGNON, napa valley, california, usa 125


Pink (ish):

okanagan vineyards WHITE ZINFANDEL, okanagan valley, b.c., canada 40
malivoire ‘ladybug’ ROSÉ, niagara, ontario, canada 52
joie ROSÉ, okanagan valley, b.c., canada 60
ceàgo vinegarden SYRAH ROSÉ, clear lake, california, usa 65

Crisp and Clean:

palmina PINOT GRIGIO, santa barbara county, california, usa 64
inniskillin PINOT GRIGIO, niagara, ontario, canada 46
uvaggio VERMENTINO, lodi, california, usa 47
castle rock SAUVIGNON BLANC, monterey county, california, usa 44
sumac ridge ‘private reserve’ SAUVIGNON BLANC, okanagan valley, b.c., canada 52
benziger SAUVIGNON BLANC, north coast, california, usa 50
ferrari-carano FUMÉ BLANC, sonoma county, california, usa 60
sokol blosser PINOT GRIS, dundee hills, oregon, usa 70

Fruity and Floral:

coyote‘s run OFF-DRY VIDAL, niagara, ontario, canada 42
alexander valley vineyards NEW GEWÜRZTRAMINER, north coast, california, usa 48
sumac ridge GEWÜRZTRAMINER, okanagan valley, b.c., canada 48
wine by joe PINOT BLANC, willamette valley, oregon, usa 47
cave spring cellars RIESLING, niagara, ontario, canada 50
tawse winery ‘échos’ RIESLING, niagara, ontario, canada 52
kungfu girl RIESLING, columbia valley, washington, usa 58
blasted church PINOT GRIS, okanagan valley, b.c., canada 60
kettle valley PINOT GRIS, okanagan valley, b.c., canada 70
road 13 ‘white’ EHRENFELSER | GEWÜRZTRAMINER | CHARDONNAY, b.c., canada 58
magnificent wine co. ‘unwooded’ CHARDONNAY, washington, usa 50
cline cellars VIOGNIER, california, usa 46
sokol blosser ‘evolution’ AROMATIC WHITE BLEND, oregon, usa 64
joie ‘a noble blend’ ALSATIAN BLEND, okanagan valley, b.c., canada 70
treana MARSANNE | VIOGNIER, central coast, california, usa 75

Full and Layered:

tinhorn creek CHARDONNAY, okanagan valley, b.c., canada 54
liberty school CHARDONNAY, central coast, california, usa 52
quail’s gate CHARDONNAY, okanagan valley, b.c., canada 52
lailey vineyard CANADIAN WOOD CHARDONNAY, niagara, ontario, canada 75
bogle vineyards CHARDONNAY, california, usa 50
see ya later ranch CHARDONNAY, okanagan valley, b.c., canada 58
tawse winery ‘échos’ CHARDONNAY, niagara, ontario, canada 59
la frenz SEMILLON, naramata bench, okanagan valley, b.c., canada 72
truchard ROUSSANNE, carneros | napa valley, california, usa 72
miner family vineyards VIOGNIER, simpson vineyard, madera, california, usa 75
Two things about the list.

1) No vintages....usually a bad sign. Your statement that the waitstaff seems not to know much about wine is probably accurate.

2) I think the markups are actually pretty steep.
Bogle Merlot sells for about $12 - $13 retail here in the US. They have it at $50. I don't know what the importing fees are. Some of the other markups are similar.

Having said that, the smoked bison pizza sounds really fine, and I bet they have good beer.
(Moose Drool?)
Yes, I agree that the no vintages thing is poor. However, they have put the thought into organizing the wines by style and that doesn't happen a lot around here.

Bogle Merlot retails here in Alberta in the $20-25 range, so their price is about a 100% markup, pretty standard I'm afraid.

Biggest attraction for me is that this place serves quality food and allows me to bring in my own wine for reasonable corkage.
Originally posted by irwin:
Bison burger was below average. Wine (a Minervois) was rather vile.
I Baltimore you eat crabcakes, in Edmonton you eat Bison. Sometimes I am a moron. Frown

No, you're not a moron, though I sometimes think the same thing of myself whenever I order mussels here in Edmonton and find myself disappointed.
Originally posted by mitPradikat:

We called for a reservation at Bison Mountain Bistro this weekend and it turns out they have changed hands and they no longer allow corkage! Too bad because they've lost a customer.

Too bad is right, I was looking forward to going there. I never understood restraunts who do not allow corkage. I thought this was a cut-throat business??? Why the hell anyone wouldn't want to make their customers happy is beyond me.

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