Free Wine and Tattoo Tasting Event in Vancouver: A Unique Combination to Try

This fun evening is a great way to celebrate the inky past of the city.

Doc Forbes, real name Forbes Hendry, is one of Canada’s most famous early tattoo artists.

He trained under Frederick Baldwin, the first tattoo artist in Canada to use an electric tattoo machine in the 1920s, and some of his American Traditional flash artwork can be found at Vancouver tattoo shops

Forbes travelled with carnivals and circuses before settling in B.C. He was a tattoo artist near Victoria’s navy base and became internationally famous as sailors worldwide wore his designs. Eventually, Forbes settled at Ace Tattoos in Vancouver in the 60s and was there until his death in 1977.

The historic shop no longer exists, but the business lasted 50 years, starting in the Heatley Block building on Hastings Street before moving to Langley.

Just steps away from where Ace used to be, Palace Tattoos has the largest collection of Forbes’ art on display including some of his most popular pin-up designs. The shop is a wealth of tattoo history knowledge and is outfitted like a time capsule with curated decor. The shop is filled with pieces of history, and many clients who enter the store also wear them.

On May 25, Palace Tattoo and Okanagan Winery Vintage Ink are hosting a tasting inspired by Doc Forbes.

Tattoo and art lovers can come together for a free sampling of Vintage Ink wines or get one of 10 complimentary preselected tattoos inspired by Doc Forbes’ iconic flash designs.

Tattoos are given on a “first come, first served” basis. People who get tattoos cannot drink either before or afterward but will receive a complimentary bottle to enjoy at a future date.

The wine is made with locally-cultivated Okanagan grapes, and winemakers experimented with aging it in tequila and whisky barrels.

“Something too fine and too ornate will not stand the test of time. Our mission is to return tattooing to its fundamentals,” says Palace Tattoo co-owner Chirs Hold. “We like to see a bit of ourselves reflected in the brands we support. As we got to know Vintage Ink, we saw their passion for unique winemaking reflected in the creativity of their product, from what’s inside the bottle to what’s on it.”

The event will run from 5:30 to 8:30 p.m. Hold and co-owner Nick Wako are on hand to educate guests about the history and culture of tattoos in Vancouver.

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