First ever Vancouver International Tequila Expo, May 12

Poor tequila. It’s so misunderstood. Although often associated with Spring Break shots and brain-curdling hangovers, tequila is meant to be sipped and savored. Forget the salt and lime method Doug taught Kate in The Cutting Edge. It’s time to discover tequila’s sophisticated tasting notes.

The inaugural Vancouver International Tequila Expo (VITE) May 12, at Vancouver Convention Centre is a one-stop reeducation centre featuring over 60 different tequilas from Mexico’s finest artisan producers.

VITE kicks off with seminars on the agave spirit’s history, cultural significance and production. It ends with a bang-up Grand Tasting Hall where premium tequilas will be served with a Mexican-inspired menu.

Find out more about the VITE line-up after the jump.

Why tequila? Why Vancouver?

One of the reasons we know so little about tequila is the lack of local consumer choices. In fact, tequila currently makes up only 3% of the BC liquor market. Sponsored by the Consulate General of Mexico and Las Margaritas Mexican Restaurant, the expo aims to increase the number of tequila brands available in BC.

The event will focus exclusively on 100% blue agave tequilas – the best there is. As the country’s national spirit, tequila has a Denomination of Origin (D.O.) status and is as culturally significant to Mexico as wine is to France.

The expo is your chance to taste the high end and small batch versions of the spirit before committing to an entire bottle. Well-known brands (Tequila Don Julio & Cabo Wabo Tequila) will be available alongside edgy newcomers (T1 Tequila, Uno & Tavi Tequila and Azuñia Tequila).

VITE events and tickets

Tequila 101 ($45) with Canada’s National Tequila Examiner Eric Lorenz emphasizes learning by tasting. The Ancient Origins of Agave Spirits Seminar ($45) traces tequila’s history through pre-Hispanic forerunners like pulque.

VITE’s cultural and gastronomical exhibition of Mexico culminates with the Grand Tasting Hall event ($65) where unaged, reposado and anejo tequilas are served with:

1. Tequila Orange Marinated Chicken Skewer
2. Weathervane Scallop and Papaya Ceviche
3. Gorgonzola and Dried Apricot Popovers
4. Corn Tortilla Chips with Salsa Fresca
5. Traditional Beef Empanadas

If you can’t make the events, try the tequila tasting menus at participating Vancouver restaurants, including Kitsilano favourite Las Margaritas.

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