For wine drinkers, it’s the event of the season.
The Vancouver International Wine Festival rolls into town Feb. 24-March 2, bringing 178 wineries from 14 countries. Over the course of the weeklong festival, 54 separate events are held at venues around the city. And, in case you’re curious, a total of 1,750 different wines will be poured.
The theme country for this year’s festival is France, which means that an enormous variety of French wines will be flowing. In total, 52 French wineries are represented, from regions as diverse as Alsace, Bordeaux, Rhone and Champagne.
On the subject of Champagne, the “global focus” for the festival this time around is bubbly. Sparkling wine fans will find plenty of Champagne, as well as Cavas, Proseccos and other sparklers from around the world.
So how do you get in on the fun? Bad news first: The overwhelming majority of the wine fest’s 54 events are already sold out. But there are tickets remaining for a handful of events, including some of the festival’s highlights. At the time of writing, here’s what’s still available:
- International Festival Tasting Room: The biggest bash of the entire festival, this event sees all 178 wineries pile into the Vancouver Convention Centre for a mammoth, three-hour wine tasting. Expect lots of wine and a party atmosphere. $89. Tickets still available for Thursday, Feb. 27 (7 p.m.-10 p.m.), Friday, Feb. 28 (7 p.m.-10 p.m.) and Saturday, March 1 (3 p.m.-5 p.m.)
- France Bubbly Party: Granville Street’s Ginger 62 nightclub is the setting for this club-style soiree, which combines house music with Champagne, Cremant and sparkling wines from all over France. $65. Tuesday, Feb. 25 (9 p.m.-11 p.m.)
- Life of Pie: This event combines two of Australia’s most beloved exports: wine and meat pies. Top Australian wines will be paired with hearty meat (and veggie) pies at this grazing affair held in Kitsilano at Loungeworks (which, apparently, is a furniture rental store). $69. Saturday, March 1 (noon-2 p.m.)
- Blind Tasting: This event is for serious wine geeks only. Test your wine know-how by blind tasting seven different wines (i.e. identifying the varietal and country of origin based on taste alone) at the Pacific Institute of Culinary Arts on Granville Island. Winners will be recognized at a celebratory reception following the grand reveal of the wines. $30. Wednesday, Feb. 26 (10 a.m.-12:30 p.m.)
What’s your favourite event at the Vancouver Wine Fest? Let us know below.
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