Five Events We’re Most Excited for at the 2018 Vancouver International Wine Festival

Raise a glass to the 2018 Vancouver International Wine Festival (courtesy Marjo Wright).

Like a fine wine, Vancouver International Wine Festival continues to improve with age. For this year’s 40th anniversary (February 24 to March 4), more than 170 wineries from 16 countries around the world are convening in Vancouver to host eight days of wine-centred dinners, seminars, brunches and lunches, and tasting galas. Events are selling out like mad, but there are still tickets available for our five must-do festival experiences – so pour a glass of your favourite vino, find an event you like, and get ready to immerse yourself in all things wine.

Swirl, sip and swoon at wines from around the world: International Festival Tastings  Four grand tastings will be held at the Vancouver Convention Centre, each showcasing some 750 wines poured by popular and upcoming wineries. This year’s feature wine-producing regions are Spain and Portugal –represented by more than two dozen winemakers from the area – though attendees can travel through wine-producing regions from all corners of the globe one sip at a time. Tickets start at $79.

Wine dinners and parties aboud at the 2018 Vancouver International Wine Festival (courtesy Christine McAvoy).

An impossibly elegant all-things-wine celebration: Bacchanalia Gala Dinner + Auction  Don your finest eveningwear for this lively celebration of wine and food pairing perfection – and yes, there will be plenty of opportunities to enhance your own wine cellar. Guests can first mix and mingle at a sparkling wine reception, then sit down to a full-blown culinary adventure: five courses crafted by Fairmont Hotel Vancouver’s executive chef and paired with nine carefully selected wines. Throughout the evening, live and silent auctions will be held with rare wines, epicurean holidays and curated culinary experiences up for the taking. Tickets cost $450.

Wine Not Start at Brunch? Vintner’s Brunch  Start the day with a wine-fuelled bang: the city’s top restaurants and catering teams – including Royal Dinette, Chicha, LIFT and more – band together for this wine-focused brunch, each crafting a dish specially paired to a specific wine. Once appetites have been sated, guests can burn off energy on the dance floor. Tickets cost $165.

Craving a taste of California? Visit California Crush  You say “incredible wines” and we think “California wine country”. This casual event brings to Vancouver a taste of the Golden State’s popular vineyards with a mix-and-mingler featuring vintners from Kendall-Jackson, La Crema, Lake Sonoma Winery and others; tasty bites paired to complement the vino; and non-stop music and entertainment. Tickets cost $69.

You can’t go wrong with bubbles: A Sparkling Experience  Nothing says celebration quite like a bubbling glass of sparkling wine. This event shines the spotlight on all shades of sparkling crafted by Juvé y Camps vineyard, which produces exquisite Spanish bubbly ranging from Brut to Rosé to Cava. Each of the six wines featured will be paired with decadent dishes delivered by ARC Restaurant’s executive chef. Tickets cost $145.


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