The 41th annual Vancouver International Wine Festival event is returning between February 23 to March 03, 2019. This year’s themed wine region is California! The wine festival will feature 175 Wineries and 15 Countries - with 53 participating wineries from California. Tickets sales for the public events starts Wednesday, January 9th, 2019. Get them before it sells out! Aside from the Tasting Room itself, there are lots of wine events including Winery Dinners (this and this), Wine Seminars, Wine Minglers, popular Vintners Brunch, etc. The wine festival’s tasting room is a great place to familiarize yourself with different species, discover new wines and return to your favourite premium wines.
Vancouver International Wine Festival is described as “the largest wine festival in the Western Hemisphere” with 25,000+ admissions. It is Canada’s premier wine show and widely considered to be one of the best wine events in the world.
I remember the first time I went to a Wine Festival many years ago and I did not pace myself for the event. Meaning… I was drunk before I even made it past the second row. It’s all laughs and giggles now, but gosh I had to sit down. If you’ve never been to a wine festival, you should! It is also useful to familiarize yourself with a few etiquettes to help you feel more comfortable. Here you 10 useful tips to maximizing your wine-festival enjoyment!
TEN THINGS TO KNOW FOR THE BEST WINE FESTIVAL EXPERIENCE
Eat: A wine festival is not a food event. Make sure you have a meal before you arrive and snack throughout your time at the festival. Food samples (ex. crackers, cheeses, olive oil and bread) are available to enhance your wine tasting experience.
Footwear: Expect a lot of walking and standing. For example, the Vancouver International Wine Festival is held at the Vancouver Convention Centre and has carpeted floors. Wearing heels will tire you out quickly. If you are at an outdoor wine festival, you may take a guided tour that leads you into a vineyard (gravel, green lawn). Better to trade in your heels for a pair of feel good footwear like these or these.
More Room: If you want more room and time to try the wines and to talk with the winery principals, option to attend Thursday evening and Saturday matinee sessions. Fridays and weekend evenings are most busy.
Sip and Spit: If you swallow every wine you taste you will be drunk pretty quick! Each booth will have spittoon/container for you to spit and pour your wine away. Don’t think of spitting as uncouth. Only drink the wines you absolutely adore!
No Perfume: Please don’t wear perfume, cologne or overly scented personal products. Your scent can impact others tasting experience and you will upset a lot of people.
Designated Driver: Bring along a designated driver. Or take transit. BC Liquor Stores offers a free transit ticket at their Get Home Safe booth as you exit. Another great option is to book a hotel room for the evening.
Keep Score: Keep track of your wine tastings of what you like. Keep track of the wine and what you liked about the flavor. This will help you remember which wines you liked the day after if you wanted to purchase them at your local liquor store.
Free bottle check/Wine Delivery: The Vancouver International Wine Festival offers free wine bottle checks. All wine served are available for purchase. Make sure to ask the winery principal if the one you like is available for purchase at your local liquor store. Some are sold in very limited supply at the festival itself like this creamy marmalade Oyster Bay Riesling Botrytised 2011.
Wear White with Caution: I would suggest not to wear white unless it’s the color in your wardrobe. Be caution of spilling or other people bumping into you. If you must, bring an instant stain remover with you ok?
Have Fun: Seriously. Have fun!
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The Vancouver International Wine Festival
Vancouver Convention Centre West, Ballroom D
1055 Canada Place Way, Vancouver