The Wine World is Here
If you attend only one of the festival’s events, make it an International Festival Tasting. The Tasting Room at the Vancouver Convention Centre is the heart of the festival, where all participating wineries and their principals gather to pour their select wines. Discover exciting new wines, or return to your favourites, sipping from premium wine glasses. The room will also feature Regional Tasting Stations from Australia, New Zealand, South Africa and Spain, as well as many wine and food-related exhibitors.
Free ticket with hotel booking
Get a free ticket to the Tasting Room by booking a hotel through StayVancouverHotels.com. Book a stay at any of the participating downtown Vancouver hotels using promo code VIWF by February 15 and you’ll receive a free International Festival Tasting ticket!
HIGHLIGHTS OF THE TASTING ROOM
This year, the Tasting Room will feature wines from Iberian Peninsula neighbours Spain and Portugal. Two very distinct nations with their own rich histories and cultures, this festival will provide a fascinating opportunity to see how their winemaking and viniculture have developed in divergent and convergent paths over the centuries. More than two dozen owners and winemakers from Portugal and Spain will be in attendance, as well as other top executives representing their wineries and wines.
The stars of the global wine scene – winemakers, proprietors, senior execs – come to Vancouver every year to pour and discuss their wines with festivalgoers. That’s what makes this festival unique. Each winery will be represented in the room by a principal, someone closely involved in the wine-production process, there to share their wines and knowledge. You’re quite likely to find that the person serving your wine has their name on the bottle. Identify the vine star by his or her royal blue lanyard. Chat them up!
If you are serious about your wine tasting experience and want more room and time to interact with the winery principals, Thursday is the best night. Attendance is guaranteed to be 30% lower than the other two evenings, and the price is slightly lower than the weekend tastings. The Saturday matinee has a 20% lower capacity, and offers a less expensive, albeit shorter, tasting experience that takes full advantage of the glorious view looking out across Coal Harbour.
BC Liquor Stores Festival Wine Shop
Free bottle check and wine delivery
All wines served in the room are available for purchase there but some are in VERY limited supply. When you discover a wine that you want to enjoy at home, don’t wait until the end of the session to buy it as it might be sold out – put it in the handy bottle check, and then continue your tasting session. Repeat as necessary. When you’re ready to leave, check out your wines. And if you live in British Columbia, whether you’ve bought one bottle or several cases, your wine can be shipped free of charge to your nearest BC Liquor Store. Very convenient! Note that you must show your tasting room ticket for admission to the shop.
Buy the Case
Festival partners BC Liquor Distribution Branch and the Import Vintners & Spirits Association (IVSA) have teamed up to allow festivalgoers to “shop the world” and order case lots of select wines in the Tasting Room. Wines available by the case will be identified with a BUY THE CASE neck tag. Place orders for those must-have wines directly at the participating winery tables and they’ll be delivered to your closest BC Liquor Store within two weeks of the conclusion of the festival.
Words to the wise
This is a wine tasting, not a food event. Be sure to have a meal before you arrive. That said, food samples are available to enhance your tasting experience.
Pace yourself. Have a game plan – you can’t taste every wine in the room. And don’t swallow everything that’s poured into your glass. Have a taste and then make use of the spit buckets at every table, by spitting or pouring out the rest. And if you do want to taste a lot of wines, we offer four tasting sessions over three days, so repeat as necessary!
Please don’t wear fragrance! (Nothing shouts wine newbie as loudly as perfume or noxious after-shave.) All the noses and palates in the room will thank you.
Don’t Wine and Drive!
Don’t even think about bringing your car or bike.