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Festival Taste, Vancouver International Wine Festival 2023

The warmer weather and brighter days mark the return of the Vancouver International Wine Festival. This is Canada’s premiere wine and food show, and it brings in vendors, speakers, guests, and wine enthusiasts from all around the world. And for the 44th year of this annual festival, we see it return to the Vancouver Convention Centre with 152 wineries from 17 countries, featured at 36 events, over eight days from April 22-30, 2023.

Last year attendees saw a scaled down return of this wine and food extravaganza, quasi-post pandemic. So, this year, for those who are familiar with this celebration, we can expect a return to a larger show, and the festival once again featuring a specific wine producing region, which we have not seen since 2020. This year South America will be in the spotlight with 44 wineries from 4 countries spanning Argentina, Brazil, Chile, and Uruguay. These countries will be sharing their wines and their stories with festival goers in the Tasting Room and at special events throughout the festival week.

For those unfamiliar with the Wine Festival, the best way to learn more about it is by attending a few of the events varying from wine minglers to wine seminars, formal sit-down dinners to tastings. All public events for the 2023 Vancouver International Wine Festival are now on sale, with several events already sold out. So look into getting your tickets today, by visiting the link provided below.

On this evening we were gathered at The Earls in Yaletown, enjoying their private event space located on the second floor, aptly named “The Loft”. Here, we were given access to a curated selection of wines that we would self-serve. The selection represented 32 wineries from 14 different countries, featured in 19 different festival events, arranged by event type. Each signed for easy identification and available for referencing in an accompanying program guide. I will not be recapping all the bottles, but have highlighted a few of the most memorable sips.

Most notable was Masi Italy’s Mezzanella Amandorlato Recioto della Valpolicella Classico DOCG 2015, which will be featured at one of the “Lively Lunches” hosted by Italia at La Terrazza. This was a smooth crushable red with a full body, everyone who tried it was sure to go back for a fuller glass after.

Thalia Winery’s Assyrtiko Sauvignon Blanc 2021 was a refreshing white at an affordable price, and one of the wines that will be at the Spring Fling. On Sunday, April 30 ticket holders will take in an afternoon of brunch worthy wines from around the world, accompanied by a lunch buffet and live music.

And since rice wine falls under the overarching category of wine we were able to try Handa-go 1801 Junmai Ginjo Sake from Nakano Sake Co in Japan. They are one of the many sake options that will be made available at all of the Tasting Room’s 3 dates, which is known as the largest assortment of wines available for tasting in one central place.

And as we tasted, drank, and downed our wine we were invited to nibble on a selection of small bites prepared by Earls’ kitchen. This included zesty chicken skewers, mushroom arancini balls, beef sliders, and tuna tartar and avocado over crostini.

There was also a handsome charcuterie board laid out that included cured meats, sharp cheese, fresh fruit, and tasty accompaniments.

This was just a sneak peek of what we can expect from 2023’s International Wine Festival, and without a doubt the actual weeklong affair will be beyond compare.

For a list of the various events and their dates, as taken from the Wine Festival website, plus how to purchase tickets, scroll down.

Wine Minglers
A wine tasting where guests browse from station to station in an informal and entertaining setting. Tuesday night features sparkling wines and wines from South America, while Wednesday’s Taco Fest features fantastic California wines.

  • Fiesta del Vino: Tuesday, April 25
  • California Wine & Taco Fest: Wednesday, April 2

Wine Seminars
Explore issues, trends, regions and varietals; learn more about the world of wine in an educational and dynamic classroom setting.

  • The Shape of Wine: Thursday, April 27
  • California Wines: Eureka in the Glass!: Friday, April 28
  • The Global Cru: Friday, April 28
  • La Crema de la Crema: Saturday, April 29

Lively Lunches
A perfect way to explore the wine and cuisine of a particular country or region and discover wine and food pairings.

  • Dine Italia: Saturday, April 29
  • PICA Kitchen Party: Saturday, April 29
  • Sabor Sudamericano: Saturday, April 29
  • Spring Fling: Sunday, April 30

Winery Dinners
A sumptuous and informative exploration of food and wine, where the vision of the chef is shaped and influenced by a selection of premium and exclusive wines from a specific winery or region. Top winery representatives will be on hand to introduce their wines to you.

  • Icons of South America: Tuesday, April 25
  • Best of Uruguay: Bodega Garzón: Wednesday, April 26
  • Making a Chilean Icon – Montes: Tuesday, April 25
  • A Night with Marqués de Riscal: Wednesday, April 2


Vancouver International Wine Festival

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