The Vancouver International Wine Festival is currently underway and tonight is the first time the public get to experience the Tasting Room, featuring over 780 wines from around the world! The biggest tip I can give anyone who is attending the next 3 days of tasting room events is to read the below Top 10 tips by DJ Kearney. It is so important to be prepared for these tasting events because they are overwhelming.
Now, the most important thing to know is that Vine Stars, which could be anyone from the winemaker, to CEO, to Senior Executives, are scattered throughout the space. They will all be easily identifiable by their royal blue lanyards. Be sure to engage with them, say hi, taste their wines and ask them questions. Could be anything from what grape varietal or blend it is, or where they are grown, or about the wine making process. I always like to let the Vine Star tell me their story and what makes their winery special and unique. They are there to educate you and guide you through the tasting. Most of all, have fun and enjoy!!
- Have a meal first. It’s a wine tasting, not a dinner event. Some food is available in the room (including chef-created small plates at Sysco Vancouver and a selection of finger foods at Nesters Market), but it’s not a meal.
- Have a plan of attack. Consult the Tasting Room Program online or pick one up onsite. It’s a big room featuring 780+ wines. Be strategic and arrive early to be ready to taste when the doors open!
- Keep your profile lean. Check your coat and keep your shoulder bag small. Use the festival app (download from the App Store and Google Play) to make notes. Use your smartphone to snap pics of wines you enjoy.
- Leave fragrances at home. Scents from perfume, aftershave or even hand lotion can interfere with your (and others’) enjoyment of the wines.
- Wine world fashion tips. Dark colours will be your friend if wine is dripped or spilled on you. And high heels definitely will not be your friend. Wear flats. Your feet will thank you.
- Stay hydrated. Water is the second most popular beverage in the room. Drop by the FIJI Water station for free natural artesian bottled water.
- Swirl, sniff, sip and then spit. Yes, spit (or dump out) the contents of your glass. That’s what all the pros do. Wineries will not be offended. It’s how you get to enjoy lots and lots of wines.
- Talk to the vine stars. It’s a VanWineFest hallmark that each winery brings a winemaker, owner or senior exec to Vancouver. Vine stars wear royal blue lanyards. Talk to them and you’ll learn inside tips that will enhance your enjoyment of the wines.
- BC Liquor Stores onsite wine shop. All wines served at the winery tables are available at the onsite BCLS store. Shop as you go (don’t wait to the end, or your favourites might sell out) and take advantage of the Bottle Check. Your wines can be shipped for free to your local BC Liquor Store. The wine shop is available only to those with a ticket for the current International Festival Tasting session.
- Don’t Wine and Drive. Plan a safe ride home. And if you’re on transit, pick up a free transit pass at the Get Home Safe booth as you exit the Tasting Room. Or take a taxi, limo, have a designated drive or stay at a hotel. Just Don’t Wine and Drive.
Make sure you take some time to celebrate the theme country this year, our very own, CANADA and taste some of our local BC Wines in the tasting room!
PS- there are still tickets available for Friday evening and Saturday’s tasting. Be sure to visit Van Wine Fest for full details and pricing.