Area oenophiles know that less than two weeks remain until the opening of the annual Vancouver Playhouse International Wine Festival. Now in its 35th year, the fundraiser for the Playhouse Theatre Company is recognized as one of the largest wine festivals in the world. On offer is everything from the international tasting room Feb. 23–25 to intimate wine dinners and seminars throughout the week. Many events are already sold out, but we have the scoop on some that still have tickets.
International Festival Tasting, March 1–3
This is the festival’s grand tasting event. All participating vintners pour their best product in a room full of winery principals and agents. This year’s theme is Chile, the grape variety Cabernet; 180 wineries from 15 countries are participating. Come prepared to taste and spit, or you will be staggering home. Thursday night is the least busy: the night to go for those in the know. Learn from the experts about your favourite wine, or find a new one.
Caymus Vertical Tasting Seminar, February 29
If you’re a California wine fan, this is your chance to meet Chuck Wagner, Caymus Vineyard’s owner and winemaker. Wagner will lead you through seven vintages of the Caymus Special Selection Cabernet Sauvignon, the only wine to be twice named Wine Spectator’s “Wine of the Year.”
Bacchanalia Gala Dinner and Auction, February 28
A must for any serious wine collector, this event sees extremely rare wines up for auction. Donated by winemakers and wine collectors, the list becomes available the week prior. The Gala starts with a sparkling wine reception followed by a five-course dinner created by chefs from British Columbia’s top restaurants, paired expertly with nine wines.
California Crusin’, February 29
Held at Gastown’s Canvas Lounge, this party celebrates all things California, with 21 of the state’s wineries on-hand to pour their finest wines. Small bites will be paired with the vino, and there’s lots of time to socialize given that the event runs two-and-a-half hours.
Raise a Glass for Argentina, March 3
Spend a Saturday afternoon at V Lounge at Earl’s Yaletown for a grazing-style lunch served with the wines of Argentina. Fourteen Argentinean wineries will each pour two of their best wines.
Image courtesy of Jonas Design & Photography.