Like many of you, I’ll be attending the Vancouver International Wine Festival this week, and although the smaller, more specialized seminars are heaps of fun, the main draw for me has always been the Festival Tasting on the Convention Centre floor, where so many of the world’s wineries converge to pour their particular brands of awesome sauce. To extract the most enjoyment out of any festival-style tasting, for yourself and others, it’s always helpful to remember these fun, simple tips:
DO Check out the Feature Country. You’re here to explore and discover new wines, so don’t make a beeline to the stuff you already know. This year’s feature is California, and although many of the wineries coming have good exposure in BC already, they’re likely bringing juice that you can’t get here, so be sure to check them out. Already made up your mind about California? I bet there are one or two wines on the floor that may change that (hint: it rhymes with Shmenache).
DON’T Wear Fragrances. We can all smell amazing, but everyone came to sniff good wine, not perfume/cologne/aftershave. Nothing roils a wine geek more than finding that the Petit Sirah they’ve waited for weeks to try shows notes of Axe Body Spray.
DO Spit. The spittoons are there to help. There are hundreds of wines being poured and you aren’t magic. Remember that they can’t legally serve you if you’ve rendered yourself liquid, so staggering up to a booth saying “gimme moas shpensive one” won’t produce the desired result, and getting kicked out of Wine Fest isn’t classier than getting ejected from The Roxy. Or so I’m told.
DON’T Sport Spit. We’ve all seen those dudes who can hit the spittoon from 20 paces away, like a llama. Please don’t try to do that. If you fail, it’s a disaster. If you succeed, it’s still really weird. Get a new superpower.
DON’T be a Booth Hog. There are probably lots of folks behind you, so when you finally get up to your desired booth, it’s not the best time to start telling the winemaker about the time you went to this winery and it was great but there was this dog there and you like dogs but you saw almost the exact same dog earlier in the city with a white patch on the left eye instead of the right eye but come to think of it that could be because of the mirror. Get your glass filled and then step to the side to let others get theirs, and watch your karma grow and blossom into a karma flower.
DO Have a safe ride home. No jokes here, get home safe, it is literally the most important thing you’ll do during Wine Fest. Both Skytrain lines end a 5 minute walk from the Convention Centre and this weekend should be nice and clear. Find someone on the train who also has purple teeth and compare notes.
Here are some of the booths I’m stoked to visit: Altesino (IT), Carpineto (IT), Marchesi di Barolo (IT), Herdade das Servas (POR), Bodega Garzon (UR), Elk Cove (OR), Aquilini Red Mountain (WA), Coronica (Croatia), Voyager Estate (AUS), Grgich Hills (CA), Ridge Vineyards (CA), Hall/Walt (CA), Jackson Family (CA), Antinori (IT) – and many more!! If anyone makes an amazing discovery please let me know!!