Heading to the wine festival? Here's everything you need to know

Like many of you, I’ll be attending the Vancouver International Wine Festival this weekend, 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 the festivities, for yourself and others, it’s always helpful to remember these few, simple tips:

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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 countries are Spain and Portugal, where some of the world’s best bang-for-buck value can be found, and the festival often draws winemakers who seldom leave their own villages, much less come to Canada, so make the most of the tasting and visit booths you can’t pronounce!

DON’T Wear Fragrances. I have no doubt you smell fab, but everyone came to sniff good wine, not your hand-chosen potpourri. Nothing disappoints a wine geek more than finding that the Rioja they’ve waited for weeks to try shows notes of Axe Body Spray (and an extra note to dudes who wear Axe, one – You look the same as before, and two – Now you smell like Raid)

DO Spit. That’s right. Everything that makes a great wine better than Two-Buck-Chuck can be fully and completely experienced – without missing out – before you spit the wine into the provided spittoons. The only thing you gain by swallowing instead of spitting is inebriation, and that inebriation is not of a better quality than Two-Buck-Chuck, all these busses do indeed go to the same stop. Your hosts can’t legally serve you if you’re plastered, so staggering up to a booth saying “gimme moas shpensive one” won’t produce your desired result, and getting kicked out of Wine Fest isn’t classier than getting ejected from The Roxy.

DON’T be a Booth Hog. There are lots of folks behind you, so when finally get up to your desired booth, it’s not best the 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 poured and then step to the side to let others get theirs, and watch your karma build.

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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.

Have a great time and I’ll see you on the floor!!

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