Sips Happen: Three tasty reasons to go the Vancouver Wine Festival

The 39th Vancouver Wine International Festival returns for an eight-day celebration of wine and food Feb. 11 to 19 at the Vancouver Convention Centre and other venues around Metro Vancouver.

Here’s why you should make time to get yourself to the festival next month:

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1. The 2017 festival features 180 wineries from 16 countries participating in 54 events. 

It’s one of the largest events of its kind in North America. Whether you are a wine aficionado, a newbie, or just someone who likes a glass of wine now and then, there is something for everyone to enjoy.

If you attend only one event, go to the International Festival Tasting Room at the Vancouver Convention Centre. 

It’s the heart of the festival, where all participating wineries and their principals gather to pour their wines 

The room will also feature Regional Tasting Stations from Australia, British Columbia, New Zealand, Nova Scotia and Spain, as well as many wine and food-related exhibitors.

The Tasting Room is open Thursday, Friday and Saturday evening as well as Saturday afternoon.


2. In celebration of our nation’s 150th birthday, the festival features Canada as the theme country at the Tasting Room. 

With 77 wineries from B.C., Ontario and Nova Scotia, it’s the largest gathering of Canadian wineries ever at an international event. 

Although many of us have been enjoying B.C. wines for years, not many know much about Ontario wines, let alone Quebec or Nova Scotia wines. 

Explore the wines of Canada without travelling more than half an hour on the Canada Line. Patriotism has never been this easy or tasty! 


3. There are over a dozen gourmet dinners, lunches, and the famous Vintners’ brunch matching wines and cuisine from around the world.

Wine and dine in style at West Restaurant on the evening of Wednesday Feb. 15 at the M. Chapoutier Terroir Trip. 

From the Rhône Valley, Roussillon and Alsace in France to Portugal and Australia, Chapoutier produces wines that offer the best portrait of the terroir. 

Take a dinner trip around the world and experience a selection of diverse wines that will express themselves in harmony with executive chef Quang Dang’s five-course meal.

Or you can attend Celebrating Canada’s 150th on Saturday, Feb. 18 with a spectacular selection of wines and a grazing lunch created by VCC executive chef Blair Rasmussen. 

With 77 Canadian wineries present, each featuring two wines from their portfolio, guests will discover a diverse cross-section of wines from across the country, all under one roof. Patriotism has never been so enjoyable.

One of my favourite events is the Vintner’s Brunch on Sunday, Feb. 19 that takes you on a tour of the city’s top restaurants and caterers, each one pairing a dish to a specific wine from around the world. 

Once your appetite is sated, hit the dance floor to burn off some calories. 

It’s a real ball with wine, food, and dancing!


Although tickets to the Festival Tasting Room are on sale now, most of the other events, including dinners, lunches, brunches, wine minglers and seminars, go on sale Jan. 10 at 9:30 a.m. 

Go online to for all the juicy details.

Eric Hanson is a retired teacher and wine educator

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