Note This: 35th Annual Vancouver International Wine Festival

Whether it’s winemaker tastings, educational seminars, informal wine minglers, gala events or boozy brunches, the VIWF has your answer on offer… and we’ve sourced out some noteworthy picks to help you top up your agenda – and glass.

If there is one event worth noting (and splurging for), it has to be a ticket to the International Festival Tasting (taking place on Friday and Saturday evenings respectively). With more than 760 different wines available to taste and 175 wineries represented, he $95 cost is well worth it. Get decked out for a night of wine-fuelled fun, which often leads to debauchery…

There are a variety of seminars perfect for squeezing in a little bit of networking whilst brushing up on your wine-savvy know-how. On February 27, please your palate on the early side and play hooky from the office for a bit.  Head down to the Blind Tasting Challenge at the Pacific Institute of Culinary Arts.  The event starts at 9:30AM (we weren’t kidding), but you’re guaranteed to nab a few valuable tips on varietals that will come in handy at numerous other festival events.

Looking to get to know your Chardonnay? Grab a $49 ticket to attend Miele Showroom’s Chardonnay Kitchen Party during the afternoon of March 2nd. Expect a marketplace-style wine and food setup featuring a wide array (more than a dozen) different Chardonnays from around the world. Sample carefully chosen dishes meant to enhance the distinct tastes of this noble grape.

What’s Wine Fest without an official winemaker’s dinner thrown into the mix? We think you ought to squeeze in one that is being held at The Boathouse in Kits Beach – honouring the wines of Robert Mondavi (hosted by Margrit Mondavi herself). Dine beachside while tasting your way through a tight lineup of reserve and other vintages courtesy of this California icon paired with creations courtesy of chefs Chris Beall and Brent Fisher. Tickets are still available for $150 and well worth it.

If you’re still unsure as to where to place your money, our bet is that the Bacchanalia Gala Dinner and Auction will be a winner. Set to be held at The Fairmont Hotel Vancouver, this event is like no other and provides attendees with the perfect opportunity to experience the ultimate in food and wine pairings (with plenty of notable networking opportunities perfect for YPs). At $395 per ticket, it’s not cheap – but works to benefit this year’s charitable beneficiary, the Bard on the Beach Shakespeare Festival.

Feeling thirsty yet? For more ideas and to grab your tickets, be sure to visit for full details.

Photo courtesy Vancouver International Wine Festival