Thursday, February 27, 2020

Wine tasting - "Kiss - Don't Spit!" when at the 2020 Vancouver International Wine Festival this week!

Hipsters beware of spitting!  But there is no fine! 

"Kiss Don't Spit!"

It’s not hip to spit in my book! 

And even more so with the Coronavirus epidemic going around. 

So that's my very contrarian advice to those attending the 2020 Vancouver International Wine Festival this Thursday, Friday and Saturday evening - and Saturday afternoon - for the International Festival Tastings or wine seminars.

Almost wine experts will advise you to "spit" the wine after nosing the bouquet in the glass and sipping it into your mouth and swirling it around - but I strongly disagree.

After all, there's a reason I'm called The Wine Barbarian! 

The experts' reasoning makes some sense - you can taste far more wines without getting intoxicated by the alcohol content if it doesn't go down your throat and into your stomach.  

But you - the wine consumer - are not an expert nor are you tasting hundreds of glasses.

First - you simply cannot fully experience a wine without swallowing it, feeling the wonderful elixirfloat down your throat, discovering the length of the finish - you can literally count the seconds when you can still taste it, and know the satisfaction of having tasted one of the best wines in the world!

Spitting?  Sorry but you just don't get that sensation.

And you are at North America's largest consumer wine festival, with literally dozens of wines priced at $100 or more per bottle - why the hell would you spit that out?!!!

Plus,  you can simply "kiss" a lot of wines without swallowing or spitting!

By kissing I mean you nose the wine in the glass, bring it to your lips and then - unless it's awesomely tasty and probably quite expensive, you simply pour the wine into the conveniently located spit bucket on the table. 

Polite, discreet, saving your sobriety for none but the best and when you do sip and swallow it will be worth it!  

Lastly, proper spitting is hard - don't try to learn it in front of 1,600 people including sommeliers, winemakers, family and friends!  

So enjoy the Vancouver international wine festival and taste lots of the fantastic California and other wines from around the world and kisses lots of them!


Thursday, January 2, 2020

Vancouver International Wine Festival 2020 public event tickets on sale January 8, 2020! Don't miss out - spotlight is on France!

Wine Barbarian Bill Tieleman with Gina Gallo of Gallo wines fame at 2019 Vancouver International Wine Festival! 
Vancouver International Wine Festival tickets for public events go on sale Wednesday January 8, 2020 at 9:30 a.m.!

And those tickets will most definitely sell out!  With the wonderful wines of France as the regional theme plus dozens of other countries sending their best bottles, this is the wine highlight of the year!

There will be 163 wineries from 16 countries, including 42 wineries from France, and an astonishing total of 1,450 wines poured from over 42,000 bottles into over 82,000 glasses! The VIWF runs from February 22 to March 1, 2020. 

So don't miss out - there are great wine dinners at some of Vancouver's finest restaurants, featuring winemakers or winery principals pouring wine you may never see anywhere else; there are seminars where winemakers, owners and experts from all over the world lead you through amazing tastings; and there are the big International Festival Tastings - with over 100 wineries pouring hundreds of wines!

You can buy your tickets for public events starting Wednesday January 8 2020 - go here to get them on that date - and don't delay or you will miss out.  And out of towners - don't miss the great Sip and Stay deal - get a free International Festival Tasting ticket if you stay in one of many Vancouver hotels - go here for details!

Important to note:  the International Festival Tastings tickets are already on sale - get them here - and Saturday night February 29 from 7 to 10 p.m. will be the first to sell out, guaranteed.  You can also attend Thursday night February 27, Friday night February 28 and Saturday afternoon February 29 at 2:30 p.m.  Tickets for all these tastings will be long gone by the start of the Festival so do not delay!

[Trade Festival event tickets go on sale January 22.]

Here is the straight truth from the VIWF itself:

The 42nd Vancouver International Wine Festival returns for an eight-day celebration of wine and food February 22 to March 1 at the Vancouver Convention Centre and other venues around Metro Vancouver. The 2020 festival features 163 wineries participating in 57 events. This year, the spotlight shines on wines from France, with 42 wineries from 10 regions in attendance.
  • Tickets for all public events go on sale Wednesday, January 8 at 9:30 a.m.
  • Tickets for Trade Days Conference go on sale Wednesday, January 22 at 9:30 a.m.
Tickets are currently on sale for the four International Festival Tastings, the Delta Air Lines Tasting Lounge, as well as the Gold Pass and Trade Days Pass.
From educational wine seminars, tastings and parties to lively lunches, winery dinners and the spectacular Bacchanalia Gala Dinner + Auction, VanWineFest offers something to please every palate. Browse public events online, click through the interactive Festival at a Glance PDF, or download the promotional brochure for full festival details. For those in the wine trade, see Trade Days events here.
Save, sip, and stay safe! Book a stay at one of’s 39 downtown hotels and receive a free International Festival Tasting ticket (an $95 to $115 value) to the session of your choice. Quantities are limited and the offer is only available until February 13, so book early to taste for free. The initiative is an important cornerstone of the festival’s Don’t Wine and Drive program.
HOW TO PURCHASE TICKETS 24/7 (all events will be off-sale on January 7)
Phone: 604-873-3311, toll free 1-877-321-3121 (Monday to Friday, 9:30 a.m.-5 p.m.)
In person: 202-162 West 1st Avenue, Vancouver (Monday to Friday, 9:30 a.m.-5 p.m.)
All ticket prices include wine, food (if a food event), gratuities, taxes and service charge.