Wednesday, February 15, 2023

Vancouver International Wine Festival is back in 2023 from April 22 to 30, with focus on South American wines!

Wine Barbarian Bill Tieleman contemplates another wonderful wine at the 2022 VIWF!  Marjo Wright photo

Great news - the Vancouver International Wine Festival is back in person again this year - running from April 22 to 30, 2023 - with a theme focus on South American wines but celebrating with wine from 151 wineries from 17 countries around the world! 

Discounted advance tickets are now on sale for the International Wine Tastings - the big tasting room events - in limited quantities.  Winery dinners tickets go on sale starting March 1 at 9:30 a.m., other public events on March 8 and trade show tickets on March 15.

Be aware that Saturday night's tasting room tickets always sell out quickly - if that's where you want to be, do it soon! The price is $129 advance and $135 regular.

The Thursday night tasting is always my advice for the most enjoyable - it is more low key and usually fewer attendees than Saturday night - plus the winery staff at the event are on their first evening - not their last - and are usually less exhausted! 

Thursday night, Friday night and the newer Saturday afternoon show tickets are all $109 in advance and $115 regular.  All evening tastings run from 7 to 10 p.m. and the Saturday matinee tasting is from 2:30 to 5 p.m. - yes, 1/2 hour shorter. 

The big advantage of buying advance tickets is not the small $6 per ticket discount but the certainty that you actually have the tickets and won't find it sold out if you try buying them later! 

If you haven't attended a VIWF winery dinner you've missed a phenomenal experience - some of the best wineries in the world work with Vancouver's top restaurants and chefs to provide a fantastic wine and food pairing with bottles you won't likely see at the rest of the Festival - or sometimes anywhere else.

I was fortunate to attend the 2022 Penfolds Unbound wine dinner at the Five Sails Restaurant at the Pan Pacific Hotel and it was stupendous!  The food was phenomenal and the matching wines were exquisite - and very expensive!  

Penfolds Napa Valley representative David Nicholls expertly led us through the multi-course meal, explaining each wine and how it paired with the course.

Wine highlights include Penfolds RWT 2010 - simply one of the best Shiraz wines in the world - and Bin 149 - a Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon that retails here for $300! 

The food - from rabbit rillette to rolled lamb breast to turbot - was outstanding and well matched to the Penfolds portfolio.

So - don't delay - buy advance Tasting tickets today and get ready for the dinners and wine seminars and special events tickets coming soon! 

And follow me on Twitter during the Festival for more updates and hot tips on some of the best wines in show! 

Bill Tieleman and Luke Wines owner and winemaker Thomas Vogele of Washington State's Wahluke Slope. 

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