The Festival Approaches…The Vancouver Playhouse International Wine Festival 2011

Earlier this week, we had a chance to have a little preview of this year’s Vancouver Playhouse International Wine Festival. This year’s feature region is Spain and the varietal theme is fortified wine. It looks to be a great event again this year.

The gathering at the Shore Club restaurant gave us an opportunity to sample a few of the wines and get a “sneak peek” of some of the key events being held throughout the festival.

The great thing about Spain being the star of this year’s festival is the breadth of choice we will be able to enjoy. From the crisp minerality of Albariño, the delicious value bubbles of Cava, let alone white Rioja, the offerings in white are really exciting. In terms of the reds, full fruity Garnacha, deep, bold Priorat and rich complex Riojas are just a few of the sips bound to test and tempt the palate.

The great thing about this year is that the choices with Spain go one step further. As mentioned, the feature theme is fortified wine, and there stands to be an amazing array of choices. If you’ve never tried the broad ranges of Sherries or Ports, this is your chance. Many will challenge your tastes and are an experience not to be missed. We had the opportunity to sample some Solera and Fino sherry, along with some tawny and late bottle vintage port that were perfect on a chilly evening.

Tickets go on sale on Tuesday and needless to say, many of the events will sell out quickly. Based in Vancouver’s Convention Centre, the Festival runs from March 28th through April 3 in various venues around town. Check out the Events page on the Festival’s web site for the where and whens.

One of the many highlights include the Vega Sicilia vertical tasting which may venture back 50 vintages. Their 2004 Bodegas Alion was one of the superb sips of our evening, look out for them in the tasting room too!

In addition, many of the winemakers’ events or seminars are very reasonable and give a great chance to learn from the experts in a smaller scale. There are where you can learn more about bubbly, a region of interest, pairings and of course, fortified wine! I always enjoy these guided tastings as they can lend so much insight into wines and their stories. As part of your festival experience this year, check one out!

We hope to see you there. Cheers!

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