Vancouver International Wine Festival

Wine lovers unite.  The International Wine Festival is back!

Outside JOEY (Bentall One) at launch party.

Enjoy an amazing selection of world class wines from May 16-22, 2022 at the Vancouver Convention Centre and other venues around the city. See link below for tickets and more info.

Photo: John Moe

Feeling worldly? Not only will you be able to sample wines from all over the world, you can buy your favourite wines at the onsite BC Liquor Store and bottle check them throughout the tasting session.  Then pick them up when you’re ready to leave or have your purchases sent to your nearest store.  How very convenient of them.

Of course remember never to wine and drive. The festival is providing a free Compass ticket on the way out to take local transport or have someone pick you up.  Because let’s face it, even if you taste and spit you’re probably going to be sipping enough to affect you.  I’m a bit of a lightweight when it comes to drinking wine and tend to get lightheaded very easily.  But I enjoy a lovely glass of wine and a bottle (or two) with friends on occasion so at an event like this you can sample several varietals you might otherwise never get to try.

our greeter upon entry
She was pouring this really nice bubbly

The festival kicked off with a VanWineFest media launch party at JOEY on Burrard.  I met some very nice people.

With Christine Blanchette.

Christine is the Host + Producer of  “The Closing Act” (conducting in-depth interviews with musicians, songwriters, producers and CEOS in the industry) on Arts + Entertainment Channel and “Run with It” (a monthly show on running, fitness and nutrition interviewing experts and celebrities who work out or follow a healthy lifestyle) on Healthy Living Network.  We have a few things in common being that she’s half Irish, is from Quebec and she’s also a runner. But I’m not in the same running league because she runs Marathons including the elite Boston Marathon. I’ve run 3 half Marathons and said that’s enough. I admire anyone who runs full marathons as it’s hard on your body and well; a longer run than I have the stamina for.  But getting back to our mutual friend JOEY

Not only was there a selection of delicious participating festival wines, also yummy globally-inspired snacks from executive chef Matthew Stowe.  The sliders (both meat + vegetarian) were excellent, along with surprisingly delicious sushi (I say that because I never expected them to serve sushi) and the tastiest dips like hummus and even guacamole – something for everyone.JOEY restaurants are a premium casual family-owned chain created by Jeff Fuller and looking to expand throughout North America.  I cannot believe that this was my first time here even though they’ve been around for quite some time. I was impressed by the quality of food and the extensive cocktail list looks tempting – for another time.

2022 countdown presented by VIWF Executive Director Harry Hertscheg (L),  Bard on the Beach Artistic Director Christopher Gaze (R) and Group Sommelier Jason Yamasaki (middle).

It’s exciting that events like this are opening up again.  It’s also a bit overwhelming because there’s all of a sudden so much going on other than wine tasting…in dining, music, art shows, theatre…

After a long hiatus it’s enjoyable to be able to get out there even if we have to ease ourselves into the social scene. Although I must admit as much as I like going to these social events I’m also pretty comfortable being a homebody.  How about you?

taken at Vancouver Convention Centre – International Wine Festival

Cheers!

How to Buy Tickets

https://joeyrestaurants.com/

JOEY Espresso Martini – for another time

 

 

 

 

Wine Wednesday: Here’s the Thing

The SMALL LOT FIVE- little hidden gems; BIG on taste.

vinAmité Cellars: Hiding in plain sight

Photo: d. king

“vin-ah-mee-tay” – meaning: harmony, friendship, meeting of minds of family and friends.

The word “vin” in French means wine

The word “Amite” is an old fashioned word going back to Medieval times,

Meaning friendship and balance in life.

Photo: d. king

Photo: d. king

Here we sampled a few whites with names like “Chanson d’amour” which alone was enough to make us want to buy a bottle or two.  Followed by a  single red varietal Petit Verdot and a few blends with charming names like “Compass” and “Hidden Corner.”  

We were tipped off to make sure to order the charcuterie cone (yes; it’s a cone, not a board.) And it was Fab!

This hand-crafted family estate vineyard makes small quantity wines with character and taste that are true to each grape varietal and honor the history of the wine and the winemakers’ special touch. 

The vineyard is well over two decades old, yet each wine is carefully crafted to the tastes of modern life. The wines are enjoyable and easy drinking.  With $15 tasting fee you get a crystal Riedel wine glass – lightly inscribed with their name on the glass.  Very classy.

Photo: d. king

Fairview Cellars

Photo: d. king

We no sooner pulled up to this boutique style winery when we were eagerly greeted by a very friendly golden retriever.  A nice start to another favorful and flavourful tasting.

The 10 acre property located adjacent to the first green of the Fairview Mountain Golf Course was purchased by Bill Eggert in 1989.  After development of the water system the vineyard was started in 1993. 

I can’t remember what Margeaux bought but I ended up with a bottle called Bucket O’ Blood – a white wine it is not.  It wasn’t open for tasting however a table of six ordered a full bottle and raved about how good it was.  They said every time they go to the winery they order the same bottle. Sold!

Photo: d. king

http://www.fairviewcellars.ca/fairviewcellars.ca/Welcome.html

Second Chapter

We skipped straight to the Second Chapter.  This is certainly a unique winery that produces no more than 4,000 cases featuring truly local wines inside a funky building made out of two 40 x 8 sea cans.

Apparently it’s a trend. Guess you can refer to it as a cannery. I’ll blog more on the home can craze separately because I was fascinated by them and have been checking out some amazing examples – you wouldn’t even know what they were…if you didn’t already know what they are.  But getting back to wine…

Our firecracker pourer Dianne Gibson @diannegibsongirl entertained us with stories and she happens to also design amazing corsets and costumes.  She was a riot. The wine was good but it would have been a totally different experience had she not been there.  Let’s just say she made it better.  I would go back just to see her again.  Ok; let’s not forget who I am – to also drink wine.

River Stone

River Stone is a small, family owned and operated winery located on a small knoll in the middle of the valley, just south of the well-recognized McIntyre Bluff and just north of Oliver.

Photo: d. king

The day we arrived they were in the middle of a private tasting on their gorgeous outdoor garden setting.

https://www.riverstoneestatewinery.ca/

Here’s the Thing Winery:

I saved the best for last; literally.

One more thing: I clearly make no apologies for drinking gorgeous wine. Photo: d. king

See the idyllic farmhouse in the distance?  That’s the winery. It may be yellow in color (even though in this photo it looks to be white) but the entire site is truly ‘green’. You won’t see any wires running to their buildings because they’re 100% off the grid!

Photo: d. king

The place wasn’t even open when we arrived on the drive out.  They were in the midst of getting set up and their computer was down so we went for a walk for half an hour then came back to be first in line. Margeaux already left for her drive back to Castlegar so I did a mid morning round on my own. Don’t worry; my boyfriend was the designated driver.

Let me be clear that as a rule I never drink wine before noon.  Normally not even before 5:00 pm.  5:01 is when I start.  What a surprise.  Fabulous wines.  I bought one of each and called Margeaux to tell her she missed a good tasting. Margeaux; having FOMO (fear of missing out – I didn’t even know what the letters meant until just recently so don’t feel bad), ended up ordering a case with the four bottles I sampled.

We have our wine map for next time.  Only 40 more to go!  

Cheers everyone!

Wining & Dining at Chaberton

We’re pretty spoiled living here in British Columbia.  We’re blessed with a.bun.dance…a very large quantity of something. We live sandwiched between ocean and mountains with no shortage of sports. It doesn’t get much better.

Photo: Paul Lemay

But speaking of sandwiches…Vancouver is a foodie city.  Condé Nast Traveler named it one of the best food cities in the world. And for a lot more than just a sandwich.  More on this some other time.

We’re also known for wine. Of course it’s better to be here to enjoy the full experience as many wineries (and there are a plenty) do not ship outside B.C.  And the few that do, do not ship all their supply as for the most part they’re smaller batch lots. Which in turn makes the tasting experience that much more personal.

For those of you familiar with wines of British Columbia you probably know about the Okanagan wine region – located in southern British Columbia, and one of the warmest regions in all of Canada.

Having said this, we have several local wineries closer to our home in Vancouver.  And bit by bit we’re exploring all of them.  For this post I’ll focus on Chaberton Estate Winery in Langley, B.C. – about 45 minutes outside Vancouver.

Catherine, our knowledgeable wine server
Tribute Fortified Wine

Langley is a part of the Fraser Valley wine region, which produces high-quality and hand-crafted wines with different styles and varieties. The fertile farmland around the city, especially in the Fraser Valley, is home to many historic orchards and fruit fields that grow berries.

The terroir in South Langley is similar to that of some of the best wineries in Northern France, making it the ideal place to grow a range of different cool weather grapes.  The history of the winery dates back to 1975 when the founders, Claude and Inge Violet sold their winery and vineyard in France and decided to start their next chapter in the “New World”.  So I suppose this means we are considered “New World Wine” with still a way to go.  But if you weren’t already aware of this, you might not even be able to tell. 

If wining were a sport we would win the gold medal.  Actually, we kind of treat it like a sport.

I enjoyed a deluxe private tasting last week before a delicious lunch at their award winning French inspired bistro.  Rated by the Vancouver Sun as one of the top 3 al Fresco dining restaurants in Vancouver, the Bacchus Bistro with a vineyard view, serves authentic French cuisine prepared with local ingredients and a West Coast flair. Coupled with a glass of wine, it was superb.  

Bacchus Bistro mussels were the best in the west.  The other stuff was pretty good too (Ling cod in a saffron sauce, seafood crepes, scalloped potatoes au gratin).

My favourite white is their estate grown Siegerrebe (a grape grown primarily in Germany) – hand picked right from the Langley Estate.  The flavour is bursting with honeydew melon and mango notes, with fresh grapefruit and velvet feel on the palate.  We bought a few bottles from the wine shop on our way out.

On a nice day you can enjoy a tasting flight at an outdoor picnic table.

I tend to say upon leaving a place I want to re-visit…We’ll be back.”

Chaberton Estate Winery

 

Find time to wine

Wine is one of the most cultivated things in the world…

A good pinot noir (and gris) is among some of my favourites.  There’s a whole long list of others.

and one of the most natural things of the world that has been brought to the greatest perfection, and it offers a greater range for enjoyment and appreciation than, possibly, any other purely sensory thing.” – Ernest Hemingway

Visiting a vineyard has always been a pleasant past time of mine.  Here in Vancouver we have a few local wineries a little bit off the beaten path.  Last month I re visited Township 7 (in the 7th Township of Langley, off the highway in the Fraser Valley area) with a friend.

I tried to locate a Township 7 Merlot that was part of a Christmas gift basket but everyone that previously had it in stock was sold out.  After exhausting my search I decided to go directly to the source – Township 7 in Langley.  Their other location (Naramata Bench in the beautiful Okanagan Valley) was several more hours away by car.

Once there we ended up doing a tasting.

just a tiny one

Once finished we ended up becoming wine club members.  Which means that every season we’ll be getting drunk several bottles shipped to us.  Which means that by Spring/Summer we’re certain to be in the red.  Other than that, we’re always white and bubbly.

I  look forward to further introducing your senses to BC wine along with the art, culture and culinary experiences brought together by knowledgeable people and others who like to indulge appreciate good wine and good times.  Life is meant to be relished.  

our kids were so patient

Have a great weekend.

Photos (this page): d. king

 

 

 

PS Air – I love you!

One of my new favorite places:

Bouschet: best described as a specialty marketplace in Palm Springs offering a large selection of fine wines, liquor, craft beer, gourmet specialty foods, exquisite giftware, and an amazing bistro menu, weekly wine tastings, and special events.  Yeah, that’s it.  I’ve been for wine tastings and the other day right after A Curated Collection I had lunch there with friends.  It was pretty darn good.

Al demonstrates to Candy how to use the Napa wine station card which is really cool. You load on the amount of your choice. Then use as a credit card to taste samples, half or full glasses of great wine. Love!

I was also lucky enough to get a sneak peek of a soon to be opened super cool lounge – called PS Air.  My friend Candy introduced me to the owners who obliged us by opening a special bottle of wine reserved for a wine tasting that evening.  It was outstanding.  They were celebrating Black History Month by offering tastings of bottles by black winery owners. This particular wine was owned by the first black winery owners. Siblings Deneen, David & Coral Brown of Napa Valley. The bottle we tried was called Chaos Theory – a wine the Obama’s brought to the White house as one of their favorites.  “Chaos” ha, ha.  Nevermind!

Alison Martino, Candy Shannon Glickman & Kiki Tormo sitting in First Class.  Photo: Candy Shannon Glickman.

Talking with Tom Beatty, one of the co-owners of PS Air – a lounge at the back of the store that is sure to become a Palm Springs Favorite. Opening late March.
About the Dynamic Duo:
Dennis Costa and Tom Beatty have been a successful duo for 22 years. Personally and professionally they have experienced some of the great pleasures that life can bring.

Kiki Tormo – from Candy’s photos.

Dennis comes from an Agricultural and Viticulture background. After a successful dairy business his family planted grapes and grew predominately for Sutter Home. Dennis also worked in his earlier years for Mondavi Wines of Woodbridge, which at that time had only one bottling line. After personally tending to the grapes from planting, growing, and harvesting almost 200 acres, they decided to sell the farm to Sebastiani Vineyards in 1999. 

Tom, a native of Chicago, has worked an illustrious career as an International Flight Attendant for 33yrs. He has traveled to every continent except Antartica – which he claims would just be too cold for him. He has explored the world and enjoyed many different cultures, people, food, and of course wine. Together Dennis and Tom have traveled extensively and have been fortunate to savor some of the finest wines in the world.

Together with their love of wine they created Rainbow Ridge Wines which was featured in Wine Enthusiast Magazine and also Wine & Spirits Magazine. Their first varietal was an obscure grape by the name Alicante Bouschet. This wine received many awards and also ratings of 91 and 90 respectively. You may notice the name BOUSCHET reminiscence of their first endeavor. This wine was magical! 

I’m ready for take off.  Photo: Candy Shannon Glickman.

COME FLY WITH ME!

BOUSCHET – 611 S PALM CANYON DR (same shopping center as Revivals) (map)

Pretty Pink Rosé – a summer essential

From pale pink to dusty rose, rosé wine can be a perfect patio summer sipper. 

With warmer weather and summer just around the corner it’s nice to have a rosé on hand for unexpected guests. There are so many varieties to choose from and so many wineries now offering rosé which makes it difficult to choose.  So why not go to the source.  Here is a little bit about rosé which can be anything but blasé from where it all began – Provence, France.

About Wines of Provence:  

Provence is the oldest French wine region and Rosé is the oldest known wine. The region has a rich Rosé tradition (over 2600 years long), and winemakers today are the beneficiaries of the region’s collective knowledge and time-honoured techniques.

Since Rosé is a delicate wine and one of the most difficult to produce with success, these long-established traditions remain entirely relevant. The area’s deep-rooted Rosé culture goes a long way toward explaining why the world’s best Rosés still come from Provence.

A Rosé wine can be made from red or white grape varietals, but most commonly red. Traditionally, the skins of a red grape have brief contact (2-20 hours) with the grape juice but not enough to impart the colour or tannins that would qualify it as a red wine. Provence Rosés are fresh, delicious and affordable.  Find out more at  www.vinsdeprovence.com/en/

Do you have a favourite?

 

Food + Wine: Chef Meets BC Grape

One of my favourite food/wine events is taking place this Thursday in Vancouver. Highlighting all things grown, crushed, raised and produced in British Columbia. Taste creations prepared by top chefs from Vancouver’s hottest restaurants, all perfectly paired with BC VQA wines to enhance the flavours of each dish and wine.

Tell me more…

It’s only the largest tasting of BC VQA wines in Western Canada.
Sip from 350+ BC wines and savour small plates from 15 top chefs.
Visit Chef Ned Bell’s Ocean Wise Bubbles & Seafood station.

One ticket. One amazing evening!

Thursday, May 25
7:00 pm
Vancouver Convention Centre East
999 Canada Place

Link for participating wineries:

https://www.chefmeetsbcgrape.com/wineries-vancouver/

Link for participating restaurants and chefs:

https://www.chefmeetsbcgrape.com/restaurants-vancouver/

Purchase tickets ($90.00 per person) here:

https://www.chefmeetsbcgrape.com/tickets/

Meet you there!

 

Feel-good Friday: FUN

Highlight of my week in photos:

Starting with…forblog24

On the ferry ride over to Victoria we were lucky and so delighted to spot from a distance a pod of Orcas – not once, but twice!

Church + State Vineyards
Church + State Vineyards

We were joined by others for tastings and a great outdoor lunch with a view at Church & State Wines:1445 Benvenuto Ave, Brentwood Bay, BC.  Then off to…

De Vine Vineyards6181B Old West Saanich Rd, Saanichton, BC.

Simply Devine
Simply De vine

Sitting on the grass outside
On the grass outside winery wearing my gingham picnic shoes.  Aren’t they cute.. or at least quaint?

forblog5

A frog hopped on my skirt, looked me in the eye and asked for a kiss.  I’m sorry little froggy but I already have my prince.  You’ll have to jump on someone else.forblog6

We went via private boat to stay at this Rustic  Oceanfront Cottage on a remote Gulf Island.forblog27

Cruising by Moonlight (this photo does not compare to how gorgeous it actually was). The night before the moon was red & I could not capture its incredible brilliance.forblog7

I heard scratching at the door around midnight.  Turns out it was the next door neighbour.  He was cute so I let him in and he made himself at home…right next to me in bed.forblog15

I woke up to this.  Unfortunately my little friend went home shortly after sunrise.  Guess he just wanted a warm body to curl up with.forblog12

Everyone seems to enjoy themselves when they have the freedom to do exactly as they please…..or just enjoy the peace and quiet.forblog13

And nature on the island.  Looking towards the beach with 4 deer and 2 fawns.

forblog8

This is grocery shopping island style at the local Sunday market.  The honour system is alive and well and besides everyone knows where you live.forblog16

But I picked these myself –  literally from several different trees.forblog19Then it was off camping in an even more rustic fashion.  I can’t pretend it was glamping.  At least by gorgeous waterfalls and lots of hiking trails.  No time to makeup.
forblog28We bathed in this calm crystal clear river.

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More island shopping at Coombs Old Country Market (they have everything you can imagine) even goats up on the roof.forblog18

This one is saying “p…. off”forblog23Then a visit with my one & only sis on return with me sitting and her lying down on her lovely deck with a fluffy friend named Rufus – a lambadoodle.forblog22

She gifted me with tickets to Gwen Stefani last night at Rogers Arena.  My friend and I & millions of millennials among us really enjoyed the energy in that stadium.  Gwen is not even real – at 46 she rocks in every single capacity!  My friend asked “where have we gone wrong?

The week is still going strong!

Photos: d. king

 

Food+Drink: Italian Days 

Land of Art, Charm, History, Tradition and Wonderful Wines.

Italian Days on the Drive
Italian Days on the Drive.  Photo: d. king

rosesauce2rosesauce3For three days in a row I enjoyed little Italian touches and some major ones, not in a physical sense but in other gratifying ways.

I made a typical Italian Rosé Sauce on Saturday.  The kind I’ve been craving for ages; nicely rich & full of flavour.  Simple and satisfying.

Because I wasn’t sure if I’d be eating
Italian on “Italian Days” the following day, Sunday.  They have Italian Days in many cities across North America where they close the streets to traffic, put up white tents to sell odds ‘n ends by storefronts, have staged live music, many food vendors and crowds where you can hardly walk without bumping into someone and wait in line forever to get something you can normally get on any other given day.  Anyway, in Vancouver it took place on Commercial Drive (aka “the Drive” on the East side of town ) in what used to be a mainly Italian neighbourhood but now houses an International variety of cuisine.  I think I did notice a few Italians here and there but most of them probably left for the day. It was fun for a few hours especially from where I sat, comfortably under a heat lamp on a side street enjoying a glass of wine while watching the passersby and a plate of calamari. The real Italians were elsewhere, sitting inside one of the many Cafés sipping espresso.

italiandays3italiandays2

Then yesterday (Monday) I spent part of the afternoon at the Vancouver Club with real Italians flown in fresh from Italy especially to educate the trade about the wonderful ancient wine growing regions for Prosecco & Valpolicella and of course to promote the wines.

A short history of Old World Wine Country:

italiandays10The VALPOLICELLA territory has ancient origins, natural beauty and artistic value.  In Roman times it was known for its fascinating landscape and its tranquility.  Ancient palaces and noble villas are among the most attractive historical monuments in the area.  During the rule of the Most Serene Republic of Venice, large land tenures were established: country houses turned into splendid villas, decorated by the best artists of that period, and became the place where aristocracy and intellectuals had their cultural gatherings.  There are architectural jewels in the valley of Valpantena. Rural and town churches are spread all over the territory, enriching Valpolicella building panorama, made of small villages, courts, towers, capitals, fountains and dry stone walls.  All these monuments were built by local peasants, whose technical mastery turned country labour into ART.italiandays11Valpolicella “Superiore” is made from selected grapes grown in the best locations. It is aged for a year minimum thus obtaining its characteristic ruby-red colour with garnet shades; the nose is slightly ethereal with hints of vanilla.  Its flavour fine, harmonious, dry and velvety.  Especially fine when paired with second courses of red meat and medium seasoned cheeses.

Prosecco: not just a name.

chilled Prosecco bottles
chilled Prosecco bottles

Prosecco with friends: when I have a special occasion (which almost everything is a special occasion) I like to start the evening off with an Italian Prosecco. I never think too much about it, just that I like a nice tasting, tall cool glass of bubbly.  But now I know a bit more about Prosecco Superiore and realize the refinement of the region it comes from. Apparently it makes a difference between various types of soil, climate and the skill of men (yes, men) who have passed down the art of their hand-crafted labour from one generation to the next. It is thanks to this experience that they can cultivate the steep slopes of the hills that they have adorned with manicured vineyards, creating an environment so spectacular that it is now a candidate to become a UNESCO World Heritage Site.  So there is a “Superiore” for every occasion in three versions that vary in their residual sugar content. Brut, the driest style, Extra Dry, the most traditional version, and  Dry.  The sparkling wine also differs according to where it comes from within the region.  So the best advice I can give is to try them all and find out which one(s) you love best.

Amarone Amore:

(ps: the individual bottles shown in photos are my picks for this week)italiandays5

Amarone Wine: The Patriarch of Valpolicella
italiandays6amarone3Many wine lovers know Amarone on a first name basis, though relatively few are personally acquainted. This is most likely due to the high entrance fee. Perhaps you’ve seen him lingering at the bottom of a wine list next to other recognizable stars such as Brunello di Montalcino or Barolo and wondered:italiandays9

What is the story on this dude? Is he worth it?

Yes.  Amarone is worth the minimum $50-$60 ++ bottle price. While some wine prices are artificially inflated, there’s a practical explanation as to why Amarone is one of Italy’s top red wines. – and one of mine too.  It comes with a good story: To tell it properly, we must begin at the end, with Amarone’s family name: Valpolicella. Like Romeo and Juliet – it is in fair Verona where we lay our scene…

Verona is a jewel of a city in northeastern Italy, an hour and a half due east of Venice by car. The town is home to an immaculate, picture-perfect medieval center, as well as one of the most untouched Roman amphitheaters in the world, where concerts and events are still held.amarone4amarone2

The 5 Levels of Valpolicella Wine

  • Tier 1:Valpolicella Classico
  • Tier 2:Valpolicella Superiore
  • Tier 3:Valpolicella Superiore Ripasso
  • Tier 4:Amarone della Valpolicella
  • Tier 5:Recioto della Valpolicella

amarone1amaroneWhy is Amarone Wine so Expensive?

After harvesting the grapes for ‘Tier 1’ Valpolicella Classico, they are immediately crushed and fermented. This is a light, high acid red wine; it generally sees no oak aging and provides a perfect match for the traditional local appetizers.  In Verona, everything tastes  amazing when accompanied by delicious Valpolicella.

By contrast, the fruit destined to become Amarone takes quite a different journey before reaching the bottle. He is, after all, the family Patriarch – most wineries will select their older, more mature vines for this wine. Grapes are picked a bit later to ensure ripeness – usually in mid-October. Then, they are left all winter to dry into raisins.

What goes into Amarone:

  • 2x as many grapes as normal wine
  • 45+ day slow fermentations
  • Long term aging at winery (similar to Rioja)
  • Expect to spend $50-$80

Viva Italia!

Photos: d. king

Source for Amarone: Winefolly.com

 

 

 

 

 

Feel-good Friday: feeling good all week

 My Week started off with an invite to the annual California Wine Fair presented by Vancouver Arts Club.  Followed by dancing…and more drinking….and dancing (but no driving).

Couldn't decide between the lime or fruit punch Jarritos (Mexican soft drink which may have included a bit of Tequila) while my handsome date prefered to stick with refreshing Dos Equis XX beer.
Couldn’t decide between the lime or the fruit punch Jarritos at Joe Fortes (Mexican soft drink which may have included a little Tequila) while my handsome date standing behind me prefered to stick with a bottle of refreshing Dos Equis XX beer.    Photo: Claude Duke Photography

It is their signature spring fundraiser where all proceeds from ticket sales and auction packages go toward the development of new Canadian plays and staging world-class theatre created by local artists.  I’m already familiar with many of the wineries from having visited them on several occasions around the beautiful Napa and Sonoma wine regions. Some of the properties are really amazing.  One winery is a chateau that looks more like a castle and the Francis Ford Coppola estate winery is very Hollywood glamour.  They’re fun to visit and of course, sample some fine tasting wines.

From the Wine Fair
From the California Wine Fair....in Vancouver photo: d. king

The very next afternoon it was off to the Tequila Expo Media Event at Joe Fortes rooftop deck with some of the world’s finest and smoothest tasting tequilas, excellent food, great company & conversation.  This was my second time around and it was thoroughly enjoyable especially since the day was so lovely.

The actual event will take place Saturday, May 28th at the Hyatt Regency Hotel.

From the Rooftop at Joe Fortes. Photo: d. king
From the Rooftop at Joe Fortes.  Photo: d. king

The celebration of all things Agave is open to connoisseurs and those who enjoy tequila in general with exclusive offerings not yet available in BC.

We’re pleased to be the largest event of our kind in Canada”, says founding partner Manuel Otero, President of the Mexican Business Association of Canada. “As a dual citizen of Mexico and Canada, I couldn’t be prouder to be part of this event that celebrates the best of Mexico by introducing Vancouverites to an amazing range of unique Mexican flavours – both culinary and spirits based.” The full week of events runs from May 23 to May 28.  The Grand Tasting Event at the Hyatt features top Vancouver restaurants offering unique small bite food pairings created specifically to pair with Tequila and Mezcal.

Featured restaurants are The Edge Social Grille & Lounge, El Santo, Joe Fortes, La Mezcaleria, Las Margaritas, Mosaic Bar & Grille and Showcase Restaurant.

New this year! Ticket purchasers will be entered to win a fantastic trip for two to Puerto Vallarta. AeroMexico, the premier airline of Mexico, is generously providing direct flights from Vancouver. The winner’s stay will be hosted by Velas Vallarta and Casa velas. Tickets are now on sale through Tickets Tonight. Single tickets are $79, with a group rate available for only $69 each for groups of 6 or more.  All prices include service charges.

And, as if all that wasn’t enough.. the very next day I got to feeling even more light headed.

Hair by Safa - Enchanté Hair by Design. http://enchantehair.com
Hair by SafaEnchanté Hair by Design.
http://enchantehair.ca

What am I up to this evening? A Tango 10-year Anniversary Celebration Milonga on the Drive.

joefortes5

SALUT!    Enjoy your weekend