If you’re not a seasoned wine enthusiast, going to the Vancouver International Wine Festival can feel like an overwhelming thing. Thinking back, intimidated would be a good word to describe my experience in 2013. Eek!
While the set up was similar to last year, there was one thing that the organizing committee did differently that also worked to ease the nerves of those that might not know where to start. When you enter the room, you get the option to take a short quiz to help you find your style of wine. The different styles were represented by coloured circles that appeared on the signs above each vendor. That way, people could see from a distance which styles of wine each maker created.
One of my friends took the quiz and at the end, I did notice that he did tended to gravitate towards the more rich, complex full-bodied wines by the end of the night.
The theme of this year was France with a focus on “bubbles” so the first section of the tasting room was all about France. The second half of the room were the vendors from other countries.
I think that when people think of French wines, big expensive names pop up in our minds like Lafite. I’ve got to admit that I’ve been influenced by friends to try specific bottles but with wine, all you really have to do is trust your taste buds. It doesn’t really matter how much it costs but what matters most is, did you like it?
Aside from just the tasting room sessions, I was also lucky enough to be able to attend one of their many wine seminars offered throughout the week – France: Find your Style. The seminar was led by Angela Aiello and featured a panel of 10 representatives from wineries. Starting from the light whites to the full-bodied reds, the group was taken through a tasty journey through each region. The passion of the winemakers was so evident and it made me realize that wine really is an art to them.
As a consumer, not all works will appeal to you but once you find your style, you start knowing what to look for. So as someone who’s looking to learn more about wine, I found it useful to write down what you liked and what you didn’t like. Also try to pick out the smells and flavours in each sniff or sip!
Here’s what I found noteworthy to my palette:
Chateau du Cleray Muscadet 2012 (France)
Medium bodied with a smooth mouthfeel, smells of sweet apples and pineapples. Also very crisp and refreshing to drink. It smells a lot sweeter than it tastes.
Taiitinger champagne brut reserve (France)
Wow, talk about bubbles. The tiny bubbles just dance on your tongue. Very easy to drink. Thoughts point to lemon, apples, and white flowers.
A German wine producer to look out for coming soon to BC liquor stores are a few rieslings from Schloss and Johannisberg.
There’s no better place than the Vancouver Wine Festival for trying new things. What’s also great is that you can buy some exclusive wines not yet offered in BC Liquor Stores! So if you liked a specific bottle, be sure to check if it’s exclusive to the Wine Festival store.
Looking forward to 2015’s focus on Australia! In the meantime, drink and be merry. 🙂