From dinners and tastings to celebrating Spain and Portugal, the 2018 Vancouver International Wine Festival offered up plenty of fun for wine lovers

The 40th annual Vancouver International Wine Festival took place from February 24th to March 4th, with eight full days of events and wine. Sixteen countries and 173 wineries participated with the theme countries being Spain and Portugal.

Here’s a photo recap of some of the events over the course of the festival...

1. Bacchanalia Gala Dinner & Silent Auction

Vancouver International Wine FestivalChristine McAvoyThe Baccanalia Gala raised $225,000 this year for the Bard on the Beach Shakespeare Festival, with attendees eating delicious food and wine pairings and bidding on culinary exceptions and rare wines.


2. Savour Spain

Vancouver International Wine FestivalThe Tuesday night of the festival included a wine and food grazing at per se Social Corner, which highlighted the wines of Spain.


3. Winery Dinners

Vancouver International Wine FestivalChristine McAvoyThere was a large selection of winery dinners to choose from at the festival, where guests could hear from winemakers themselves and have meals expertly designed to be paired with the wines. This image is from the Jean-Luc Colombo Terroir dinner at West Restaurant.


4. Seminars

Vancouver International Wine FestivalChristine McAvoySeminars were available for both trade professionals as well as consumers looking to further their knowledge on a wide variety of topics. No matter which one you picked, you were sure to come away with a new perspective on wine, or at least had a chance to try ones unavailable at the public tastings!


5. 15th Annual Awards Lunch

Vancouver International Wine FestivalChristine McAvoyHardware was handed out on the Friday afternoon of the festival to the Spirited Industry Professional of the Year (Barbara Philip MW), as well as the Sommelier of The Year (Sean Nelson of Vij’s), scholarships from the BC Hospitality Foundation, and, of course, the BC Wine Awards. The winners of the Platinum category are pictured above.


6. The Tasting Room

Vancouver International Wine FestivalChristine McAvoyBetween two trade tastings and one afternoon of public tastings, the International Festival Tasting room was buzzing. Thousands of bottles of wine were sampled and many bottles were available for exclusive purchase at the onsite BC Liquor Store. There were 38 wineries from Spain and 20 from Portugal represented in the theme area, and it was announced at the end of the Saturday tasting that California would be the theme region for 2019.


7. The Vintners Brunch

Vancouver International Wine FestivalChristine McAvoyA crowd favourite, the Vintners Brunch capped off the busy festival with delicious food and wine pairings from some of the best restaurants in the Lower Mainland. The official judges chose the Organic Black Tiger Shrimp dish from Ocean Mama Seafood paired with Intersection Estate Winery’s Reserve Viognier-Marsanne Barrel Ferment as the winners (pictured above), and the People’s Choice went to Chicha’s Smoked Sablefish Empanadas, which was paired with Ramos Pinto Duas Quintas Reserva White.