W.C. Fields famously stated that he frequently cooked with wine, noting that, occasionally, he even added it to the food.
While that observation may be descriptive of more than a few cooks, it should be noted that almost every person of note has made their own observations about this ancient liquid.
Pliny the Elder, a Roman scholar at the time of Christ, noted “In Vino Veritas” which translates into “In wine there is truth”. (Still trying to figure that one out.)
On a less esoteric note, George R.R. Martin contended that “wine makes all things possible” while Louis Pasteur noted that “Wine is the most healthful and most hygienic of beverages.” And who would argue with Pasteur, after all.
Regardless of whether any of those observations are true, there’s no doubt that wine has always fascinated people and, if the 2023 Victoria Wine Festival is any indication, it’s a fascination that shows no signs of diminishing.
“We’re thrilled to be bringing the Victoria International Wine Festival back on a larger scale,” said David Bain, festival director. “We’re excited to offer a fun and engaging event that celebrates the art of winemaking and brings people together.”
The festival will take place at the Victoria Conference Centre from Sept. 29 to 30 and will feature an exceptional selection of more than 400 wines from 14 countries, including rare and hard-to-find bottles. This year’s festival will feature more than 50 wineries showcasing their unique offerings.
“We’ve worked hard to curate an exceptional lineup of wineries for this year’s festival,” said Bain. “We want attendees to have the opportunity to try new wines and discover new favourites.”
In addition to the wine tasting, the festival will also feature expert speakers, educational seminars, and wine dinners. Attendees can learn about the latest trends in winemaking, food pairing, and more.
But rest assured, this event is not elitist in any way.
“There’s a snobbery about wine that sometimes intrudes, but we want people to engage with what is beautiful about wine – the story behind wine. People will be able to explore what makes a certain wine unique and why the winery thinks it’s an amazing product,” Bain said.
“Eighty per cent of the wines we’re showing are under $25 a bottle.”
Each year the festival features a selected wine-making region and this year organizers have chosen to highlight the wines of California. There will be ten tables of wines from this region with experts on hand to explain the nuances of each offering.
That’s not to say that local wines will be shunted aside.
“We have some 16 wineries in British Columbia and those wines just keep getting better,” Bain said.
He went on to say that one of the goals of the festival is to cut through the confusion that many people have about wine.
“We’re aiming to increase guests’ knowledge while highlighting affordable wines. We’ll have experts mingling with attendees, ready to answer questions and make suggestions.”
Festival attendees will also receive a booklet that describes different sorts of wines and their best pairings, something that Bain said is a helpful reference that he personally uses regularly when he ventures into the liquor store to make his own wine selections.
Tickets for the Victoria Wine Festival are available at vicwf.com/buy-tickets and range in price from $47 to $150, depending on what activities guests wish to attend (the $150 tickets include a wine dinner).
“We really have a level of ticketing that will match everyone’s need,” said Bain.