The Demystified Vine

Taking the mystery out of wine exploration!

The last week of February 2016 will mean that Italy is in Vancouver. Yes, you read that correctly. Vancouver will be hosting a significant number of Italian wineries (among other gems from all over the globe) at the Vancouver International Wine Festival (aka VIWF).


Italy is the “theme” country this year, which means it will be highlighted during educational seminars, lavish wine dinners, and throughout the trade and public tastings that will be happening in and around Vancouver.

I wanted to get a head start on the educational side of things. How demystifiying!

Italy is known for its reds, but the white wines should not go unnoticed. It would be an understatement to say that Italy has one of the most diverse grape-growing cultures on the planet; they grow thousands (and I mean thousands) of different grape varieties in their tiny little country. How amazingly demystifying!

Here are some tweets that I put out to Twitterland not that long ago highlighting some of the grape (ha!) things about Italian wines. Stay tuned for more exciting posts on Italy and the festival. Enjoy!

Tickets & Info:
• VanWineFest Tickets & Info: Visit

Stay in Touch:
Facebook & Instagram: @VanWineFest
Twitter: Follow @VanWineFest for news on tickets and sold-out events.
Join the conversation at #VIWF

Cheers, and see you at the festival!


Remember to “Like” us on Facebook at The Demystified Vine.

The Vancouver International Wine Festival presents:

In summary, the Bacchanalia Gala Dinner + Auction initiates the 38th VanWineFest on the 20th of February at the Fairmont Hotel Vancouver. This prestigious event will include one of the most thrilling collections of vintage wines ever to be auctioned in the province of British Columbia. The auction will also include hundreds of other wines to be bid on.

A few jaw-droppers will include an exceptionally rare 1906 Château Latour (value of $10,000), a magnum of 1949 Château Haut-Brion (value of $7,000), and many other first growth Bordeaux wines from prime vintages.  The well-sought out 1982 vintage and stunning 2000 vintage will also be available to bid for. Trustworthy names from first growth properties including Mouton Rothschild, Lafite, Margaux, Cheval Blanc and Latour, as well as many other renowned wines from festival theme country Italy, such as single vineyard Barolo and the “super-Tuscans” Ornellaia, Sassicaia and Tignanello will be seen.


This Bacchanalia Gala wine auction is a prime opportunity for serious wine collectors to get their hands on rare and older vintage wines. As a benefit, the auction itself is a charitable fundraising event. The proceeds will benefi the Bard on the Beach Theatre Society. Ticket information for the Bacchanalia Gala Dinner + Auction is available through

Auction Wine Highlights

  • 1.5L 1949 Château Haut-Brion: Est. Value: $7,000.
  • 1906 Château Latour: Est. Value: $10,000.
  • 1982 Bordeaux Collection (Mouton Rothschild, Margaux, Cheval Blanc and Latour Haut-Brion.): Est. Value: $9,750.
  • 2000 Bordeaux Collection (Mouton Rothschild, Lafite, Latour and La Mission Haut-Brion). Est. Value: $10,750.

In addition to having the chance to get your hands on a bottle of these spectacular wines, the Bacchanalia Gala Dinner + Auction will offer its guests an unforgettable wine and food pairing experience which will include 10 outstanding wines paired with a 5-course dinner creatively developed by Fairmont Hotel Vancouver’s executive chef, Cameron Ballendine.

Tickets & Info:
• Gala Event Tickets: Please contact
• Gala Raffle Tickets: Download the order form for your 1 in 200 chance to win two business class tickets anywhere Delta Air Lines flies, valued at $36,000 USD ($50,000+ CAD)
• VanWineFest Tickets & Info: Visit

Stay in Touch:
Facebook & Instagram: @VanWineFest
Twitter: Follow @VanWineFest for news on tickets and sold-out events.
Join the conversation at #VIWF

Hope to see you at the festival!


Château Suduiraut Sauternes 2011

February 2, 2016

I headed to the Union Des Grands Crus de Bordeaux Tasting in Vancouver on Thursday, January 28, 2016 with a friend of mine who was in the same WSET certification courses I attended. At this tasting, there were 45 producers from the Bordeaux region of France pouring one or two of their wines, one of which was the 2013 vintage.

Valerie Stride

The Château Suduiraut Sauternes was most memorable. I’m still side-smacked with its wonder. It was an absolute treat.

My notes – in point form – from this tasting include:

  • OMG
  • WOW
  • Great tangerine rind notes
  • lemon, peach, pineapple, mango, honey, custard, pink grapefruit notes, sweet

For demystification purposes, Sauternes is a sweet wine, often served as dessert or as a libation complementing particular rich foods like foie gras. This sweet wine comes from the area of Graves in France. Typically, Sauternes is made from three different grapes in varying blended percentages. The three varieties are: Sauvignon Blanc, Sémillon, and Muscadelle. These grapes go through a ‘rotting’ process whereby the grapes lose water concentration by way of Botrytis cinerea, which is also known as noble rot. The noble rot concentrates the sugars in the grapes, which then concentrates the flavours for the finalized product. I know that doesn’t sound very noble, but once you smell the smells of Sauternes or taste the tastes of Sauternes, it won’t matter! Half bottles of Sauternes can cost hundreds of dollars. Now that is some serious wine.




YES, believe it. The 2016 Vancouver International Wine Festival is just around the corner. How fast did that year fly by? Almost too fast, as vine stars from all over the globe are once again gearing up to jet-set their way over to Canuckland.


Brian Lynn from Majella Wines poses for a photo with me at the 2015 VIWF. Brian will be attending again this year.

TWENTY-SIXTEEN is the 38th wine festival in Vancouver, and will be taking place from February 20 to 28 at various locations around the city including the Vancouver Convention Centre in addition to other various hotspots.

There are 155 wineries from 14 countries set to take the lead at this celebrated festival. Each winery will be sending a high-level rep to present their wines. High-level representatives can include winery owners, winemakers, and senior executives.

Educational seminars (54 in total) and numerous eclectic dinners will be attended by these representatives, and of course, attendees of such events will get a chance to try the luxurious wines from these top producers.

Photo of the wines tried at the "Excitement in a Glass" seminar at the 2015 VIWF

Photo of the wines tried at the “Excitement in a Glass” seminar at the 2015 VIWF

This year, the theme country is Italy, which should prove tremendous fun.

“We are honoured to welcome top winemakers, owners and senior winery representatives to our festival each year,” declares Harry Hertscheg, VIWF executive director. “Festivalgoers will have unique access to the people directly responsible for the wines they are tasting, and can connect with leading figures in Italy’s extraordinary wine and food culture.”

For those who adore Italian wines, you’ll get the chance to shake hands with some of the finest vine stars Italy has to offer. With 60 Italian wineries in attendance this year, you’ll have your hands full. Below are a few folks you might be interested in talking to:

  • Marilisa Allegrini, Owner/CEO, Allegrini
  • Stefano Benini, International Export Director/Family Member, Marchesi de’Frescobaldi
  • Pio Boffa, Owner, Pio Cesare
  • Luca Currado, Owner/Winemaker, Vietti
  • Stefano Leone, Global Export Director, Marchesi Antinori
  • Francesco Ricasoli, President, Barone Ricasoli


If you’re keen on attending this world-renowned event, public ticket sales hit the pavement on Tuesday, January 12, 2016. Be sure to check out the amazing deals in connection with downtown hotels via

To purchase tickets, head to or call 1-877-321-3121. For more information, you can email

Ciao, and see you at the festival!

The Demystified Vine

…Upcoming gathering? Thinking of bringing some bubbles?

You don’t have to break the bank with Champagne. Italy makes sparkling wine, and it is indeed, fine.

Lame poetic nuances aside, Prosecco has what it takes to please a crowd. While many Proseccos are off-dry (showing a hint of sweetness), they also come in dry styles as well. A BRUT style Prosecco makes a fantastic food wine, and it is a great party-starter. Try it with classic roast chicken, crisp salads, or Camembert & crackers.

My suggestions include the following, both available at BC Liquor Stores and your local, private wine store, too. Plan to bring a $20.00 CAD bill for each bottle. You’ll get some change back.

☑️Mionetto ‘Il Prosecco’ Frizzante
☑️Villa Teresa Prosecco Veneto Frizzante



Bottle photos from the BCLDB website.



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