The TriCity International Wine Festival is an exceptional wine tasting event that takes place in Coquitlam in October or November.
The last couple of years it has been in November at the Westwood Plateau Golf Club. In 2019 it happens on October 19th at the Hard Rock Casino.
Vancouver’s TriCity International Wine & Food Festival
The TriCity International Wine & Food Festival is a one-day event at a fabulous indoor venue. It features different tasting areas, some fifty wineries, 200+ wines and appetizers from a dozen or so local restaurants and other food providers.
In addition to being a fun and well-run event with great wines and food, a couple of things make the Coquitlam event stand out. For one, partial proceeds from the festival go to support a charitable cause. The last couple of years it has raised money for the Ride to Conquer Cancer. In 2019 the charitable beneficiary is the Royal Columbian Hospital Foundation.
Another reason we really like this event is that it’s all inclusive. All the wine and food is included – there are no tokens or need to pay extra for each sample.
Where and When in 2019
The wine festival takes place at the Hard Rock Casino which is located at 2080 United Boulevard in Coquitlam.
In 2019 the event is on Saturday, October 19th, from 7:00 until around 10:00 pm.
The TriCity International Wine Festival is an adults-only (19+) event. Tickets cost about $80 plus GST.
The event will most likely sell out. Consequently, be sure to reserve your tickets well in advance.
What to Expect
At the wine festival expect to enjoy a pleasant evening sampling fine wines and tasty appetizers in an attractive venue. As you enter you’ll find a coat check area run by volunteers who’ll look after your belongings in exchange for a donation to the Royal Columbian Hospital Foundation. Next, you’ll find a place to pick up your wine glass so you can get started.
The venue is divided into a few different areas. In each there is a selection of winery stations offering samples of dozens of different kinds of wines. Also in each area are food stations offering savory appetizers and delicious sweets.
Also at the venue is a silent auction which again benefits the Royal Columbian Hospital Foundation. There you’ll find a wide range of fancy items to bid on, including gift baskets and restaurant and golf package gift certificates. Don’t forget to take your cheque book or credit card!
Wine Festival Participants
In 2019 the event showcases 50 wineries from 10 different countries. It also features fancy foods from 12 local restaurants, caterers and food suppliers.
Featured wines in 2019 are from Australia, Germany, Canada, France, Italy, Chile, Argentina, Spain, New Zealand and the USA.
Food providers scheduled to participate in 2019 are Caffe Umbria, Craft & Cork Kitchen, Damiani Fine Foods, El Santo, the Hard Rock Casino, Burnaby’s Hart House Restaurant, Hills Legacy Meats, Latin Bites, the Mt. Lehman Cheese Company and Milestones Restaurant. Also offering tasty treats this year are Olive the Best, the Paddlewheeler Pub, She Devil Delights, Terra International Foods, the Bennett Craft Kitchen and Urge Chocolates.
Tips and Advice
Below are some tips and suggestions to help you make the most out of your wine festival experience.
TIP #1: The dress code for the event is smart business or casual dress attire, so it’s not ultra-formal, but not something you want to wear sweat pants to either. The venue is a fair size though, and you’ll be standing around and walking, so you’ll want comfortable footwear.
TIP #2: This is a wine-sampling event, so plan how to get home in advance.
TIP #3: There is a complimentary shuttle bus between the Hard Rock Casino and Braid SkyTrain Station at the end of the evening. Complimentary transit passes are also available some years on a first-come, first-served basis.
TIP #4: If planning to use the complimentary shuttle service at the end of the night, get in line at least 15 or more minutes before 10 o’clock (unless you don’t mind waiting in line for what could be a fair amount of time).
TIP #5: If hoping to get one of the free transit passes before they run out, visit the on-site Concierge Desk when you arrive or at least very early in the evening. Note: they may or may not be offering this benefit in 2019.
TIP #6: Make notes of the wines you like so you’ll remember their names and years next time you’re at a liquor store.
TIP #7: Go with a group of friends. The more the merrier! And if one of them only wants to sample a tiny bit of wine, and offers to be your designated driver, so much the better!
TIP #8: Be generous with your tips at the coat check and bids at the silent auction. Proceeds from both benefit the Royal Columbian Hospital Foundation which is a great cause. Also, think of the silent auction as a fun way to get a head start on your Christmas gift shopping!
TIP #9: Pace yourself and don’t drink too much. Also, it’s perfectly acceptable (and even common practice) to not finish every single glass. There are lots of different wines at the event, so if you find something you don’t really care for, dump it in a designated receptacle, rinse your glass and find something that you do like!
TIP #10: If you prefer beer to wine, then check out the Coquitlam Craft Beer Festival instead. It takes place a couple of weeks before and is run by the same organization.
For more information about the event, or to buy tickets, see the TriCity International Wine Festival website.
To learn about other things to do in the area, click Coquitlam.
For a list of other things to do in the Lower Mainland, check out any of the following: