The TriCity International Wine Festival was an exceptional wine tasting event that takes place in Coquitlam in October or November.
The last festival was held at the Hard Rock Casino in 2019. Unfortunately, this event will no longer be taking place in coming years.
Vancouver’s TriCity International Wine & Food Festival
The TriCity International Wine & Food Festival was a one-day event at a fabulous indoor venue. It featured 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 made the Coquitlam event stand out. For one, partial proceeds from the festival went to support a charitable cause. In the festival’s final few years, it raised money for the Ride to Conquer Cancer and the Royal Columbian Hospital Foundation.
Another reason we really liked this event was because it was all inclusive. All the wine and food was included – there were no tokens or need to pay extra for each sample.
Where and When
The wine festival took place at the Hard Rock Casino which is located at 2080 United Boulevard in Coquitlam.
In 2019 the event was on Saturday, October 19th, from 7:00 until around 10:00 pm.
The TriCity International Wine Festival was an adult-only (19+) event. Tickets cost about $80 plus GST, and the event used to sell out.
At the wine festival people expected to enjoy a pleasant evening sampling fine wines and tasty appetizers in an attractive venue. Upon entering, there was coat check area run by volunteers who looked after your belongings in exchange for a donation to the Royal Columbian Hospital Foundation. Next, there was a place to pick up your wine glass so you could get started.
The venue was divided into a few different areas. In each there was a selection of winery stations that offered samples of dozens of different kinds of wines. Also in each area were food stations that offered savory appetizers and delicious sweets.
In addition, the venue had a silent auction which again benefited the Royal Columbian Hospital Foundation. There were wide ranges of fancy items to bid on, including gift baskets and restaurant and golf package gift certificates.
Wine Festival Participants
In 2019 the event showcased 50 wineries from 10 different countries. It also featured fancy foods from 12 local restaurants, caterers and food suppliers.
Featured wines in 2019 were from Australia, Germany, Canada, France, Italy, Chile, Argentina, Spain, New Zealand and the USA.
Food providers scheduled to participate in 2019 were 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 in 2019 were 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 that would have helped you make the most out of your wine festival experience.
TIP #1: The dress code for the event was smart business or casual dress attire, so it wasn’t ultra-formal, but not something you wanted to wear sweat pants to either. The venue was a fair size though, and you’d be standing around and walking, so comfortable footwear was recommended.
TIP #2: This was a wine-sampling event, so planning how to get home in advance was always good.
TIP #3: There was a complimentary shuttle bus between the Hard Rock Casino and Braid SkyTrain Station at the end of the evening. Complimentary transit passes were also available some years on a first-come, first-served basis.
TIP #4: If you planned to use the complimentary shuttle service at the end of the night, it was best to get in line at least 15 or more minutes before 10 o’clock (unless you didn’t mind waiting in line for what could have been a fair amount of time).
TIP #5: If you hoped to get one of the free transit passes before they ran out, you should have visited the on-site Concierge Desk when you arrived or at least very early in the evening.
TIP #6: We recommended writing notes of the wines you liked so you would remember their names and years next time you went to a liquor store.
TIP #7: Going with a group of friends was nice. The more the merrier! And if one of them only wanted to sample a tiny bit of wine, and offered to be your designated driver, so much the better!
TIP #8: It was good to be generous with your tips at the coat check and bids at the silent auction. Proceeds from both benefited the Royal Columbian Hospital Foundation which is a great cause. Also, we thought of the silent auction as a fun way to get a head start on your Christmas gift shopping!
TIP #9: Pacing yourself and not drinking too much was another suggestion. Also, it was perfectly acceptable (and even common practice) to not finish every single glass. There were lots of different wines at the event, so if you found something you didn’t really care for, you could have dumped it in a designated receptacle, rinsed your glass and found something that you did like!
TIP #10: If you preferred beer to wine, then you could have checked out the Coquitlam Craft Beer Festival instead. It took place a couple of weeks before and was run by the same organization.
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: