In Québec, the 16th edition of Montréal en Lumière kicks off February 19th and finishes on March 1st. Switzerland is à l’honneur and there's no lack of great events to attend! Two caught my eye:
On February 21st with ‘Soirée 100% Canadienne’, Evoo restaurant hosts a 5 course dinner staring an intriguing selection of Canadian wines. Tantalus Pinot Noir is just one of the delicious wines being served.
Paolo Basso who won the title of the world’s Best Sommelier in Tokyo in March 2013 is in Montreal! In the good company of sommelier Jessica Harnois, Mr. Basso presents 3 wines from his country of origin; Switzerland. Together, the two sommeliers demystify the art of wine tasting. Mr. Basso promises to share a few funny stories of the famous competition that took place in front of 5000 people. This event also takes place on February 21st.
One of the most important wine festivals in North America, The Vancouver International Wine Festival runs from February 20th till March 1st. Australia is the featured country this year. Below are two fantastic tastings that will allow you to acquaint yourself with the diverse wines the country produces.
February 28th: At ‘McLaren Vale Scarce Earth’, MW Rhys Pender explores the diversity of one of the most geologically complex wine regions. A comparison between a great line-up of Shiraz allows a fascinating study on how geology, elevation and viticultural practices influence the style of wine.
Friday February 27th: ‘Geological Gems’ with Global Education Director of Wine Australia Mark Davidson is all about learning about the complex and varied soil type you find in Australia. From Terra Rossa soil to prehistoric beds of slate, each terroir excels with different grape varieties.
Syrah/Shiraz might be a star in the Rhône Valley and in Australia, but British Columbia has shown great potential for this grape. On Wednesday February 25th at 5pm, sommelier Michelle Bouffard joins Monique Polloni on the French CBC radio show Boulevard du Pacifique to talk about the Syrah’s different personalities.
The National Competition of the Canadian Association of Professional Sommeliers (CAPS) is taking place in Toronto, the weekend of March 7 & 8th. Eight sommeliers will be competing for the title. The winner will be representing Canada at the Pan-American Sommelier Alliance (APAS) Competition in Chile in April and at the Association Sommeliers Internationale (ASI), World's Best Sommelier Competition in Argentina in Spring 2016.
The National competition is open to the public. Tickets are available online. Best of luck to all of the competitors!
Michelle Bouffard is a wine educator and journalist who splits her time between Montréal & Vancouver. She co-owns the Vancouver-based company ‘house wine’ and is the president of the BC Chapter of the Canadian Association of Professional Sommeliers.She Tweets @michellebwine and Instagrams @michellebouffard.