New event puts wine lovers, experts face-to-face at P.E.I. Festival of Wines

New event puts wine lovers, experts face-to-face at P.E.I. Festival of Wines

The P.E.I. Festival of Wines is just around the corner and with a new edition of the festival comes a brand new event.

The festival is running for three days this year with the addition of Prestige, an event that allows wine lovers to mingle with experts face-to-face in a more compact setting than the typical tastings on Friday and Saturday evening.

Felipe Del Solar, general manager for Escalade Wines and Spirits, will be one of the experts in attendance. This is his first time at the festival and he'll be there to talk specifically about Chilean wines — the featured region at the event.

"People really love Chilean wine," he told CBC's Mainstreet P.E.I. "Normally the weather doesn't change that much from one year to another so … consistently we can get a good wine year after year."

PEILCC wine manager Jean-Sébastien Morin says there's nothing wine makers and experts like Del Solar enjoy more than making recommendations and telling people about the history of certain wines so they "really have a connection," with what they're drinking.

Prestige offers more 

Morin said some Islanders wanted more of that for this year's wine festival and it's for that reason they decided to introduce the event happening Thursday night at the Eastlink Centre.

"We had some very interested consumers that were looking for more and more interaction with people like Felipe …  and wanted more time one-on-one," he said.

Attendance to the event is limited to just 350 people "to ensure really great one-on-one interactions," he added. Organizers have also added 75 extra wines just for the event. 

To go alongside the face-to-face, Prestige is also offering Terroir Tastings — where wine experts detail a specific wine to the audience before an Island chef presents a dish to go with the drink. 

Morin said it's something "really great and unique for the wine lovers," to go together with what experts offer at the tastings on Friday and Saturday.

"That's an amazing experience, you're tasting this wine, you're talking to the winemaker, you think it's unbelievable and then 27 steps to your left there's the boutique where you can buy it," he said.

"It's rare that you have a chance to taste the wine with the person that made it and be able to buy it right there."

For those on the fence about going, or unsure about whether they'd enjoy wine, Morin said "all you need to know with wine [is] two things: it's only fermented grape juice and the only important thing is you like what you like."

For a full list of wines, or to buy tickets, check the wine festival's website.

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