No...it's not Christmas. It's Top Drop—the nerdiest, most awesome wine festival in Canada.
There's too much wine out there. I know that's heresy and lord knows that my general thoughts upon entering a BCLDB store are not "This place is perfection." But the truth, is for the average wine lover who doesn't have hours to devote to reading about up-and-coming producers or weeks to zip off and traipse through wine regions, you need someone to edit down your choices a bit so you can get a handle on what's going on. That's where a highly curated festival like Top Drop comes in. Take Washington State, a wine region that (notwithstanding that it's our neighbour) most Vancouverites know scant little about. You could spend hours researching the areas, reading magazines, blogs and tasting notes before you could come to the (correct) conclusion that Master Sommelier Greg Harrington's Gramercy Cellars is not only the absolute cream of the Washington crop but one of the most acclaimed and exciting wineries in America. Or you could just buy a ticket to Top Drop—they've already chosen Gramercy and have done the leg work for you. Or take Barolo. You could literally spend $40,000 tasting the pricey Piedmont legend trying to get a handle on which producers you need to be familiar with or, though I can't think of money better spent, if you don't have a spare $40,000 you can go to Top Drop and have a glass with Luca Currado of Vietti or Valentina Abonna of Marchesi di Barolo—two of the very best. And you've saved $39,925. Wouldn't you like to know there's a $25 single vineyard Malbec that blows competitors (which are double the price) out of the water? Well, Finca Decero is here. Who's kicking ass in the Okanagan? Well the absurdly low-priced riesling's of Syncromesh are—and so are the knock-you-on-your-ear pinot gris from Roche and a Gruner Veltliner from Culmina that's so good I've literally never met someone who didn't love it. They even have the impossible to find Superflux craft beer if you're all wine-d out. Consider it a one-night crash course in how to be a wine insider.
Wednesday, May 24 7 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. The Roundhouse Community Arts Centre 181 Roundhouse Mews, Vancouver Tickets: $75 (available here)