People check the booklet during tasting event of the 40th Vancouver International Wine Festival in Vancouver, Canada, March 1, 2018. Vancouver International Wine Festival is one of the biggest wine events in the world. (Xinhua/Liang Sen)
By Evan Duggan
VANCOUVER, March 1 (Xinhua) -- Ian Williams empties a glass of rose wine and describes the taste.
"It's definitely got that profile of Pinot Noir," he says. "It's got a little -- not really a spicy flavor, at the end -- I'd call it like, piquant. Not quite heat, but a little reminder there at the end that there's something there. It's quite nice."
At this year's annual Vancouver International Wine Festival on Thursday night, Williams sampled a Turkish wine that is probably unfamiliar to most wine lovers at one of the festival's various tasting events.
Provided by a winery called Suvla, the Turkish wine is made from indigenous Turkish grapes grown in vineyards on Turkey's Gallipoli coast.
The festival, which has been held for more than two weeks, will end on March 4. The festival, attracting roughly 25,000 people this year, has become an event for keen wine-lovers to sample unique varieties from countries like Turkey, Uruguay and Croatia.
"We thought that Vancouver is a sophisticated market," Suvla's owner Selim Zafer Ellialti told Xinhua. "We would like to be a strong player in this market within the next five to ten years," he said.
Suvla is displaying five types of wine at the event: white wine, rose wine and three kinds of red wine, which are made from their indigenous grapes.
"It's a good chance to try something completely different," said Rosana Wedenig, after trying one of Suvla's red wines. "I've never seen that before," she said.
The festival began in 1979 as a fundraiser for a local theater, said Harry Hertscheg, the festival's executive director. Back then, it featured only one type of wine served in plastic cups.
"It just kept growing," Hertscheg told Xinhua. "This has been part of wine culture in Vancouver and British Columbia ever since," he said, adding that Vancouver is a top location to sample and appreciate international wines.
"Vancouver is a port city," Hertscheg said. "That means it's easy for wine from around the world (to be showcased here)... This has always been an international wine market from the beginning."
As Canada is the world's sixth-largest importer of international wine, the Canadian province of British Columbia has become a major player in the global wine market in recent years.
New wineries like Suvla have become a highlight of the show, Hertscheg said.
"Turkey has probably made wine longer than any other country in this room. They grow more grapes than probably a lot of these countries combined," he said. "Maybe we don't see them much in this market, but now we have the chance to taste that."