Wine Culture Magazine

Taste top Italian wines in Vancouver with Gambero Rosso on June 2, 2023. Getty Images photo

Gambero Rosso, the foremost multimedia platform on Italian wine, food and travel is coming to Vancouver on Monday, June 2nd.

Established in 1986, Gambero Rosso launched its annual wine guide, Vini d’Italia, the following year. The timing was not insignificant. Italian wine was not held in the same esteem as it is today. Through the 70s and early 80s, exports were dominated by cheap Lambrusco. Just as the selection and reputation of Italian wine started blossoming, the industry was hit by the methanol scandal of 1986. Gambero Rosso stepped in when the virtues of Italian food and wine culture needed championing and disseminating most.

Almost four decades later, Gambero Rosso is just as relevant. “Over the last 36 years there have been great changes in the vineyard and wine technology,” declares Marco Sabellico, one of Gambero Rosso’s Senior Editors. “The sector is still seeing much experimentation.”

Keeping abreast of Italy’s multifaceted and numerous wines requires a dedicated team. Gambero Rosso’s writers taste tens of thousands of wines—from famous to obscure and generations old to brand-new. Rather than ranking by a numerical score out of 100 as is the norm today, Gambero Rosso indicates quality by number of glasses—Tre Bicchieri or three glasses being the top distinction. In 2023, the 36th edition counts 455 Tre Bicchieri wines.

“This is just the tip of the iceberg,” declares contributing editor Giuseppe Carrus. The guide includes over 25,000 wines all well worth seeking out. Gambero Rosso also hands out special awards recognizing Best Value, Grower of the Year, Cooperative of the Year and Sustainable Viticulture among others.

At the annual awards event, producers from all over Italy travel to Rome to receive their plaque with palpable gratification. “While less about generating sales, Tre Bicchieri is still a prestigious award in terms of recognition,” says Tiziana Mori, External Communication Manager for Gruppo Italiano Vini.

For wine lovers, Tre Bicchieri offers a road map for discovery and an aid to navigate Italy’s countless labels. It is a straightforward way of communicating the country’s top wines.

Much more than just a wine guide, Gambero Rosso boasts its own TV station as well as schools offering amateur and professional cooking classes, masters in journalism and wine courses. The organization also travels around the globe to educate and share the best of Italy’s wine and gastronomy.

In Vancouver, Gambero Rosso will be hosted by the Consul General of Italy, Fabio Messineo, in collaboration with the Italian Chamber of Commerce in Canada—West. Bringing together Italy’s diverse flavours with Vancouver’s stunning scenery, the event takes place at The Vancouver Lookout. It includes both a trade fair (1pm-5pm) and a consumer tasting (6:30pm-9:30pm). Over 30 wineries will be pouring 120 wines featuring a selection 2023 Tre Bicchieri winners. Attendees can expect to taste icons such as Barolo and Amarone as well as lesser-known gems like Nero di Troia and Schioppettino—and even praiseworthy Lambrusco. It is also an opportunity to meet Gambero Rosso’s up-and-coming winery of the year – Lodali from Barbaresco.

For professionals looking to dive deeper, a Masterclass exploring ‘Italy in a Nutshell’ will be led by Gianni Fabrizio, Senior Editor of Gambero Rosso’s Vini d’Italia. The trade portion culminates with the Top Italian Restaurant Awards, recognizing Vancouver’s commitment to Italy’s food and wine culture.

Buy tickets for the consumer wine tasting here.

Vitis is the proud media sponsor of this event.

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