With one of Canada’s largest wine festivals—the Vancouver International Wine Festival—still five months away, the Arts Club Theatre’s Chef Meets B.C. Grape is a popular fall event for local oenophiles. The local theatre company hosted the California Wine Fair in April, but its fall wine-tasting fundraiser—now in its 10th year— is meant to showcase B.C.

Over 8,000 kilometers separate Vancouver and Munich, but don’t be surprised if you see people walking the city streets wearing lederhosen and dirndls. Oktoberfest is upon us, and stein-swinging parties are being planned around the world.

In Vancouver, Steam Whistle Brewing will host an Oktoberfest event at the Imperial (319 Main Street) on Saturday (September 20). The Toronto-based brewery’s signature Pilsner will start flowing at 8 p.m.

Whistler got an early taste of Oktoberfest last weekend (September 11 to 14) when the Whistler Village Beer Festival filled the mountain town with craft beer lovers. Amid educational seminars, cask nights, parties, and brunches, the main event was the Saturday afternoon tasting on September 13.

There couldn't have been a better day for it. The gloriously sunny weather felt more like July than September, which meant the sunscreen was flowing along with the taps. About 3,500 people flooded Whistler Olympic Plaza to sample from the 64 breweries in attendance.

On September 14, I attended the Scotiabank Passions gala in support of the Dr. Peter AIDS Foundation as a media guest. For its 11th year, the popular fundraising event featuring over 20 Vancouver restaurants as well as live and silent auctions moved to a new venue: the Imperial Vancouver (319 Main Street).

Nearly a year ago, Straight staffer and resident horror aficionado Steve Newton reported that “the world’s most reviled film director” Uwe Boll was trying to make a name for himself as a food critic.

Now, it appears that Vancouver-based Boll is taking his interest in food one step further and preparing to open a restaurant in Gastown.

A popular East Vancouver restaurant is doing more than showing its support for B.C.'s striking teachers.

Bandidas Taqueria (2781 Commercial Drive) has pledged to donate all of its profits from every Wednesday until the strike ends to the B.C. Teachers' Federation.

On Facebook, the owners of Bandidas posted:

Bandidas Taqueria will be donating 100% of our profits on Wednesdays to the BCTF Strike Fund. We support our teachers and value public education. Come out on Wednesdays to show your support of the teachers.

For those who love to travel, wine tasting isn't just about sipping and swirling: it's about discovering the culture and the landscape behind the bottles.

Here are 10 wineries that I visited as a guest of Wines of Argentina. I've singled them out, in no particular order, not just for their wine but their impressive scenery and unique experiences on offer.

Familia Goyenechea

The Best Catch Sustainable Seafood Festival returns for its third year to Steveston at the Gulf of Georgia Cannery National Historic Site on Sunday, September 14, from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. 

The free community event will help participants discover which seafood choices are best for the planet—and the tastiest. 

Local chefs Chris Whittaker (Forage), Robert Clark (The Fish Counter), Ian Lai, and Robert Uy (The Apron) will be on hand for cooking demonstrations and food tastings at the top of each hour.

Exhibitors will also educate the public on how to keep waterways healthy.

You know how South Korean pop music is perfectly familiar, totally weird, incredibly sweet, and potentially addictive? Well, their soft drinks seem to be a lot like that also.

I’ve just finished three cans of Solhinun, a pine bud drink made by the South Korean brand Lotte. Very interesting taste.

In case you’ve never tried it, imagine mixing Red Bull, coconut water, and pine bathroom cleaner…in just the right combination.

It’s that good!

Well, okay…it tastes better than it sounds.

The meat is on the grill and large crowds are in the street in the 200 block of Carrall Street for the Gastown BBQ and Chili Festival.

The event continues today until 7 p.m. and resumes on Sunday (August 31) from noon to 7 p.m. in the same location, culminating in a performance by ambitious local prog rockers Bend Sinister on the outdoor stage.

"Considering we had a little bit of rain this morning, I think the turnout has been absolutely fantastic," festival organizer Eddie Emerman told the Straight. "It just shows the resilience of the Vancouverites."