Discovering Wines and Spirits in Québec City

Discovering Wines and Spirits in Québec City

Photo: Salon international des vins et spiritueux de Québec, Centre des congrès, Quebec City.
Credit: Claude Cayouette.

By Nathalie Peron

Québec City (Québec) April 28th, 2017, Centre des congrès de Québec – It is this weekend, April 28th to April 30th, at the Centre des congrès in Québec City that all are invited to come enjoy and discover various wines, spirits, beers and other edible delicacies at what is said to be the largest event of its kind in eastern Canada: the fifth edition of Québec’s International Wines and Spirits Fair.

Over 1,500 products are presented – wines, spirits, ciders, beers and cheeses – by more than 150 producers from around the world. Presented by the Société des Alcools du Québec and by Radio-Canada, the fair includes demonstrations by the exhibitors as well as 75 conferences throughout the weekend.

The sheer size of the place is impressive, even intimidating, but once you get past the stuffy (and slightly snooty) exterior of most exhibitors, passion-driven artisans await, ready and willing to share with you the quality of their unique product. In exchange for your interest – and some coupons, of course, sold at $1.00 a piece – they will generously share this passion and give a taste of the knowledge of their craftsmanship.

Besides the remarkable number of different wines from different regions on display (and just for those alone, a weekend is clearly not enough), other products caught my attention, mainly because of the exhibitors’ enthusiasm and eagerness.

I was particularly hooked by the Trou du Diable brewery where they walk the visitor through a six course beer tasting, each one growing in strength and intensity. The selection was carefully made among their many award-winning beers to reflect the theme of the fair; all their beers were cask-aged, like the surrounding fine wines and spirits.

Another interesting stop was at the Beam Suntory display where a 100% Canadian rye whiskey is offered, and where one can gather intriguing tidbits about what is actually in Canadian rye whiskey (and what used to be found in American whiskey before it was regulated…). They also offer a considerable selection of bourbons and scotch whiskeys.

Keep an eye open for a new attraction this year, a stand where virgin drinks and cocktails are offered for those who prefer alcohol-less alternatives or for our kind designated drivers.

Entry is priced at $20, which includes a sampling glass, and coupons must be purchased in order to sample the products. For budgeting purposes, many samples are available for two to four coupons, but for the more haut de gamme products, you can expect to pay six or more coupons. Also note that most of the food available is not paid for with coupons. You’ll need cash for that.

Overall a pleasant adventure where discoveries are made and horizons are expanded, because it is much safer to try something new out of your comfort zone when you don’t have to buy the whole bottle.

More information can be found at


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Categories: Arts & Culture, Reviews

About Author

Nathalie Peron

Naturalized Quebec City citizen, Nathalie has studied in literature and as a paralegal, the latter stemming a career she has strived in for the past 10 years, notably in workers’ compensation cases. Artistically inclined, she has acted in amateur theatre for 25 years and has lately added singing to her amateur CV. She now stretches her professional wings to writing, both corporate and creative texts, hoping to meld both her artistic and legal personalities.

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