Whew, my temples are throbbing today because of that tempting demon liquor.

Last night I must’ve tasted a gallon of rare and award-winning reds at the Vancouver Playhouse International Wine Festival. This annual week-long event is billed as “the best consumer wine show on the continent,” and serves as a key fundraiser for the Vancouver Playhouse Theatre Company.

The festival’s “global focus” varietal this year is Cabernet(s). And this year’s “theme country” is Chile, a warm, slender, South American nation with diverse regions that make it a “a viticultural paradise,” a.k.a. wino heaven.

35 Chilean wineries have come to this year’s wine fest. Chilean’s best-loved varieties are Sauvignon Blanc, Chardonnay, Pinot Noir, Syrah, Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon, and Carmenere. Chile’s wine industry is pretty cocky, too. By 2020, they intend to become “the world’s #1 producer of sustainable and diverse premium wines.”

But Chile isn’t the only wine region being celebrated at the festival. The festival is hosting wines from literally hundreds of wineries. Last night I stamped my ‘wine passport’ at dozens of booths, and basically drank my way around the world.

Despite the epic level of drinking, I managed to snap photos of my favourite wines. Here now are:

5 Great Wines I Don’t Remember Drinking at the Vancouver Wine Fest

#5) Truchard’s 2007 Cabernet Sauvignon

Region: Napa Valley, California

5 Truchard

#4) Caliterra’s 2008 Cenit

(Cabernet Sauvignon, Malbec, Petit Verdot, Carménere)

Region: Colchagua Valley, Chile

4 Cenit

#3) Amalaya’s 2010 Gran Corte

Region: Valle Calchaqui, Salta, Argentina

3 Amalaya

#2) Hester Creek’s 2008 The Judge (Limited Edition)

Region: Okanagan Valley, BC, Canada

2 Hester Creek

#1) Famille Perrin’s 2009 Château de Beaucastel

Region: Châteauneuf-du-Pape, southeastern France

1 Beaucastel

Interested in hitting the Wine Fest this weekend?

It runs till this Sunday March 4th at the Convention Centre in downtown Vancouver. This weekend showcases wines from Chile, California, Australia, New Zealand, Spain, France, and Argentina.

For the list of remaining tastings and events, click here.

— Ken Hegan

Bing: Best wines of Chile

Read all of Ken’s MSN travel posts here and follow Ken to victory on Twitter

Cork image courtesy Vancouver Playhouse International Wine Festival