Dress to impress

Picture 1 of 5

Be on trend with this black quilted leather purse, $129. Find it at Danier.

Nothing pairs better with wine and food than a chic, new outfit. Since it began 27 years ago, the Ottawa Wine & Food Festival has been one of the hottest tickets in town to sip, nibble and be seen. While there is no formal dress code, Ottawa is considered to be the glam capital compared with other such shows across the country.

“I go to the 10 most significant shows in Canada, and Ottawa has the dressiest visitors bar none. All of the exhibitors say ‘Wow, I can’t believe how glamorous everyone is.’ From hair to nails and stilettos, people in Ottawa have it going on,” says Joan Culliton, who took over the show five years ago.

“It’s rare to see men without a suit jacket. People put a lot of effort into how they look on the Friday and Saturday nights. Women often glitter and look elegant as they strut their stuff.”
Culliton admits that she often changes her outfit three times during the course of the day but keeps it a little more casual on Sunday when mostly industry-types take in the show.

“When people call the first question is to ask about ticket price or where to buy them. The second question is always what should they wear.”
So whether you’re on a date, on the prowl or simply love people-watching, don’t be afraid to put your best fashion-face forward this weekend.

Ottawa Wine & Food Festival

What: Five-day festival with meals, cooking demos, seminars and a tasting floor featuring foods, beer, spirits and 1,500 types of wine from around the world.

When: Main event runs Nov. 9 to Nov. 11 at the Ottawa Convention Centre.

Admission: Daypasses are $22 on Friday, $32 Saturday and $18 Sunday. Sampling tickets are 50 cents each (wine tastings require two to 36 tickets each). Some other events extra. Many events and even admission tickets for Saturday sell out in advance. You can buy them now on the website.

Off-site events

Wednesday, Nov. 7: Pop-up meal with Montreal chef Martin Picard.

Thursday, Nov. 8: Meet the winning winemakers of Wine Access magazine’s annual awards.

Sunday, Nov. 11: Field trip to area farms.

Info: ottawawineandfoodfestival.com or 613-523-6386.

Connect with Janet Wilson |Google+|@JanetDWilson|jwilson@ottawacitizen.com