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TASTING NOTES: It’s Cornucopia time again!
Well, it looks like summer’s over and rather than lament its passing, I’m always keen to plunge into the rainy season head-first, embracing all that comes with it. One of the big kick-offs to this side of the calendar is the Cornucopia Food and Wine Festival in Whistler, and this year it promises to be bigger and better than ever.
That’s not an empty promise, as they’ve expanded the festival this year to encompass two weekends and the stretch in-between for an all-out jamboree of food, wine and cocktail culture running Nov. 7-17. Make your plans now, as it’ll come quicker than you think. You can bet I’ll be bouncing around the village making the most of it, presenting seminars, attending tastings, spreading cheer and nursing hangovers. When you do make it up into the mountains, here are the events you won’t want to miss. All of them take place at the Whistler Conference Centre unless otherwise noted. Head on over to WhistlerCornucopia.com for more info and a boatload of other tastings, dinners and events.
BC’s Past, Present & Future |Saturday, November 9 | 11:00 AM – 12:30 PM | $40
This is a pretty rare opportunity, so I’m glad I’ve nabbed myself a seat by being one of the presenters! The other presenter is winemaker David Enns of Narmata’s famed Laughing Stock Vineyards, who will be bringing a few back vintages of some wines (including their legendary “Portfolio” Bordeaux blend), taste folks through the current releases of them, and then share tank and barrel samples of the yet-to-be-released vintages. A good overview of the evolution and ageability of B.C. wine.
Craft Beer for Wine Lovers | Saturday, November 9 | 2:00 PM - 3:30 PM | $40
This is another one of mine, this time tag-teaming with one of my favourite people ever; legendary Vancouver wine educator, writer and competition judge, DJ Kearney. If you’re on your game with wines but are mystified by the brave new world of craft beer, we’ll guide you through the perfect pints to look for, whether you’re into Riesling, Pinots or big, juicy Cabernets. From pilsners to porters, we’ll hoist many a glass!
France 101 | Sunday, November 10 | 2:00 PM – 3:00 PM | $29
Michelle and Michaela, commonly known as the “House Wine Girls,” are first on my list any time I have an obscure French wine query, so they’re definitely your best bet to demystify the classic wines of France. Tour through varieties and regions from Bordeaux to Burgundy and learn to decipher those labels, all while swirling and sipping away!
Crush Gala Tasting | Friday & Saturday, November 8 & 9 | 8:30 PM – 11 PM | $89
The flagship grand tasting event of the festival occurs two nights in a row with hundreds of wines from all around the world, canapés a-plenty and a blizzard of cheer. Look for the “Top 25” signs around the room, as chief judge DJ Kearney will have recently run the “Top 25 Wines of Cornucopia” competition (with yours truly as one of the judges), highlighting the best drops of the festival.
Nourish – Yoga | Everyday: November 7 – 17 | 8 AM to 9 AM | Fairmont Chateau Whistler | $15
Yup, there’s yoga on offer every morning at the Fairmont. Tackle that hangover, recharge and refresh so you can do it all over again each day.
See you on the mountain!