Cornucopia — Day 1

November 22, 2010 by  

I was asked to volunteer as a sommelier at Cornucopia, Whistler’s Celebration of Wine and Food, and I jumped at the chance. Spend an entire weekend of wine and food in the beautiful, Olympic-ski-resort town? Sign me up!

Friday – Day 1

My weekend began Friday afternoon with Crush – the Trade Tasting. It is open to the public on Friday and Saturday nights, but Friday afternoon is reserved for the “trade,” which includes those in the food and wine business. The trade tasting is a great place to start the weekend off because there are often familiar faces in the crowd, the crowd is thinner than in the evenings, and there are often special wines only offered to those in the trade.

Next it was off to the Top 25 Reception, which was held at the new Squamish Lil’wat Cultural Centre, a beautiful wood-and-glass structure perched on Blackcomb Way with a near 360-degree view of the mountain scenery. The event showcases the results of Cornucopia’s Top 25 contest, judged by a skilled tasting panel.

The number one wine overall was Carrion Cristalino Rosado (~$16), a pink sparkler from Spain, which is quite affordable to try for all of your upcoming holiday celebrations. BC wineries in the Top 25 included Summerhill Pyramid Winery (Organic Riesling Icewine 2007 and Cabernet Sauvignon 2007), Deep Creek Wine (Pinot Noir 2007), Painted Rock Estate Winery (Merlot 2007), Therapy Vineyards (Chardonnay 2008), and Tinhorn Creek Vineyards (Oldfield Series 2 Bench White 2009).

From the Top 25, we were off to Sidecut, open since June 2010 at the Four Seasons Hotel and a great place to enjoy Canadian prime steak, rubbed with your choice from six rubs. Then, when the steak comes to the table, a slab of six sauces is delivered as well! Since they began with such great meat, I found all the rubbing and saucing overkill – the steak had great flavour all on its own.

Next it was back to Crush for more tasting at the evening event where Painted Rock Estate Winery’s line-up stood out, as did Ex Nihilo Pinot Gris 2009, Quinta Ferreira Estate Winery’s Obra-Prima and Summerhill Pyramid Winery’s Cipes Brut.


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