Cornucopia — Day 3

November 24, 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!

Sunday – Day 3

My volunteer shift didn’t start until noon, but the seminars were already in session then, so it was a quiet start. During the afternoon sessions, I poured BC wines for Sommelier Kurtis Kolt during his two back-to-back seminars: Keeping it Local – BC Wines with BC Cheese, followed by Tasting British Columbia. These were part of a mini-tasting series, so there were only about 25 people in each session. The style was casual, with people standing around high-topped tables (although some people were ultra-casual and took a seat on the floor. I didn’t blame them — it had been a long weekend of indulgence!). As Kurtis spoke about each wine, myself and the other sommeliers would circulate the room to pour the wine.

Kurtis lived and worked in Naramata for six months this year, following his award for Sommelier of the Year Award at the 2010 Vancouver Playhouse International Wine Festival for his work at Salt Cellar in Vancouver. He explained to the crowd that after working in the wine industry and selling BC wine at Salt, it was time for him to take advantage of the close proximity to the Okanagan wine region and dive in — really get to know the area.  However, the pace of Okanagan life became a bit slow and after six months he packed his bags again for the city. His time in the Okanagan left him with some great stories and knowledge to share about the wines he selected.

I was not invited to taste any of these wines or cheeses, so I don’t have much to comment on there. I was kept fairly busy during the seminars making sure all the guests were served. I guess after the weekend of tasting I had, it was time for a few dry hours.

Following the BC mini-sessions, I went up to the Viking Stage again to sit in on Molecular Gastronomy at its Coolest – Barefoot Bistro and Inniskillin Winery. The presentation was pretty cool, literally, with Dominic Fortin, pastry chef of Barefoot Bistro, freezing dehydrated pineapple pieces with liquid Nitrogen. Guests were offered Inniskillin Icewine to pair with the frozen pineapple, and it definitely brought out the tropical fruit in the Icewine. Dominic followed up that spectacle with by freezing ice cream with the same liquid, as cold smoke rolled over the edges of the bowl.

It was a sweet and fitting end to my weekend in food and wine paradise!


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