There’s excitement at Whistler and it’s not about skiing! Cornucopia, the 11-day wine and food extravaganza opens Nov. 7 and runs to the 17. The festival's name implies abundance, and the range of events is proof that there is something for everyone.
Now in its 23rd year, attendees will indulge in this celebration of the senses with food and drink tastings, intimate wine dinners, educational and entertaining luncheons, craft beer celebrations, spirited parties, and seminars
Kicking off Cornucopia on Thursday evening, Nov. 7, with food and drink aplenty, is the House Party Signature Tasting ($52). Sample from a variety of wineries, breweries and distilleries from our backyard, each eager to share their distinct drops, techniques and inspirations.
Arrive with an appetite, as SIDECUT Modern Steak+Bar (Four Seasons Whistler) presents their famous BBQ feast. Savour mouth-watering variations from the grill and smoker such as barbequed salmon and smoked brisket, with sides of colourful salads, traditional mac-and-cheese, freshly baked cornbread and much more.
On Friday night, Nov. 8, the Cellar Door Grand Tasting ($120) unlocks the gates to the world of fine wines and champagnes by uncorking top-shelf bottles ($25 and up) to sip, savour and salivate over.
With glass in-hand, step inside to discover a superb range of red, white and sparkling wines, and meet the winemakers who create them. Complement your tastings with sweet and savoury bites by Sea to Sky restaurants and guest chefs.
Do you ever look at a wine list and wish you could have it all? At the Saturday Nov. 9's CRUSH Grand Tasting ($91), you can! As the flagship tasting event of Cornucopia, CRUSH is dedicated to showcasing over 70 wineries from BC and beyond, each pouring between two to four labels or varietals, as well as bites from some of the best Sea to Sky restaurants.
For something completely different there’s With a Twist Silent Disco ($35) on Sunday, Nov.10. It’s your chance to let your hair down. Your hosts include local DJ’s and mixologists, all known for their “mixing” skills (as in music and drinks), with each battling it out for your vote. Tune in with your favourite DJ (each spinning live) and work your way through the innovative cocktail creations by mixologists from Whistler’s top restaurants and bars.
On Thursday, Nov. 14, join the party at Sashay, Fillet! Whistler ($85). Watch the creative minds of food and drag intermingle in front of your eyes. A line-up of talented west coast chefs pair up with exceptional Canadian drag queens. On stage the chef/drag performer teams will be faced with culinary and performance challenges until a winning pair emerges. Delicious canapé stations and wine, beer, and spirits will be offered in between all of the zany action.
Experience a vibrant night of global flavours at Night Market ($49) on Friday Nov. 15. Receive a passport upon arrival and embark upon your worldwide culinary journey, sampling 12 signature creations presented by Sea to Sky restaurants and vendors. Pair the sweet, spicy, and bold flavours with a selection of exotic beverages, including wines, beers and liquors.
On Saturday night, Nov.16, Poured Grand Tasting ($48) offers a world of exploration for the beverage connoisseur. There’s everything delicious from Scotch, gin, and vodka, to expertly crafted B.C. beer and wines from around the globe. Food stations hosted by Sea to Sky restaurants and guest chefs will provide hand-held bites and samples.
Visit www.whistlercornucopia.com for event schedule and ticket information.
Eric Hanson is a Richmond resident and an enthusiastic wine journalist