Whistler’s Cornucopia offers the best in food and wine

From tastings to demonstrations to wine makers' dinners, the Cornucopia festival has something for everyone

What’s not to love about food and wine?

But, even better? What’s not to love about drinking fine wine and tasting blissful bites in Whistler during Cornucopia, an annual festival dedicated to the best of the best, which this year runs Nov. 8 to 18.

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Some of the highlights of Cornucopia — and there are many — include the “signature” events starting with the festival’s flagship Crush Grand Tasting on Saturday, Nov. 10. And for those of you who like to beat the crowds, there’s also the option of an early entry ticket ensuring you’re one of the first to taste your way around the room.  

Meanwhile if you can’t make it to Crush, other signature tastings include, the Cellar Door Nov. 9 and Poured Grand Tasting Nov. 17, followed by the Abstract Future: From now to eternity party at the Audain Art Museum.

Cornucopia
An add-on available for Cellar Door and Crush events is a sommelier tour, during which a local sommelier will guide you to their top four to five tables to sample their favourite wines from that label. Photo Tourism Whistler/Mike Crane

A fun add-on available for Cellar Door and Crush is a sommelier tour with Whistler Tasting Tours. A local sommelier will guide you to his or her top four to five tables to sample their favourite wines from that label. (The information is located at the bottom of the Cellar Door and Crush event description.) From there, you’re free to wander the tasting room and discover new favourites. A great value option is booking hotel packages and receiving tickets to Poured, Cellar Door or Crush — starting at $70 per night.

And while the winemaker dinners often sell out there are still plenty of events to choose from, including the casual Black’s Pub Beer Pairing dinner, Hunter Gather’s Novemberfest Cask N’ Brat  or the more upscale dinners such as the Four Seasons’ Four Peaks Dinner or Bearfoot Bistro’s Meyer Family Vineyard dinner

Another fun pre-event option is Savour at the Westin, a “roaming” event during which guests visit various food bars including the coveted Poutine Bar, Specialty Sliders, Truffle Mac n’ Cheese, and more. These comforting culinary delights are perfectly paired with B.C. and international wine samplings.

Of course various seminars on wine, gin and Scotch take place throughout the eleven days with tickets start at $43. Some of the best values are the culinary stage/Nourish events. The Culinary Stage Series events includes a chef demonstration and a multi-course meal paired with wine or a spirit and start at $42. Nourish events also offer multi-course tastings without alcohol starting at $32. Topics include plant to plate and sweet and savoury.  

Cornucopia
Food and wine parings are just one of the highlights of Cornucopia. Photo Tourism Whistler/Mike Crane

Tip: Although guests taking in the Crush tasting will have the opportunity to try bites from participating vendors, it’s recommended they eat dinner prior to arriving. Food vendors taking part in Crush include, North Arm Farm, 108 Sausage Company, Golden Ears Cheese, Chef Merina Koly (vegan and gluten free chef), Bob Likes Thai Food, Big Smoke BBQ, Bobali Foods, Mutha Dukkah and Sugar Momma Pastries.

Another fun event to check out is Cornucopia — Rooftop Rendezvous at Pangea Pod Hotel.
Pangea is getting in on Cornucopia Thursday, Nov. 15, on its communal Rooftop Patio from 3 p.m. to 5:30 p.m. Take in sweeping views of Whistler Village while indulging in bites from Pangea’s winter menu plus up to three cocktails (from a selection of six) made with spirits from acclaimed craft distillery Sons of Vancouver. Sons of Vancouver founder and distiller James Lester will be on hand to mix and pour. It's also an opportunity to check out Canada's only pod hotel. Tickets $45 each from whistlercornucopia.com.

Cornucopia is presented by Blue Shore Financial.

sthomas@vancourier.com

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