THE BOT­TLE

The Georgia Straight - - Contents - By

IKur­tis Kolt

f it’s just af­ter Hal­loween, that means it’s al­most time to head up the moun­tain to Cor­nu­copia, Whistler’s cel­e­bra­tion of food and drink run­ning from No­vem­ber 8 to 18.

Vet­er­ans of the spir­ited fes­ti­val know that if there’s one event there that is a can’t-miss af­fair, it’s the an­nual Crush Grand Tast­ing at the Whistler Con­fer­ence Cen­tre (on Satur­day, No­vem­ber 10, at 8:30 p.m.). Tick­ets, start­ing at $91, get you into a room full of rev­elry, with more than 70 ta­bles pour­ing the good stuff. (For Cor­nu­copia food events, see page 18.)

From Bri­tish Columbia, there are splashes to be en­joyed from pro­duc­ers like Blue Moun­tain Vine­yard and Cel­lars, Joie­farm Win­ery, Orofino Vine­yards, and Play Es­tate Win­ery. On the in­ter­na­tional front, do make a bee­line to New Zealand’s Craggy Range, Chi­anti Clas­sico’s Rocca delle Ma­cie, and Do­maine du Pe­gau from the sto­ried French wine re­gion of Châteauneuf-du-pape.

Dur­ing the days of Cor­nu­copia, there are many op­por­tu­ni­ties to slide into sem­i­nars for in-depth dis­cus­sions and tast­ings on var­i­ous top­ics. Come see yours truly, along with my col­leagues Rachelle Goudreau and Tyler Daw­son, as we present a Top Value Wines sem­i­nar on No­vem­ber 11 at noon ($43). We’ll be speak­ing to ev­ery­thing from zippy Aus­tralian Ries­lings to rugged Chilean reds, pro­vid­ing a dy­namic wine-shop­ping list to get you through the win­ter with­out break­ing the bank.

Later in the week, the team at Bear­foot Bistro are host­ing a wine din­ner with Dou­glas El­liott from South Africa’s An­thonij Rupert Wines ($195). It’ll all go down in the restau­rant’s wine cel­lar and has the mak­ings of a cozy gather­ing, with the win­ery’s pris­tine whites and sturdy reds paired with chef Melissa Craig’s award­win­ning cui­sine. Their 2015 Cape of Good Hope Sémil­lon ($30.58 at Van­cou­ver’s Legacy Liquor Store) is one of my favourite wines they make, loaded with apri­cots, peaches, and lemons, with gen­tle oak well-wo­ven through. A charm­ing take on an un­sung grape.

For more in­for­ma­tion on these events, and the myr­iad of oth­ers on of­fer, hit up whistler­cor­nu­copia.com/.

For those not able to hop on the Sea-to-sky High­way for Cor­nu­copia, there’s plenty of ac­tion right here in Van­cou­ver, too.

Bar­bara Philip is Canada’s first fe­male Mas­ter of Wine and the Euro­pean-port­fo­lio man­ager for B.C. Liquor Stores. She’s also spent much of her ca­reer as an ed­u­ca­tor, teach­ing for the In­ter­na­tional Som­me­lier Guild and the Wine and Spirit Ed­u­ca­tion Trust. Her en­thu­si­asm for all thing vi­nous is con­ta­gious, and there’s no bet­ter op­por­tu­nity to get a front-row seat than her ex­clu­sive Bur­gundy tast­ings at the B.C. Liquor Stores at Park Royal and 39th Av­enue and Cam­bie Street on Wed­nes­day and Thurs­day (No­vem­ber 7 and 8).

For $35 per per­son, she’ll of­fer ca­sual guid­ance through the re­gion, high­light­ing the stun­ning Chardon­nays and Pinot Noirs of some of the smaller do­maines and fam­ily pro­duc­ers avail­able in our mar­ket, pour­ing them along­side char­cu­terie and cheeses to il­lus­trate pair­ing po­ten­tial. At­ten­dees will also have the chance to pur­chase the wines at a dis­counted price. Visit bcliquor­stores.com/ for more in­for­ma­tion.

Over in the West End, Mike West from Okana­gan Crush Pad will be on hand at the Mar­quis Wine Cel­lars at 1034 Davie Street on Fri­day (No­vem­ber 9) from 5 to 7 p.m., pour­ing wines from their Hay­wire la­bel. It won’t set you back a dime: the tast­ing is free and you can drop in any­time. The wines from Hay­wire are au­then­tic ex­pres­sions of Okana­gan Val­ley ter­roir, made by wine­maker Matt Du­mayne in a min­i­mal-in­ter­ven­tion style: they are wild-fer­mented from or­gan­i­cally grown grapes and aged in con­crete with­out any use of oak, of­fer­ing lively and fresh pu­rity of fruit.

Their Hay­wire Se­crest Moun­tain Chardon­nay ($27.74 at Mar­quis) epit­o­mizes this per­fectly. The high­ish-alti­tude vine­yard’s soils are al­lu­vial with gravel and lime­stone com­po­nents, giv­ing the wine a per­fectly crisp back­bone. The sur­round­ing wild sage­brush and pon­derosa pine trees find their way into the nu­ances of the aro­mat­ics, while the palate basks in ripe ap­ples, pears, and peaches. It may be clichéd to say “It’s like the Okana­gan in a glass,” but here we are. De­tails on the tast­ing are at mar­quis-wines.com/.

Fi­nally, while you’re in the store, treat your­self to an adorable 375-millil­itre bot­tle of Époque 2015 Col­lec­tion Ter­roir (Mon­bazil­lac, France; $21.65), a late-har­vest blend of Sémil­lon and Mus­cadelle from this sweet-wine ap­pel­la­tion near Berg­erac in south­west France. Per­fect for hearty cheese boards that suit this sea­son—in­tox­i­cat­ing aro­mas carry honey, mar­malade, and jas­mine to lovely heights, while grilled pink grape­fruit, roasted peaches, and but­ter­scotch notes fill the palate. The acid is on point too—en­sur­ing the wine isn’t too heavy or cloy­ing.

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