Cornucopia weekends are chock full of activities; tasting room events, like Cellar Door Grand Tasting, and seminars like “Stars of South Africa“. I was able to attend these two events, and would like to share my experience with you, and maybe get you interested to sign up for this upcoming weekend at Cornucopia in Whistler.
Cellar Door Grand Tasting
What is Cellar Door? From the Cornucopia website “Cellar Door unlocks the gates to the world of luxury fine wines, uncorking top-shelf bottles of wine and bubbles ($35 and up) to sip, savour and salivate over. Browse the wineries and indulge in gourmet treats, living the high-life, when Cornucopia opens the Cellar Doors“. This is what you would call a walk-about event, where tables are setup for the participating wineries, and interspersed are tables with appetizers and items you could purchase from various shops, such as balsamic vinegars or cheeses.
Whether you attend a walk-about event, sipping and nibbling, chatting with attendees and winery reps, you can learn about a new wine, or a style of wine that you may not have tried before. I get to try lots of wines throughout the year, and there are always wines that surprise me. At Cellar Door, I had not recently tasted, but really loved was Painted Rock’s Chardonnay. I know more about the red wines, like Red Icon. Their Chardonnay was full of fresh stone fruit and mandarin orange flavour. Highly recommended. Samples of Ferrero Roche chocolates were available to taste. I tried the dark chocolate one, and of course I had a glass of wine in hand; a glass of Italian Amarone. Full of ripe dark fruit flavours, smooth with a sweet edge, the Amarone paired beautifully with the Ferrero Roche dark chocolate. Again something you can try while you are enjoying yourself. So if you have a chance to attend a walk-about tasting, go for it, and maybe learn something new.
Stars of South Africa Seminar
This is an example of one of the seminars I attended this past weekend. Seminars are a great way to learn about some wine topic, such as South African wine, as well as be led through a tasting of wines, and getting great background information on the wines, so you can appreciate these wines more, and extend this knowledge to other related wines. Our speaker for this event was DJ Kearney. DJ Kearney is a Vancouver-based wine educator, wine writer, judge, presenter and classically trained chef. DJ has travelled 5 times to South Africa and was a wealth of information. She provided background details on the wine makers and/or the grapes. She taught us about Pinotage, the grape crossed in South Africa between Pinot Noir and Cinsaut. She taught us about Chenin Blanc; how great this grape is for food and it’s diversity in style. Besides the education about the grapes, you did get to try many different glasses of wine, and see the differences between Chenin Blanc, for example, and which one you prefer. A Chenin Blanc that I really enjoyed at this tasting was the Bellingham Bernard Series Old Vine Chenin Blanc. if you were to taste this wine without knowing anything about it, you would guess that it was an oaked Chardonnay, but it is more than that. It also has some of the waxiness you get from this grape, plus the higher level of acidity than Chardonnay. It had nutmeg, honey and tropical fruit flavours. Really an outstanding wine, and only $22.99 plus tax. A great price.
I highly recommend attending seminars. There is always lots to learn, and an interesting, knowledgeable speaker to lead the way.
Cornucopia Events for November 13-15, 2015
There are too many events to list, so I direct you to the Cornucopia Events web page. You can register online. See you on the upcoming weekend!