Can You Guess Which Event At Cornucopia Was The Best?

The choices –

Windset Farms

With  more than 40 events to choose from it can be rather difficult to single out just a couple… However the organizers established participation by creating venues for every budget making Cornucopia about food and wine and not the mighty dollar. From speaking with many of the locals in town – everyone did something a little different that complimented their style. Cornucopia kicked off on Thursday and ran straight through both night and day until Sunday afternoon. Tickets were anywhere from $35 – $250… Variety was the spice of life!

House Party

House Party started sharp at 5pm and was held at the Whistler Conference Center – a great venue for this event as local BC wineries stretched their way around the room. It was such a pleasure to walk from booth to booth sampling some of BC’s best wines… It was your choice to choose white, red or even local brews from Okanagan Springs, Granville Island or local Whistler Brewery.. Local brews meaning beer …you could sniff, sip, & swirl even discard into the bucket and move on to another vineyard… I can say I found a few new favorite wines that I had not ever considered. When you go on a wine tour in the Okanagan it is impossible to stop at each winery… Introducing them at a venue such as Cornucopia makes it a win/win situation for all of us.

Big bites

The food line-up was very long and thank goodness there was entertainment along the journey… people were chatting it up with one another and recommending their favorite wines. We met people from Vancouver and the US and shared places to go from restaurants to hiking…. The first tastes of the evening were compliments of Windset Farms – a delicate appetizer of seared pork belly on a crustini with fresh vegetables of cucumber and peppers… One thing that was interesting talking to Windset Farms was their commitment to sustainable farming… now we have to admit the word sustainable is really being thrown around a lot these past years; but if you question the people practicing sustainability you would come up with a commitment far beyond the buzz word. For Windset Farms they focus on three main goals: Farm Efficiency, Prosperous Farming Communities and Environmental Stewardship – each one of these goals can take on a life of its own, this is responsible growth farming and an awareness for our agriculture that can be admired. I would highly recommend reviewing their website and contributing to their cause by purchasing their products; after all it is Canadian grown.

From one end of the Conference Center to the other people were enjoying BC’s best – when we arrived at the food station prepared by the Four Seasons Whistler we were in for a treat, you loaded your plates up in fear of having to stand in the line-up again…and the food was plentiful… baked potatoes, macaroni, BBQ ribs, chicken, halibut, salmon, and my favorite lamb meat balls…there was a huge vegetable tray of tomatoes and corn on the cob…and a fruit crumble dessert that beckoned you to return. One trip to the station was plenty enough for me…It was really quite something to watch the FS team working together helping the guests fill their plates and transferring empty gigantic woks so hot steaming new food could replace the empty pots.

15th Annual ARTrageous

This event every year is a raging success… the team at Whistler’s Arts Council would have it no other way. Live music, visual art, costumes, and electric fusion…you might note now that this event too sells out every year… and for good reason… it is all about fun!

Wineries in Residence at the Four Seasons Resort –

I must say this was the bomb for me… from the minute we arrived at the FS we felt relaxed and in for a great day…This was the best money for wine tasting I have ever experienced…we have been to Napa Valley, Kelowna and of course Vancouver to Whistler… but nothing prepared us for the afternoon that Sommelier and wine director for SideCut Dave Foran helped orchestrate. The event was held in an executive luxury suite at the Private Residence Four Seasons… but it was the food and wine that stole the show… the chef Edison Mays showcased live bites from the menu at SideCut… Black Alaskan Cod – Venison – Tuna – Rib Eye – Edison is famous for his rubs he creates to help enfuse the meat with vibrant flavor…. the food was prepared at the Residence and elegantly delivered it was nothing less than outstanding… every guest will be back next year…the wine was so perfectly paired with each dish that it made it just to easy to enjoy… life should be like that…

Menu Pahlmeyer

Pahlmeyer Sonoma Coast Chardonnay 2007 – rated 95pts Robert Parker
Pahlmeyer Merlot Napa Valley 2007 – rated 96pts Robert Parker

Pepper Bridge Winery Cabernet Sauvignon 2007 Walla Walla WA – 92pts Robert Parker
Pepper Bridge Winery Merlot 2007 Walla Walla WA – 91pts Robert Parker

Merryvale Carneros Chardonnay 2008 – 92pts Wine Enthusiast
Merryvale Signature Cabernet Sauvignon St. Helena Napa Valley 2007 – 92pts WS

Ehlers Estate Sauvignon Blanc St. Helena Napa Valley 2009
Ehlers Estate Merlot St. Helena Napa Valley 2007 – 93pts WE & “Editors Choice” – 91pts WS

Miner Family Vineyards ‘Napa Valley’ Chardonnay 2008 – 91pts, Two Puffs Connoisseurs Guide
Miner Family Vineyards ‘The Oracle’ Proprietary Red, Oakville Napa  
Valley 2006 – 93pts Wine & Spirits Magazine

Angus Braised Short Ribs

Bubbles and Ocean at Araxi

I have only been lucky enough to attend this event a couple of times… but my friends have told me once again this year it was sensational… Chef James Walt showcased an impressive choice of finely crafted canapes….shucked oysters, sushi, Dungeness Tofino crab, Ahi Tuna, braised short ribs and over 20 champagne and sparkling wine houses from around the world ready to top up your glass to keep your night bubbly…If you have never seen how impressive the sprawl of champagne or wine glasses look …just waiting for a set of lips…Araxi displays an exciting first glance when you enter this opulent restaurant in the heart of Whistler…

Champagne anyone? Wine Maybe?

How about some Peace River Lamb mini burgers to go with that Wine?

The winner

How on Earth can I pick a winner? There is something for every taste and every budget, you would have to be a wine triathelete to ever make it to all the events,  seminars and tastings that go on, lord knows I tried. Not only is this a great time to sample great food and great wine from around the world this was a unique opportunity to learn a tremendous amount about where, why and how the wines are created. Wine makers are often on hand to tell you things that you just can’t learn by reading a label at your local liquor store, and there are sommeliers abound to explain the meaning of words like “tannins”, “legs” and “mid palate” that all your oenophile friends like to throw around.

 Regardless of which you feel was the best event,  I feel like the winner… thank you Cornucopia and all the wonderful people who are responsible for its success…. it takes a lot of inspired people to create such a tremendous event…until next year.


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