Happy 20th, Cornucopia!

Words: Henry Yuen

This November, Cornucopia will be celebrating its 20th year at Whistler. An annual food and wine event that started as a prelude to the ski season, Cornucopia has evolved to be a festival drawing people from all over the world to the picturesque winter wonderland to wine, dine and party. From just a weekend 'show and tell' to a twelve day conviviality (November 09 to 20), it has expanded beyond just culinary indulgences but to include wellness retreats, kids cooking programs and field trips. The “eat, drink and be merry” aspect keeps on growing and rolling, fulfilling attendees' expectations with more and newer innovations; while adding to the gaiety a stronger family feel as well as pampering the wellness of the body and mind.

It’s true that the engaging Crush Gala Grand Tasting, sumptuous wine-pairing dinners and educational seminars are fan magnets, however, the ever-increasing number of creative ideas, latest trends and fun events are as good a reason why fans of old and new keep attending year after year.  Cornucopia is indeed a 12-day festival to embrace the bliss of indulging oneself into the finer things in life, with majestic snow-capped mountains as the backdrop.

Culinary highlights are many, including lunch time awes, indoor and outdoor crawls. An impressive line-up of local and guest chefs will host gastronomic themed-luncheons that massage your five senses. Want to learn about mixology? There are more than 40 drink seminars to provoke ideas for creative cocktails, taste and tell artisan spirits and craft beers. There are industry and educational workshops for the cultivating minds and serious pursuers.

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While eating good food will nourish your body, the wellness spas and retreat workshops are there to nourish your mind and re-energize your body.  For night hawks, after parties filled with your desired drinks, soul-searching beats, DJ music and lounging rendezvous.

This year, the all-out 20th anniversary party promises to be a 'wow' event. Tickets are going fast as we speak. Please act fast if you want tickets to other soon-to-be sold-out signature events such as the Cellar Door Grand Tasting, Night Market Tasting, the Oyster competition and the Culinary Stage Series where big name celebrity chefs showcasing their wares and charms.

To tease your wine palates, the top 20 wines of Cornucopia 20th Anniversary 2106, chosen based on evaluation of colour, aroma, flavour and finish by a panel of wine experts, led by D.J. Kearny, were chosen. Here they are:

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Top Bubble – Haywire The BUB 2014
Top White – Quails’ Gate Stewart Family Reserve Chardonnay 2014
Top Red – Kaiken Reserva Malbec 2013
Best of the Rest, in alphabetical order:
• Barossa Valley Estate Shiraz 2014
• Black Hills Nota Bene 2014
• C.C. Jentsch Cellars Cabernet Merlot 2014
• C.C. Jentsch Cellars Syrah 2014
• Ceretto Barolo DOCG 2011
• Ceretto Langhe DOC Arneis Blangé
• Chateau Ste. Michelle Columbia Valley Riesling 2014
• Culmina Family Estate Winery Dilemma 2014
• Foxtrot Vineyards Foxtrot Vineyard Pinot Noir 2013
• Hardys William Hardy Shiraz 2014
• Harper’s Trail Pioneer Block Dry Riesling 2014
• Howard Park Miamup Cabernet Sauvignon 2012
• Mascota Vineyards Unanime 2012
• Pegau Plan VSIG
• Tantalus Chardonnay 2014
• Villa Maria Taylors Pass Vineyard Chardonnay 2013
• Villa Maria Taylors Pass Vineyard Pinot Noir 2012

Sampling of these wines during the festival are available at the Top 20 Lounge at Crush Grand Tasting. 
For tickets and information, please log onto: www.whistlercornucopia.com