Winter Festival of Wine: a wine lover’s utopia

Sun Peaks may be small, but this community boasts one of the best and biggest wine festivals in the province every winter.

The Winter Festival of Wine is a must-see for both the wine connoisseur and the simply curious. From Jan. 15 to 23, the event is packed with wine pairings, seminars and entertainment to indulge your love of wine.
The wine pairing events at this festival go beyond the traditional. There’s something for the locavores as the event starts with a Farm-to-Fork Kick-off. With a live unplugged cover of the Rolling Stones, guests can taste featured wines and delectable culinary treats while mingling with regional food suppliers.
Do you love brie but don’t know what red or white to pair it with? Attend the All You Need is Cheese and Wine presented by the Dairy Farmers of Canada to get a delicious crash course on cheese and wine pairing. If you have a sweet tooth, then chocolate and wine pairing is your event. In this seminar, Cadburys and the Okanagan Wine Festivals Society will show you the best way to match chocolate with fine wines.
The experts agree: wine and coffee can go together. At Starbucks: A Taste for Your Senses, let the experts at Starbucks and the Okanagan Wine Festivals Society give you pointers in choosing the right coffee blend to complement the wine.
Mantles Crêperie will bring more flair to your breakfast. The highlight of the buffet breakfast is the crêpes flambéed with fruit wine. It’s a visual and culinary highlight in one. Talk about turning up the heat.
For entertainment, there’s always the fun and interactive Sun Peaks Bartender Mixology Face-off. Watch as Sun Peaks bartenders compete to create the best cocktail using Okanagan wines from their paired winery. Their concoctions will be tasted and voted on not only by a panel of judges, but also by all the attendees.
There’s also the mainstay events that return each year due to popular demand. This includes the Medal Winners Tasting where you can try award-winning wines from the 2010 British Columbia Wine Awards paired with gourmet tapas. Another is the Varietal Showdown and Dinner, where wine educator Gerrit Van Staalduinen explains the winemaking process, as attendees enjoy a multi-course dinner served with a selection of varietals.
Other events feature port wines, icewines and sparkling wines. If you can only attend just one event, then the Progressive Wine Tasting is the one to go to, where you can sample an unlimited number of wines from over 20 local wineries. Prepare yourself for an amazing array of activities and an equally amazing selection of wine highlighted in nine days.

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