It’s true love when Chef Meets BC Grape

Nowhere else can you taste so much great food paired with so much exceptional BC VQA wine. At Chef Meets BC Grape, you can sip from hundreds of wines and nibble on small plates from at least a dozen top restaurants, all in one place and all on one night.

That could mean inventive pairings or classic ones, such as bright, fizzy BC bubbles paired with Ned Bell’s Ocean Wise seafood or lushly aromatic Rieslings matched with Duncan Ly’s fragrant Vietnamese delicacies, a spicy Syrah alongside Forage’s hearty meat dishes or a berry-scented Pinot Noir with Pilgrimme’s inventive vegetable-forward fare.

Chef Meets BC Grape is, quite simply, Western Canada’s largest celebration of “all things grown, crushed, raised and produced in British Columbia.” For the past 13 years, the event has been held in Vancouver; this year, the annual festival is expanding with new chefs, more wine and two new locations.

It kicks off in Calgary on May 10 with 12 restaurants, 30 wineries and more than 150 wines, then continues to Victoria on May 23 with 12 restaurants, 68 wineries and more than 250 wines. The multi-city event wraps up in Vancouver on May 25 with an event featuring 15 restaurants, 90 wineries and more than 350 wines.

Whichever city you’re in, this is the most delicious way possible to spend a spring evening out on the town. There are a lot of wines to sample at Chef Meets BC Grape. How can you be sure to get the best experience? Follow these tips:

1) With many wines to sample, it won’t take long to get tipsy. Do what the experts do: Sniff, swirl, sip and spit.

2) Keep your palate fresh. Start with lighter wines such as bubbles and crisp, aromatic whites (Pinot Gris, Gewürztraminer, Riesling), then move on to heavier whites (Chardonnay, Viognier) followed by rosé, then light reds (Pinot Noir, Gamay), medium reds (Merlot) and on to the big guys: Syrah, Cabernet Sauvignon, Rhône blends and Bordeaux blends. Finish with dessert and fortified wines.

3) Be bold and check out a new region. There is wine being grown all over B.C., with some spectacular results in unexpected places. For instance, Baillie-Grohman in the Kootenays produces beautiful Pinot Noirs and elegant rosés, while Harper’s Trail in Kamloops offers exceptional Rieslings grown on limestone that infuses the wines with a clean, mouthwatering minerality.

As you wander through the room, you can vote for your favourite food and wine pairing and see how your palate matches the celebrity judges’ expertise. And you can enter the #ChefmeetsBCGrape photo contest for your chance to win a trip to Okanagan Wine Country this summer.

Chef Meets BC Grape is also a fundraiser that supports local charities, such as Ocean Wise, The Arts Club and the BC Hospitality Foundation. Chef Meets BC Grape event production and management services are by Culinary Marketing Strategies Inc. For more information, go to

 – By Joanne Sasvari

For more information and to buy tickets visit the Chef Meets BC Grape website

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