Taste: Victoria’s Festival of Food and Wine – What You Need To Know

Pictured: Kathy McAree Founder & Producer of the Taste festival


June 24, 2014, Victoria, BC – The sixth annual Taste: Victoria’s Festival of Food and Wine is set to take place July 24 – 27, 2014 in Victoria, B.C.

The Taste weekend kicks off on Thursday, July 24, 2014 with “Taste the Difference”, an evening brimming with more than 100 B.C. wines and great Vancouver Island eats.  What’s the difference?  Taste only works with those who really walk-the-talk when it comes to local, seasonal and sustainable.  Not every restaurant is accepted and B.C. wineries are asked to only pour wines made from B.C. grapes.  Guests have the opportunity to mingle with chefs and winemakers who care about sustainability plus local culture and economy.

“I like to say that Taste is a festival with a conscience,” says Kathy McAree, founder and producer of Taste.  “Guests experience some of the best island food and many award-winning B.C. wines all while rubbing shoulders with fabulous chefs, vintners, cheesemakers, and more.  The experiences are designed for those who love to eat and drink – no wine snobbery allowed!”

A four-day festival, Taste concentrates on more than simple tastings.  McAree says, “Food and wine festivals are all about celebration, indulgence, and fun, and with Taste, we make sure that the fun component comes with even more.  Throughout the four days of the festival, we offer unique experiences that are often once a year opportunities available only during Taste.”

Friday evening, July 25th, a unique workshop is the brainchild of Okanagan winemaker Michael Bartier who is conspiring in the kitchen with chef Dan Hayes at The London Chef.  Oenophiles and beginner wine lovers will enhance their senses as they manipulate flavours for the best cuisine matches to the Bartier Bros. wines.  Sweet, sour, salty, bitter, and savoury will be explored for palate pleasing sensations.

Two exclusive seminars are offered Friday July 25th; a look behind the scenes with “Sustainable Seafood” at Finest at Sea, and “Tea and Terroir with Tea Master Daniela Cubelic” at Silk Road.  Saturday July 26th, Sommelier Pamela Sanderson leads a fun wine seminar entitled “Best of Our Backyard” with a tour of unique island varietals paired with B.C. cheeses.

How often do you smell the amazing aroma of a whole pig roasting as you walk along the inner harbour?  “Swine and the Vine”, held on The Pacific Restaurant patio at Hotel Grand Pacific, is always a hit with an elaborate array of pork in many creative and delicious forms thanks to the hotel’s amazing culinary team.  Lively libations accompany the cornucopia of tastes from local winemakers and a local cidery.  Guests enjoy the elegant yet farm-feel to the beat of live blue grass tunes Saturday July 26th.

Taste concludes Sunday July 27th with “Band, Bubbles and Bennys” at Vista 18 Restaurant Martini & Wine Bar on the top floor of Chateau Victoria.  The incredible three-course brunch is enhanced with live jazz and many sips of B.C. sparkling wine.  The grand finale dinner is aptly named “Everything is Better With Bacon”, an exclusive long-table dinner in at The Robert Bateman Centre hosted by Steamship Grill & Bar and Red Rooster winemaker Karen Gillis.

For food and beverage professionals, a special Trade Tasting of B.C. wines is offered the afternoon of Thursday July 24th.  For details: www.VictoriaTaste.com/trade

For further information and on-line ticket sales: www.VictoriaTaste.com


Taste: Victoria’s Festival of Food and Wine SCHEDULE OF EVENTS


Friday July 25, 2014

Sustainable Seafood: Taste and Learn at Finest At Sea

10:30am-12:00pm Finest At Sea, 27 Erie Street      $19

An exclusive look behind-the-scenes at Canada’s only producer of 100% known product origin and sustainable British Columbia seafood.


Tea and Terroir with Tea Master Daniela Cubelic

10:30am-12:00pm Silk Road, 1624 Government Street      $19

Explore the inherent regional characteristics in tea growing regions, as you taste a selection of premium teas from selected growing regions during this fun, interactive session.


Sharpen Your Senses: An Interactive Tasting Workshop

7:00-9:30pm London Chef, 953 Fort Street      $99

Taste an array of Bartier Bros wines with London Chef creations before and after you adjust the cuisine yourself to create a perfect wine and food match!


Saturday July 26, 2014

Best of Our Backyard Wine Seminar

12 noon-2:00pm Hotel Grand Pacific      $49

Journey through nine island wines with sommelier Pamela Sanderson all paired with fine BC cheeses presented by Lori Palmiere.


Swine and The Vine

2:00pm-4:30pm The Pacific Restaurant, Hotel Grand Pacific      $79

Enjoy an incredible afternoon on the patio with whole suckling pig roasted on a spit along with handmade goodies for your pairing pleasure with a selection of BC wines, teas, ciders and more.


Sunday July 27, 2014

Band, Bubbles and Bennys

11:00am-2:00pm Vista 18 Restaurant Martini & Wine Bar, Chateau Victoria Hotel, 740 Burdett Avenue      $49   Please call 250.361.5692 to reserve.

Vista 18 invites you to listen to the jazzy sounds of Lust Life while sipping BC sparkling wines and enjoying a three-course brunch featuring Eggs Benedict and fabulous city vistas!


Everything is Better With Bacon

6:00pm Steamship Grill & Bar at The Robert Bateman Centre, 470 Belleville Street      $99

Along with Red Rooster winemaker Karen Gillis, the culinary team at Steamship Grill and Bar invite you to dine in the exclusive hallery where you’ll enjoy bacon in every single course!

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