The Main Event: a food & wine tasting event


Photography by Rebecca Wellman Photography ( Pictured clockwise from top left: Corned duck breast, pickled local beets, Salt Spring goat cheese, salted pecans - Panache at Bear Mtn. FAS seared tuna with Ragley Farm radish, Metchosin pork Bahn Mi, Fol Epi ficelle - Passioneat Foods/ Cook Culture Chilled minted local pea soup, cold-smoked Lois Lake steelhead trout, lemon oil - Marina Restaurant Head cheese with pickles and mustards - The Whole Beast Fresh morels Butter-fried BC morel mushroom, Island Farmhouse chicken liver paté, olive filoncini - Forester's at Olympic View Golf Club Serendipity Winery Mexican-based frozen pops using local fruit and organic dairy - Fruition Paletas Chilled local sweet corn & green curry soup with cilantro & Vancouver Island spot prawns - Bard and Banker Nichol Vineyard

Victoria Taste kicked off 4-days of events Thursday night with its premier tasting event held at the Crystal Gardens. And oh how the food and wine went down nice.

A sold-out crowd enjoyed the offerings of thirty-six British Columbia wineries and twenty-three eateries—more than any responsible adult could indulge of an evening—but we tried.

A few random highlights from EAT’s samplings. (Email us your favourites.)


Just the right-size were the Spanish-style Coca (pizza/foccacia) topped seasonal tomatoes with fresh basil & quesco fresco cheese at the Little Piggy stop.

The Marina Restaurant had a hit with their shots of chilled minted local pea soupl containing cold-smoked Lois Lake steelhead trout and lemon oil.

There was a buzz about the FAS seared tuna with Ragely Farm radish, Metchosin pork bahn mi with Fol Epi ficelle from Passioneat Foods and Cook Culture

Another big hit were Fruitition Paletas Mexican-inspired fruit-based ice pops.

We spotted the line-up to one table and found delightful Pan-seared Albacore tuna, Dungeness crab pot stickers from new-to-town chef of the Fairmont Empress.

We couldn’t miss iconic cheese maker David Wood’s again making his Weston Creek Farmhouse of Salt Spring Island Cheese warm goat and sheep cheese quesadilla.

Now for a dessert: Paprika Bistro wowed the crowed with their Spiced chocolate shortcake with chocolate mousse & candied local rhurbarb.

Others that delighted were Panache at Bear Mountain, Bistro 28, Blue Crab Bar & Grill, Vista 18, The Whole Beast, Hotel Grand Pacific, Aura and Veneto Tapa Lounge. All had very tasty bites.



Skaha Bench, Penticton’s Painted Rock were pouring tipples of their elegant 2008 Red Icon, a Bordeaux type blend redolent of cassis with a hint of vanilla and chocolate.

Who can resist Blue Mountain’s N/V Brut Sparkling wine. We couldn’t.

We also made sure to stop by the Vancouver Island contingent to sample lovely drops from Averill Creek, Garry Oaks Winery, Merridale Ciderworks, Sea Cider, Rocky Creek Winery, Salt Spring Winery, Starling Lane, Victoria Spirits and Venturi-Schulze.

Those in the know think Cab Franc is a signature grape for BC. To find out we had to try Nichol’s 2008 version. Very good indeed.


You should’ve been there!


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