Wines of Worth: Last Minute Guide to Cornucopia


Cornucopia: abundance of riches. Nothing could be closer to truth in labeling for Whistler’s Cornucopia. You have the awesome atmosphere of Whistler in the early shades of winter, some of western Canada’s top wine talent leading seminars, Chefs on stage, Chefs to the Farm, Chefs being Challenged. Oh yeah, and the hundreds of wines making their way up the Sea to Sky. Not to rest on its laurels in its 16th year, this year’s feast for the senses offers brand new events spread over five days: dinners, tastings, trade events, demonstrations, galas, parties, after-parties and after-after-parties.

Cornucopia kicked off Wednesday this week, but there are still a multitude of events across all price points available. Highlights include Divine and Distilled, Eau de Vie – A Spirited Affair, the Chef’s Trip to the Farm,  Sunday Sausage Party and the inaugural Cornucopia Night Market – A Taste of Asia. Seminar topics are strong this year: Brave – and Tasty – New World, Winners at Every Price Point, Wine Access Canadian Wine Awards Stand Outs, Wines for a Blue Moon and Bubble-icious are among the sessions that will be both educational and thirst-quenching.

Of course, being a wine geek, I’m always interested in the Top 25 Celebratory Reception on Saturday evening at the Squamish Lil’wat Cultural Centre. Judges selected their favourite 25 wines from a blind tasting earlier this month, and they’re available to taste en masse at this popular event. Of course, you can taste all of these selections – plus countless more – at the main event, Crush Gala Grand Tasting.

If you can’t make it up to Whistler, you needn’t miss out on the top 25. The list is below, along with my tasting notes for the top three category winners.



Marchese Antinori
Chianti Classico Riserva 2006 DOCG
Chianti, Italy

This is an alluring and generous red, with ample plush dark cherry, elegant floral, anise and vanilla. Beautifully balanced, with sweet, round tannins cushioning Sangiovese’s structured and French oaked frame. Lovely minerality through the finish.



Blue Mountain Vineyard and Cellars
Chardonnay 2011
Okanagan Falls, Okanagan Valley, BC

It’s fantsatic to see one of BC’s top family producers take the top of the podium – and it’s easy to see why. A blend of 5 clones adds subtle nuances, 22 year old vines add intricate complexities. The whole is a delight to drink – lemon freshness blends with ripe apple and pear, leesy roundess, and ends on a pleasant herbal note.



Jaume Serra
Cristalino Brut Cava N/V
Cava DOC, Spain

This cheery bubble and its Rosado cousin is no stranger to the top 25 at Cornucopia. Value for money? Incredible! Traditional method sparkling, with fresh citrus and green apple and bright, lively acid. Dry and crisp, with a round mouthfeel and lingering finish.


The other Top 25 this year are:

Oyster Bay Sparkling Cuvée Brut

Stoneboat Vineyards Pinot Noir 2009

Astrolabe Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc 2011

Therapy Vineyards Freudian Sip 2011

Stoneboat Vineyards Chorus 2011

Therapy Vineyards Freud’s Ego 2009

Villa Matilde Aglianico della Campania IGT 2009

Peter Dennis Shiraz 2010

Fuse Cabernet Sauvignon 2009

Canella Prosecco DOC

Antano Crianza Rioja 2008

DeAngelis Anghelos Marche Rosso IGT 2008

Speri’La Roverina’ Valpolicella Classico Superiore DOC 2009

Stoneboat Vineyards Pinotage 2009

Frontaura Crianza 2005

Signorello Estate Cabernet Sauvignon 2009

Bodegas Olivares Altos de la Hoya 2009

Stoneboat Vineyards Pinot Gris 2011

O. Fournier Urban Uco Malbec-Tempranillo 2011

Bottega Prosecco Spumante DOC 2011

Rodney Strong Vineyards Alexander Valley Estate Cabernet Sauvignon 2009

Perseus Winery Sauvignon Blanc 2011

The complete schedule of events, plus available tickets are on the Whistler Cornucopia website.


DRINKing Guide: How to use our purchasing information.

*Asterisks denote wines that are only available at the winery or select private liquor stores. Some may be in limited quantities. All other wines are available through BC Liquor Stores – visit or download the free BC LiquorStores iPhone App for locations and availability. Prices may vary.

Written By:

Treve Ring is a wine writer, editor, judge, consultant and certified sommelier, and has been with EAT Magazine for over a decade.\r\n\r\nIn addition to her work with EAT, she is a Wine Critic and National Judge for ...

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