Taste Victoria 2012 July 19-22 – Why You Should Be There
This year Taste Victoria celebrates its fourth year with an even busier few days celebrating Vancouver Island’s cuisine and the wines of British Columbia. Fellow Dame d’Escoffier Kathy McAree, a food, wine and travel writer and owner of Travel With Taste indulgent culinary adventures does an amazing job of coordinating vintners, farmers, fishermen and food suppliers in this four day extravaganza. The main event is held Thursday July 19, 2012 with a tasting of more than 100 British Columbia wines served alongside dishes prepared by the top Vancouver Island chefs. There’s also tastings, seminars and events such as chocolate pairing and a pig roast to keep your palate fully occupied.
I’ve ventured over for two out of the three years and have been fortunate to participate in many of the events. Here’s a brief on of what will occur during Taste Victoria, with some photos from years past.
The The Main Event is one not to miss. Held July 19 at 6:30 pm, you’ll wander the Crystal Gardens and discover Vancouver Island’s Wineries and wines from around the Province, while sampling cuisine from top Victoria chefs who have collaborated with local farmers and suppliers in their creations. There is also a trade portion in the afternoon.
On Friday July 20 from 10:30-12:30 pm you have a choice of seminars including A Chocolate Expert & Tea Master, where Silk Road Tea Master Daniela Cubelic pairs with chocolate expert David Mincey on location at Silk Road Tea. They will speak to chocolate and tea pairing and guide you through a chocolate tasting. If seafood is more your passion, the seminar entitled “Sustainable Seafood” brings in fisherman Bob Fraumeni, the owner at Finest At Sea, to present a behind the scenes session at his processing facility in James Bay.
Friday night you’ll want to head to Sips and Seafood from 6:30-9:30 pm at the Inn at Laurel Point. Executive Chef Takashi Ito prepares a seafood feast to remember and BC wineries are on hand to suggest pairings. There’s also VIP tickets for a pre-party at Laurel Point’s penthouse.
Be sure not to overindulge on Friday night as there’s bound to be a seminar that will catch your interest. Topics include the Pinot Noir Grape from 2-4:30 pm , Wine Access’s BC Bubble with Wine Consultant Kurtis Kolt, from 1:30-3:15, and Wine Access’s Bang For Your Buck, a session on BC wines under $20, all held at Hotel Grand Pacific.
If Cider is your drink of choice you’ll want to join Sea Cider Farm and Ciderhouse at their Saanich location and the BC Shellfish Festival along with Avenue Bistro, Pacific Restaurant and Vis a Vis as the chefs create a lunch on the stage in front of you. Held from 11- 3pm.
Pig lovers will want to hang in town to for The Swine and The Vine where a whole suckling pig along with other goodies and BC wine, tea and cider are served at the Hotel Grand Pacific.
Sunday wraps up with the final two events, a seminar on Chardonnay held from 1:30-3:15 pm at Hotel Grand Pacific with Master of Wine Candidate Sharon McLean and Harry Hertscheg of Vancouver Playhouse International Wine Festival and the grande finale, The Land and Sea Harvest, held at Vantreight Farm in Central Saanich, which is a long table dinner in the field. Chef Matt Rissling (Marina Restaurant), Chef Steve Walker-Duncan (Flavours of The Westcoast) and Dwane MacIsaac (Passion Eat Foods) will prepare fresh seafood, local produce and BC Winemakers Kathy Malone of Hillside Winery and Howard Soon from Sandhill Winery will present their wines. From 5- 8:30 pm.