After the busy holiday season, where food usually plays a major role, the new year starts off with some more food and drink festivals to tempt your palate.
Victoria hosts its 13th Victoria Whisky Festival at the Hotel Grand Pacific, from January 18th through the 21st. Unfortunately for those who do not yet have tickets, the event is sold out. If you are interested you must think ahead to the 2019 event, with tickets on sale on very specific days in November 2018. If you’re a whisky aficionado, you may want to check out specific tastings next year such as “Glenfiddich Distillery “Unlearn Whisky” Grand Tasting, the Glenrothes Distillery Grand Tasting, the Tomatin Distillery Masterclass, the Bruichladdich Distillery Masterclass, and the Whisky and Chocolate Masterclass, and many more. Packages are available which bundle several Masterclasses of your choice together, in addition to the Consumer Tasting event. A special rate for attendees is available at the Hotel Grand Pacific, or book a great Victoria Bed & Breakfast. The TLC Fund for Kids and the Victoria Crime Stoppers are benefiting charities of this year’s event.
With Victoria sold out, why not make your way up to the Comox Valley on Vancouver Island where tickets are still available for their Whisky Festival, happening Feb. 2 + 3, 2018. Whisky paring dinners featuring Jameson and Glenlivet, as well as masterclasses and a Grand Tasting still have a few tickets available, but they too are going fast. While you’re there, spend a day on the slopes at Mount Washington!
Looking ahead to February, the big event in Vancouver will be the Vancouver International Wine Festival, now in its 39th year. The festival started in 1979 with one vintner and about 1000 attendees, and is now considered Canada’s premier food and wine event with over 25,000 attendees. Its charitable partner is the Bard on the Beach Theatre Society. Winery dinners, brunches, tastings, seminars, minglers and wine and food grazings are all part of this spectacular event. The wines of Spain and Portugal are heavily featured this year. While some events are sold out, others still have tickets available.
After whisky and wines, its the turn of artisan distilleries at the BC Distilled Festival which takes place on Saturday April 14th at the Croatian Cultural Centre in Vancouver. This is the fifth annual celebration and tastings of British Columbia’s premier artisan distilleries, and it is the largest spirits event in Canada exclusively for local distilleries. BC Distilled supports the Pacific Assistance Dogs Society as their charitable partner.
Along with all the liquid libations festivals, Dine Around events are happening all over BC during January and February. In Victoria, Dine Around and Stay in Town Victoria, runs from January 19th to February 4th. Vancouver’s Dine Out Vancouver Festival also runs from January 19 to February 4. The Kelowna campus of Okanagan College hosts the kick off to Dine Around Thompson Okanagan on January 16th. The Cowichan region on Vancouver Island, between Victoria and Nanaimo, hosts Dine Cowichan from February 24 to March 12. All festivals offer specially crafted 3-course meals at different price points and unique culinary events to tempt your taste buds and explore foods from around the world and very close to home.
Savour the flavors in your back yard, sip the wines and whiskys from around the world, and enjoy getting out and about in British Columbia these winter months.