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Wine column: Of course, Santa likes wine

Doesn't matter if you've been naughty or nice this year.

All are invited to Blasted Church Winery in Okanagan Falls, tomorrow and Sunday, 3:30 pm to 5 pm, to visit with Santa Claus, sip some wine, nosh on sweets and buy the perfect stocking stuffer (aka wine).

Saint Nick himself will be at the winery so you can get a photo of him with your kids, your dog or yourself.

Apparently, it's not too early to be thinking about Christmas, which is why Santa is making this special appearance at Blasted Church.

</who>Santa Claus will be at Blasted Church Winery in Okanagan Falls from 3:30 pm to 5 pm tomorrow and Sunday.

To prime ourselves for the Christmas season, my wife, Kerry, and I recently sampled four Blasted Church wines that would be a welcomed pour at any holiday get together, make ideal hostess gifts, great stocking stuffers or a thoughtful gift under the tree.

- 2022 Sauvignon Blanc-Semillon ($28) for its delicious profile of apricot and honey

- 2022 Viognier ($24), lush and exotic with flavours and aromas of peach and tangerine

- 2021 Cabernet Sauvignon ($36), a warming sipper with a blackcurrant-and-cocoa profile to enjoy indoors in front of the fire when the weather outside is frightful

- 2021 Merlot ($34), ditto for its smooth expression of plum and dark chocolate

</who>Wine tastings will be free during Santa's visit, so make sure to sample, from left, 2022 Sauvignon Blanc-Semillon ($28), 2022 Viognier ($24), 2021 Cabernet Sauvignon ($36) and 2021 Merlot ($34).

While the atmosphere at Blasted Church this weekend will be festive and celebratory, the winery hasn't forgotten the last year.

Severe cold last December meant some vineyard damage and lower yields this fall.

The good news is the grapes that did grow were of excellent quality and means there will be some incredible vintage 2023 wines (even if production is down).

Wildfires over the summer and the rockslide that closed Highway 97 between Peachland and Summerland meant visits and sales at the winey were off.

Cornucopia in Whistler

If you happen to find yourself in Whistler this weekend, you can catch the tail end of the resort's 11-day food and drink extravaganza, Cornucopia.

There might be some last-minute tickets available to the Taste of the World Night Market tonight, the Poured Grand Tasting of wines, beers, ciders and spirits tomorrow night and the Bearfoot Bistro World Oyster Invitational & Bloody Ceasar Battle on Sunday.

Tickets and more information at www.whistler.com/cornucopia.

Vancouver International Wine Festival

The dates and theme country for the 2024 Vancouver International Wine Festival have been set.

The 45th annual fest will take place Feb. 24 through March 4 with tasting, dinners, lunches, minglers and seminar events built around wines from 149 wineries from 12 countries.

Italy is the theme country with 71 wineries from that country to descend on the fest.

Tickets and full info at www.vanwinefest.ca.

Steve MacNaull is a NowMedia Group reporter, Okanagan wine lover and Canadian Wine Scholar. Reach him at [email protected]. His wine column appears every Friday afternoon in this space.



Send your comments, news tips, typos, letter to the editor, photos and videos to [email protected].




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