The Summer Okanagan Wine Festival kicked off this weekend all around the valley with events at wineries and in our Okanagan cities. In Kelowna, we had an inspiring Pop Goes The Cork event on Saturday evening, outdoors under a grand tent between the Rotary Centre for the Arts and the Kelowna Art Gallery. There were wineries pouring samples of vino from all around the valley, a live band grooving away on the stage, and everywhere you looked people were laughing, telling stories, and enjoying our amazing wines. At the end of the evening, people were seen hailing cabs to get home – this is a “Get Home Safe” event put on by the Okanagan Wine Festivals Society, which means that ticket holders were offered free cab rides home. So smart. And there are several other Get Home Safe events this week as well.
And while I could go on about the awesome evening, I completely recognize that this would only be unfair, because it has already taken place and if you missed it, you can’t go back in time and experience it. So I’m going to tell you about an event as part of the Summer Okanagan Wine Festival that you can get to, and that promises to be a really exciting and vivacious event.
On Thursday, July 12 at 7 pm is the Winetender Mixology Faceoff taking place at the BC Wine Museum & VQA Wine Store in the Laurel Packinghouse. This event is sponsored by Okanagan Spirits (you know, that super funky distillery and tasting room right on Bernard Ave just down from the Sails Fountain). This event is really original since it combines the acrobatic mastery of mixologists and bartenders from all kinds of venues (think Tom Cruise in “Cocktail”) who are dreaming up fabulous new tastes using a liqueur/spirit from Okanagan Spirits combined with any Okanagan wine or sparkling wine.
Last year’s winner, Gerry Jobe of RauDZ Regional Table, has become a cocktail superstar in BC for his innovative approach to cocktails using locally-sourced ingredients. He will be competing again and taking on past rivals and newcomers to defend his title. It should be an evening filled with wow-factor, a few competitive sparks, and lots of drink genius… and the audience – you and me – get to be the judges and benefactors! And once again, this is a Get Home Safe event – so your cab fare home is taken care of.
Check out the Wine Festivals website for other great Summer Okanagan Wine Festival events around town or at our local wineries. And don’t forget that with our 5 amazing Kelowna Wine Trails, there are a whole lot of discoveries and adventures waiting right in our own backyard, so make it a plan to explore one (or 5) with your friends and rellies this summer.