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Okanagan-Taste

Looking ahead to 2019

There was a meme online recently that said 2018 was so long, we all forgot there was an Olympics.

I had to Google it — February in PyeongChang, in case you’re wondering.

Yes, it has felt like this year has dragged on and on, leaving us stumbling into 2019. And, if, like me, you just wondered what the Chinese zodiac indicates for this year, it’s the year of the pig, indicating good luck and fortune.

We will wrap up the year of the dog in a few weeks, which means “count only on your own efforts in order to succeed,” according to one astrology website.

No wonder we’re all so tired.

In the wine and libations world in British Columbia, we saw a number of wineries change ownership; some gained foreign investment, some moved into larger circles of wineries within companies.

Both trends indicate a shift, perhaps, in the industry, as more infrastructure is needed during what feels like a year of growth, both literally and figuratively.

And, more B.C. wines and wineries appeared in international media and on or near the top of prestigious competitions. The days of, “Canada makes wine?” are rapidly fading and being reborn as “I’d love to try something from Canada.”

Penticton came in second, behind Vancouver, on Expedia’s list of craft beer towns in Canada. There seems to be a new brewery appearing somewhere in the Okanagan every few months, and B.C.’s Ale Trail now has 16 trails around the province to explore.

Cideries are emerging, and, in 2019, I predict they will make their presence bigger, with unique flavours and more experimentation.

Speaking of experiments, this will be the year B.C. distilleries bring more whiskies to the market. A few are already out, often hard to score due to low production, but worth finding or joining a mailing list as bottles are released.

I know the Scotch diehards may turn a blind eye to this trend, but let’s see how they compare to our ryes.

And then, there’s cannabis.

Hemp has already appeared in ales and more brews of various types are most certainly coming. I’ve seen a handful of sommeliers begin to pair wines with different types and strains of cannabis. And yes, or course there is marijuana wine.

I will be holding out for a long time before I sip a glass of “weed wine.” But I have no doubt that one day, when cannabis-infused wines have their own category at wine competitions, a bottle from our province is sure to win gold. Probably for a sauvignon blanc.

I will bid farewell to 2018 on Dec. 31 with the last of this year’s eggnog, possibly spiked with bourbon, and a butter tart.

And on Jan. 1, I’ll be at the gym.

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About the Author

A creative thinker with more than two decades of experience in communications, Allison is an early adopter of social and digital media, bringing years of work in traditional media to the new frontier of digital engagement marketing through her company, All She Wrote.

She is the winner of the Thompson Okanagan Tourism Association's 2011 and 2012 awards for Social Media Initiative, an International LERN award for marketing, and the 2014 Penticton Chamber of Commerce Business Excellence Award for Hospitality/Tourism.

Allison has amassed a following on multiple social networks of more than 30,000, frequently writes and about social media, food and libations as well as travel and events, and through her networks, she led a successful bid to bring the Wine Bloggers Conference to Penticton in June 2013, one of the largest social media wine events in the world, generating 31 million social media impressions, $1 million in earned media, and an estimated ongoing economic impact of $2 million.

In 2014, she held the first Canadian Wine Tourism Summit to spark conversation about the potential for wine tourism in Canada as a year-round economic driver.

Allison contributes epicurean content to several publications, has been a judge for several wine and food competitions, and has earned her advanced certificate from the Wine and Spirit Education Trust.

In her spare time, she has deep, meaningful conversations with her cats.

She can be reached at [email protected]



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The views expressed are strictly those of the author and not necessarily those of Castanet. Castanet does not warrant the contents.

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