Are your tastes competitive?

It could be called the “Game of Thrones, Wine Edition.”

The Tasting Games is an upcoming series of friendly competitive events to see who is the best wine taster from a cohort of winemakers, chefs, and sommeliers.

If you’re a fan of chef competitions with mystery ingredient challenges, this may be for you.

And yes, those of us who like wine can probably all raise our hands in the air to declare, “I am the best wine taster!” but how many of us can identify a wine with no hints?

The host of this series of events, Rhys Pender, probably can. The competitors may be glad that Pender, a Master of Wine, winemaker, and teacher, is not going to be on stage.

“There will be fierce competition between the pros to guess what’s in the glasses; expect banter, fighting and duplicity, all in the name of winning.

“In the audience, you’ll be tasting the same wines, but don’t worry, you won’t be put on the spot; we will just be grilling the pros on stage,” he says.

On stage, the wine experts will debate what, exactly, is in each glass:

  • origin
  • varietal
  • producer
  • age
  • price

In the audience, you’ll be able to compare notes and debate for yourself. Is that a pinot noir? And how can anyone say this wine has aromas of forest floor?

Guesses from the pros and audience will be handed in and while the results are tabulated, the experts will mingle with the audience, enjoying chef-prepared small bites and glasses of local wine.

The identities of the wines will be revealed, and the top pro and top “amateur” from the audience will be invited to the finale.

Anyone can be declared the best taster in B.C. Serious about competing?

  • Stay away from people with spring colds
  • Avoid spicy foods
  • Don’t brush your teeth right before tasting

Tickets include blind tasting of five wines and small bites. Proceeds will benefit viticulture students at Okanagan College and participants in Start Fresh Project’s Culinary Arts and Farm Education program.

The schedule, tickets, and more info are available at https://tastinggames.ca/.


April 19- 21, Penticton: Visit Township 7 for special chocolate and wine pairings this long weekend. https://www.township7.com/events/

April 20 -21, Penticton: Painted Rock hosts the Art of Pairing. Wines will be paired with locally made: gourmet cheese, charcuterie and chocolate. https://www.facebook.com/events/562190927637046/

April 20- 21, Summerland: Opening weekend for the wineries, cideries, distilleries, and breweries of Bottleneck Drive. Self-guided. https://bottleneckdrive.com/members/

April 24- 28, Osoyoos: The Osoyoos Oyster Festival returns with multiple events. https://www.watermarkbeachresort.com/osoyoos-oyster-festival/

April 27, Okanagan Falls: Noble Ridge hosts Spring Sips and Silk. Create your own one-of-a-kind marbled silk scarf. https://www.nobleridge.com/News-Events/Events


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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]

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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