Last year, Zoom tastings and other virtual gatherings were par for the course for the 2020 holiday season. We all got used to contactless curbside pickup and shipping our chosen libations to ourselves while generally trying to avoid people.
While many of those “pivots” are now here to stay—if only for the sake of convenience—a few others have evolved. Some events are making a safe return in 2021but they’re probably going to be a little different.
On Summerland’s Bottleneck Drive, the weekends formerly known as Light Up the Vines have switched to a slightly more subdued format, The Winter Series. On Fridays and Saturdays for three weekends, beginning Nov. 26, select Bottleneck Drive tasting rooms will be open later hours, typically 3 p.m. to 8 p.m. Book a tour company or corral a designated driver to explore. Details, including the spots that require reservations, can be found at bottleneckdrive.com/the-winter-series.
If you can’t get to Summerland, consider ordering a Bottleneck Box—six bottles of Summerland’s finest wines, ciders and the occasional spirit can be shipped right to your door.
If sparkling wine is all you plan to sip this season, consider joining Township 7’s Seven Stars wine club. Details are online at township7.com/sevenstars. All bubbly. Maybe send some sparkle as a gift.
Fondue has made a comeback in recent years and Vin Amité Cellars in Oliver will bring back its cheese fondue for the last weekend of November and the first two weekends of December. Reservations are a must. Call 250-498-2234.
This weekend, Nov. 20 and 21, wineries around Okanagan Falls will bring back their Holiday Cheer events from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Check each winery for its plans on this handy list. The highlights include Christmas cookie pairings at Wild Goose, a market at Stag’s Hollow, an advent calendar at Pentâge, mulled wine at Skaha Vineyards and special garden art at Noble Ridge.
Grizzli Winery in West Kelowna will host a Christmas Market, complete with food trucks and entertainment on weekends through Dec. 19, while The District Wine Village near Oliver will have an outdoor market from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. on Nov. 26 and 27 as well as on Dec. 4 and 5. Naramata’s La Petite Abeille Cider will host its first outdoor winter market on Nov. 27,and Phantom Creek Estates in Oliver will have an indoor market on Sundays from Nov. 28 through to Dec. 12.
With supply chains taking hit after hit, this may be the best year to go hyper-local on the gift-giving front, while at the same time joyously return to a tasting room you’ve been missing and give yourself a little treat.
This article is written by or on behalf of an outsourced columnist and does not necessarily reflect the views of Castanet.