Hosted by Master of Wine Rhys Pender, the BC Tasting Games is a cut-throat, hilarious blind tasting competition, with a wine-loving audience competing against the experts. At each of the three divisional events, three renowned wine experts will compete on stage, blind tasting five wines. They will debate, discuss, bluff and use their wine savvy to guess at the mystery wines’ origin, varietal, age and price. The audience will get to blind taste the same exact wines, and stealthily compete with the experts.
After the results are revealed, one of the experts and the top scoring audience member will be invited to the BC Tasting Games Finale. The title of “Best Wine Taster in BC” is up for grabs – and anyone can win.
This event is a Terroir Consulting project organized by wine researchers Arnica Rowan and Darcen Esau, in cahoots with Master of Wine and farmer Rhys Pender of WinePlus.
South Okanagan Division | Terrafina at Hester Creek in Oliver | April 23rd
The South Okanagan Division Tasting Games celebrity competitors are:
Wes Hunter: Beverage Operations, RauDZ Creative Concepts Ltd., including RauDZ Regional Table, Terrafina at Hester Creek by RauDZ, micro bar • bites and Sunny’s Modern Diner. Wes holds a WSET Diploma.
Severine Pinte: Winemaker at Le Vieux Pin and La Stella wineries. Severine has a Masters in Viticulture and Oenology, and a National Diploma of Oenology.
David Paterson: General Manager and Winemaker at TantalusVineyards. Dave holds a degree in Winemaking from Christchurch New Zealand.
North Okanagan Division | Okanagan Mission Hall in Kelowna | May 7th
The North Okanagan Division Tasting Games celebrity competitors are:
Matthew Landry: 2019 BC Sommelier of the Year. General Manager/Beverage Director at the Stable House Bistro in Vancouver. Matt holds a WSET Advanced and is a Certified Sommelier.
DJ Kearney: Director of Wine at New District. DJ holds a WSET Diploma, is the VP of the Canadian Association of Professional Sommeliers, BC Chapter, and a member of Les Dames d’Escoffier.
Howard Soon: Master Winemaker at Vanessa Vineyard and former winemaker at Canadian Winery of the Year Sandhill. Howard was recognized as a Spirited Industry Professional by the Vancouver International’s Wine Festival.
Central Okanagan Division | Shatford Centre in Penticton | May 14th
The Central Okanagan Division Tasting Games celebrity competitors are:
Sandra Oldfield: Formerly the founding winemaker at Tinhorn Creek, now president of Elysium Projects. Sandra is a member of the BC Restaurant Hall of Fame and holds a Master’s in Enology.
Mark Filatow: Gold Medal Plates winning executive chef and sommelier of Waterfront Restaurant & Wine Bar, and Waterfront Bistro. Mark is a member of the Sommelier Guild.
Christina Hartigan: Wine Director at Wildebeest Restaurant in Vancouver and runner up in the 2019 Sommelier of the Year competition. Christina holds a WSET Diploma and is Certified Sommelier.
BC Tasting Games Finale | Okanagan Mission Hall in Kelowna | May 21st
This tasting event has three levels of tickets. Every ticket includes a blind tasting of 5 wines, chef-prepared small bites, laughter, and wine camaraderie.
Front Rows: The best seats the house. Get up close and personal with our expert competitors in the first two rows.
Preferred: Right behind the front seats, you will be close to the action.
General: Even in the back half of the room, you’ll have a great view of the experts tasting.