Announcing: The Best Wine Taster in BC!

"Best Wine Taster in BC"! 

After 3 hilarious Tasting Games divisional events throughout the Okanagan Valley, 9 gracious wine celebs sharing their palates on stage, 3 astounded and accomplished top audience tasters chosen, and over 1000 glasses of wines sniffed and swirled... the first Tasting Games champion is....

Matthew Landry! 

The self-deprecating, hilarious sommelier from Vancouver trounced the competition and took home the massive Tasting Games cup!

Matt was actually quite surprised - for all his blustering, when up against the 5 other amazing tasters on stage "I really didn't expect to win."

He said "these wine professionals are really at the top of their game throughout the industry, and it was a privilege to taste alongside them."

on stage in 2020 

The top scoring audience member at the Tasting Games Finale was Valerie Stride - and she was delighted to earn a place on stage for the 2020 games.

building wine community 

We can't help but share a few more moments of the Tasting Games Finale at East Kelowna Hall. It was a memorable wrap-up for the wine industry's first ever blind tasting competition!

The finalists started the evening with a beautiful meal together catered by Paisley Notebook, then joined Rhys on stage for the tasting showdown.

The competitors and audience tasted 5 wines - most of which they had strong opinions about! Severine announced her opinion on another "slutty wine" - the least popular wine of the night, a rosé d'Anjou. Cynthia found a favourite lean lemony wine from Soave - "a hell of a value wine" according to Matt.

The tricky floral Torrontes from Argentina had Shanyn and the rest scratching their heads, trying to figure out what the "dry Gewürztraminer" was. 

Matt walked the audience through his Italian wine lexicon, rejecting Aglianico even though Severine had detected the telltale "metallic aromas" from the volcanic del Vulture region. Tanja led the group of wine pros off by sharing the aromas she found in each wine, but no-one guessed that the jammy, boozy last wine was Shiraz from Australia. 

Start Fresh Kitchen put on a fantastic spread of charcuterie, and the crowd enjoyed wonderful local wines graciously donated by Winemaker's Cut, Summerhill and Okanagan Crush Pad.

There was one last enthusiastic game of "Options" as the wines were revealed... with no shortage of groans and cheers from the audience.

Then finally, the winners were revealed... and Matt finally got to embrace the trophy he'd been avoiding touching.

all about wine community 

The Tasting Games event series was all about building wine community, and raising our collective tasting game. Thank you so much for your attendance, participation and support - our mission was successful!

our amazing team 

The Tasting Games is a passion project lead by Arnica Rowan and Darcen Esau from Terroir Consulting and Rhys Pender from Wine Plus+, but it also involved an amazing team of staff and volunteers.

Let us introduce you to your Tasting Games pit crew:
Tawnya Pattie, Alyssa Farr, Ruthie King, Krissy Nielsen, DJ Static, Darcen Esau, Arnica Rowan, Chea Elton, Ivan Gonzalez Balconi and Rhys Pender.

We thank you so very very much!