Cornucopia offers vast menu of events 

It’s all tasty, but not everything is to everyone’s taste

Whistler’s biggest food and wine festival, Cornucopia, is finally here Wednesday, Nov. 9 to Sunday, Nov. 13, and along with it some big decisions.

The elegant Bubbles, Jazz and the Deep Blue Sea soiree at Araxi or the debaucherous wild-child of the festival MasqueRave?

Do you watch the sexes battle it out over the emotional merit of a Pinot Noir or get the insider insight on what wines best suit your favourite Indian curry?

Ready to splurge on a winemaker dinner at Quattro for $230, or does the shoulder season dictate the girth of your wallet, leaving you browsing ARTrageous, House Party or maybe Women, Books and Wine?

Whatever questions you face as banners around town, newspaper advertisements and even B.C.-wide television coverage of the nine-year-old event spurs that moment of I-should-really-get-organized-and-get-tickets thoughts, act on them now. Because whatever your preferred palate –education, food and wine tastings, farm adventures, parties, concerts or even a male burlesque show – the Cornucopia event list is as plentiful as the numerous wines showcased. And tickets, ranging from $25 to $250, are already sold out in some venues.

So where do you start with so many events to chose from?

Sitting down with Michelle Payette, manager of events for Tourism Whistler, she suggested a formula she used when choosing tickets for her father.

"Realistically, you can’t hit everything," Payette said. "There’s enough diversity for everyone to come back year after year and hit different events, but picking out a social event, seminar, signature event, winemaker dinner and after party will give you a real variety (of the Cornucopia experience)."

Based on the mayhem-minimizing formula, some events to add to your social calendar may include ARTrageous, House Party, Fornacoppia, and Women, Wine and Books. All events are paycheque-friendly, ranging from $25 for an evening of live music and wine to $59 for an escape into the romance of Italian wines and literary works.

ARTrageous packs in art, wine and locals day and night with the 10 th Annual Art Bash Thursday, Nov. 10 at the Garibaldi Lift Company (GLC). From 11:30 a.m. to 6 p.m., art enthusiasts are invited to sample wines from Mission Hill Wineries while browsing the works of Dave "Pepe" Petoko, Chili Thom, Leanna Rathkelly, Greg Eymundson and Vincent and Cheryl Massey, just to name a few. Free event.

The stars come out at 8 p.m. with psychedelic grooves and tribal beats from the Wassabi Collective. The social-message-driven music spans African and Latin beats, reggae, house and trip hop grooves. The Nelson-based band has shared stages with Hot Hot Heat, Garaj Mahal, and Michael Franti and Spearhead, just to name a few.

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