This pair of Naramata Beach wines were a hit at last year’s festival

North Island College Third Course Bistro Wine Festival – Nov. 18

North Island wine lovers should mark the date on their calendars.

The theme for the 15th Anniversary North Island College ‘Third Course Bistro’ Wine Festival has been announced.  This year it will be ‘Casino Royale’ celebrating James Bond. Expect to see some suave and elegant guys and gals sniffing and sipping very wine wines – swirled not stirred.

A very well-guarded secret amongst local foodies, the ‘Third Course Bistro’ is the tiny, transient and tantalizingly tasty restaurant situated on site at the North Island College’s Campbell River campus at 1685 S Dogwood St – just off the main cafeteria in its own little lavishly appointed room.

This fall, the ‘Third Course Bistro’ will be open for dining on the evenings of October 21st, October 28th, November 4th and November 25th. It is a very small venue with extremely limited seating.  Reservations are required – call 250-334-5292 or email tourism@nic.bc.ca – to enjoy their lavish and lovingly prepared 3 course meals for $27.95, 4 course meals for $30.95 or 5 course meals for $33.95.

As delicious as the dining experience will be if you manage to secure a reservation, it is also an excellent learning opportunity for the students.  Out of the classroom and teaching kitchen and into the real world!

At the `Third Course Bistro`, chef trainees will be preparing their offerings for you under the watchful eyes of Chef Pedro Acosta, assisted by the new culinary instructor Chef Xavier Bauby. Hospitality Management trainees will be your hosts and servers each evening.

Hosted for this 15th year by the students and faculty of North Island College’s Tourism and Hospitality Management programs, the ‘Third Course Bistro’ Wine Festival offers the students the opportunity to plan and develop a major event in real time – outside of their classroom and kitchen learning environment.

A pair of wines from Naramata Bench based Black Widow Winery were big hits as last year’s Wine Festival and are sure to make more friends this year.  The real challenge is trying to guess which new Okanagan, Similkameen and Vancouver Island wines will delight you this year.

An off-dry Okanagan Valley blend of Schonburger, Gewurztraminer and Pinot Gris wine grapes Black Widow Oasis (506907) $19.75 exudes a medley of ripe tropical fruitiness.  Honeyed melon, kiwi, lychee and pretty strawberry and rose petal flavours overflow on the palate.

Black Widow Phobia (775502) $25.99 is a blend of 50 per cent Syrah and 50 per cent Merlot. Medium to full body, aromatic, with soft tannins and a very earthy touch of pepper it featured aromas of cloves and plum, with flavours of ripe black plums, black cherry and a sprinkling of fresh-sliced green pepper in the aftertaste.

As well as a wonderful array of domestic and international wines for sampling, there will be an on-site pop-up store operated by Metro Liquor offering a selection of the finest and fussiest-to-find wines being poured at the Wine Festival.

Craft breweries and craft distilleries are currently the fastest growing sector of the beverage alcohol industry in British Columbia.  Representatives of both sectors will be attending the 15th Anniversary North Island College ‘Third Course Bistro’ Wine Festival.

According to the provincial government, the past six years has seen the number of craft breweries in the province rise from 54 to 118 – an almost 120 per cent increase – making it one of B.C.’s fastest-growing industries. Fine craft breweries have rapidly become almost commonplace in British Columbia, with new players showing up almost every week including Campbell River’s own Beachfire Brewery – opening any time now!

Hoyne Brewing will be pouring samples of their hugely popular American Brown Ale styled Dark Matter (948398) $5.99/650ml.  Driftwood Brewery’s infamous Fat Tug Northwest-style India Pale Ale (844.399) $6.50 will also be available for sampling – as well as an assortment of other brews from both breweries.

Curious about the wave of new Craft Distilleries popping up all over British Columbia? Representatives of Courtenay`s Wayward Distillation House will be on hand with their unique Unruly Vodka (857151) $46.65 and Unruly Gin (67595) $51.45.

Tickets to this gala event are $55 per person and are now available at the Merecroft Village Liquor store, Royal Coachman Liquor store, Gourmet Essentials, Metro Liquor stores at Timberline Village & Discovery Harbour – as well as at NIC`s Campbell River and Comox Valley campus bookstores.

 

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