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PHOTOS: Okanagan wines go head to head

The 3rd annual Battle of the Wines kicks off Sunday with sparkling wine and oysters

Okanagan sparkling wines went head to head Sunday at the first Battle of the Wines tasting of the season.

It’s the third year of the competitive wine tasting created by Vernon resident Brandon Little. Until October, wine pros and ‘average Joes’ will partake in a socially distanced tasting, once a month, at different Okanagan wineries.

This year, more than 30 wineries signed up to duke it out with one another. Little organizes each event to have the wine paired with food to add to the full experience.

Wines are judged in three categories: aroma, taste and finish. The judges are comprised of people with wine certifications (pros) and the average person who might not know anything about wine (average Joes).

On Sunday, the first battle of the season took place at The View Winery and sitting at the judging table was Black Press’ very own bureau chief (B.C. Interior South), Jen Zielinski.

Seven champagne-style sparkling wines duked it out today, paired with fresh oysters from Shucked Oyster Co. “The tasting was extremely well organized, with all the COVID-19 protocols put in place,” said Zielinski, an ‘average Joe’ judge.

Wines remain a mystery to judges throughout the tasting. A written review of each contestant and winner will be posted on the Battle of the Wines website. Anyone interested can follow the competition on Instagram and Facebook.

“It will be interesting to see what I gravitated towards. Whatever it is will probably be a go-to bottle that I buy going forward,” Zielinski said.

Little says the event allows him to support local businesses, especially during a time when they need it most.

“It’s bringing them all together and having one really good experience. The oysters and the wine at The View – it couldn’t be any more perfect.”

The next Battle of the Wines pairings are:


Wine: Chardonnay

Food: Cheese

Location: Grizzli winery art gallery


Wine: Assorted

Food: Bacon cheeseburger

Location: Priest Creek Winery


Wine: Riesling

Food: Poutine

Location: SummerGate


Wine: Assorted

Food: Spicy Peach Salsa

Location: Farming Karma Fruit Co


Wine: Red blends

Food: Pizza

Location: Off the Grid Winery


Wine: Syrah

Food: Charcuterie Boards

Location: Meadow Vista Honey Wines

For dates, follow Battle of the Wines on social media (linked above).

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