After checking into the Westin when we were in Whistler last month we heading down to the concourse level to meet up with our Whistler Tasting Tour for the evening. Over the next three hours we would walk to four restaurants, sample wine pairings, and have some exclusive experiences in the village.
Jamie was our guide who handed out playing cards at the start of our tour. This would be a theme throughout the evening as we collected cards (with each stop and with trivia questions) to make our best poker hands.
The first stop was the wine cellar at Bearfoot Bistro, the largest of its kind in Western Canada. This sub-subterranean wine mecca has hosted everyone from film and restaurant industry stars to Olympic medalists. Complete with a small lounge, the main attraction in the cellar (aside from the tens of thousands of wines) is the sabrage.
We were told the history of sabering open a bottle of champagne or sparkling wine and two members of our groups (with the highest playing cards in their possession) were able to try this feat for themselves. John and another guest on the tour had the best cards and were able to partake in this Napoleonic tradition.
Bearfoot is also home of Andre Saint Jacques who holds the Guinness World Record for sabering open 21 bottles of Champagne in one minute.
The second stop on the tour was Hy’s Steakhouse, where we indulged in sampling steak bits and a beautifully seared tuna. Whoever could guess the varietal of red or white wine poured in their glass received more playing cards for their poker hand.
Our main course was served over at Quattro, sibling to Q4 on West 4th in Vancouver. There was a choice or salmon or veal served atop their famous spaghetti Quattro, which packs quite a punch of flavour and spice.
A surprise stop before heading to our dessert location was at Rogers Chocolates along the Village Stroll. We were treated to ice wine truffles and I scooped up a box of sea salt cashews covered in dark chocolate.
Blueberry cheesecake and ice wine were served at The Mix to round out our evening. While I didn’t have the best poker hand I did have the worst, which was rewarded all the same. With our bellies full and appetites satisfied, I walked away with a goodie bag containing a wine stopper and corkscrew.
There were about ten people in our group and only two couples knew each other heading into the tour. It was an enjoyable way to explore the culinary scene in Whistler while being social and meeting vacationers and locals alike. Whistler Tasting offers three different types of tours starting at $59.99 a person and each participant walks away with a perks card, good for discounts around Whistler.