Colombo calling on local winemakers for competition

The Cristoforo Colombo Lodge is hosting a Columbus Day Banquet and Wine Competition for amateur vintners to strut their stuff.

Test your taste buds.

The Cristoforo Colombo Lodge is hosting a Columbus Day Banquet and Wine Competition for amateur vintners to strut their stuff.

The competition began many years ago when the Italico Club of Trail put a series of long-standing viticulture traditions to the test. But now the Colombo Lodge is taking on the menu with the same flavour and a couple of saucy tweaks.

“It’s one of the best wine events in the Kootenays,” organizer Pat Zinio explained. “I was thinking about this the other day and the Okanagan might have all the wineries, but the Kootenays have the best winemakers.”

The only rule, Zinio added, is that the wine being entered has to be made during 2011 from grapes or grape juice. In addition, each entry is only allowed to submit one bottle of each red and white wine. There is a $3 entry fee collected per bottle.

Participants in the competition portion of the night are encouraged to drop off a sample bottle at the Colombo Lodge Games Room between 9 a.m. and noon on Oct. 20.

Vickie Fitzpatrick and Alita Parissotto will be judging the competition. Prizes will be awarded for first, second and third places in both red and white wines during the banquet.

But that’s not the only part of the evening the community can look forward to.

The sounds of classic and contemporary music will flood the room for couples who wish to dance to tracks by Castlegar-based performers Terry Alton and Tonnie Stewart (TNT). The duo knows over 100 songs spanning over six decades of experience, including headlining on several cruises.

“Tonnie covers everything from Patsy Cline to Cher and even some modern stuff like Katy Perry,” Alton  said.

“We’ll probably start the night off with some classical music and then start doing the contemporary stuff as the night progresses.”

The night is expected to kick off with cocktails at 6 p.m. and a five course Italian meal will follow at 7 p.m.

Zinio hinted there might even be a midnight snack.

Tickets for each couple are $84 each. Anybody is welcome to attend the Columbus Day Banquet and Wine Competition.

Contact Tony Morelli at 250-368-9736, Pat Zanier at 250-362-5825 or Zinio at 250-364-9927 for more information or to buy tickets.