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Learning about wine,
and loving it!

Since it’s inception, in 1998, The Kamloops Wine Festival has provided the opportunity to many, many people to try some new wines that they may not have had the opportunity to otherwise. So often people are tempted to try a new wine but are afraid to commit to a purchasing a whole bottle. Does this sound familiar? “What if I don’t like it?  It could be a waste of money. Nawh, I will just stick to what I know.”

We have been encouraging people to “Find Your New Wine” for years.  What could be easier than being in a room with around 100 wines to select from? The Grand Wine Tasting Party provides that opportunity. Although we do not encourage people to try every one, we suggest that you try some wines that you have never tried. Perhaps you could make a plan to try certain varieties that you have never tasted before such as a Riesling, or Pinot Noir, or fruit wines, or sparking wines. Be adventurous, try something new. People have commented over the years of how exciting it has been to learn about some new wines. They did indeed find their new wines. It really is quite magical to find the right wines—for your taste and palate. Every one is so different! 

We love supporting the community too! Each year there is an event benefactor.   


Judy Basso has produced and managed the wine festival since 2006. It has always been a joy and pleasure for Judy to bring this event to Kamloops for novice wine tasters to the seasoned wine aficionados alike to enjoy. She is also amazed at how much she has learned about wine personally over the years. Learning how to pair wine with the perfect foods was one of the most exciting things that she learned from the festival. She said “It was as if it was like hearing angels singing when I tried the perfect wine and food paired for the first time”. She wants to share that joy and excitement and curiosity with the people who attend this wine festival.

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Deborah Podurgiel

I think if someone had to put something down in writing about me in one sentence, it would be: enjoys gathering life experiences, talking to people, good food and wine within a balanced and healthy lifestyle.

Amongst other things, I have been a journalist, editor, prepress designer, an administrator and executive assistant and now a Wine Advisor, Sommelier, wine and food writer.

I started my education in international wines and spirits working for Seagrams in Montreal several lifetime experiences ago. As a novice taste, I was invited to taste and observe product during my lunch hour. The first tasting was 15 whiskies; they were all great, but around product #10, I was having a rough time writing down my observations and by product #15, I couldn’t write. Since then, the spittoon has become my friend. A few years later, I had the opportunity to run the Seagrams wine club and became a lover of wine. That year, I took my first wine appreciation course in Quebec, and then as we followed my husband’s career westward but not until 20 years later, when we moved to Vancouver, I began accredited wine courses (Certified Sommelier, Canadian Wine Studies, WSET I II III, and currently hoping to complete Diploma IV… someday).

I believe in wine education and not just influencing or selling wine. I love to put the wine puzzle together for people and figure out what they really are looking for in a wine – not what their friends have told them they should like or based on a review they read or heard. Drinking wine should be enjoyed in moderation whether celebrating a moment or relaxing by the grill and, expensive or not, suited to that person’s taste.

A point in fact was I treated a friend to a ticket to the Vancouver International Wine Festival and thought they would so appreciate the lovely sparkling and champagne wines from France, that year’s theme country. As it turned out, she had no interest in champagne or any bubbles, but preferred the late harvest and sweeter German wines. Therein lies the lesson that wine is all a matter of taste – your own.


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Wine Tasting  

This is where many, many wineries come together under one roof and you are invited to try different wines. There are lots variety of price points, varietals, vintages and new wineries that make it different every year. There is always lots of great food to nibble on, live music, and a great party atmosphere. All while supporting a great cause! There is a special Group Rate for 5 or more people too!

Kamloops Wine Festival 2014

Winery Events and More!

We encourage groups to come and enjoy the festivities together.  Guests are always encouraged to have a Designated Driver—or use the provided taxi or driver services that will await you as you exit at the end of the night. 

Have a plan to arrive home safely.

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