Like fine wine, the Ottawa Wine and Food Festival (OWFF) gets better year after year, and the 32nd edition that took place the first weekend of November was no exception. It is no doubt that the general consensus amongst Joan Culliton and her team at OWFF at the beginning of the year goes something like, “how do we top last year’s event?”…and so begins the planning of an unforgettable night for food enthusiasts and wine connoisseurs in Ottawa.

The introduction of new players like the Choco Chic for the sweet tooth and the Carnivore for the meat lovers this year as vices on the main floor was a hit as they expanded the food options typically present at the festival. The return of the Cheese Vault also provided a sense of reminiscence for cheese lovers that attend the festival year after year.

Pelee Island Winery
Kingston Estate Wines

Coupled with great food at the festival was a great wine selection from vineyards in several countries around the world, inspiring feedback comments from attendees like, “Wow, the grapes are real”, “Great Wine Selection” and “I’m a recent grad student, so I’m still learning about this stuff”.

OWFF knocked it out the ball park this year and every attendee can attest to that. It is also not surprising that when it came time to let loose on the dance floor with tunes spun by DJ Tdot at the Apres afterparty, no one was holding back – it was simply out of their control.

Ottawa Wine and Food Festival. Photograph by David Jackson

People emblazoned the overall feeling from the night unto the dance floor, rocking and grooving to the throwback era of good tunes and good music. The overall vibe was great, and it inspired another attendee to comment, “Great vibe, OWFF is always very vibrant year after year”.

Not only have attendees already checked off the first weekend of November 2018 in anticipation of the next Fall OWFF event, they are hoping things they didn’t get to experience this year like the availability of more wine glasses at wine booths to avoid from stepping out of the tasting floor to go pick new ones up, gamifying the tasting experience by introducing score cards, attending an educational on wine tasting and exploring the benefits of the OWFF app should be expanded upon for next year so that the experience offered at OWFF continues its steadily growing momentum annually.

To go back in time to see OWFF through the years, read “Playing with your food: An Interview with Pam Collacott” and “At the Nation’s Table with Margaret Dickenson”.