VAIL - The 23nd annual Taste of Vail provides guests with four days of educational seminars, engaging events and interactive programming that highlight the area's culinary offerings, as well as the Vail lifestyle. In addition to the three signature events and the new Nordic Wine Sampler, Taste of Vail offers an extensive line up of educational seminars, including four new programs. The popular "Davidoff Cigars & Craft Distiller Liquors" returns with cigar and liquor representatives providing insight into the two products. Davidoff cigars are handmade in the Dominican Republic, where for more than five centuries this art has been passed on from generation to generation. This seminar takes place on April 4 from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. at the Tap Room and is $50 or included in the festival pass. Christian Roguenant offers a "Sparkling Wine Primer" for this new seminar that provides a guided tour of the global landscape of sparkling wines, considered for centuries to be the definitive luxury beverage. Roguenant is the current winemaker at Edna Valley's Nevin Family Wines and is a master craftsman with intimate knowledge of sparkling wine styles. Roguenant also is a consultant with experience in Argentina, Germany, Austria, New Zealand, Korea (where he made sparkling wine for the 1988 Olympics), and 15 years at the esteemed French producer Champaign Duetz. The Sparkling Wine Primer is on April 5 from 9:45 to 11:15 a.m. at the Four Seasons Resort Vail and is $50 or included in the festival pass. New for the 2013 event, Steve Lewis, founder of Giuliani Imports, will present the "Exploration of Olive Oil." Participants will explore six top regions of Italy, France, Spain and Croatia by sampling the unique personalities that vary vastly in color and aroma. Each area generates significantly different olive oils with great stories and traditions. The seminar takes place April 6 from 11 a.m. to noon at the Four Season Resort Vail and is $50, or included in the festival pass. Another new seminar for the 2013 event is "Riesling the Forgotten Noble Varietal" with Austrian Master of Wine Andreas Wickoff. Riesling is often stereotyped as an inexpensive, low-quality sweet beverage while historically Riesling has been defined as one of the noble varietals. The Riesling grape can produce wines of stunning complexity and comes in a number of styles. In a food pairing context it is the most versatile varietal. Learn why some of the finest examples come from France, Austria and Germany on April 6 from 1 to 2:30 p.m. at Matsuhisa Vail. The seminar is $55 or included in the festival pass. During the new "Oregon Seminar," a panel of leading winemakers from Oregon will discuss the character and vision for each region. Wine Spectator recently proclaimed that Oregon Pinot Noir is the "best in the nation," stating that the only competition in sight comes from France's celebrated Cote d'Or. Oregon's unique combination of geography, climate, soil and creative personalities generates wines that are superbly expressive. Arguably, they are the most food-friendly domestic wines. Experience how this synergy of place, territory and philosophy produces world-class wines. The seminar takes place on April 6 from 3 to 4:30 p.m. at the Vail Marriott Mountain Resort and is $50 or included in the festival pass. Participants are recommended to double check times, dates and locations of events in the festival program as they may be subject to last-minute changes. Taste of Vail is held at several venues throughout Vail. In addition to the new seminars offered during the 23nd Annual Taste of Vail, the 2013 event will include the inaugural Nordic Wine Sampler on April 3. Popular signature events that are returning include the 9th annual Colorado Lamb Cookoff and Apres Ski Tasting, Mountaintop Picnic at 10,350 feet above sea level on Vail Mountain and the Grand Tasting. Tickets for the Nordic Wine Sampler can be purchased for $40 ($50 if rental equipment is needed), the cookoff is $75 for unlimited all-you-can eat and drink lamb and wine, while tickets for the Mountaintop Picnic are $135 and Grand Tasting tickets are $175. An all-inclusive festival pass also can be purchased for $495, which includes signature events and seminars. For more information, visit www.tasteofvail.com.
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