5 ways to enjoy Taste of Vail | VailDaily.com

5 ways to enjoy Taste of Vail

Kim Fuller
Special to the Daily

Taste of Vail means the spring season has arrived, and what better way to celebrate than a long weekend of food, wine and fun?

The 28th annual Taste of Vail is Wednesday to Sunday, April 4-8, featuring more than 30 guest chefs, restaurateurs and sommeliers, as well as more than 58 top wineries from around the world.

Events take place in Vail Village and on Vail Mountain, from indoor seminars and tastings to open-air food and drink extravaganzas. Here are some strategies for making the most of Vail's signature springtime event.

Learn A Little 

Taste of Vail has a standout seminar lineup this year, envisioned by Matsuhisa Vail certified sommelier Andreas Harl.

"One element of Taste of Vail that people miss a lot are the seminars," said Angela Mueller, executive director of Taste of Vail. "This year there is more of a European flair, but we do have events on Oregon and Napa. I'm really excited about all of them."

The seminars include a global focus that highlights some of the best winemaking regions of the world. From Beaujolais, Rhone and Germany to Tuscany's finest grapes, along with the changing wines of Oregon and the small esoteric varietals of Napa and Sonoma, there is really a great variety of options for every style of wine lover. All seminar tickets are available for purchase, and to see the most recent schedule of events and to purchase seminar tickets, visit http://www.tasteofvail.com.

Be Trendy 

Taste of Vail kicks off on the afternoon of Wednesday, April 4, with Debut of Rose 2017 at the Arrabelle Ballroom in Lionshead Village.

This is the first event in the country where attendees will have the opportunity to sample the first of the 2017 releases from around the Northern Hemisphere. The event will showcase one of the largest selections of rose wines in the United States.

"We started this one when we knew it was hip," Mueller said of rose wines, "but not everybody else really did. And now rose has become this hip wine to drink, and people are realizing that it comes from a red grape, there are so many nuances and so many different types that you can get what you want. And just to explore it, and really see what's out there, is phenomenal."

Follow Your App

Download the Taste of Vail app from your phone's app store to stay informed and connected throughout the event.

This will help you get your tasting plan dialed before you get to a signature event, such as the annual American Lamb Cook-Off & Apres Ski Tasting on Thursday, April 5. This is where local chefs will showcase their finest lamb dishes to the public, while competing for prizes in the cook-off. Guest vintners from across the country also will serve wine varietals.

"First get the app, so you can look and see what wineries are there, and then what I would do is make sure you have a few tastes," Mueller said. "There are 58 wineries at each of the events, so try a few that you've never tried before. Check out the things that you don't know about, because you'll be surprised."

Have A Picnic

Continue to entice your taste buds on Friday, April 6, with the Mountain Top Tasting on Vail Mountain. This special experience happens at 10,350 feet above sea level in a hand-built snow arena that overlooks a panorama of snow-capped peaks.

Take a few runs on skis before you arrive, or simply take the Eagle Bahn Gondola out of Lionshead Village up the mountain to enjoy small plates prepared by chefs from Vail's top restaurants while top winemakers offer selections of their finest wines.

The picnic is definitely an elevated way to experience gourmet.

 

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Indulge A Lot

Keep your appetite rolling as the climactic Grand Tasting event is the delectable finale to the weekend. At a new venue this year, The Reserve Grand Tasting & Silent Auction at the Sebastian Vail will feature all of the Taste of Vail's wineries and restaurants. The evening will include Taste of Vail's auction.

Mueller said there are almost 30 new wineries participating in Taste of Vail this year, including notable labels such as JAX Vineyard and Klein Constantia Winery.

The Grand Tasting is the perfect time to try what wine and food you may have missed. If you leave full and happy, then you've done it all right.

Get your tickets

Individual event tickets and signature event passes are on sale at http://www.tasteofvail.com, along with a full event schedule. Four-pack seminar tickets are on sale for $150 and a six-pack for $185. Individual seminar tickets are between $50 and $55. The signature Mountain Top Tasting is currently available for $150; The Lamb Cook Off & Apres Ski Tasting is $85; Debut of Rose 2017 is $55; and the Grand Tasting for $220. A signature event package with tickets to all flagship events is $430.