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A look at the 25th annual Taste of Vail lineup

Caramie Schnell
cschnell@vaildaily.com
Cheers to the 25th annual Taste of Vail, which begins today and runs through Saturday evening.
Zach Mahone | Special to the Daily |

VAIL — For food and wine lovers, four days in April are about as good as it gets. That’s because the Taste of Vail returns to town, bringing with it some of the best sips and nibbles of the year. The 25th annual event kicks off Wednesday with the Debut of Rose event in Lionshead. Don’t worry, just because it’s pink doesn’t mean it tastes like your grandma’s sugary white zin, we promise.

On Thursday, it’s all about lamb and vino with the Lamb Cook-Off and Apres Ski Tasting. Wander down Gore Creek Drive and see how local chefs have chosen to prepare their 50-pound allotment of lamb from the American Lamb Board. Two pieces of advice: Get there early or risk missing out on a stellar dish that disappears extra fast (there’s always a few each year) and don’t forget to vote for your favorite bite. These chefs start planning their entries sometimes weeks in advance and tend to take the competition quite seriously, which bodes well for your tastebuds.

Cross your fingers for a bluebird sunny day on Friday, in honor of the best picnic you’re likely to encounter; the Mountaintop Picnic takes place atop Vail Mountain beginning at noon.

After a slew of new and interesting seminars on Saturday, local chefs work to wow Grand Tasting attendees. This year, the finale event will be held at the The Four Seasons in Vail for the first time.

Here’s a look at the detailed schedule. Cheers!

WEDNESDAY

Debut of 2014 Rose, 3 to 6 p.m. Lionshead, $50 for a pass or individual tastes for $4.

Sample just-released 2014 rose wines for the first time at the 2015 Debut event.

Vail Chophouse Hess Collection Wine Pairing, 5 to 10 p.m., Vail Chophouse, $38.

Featuring a special Taste of Vail wine pairing menu: two courses with wine tastings.

Thursday

American Lamb Cook-off and Apres Ski Tasting: Life beyond Chardonnay & Cabernet, 3 to 6 p.m. Vail Village, $75. Individual tasting tickets available.

The annual Taste of Vail Lamb Cook-Off joins with the Apres Ski Tasting to create a true apres ski party.

Vail Chophouse Hess Collection Wine Pairing, 5 to 10 p.m. Vail Chophouse, $38.

Featuring a special Taste of Vail wine pairing menu; includes two courses with wine tastings.

Davidoff Cigars Seminar, 5:30 to 7 p.m. Four Seasons Hotel Vail pool, $50.

Representatives from Davidoff Cigars pair their products with top-shelf spirits.

Friday

Breakfast of Champions!, 8:30 to 10:15 a.m. Vail Marriott Mountain Resort, $65.

The Breakfast of Champions! seminar features seven sparkling wines and an organic Colorado ingredient-driven breakfast with host Pete Marczyk of Marczyk Fine Food in Denver.

Mountaintop Picnic, Noon to 2:30 p.m. Eagle’s Nest, Vail Mountain via Eagle Bahn Gondola, $135.

Enjoy a gourmet feast prepared by the Vail Valley’s best chefs at the top of Vail Mountain, 10,350 feet above sea level.

Vail Chophouse Hess Collection Wine Pairing, 5 to 10 p.m. Vail Chophouse, $38.

Featuring a special Taste of Vail wine pairing menu; includes two courses with wine tastings.

James Beard Foundation’s Celebrity Chef Tour, 6 to 10 p.m. Larkspur Restaurant in Vail, $190.

Enjoy a cocktail reception with hors d’oeuvres prepared by six chefs, followed by a six-course dinner with wine pairings.

Zino Ristorante Wine Dinner with Ca’ del Bosco, 6 to 8 p.m. Zino Ristorante, Edwards, $120.

Celebrate Ca’ del Bosco sparkling wine with five courses paired with five sparkling wines at Zino’s Ristorante in Edwards.

Saturday

“Understanding Tea — An Overview” seminar, 8:45 to 10 a.m. Bol, Vail, $55.

Tea expert Devan Shah will present five teas from each tea category. Participants will taste and learn about white, green, oolong, black and the mystical pu-er teas.

“What Made You Pick That Wine?” seminar, 10 to 11:30 a.m. Sonnenalp Hotel, Vail, $50.

Join six Vail Valley wine experts as they discuss the tricks of the trade with a panel-chosen flight of diverse wines.

“Many Sips to Enlightenment with Josh Wesson” seminar, 1 to 2:30 p.m. Cucina Rustica, Lodge at Vail, $65.

Josh Wesson will guide guests through an educational matching of one dish with six different wines.

“Speed Dating with the Heartbreak Grape: Cabernet Sauvignon” seminar, 3 to 4:30 p.m. Sonnenalp Hotel, $55.

Spend seven minutes with nine different winemakers tasting their very best cabernet.

Grand Tasting and Auction, 6 to 10 p.m. The Four Seasons, Vail, $175.

The premier wine and food tasting event at Taste of Vail, the Grand Tasting is a wine and culinary spectacle. All of Taste of Vail’s participating wineries and restaurants take part.


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