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A toast to the Taste

Caramie Schnell

Back for its 15th year, the Taste of Vail is rapidly approaching. The annual four-day event is slated for April 6 9 and will feature food prepared by the best chefs in the valley, wines from over 50 of the country’s most noted vintners, interactive seminars, mountaintop picnics. This years’ event will kick off with a first-ever Colorado Lamb Cook Off Competition on Gore Street in the Vail Village. A dozen Vail chefs will be grilling up to 32 pounds of Colorado lamb during the live event. For only $1 for the lamb samples and $2 for the paired wine samples, everyone coming off the mountain in Vail will be able to judge the event for themselves.Fine diners won’t be the only beneficiaries in the end proceeds from the event go to various charities in the valley.A full-event pass can be purchased for $375. Individual event tickets range from $20 $150. For more information or to order tickets online, check out http://www.tasteofvail.com or call (888) 311-5665 or (970) 926-5665.Event highlightsWednesday, April 6First Annual Colorado Lamb Cook-OffTickets only available at the event, priced at $1 apiece for lamb samples and $2 for wine samples.Not Included in Full Event Package.Gore Creek Drive/Vail Village, 3:30 5:30 p.m.Vail Valley Chefs Showcase DinnerOpening night dinner, featuring a five-course meal prepared by some of the Vail Valley’s most renowned chefs.Not Included in Full Event Package. Individual tickets priced at $125 per person includes tax and gratuity.Game Creek Restaurant on Vail Mountain, 5 9 p.m.Thursday, April 7The Progressive Food MenuLearn how to apply the “Wine and Food in Balance” theory to practical applications of cuisines and dishes paired to wine.Included in Full Event Package/ $35 for individual tickets.Vail Marriott Mountain Resort & Spa, 11:30 a.m. 1 p.m.Aprs Ski Tasting: Life Beyond Chardonnay, Cabernet & MerlotExperience the seemingly endless selection of guest vintners’ world-class varietals, including Pinot Noir, Sauvignon Blanc, Shiraz, Riesling, Zinfandel and more.Included in Full Event Package or $95 for individual tickets.Lodge at Vail, 3:30 6 p.m.Winemaker DinnersWinemaker dinner schedule to be determined.Not included in Full Event Package.Vail Village Restaurants, 7:30 p.m.Friday, April 8Cheese & Sherry SeminarExplore the wonderful world of cheeses, courtesy of Eat! Drink!, the valley’s newest wine and cheese shop.Included in Full Event package/$35 for individual tickets.Vail Marriott Mountain Resort & Spa, 9:30 10:30 a.m.Mountaintop PicnicScenic Vail Mountain serves up the venue while a small army of highly acclaimed Vail area chefs prepare a gourmet feast. Guest wineries will supply a selection of fine wines.Included in Full Event Package or $110 for individual tickets.Vail Mountain, 12:30 3 p.m.Chocolate SeminarJohn Scharffenberger of Scharffen Berger Chocolates traces the history, flavor, technology and future of chocolate.Included in Full Event package/ $35 for individual tickets.Vail Marriott Mountain Resort & Spa, 4 5 p.m.Cocktail Seminar: The Great American Martini Mix-OffApres ski martinis from the top Vail Valley bartenders will pour their signature drinks as they compete for the “People’s Choice Award” for the No. 1 cocktail.Included in Full Event package/ $35 for individual tickets.The Sanctuary/Vail Village, 4 5 p.m.Saturday, April 9Discovering the Complexities of TasteInteractive seminar courtesy of Dr. Christine Stamm, professor at Johnson & Wales University in Denver.Included in Full Event package/ $35 for individual tickets.Vail Marriott Mountain Resort & Spa, 10 11:30 a.m.Guest Chef Luncheon Featuring Traci Des JardinsGuest Chef Traci Des Jardins of Jardiniere Restaurant in San Francisco demonstrates why she is one of the hottest chefs in the nation at this special luncheon.Not included in Full Event package/ $90 for individual tickets includes tax and gratuity.Terra Bistro Restaurant, 12 2 p.m.New World Pinot Noir Seminar & TastingTaste wines from a number of California, Oregon and New Zealand appellations.Included in Full Event Package/ $50 for individual tickets.Vail Marriott Mountain Resort & Spa, 3 4:30 p.m.Grand Tasting, Dance and AuctionFeatures all participating restaurants, wineries both guest chefs.Included in Full Event Package or $150 for individual tickets.Vail Marriott Mountain Resort & Spa, 7 p.m. 12 a.m.


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