Dine & Drink: Taste of Vail seminars offer more than just tastings, education is a key element (video) | VailDaily.com

Dine & Drink: Taste of Vail seminars offer more than just tastings, education is a key element (video)

The 28th annual Taste of Vail returns this spring the streets and slopes of Vail April 4-7. Signature events like the Lamb Cookoff and Mountain Top Picnic are must-do’s along with the Grand Tasting, but don’t forget about the seminars. Education and gaining an affinity for what you are drinking are a big part of the festival as well.

“My goal is to elevate the topics and engage people so they can have more of an appreciation for wine,” said Andreas Harl, seminar coordinator for the Taste of Vail.

Biology, chemistry and history lessons will be weaved throughout the educational experience. Journey through Pfalz, Germany and see how changing climatic conditions have shifted an area once known for its sweet Rieslings to dry Rieslings, chardonnays and pino noirs.

South Africa’s wineries have a long history of providing the refreshment for royalty in Europe. Learn about Klein Constantia’s storied past, which began in the 17th century.

Beaujolais has the stigma of being a wine that is not taken very seriously. In this seminar, experts Lyle Railsback of Kermit Lynch Imports and Charlie Humphries will let you taste why Beaujolais is becoming the sommelier’s darling.

One seminar will have a charitable aspect, with proceeds being donated to the Redwood Credit Union’s fire relief fund. The King varietals from Napa and Sonoma seminar will serve four titans of the industry: sauvignon blanc, chardonnay, pinot noir and cabernet sauvignon, poured by Gundlach Bundschu Winery, WALT, Vineyard 29, ZD Wine and HALL Wines.

“The more you know about wine, the more you appreciate it. Think about what the growing conditions were like that year, what did they have to do differently than the year before,” said Harl, who is also the beverage director at Matsuhisa. “When we do wine trainings, I always tell my staff that it’s so easy to criticize a wine, but it’s very hard to make it.”

Go to http://www.tasteofvail.com and pick a few seminars out during the event and follow Harl’s advice, “I always encourage people to go to the seminars that you don’t feel comfortable with because that’s when you will learn a thing or two and gain more of an appreciation for the wine.”

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