Food, wine and a quick snow storm |

Food, wine and a quick snow storm

Cassie Pence
AE TOV Mt. Pic1 BH 4-8 Bret Hartman/ A crowd gathers at the top of the Gondola Friday during the Taste of Vail mountain top picnic.

LIONSHEAD – Mother nature kept us guessing again this year at the Taste of Vail’s Mountaintop Picnic. Sun darted in and out of clouds, and a quick snowstorm with high winds and possible lightening rolled through to close down the picnic early.Most attendees, especially locals, didn’t seem to mind the weather. Just another day in the mountains: sun, snow, rain, wind and lightning all in the course of about a half hour. By the time the snow did begin to flurry, most of the food and wine had been consumed anyway.

The Taste of Vail Mountaintop Picnic is an annual gourmet feast where valley chefs cook up small-portioned delicacies for people to eat easily while walking around the hand-built snow arena at Eagle’s Nest atop Vail Mountain. Located at 10,000 feet, each year the weather, in addition to the delicious nibbles, makes the event memorable. “This whole weekend I’ve been impressed with the Blue Tiger. I had some kabobs today that were really good. They had something at the lamb cook-off that was really good, too. Their style is just really innovative,” Derek George of Avon Liquors said.The buffalo fois gras burgers and Zach’s Cabin lamb ribs were other food favorites among picnic-goers.

“The oysters are so much fun. The guys shucking them did a really great job explaining all the flavors,” Kelly McDowell said.Others were more interested in the wine tent, where attendees could mingle with winemakers as they poured out their best varietals.”I really enjoyed Grand Vin’s 2000 Reserve Condado de Haze. It was awesome and it had great aging potential,” said Kari Jarchow, who sells wine for a living.

Next year, restaurants and winemakers might consider bringing more goods. Some attendees expressed that they missed out on some of the wine and food selections.”My favorite was Zach’s Cabin’s lamb ribs,” said former Vail Daily A&E editor Wren Wertin. “But much of the food was gone by the time I got here. And I got here at 1 p.m.”

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