Taste of Vail events start at 9 a.m. Friday | VailDaily.com

Taste of Vail events start at 9 a.m. Friday

Daily staff report
VAIL CO, Colorado
CVR Mountain Picnic DT 4-3-09

VAIL – The 21st Annual Taste of Vail continues Friday with Taste of Vail on the Snow, the Mountaintop Picnic, Taste Like a Sommelier seminar and a seminar on Port and Cheese.

Taste of Vail on the Snow kicks off day two of the three-day event with festival goers skiing with local chefs and participating Taste of Vail vintners. Ski instructors lead the group on a three-hour morning tour of Vail Mountain from 9 a.m. to noon. Tickets for Taste of Vail on the Snow are $50 per person and the price does not include a lift ticket.

Skip the lines to the Mountaintop Picnic by signing up for First Tracks/First Tastes – First Tracks Mountaintop Picnic Tasting. New to the event this year, get a sneak preview of the Mountaintop Picnic by gaining early access at noon to the event, which begins at 12:30 p.m. Tour the event with some of Vail’s top sommeliers who will point out various wines and provide educational tips for tasting. Additional VIP perks include a tasting with Henriot Champagne and special limited edition wines. Space is limited and tickets are $25 per person.

The Mountaintop Picnic opens to the public at 12:30 p.m. and this signature event features a small army of vintners and Vail Valley chefs serving up a gourmet feast. The Picnic takes place at 10,350 feet above sea level and food and wine is showcased in a specially built snow fort, which provides one of the most unique event venues in ski country. Tickets are still available for $125 per person.

If the libations at the Picnic aren’t enough, wine lovers can learn to Taste Like a Master Sommelier after the picnic by attending the Sonnenalp Resort of Vail’s blind tasting event from 4 to 5 p.m. Master Sommeliers Jay Fletcher, Doug Krenik and Sean Razee will be on hand to teach the secret art of blind tasting. This two-part seminar will demystify the components of six wines and show attendees how to use deductive reasoning to master the art of the blind tasting. The second part of the seminar will be a question-and-answer session, as well as an open discussion on how to navigate wine lists to maximize time and money. Tickets for the Sonnenalp Sommelier seminar are $40 per person.

On Friday night Paul Mugnier of Dow’s Port will lead guests through a tasting of fine port paired with artisan cheeses from 5 to 6 p.m. at Sapphire Restaurant and Oyster Bar. His seminar called, “A Natural Match – Dow’s Port and Cheese” will educate guests on the art of pairing cheese with port. Be prepared to not only discover Mungier’s pairing secrets but to hear fun serving suggesting and entertaining tips. Mungier is a 20-year veteran of the food and wine industry and honed his skills in cities know for their culinary excellence such as New Orleans and San Francisco. Mugnier currently is the vice president of sales and marketing for Premium Port Wines in San Francisco. Premium Port Wines’ portfolio includes five ports, three madeiras and five douro red table wins. Tickets are $35 per person.

For more information about Taste of Vail tickets and events, visit http://www.tasteofvail.com.

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