Taste of Vail plans new seminars | VailDaily.com

Taste of Vail plans new seminars

Vail Daily staff report
Vail, CO Colorado

VAIL – This year, Taste of Vail is adding new seminars to celebrate its 20th Anniversary. Stars of the culinary world will lead programs such as “Umami – Wine and Food in Balance,” aphrodisiac foods and a celebrity death cage match between wine, beer and cheese.

Taste of Vail takes place April 8 to 10 and ticket prices begin at $35 for seminars. It begins with Celebrities on Snow, a event in which guests can ski and spend one-on-one time with local chefs and Taste of Vail vintners and chefs. Ski instructors will lead the groups on a three-hour morning tour of Vail Mountain on Thursday and Friday. Cost for the Thursday tour is $300 per person, up to six people per group and the tour also includes the Belgian Beer luncheon with Stella Artois at the Lodge at Vail.

The Friday tour is $350 per person, up to six people per group and includes the Mountaintop Picnic that afternoon. A list of celebrities will be announced prior to the event and skiers and snowboarders are given their selection of a touring celebrity on a first come, first serve basis.

After skiing, attendees can hit the Belgian Beer luncheon with Stella Artois, Leffe and Hoegaarden at Cucina Rustica restaurant in the Lodge at Vail. Chef Daniel Joly from Mirabelle Restaurant in Beaver Creek will be cooking alongside Chef Rahm Fama from Cusina Rustica for the lunch, which will pair Belgian beer and foods. A native of Belgium, Joly will explain how to enjoy Belgian beer, from the importance of glassware, proper pouring and tasting techniques.

Day two of the festival opens with Celebrities on Snow in the morning along with the seminar, “Umami – Wine and Food in Balance.” Jerry Comfort, wine educator from Fosters Wine Estate, will pair four wines with foods representing tastes such as umami, sweet, sour, salty, bitter and spice.

That evening the popular cigar seminar returns to the Tap Room, in which experts will showcase fine cigars and spirits.

The last day of the festival rounds out with three distinctive seminars that explore food and wine in a new way. The day begins as master of gastronomy Amy Reiley spices things up with her aphrodisiac seminar.

Life of Reiley is the only company specializing in romantic foods and wine and aphrodisiac cuisine. Her sensual cookbook “Fork Me, Spoon Me” and popular Web site, http://www.eatsomethingsexy.com, are resources on the world of natural aphrodisiac foods. Her seminar will explore sexy foods and how they can be integrated into everyday life to spice up one’s love life.

From the sensual side to a celebrity death match of wine, beer and cheese, Josh Wesson takes participants on five rounds of tasty bottle-on-bottle palate wrestling. His seminar, appropriately called “Wine vs. Beer with Cheese Thunderdome Celebrity Death Cage Match,” takes attendees through five rounds of wine and beer paired with various cheeses.

Wesson is wine consultant and owner of Best Cellars in New York. He has won numerous awards for his knowledge of food and wine including best sommelier in America and retail wine Innovator of the year, and he’s regularly used as an expert on the subject for The Today Show and Good Morning America.

Saturday rounds out with “Pinot Noir Speed Dating Style.” Attendees will sit in small groups with each winemaker and taste wine that usually is not available for commercial purchase. Every 10 minutes, the groups shift to the next winemaker to ask questions and taste more wine. The event ends with a 30-minute panel discussion and open forum. Dan Moore from Zmor Winery in Sonoma will facilitate the program.

To learn about sensual foods, umami or to experience any of the Taste of Vail seminars, please visit http://www.tasteofvail.com for updated times, locations and tickets.

All proceeds from the Taste of Vail benefit local nonprofit organizations in the Vail Valley, such as the Red Ribbon Project, Boarder to Boarder, Food Banks of Eagle County, Shaw Regional Cancer Center, Eagle County Hospice, Jazz Goes to Schools and the Vail Valley Youth Foundation, among others.

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