Un-masking a great wine
Looking for a costume party this week with a little class and a lot of taste – something that’s hauntingly memorable? Try the Masquerade Ball and wine tasting gala at the Park Hyatt Beaver Creek Resort and Spa.The Masquerade Ball is only one of the delightful offerings included in an entire weekend of fun, devilishly delicious food and wines and heavenly accommodations. The Fourth Annual Wine Symposium, on Nov. 1 and 2, put on by the Park Hyatt Beaver Creek Resort and Spa and Southern Wines and Spirits is one of Colorado’s premier wine events. The weekend event not only includes the chance to sample some very fine wines, but a host of fascinating seminars designed to inform and intrigue all, a masquerade ball and a gourmet dinner your unlikely to forget."It has just continued to grow in popularity," says Maryann Yuthas, marketing representative for the Park Hyatt Beaver Creek Resort. "It has sold out the past two or three years."On Friday, Nov. 1, the Wine Symposium gets under way with a captivating line-up of seminars. In the seminar, "Tasting Wine the Master’s Way," learn the way sommeliers discern a wine’s age, origin and specific vintage. "The Many Faces of Pinot Noir" will explore the many nuances of this wine, sometimes called the "Prince of Grapes." Get down and dirty with soil samples from some of California’s finest vineyards, and learn how the soil helps determine the quality, flavors and aromatics of the grapes in "Taste the Vineyards, Explore the Landscapes." Or, learn about California Chardonnays and American dessert wines, find out why Riedel glassware enhances the flavors of wine, and delve into the "Terror of Oakville," in Napa Valley.Respected experts in their fields teach the seminars. Richard Ander was named "Manager of the Year" at Peak Wines International, where he manages a four-state region.Jay Fletcher is a master sommelier and a fine wine specialist from southern Wine and Spirits of Colorado. Fred Halloway is the head winemaker at Cambria Winery in Santa Barbara County, while Christopher Rowe is the director of education for Southern Wine and Spirits. Each Wine Symposium participant may choose two seminars to attend, and most are repeated on Saturday."The seminars are enlightening and fun," Yuthas says.Now that you have acquired a deeper appreciation for wines, it’s time to taste them. New to the Wine Symposium this year, is the Masquerade Ball on Friday at 5 p.m., a fun evening where you can dress up in your most imaginative mask or costume and sample the exclusive signature vintages presented by each winery represented. Featured will be the wines of Geyser Peak, Artesa, Cambria and Dolce Wineries.The evening will include a little mystery and intrigue, too, as some of the wines will be "masked" as well. You can bob for clues to unmask these blind wines, and the winner will be presented with a bottle of wine, a set of Riedel glasses and a weekend stay at the Park Hyatt Beaver Creek."Every year the Symposium features different wines," explains Yuthas.The Wine Symposium concludes in grand style and exquisite taste, with a gourmet dinner prepared by the Park Hyatt’s executive chef Pascal Coudouy.Mouthwatering dishes, such as Roasted Lamb Saddle, Truffle and Bacon Potato Gratin or Seared Foie Gras with Fresh Figs are paired with wines. A to-die-for chocolate dessert selection follows, complimented by luxury Bourbons and Scotches."The dessert selection is unbelievable," assures Yuthas.All of this temptation and education is set against the stunning backdrop of Beaver Creek Resort, high in the Rocky Mountains in the Vail Valley. The Park Hyatt Beaver Creek Resort and Spa in the heart of Beaver Creek Village is an award-winning hotel which sits at the foot of Beaver Creek’s famous ski slopes and rooms feature spectacular views and luxurious appointments.The one-night package starts at $425.12, double occupancy, and includes an overnight accommodation on Nov. 2, a gourmet dinner for two, two seminars per person and, of course, the Masquerade Ball. An additional night’s stay is available for $89, plus tax.Make sure you arrive early on Friday in order to spend time relaxing and pampering yourself in the Park Hyatt’s acclaimed Allegria Spa. This 20,000-square-foot spa was named "Colorado’s Best" by The Denver Post. Designed with the Feng Shui ancient philosophy of harmony in mind, guests can indulge in a wide variety of treatments, from traditional favorites to those that incorporate the latest advancements in spa technology. There is a pleasing array of facials and body scrubs with honey and fresh fruit, as well as synchronized massages, couples massages and Ashiatsu massages. The Allegria Spa also features an outdoor heated lap pool, a sauna, four private whirlpools and men’s and women’s steam rooms. In perfect Feng Shui tradition, harmonize with the environment by slipping into one of Allegria’s six outdoor whirlpools set beneath a mountain waterfall.The Park Hyatt has received the Cond Nast Reader’s Choice Award; named Gourmet Magazine’s Best Hotel for Skiing/Winter Sports; placed among Travel Leisure Magazine’s Top 50 Hotels in the World; and received the World and Wine Spectator Magazine’s Award of Excellence.For reservations or information regarding the Park Hyatt Beaver Creek Resort and Spa’s Wine Symposium, call (970) 949-1234; or visit the Park Hyatt website at http://www.beavercreek.hyatt.com.
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