Vail’s Sweet Basil gets social |

Vail’s Sweet Basil gets social

Daily staff report
VAIL CO, Colorado
Special to the Daily

VAIL – Sweet Basil’s cooking and entertaining series Love our Locals is back with a new name and fresh new events.

“We’re trying something different this year,” said Ross Hamilton, dining room manager at Sweet Basil. “We wanted this spring series to be more of a social gathering rather than a sit down demonstration like the past Love our Locals events. That way people can mix, mingle and socialize while they enjoy what each event has to offer.”

Sweet Basil has also taken the 6 to 8 week series and pared it down to only three events that will be held in Sweet Basil’s back dining room through June.

Sweet Basil’s Chef de cuisine, bar manager and sommelier are a few of the facilitators for the new spring social series. The events include the fundamentals of matching wine with summer foods, creating signature crafted cocktails and a very unique beer dinner concludes the series.

The Love our Locals Social Series celebrates Memorial Day weekend this Sunday afternoon with Sunday Sippers, a casual afternoon of matching grilled foods with some crisp summer wines. Wade Vizena, Sweet Basil’s wine director and certified specialist of wine, hand selected some interesting wines for this event. Held in the back room of Sweet Basil, guests arrive to tables of bite-sized grilled foods that they can sample alongside a variety of wines.

“The basic structural components in wine are easily paired with the structural components in food. Simply match those components and you match your wine to your food,” said Vizena who has been working diligently with Chef de Cuisine Brian Brouillard to create some interesting pairings. “I want to teach people how to identify flavors in foods to pair with a great wine.”

“Fresh and lively whites offer great acidity that pair well with grilled fish and chicken without weighing you down,” Vizena said. “Reds for the summer time stand up to smoky grilled meats.”

Brouillard will be grilling up favorites like Croque Monsieur and other delicious surprises … and not just proteins. “This is a great time to take fruits and vegetables and toss them on the grill to kick start your barbecue season,” Brouillard said.

Go one step further with your pairings and try a simple wine marinade for meats, fish and vegetables before they go on the grill. For fish and poultry use a Chardonnay; for beef and lamb use a Merlot.

Marinating time: 30 minutes to 1 hour


2 cups of wine

1 cup filtered warm water

1/4 cup lightly packed brown sugar

1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil

2 tbsp. coarse kosher salt

1 tbsp. chopped fresh rosemary leaves

1 tbsp. dehydrated garlic

Combine all the ingredients in a glass or stainless-steel bowl. Whisk until the salt and sugar are dissolved then add the rest of the ingredients; make sure the marinade is cool before using. The marinade will keep, in an air-locked container, in the refrigerator for up to 1 week.