The Spring and Summer festival season is almost upon us, and we’ve compiled a guide to two of our favorites: Taste of Vail and the Aspen Food and Wine Classic. Experience the finest foodie festivals the Colorado Rockies has to offer, in pure Cuvée-style.
Taste of Vail | April 5-9
Taste of Vail is the nation’s premier spring food and wine festival held at iconic locations throughout North America’s most popular mountain resorts, showcasing the finest chefs in Vail and the nation’s top vintners.
Best Taste of Vail Events
The Debut of Rosé is an amazing opportunity to taste the newly-released and never before opened 2016 Rosé wines. The event will feature more than 100 Rosé varietals to enjoy. Rosé wine is the liquid component of the much celebrated lifestyle of Mediterranean France and is just recently enjoying similar recognition in the US. It is the perfect summer wine to sip on a warm spring day while enjoying the beautiful outdoor scenery of the Colorado Rockies.
The Taste of Vail Lamb Cook-Off has joined with the Après Ski Tasting to create a true Après Ski Party. Sample an array of lamb dishes, courtesy of the Vail Valley’s finest chefs and the Colorado Lamb Board. In addition, Vail’s finest winereries will be showcasing a wide array of varietal in the theme of “Life Beyond Chardonnay, Cabernet and Merlot” featuring less commons varietals such as Reisling, Sauvignon Blanc, Pinot Noir, Shiraz and Zinfandel.
Friday, the Mountain Top Tasting is at the top of Vail Mountain, access via Eagle-Bahn Express Gondola at Lionshead. Enjoy a spectacular venue at 10,350 feet above sea level, while highly-acclaimed Vail Valley chefs prepare a gourmet feast for you.
Experience The Grand Tasting, the biggest and best showcase finale of decadent wine and unparalleled cuisine. This event features all of Taste of Vail’s wineries and restaurants and will include the Taste of Vail’s Auction.
What to Wear at Taste of Vail
During the month of April, the Vail Valley can expect average highs of 49 degrees Farenheight, with lows dropping to 23 degrees in the evenings. We recommend function first, then fashion, as the wind chill can make evenings quite cold. Warm layers, staring with a quality base-layer of cashmere or smart-wool long underwear, topped with a sweater or flannel top and paired with insulated ski pants or jeans make a huge difference.
Suede or velvet pants are great for evening dinners. Most importantly, make sure all extremities are well covered – think wool socks, insulated boots, cashmere-lined leather gloves, all topped off with a warm toboggan. Don’t forget your sunglasses, as the 10,000 foot elevation paired with a fresh blanket of snow can be almost blinding without them.
Aspen Food & Wine Classic | June 16-18
The Classic is in a class by itself. You can’t compare it to other culinary events. This is it. This is the superstar. This is the place to come. If you’re going to go to one festival event, it has to be the FOOD & WINE Classic in Aspen.” -Thomas Keller
Celebrate the 35th Anniversary of the Aspen Food & Wine Classic in pure Cuvée-style. Each year, the world’s most accomplished winemakers, celebrity chefs, and culinary experts come together in one breathtaking setting. Don’t miss the opportunity to experience the pinnacle of fine cuisine, mingle with stars and celebrity chefs and enjoy a pleasure-packed weekend at the base of the spectacular Aspen Mountain. This is the nation’s premier culinary event, featuring food and wine from around the globe that will delight even the most discerning palates.
The event features three days of cooking demonstrations, wine seminars, panel discussions, tasting events and a Grand Tasting Pavilion—all at an 8,000-foot elevation in Aspen, Colorado.
While the 2017 schedule has yet to be released, anticipate celebrity chef appearances from the likes of Tyler Florence, Jacques & Claudine Pepín, Annue Burrell, Andrew Zimmerman and Christina Tosi, to name a few. Several of these top chefs will go head-to-head in friendly cooking competitions, provide insider tips into their signature dish recipes and host cooking seminars for a hand-on approach to preparing gourmet cuisine.
History of the Event:
Established in 1983 as the Aspen/Snowmass International Wine Classic by founders Gary Plumley of the Grape & Grain in Aspen and Bob and Ruth Kevan of Chez Grandmere in Snowmass Village, the inaugural Classic attracted approximately 300 people. Food & Wine magazine became the host of the event in 1986, introducing a concurrent trade program for restaurateurs in 1987. By 1990s, the F&W Classic had become the most renowned event of its kind attracting 5,000 attendees from around the world.
What to Wear in Aspen
During the month of June, Aspen turns into an alpine summer paradise, with average highs of 72 and average lows of 42. Daytime events see a wide range of fashion, from cocktail attire to business-causal. For evening events, elect for more sophisticated attire, including elegant cocktail dresses for the ladies and well-tailored suits (tie optional) for the men.
Where to stay at Taste of Vail
The Arrabelle Chalet | 5 Bedroom Suites
Perched six floors above Vail Square and claiming an entire wing of the exclusive Arrabelle Resort, this 4,000 square foot, five-bedroom chalet is a vision of alpine design with our signature Cuvée flourish. In the great room’s distinctive octagon sitting area, a moss stone fireplace, rich hardwood accents, original art, marble coffee table, and slate-blue mohair upholstery are illuminated by walls of windows that provide a king’s view of the mountain and the European-inspired square below.
The Avanti Lodge | 7 Bedroom Suites
This ski-in/ski-out chalet is a one-minute walk from Gondola One and just two minutes from the heart of Vail Village where you will find world-class restaurants, bars, boutiques, and aprés-ski hot spots. The location is truly unsurpassed and you would be hard-pressed to find a chalet of this caliber with such coveted proximity. Built in the 1960s for Vail’s very first Mayor, this large estate has all the charm of a authentic Austrian ski home combined with contemporary 21st century updates. The mountain escape offers countless amenities for a relaxing and carefree getaway, including gorgeous stone fireplaces and an outdoor living area complete with a Jacuzzi. Flexible sleeping arrangements to accommodate up to 14 guests.
Where to stay for the Aspen Food & Wine Classic
Four Peaks Estate
our Peaks Estate features a secondary catering kitchen with a dumbwaiter connected to the upper-level kitchen. Elevators allow guests to easily move between the first and second floors, and a heated patio is gorgeous across all seasons, as is its Jacuzzi tub. Each bedroom and living area offers access to the alpine paradise just outside. When the slopes call, a 2013 Denali SUV will be waiting in the garage to take you there.