Steamboat Wine Festival uncorks this weekend with variety of events | SteamboatToday.com

Steamboat Wine Festival uncorks this weekend with variety of events

The 14th annual Steamboat Wine Festival is back this weekend.

Epicurean enthusiasts, it's time to cleanse the palate and prepare those taste buds.

This weekend marks the 14th annual Steamboat Wine Festival featuring over 20 different events with more than 100 food artisans, wineries, breweries, distilleries, purveyors and locally made products.

Local and national vendors will come together for a series of activities that include wine and food tastings, seminars and cooking demonstrations. A few local names to recognize include Joe Campbell, executive chef from Hazie's, Kate Rench, executive chef of Cafe Diva, Patrick Funk, executive chef at Aurum Food & Wine, Scott Przymus from the Sevens Mountain Grill and Vicki Connacher from Rex's Family Restaurants.

A few of the popular tasting seminars include "Wine on the Mountain," "Stroll of Steamboat," "Trails and Tannins," the yoga class "Warrior and the Wine," "Wine and Climb," "Toast of Steamboat" and the "Corks and Canvas" art workshop.

During the Stroll and Grand Tasting events, patrons will have a chance to sample what's found within Steamboat's local culinary scene including food from: Cloverdale Farm & Restaurant, E3 Chophouse, Hazie's, Harwigs, Low Country Kitchen, Amuse Bouche, Aurum Food & Wine, The BARley, The Cabin, Café Diva, Carl's Tavern, Cugino's Pizzeria & Italian Restaurant, Salt & Lime and Mountain Brew.

First sips

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When it comes to tastings, master sommelier Sally Mohr said she typically starts with Champagne or sparkling wines to get in more of a "festive mood."

Building up her pallet, she would then opt for the lighter-bodied whites and reds, which can be tasted together. Once embarking on the big, heavy tannic reds, she said it's hard to go back to whites or lighter reds because those will taste "whimpy" after the bold tastes.

Drinking vs. tasting

While many are anxious to dive head first and start tasting everything in sight, master sommelier Doug Krenik, in his fourth year at the Steamboat Wine Festival, said attendees need to learn restraint and consumption.

"My usual textbook advice is that if you are not from here, keep in mind the altitude factor and stay hydrated," he said. "This is a rare opportunity to have this breadth and varietal of wines to taste — a little bit of everything from around the planet — but you have to keep in mind, everything in moderation and remember to be kind to your body."

The art of spitting

With over 300 wines to choose from, Krenik said attendees shouldn't swallow all of those. Hence, those tasting wines need to embrace the art of spitting, which is best to do after the overall flavor and sensation of the wine is experienced.

"When you spit a wine, you are evaluating it," Mohr said. "When you swallow a wine, you are just drinking. The art of spitting is just like swishing and spitting mouthwash."

Containers will be available at each tasting station where attendees can access the "spittoon." Be forewarned, Mohr said, there can be splash back that is often unpleasant and messy.

To reach Audrey Dwyer, call 970-871-4229, email adwyer@steamboattoday.com or follow her on Twitter @Audrey_Dwyer1.

14th annual Steamboat Wine Festival schedule:

Friday, Aug. 11

Trails and Tannins (for the novice) | 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. | Thunderhead Lodge

Gondola to Grapes | 10 a.m.  to 1 p.m. | Steamboat Resort Gondola

Warrior & the Wine | 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. | Thunderhead Lodge

Jamie Jenny and Mike Lang Seminar | 12:30 to 2 p.m. | Harwigs

Stroll of Steamboat | 4 to 7 p.m. | Downtown Steamboat Springs

Saturday, Aug. 12

Wine and Climb | 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. | Four Points

Thunderhead Hike & Hops | 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. | Thunderhead Lodge

Near and Far Lunchinar | 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. | Cloverdale Restaurant, 207 Ninth St.

Corks and Canvas | 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. | Depot Arts Center, 1001 13th St.

Toast of Steamboat | 3 to 6 p.m. | Gondola Square

Sunday, Aug. 13 

• It’s A Mimosa Morning | 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. | Hazie’s Restaurant at Thunderhead Lodge, 2305 Mt. Werner Circle

Ticket prices for other seminars, additional events and VIP packages range from $65 to $230 per person and can be purchased online at steamboatwinefestival.com.

Steamboat Adaptive Recreational Sports will be the beneficiary of the event again this year, with a percentage of ticket sales to be donated to the organization. STARS, founded in 2006, offers recreational opportunities for people with disabilities with a mission to empower and enrich the quality of life for its participants.

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