The Taste of Vail is one of my absolute all-time favorite events of the year. Firstly, I love spending time in Vail, Colorado. Secondly, love expertly run food & wine festivals. Thirdly, I’m obsessed with spring skiing. For all of those reasons and them some, I make the trek every year for this event. If you are setting travel arrangements for April 4-8, 2018 I suggest you add this to your bucket list.
So what is the Taste of Vail? It’s a four-day event based on food, wine and a super great time. There are larger events and smaller seminars throughout the long weekend. There is something for everyone and lots to learn that’s for sure. You get to taste all the goodies that the Vail restaurants have to offer and then some. There are wines from around the world too. I’m certain you will find many new flavors to fall in love with.
What to wear: This is a great time to take out all your favorite mountain styles: awesome ski outfits, fur, fun boots, hats and anything that makes you feel like a million bucks. My outfit here is from Perch located right in Vail Village. I highly recommend you go to this boutique, it’s fantastic! It’s been one of my favorites for years…pack light & shop at Perch!
People always ask me what my favorite event is and that’s a seriously hard question for me to answer. I always say “all of them!” The four main events are the Debut of Rosé, The American Lamb Cook-Off & Aprés Ski Tasting, The Mountain Top Tasting and The Grand Tasting and Auction. Here’s a bit about each:
Debut of Rosé
If you LOVE Rosé then this event is for you. Taste over 100 varietals, and make sure sure to enjoy some delicious appetizers while you sip. I’m always taken at how beautiful the room looks with all the beautiful shades of Rosé glistening in the glasses and bottles.
The American Lamb Cook-Off & Aprés Ski Tasting
As soon as I was asked to judge this prestigious foodie event I jumped at the chance! I had the best time at this event, judging gave me the most intimate experience to learn so much about lamb. It was such a fun opportunity and a great way to really get to know the local restaurants. We judged on a few criteria: flavor, presentation and creativity. There were 25 recipes to taste. It was interesting pacing myself to make sure everyone got a fair taste. There is both a popular vote and a judge’s vote that ultimately decide the winner.
Here’s the video of an interview I did with local TV favorite Tricia Swenson on Vail Today about my experiences at the lamb cook-off.
During this aprés ski event, you get to enjoy walking around the Vail Village while you taste. The wine is abundant and the lamb focused dishes are exceptional. It’s awesome to see how creative the Vail Valley chef’s get with their recipes. At the wine tasting booths you will get to try wines from many regions with some interesting varietals that you might not often have the chance to enjoy.
The Mountain Top Tasting
Whether you ski or not, this is your opportunity to party on the mountain top. An easy gondola ride whisks you to and from the event. You can also ski down (always my preferred way!) The views are spectacular and once again the food & wine are abundant and delicious. By the time this event rolls around you will notice how many new friends you have made at the festival.
The Grand Tasting and Auction
This is the final event and the most formal. It’s held in the evening so it’s time to bring out the bling! You don’t have to get dressed up, any mountain style will do. But I have to say, if you are in the mood this is the right time to whip out the little black dress and dressier outfits. Go to this event very hungry, every winemaker and restaurant from the festival will share their finest selections with you there.
Take some time to go through the schedule carefully. You don’t want to miss a thing. It’s a good idea to book the seminars asap as these smaller events can fill up quickly. These events are usually held in restaurants and focus on a certain type of wine and cuisine. They are a bit more intimate and a nice contrast to the larger venues. Keep your eyes peeled for when they release this schedule.
You can purchase Taste of Vail events individually or buy a full festival pass. I recommend the second option if you really want to sink your teeth into the weekend. Let me know if you are going, there’s no way I’m missing it! Purchase your tickets here.
Vail also has a Fall Food and Wine Classic 9/21 & 22 that I’m certainly going to add to my haute list this year too! Hope to see you there.