Days Of Wine And Rosé: Telluride Wine Festival

wine-glasses-1024x788They will soon be here in force. Telluride Wine Festivarians, the people who inhale audibly at the mere mention of the word “Bordeaux” paired in the same sentence as the words “Chateaux Lafite Rothschild.” But few of them condone torture in any form, including phrases such as “afterthoughts of linden” and “fragrances of toasted milk bread,” a few examples on a long list of poetic flights of fancy used to describe the almighty grape in luscious liquid form.

One of the longest running wine festivals Colorado, the Telluride Wine Festival, Thursday, June 27 – Sunday, June 30, is about to celebrate its 32th anniversary.

Mountainfilm in Telluride and Telluride Bluegrass are festivals for folks. Both have reputations for a welcome-to-the-neighborhood feel. But Wine Fest? Is it all about a sleek, well-heeled fraternity? Them, not us?

Not really. The lowdown on this purportedly highbrow event is this: the 32th annual Wine Fest has something for everyone.

Thursday, June 27, Wine Fest offers lunch with Chefs Erich Owen, Oliver Saucy and Master Sommelier Sally Mohr at The Chop House, the signature restaurant in the historic New Sheridan Hotel.

The same day also includes a number of associated events: lunch with Master Sommelier Damon Ornowski, Chef Luca Bradascio and Willem Johnson at Rustico Ristorante; a cooking demo with Chef James Reaux, owner of the restaurant group Coast II Coast, specializing in American Southern, Asian and European cuisine; and “Celebrate Colorado,” Town Park Oval, a special event celebrating the fruits of Colorado, including wine, spirits, beer and food; and a VIP Welcome Dinner with Chef Bud Thomas at Hotel Madeline, Mountain Village.

Among the offerings on Friday, June 28: champagne reserves with Master Sommelier Wayne Belding; a Malbec seminar with Master Sommelier Charlie Arturaola; lunch at Allred’s with Chef James Reaux and Master Sommelier Charlie Arturaola; exclusively selected, reserve tasting at La Piazza; cooking demo with Chef Oliver Saucy and Master Sommelier Sally Mohr; and the Grand Tasting in Town Park Oval, a meet-and-greet including guests, wine makers and wine representatives.

On Saturday, June 29, the Telluride Wine Fest features a sake seminar with certified sake professionals Sean Razee and Shelley Sale; and “Simple Summertime Cocktails,” hosted by mixologist Todd Richman, Sean Kenyon, and friends. Enjoy a tasting and demonstration about how to make simple refreshing cocktails to beat that summer heat, using only the freshest seasonal ingredients.

There is a lunch at Cosmo with Chef Bernard Guillas, Chef Chad Scothorn and Master Sommelier Wayne Belding and Italian Reserve conducted by Paolo Canclini, with Master Sommelier Damon Ornowski, Sara Lazzeri, Sean Razee, Charles Lazzara, Sisto Tessari, Willem Johnson and other top reserve wine connoisseurs.

Saturday’s big public event is the Toast of Telluride and (new this year) Wine Festival “Paint Out,” featuring the Sheridan Arts Foundation’s guest artists in town for Telluride Plein Air. The event takes place everywhere you want to be: Arroyo, Between the Covers, Lustre, Dolce Jewels, Telluride Bottleworks, Wine Mine, Telluride Gallery of Fine Art, Elinoff Gallery, Judy Haas Studio, Oak Street Gondola Plaza, Elks Park (north and south), 4:30 – 7 p.m., and includes Plein Air’s popular Quick Draw competition. A special exhibition and sale of the works by the artist who endeavored to capture the essence of Wine Fest follows at Elks Park.

On Sunday, June 30, the Festival closer is brunch catered by Chef Brady Pitt, Voted Telluride Top Chef, and featuring a Bloody Mary bar with American Harvest organic spirits, with local, seasonal ingredients.

The menu is as follows:

•    Breakfast pastry basket with biscuits, croissants and danish.
•    Smoked salmon with cream cheese, onion, capers, lemon and bagels.
•    Antipasto plate of cured meat and olives.
•    Spinach salad with goat cheese, almonds, carrots, red pepper and a sherry vinaigrette.
•    Caprese salad, extra virgin olive oil, cracked black pepper.
•    Grilled marinated vegetables.
•    Made to order omelet station with a choice of bacon, sausage, cheddar, spinach, tomato, or mushrooms.
•    Yukon gold and sweet potato hash.
•    French toast strata.
•    Apple wood smoked bacon.
•    Local link sausage.
•    Fresh fruit
•    Cookie tray: chocolate chip, peanut butter, and ginger molasses cookies.

For tickets and further information, go here

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