Telluride Wine Fest #34: Overview

Telluride Wine Fest #34: Overview

“Wine is the only thing that makes us happy as adults for no reason,” cartoonist Saul Steinberg

In vino, some split decisions about the veritas?


Used to be if you knew wines you knew about the turf issue. The grape world seemed to be divided between terroirists and wine-making scientists or technologists, those who believe climate and soil (“terroir” or land) are the chief factors in determining a wine’s quality and those who believe it’s the grapes and how they are treated in the winery that makes the difference.

You may have also been aware of practices by what was then an emerging group of biodynamic winemakers that included filling cow horns with dung and racking wines when the moon had waned.

We reported that information about 10 years ago. Are they still hot topics? Or have they cooled off and been replaced recently by news of “a band of upstarts” (The New York Times) who are challenging America’s foremost oenophile, Robert M. Parker Jr., the man Atlantic Monthly once described as “the most influential critic in the world.” 

For three decades, it seems, Parker has favored exactly the style of wine these California upstarts disparage, wines they see as “overblown” and “obvious.” According to the New York Times, the debate is “all about the philosophical purpose of fine wine. Should oenologists try to make beverages that are merely delicious? Or should the ideal be something more profound and intellectually stimulating? Are the best wines the equivalent of Hollywood blockbusters and art-house films? And who gets to decide?”

Well you for one.

And soon.

TWF-Wine Patrons

TWF-Wine Patrons

The 34th annual Telluride Wine Festival, kicks off Thursday, June 25,  and runs through Sunday, June 28. So dust off keywords like “appellation,” “brett,” “chewy,” “legs,” “library selection,” “mouth feel,” “varietal,” “vintage” and “viscosity,” and prepare to meet fellow poets of pinots.

Though wines are not the only beverage on the creative menu of tastings and seminars put together director Laurel Robinson.

“I couldn’t be more delighted with this year’s schedule. This will be a great year to attend the Telluride Wine Festival,” said Robinson. “In addition to tasting and learning about some of the best wines and foods in the country, for the first time festival attendees can also purchase bottles of wine that aren’t available anywhere else!”

Telluride Wine Fest 2015 – Overview of Events (by day)

The Telluride Wine Festival, the oldest and most prestigious event of its kind in Colorado, kicks off  Thursday June 25, noon, with luncheons at the Sheridan Chophouse with chefs Brian Batten and James Reaux and at La Marmotte with chefs Mark Reggiannini and Blaine Staniford.
TWF-Blaine Staniford - Manchester Farms

TWF-Blaine Staniford – Manchester Farms

At 2:30 p.m., Telluride’s own chef/sommelier Patrick Laguens explores the rich history of wine. Travel through time as this agile raconteur chronicles the loves, lies, and legends of one of the greatest stories ever told. No brix, no tricks…. Just five great wines, fantastic fables, and fun!
At 4:00 p.m., enjoy the annual Toast of Telluride, the Soda Slam! (free and open to the public) and the opening of the Beer & Rose Garden at the base of the gondola with music by the Kevin McCarthy Trio.
Friday’s highlights include world-famous chefs, James Reaux & Lara Lyn Carter cooking up pork treats, 11:30 a.m., in the Elks Park cooking tent, including bacon and habanero-infused Bloody Marys and traditional Italian porchetta for two examples in a one-hour cooking class.
Enjoy a French provencial luncheon at the Cosmopolitan with Chefs Chad Scothorn and Bernard Guillas and the Duckhorn Winery. Or, experience an authentic taste of Italy at Rustico with Chef Paolo Canclini, who will be serving a traditional Italian meal paired with a variety of Italian wines.
TWF-Max McCalman

Max McCalman, Maitre Fromager, Cheese Pairing Master Class, Saturday, 6/27, 2:15 – 3:30 p.m.

At 1:30 p.m., you can explore various filtered and unfiltered sakes, guided by Shelley Sale of Southern Wines, as chef Brady Pitt of Pescado demonstrates his master sushi skills.
Or, at 2:00 p.m., Seghesio Winery celebrates its 120-year-old Zinfandel vines. Join Aaron Crespin of Crimson Group, who compares wines produced from old vines grown in a variety of different soils on the same estate.
New to the 2015 festival is the Private-Reserve Tasting in Mountain Village at 4:30 p.m.  Join 35 selected wineries as they roll out their private reserve wines and present them in an intimate tasting-room setting. You will be able to spend time with the winemakers and hear the story behind the reserves being poured. These particular wines are only available at the winery’s tasting room –  and now at the this exclusive tasting.
In addition, you can fill your cellar with wines exclusively available at that event. Order forms for all wines will be on hand and wines you order will be shipped directly from the wineries to your address.
On Saturday, enjoy the following:
• Paul Chevalier, International Director of Fine Wines at Shaw-Ross explores several classic rosés from the Chateau D’Esclans estate in Provence,
TWF-Paul Chevalier - Chateau D'Esclans

TWF-Paul Chevalier – Chateau D’Esclans

• Chef Blaine Staniford, Top Chef at Grace Restaurant, prepares creative dishes using a whole quail in three different preparations, and;
• Master Sommeliers Damon Ornowski and Willem Johnson, Wine Director of Vail Resorts and Beaver Creek Lodge in Colorado pour and discuss a flight of wines from the Italian islands.
Saturday also includes Allred’s “Women in Wine” luncheon, where the Festival celebrates strong and influential women in the wine world and in other walks of life sharing interesting stories – and great food and wine.
At the men’s luncheon, robust Oakville East wines will be paired with hearty cuisine prepared by Chefs Bernard Guillas and Chad Scothorn of the Cosmopolitan Restaurant and presented in Cosmo’s wine cellar.
Chad Scothurn, Cosmo

Chad Scothurn, Cosmo

 At 4:30 p.m.,The Telluride Wine Festival holds its signature TMVOA Grand Tasting, where over 100 selected wineries, distillers, distributors, regional restaurants and vendors bring their ‘A’ game to the table. The event includes a post-tasting barbecue hosted by TMVOA just steps away in the Heritage Plaza in Mountain Village.
Sunday, 11:00 a.m., wake up to a talented and dynamic team of cocktail experts as they literally shake up your morning. Enjoy smooth and refreshing libations before heading to the brunch, where great views spice up fresh Stu’s Natural Bloody Mary or a mimosa. Indulge in the omelette bar, enjoy organic meats from Smithfield, and live music.
The Sriracha hot Kevin McCarthy Trio performs throughout the weekend.
Kevin McCarthy Trio, credit Melissa Plantz

Kevin McCarthy Trio, credit Melissa Plantz

All tickets are on sale now are in limited quantities and sell out quickly. Buy tickets/passes here.

For the full schedule of Telluride Wine Fest events, go here.



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