Chefs relaxing after cookingThis past weekend was the 2012 Denver Food & Wine  which I managed to get tickets at a great deal on tickets for us to go (2 for 1, cannot be beat!) to the Grand Tasting event.  It was our first one and after having experienced it, I would say it is worth the full ticket price with no problem.

The day turned out perfect because the weather cooled off and it was a beautiful balmy Colorado blue day.  Warm but not to warm!  The event was located under large tents on the Metro State College campus, an easy access by the bus, light rail or by cab.  I would recommend any of the three highly or for you to have someone pick you up.  This is not one of those events where you want to have to worry about driving because there was over 600 different featured wines to taste as well as plenty of spirits.  There were so many, you could be as picky as you wanted  and still not come even remotely close to tasting everything (although I do believe a few people tried).

Viking Showcase LineupThe Grand Tasting also had over 35 of the local restaurants serving up delightful yummies to taste and there were cooking demonstrations on Viking stoves (I probably haven’t mentioned it but Viking appliances are my dream stove and oven appliances) including the famous Italian butcher, Dario Cecchini.  He lopped the foot off the  pig he was butchering in the demo, cut it in half and discussed how just that small part of foot could make a stew or soup large enough to feed 10 people.  Daniel Asher the Chef from Linger and Root Down was the only chef to make use of the huge Viking wok.

My husband lovingly caught me in the act of eating pink fluffy fresh made cotton candy, something so bad for me but always makes me feel like a little kid all over again.  Eating pure sugar in this fun fluffy form can’t be all bad if it makes you feel so good!  The restaurant tastings were everywhere, there was no way to try them all.  A few favorites were the flatbread pizzas (how can you go wrong with tomato jam, goat cheese and fresh arugula?)  from Pub 17, the tropical key lime pie from Denver Chophouse and getting fed shrimp by the chef at Bonefish Grill (talk about full service).  

I came away with several new wine favorites as well.  Guy Drew Vineyards, a local Colorado wine maker, made a great impression with both kinds we tried.  I’m planning a trip up to visit the vineyard’s in McElmo Canyon now and to see what they are doing to get it so right.  The Gewurztraminer and the Sweet Merlot were both wonderfully fruity and floral, while the Gewurztraminer was more spicy making it the perfect wine for pairing with the turkey for Thanksgiving this year (yes, I’m already starting to plan Thanksgiving).  Two other favorites came from the Cavivvhioli family vineyard in Modena, Italy.  The Cavicchioli 1928 Sparkling White and the Cavicchioli Lambrusco Emilia Dolce (Sweet Red) were both just beautiful.  The white was crisp, creamy and filled with the flavors of peach and apricot while the red was a harmony of berries.  There were more but those were my top favorites.

If was an awesome afternoon and I’m looking forward to next year.  I got a few great ideas for dishes, got to drink some good wine (of course there were a few now so great as well), eat some awesomely tasty food and have a wonderful time out with my handsome husband.  What more can a girl ask for?

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