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Taste of Vail Announces Line Up of New Seminars to Spice Up its 20th Anniversary

CREATED: 2010-03-22 07:59 AM

Umami, Aphrodisiac Foods and Celebrity Death Match of Food, Wine & Beer
Among New Offerings

Vail, Colo. - March 22, 2010 - This year, Taste of Vail is shaking things up a bit by adding new, edgy seminars to celebrate its 20th Anniversary. Well-known stars from the culinary world will lead programs such as Umami "Wine and Food in Balance," Aphrodisiac Foods and a celebrity death cage match between wine, beer and cheese. Taste of Vail takes place April 8-10, 2010 and ticket prices begin at $35 for seminars.

The event kicks off on Thursday, April 8 with Celebrities on Snow, a new event that's a great way to ski and spend one-on-one time with local celebrity chefs, Taste of Vail vintners and chefs. Ski instructors will lead the groups on a three-hour morning tour of Vail Mountain on Thursday, April 8 and Friday, April 9. Cost for the Thursday tour is $300 per person, up to six people per group and the tour also includes the Belgian Beer luncheon with Stella Artois at the Lodge at Vail. The Friday tour is $350 per person, up to six people per group and includes the Mountaintop Picnic that afternoon. A list of celebrities will be announced prior to the event and skiers and snowboarders are given their selection of a touring celebrity on a first come, first serve basis.

After working up an appetite on the mountain, attendees can enjoy the Belgian Beer luncheon with Stella Artois, Leffe and Hoegaarden at Cucina Rustica restaurant in the Lodge at Vail. Chef Daniel Joly from Mirabelle Restaurant in Beaver Creek will be cooking alongside Chef Rahm Fama from Cusina Rustica for the special lunch, which pairs Belgian beer and foods. A native of Belgium, Chef Joly will explain the perfect way to enjoy Belgian beer from the importance of glassware, proper pouring and tasting techniques.

Day two of the festival opens with Celebrities on Snow in the morning along with another new, creative seminar Umami "Wine and Food in Balance." Jerry Comfort, wine educator from Fosters Wine Estate leads seminars like this throughout the country where culinary enthusiasts learn more about this little-known fifth taste. His "Wine & Food in Balance" program is an interactive tasting of four wines with foods representing tastes such as umami, sweet, sour, salty, bitter and spice. What works, what doesn't and most important why. This knowledge then is applied to real world dishes in the Progressive Food Menu. All attendees will receive the Progressive Food Menu tool, which includes descriptions of the Progressive Wine List and Wine & Food in Balance.

That evening the popular Cigar Seminar returns to the Tap Room. Experts will showcase fine cigars and spirits for an evening of upscale fun.

The last day of the festival rounds out with three distinctive seminars that explore food and wine in a new way. The day begins as Master of Gastronomy Amy Reiley spices things up with her Aphrodisiac Seminar. Life of Reiley is the only company specializing in romantic foods and wine and aphrodisiac cuisine. Her sensual cookbook "Fork Me, Spoon Me" and popular Web site are resources on the world of natural aphrodisiac foods. Her seminar will explore sexy foods and how they can be integrated into everyday life to spice up one's love life.

From the sensual side to a celebrity death match of wine, beer and cheese, Josh Wesson takes participants on five rounds of tasty bottle-on-bottle palate wrestling. His seminar, appropriately called Wine vs. Beer with Cheese Thunderdome Celebrity Death Cage Match, takes attendees through five rounds of wine and beer paired with various cheeses. Wesson is wine consultant and owner of Best Cellars in New York. He has won numerous awards and accolades for his knowledge of food and wine including Best Sommelier in America, Retail Wine Innovator of the Year and he's regularly used as an expert on the subject for The Today Show, Good Morning America and a variety of other media outlets.

Saturday rounds out with Pinot Noir Speed Dating Style. Seminar attendees will sit in small groups with each winemaker and taste wine that usually is not available for commercial purchase. Every ten minutes, the groups shift to the next winemaker to ask questions and taste more wine. The event ends with a 30-minute panel discussion and open forum. Dan Moore from Zmor Winery in Sonoma will facilitate the program.

To learn about sensual foods, umami or to experience any of the Taste of Vail seminars, please visit for updated times, locations and tickets.

Taste of Vail is the nation's premier spring food and wine festival, held at several venues throughout North America's most popular mountain resort. In addition to the new seminars offered during the 20th Annual Taste of Vail, popular signature events will return such as the 5th Annual Colorado Lamb Cookoff and Apres Ski Tasting, Mounaintop Picnic at 10,350 foot above sea level on Vail Mountain and the Grand Tasting. Ticket prices begin at $4 for the Colorado Lamb Cookoff or attendees can purchase a $60 all-you-can eat and drink wristband for the competition. The Mountaintop Picnic is $135 with tickets for the Grand Tasting $150.

All proceeds from the Taste of Vail benefit local non-profit organizations in the Vail Valley such as the Red Ribbon Project, Boarder to Boarder, Food Banks of Eagle County, Shaw Regional Cancer Center, Eagle County Hospice, Jazz Goes to Schools, and the Vail Valley Youth Foundation to name a few.


Media Contact:
Kristin Yantis, Malen Yantis Public Relations, (775) 351-7904,

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