Denver sits at the the gateway to the Rocky Mountains. In the winter skiing rules, yet summer may have more interesting events. After the snow melts, the mountains shine for the summer/fall season of 2018 with exceptional food and wine festivals. Here is a sampling of the best and most unique experiences.
Telluride Wine Festival
After Butch Cassidy robbed the bank here, Telluride eventually turned into a ski and resort town. The TWF has an innovative program that is smaller than similar wine festivals in attendance, yet exceptional in food and pairings. The Patron program features vintner seminars, winemaker food events, special seating, sommelier education and of course, stunning mountain views. As this is small event, there are no lines for any events.
Top Taco is THE EVENT if you want to taste never-made before creations paired with lively libations, all with chefs trying to win the big prize and bragging rights. The location is the Stanley Marketplace, just east of Downtown, a blend of indoor and outdoor restaurants in a park setting. The VIP pass is the ticket to extra tastings so you can sample all the tacos and the 40 various tequilas. This experience provides a VIP tent complete with more unique tacos, it’s own bar and entertainment action. Just about every taco imaginable means every taste preference has plenty of options.
The wines produced for this festival come from the highest elevation in North America on the Western Slope of Colorado. So, a little different taste twist from this climate and soil. The two day event combines farmers, cheese makers, brewers, chefs, brewers and chefs in the multi-day event. Some great picnics and tours, but the real attraction is the intimate interaction with the purveyors and community. Like Wine Festival meets county fair!
This is a festival where you can pick different events to attend on the five-day schedule. How about a cinema series with libations and the foods featured in the film? The ultimate dinner experience is a five-course dinner from famous chefs on a railroad bridge under the stars. The Grand Tasting features over 700 wines and spirits combined with tasty bites from over 40 select restaurants. The cocktail “mixologist” of renown is crowned during The Shakedown competition which also features local restaurants making bites to match the creativity of the cocktail.
Keystone is about 80 miles west of Denver, and for the summer and this festival, the base area gets converted into a stage with jazz, wine varieties, seminars, and of course, really good food. Here you can pick which seminars and tastings fit your schedule so you can pursue activities like mountain bike rides, golf or fly fishing. The festival kick-starts with free gondola rides to the top of the mountain for great views of the valley. Keystone may be the most family-friendly ski resort in Colorado, as they provide numerous options in KidTopia.
The Colorado home of world famous peaches and cantaloupes is also the hub of the Colorado Mountain Wine Festival. Start off with with painting and wine and see if the combo gives you the eye of a Master! As the vineyards are spread a bit, use the special bus tour to get around easily while you sample.The Grape Stomp at the Festival in The Park as a smashing selfie-station.