Today I am quite pleased to announce that I will be leading two wine seminars at this year’s Aspen Food & Wine Classic in Aspen Colorado. This is, of course, quite exciting on several fronts. The first is obviously the honor of being asked to participate in such a fantastic event, alongside some pretty amazing folks from the wine and food world. Perhaps less obvious, but equally fun, is the fact that Aspen is my home town. I grew up there from the age of 3 until I went away to college. As a teenager, I worked at a catering company (mostly as a dishwasher, busboy, but also occasionally as event staff) and for several summers at that company I worked the Classic, delivering crates of food to cooks, and running around in an apron and white jacket doing the bidding of pretty much everyone who asked for anything. So there’s a little bit of “Local Boy Makes Good” in my return this summer.
For those of you who may be unfamiliar with the Classic, it is America’s premiere food and wine festival and is currently in its 26th year of continuous operation by the folks at Food & Wine Magazine. Typically staffed and attended by the superstars of the food and wine industry, it offers a combination of classes, cooking demonstrations by celebrity chefs (often accompanied by Hollywood celebrities as sidekicks), wine seminars and tastings, and grand tasting events where attendees can sample food and wine from the many restaurants, chefs, wineries, and food purveyors that attend to showcase their talent. This year it is taking place the weekend of June 13th – 15th, 2008.
I will be leading two wine tasting seminars at the event: The Next Napa Superstars and Sake For Wine Lovers.
The Next Napa Superstars will focus on some of Napa’s newest and most exciting red wine producers. These are wines that may be relatively new productions, or are small enough players to not have crossed the radar of many wine lovers. In either case, attendees will get a chance to learn about and to taste some truly phenomenal new red wines from Napa. I can’t tell you which wines, that’s a surprise that you’ll have to wait for, but I’m really excited about how the list is shaping up.
Sake For Wine Lovers will be an introduction to some of the finest sakes available here in the United States, as well as a brief introduction to sake in general. I’ll cover the sake brewing process as well as the differences between different types and grades of sake, as well as ideas for integrating sake into meals. Attendees will then get a chance to taste some of my favorite brewers and their finest products.
Both events will be offered twice at various points in the three day event. See the full schedule on the event web site for more details.
If attending major wine events like the Classic is your thing, I hope you’ll consider joining me in June. Tickets for the Aspen Food & Wine Classic ’08 are now on sale, and they almost always sell out, as do the (few) reasonably priced hotels in town, so start making your plans early.
See you in June!