Grand Tasting Confidential


Canvas and dreadlocks were replaced by nice clothes and talk of dinner reservations. Those hula hoops and Hacky sacks that everyone seemed to carry went to the wayside, superseded by empty wine glasses on the hunt for a taste of Bordeaux or Chardonnay. The madness that was Bluegrass finally vanished, and in its wake arrived the 30th annual Telluride Wine Festival.

Now, compared to the busiest festival of the summer, Wine Fest is pretty low key. As a gathering for the culinary lovers, the festival celebrates the palette, with tons of wine samplings, seminars, cooking demonstrations and exclusive luncheons. Of course, the highlight of the festival is the grand tasting, which for the first year ever was up at the Peaks Resort in Mountain Village instead of in town park.

While tickets were hard to come by, I managed to snag myself one (thanks mom!) and found myself amongst the “winer and diner” crowd, sampling anything I could get my hands on, from wine and beer to gin and mezcal. But, even though the wine appeared to be the star of the event, the people brought on the experience. All preconceptions of a distinguished, refined wine and cheese party were shattered. Honestly, the tasting felt more like a full-force après-ski session.

And in between Malbecs and Sauvignon Blancs, I felt compelled to get to know some of the attendees, to understand why they traveled all this way to sip wine while gazing at Wilson Peak. Most importantly, I wanted to know what their favorite drinking game was.


Song: “Lynguistics” by Cunninlynguists

Mountain Lodge Telluride in the Summer