5:30 p.m. VIP Spa and Wine
6:30 p.m. Doors open
7-9 p.m. Winter Wine Tasting with hors d'oeuvres, live jazz with the Paul Glover Trio and more than 20 varieties
6:30 p.m. Doors open
7 p.m. Cooking demo with chef Michael Ditch
7:30 p.m. Plated dinner served
Location: Warren Station
Costs: Saturday night: $20; Sunday night: $55; Both nights: $70 ($5 more per ticket at the door)
First of all, he views wine as food, rather than a beverage. Unlike other alcoholic beverages like beer, which a person can brew on any given day, or vodka, which can be distilled any time, grapes ripen only once a year, thus resulting in wine annually.
Secondly, he sees a lot more possibilities in terms of pairings: He doesn't just stick to whites for fish or reds for red meats.
“I consider wine a food, so we're pairing food with food,” Ditch said.
Ditch is bringing wine from Ruffino, one of the oldest producers in Italy, as well as the No. 1 imported wine producers in the United States.
And, he's designing the weekend for people who have “zero knowledge” about wine, in addition to those who know wines well; every wine available for tasting this weekend is available at local stores and ranges in price from $8 to $50.
“I'm the anti-wine snob,” Ditch said. “I really like getting people to try different wines. The biggest challenge is getting people to step out of their comfort zone and try different wines, but this is a great opportunity for people to try different wines and styles without investing a lot of money.”
Sunday, he will lead a cooking demonstration featuring seafood pistou with mussels, clams, salmon and tuna; rosemary sage encrusted roasted Angus beef with Chianti portabella demi glace; and all-natural Colorado pork loin with a red grape marsala sauce.
“The menus, while sounding complicated and fancy, are truly meant to be easy and something that people can actually take home and prepare,” said Maja Russer, director of events at Keystone Neighbourhood Company.
Saturday's wine tasting includes hors d'oeuvres highlighting cuisine from Wolf Rock Steak House and Luigi's Pasta House. Stations will have 10 red and 10 white wines, as well as spicy tuna rolls, tomato basil brochette with balsamic drizzle, mascarpone cheese stuffed mushrooms, assorted wild game sausages with brewers mustard and fresh fruit and cheese platters.
“(The weekend) is a unique combination of three different things: a cooking demo, wine pairing dinners and a seminar,” Russer said.