The Taste of Vail Event Review
Each year in April, Vail hosts dozens of wineries and Vail restaurants for the weeklong Taste of Vail food and wine festival. While this event is not your typical beer-and-burger-in-snowpants kind of après experience, it can be really fun for the average skier or snowboarder — if you know how to do it right. That's because the weather is usually beautiful, there's endless delicious food, and the both the wine and beer is flowing like beer. So if you are enjoying some spring skiing during the event this year, take a look at the Event Review below. It covers the main events and the rundown on why each are fun and which you might want to partake in.
Taste of Vail Signature Events:
Disclaimer: The events may seem pricey, but keep in mind this is a non-for-profit event, raising money for various benefits for the Vail Community.
Debut of Rosé — Wednesday 3pm-6pm. Vail Square in Lionshead. Outdoors. $50.00
You won't find any Beringer White Zinfandel at this event. Dozens of wineries showcase their rosés here, most of which have just been released. Almost all are much higher quality than you might expect. If the weather is sunny, this event is a great Après event as it's right at the bottom of Lionshead and gets started as you finish your last turns for the day. You will never have the oppurtunity to taste this much pink wine in one afternoon. We recommend this event for taking a date out, maybe after you've impressed them with your sick skills on the hill, you can impress them with your sophisticated opinions on pink-colored wine.
Lamb Cook-off — Thursday 3pm-6pm. Vail Village in front of Solaris and up 1 Willow Dr. Outdoors. $75.00 for full access or $5.00 per booth.
Probably the best event to get your grub on. Restaurants from all over Vail make a small plate featuring lamb and compete to wine best dish. That means everyone goes all out and gets really creative. You can probably try 20 or more delicious plates of lamb prepared in completely different and unique ways. There's also plenty of beer and wine tents that your $75.00 get you access to as well. You also get to participate in the competition, as there is a popularity contest that everyone with a pass gets to cast a vote for. We recommend this event if you are a big lover of meat, and want to eat and drink super well, but not have to worry about a huge tab by the end.
Mountain Top Picnic— Friday 12pm-2:30pm. Eagle's Nest, top of Lionshead Gondola. Outdoors. $135.00.
The most unique and fun event of the Taste of Vail. This event takes place just West of Eagle's nest in a snow big snow-fort park made specially for the Taste of Vail. Various Wineries and Vail restaurants feature their goods. Again, if the weather is nice, this event is amazing. If you like to picnic at the decks on Vail mountain, imagine that but 1000 times better. The food is amazing, the drinks are endless and it feels like one huge, over-the-top party. Start your day out with some laps on the mountain, than show up to the event in your ski gear. We recommend this for your blow-out, end of the winter season event. If you only go to one event during the Taste of Vail in your life, make it this one.
Grand Tasting— Saturday 6pm-10pm. Four Seasons Resort Vail. $175.00.
This is the final event of the Taste of Vail, and by far the most elaborate and fancy. This is where the best wineries and restaurants from the other events bring their A-game and prepare mind-blowing food and serve some of the best wine available at the festival. Dress nice, take a hot date or splurge on yourself. This event caters more to the foodie crowd, so if you're looking to just have a good time, save the money and hit the bars. But if you want to experience the finest and most creative food this valley has to offer, all in one room while drinking some of the best wine you'll never buy for yourself, this is the place to do it. We recommend the Taste of Vail Grand Tasting if you've got some money to blow and want to impress your current fling.
Bonus Points— At most of the events, GoVino provides reusable, plastic wine glasses with the Taste of Vail logo on it. These are the best all-purpose glasses for future picnics and camping/backpacking trips (their super light-weight!),and they are not cheap, so try and snag some freebies whenever possible.