Other Articles in this Category
France finally gets its first chance at the Wine Festival
When: Thursday, March 7, through Saturday, March 9
Seminar: “The Right Wine, But Is It the Right Glass?,” 5:30 p.m. Thursday, Fine Arts Center, 30 W. Dale St., $75, includes four wine samples and a set of four Riedel Vinum XL wine glasses.
Tasting and Discussion: “The Enduring Cachet of French Wine,” 5:30 p.m., The Broadmoor, 1 Lake Ave., $35.
Grand Tasting and Wine Market Auction: 7 p.m., The Broadmoor, 1 Lake Ave., $85, $65 FAC members.
Seminar: “French Wine, But What Cheese?,” 10:30 a.m., Garden of the Gods Club, 3320 Mesa Road, $45.
Luncheon: “The Artful Duo of French Pairing,” noon, FAC, 30 W. Dale St., $85.
Gourmet Winemaker Dinner and Live Auction: 6:30 p.m. five-course dinner, 8:30 p.m. auction, Garden of the Gods Club, 3320 Mesa Road, $125.
Tickets: 634-5583, csfineartscenter.org
France finally gets its chance.
The Fine Arts Center’s Wine Festival of Colorado Springs will honor the grapes from the French region for the first time in 22 years. Why the delay?
“They’re the epicenter of winemaking, but it’s a lot more of a challenge to bring people (to participate) ... who don’t speak our language,” said Jim Little, co-owner of Coaltrain Wine and Spirits and the wine activity coordinator of the wine festival committee. “It kind of bogs it down.”
There will surely be something new to taste and learn, and for those who aren’t interested in wine, there also will be beer makers and distilleries on hand.
“This is an event that has something for anyone who is deep into wine and wants to learn more,” said Charlie Snyder, director of communications at the Fine Arts Center. “It’s for people who do hospitality and want to do it better. There’s information about food pairings, and about which wines go with which cheese. It’s also a good introduction to people who are interested and just starting out. You can learn about the basics of wine.”
New this year is a wine glass seminar by Riedel, one of the most recognizable names in fine wine glassware, Little said. Wine will be poured into a regular eight-ounce wine glass and then, into a Riedel glass. The difference is remarkable, Little said.
“Most of it is the bouquet of the wine and the shape and size of the glass. It releases a lot of the flavors and aromas because of the air forced into the wine.”
Two guest chefs will prepare a Saturday luncheon of French food and wine. You might recognize the name John Broening, once chef of the now-defunct Springs restaurant Primitivo, and owner of the Denver restaurant Duo. Chef Soa Davies, a French haute cuisine expert from New York, was so popular last year that she’ll be back, Little said.
The sniffs, swirls and spits are all for a good cause. Proceeds from the wine festival go to the Fine Arts Center.
“You’re supporting the arts,” Little said. “It’s the premiere wine festival on the Front Range.”
Two French winemakers — Claude Gaudin of Vitigestion and Christian Beyer of Emile Beyer — will travel from France to pour their wine. Four other stateside winemakers also will offer samples of their wares.
Three of them told us about their favorite festival wine and also, what wine is their guilty pleasure.
The Sorting Table, Napa, Calif.
Favorite festival wine: The Volnay St. Francois from Roblet-Monnot that will be featured at the Gourmet Winemaker Dinner. Red Burgundy in general is my favorite wine of all time. It is made by Pascal Roblet, who farms organically and takes amazing care of his vineyards and makes beautifully balanced and classic wines from this very important region of Burgundy. It is doubly ... important to Pascal and to me because it is named for his father Francois, who passed away a few years ago.
Guilty pleasure: Finding and drinking really good-value wines from the Rhône Valley. This is the first French wine region that I learned about when I was still “The Beer Guy” at a very good little wine shop in Charlottesville, Va., when I was in my early 20s. I was intrigued by the many different varietals that were used to make Côtes du Rhône and how different the wines were, depending on how much grenache, syrah, mourvèdre, cinsault, etc., was put into the blend. How intense and flavorful these wines can be and how affordable they are, while at the same time they overdeliver what I call the smile factor in a wine. When you taste this wine, does it make you smile, and does it make you want another glass?
Robert Kacher Selections, New York City
Favorite festival wine: Santa Duc Les Quatre Terres Côtes du Rhône. The wines of the Southern Rhône were a bit of an epiphany for me at a time when most of my friends were more attuned to the flavor profiles of kiwi-strawberry or blue island. I suppose that I found, and still do, the generous fruit in a blend of warm-weather grenache, syrah and mourvèdre to be friendly and approachable.
Guilty pleasure: There are few wines that make me grin as wide as a well-produced white Burgundy. If your last impression of a Burgundy was out of a jug, or your last chardonnay smacked of buttered popcorn, I urge you to pick up a bottle of White Burgundy. There is no better, in my humble opinion, expression of chardonnay.
Michael Corso Selections, Oak Park, Ill.
Favorite festival wine: Domaine Raspail-Ay Gigondas. Dominique Ay is a traditionalist, and he makes his wine in the classic manner of the region: He works at low yields in the vineyard, the wine is aged in big, old, wooden 5,000-liter foudres, and there is no new oak nor small oak barrels used in the élevage. Ay makes only one wine. It is a consistently high-quality wine, with a warm, rich and generous character.
Guilty pleasure: As an importer of French wines, it would be admitting to my great love for Italian wines and that I drink them often. Otherwise, one of my great (and simple) pleasures is enjoying a bottle of inexpensive Bordeaux wine with linguine and tomato sauce. It goes back to my early days in the business.
Jennifer Mulson may be reached at 636-0270.