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Thursday, May 28, 2009

Great West Coast Wine Events

Summertime brings wine festivals aplenty, but there a few events that we're really looking forward to this year. One is Pinot Days, which is a fantastic showcase of some of the world's best Pinots. That premise alone should make most wine enthusiasts swoon, but what also makes this event so appealing is its venue. It's held at San Francisco's Fort Mason, a big, open, airy space that provides lots of room for tasting and chatting up winemakers and fellow wine geeks without feeling crowded. This year's events will include the Grand Tasting featuring nearly 200 producers, as well as Winemakers Dinners, Focus Tastings and Pinot Legends Tastings. If you'll be in San Francisco June 24-28, you really should check out this event—it never disappoints.

Right on the heels of Pinot Days comes another terrific West Coast wine event, the Park City Food & Wine Classic. Park City is an absolutely beautiful town nestled in the mountains of Utah, so even if you don't happen to live in the area, this festival provides a great reason to visit. From July 9-12, the festival will present an array of seminars, dinners and tastings of everything from wine, spirits and beer to chocolate, cheese, and other artisan foods. With so much to do in and around Park City, this event offers the makings for a perfect summer vacation.

At the end of July, ZAP (Zinfandel Advocates & Producers) is going on the road with two grand tasting events in Portland and Seattle. Dubbed "Zin & BBQ in the Park," the Seattle tasting takes place Sunday, July 26, from 4–7 p.m. and will feature more than 40 Zin producers and lip-smacking barbecue made by local culinary students. Similarly, the Portland event, which takes place Wednesday, July 29, from 6–8:30 p.m., will offer a range of Zins paired with plenty of delicious barbecue right in the heart of downtown. Visit the ZAP website for more details.

July will cap off with one more great festival in a gorgeous setting. The Wine Festival at Steamboat will take place July 30–August 2 in Steamboat, Colorado, and will combine lots of fun outdoor activities (i.e. guided fishing tours) with plenty of wine tasting and an interesting range of seminars and dinners. The grand tasting will feature more than 800 wines as well as cooking demos (featuring Hosea Rosenberg, winner of Bravo's Top Chef Season 5), music and other entertainment.