Dining | Wine: Feeling Festive | Restaurant Reviews | Salt Lake City Weekly

Dining | Wine: Feeling Festive 

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Even here in Utah under the shadow of the DABC, there is no shortage of wine dinners, tastings, festivals and wine-related events to keep the restless oenophile busy. The month of August holds two treats for wine lovers: The Sundance Food & Wine Festival and Metropolitan’s Food & Wine Festival.

First up, on Aug. 28, is Metropolitan’s Food & Wine “Festival.” I put “festival” in quotes since this isn’t your typical wine fest. It’s more festive than festival, if by “festival” you think of lots of tents or winery booths and people sipping vino in the summer sun. At Metro, Karen Olsen and her staff take wine seriously—you can tell by their top-flight wine list—but they also like to have fun with wine. And that’s what the Metro Food & Wine Festival is all about. They’ll be hosting wine experts, winemakers and winery representatives for an informal, interactive meet-and-greet wine tasting.

From 5-7 p.m., attendees will be able to sample premium wines of Napa and Sonoma, paired with light food from the Metropolitan kitchen. Karen Olsen stresses that this is not a sit-down dinner. It’s a Metropolitan-hosted, casual evening of schmoozing with winemakers and other wine fiends just like yourself. Among those in attendance will be Frank Altamura of Altamura Vineyards, Jeriko’s Danny Fetzer, Susie Selby from Selby Winery, the Finkelsteins from Judd’s Hill and representatives from Caymus. The cost for the event is $25 for light food, and $50 for the hosted wine tasting. For more information and reservations, phone 364-3472.

Then, on Saturday, Aug. 30, from noon until 4 p.m., Sundance Resort hosts its third annual Food & Wine Festival on Ray’s Lawn, at the base of the resort. Although it’s not as well known as other wine events here, many wine lovers consider the Sundance festival to be the best—a very well organized, high-quality affair. Since the aforementioned Metropolitan festival piggybacks on Sundance’s, many of the same wineries will be represented.

In addition to wine, a number of the Utah’s top chefs and restaurateurs will also be in tow at Sundance. Participants include the award-winning Sundance restaurants such as The Tree Room, Foundry Grill and Zoom, along with Lugano, Pizzeria 712, Café Madrid, Tony Caputo’s Market and Deli, the Blue Boar Inn, Snake Creek Grill, Park City Roasters, Grand America, Franck’s, Paris Bistro, Acme Burger Company, Prime Steak House and Ruth’s Chris Steak House.

The 2008 Sundance Food and Wine Festival showcases the vintners selected as part of the Sundance Label Wine Program. There are some killer wines included in this year’s Sundance Label lineup, including 2005 Honig-Sundance Sauvignon Blanc, Napa; 2006 Selby-Sundance Chardonnay, Russian River; 2005 Belle Glos-Sundance Pinot Noir, Sonoma Coast; 2005 Bethel Heights-Sundance, Justice, Redford Reserve Pinot Noir, Willamette; 2002 Judd’s Hill-Sundance, Merlot, Napa; 2003 Altamura-Sundance, Cabernet Sauvignon, Napa; and finally, 2001 Mer Soleil-Sundance, Late Harvest Viognier, Santa Lucia Highlands, Monterey. Whew! That’s a very tasty lineup.

Tickets are $75 per person, which includes access to all vintner and restaurant booths. Tickets must be purchased in advance—and I can’t stress that too strongly as last year’s festival was a sellout—by phoning 866-717-9089, or e-mail BoxOffice@sundance.utah.com. Sundance is also offering an Epicurean package which includes three nights in a Sundance cottage, daily breakfast, festival tickets, chairlift ride, spa treatment, a five-course wine pairing dinner in The Tree Room and more.

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