Mountain Mayhem: Food & Wine Classic weekend
The 36th time was a charm for the Food & Wine Classic in Aspen, bringing together some of the most influential names in the industry with veteran talent and rising stars in the mix. In addition to seminars and Grand Tastings, some of my favorite events of the weekend, in chronological order, included:
Thursday: Blackberry Farm and The Little Nell teamed up for a Friends and Fellows bike ride and lunch honoring BBF’s late founder and owner Sam Beall, with a road ride to Ashcroft and alfresco lunch afterward, with funds raised for the Sam Beall Foundation. The opening party at The St. Regis Aspen is always a who’s who of the weekend teeming with stars and savory bites. Dancing Bear Aspen’s rooftop party is a hotly sought-after ticket with drinks, dishes and DJ Cyn. Yacht Rock After Dark took over the pool at The Gant, hosted by Kendra Anderson of Denver’s Bar Helix. The Magnum Party at Shlomo’s was the perfect nightcap to night one.
Friday: There’s no better way to kick off this day than with the Food & Wine 5K, chasing chefs and sommeliers around the West End to raise funds for Grow for Good. Also in the West End, Lodi Winery rented a house where they poured wines and served hors d’oeuvres with a view. The Vanderpumps hosted a rosé party on the patio at the Hotel Jerome. Gwyneth Paltrow and Chef Seamus Mullen were the hosts of the opening of Goop Aspen’s pop-up shop, which will be open through Aug. 12. Niceland Seafood hosted cocktails and apps in the evening (and World Cup brunch the next morning) at their Red Mountain residence. The Texas Wildcatters’ grand fiesta at the Aspen Square was also a rip-roaring great time. Compagnie des Vins, Verve Wine and more hosted an Aloha Friday Party with hosts in leis and Hawaiian vibes.
Saturday: Starwood Preferred Guest and American Express hosted Revive & Shine yoga atop Aspen Mountain along with complimentary coconut water afterward at the St. Regis. The Suerte Tequila Fried Chicken Party took place at the new Public House. Infinite Monkey Theorem’s Wine at the Mine VII mixed up the scene from years past with a bigger tent for the silent disco, bright lights and culinary delights, paired with wines in the can. The Patron Party at The Nell had a tiki theme and Chef Biju Thomas serving up Indian cuisine. The Open Table Party at Matsuhisa was legendary once again.
Sunday: Father’s Day is always best spent frolicking at Grand Tasting No. 5, wining and dining around town, and for the great many who help support the weekend, ending everything with the Volunteer Party at Shlomo’s.
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“We believe in the power of women, so we turned to what we know, winemaking, and tried to make our own small contribution to the discussion,” co-owner of Ponzi Vineyards Anna Maria said. “We had to do something.”