Food & Wine Classic: Under the tent
Sometimes a slice just hits the spot.
That said, this column was constructed above the Hyman Avenue Mall, under the influence of New York Pizza. It’s good to be a local.
It was another scorcher at the Food & Wine Classic Saturday, with a 2 p.m. temperature of 84 degrees, equaling the all-time high for the date. Temps like that tend to clear the courtyard and send people inside looking for rosé. I’ve seen more pink wine this year in the glasses than all the years before combined. Anthony Giglio, who helms “The Rosé Revolution” seminars, is clearly on top of the trend, and there were lines in front of the tables of the wines he poured in his seminars. He is an influencer.
I found some fun things under the tents, some old, some new and most should be around today. Start with the old, that is, if you consider 1994 to be old. The boys from Aspen’s Italian Wine Merchants at the Nell are pouring some amazing wines, not the least of which is a 1994 Giuseppi Rinaldi Barolo. Ask Francesco for a whiff of the cigar that is stashed behind the wines. They are the same ones Giuseppi smokes, and you can smell the scent of the tobacco in his wine.
Also showing some age are the wines at Kalin Cellars. Terry Leighton lays down his wines for many years longer than most with the idea that they evolve and improve over the years. Texture and depth are the goal. Try the golden — literally — 2001 Livermore Sauvignon Blanc, or the equally golden Sonoma County Chardonnay from 1995. These are white wines that were made long ago, and according to Leighton, are just now ready for drinking.
New to me are the Bordeaux blends form Arcanum. Owned by Barbara Banke, the chairman and proprietor of Jackson Family Wines, these wines from Tuscany are made from classic Bordeaux varietals with a focus on Cab Franc and Merlot. An infant of a project in Old World terms, these are wines that your children and grandchildren will be drinking. When they come of age, of course.
Also new to me were wines from Marin County’s McEvoy Ranch. Known for their amazing olives and olive oils, proprietors Nan and Nion McEvoy have turned their attentions to wines. Be sure to try the rosé made by winemaker Blake Yarger, who is working with Italian legend Maurizio Castelli on the still-evolving project. The rosé, dubbed “Rosebud,” is an eclectic mash-up of syrah, Grenache and Montepulciano. And be sure to try their lotions and potions. Blood orange was a fave-rave.
Finally, I am going to recommend a mustard. That’s right, a mustard. Jennifer Connor, the mustard girl, is perhaps the most enthusiastic person in the tent. Her company, which makes all-natural mustards in Wisconsin, was selected by Food & Wine to be a part of this year’s event. Eight years and one day ago, Jennifer got a calling that said, “Go make mustard in the fields.” Today, she helms a company that sold more than a million units last year. The Mustard Girl mustards are all about spreading sunshine and Jennifer embodies her ethos to a “T.” Try the sweet-hot with a beer from Stella, which is right next door to the Mustard Girl booth in the northeast corner of the tasting tents.
Finally, do not miss the local restaurants that are spread out through the tents. Will Nolan, who killed it with the Cochon events in Snowmass this year, will be bringing specialties from both 8K at the Viceroy and Ricard in Snowmass Base Village. And be sure to look for the Element 47 chefs, including the newly minted Matt Zubrod.
A hot one but a good one. See you next year.
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Holiday lights are permitted during the winter, not summer in Aspen.