Taste the vino, help a nonprofit

Aspen Times writer

People in the Roaring Fork Valley are always looking for innovative ways to help ease the affordable housing crunch. They might have come up with the best one yet this spring.

A wine-tasting event called “The Great Match – a Meeting of the Senses” is being held Friday to help a Carbondale-based organization called Mountain Regional Housing.

The nonprofit organization helps low-income home buyers raise the down payments needed to buy a home, and it presents monthly workshops in English and Spanish to help educate home buyers about issues that affect them.

Mountain Regional Housing is also a nonprofit developer with special access to grant funds and low interest loans. The organization developed 26 rental units at Aspen’s Ullr Commons Lodge conversion, and it helped create 60 affordable housing units at Thompson Corner in River Valley Ranch. It is currently working on three projects that will provide 48 new rental units in the valley, according to executive director Susan Shirley. The organization’s area of service is Aspen to Parachute.

The wine tasting will be at the Roaring Fork Club’s club house from 5:30 to 8 p.m. There will be wine and microbrew tastings along with gourmet cuisine from local restaurants and caterers. The event will feature an auction of fine wines such as Caymus Cabernet, Turley Zinfandels and Fonseca Vintage Port.

Along with the Roaring Fork Club, the event is being hosted by the Catherine Store. Store owner Rhonda Black is selecting the wines, microbrews and food for the event.

The event is open to the public. Tickets are $35 each and are available at Catherine Store Wine & Liquor as well as from Mountain Regional Housing board of directors member Kay Philip, 927-4701, extension 228, and from Susan Shirley at 963-9606.