Travel / July 3, 2013

Sisterhood Adventures: Highlights from the 2013 Food & Wine Classic in Aspen

Credit Allan Zepeda Photography,
Credit Allan Zepeda Photography,

Like summer camp…only for grown-ups.

1. Munching on signature dishes from Top Chef’s Kristen Kish, Stephanie Izard, Richard Blais and Bart Vandaele at the opening night Welcome Reception.  Check us out in the Patron picture booth, pre-shenanigans at the Magnum Party and Belly Up

2. Attending the Tac Au Vin: Best Wines for Tacos seminar where Danny Meyer, Floyd Cardoz, and John Ragan wore sombreros and taught the basics of food and wine pairing using Tacos as a point of reference.  Two key learnings:

  • Evaluating food and wine pairings does not have to be complicated, or use fancy words.  Danny Meyer uses the three face system:  Yum!, Eh?, Yuck!!!
  • Think of wine as any other condiment you would put with your food.  For example, crisp whites like Sauvignon Blanc is similar to using mustard.

3. Riding the Gondola to the top of Aspen Mountain to attend two amazing parties.  The first, on Friday night was the annual Publisher’s Party which was themed as a Yucatan Fiesta.  Saturday night was the 25th anniversary of Food & Wine’s Best New Chef program.  To celebrate, the show-stopping food was done by some of the foodie world’s biggest hitters:  Thomas Keller (of French Laundry Fame), David Chang (Momofuko Empire), John Besh (culinary riches of Louisiana) and Daniel Boulud (French Cuisine Master).

4. Discovering three new delicious snacks to eat around town in between tastings, seminars and parties:

5. Learning about “the best white wines you’ve never heard of” from Bobby Stucky , who led us through the seminar White Wines of Alta Adige .  These delicious whites hail from Northern Italy which includes the regions of Trentino-Alto Adige, Friuli, Friuli-Venezia, and Aosta Valley.  Due to this seminar we have added a trip to Italy with Bobby Stucky to our Life Lists.

6. Creating our own Grilled Cheese Sandwich concoctions at Steve Dveris’ party at the Hotel Jerome while drinking wine out of Magnums.  And yes, Grilled Cheese goes with all kinds of wine from Champagne to Cabernet Sauvignon. 

7. Rocking out to the Spazmatics at the Belly Up Club two nights in a row.  These guys are the BEST cover band ever.  EVER!!!  And lucky for us they were good because after a day of eating and drinking, it was nice to dance away the calories.

8. Drinking Champagne and Sparkling wine poolside at The Skye Hotel for the annual Republic National Distributing “Bubbly Party” .  

9. Meeting Food & Wine 2013 Best New Chef Chris Shepherd from Underbelly in Houston.  He drank magnums with us, danced to the Spazmatics like a champion, and made some darn good food during the Grand Tasting on Saturday.  We can’t wait to visit him on our next trip to Houston.

10. Listening to the amazing Laura Werlin and Megan Krigbaum share their knowledge about wine and cheese during their seminar America’s Best Wine and Cheese Pairings .  We were surprised to hear Megan say that she tasted through 60 different wines to pair with Pt. Reyes Farmstead Cheese Company ’s “Bay Blue” cheese.  The wine she settled on – Dashe Late Harvest Zinfandel , Dry Creek Valley, CA.

11. Receiving a text message from the boys at Long Meadow Ranch .

  • Them: “You want to come to a Champagne and Caviar Party?”
  • Me: “Sure.  What can we bring?”
  • Them: “Caviar.”

Natalie Wassum, @girlinthevalley


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