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Raise a Glass at Denver's Premier Wine and Food Tasting Event

Denver’s mix of cosmopolitan attractions, unique events, and picture perfect scenery attracted more than 31.5 million visitors in 2016. The Mile High City is well known for its microbreweries, but it’s also home to a variety of world-class winemakers such as Balistreri Vineyards, Black Arts Cellars, and Creekside Cellars. Travelers in search of delicious cuisine will find a variety of restaurants including The Oceanaire Seafood Room and Hickory & Ash.


The Denver International Wine Festival is the premier wine and food tasting event in the Denver area, and it will take place November 1-3. This year's event features three primary activities: the Vintner's Dinner showcasing meals by European Chef Radek Cerny, Pairsine Chefs Fine Food and Wine Pairing Competition featuring award-winning wines and chefs, and the region's most significant wine tasting event: the Grand Tasting of International Wines and Food. Attendees can also participate in a series of fun and informative seminars ranging from learning about blended wines to exploring the wide world of White Pinot Noir. For an enhanced experience purchase the VIP tickets that include a gift bag, admission to two seminars, exclusive lounge, and early entry. The event’s silent auction supports There With Care® a local charity benefiting children and families with medical crises. We interviewed Karin McLean, Communications Manager for the event to learn more about this showcase of great wines.


RAL: Tell me a little bit about the event.

KM: The Denver International Wine Festival is now in its 13th year. Each year, we draw hundreds of participants for the three-day event, which includes a Vintner's Dinner, Pairsine - our signature food and wine pairing event, and the Grand Tasting. This event is the largest Grand Tasting in the Rocky Mountain region, and was recently named by Food and Wine magazine as one of the “Best Wine Festivals across America."


RAL: Take me through a day at the event. What can I expect as an attendee?

KM: There are three main activities to choose from, but attendees can participate in all three, as they take place on consecutive days.


The festival always kicks off with the Grand Vintners Dinner, which will take place this year on Wednesday, November 1st at Atelier by Radex in Denver. Highly acclaimed European Chef Radek Cerny will create a delectable 5-course wine dinner paired with award-winning wines from Kovacs Nimrod Winery of Hungary.


On Thursday, November 2, the festival continues with the Pairsine Chefs Fine Food and Wine Pairing Competition. Up to ten celebrated chefs have each been assigned two of the gold-medal-winning wines from the 2017 Denver International Wine Competition, and must create a gourmet food pairing for each wine.


Finally, on Friday, November 3, The much-anticipated Grand Tasting of International Wines and Food will take place. This is the region's largest wine tasting event for consumers, media, and trade, with more than eighty wineries and distilleries pouring.


Our website has additional information about all of our activities.


RAL: Will there be any guest appearances?

KM: Past guest appearances have included Sara Moulton of the Food Network, former White House Chef John Moeller, Barrie Lynn aka the Cheese Impresario, as well as several Food Network show winners.


RAL: Tell us about the overall environment.

KM: The Denver International Wine Festival always has an atmosphere of buzz and excitement to it. We usually have a live jazz band or jazz music, and attendees are typically excited to be there.


RAL: What can attendees expect for local lodging?

KM: Top-rated unique and boutique accommodations in the Denver/Boulder/Westminster area include:

  • Hotel Boulderado

  • St. Julien Hotel and Spa

  • Briar Rose Bed and Breakfast

  • Alps Boulder Canyon Inn

  • Hyatt Place Boulder

  • Bradley Boulder Inn

  • Omni Interlocken

  • The Brown Palace

  • Hotel Teatro

  • the Art, a hotel

  • The Oxford Hotel

  • The Warwick

  • Nativ Hotel

  • Westin Denver International Airport


The Denver Marriott Westminster, which is hosting the Denver International Wine Festival, will be offering a special festival attendee rate starting at $119/night.


RAL: Does the event support a particular cause in the community?

KM: The Denver International Wine Festival holds a silent auction, with 100% of the proceeds going to There With Care®, a charity devoted to providing a wide range of thoughtful and fundamental services to children and families during the critical phase of a medical crisis. It serves families referred by medical agencies, by building a network of services and people who ease the burden of life’s day-to-day obligations with compassion and care.


RAL: Why should people come to your event?

KM: For wine aficionados and foodies, this is a chance to see what’s new in the world of wine and gourmet food, as well as hear interesting information on some more esoteric topics around the wine industry. Also, it’s a chance to meet and mingle with other like-minded people. One important note: this is changing, but Denver, being part of “flyover” country, has had a reputation for being a cowtown not known for fine wine and dining. Visiting the Denver International Wine Festival is a chance to see that Denver is full of good wine, innovative chefs, and unique cuisine from around the world!

For more information about The Denver International Wine Festival, please visit the event website.