A. Party is still in ski-hab, but special thanks to Aspen entrepreneur Nancy Nevin of Ajax Technology Group who covered the 2010 Aspen Food and Wine Classic for AspenSpin. Click AJAX Technology Group to see her live web cam on Aspen Mountain. Thanks NN.
It was a picture perfect weekend in Aspen for the opening Grand Tasting for Food & Wine 2010.The crowds are back! Perhaps a sign of the recession fading?The lines of people waiting to get in for the kick-off Grand Tasting were the longest we’ve seen in years.Hotels are fully booked, throngs of people are milling about the town under the brilliant blue skies of Aspen. Last week’s snow still caps the mountain tops and we have to pinch ourselves it’s so beautiful. But enough pontificating about the outdoor beauty,let’s go have some fun at Food & Wine.
Perhaps Food & Wine is becoming more “mainstream” America as we spotted QVC doing there shooting a commercial.
QVC in Aspen? dire qu'il n'est pas si. We were on a search for celebrity chefs and it didn’t take us long to find Mario Rizzotti serving up authentic Italian delicacies at the Academia Barilla table. Favoloso !
Top Chef’s Fabio Viviani had created a tasty little dish of roasted beets, seared scallop, and, not to hard to guess, Bertolli Olive Oil. It was great and Chef Viviani had no problem handling his new celebrity status and requests for photos and autographs, most of which seemed to come from beautiful young women!
Not wanting to alienate our French friends, we next stopped to sample the wonderful artisan liqueur from St-Germain Liqueur. Made from elderflower blossoms, we sampled this on the rocks. But the hot day had us dreaming of mixing up the “Pear Tree Martini” recipe in the little cocktail booklet St-Germain was handing out. Nonetheless, the kids working the booth were having a good time – and it was only 12:30.
The folks at Baron Philippe de Rothschild created the best booth of the whole show. They offered a beautiful assortment of wines to choose from and you could dress up using their props and become part of a future ad campaign.
A favorite of ours is Flora Springs Winery of St. Helen, CA. Flora Springs started as a hobby 30 years ago by Jerry And Flora Komes. Andrew Raifaisen was in charge of pouring today…too bad we couldn’t get him to crack open that magnum.
To complete the multi-cultural experience, we stopped by to sample the wines of Lykos Winery from Greece. Wow. Michael Papas shared the story of how this winery grew out of a family restaurant business. The restaurant has been serving for 45 years on the small island of Euboea, 80 km from Athens. They started with a small vineyard to produce wines served in the restaurant and it ‘blossomed’ (pun intended) from there. The dessert wine, “Meaikoz” was the perfect mix of sweet and complex. So we fell in love with it; credit card in hand to stock up but alas, it is not yet sold in the US. Such are the hardships of a visit to Food & Wine!