BEAVER CREEK, CO - Cooking and wine tasting demonstration with Executive Chef Steve Topple.

Don’t let the lack of snow fool you. Beaver Creek is not just for winter fun. The mountains are beautiful all year around. You may find it curious that as a teetotaler I attended the Wine & Spirits festival, but I wanted to see if even I, without a drop of alcohol, would enjoy it. I did, but how?

The reality of it is, the wine and spirits are only a fraction of the festival. The renowned Walk & Wine Luncheon started with a great hike through the lower hills of Beaver Creek. The affable guides provided three options for the diverse crowd that registered, a slow group keeping a casual pace, a medium group and a fast group. I joined the fast group and found this to be a very relative term but the hike was still very enjoyable. For someone who hikes regularly, don’t expect to be getting any sort of workout from this, but a nice walk in the woods with a fun guide who stops regularly to point out interesting tidbits about the natural history of the area, fauna as they cross the path, various flora including some edible kinds and even some of the land management going-ons around the resort.

We arrived fashionably late to the Luncheon at The Pines Lodge but never felt rushed and those who drank were greeted with a sparkling pink wine. My option was water. The only, dare I say ‘snooty’ comment I received the whole weekend was from, it turned out, the head wine guy (never cared to get his name) at The Pines Lodge who responded to my inquiry of any non-alchaholic options with his nose turned up “it is a walk and WINE luncheon”. Would it kill them to buy a bottle of Martinelli’s just to have on hand? I guess some people need a sense of exclusivity to feel important in some way.

What I’m getting to though, is the food. It was amazing. As you’ll see in the video below, I need to improve my food connoisseur vocabulary so I can move past “tasty”. I mock myself in the second video. See if you can spot it.

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