CHANNELING THOR: TOSSING KEGS IS THE BEST WAY TO RELAX AFTER SKIING WITH THE DENVER NORDS AT DEVIL’S THUMB. Courtesy of Devil’s Thumb Ranch Resort and Spa

Whether you’re a fan of local wines, Viking-style meatballs or celebrity-chef-created cuisine, there’s a Colorado food festival this winter for you.

HOLIDAY COCKTAIL WALKING TOURS

November–December • Boulder  and Denver

New this year, Local Table Tours will offer holiday-themed cocktail walking tours in both Boulder’s Pearl Street Mall area and LoDo in Denver. Guests spend two hours at three or four local hotspots like Salt and TAG for one-on-one time with the cities’ top mixologists, who demonstrate how to make their favorite holiday cocktail creations and serve up samples. Cost is $40. Boulder tours take place on Thursdays, Denver tours on Saturdays. localtabletours.com

TOMMELFEST NORWEGIAN SKI AND BEER FEST

December 1 • Tabernash

Now in its third year, Devil’s Thumb Ranch Resort and Spa’s celebration of all things Nordic includes free ski lessons from the University of Denver’s Nordic team, a beer garden and a keg-tossing competition. We recommend holding off on the brews until after you compete in the short track laser biathlon relay at 12:30. Tommelfest is also the last day for pre-season discounts on season passes—$180, which is a $60 savings from the regular price. devilsthumbranch.com

WINE, CHOCOLATE AND CHEESE FEST

December 8 • Ouray

The brainchild of Ouray residents Faith Parry and Jennifer Loshaw, the Wine, Chocolate and Cheese Fest brings locals together with some of Colorado’s best wines and artisan food products. Now in its fourth year, the festival features live music and has grown to include arts and crafts, distilled liquors and an optional Wine Maker’s Dinner with Mountain View Winery. Tickets for the festival are $15 in advance, $20 at the door. The Wine Maker’s Dinner is $45. Dress in your best winter wonderland glam. coloradowinefest.org

ESTES PARK WINTER FESTIVAL

January TBD • Estes Park 

Estes Park’s Winter Festival became so popular that organizers doubled its capacity last year, moving the weekend gala to the Fairgrounds at Stanley Park. Featuring a dozen Colorado wineries, and a dozen Colorado craft breweries, the festival is perhaps best known for its Chili Appreciation Society International (CASI) sanctioned chili cook-off, where local chefs duke it out. There is also a “homecooked” competition that anyone can enter. estesparkwinterfestival.com

BIG BEERS, BELGIANS AND BARLEYWINES FESTIVAL

January 10-12 • Vail

The 13th annual Big Beers, Belgians and Barleywines Festival will be held at the Vail Cascade Resort & Spa. It’s impossible to pick just one highlight coming out of this world-class event, as the weekend is jam-packed with not-to-miss workshops and happenings. Our faves include the American Homebrewers Association sanctioned Belgians, Barleywines and Strong Ales Homebrew Competition on Friday, as well as the Brewmaster’s dinner that evening, and the experimental brewing seminar on Saturday morning. bigbeersfestival.com

WINTERSKÖL

January 10–13 • Aspen

Aspen’s “Toast of Winter” festival turns 62 this year. Contests include a snow sculpture competition and the crowd-pleasing canine fashion show with prizes for the funniest, most adorable and best in show. The big draw, of course, is the food and wine, with daily après parties in the Upper Gondola Plaza, a pig roast at the Ritz-Carlton, an apple-strudel downhill race on the Apple Strudel Trail (where participants receive a complimentary apple strudel with whipped cream) and the rowdy Soupsköl soup cook-off to determine which restaurant makes the best soup in the valley. bit.ly/RiVOVR

BEAVER CREEK FOOD AND WINE CULINARY WEEKEND

January 24–27 • Beaver Creek

The second annual Beaver Creek Food & Wine Weekend is a three-day winter culinary celebration on the slopes. For 2013, celebrity chefs John Besh and Tim Love will return to Beaver Creek, joined by Gail Simmons, Sam Talbot and a variety of local host chefs. The event lineup has yet to be determined, but will include fun, interactive demos on the slopes and exclusive dinners prepared by some of the country’s best chefs. bit.ly/PYA1Tr

WINTER BREW FEST

January 25 • Denver

More than 45 breweries and 125 craft beers make the Winter Brew Fest at the Mile High Station in Denver the biggest wintertime beer event in the state. Live music and a silent auction round out the festivities. Cost is $30 in advance, or $35 at the door. Consider the VIP ticket for $10 more, which gets you unlimited tasting and cheese accompaniments during an exclusive hour of sampling before the event opens for general admission at 7:00 p.m. denverbrewfest.com

COPPER UNCORKED WINE FESTIVAL

February TBD • Copper Mountain

Last year’s inaugural Copper Uncorked Wine Festival on Valentine’s Day weekend was a three-day celebration of fine food and wine and, of course, outdoor winter recreation. Workshops included wine and burgers, with six sliders and 12 wines, and a wine and chocolate seminar. The Grand Taste of Copper buffet dinner on Saturday night included beer and spirits in addition to award-winning wines. copperuncorked.com