Now in its sixth year, the Steamboat Wine Festival is happening again at the end of July in Steamboat, Colorado. If you aren't able to partake in the festivities at Aspen Food&Wine in June, check out the laid back vibe in Steamboat. This year, Top Chef winner, Hosea Rosenberg will be doing a demonstration on Friday.
You can do the walk down Steamboat's main drag, or sign up for the seminars at the base of Steamboat's ski area. Last year there were two Master Sommelier's leading a horizontal tasting of 2005 White Burgundies. That was priceless!
The city Steamboat is nestled along a slow moving river, which only makes the walk around Steamboat that much better as some of the tasting tents are located along the river. Last year, after the festival was over I got a bunch of friends together and we all rented inner tubes to float down the river. It was a great way to end the weekend. If inner tubing isn't your speed, you can drive about 15 minutes to the hot springs Steamboat is famous for. Strawberry Springs is very rustic, but very cool. The owner has spent considerable time and money developing the site for the ultimate hot springs experience. For example, there are 3 main pools, all with different temperatures but all have smooth cushy gravel on the bottom for a groovy feeling on your feet. If the springs look good during the day, you should see it at night!
The festival begins on Thursday with a VIP wine tasting at the top of Steamboat's ski area. Patrons ride the gondola up to Three Peaks Grill where they are treated to stunning views of Colorado's pristine landscape. Friday is the walk about in the town, and Saturday is the main event. On Saturday visitors are treated to over 800 wines, breweries and spirits as well as a wide range of food companies. In 2008 over 3,000 attendees enjoyed the Steamboat Wine Festival. 2009 looks to be bigger and better than the previous five festivals.
This year you can use the discount code, "RICK" to get 10% off tickets. Fortunately, Steamboat has priced tickets a la carte you can pick what you want and leave the rest, kind of like a salad bar. If you go, stop by and say 'hi' or use the hash tag #SteamboatWF on Twitter to connect. Cheers!