Taste of Vail
April 5 to April 7, 2012

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Foodie festival goers always hold two things in mind: one, get old favorites that are tried and true and two, try new things to discover the latest and greatest a festival has to offer. Those two basic concepts are what the Taste of Vail is all about. Known for its high mountain beauty, the growing mountain village welcomes for the 22nd year this much awaited food festival. Between the dates of April 5 and April 7, 2012, the popular mountain town entices locals and visitors alike to all the wonderful flavors it has to offer.

As with any festival type environment where an eater’s palate can easily be pushed into overdrive, it becomes difficult to attend each event or restaurant offered. The following highlights a select few events that attendees will not want to miss, giving each person a true and unique taste of not only Vail food and drink, but the lifestyle that makes this such a special place.

Colorado Lamb Cook Off
Vail Village

(credit: Thinkstock)

Date: April 5, 2012 at 3:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m.
Price: $4 each or unlimited tasting for $75

One of the favorite events each year during spring time in Vail is the Colorado Lamb Cook Off. On April 5 from the time 3:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m., guests will gather in the Vail Village as the event teams up with the Apres Ski Tasting to create a true party-like environment. The best chefs in the Vail Valley will be cooking up a wide variety of lamb-based dishes that will then be paired with participating wineries. The wineries will showcase the food with a wide variety of wines such as Riesling, Sauvignon Blanc, Pinot Noir, Shiraz and Zinfandel. With beer and other sprits also flowing freely, the option to buy individual tasting tickets for $4 each or an unlimited tasting ticket for $75 is more than worth the price.

Related: Top Ski Town Bars In Colorado

Mountain Top Picnic
Eagle’s Nest

(credit: tasteofvail.com)

Date: April 6, 2012 at 12:30 p.m. to 2:30 p.m.
Price: Included in festival pass or $135/ticket

At 10,350 feet above sea level, guests will ride the Eagle- Bahn Express Gondola on April to the top of the the mountain for a truly unique event that screams Vail lifestyle. As guests enjoy what might be one of the best and most naturally beautiful views in the country, some of Vail’s most highly acclaimed chefs will be working hard to prepare a feast that will have each guest full but begging for more. At $135 per ticket, this may sound a bit steep for a picnic, but this is one event that is unlike anything else offered.

Slide, Sip & Sample
Vail Mountain

Dates: April 6, 2012 at 9 a.m. to Noon, April 7, 2012 at 9 a.m. to Noon
Price: $50

(credit: Thinkstock)

On Friday April 6 and Saturday April, guests will meet in front of Arabelle at 9 a.m. to experience Vail’s slopes by those who know them the best for Slide, Sip & Sample. The morning starts with a three-hour guided ski tour with an experienced ski instructor and one of the area’s culinary geniuses. Sliding all around the snowy slopes all morning long is sure to have each guest ready to sip and sample at the end of their tour. At $50 per ticket, this event will welcome guests to a unique way of getting a taste of Vail. Remember if attending Slide, Sip & Sample, you will need to have lift ticket purchased as well.

Grand Tasting
Vail Marriott Grand Ballroom
715 W Lionshead Circle
Vail, CO 81657
(970) 476-4444

(credit: tasteofvail.com)

Date: April 7, 2012 at 7 p.m. to 11 p.m.
Price: Included in festival pass or $175/ticket

The showcase event of the entire Taste of Vail experience, the Grand Tasting event will be held on the festival’s final night of April 7 at the Vail Marriot Ballroom from 7 p.m. to 11 p.m. With a wide selection of each winery and restaurant, guests are offered nearly unlimited options of the culinary delights Vail has to offer for a grand total price of $175 per person. Tickets to this event get attendees not only the best food and drink of Vail, but also access to the Taste of Vail Auction.

Related: Top Ski Resorts For Experts In Colorado

Zack Christofferson is a freelance writer living in Denver. Deeply devoted to all things food and drink, Zack can be found tasting the best liquid and solid indulgences that Denver has to offer morning, afternoon and night. His work can be found here