Food and wine classic returns bigger than ever |

Food and wine classic returns bigger than ever

ANNA BLOOM, Of the Record staff

Organizers of the third annual Park City Food and Wine Classic are predicting big numbers this year.

They report they will purchase 200 cases of wine at 12 bottles a case from state liquor stores, and they are expecting 2,500 attendees. The event promoter also hopes to raise $20,000 for the Park City Jazz Foundation.

"It’s definitely growing we’re adding more events each year," says Doug Larson of Team Sage, the promoter of the Food and Wine Classic. "It’s one of the most comprehensive wine events in Utah."

Featured events at the "Epicurean Extravaganza" include a 45-minute Viking Steel Chef Competition, where Stein Eriksen Lodge’s chef Zane Holmquist will defend his two-year title, live music from the Blake Fisher Trio, Juim Guss Trio and Zach Nicholas, along with a golf tournament with vintners and a "Toast of Park City Grand Tasting" with samples of 500 wines.

Throughout the three-day and one-night event, he predicts 20,000 to 25,0000 food samples will be consumed and 60,000 wine samples will be poured, and somewhere along the way, participants will learn a thing or two about wine.

"There’s a lot of confusion about wine and food and wine pairings," Larson said. "Ultimately, what it comes down to is what you like."

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Knowing certain combinations, however, can be helpful. Larson gives the example of sweet ports and sugary desserts. While one might assume the pairing would be overkill, he says the two manage to complement each other well, almost canceling each other’s sweetness.

Attendees will get the chance to learn about such hints at various educational seminars hosted by sommeliers. Spotted Frog Bookstore sommelier Zev Rovine will return from his trip to Italy in time to host a class on "Champagne and Caviar" as well as a "Wines of Piedmont Seminar," about Italy’s best brut-styled sparkling wines, and the reds of Barolo and Barbaresco.

Cara Schwindt, Stein Eriksen’s sommelier for eight years, will also host a seminar entitled "Unsung Grape Varieties."

When you have the right food pairing the food tastes better and the wine tastes better there’s a synergy that happens between the two," Schwindt explained.

She adds that in part, the pairing depends on the weather. A good pairing will take into account whether a meal is served in summer or in winter, she says. For instance, in the summer dishes are generally prepared in a lighter fashion, and the wine chosen should accompany that change.

Schwindt, who no doubt has frequented several wine tasting events in her lifetime, says the Park City Food and Wine Classic is a good opportunity to taste-test wine options and "in a very beautiful setting."

And the taste choices are many, according to Larson.

"What makes this event stand out is its size," he said. "I don’t think you’ll see anywhere near the amount of wine and restaurants involved at other [wine events] in Utah."

Park City Food and Wine Classic

Who: Eriksen Lodge sommelier Cara Schwindt, Spotted Frog Bookstore and Wine Bar sommelier Zev Rovine, Chris Avery of Oyster Bay Wines, Gus Magan of Vine Lore, Sara Waring of Foster’s Wine Estates, Diane Sheya of Ivy House Berbs; local restaurants will include 350 Main, Bankok Thai, chez Betty, Shabu, Squatters, Stein Eriksen Lodge, Whaso and more.

What: live entertainment wine tastings, a golf tournament with vintners, educational seminars and a Steel Chef competition for three days and one night. A portion of the proceeds from the event will benefit the Park City Jazz Foundation.

Where: throughout the Park City area.

When: Thursday, July 12 through Sunday, July 15.

Tickets: $25 to $90 depending on the event.

For details: visit http://www.parkcityfoodand