Food & Wine Classic to feature new Introductory Sommeliers class
July 5, 2011
The Park City Food & Wine Classic made its debut seven years ago.
Back then, the event featured 20 wineries and only lasted three-days, said event producer Gail Wiltshire.
"In the first few years, we didn’t get around town much," Wiltshire told The Park Record. "Now, it’s a huge event taking over Park City that runs through July 12, and we have more than 100 wineries and dozens of local restaurants participating. We are expecting more than 3,000 attendees."
Throughout the event, seminars by worldwide sommeliers will give attendees the opportunity to learn about the making, the tasting, the culture and the identifying of wines, Wiltshire said.
"We bring in guest speakers from out of town and we use local speakers as well," she said. "People can attend a seminar or a demonstration and sometimes the sommeliers will just sit down at a table and talk, mingle and chit-chat."
This year, the classic is trying something new an Introductory Sommelier Certification program that will be held at the Montage July 11 and 12.
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Master Sommeliers Frederick Dame, Ron Mumford and Larry O’Brien will oversee the program.
"This is an intense, two-day course that helps attendees obtain an intimate knowledge about wine and wine culture," Wiltshire said. "It starts at 8 a.m. and goes until 5 p.m. each day. At the end of the two days, if the workshop attendees pass the 70-question court of Master Sommeliers exam, they’ll receive their first level of sommelier certification.
"It’s the first time something like this will happen in Utah," Wiltshire said.
Another new goal is to introduce out-of-towners and locals to the outdoors.
"We’re expanding the event by adding different activities," she said. "We started to focus more on getting people to enjoy Park City. We do some hikes and bike rides that will include the winemakers. We’re trying to get people involved from all over, not just downtown and not just Canyons, as it has been in the past."
One reason it’s showcased in Park City is to let people around the world that they can actually drink Utah, Wiltshire said.
"That’s shocking to a lot of people who don’t live here," she said with a laugh. "We have people who come from New York and Texas and Los Angeles. They are astounded when they find out we can actually pull this event off."
In addition to providing wine education, the Park City Food & Wine Classic has always served as a fundraiser for local charities.
"This year’s event will benefit the People’s Health Clinic," Wiltshire said. "We’ve raised more than $150,000 for local charities so far. That’s a part of the event that I really love."
The Park City Food & Wine Classic is one of Wiltshire’s favorite celebrations.
"My company, Team Player Productions, produces more than 40 events throughout the year, but this one is my favorite event, and I’m not jut saying that," she said with a laugh. "I live in Colorado and I always feel I need to move out here. This is a business trip that’s very worthwhile."
The Park City Food & Wine Classic will run July 7 through 10, with the Introductory Sommelier Certification workshop being held on July 11 and 12. For more information, event tickets or to register for the workshop, visit http://www.parkcityfoodandwineclassic.com and http://www.msatersommeliers.org.