For 27 years The Colorado Springs Wine Festival has been been the special weekend destination site for wine lovers. It's a rare opportunity to meet and learn from the world's top vintners.
It's an opportunity to become something of a sommelier, sampling the best, chatting about and swirling wine that has legs and a complex bouquet. It's a time to experience which wines can be paired with which cheeses and try top wines paired with a gourmet meal at Garden of the Gods Club.
The festival March 8-10, The Wines of Southern France, lived up to all expectations for several thousand people while continuing the tradition of supporting the arts and the Colorado Springs Conservatory, whose musicians played and performed at many of the weekend events.
A special part of the Colorado Springs Wine Festival was the traditional Friday night Grand Tasting at The Broadmoor, an ultimate date night drawing 800 people from across the area. There were taste treats from local restaurants and bakeries at 10 stations, between the wine-pouring stations.
New vehicles from Phil and Ann Winslow were on the floor for people to check out, including the "first ever" BMW X2 in bright gold.
Featured wine guests were Michael Corso; Nicholas Gassier with Michael Gassier Wines; Dan Kravitz with Domaine Cabirau and Les Vignerons de Tautavel & Vingrau; Rodolphe de Pins, Chateau de Montfaucon; and Charles and Ruth Simpson, Domaine Saint Rose.
Guest chef was Brother Luck, just returned from "Top Chef" competition; Tim Gaiser was master sommelier; and Ashley Hausman Vaughters, Master of Wine.
Volunteers who put together the annual festivities with chair Elizabeth Youngquist were committee heads Jim Little, Peggy McKinlay, Chelle Mason, Michelle Talarico, Merle Taylor, Barry Cooper, Steve Kander, Monika Randall, Jess Roma, Sharon Butts, Faith Dekeado, Jacqueline Walsh, Cyd and Elliot Cohn, Brian Bennett, Dan Ferguson, Dan Osinski and Denise Bac.
As the festival wound down, the Conservatory's delighted founder, Linda Weise, repeated over and over to all involved, "Merci, merci."