Copper Mountain uncorks bottles of affordable, quality wines this weekend for the second year of Copper Uncorked, an event that's stood out from the start for being anything but your typical wining-and-dining experience. Copper Uncorked embraces the ski area's laid-back and irreverent atmosphere by offering affordable wines, value menus and nontraditional food pairings. In keeping with this year's theme as a "working man's wine festival," local restaurants will showcase casual, wine-themed menus and specials today - featuring anything from New York-style pizza slices paired with Chianti to mixed sliders with a wine flight - as part of "Dine & Wine Around." Incline Bar & Grill, for example, will serve a glass of Australian Shoo-fly Shiraz with a baked Guinness sheppard's pie of sauteed lamb, onions, carrots, celery and peas with Guinness gravy topped with Yukon Gold mashed potatoes. On Saturday, organizers offer a new twist on last year's burger-and-wine pairing. From 2 to 4 p.m. in Burning Stones Plaza, there will be a "Wine-n-Wings Challenge," a competition among Copper chefs that was inspired by a Wine Spectator article on pairing wings and wine for the Super Bowl. Tasting combinations will include sweet and spicy Asian wings paired with Riesling and smoky barbecue with zinfandel, among others. Expect creative flavors - anything except buffalo wings, that is.Later that night, from 7-9 p.m., Copper hosts "Din & Vin" - a "'not so grand' grand tasting" at Kokopelli's Trail. There will be six stations featuring small bites of comfort food paired with value wines, not one of which costs more than $20 retail. Examples include Dreaming Tree Chardonnay and Ravenswood Zen of Zin paired with mini grilled cheese sandwiches and roasted tomato bisque and Hogue Genesis Cabernet, Diseno Malbec and Revenswood Petit Syrah with home-style mini meatloaf, Dijon-whipped potatoes and caramelized onion and bourbon demi glaze. Chefs and wine representatives will be available to discuss recipes and pairings. The festival wraps up on Sunday with a "Burritos & Bubbly Breakfast," pairing made-to-order gourmet burritos with champagne from 9 to 11 a.m. at Jill's Umbrella Bar. Guests can sit back and enjoy their burritos while sipping champagne or take them to go and head straight up the lift.Other participating restaurants are Endo's Adrenaline Cafe, JJ's Tavern, CB Grille and Storm King Lounge. This year, Copper Mountain is working with local distributors, such as RNDC, Southern Wine & Spirits and Wine Cru, to put on the event.
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