Toast has a taste of Breckenridge |

Toast has a taste of Breckenridge

BRECKENRIDGE – From Sip It and Rip It to Tasting the Masters’ Way, the Toast of Breckenridge highlights culinary delights, favorite wines and spirits and premier outdoor activities.

The Toast evolved from the Taste of Breckenridge, which wined and dined the town for 15 years. This year, Denverite Chris Garrett is working with Turner Public Relations to present the best food, wine and outdoor activities in Breckenridge again. Garrett, who has worked on Telluride events, took the best of the festivals in Telluride and created an event in Breckenridge.

“It’s just (about) enjoying Breckenridge in the fall,” Garrett said. “There’s nothing that incorporates outdoor activities and great food and wine. It’s casual elegance, from Tevas to ties.”

Jay Fletcher opens the event with his seminar, Tasting the Masters’ Way, at 4 p.m. today. He guides participants through proper wine tasting techniques, incorporating how sight, smell, taste and finish provide clues to a wine’s origin and production as taught by the Court of Master Sommeliers.

Then Christopher Rowe reveals the secrets of how sherry, port and champagne are made, allowing participants to taste their way through the countries from which the wines originate at 5 p.m. today.

For those becoming acquainted with wine, Wine Tasting 101 gives a quick overview of basic qualities and tasting techniques at 5 and 5:30 p.m. today.

Today’s grand tasting runs from 6:30-9:30 p.m. The soiree showcases more than 100 of the world’s best wines and spirits, 10 of Breckenridge’s finest restaurants and five different microbreweries in Summit County. Tickets are $70.

Sip It and Rip It tees off at 9:30 a.m. Saturday. Specific wines and spirits greet golfers at each of the nine holes, along with prizes. The fee is $75.

Seven seminars round out Saturday’s toast. Barry Collier, owner of Collier Falls Vineyard, covers Farming 101 at 10 a.m. with his seminar, Developing Hillside Vineyards. Collier traded in his Mercedes for a tractor and a pick-up and developed 26 acres of steep hillside in Sonoma County, Calif., into fine Zinafandel and Cabernet vineyards.

For a sweet taste, try Rowe’s New World Dessert Wines seminar at 11 a.m. Participants sample American Port-style wine, wine from late harvest grapes and several Australian stickies to surprise and delight them.

The cornerstones of the wines of Rhone emerge at TheWines of Rhone Valley at noon. Fletcher travels with his tastebuds from the northern tip of the Cote Rotie down to the southern part of the Cotes du Rhone and many wines in between.

Tuscany – Chianti and Beyond reviews the transformation of Tuscany from a wasteland to the land responsible for the new Italian wine movement at 1 p.m.

To afford fine wines, you might want to think about investing your money wisely. Terry McGee, vice president with Morgan Stanley, discusses tax-free investing for the 21st century at 2 p.m.

If tax discussions are a little too taxing, wind down with fly fishing as the folks from The Breckenridge Outfitters teach casting, fly selection and the use of equipment and tackle at 3 p.m.

If neither seminar piques your interest, try The Many Faces of Pinot Noir at 2 p.m. Fletcher uncovers why this fickle varietal tastes different every place it is planted.

Saturday’s celebrity chef picnic lunch at noon features New York City chef Anita Lo, Food and Wine magazine’s best new chef of 2001. She will weave far-ranging influences into a coherent sensibility, and Maori’s will provide a picnic lunch. The cost is $40.

Saturday’s concert tasting brings favorite wines, spirits and local microbrews together with The Dudes, made up of three members of the Subdudes, which broke up in 1996. In a Big Easy style, the Dudes breathe life into old Subdudes songs, as well as play original rhythm-and-blues, roots rock and gospel country tunes from 4-6:30 p.m. at the Maggie Pond stage. Tickets are $75.

For dinner, seven of Breckenridge’s finest restaurants pair special menus with the perfect wines and spirits from 7-10 p.m. Restaurants include: Breckenridge Fish and Cattle Co., Cafe Alpine, The Hearthstone Casual Dining, Maori’s, Southridge Seafood Grill, the St. Bernard and Quandary Grill.

Sunday’s champagne and jazz brunch tops off the weekend from 9:30-11 a.m. as chefs from the Quandary Grill prepare an extraordinary brunch to complement fine champagnes from Southern Wine and Spirits. The cost is $35.

Weekend patron passes are $240 or $300 including nine holes of golf. Without a pass, each seminar is $35.

Wine and sports memorabilia auctions, held throughout the weekend, benefit The Summit Foundation and Breckenridge Outdoor Education Center.

Kimberly Nicoletti can be reached at (970) 668-3998 ext. 245 or by e-mail at

Toast of Breckenridge

– When: 4-9:30 p.m. today, 9:30 a.m. to 10 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 7, and 9:30-11 a.m. Sunday, Sept. 8

– Where: Main Street Station, Breckenridge

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