Vine & Dine, Big Sky’s premier summer culinary event, returns mid-month
Vine & Dine, the highly anticipated culinary event of the summer, returns for its sixth year, August 15th–18th. The weekend-long epicurean festival brings together foodies, wine and spirit connoisseurs, master sommeliers, top culinary talent and winemakers in the stunning destination of Big Sky, Montana. The festival incorporates outdoor adventure and unparalleled scenic beauty with food and wine tastings, educational seminars, cooking demonstrations, and curated lunches and dinners.
Big Sky’s Vine & Dine offers the unique opportunity for foodies and beverage connoisseurs to clink glasses with extraordinary talent, including master sommeliers Fred Dame and Jay Fletcher, paired with the culinary talents of Chef Scott Giambastiani of Google, Kent Torrey of The Cheese Shop, and other movers and shakers in the industry.
“What differentiates Vine & Dine from other culinary festivals is the combination of outdoor recreation and masterful food and wine pairings. Vine & Dine is the ultimate mountain après experience,” said Adam Stevens, vice president of food and beverage at Big Sky Resort.
Weekend highlights include ‘Cheese & Wine… A Stinky Good Time,’ where Torrey, visiting cheese connoisseur from the Carmel, California-based Cheese Shop, presents eight unique cheeses perfectly paired with wine selections from sommeliers Dame and Fletcher.
“I’m paired with major rockstars – I just have the cheesy jokes,” said Torrey of the Cheese & Wine soiree on Saturday afternoon.
For those who enjoy drinking in the views, ‘Pinot on the Peak’ features a toast and picnic at the summit of Lone Mountain, at 11,166 feet, no hike required. Vine & Dine events such as the ‘Cocktail Codex Master Class’ presented by Death & Co, a New York City cocktail institution, provide an education on cocktail-crafting led by expert mixologists.
“I’m excited to be back at Big Sky for the sixth annual Vine & Dine, where our original quartet who started this event – master sommeliers Fred Dame and Jay Fletcher – join Kent Torrey and I for a series of exciting food and wine events in mid-August,” said Scott Giambastiani, food program manager at Google.
Leading many of the weekend’s events is revered master sommelier Fred Dame, affectionately known by his colleagues as “the godfather” of wine. Joined by master sommelier Jay Fletcher, Dame will lead the ‘Vine & Dine Master’s Dinner’ at Everett’s 8800 on Friday evening, featuring unique and rare wines from the Guild of Sommelier’s cellar.
“There is no better place on the planet to drink fine wine, dine well and celebrate life,” said Dame. “Big Sky’s natural beauty and outdoor activities are world class,” Dame added.
Kent Torrey describes Vine & Dine events as informative and entertaining, with a laid back Montana vibe.
“This is the most fun group of professionals to take you on a journey of eating and drinking. We could get really technical, tell you the history, and everything under the sun, but ultimately we know this: festival-goers want to drink wine, eat cheese and have fun,” Torrey said. “That’s what it’s all about.”
Master sommelier Jay Fletcher is most excited about hosting the Master’s Dinner at Everett’s 8800 on Friday evening.
“Chef Scott Giambastiani from Google will be doing the cooking and his food is always crazy good. Paired with the wines I have selected from the Somm Foundation’s Old and Rare Cellar – plus the views from Everett’s – surely it will be an event not to be missed,” said Fletcher.
Vine & Dine guest chefs and sommeliers will be sharing the kitchen with members of the Big Sky Resort culinary team, including Chef Ryan Solien, Chef Eric Holup, Master Chef Sunil Malhotra, and resident sommelier Don Jost.
“The hospitality and friendship that I have received every year makes it feel like home,” said Fletcher, who will be returning for his sixth year of Vine & Dine festivities.
For a complete schedule of events, tickets and further information, please visit www.bigskyvine.com. Discounted accommodations during the weekend festival also available. •