[caption id="attachment_1480" align="aligncenter" width="575" caption="The Highland Farmers' Market is just one of the many wine- and food-inspired events we are looking forward to this summer."][/caption]
When it gets warm, people love to taste wine (same can be said for when it's cold, mild, rainy, snowy...). Which means summertime brings out the best in festivals throughout the state. Here are five we think you should attend this year:
Highland Farmers' Market
9–1 p.m. Saturday (June–Oct. 15), Boulder Street between 15th and 16th
Come summer, we love to pop up our tent just outside of LoLa, put on a straw hat and make sure the entire community has access to some wine while they shop the weekly Highland Farmers' Market. It's really our favorite event since we get to interact with all of our neighbors (businesses and people!). New this year: We'll be using the market as a jug refill station, which means you can refill you jug (1 liter for just $12.99 or buy your first jug filled for $20). Then you can go pick some fresh products from all the other wonderful vendors before heading home.
Colorado Urban Winefest
Noon–6 p.m. June 9, Sculpture Park (in front of the DCPA)
As part of the second annual Colorado Wine Week, Colorado Urban Winefest returns to Denver in a much more downtown location than last year (is Stapleton really a part of Denver?). If you don't know it by name, Sculpture Park is the green space along Speer that features those massive dancing aliens. About 40 wineries are expected at Winefest, which is the sister festival to the two-decade-old Mountain Winefest each fall in Palisade. The event will include food trucks, entertainment and educational seminars.
Aspen Food and Wine Classic
June 15–17, Aspen
This is the top festival in the state for toques. It brings together some of the nation's finest winemakers and chefs to the glitzy resort town in the central mountains each summer. Put on by the good folks at Food & Wine magazine, the 30th iteration of Food & Wine will feature Mario Batali, Tom Colicchio, Boulder's own Richard Betts, Emeril Lagasse and many more. We're still waiting for an invite. Is this thing on? Hello?
Colorado Mountain Winefest
Sept. 16–18, Palisade
This is the Grand Daddy of Colorado wine festivals, having served the local vino community for more than 20 years. The weekend event included everything from a grand tasting to bicycle tours of the vineyards — and a whole lot of food in between. We try to make it every year as it's a spectacle not to be missed and the only place on the planet that allows for the tasting of more than 50 Colorado wineries in one place.
6:30 p.m. the third Friday of the month, Colorado Winery Row, 4640 Pecos St.
We'd be remiss to not include our own party. We team with the other three members of Colorado Winery Row once a month to throw down a fantastic Sunnyside neighborhood party. Food trucks swing by, live music bounces off the walls of the wineries and there's never a shortage of wine to go around (by the glass or bottle). Best of all, entrance is free.