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Friday at the Aspen Food & Wine Classic

By Dave Buchanan

Day 2 at the Food & Wine Classic always is a test. It's the first long day, filled with seminars and Grand Tastings plus whatever private or reserve events you've arranged, all of which makes it a test of your endurance. And then there's the parties and media events set for tonight, many of which run until WAY past my bedtime, anyway.

I've included another video, this one with shots of winemakers and chefs from Chile, Spain and the Pacific Northwest, talking of everything from Oscar Salas of Terra Andina on the influence of the ocean to Matt Lightner of the restaurant Castagna in Portland and one of this year's Food & Wine 10 Best New Chefs, on foraging for local wild edibles.
Also some shots of how the event changes when the gates open and the crowds pour in.
Had some delicious wines at 10 a.m. while Laura Werlin, the Cheese Lady and author of "Great Grilled Cheese"and other award-winning cheese books, talked up grilled cheese sandwiches.
An entertaining and authorative speaker, Laura told the crowd the bigger the wine, the smaller the window of cheese that will pair with it.
"Big wines go better with cheddar-style cheeses,"she said.
She paired a grilled Silver Mountain Clothbound Cheddar from Bravo Farms, on sourdough with butter, parmesan and garlic, with Madeira, the fortified Portuguese wine. She recounted the story of Madeira and how it was exposed to heat, high humidity and lots of rolling ship action, and she drew a great laugh when she called it the "S&M of wines."
"Did I really say that?" she laughed to a delighted audience.
Good stuff, too, from winemaker Howard Rossbach of Seattle-based Firesteed, the winery he started in 92 because "no one was making an affordable, fruit-forward, low alchohol Pinot Noir."
Firesteed still produces affordable pinot noirs, its value-priced and delicious Willamette Valley pinot noirs under $15.
And for a lesson in pronouncing "Willamette,' we leave you with these words from Eric Mclaughlin of Willamette Valley Vineyards.
"It's Willamette,dammit."

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