Wine Fest had crowd at first blush

Photo by William Woody—Some of the colors, foods and tastes of this year’s Montrose Wine and Food Festival in downtown Montrose.

MONTROSE — Since it began in 2004, the annual Montrose Wine and Food Festival has been deemed a success, raising more than $320,000 for organizations such as the Black Canyon Boys and Girls Club and Kids Aid.

The festival, now in its eighth year, concludes today and has united the sights, smells and tastes of Burgundy and Bordeaux with culinary arts for area residents.

The festival opened Thursday with a cooking demo and wine pairing featuring Bravo! Network “Top Chef” Stephen Asprinio.

On Saturday a three-block closure of Main Street allowed food vendors, shop owners, wine makers and festival patrons to mesh during the festival’s grand tasting.

“The amount of interest has increased, and the awareness for the organizations we support has also increased,” said Phuong Nguyen, one of the founders of the festival. “It’s a twofold success story.”

Saturday morning featured a tasting class presented by the Riedel wine glass company.

Company spokesman Doug Reed addressed a crowd of 30 wine enthusiasts about the importance of the size and shape of a wine glass and its effect on the color and flavor of white and red wines.

“Glassware is the most important thing,” Reed said.

Class participants learned by transferring wines from different glasses the flavors of wines such as chardonnay and cabernet sauvignon changed and their aromas were either lost or enhanced.

Following the class, rainy skies did little to hamper the downtown tasting as hundreds of people tasted wine, food and sampled music by The Last Bus.

The Bubbles, Burgers and BBQ celebration closes the festival today at Centennial Plaza in downtown Montrose from 11 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.

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