A sommelier can recommend the best wine to complement a dinner, just as a teenager can recommend the best lip balm to complement a chewing gum. Benefit from flavor expertise with today's Groupon to the 2011 Summit Wine and Food Festival at The Grand Summit Hotel. Choose from the following options:
• For $29, you get one admission to the three-course "Sommelier Showdown" luncheon on Saturday, September 10 from 12:30 p.m. to 2:30 p.m. in the Grand Ballroom (a $59 value).
• For $37, you get one admission to the outdoor Caja China Competition on Sunday, September 11 from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. (a $75 value).
• For $125, you get one admission to the six-course Gala Dinner on Saturday, September 10 starting at 7 p.m. in the Grand Ballroom (a $250 value).
The third annual Summit Wine and Food Festival showcases wineries, sommeliers from around the country, and the talents of chefs from the Food Network and Bravo's Top Chef, and supports charitable organizations. The "Sommelier Showdown" luncheon challenges professional sommeliers to demonstrate their extensive knowledge of wine service and flavor descriptors such as "oaky" and "purple" to a panel of judges. Luncheon guests nosh on a three-course meal, crafted by a master chef and paired with the wines featured in the contest.
Sunday's outdoor Caja China Competition finds some of the nation's top chefs facing off over La Caja China spits—portable roasting boxes that can churn out moist meats such as pork or lamb, or cook incriminating business documents. Participants formulate their own opinions of the flavors as they sample the meaty dishes alongside a tasting panel of great culinary minds.
The Saturday Night Gala dinner invites guests to indulge in six courses of epicurean artistry. Fellow foodies can discuss favorite dishes and debate the pros and cons of edible silverware as they consume comestibles crafted by notable chefs from around the country, paired with an array of fine wines.
Summit Wine & Food Festival
The brainchild of Ivan Ruiz—a sommelier who’s perfected mealtime pairings at restaurants across New York City—the Summit Wine & Food Festival celebrates the intersection between great wine and great food while simultaneously raising funds for the Community FoodBank of New Jersey. Celebrity chefs from Bravo and the Food Network and local guest chefs share their knowledge during events like mixology classes and a special beer tasting hosted by Spiegelau Crystal, which includes a complementary set of beer tasting glasses for each attendee. Sommeliers also share the spotlight at the summit—showcasing varietals from domestic and international vineyards—and clear up the misconception that grapes are just confident blueberries.