The Sun Valley Center For the Arts held its 33rd annual Wine Auction in Sun Valley this past weekend. For a bit of background, the Wine Auction is considered one of the premier wine auctions in the country. It unfolds over three days, ending with the “Wine Auction Vine & Dine.”
The Sun Valley Center For the Arts sums up the event perfectly with “it’s a true community gathering — with tapas from select local restaurants, grand tasting and music — a quintessential summer event with something for everyone.” Needless to say, the ‘Center’ is an incredible local nonprofit that really knows how to throw an event for all to enjoy.
We did our fair share of enjoying at this year’s “Vine & Dine,” also locally known as the “Wine Picnic.” Krista volunteered prior to the event so she had a chance to grab our group a prime spot on the lawn at Dollar Mountain Lodge. We enjoyed an evening with copious amounts of wine, local cuisine and good company.
So, as with any audacious Idaho adventure, we went fully prepared (mentally and physically) for an evening in the beautiful Idaho outdoors.
Location. The event was held at Dollar Mountain on the lawn leading up the ski mountain. Nothing beats an event at the base of a ski hill. For all of you anti-ski bunnies out there, this is the obvious mountain event for you.
Shelter. Although the weather was perfect with just a slight breeze to abate the beating sun, the weather in Sun Valley is known for unpredictability. One minute it’s sunny and the next it’s snowing. So, the event had a plethora of white tents for the food vendors, including a large white tent that housed all the wine.
If you are like us and don’t see significant sun for nine months out of the year, we recommend wearing sunscreen and/or a cute hat and bringing an umbrella. There were also a ton of large beach umbrellas set up for the event to provide a bit of shade to share with your lawn neighbors.
Wine. Every attendee received a commemorative Riedel wine glass upon entering. Your glass was your glass slipper to the evening, providing you with unlimited wine. The sky was the limit. But everyone kept it classy in their ode to Dionysus.
There were a plethora of options for everyone from red to rosé to white. The event served wines from near and far, including California and the North West. Unfortunately it may be worth taking notes next year, as our specific recollection of individual wine names is limited.
We did try a great Rosé from Blackbird Vineyards that wasn’t overly sweet and provided a great transition to red wine towards the later evening.
Food. We may have been some of the first and definitely last people in line for food. When it comes to all you can eat picnic-style, we will be there. All of the fare was incredible and featured amazing local restaurants including:
Rasberrys, the haven, il Naso, Enoteca, Ketchum Grill, The Sawtooth Club, Elevation 486, Globus, Zou 75, Sun Valley Resort, Java Coffee and Cafe, The Chocolate Moose, Rolling in Dough, Toni’s Sun Valley Ice Cream, and Cristina’s Restaurant and Bakery.
Rasberrys featured an well-massaged kale salad with a side shot of honeydew melon and cucumber gazpacho. For those who don’t enjoy your pyramid of fruits and veggies daily, this kale salad and cucumber gazpacho were unreal. There were both fresh and crisp and perfect for a sunny, summer evening. Dare we say palate cleansers.
Remarkably, the only time that Taylor had enjoyed food from the haven before was at about 2:00 am with Krista one evening after the bars (mac & cheese never tastes better). Sadly, it is likely the only “drunk” food that you will ever find in Ketchum (past 10:00 pm) if you can track this stellar green truck down. However, it has become quite popular, obviously, and has been rented for many recent local events such as late night wedding food. Such a brilliant idea. the haven managed to produce a highly complex, flavorful vegetarian tostado that was a hit throughout the crowd. They were clearly well-prepared, most likely due to cooking in a lime green truck everyday.
Dessert. The evening of self indulgence wasn’t complete without dessert. We were a bit late to dessert, as we detoured to talk to some friends, so we managed to snag a few last minute bowls of what we presumed to be cobbler. We obviously didn’t stop there and topped our cobbler with a few scoops of Tony’s Sun Valley Ice Cream Co.
Dress Code. As with many Idaho events, the dress code was Sun Valley semi-casual. For all of you non-locals, this ranges from shorts and collared shirts for the guys to sun dresses or nice jeans for the ladies. We both featured favorites from SWAY, arguably both of our favorite local boutiques. Krista donned a floral dress with just the perfect amount of skin with a cutout back and Taylor took the opportunity (again) to wear her Indigo Chambray Jumpsuit.
Things to Bring. Here are a few “Wine & Dine” necessities:
- Picnic Blanket
- Sun Hat
- Dancing Shoes