On May 12 and 14, 2016, the Fritz Knoebel School of Hospitality Management hosted the seventh annual DU Vin Wine Festival at the Joy Burns Center. This student-planned event gives hospitality management students hands-on experience planning and running a culinary and wine event. Proceeds fund student scholarships for the Hospitality Management program.
DU Vin consisted of two separate events. On Thursday, the Wine Pairing Dinner featured a menu prepared by three top Denver chefs: Alex Seidel of Mercantile Dining & Provisions, Daniel Asher of Root Down and Linger, and Keegan Gerhard of D Bar. On Saturday, the Grand Tasting showcased over 100 wines, fine food samplings from Denver-area restaurants and live music.
Top chefs from area restaurants such as Brio, The Lobby, Mizuna, Mountain Crust, North Italia, Syrup, Ted’s Montana Grill and Vesper Lounge teamed up with hospitality management students in a Pairing Challenge, in which students competed to create the perfect pairing combination of food and wine and Grand Tasting guests voted on their favorite. The winning team received $500 to donate to the charity of its choice.
Guests enjoyed three educational sessions as well: the Stranahan’s Colorado Whiskey Tasting, the Art of Champaign Tasting and the Brewability Lab Home Brew and Beer Sampling.
“This year’s DU Vin Festival was exceptional in several ways,” says David Corsun, director of the Knoebel School. “Renowned Denver chefs worked with students in our Contemporary Cuisine class to produce the Food and Wine Pairing Dinner, marking the first time we have had a multi-chef collaboration as part of our Guest Chef Series. It was also the first time the Contemporary Cuisine class partnered with our Event Practicum class on the dinner portion of the festival. Such cross-course collaborations are increasingly occurring at Knoebel and help produce extraordinary, challenge-driven educational opportunities for our students.”
Dr. Corsun said that this year was the festival’s most successful. “For the first time in the DU Vin Festival’s history, we sold out the Grand Tasting. Both events were exceptionally well organized and executed, producing great guest experiences.” Republic National Distributing Company of Colorado is the partner for the DU Vin Wine Festival, and has chosen DU Vin as its premier consumer wine event in Denver.
The Knoebel School of Hospitality Management is one of the few hospitality schools in the world housed within a college of business. One of the most respected programs in the country, Knoebel offers state-of-the-art learning facilities, including a 2,800 square-foot production kitchen, a beverage management center fashioned after a Tuscan wine cellar, an operations center and a 170-person banquet facility.