DU Vin

Sip, Swirl and Savor—A Festival of Fine Wines

DU Vin includes two events, The DU Vin Dinner and the DU Vin Wine Tasting, that offer a special and unique experience to everyone who attends. These events are entirely planned and executed by senior hospitality students, showcasing the valuable skills they’ve learned over the course of the four years spent in the hospitality program.

All ticket proceeds benefit student scholarships and programs in the Fritz Knoebel School of Hospitality Management in the University of Denver’s Daniels College of Business. Your ticket contribution ensures that future students can have exciting experiential learning opportunities.

DU Vin Wine Grand Tasting—Saturday, May 18, 2024


 1-4 p.m.


$50 for University of Denver students
$55 for University of Denver faculty and staff
$60 for the general public

The annual DU Grand Wine Tasting at the Fritz Knoebel School of Hospitality Management offers a boutique wine tasting experience with something for everyone. Sommeliers will decant and educate guests on a selection of over 150 unique wines, which will be paired with select best-selling bites provided by local Denver restaurants and vendors. Food items paired with different wineries around the tasting room will be judged by guests during the festival. The winning restaurant will receive a $500 donation to the charity of their choice.

Guests can also attend three separate educational tasting sessions included in the price of their ticket. Professionals in the beverage industry will offer a champagne tasting, whiskey tasting and a hard kombucha tasting, leading attendees through tasting notes, providing knowledge about each product and much more.

The grand tasting is a product of a class of senior Fritz Knoebel Hospitality Management students. These talented students market, sell, plan, execute and coordinate all aspects of this event with the guidance of their professors and professionals in the food, wine and hospitality industry.

The tasting serves as an experiential learning opportunity, and all ticket proceeds benefit student scholarships and student programming.

Buy Tickets to the DU Vin Wine Tasting

Restaurant Partners

DU Vin Wine Pairing Dinner—Thursday, May 16, 2024


$165 per seat
$1,320 per table of 8

The ticket price includes a signed copy of Karen Akunowicz’s book, “Crave.” Books will be mailed after the dinner.


5:30-6:30 p.m.—Hors d’oeuvres
6:30 p.m.—Doors open and seating begins
6:50 p.m.—Program begins
7 p.m.—Dinner begins

The Fritz Knoebel School of Hospitality Management invites you to a 5-course meal prepared by a James Beard Award-winning chef at the Joy Burns Center at the University of Denver.

The dinner—served and managed by University of Denver hospitality students in the courses Contemporary Cuisine and Human Capital—begins with a glass of sparkling wine and appetizers, followed by a unique menu created by chef Karen Akunowicz. Each course is served alongside a curated list of wines donated by Republic National Distributing Company. All proceeds from the event go to scholarships for the Hospitality Program.

Karen Akunowicz is the 2018 James Beard Foundation Award winner for “Best Chef: Northeast” and the 2020 James Beard Award finalist for “Best New Restaurant.” She is the chef/owner of Fox & the Knife Enoteca in South Boston, named one of Food & Wine’s “Best New Restaurants in America, 2019.”

Chef Akunowicz became a fan favorite when she competed on “Top Chef” Season 13. She has also appeared as a judge on “Top Chef” Season 16 and “Top Chef Canada,” and she came back to compete on Season 17 of “Top Chef: All-Stars L.A.” Most recently, she can be seen as a judge on Food Network’s “Beat Bobby Flay” and competitor on the network’s biggest show, “Tournament of the Champions.”

Named one of the “21 Badass Women Changing the Food World” by Marie Claire Magazine, she is the co-author of the cookbook “Myers+Chang at Home” (Houghton Mifflin 2017) and is currently working on her second cookbook, “Crave” (Countryman/Norton), due out in fall 2023.

In 2019, Karen opened Fox & the Knife, inspired by her time spent living and cooking in Modena, Italy. She created a fresh pasta company, Fox Pasta, that ships sauces and her handmade pasta nationwide. Her second restaurant, Bar Volpe, opened in November 2021 and is focused on wood-fired, southern-Italian cuisine. She has been profiled on CBS Saturday Morning’s “The Dish” series, “The Today Show” and “Access Hollywood.” Akunowicz has also been featured in national publications such as The New York Times, Entrepreneur Magazine, People, Bon Appetit, Food & Wine, Forbes and Wall Street Journal Magazine. 

To purchase tickets to the DU VIN dinner, email us at DCB.FritzKnoebel@du.edu.