We're now firmly into fall, and this weekend's food and drink events tell the tale. There are some events that can't be confined to a season, so great is their awesomeness (think wine and breakfast burritos), but others (pumpkin carving, chili cook-offs) are staunchly seasonal. Here are six of the best this weekend, as well as a few more through the end of the month.
Friday, October 12
If you're skeptical that a documentary profiling sommeliers — especially going by the insider-y abbreviation "somm" — could possibly be of any interest to peons outside the hoity-toity world of wine, we get it. But the two films (Somm and Somm 2: Into the Bottle) that have already been released are surprisingly down-to-earth and endearing as they chronicle the attempts of regular Joes to pass the prestigious Master Sommelier exam and explore the history of storied vineyards and ins and outs of the wine trade. Somm 3 will be released to the public on October 19, but on Friday, October 12, the film will be screened at Vauxhall at the Ramble Hotel, 2450 Larimer Street, at 6:30 p.m. After the film, Frasca's Bobby Stuckey (one of just 273 people in the world who have passed that exam) will host a blind tasting of six wines. Tickets are on sale for $125 at eventbrite.com, ensuring that it's not just the 1 percent who can enjoy the fruit of the vine.
Saturday, October 13
Love him or hate him, Michael Hancock has done at least one thing right during his tenure as Denver's mayor: He's proclaimed Saturday, October 13, as Santiago's Breakfast Burrito Day. And on the hometown holiday, all Santiago's locations are offering the foil-wrapped breakfast of champions for just $1.25 all day — the same price the Den-Mex chain charged when it opened the doors to its first eatery 27 years ago. Not to be outdone, local chain Illegal Pete's is piggybacking on the event (conveniently leaving out the "Santiago's" and branding it "Free Breakfast Burrito Day") and handing out a free breakfast burrito to guests between 9 a.m. and 1 p.m. Play your cards right, and you won't have to eat anything but tortillas, eggs, cheese, potatoes and chile all day.
In the pumpkin-carving mood but don't want to deal with the mess? Hotel Teatro, 1100 14th Street, is taking one for the team and letting you strew pumpkin seeds around its distinguished decor from 1 to 3 p.m. on Saturday, October 13. Show up with a pumpkin (BYOP does not stand for "bring your own Patrón," in this case), but everything else — carving tools, a cocktail, apple cider doughnuts and even carving assistants — will be provided. Happy-hour pricing will be in full effect during the workshop, and gourd enthusiasts will even be able to take home a set of carving tools. Tickets, $20, and details are up at hotelteatro.com; that's a scary good deal.
Golden's Parfet Park, 701 10th Street, will be transformed from a calm city park in the Colorado foothills to a hotbed of intrigue, rivalry and deception on Saturday, October 13. A culinary brawl that will rival the battles in Game of Thrones is set to break out as people unveil their pots of chili for the Knock Your Boots Off Chili Cook-Off and Beer Tasting. Thirty competitors will vie for honors (and money!) as well as a people's choice award in one of three categories (red, green and the abominable white), all washed down by more than eighty different beers provided by Golden's largest brewery (spoiler alert: They're all lagers). Get unlimited samples of them all for just $40 at the Golden Chamber of Commerce website.
Here's a situation where getting juiced for the weekend actually means...getting juice on the weekend. On Saturday, October 13, Denver residents Scott and Trisha Cohen will open Nékter Juice Bar at 700 Colorado Boulevard. This is the first Nékter within Denver city limits (though there are a few in the ’burbs and dozens around the country), and to celebrate, the Cohens will be selling sixteen-ounce juices and superfood smoothies for just $1 — a real bargain if you've witnessed the price of juices skyrocket from the old days of sipping Orange Julius at the mall. Stop by from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. for your dose.
Sunday, October 14
If there's anything Denverites like more than lacing up their running shoes and trotting around Wash Park, it's spending $14 on an avocado perched on a piece of toast (as long as it's accompanied by a bottomless mimosa, of course). Combine the Mile High City's two passions on Sunday, October 14, at the bRUNch Run 5K/10K, where you'll race around Stapleton Central Park, 8801 Martin Luther King Boulevard, then race to the bar, where you'll hydrate with Bloody Marys, mimosas and beer. You can also engage in some post-race carb loading with brunch bites from Bistro Georgette, Interstate Kitchen & Bar, the Corner Office and Denver Milk Market. Cross the starting line at 9:15 a.m.; registration starts at $50 at Brunch Running's website.
Keep reading for upcoming food and drink events.
Saturday, October 27
We've written about MCA Denver's Dinner Society before; the meals are always impressive and the setting enjoyable. But the next installment in the series promises to raise the bar even higher: Ian Kleinman (of the Inventing Room) will be cooking a meal inspired by Tara Donovan's Fieldwork exhibit. The entire museum, 1485 Delgany Street, is currently taken over by Donovan's elaborate and engrossing site-specific sculptures, and there's no one in Denver we'd rather see interpret her vision on a plate than the wildly creative Kleinman. Tickets, $125, include a tour of the exhibit as well as a three-course meal (miso crepe with lemon crab, béchamel, coconut caviar and saltwater bubbles; hoisin and orange sous-vide pork with black-tea jelly and smoked potatoes; and mousse with peanut butter Pop Rocks, nitro puffed rice and a sugar slinky) and drinks from the Family Jones. Reserve your seat at eventbrite.com before tickets are gone like a puff of liquid nitrogen.
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November 1 through November 4
If you want to improve your knowledge of French wine (or French geography, as the two go hand in hand), consider attending the Boulder Burgundy Festival from Thursday, November 1, through Sunday, November 4. The four-day fair will include an old and rare Burgundy tasting and silent auction; a Beaujolais wine seminar; meals at Corrida, Mateo, Frasca and Arcana; and the finale, a Grand Tasting. Still not sure if you want to attend? Let's make it simple: You'll be drinking pinot noir, chardonnay and gamay. Event prices start at $85 and are on sale now at the festival website.
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