STANLEY, Idaho, May 15, 2012 - Idaho Rocky Mountain Ranch in central Idaho will offer its annual Wine Weekend Aug. 31 - Sept. 2, 2012 along with a "Warm-up to the Weekend" the preceding Sunday and Wednesday. The Wine Weekend will feature respected wine educator John Alongé - the "Wine Heretic" - who subscribes to the philosophy that sharing a bottle of wine is an enjoyable way to relax with old and new friends.
"Somewhere along the way, the whole wine thing has gotten sadly off course with too much over-intellectualization, too much snobbism and too darn many rules," said Alongé. "I yearn for the kinder, simpler times of yore when a bottle of wine was just that, an invitation to a relaxing evening spent with friends. To many of my professional wine colleagues, that makes me a bit of a heretic."
Alongé has an extensive wine and culinary background in the United States and Europe. He is founder of the San Diego Wine and Culinary Institute and sits on the advisory boards of the San Diego Bay Wine and Food Festival and the Business of Wine Program at San Diego State University.
The Ranch's "Warm-up to the Weekend" includes two evenings devoted to casual "Sipping and Chatting" on the front porch Sunday, Aug. 26 and Wednesday, Aug. 29. Alongé will be on the porch before dinner sharing wine he has chosen and encouraging guests to bring and share their own wines.
The Wine Weekend will be a little more structured with Ranch and dinner guests invited to participate in a pre-dinner session on Friday, Aug. 31 called "Comparing California Wines to European." Alongé will facilitate a head-to-head tasting that will illustrate the stylistic differences between European and California wines. Participants will learn about the specific vineyard and winery practices used to create these remarkably different wine styles. This evening event is complimentary for Ranch dinner and overnight guests.
On Saturday Sept. 1 at 1 p.m., Alongé will conduct a session on "The Wines of Northern Spain." Participants will taste the great wines of Spain's northern growing regions and explore the history, culture and traditions that make them unique.
"Find the $100 Wine" will be the theme of the session on Sunday Sept. 2 at 10 a.m. This session will begin with a discussion of the factors that influence the price of wine followed by an exploration of how to perceive wine aromas and flavors. The session concludes with a "blind" tasting of three red wines. One of the wines will be a high-scoring, high-priced wine while the other two will cost less than $20 per bottle.
Rates for Saturday and Sunday's seminars are $50 per person or $75 per couple. The sessions are open to the public.
Idaho Rocky Mountain Ranch is offering packages featuring overnight accommodations for the weekend or the whole week including both the Warm-up and the Wine Weekend.
The Weekend Wine Package includes three nights of accommodations beginning Aug. 31, breakfast and dinner in the dining room along with a packed picnic lunch each day, Friday wine tasting, seminars on Saturday and Sunday and Ranch activities. Rates start at $1,032 per couple and do not include taxes and a 15 percent service charge.
The One Week Wine Package includes seven nights of accommodations beginning Aug. 26, breakfast and dinner in the dining room along with a packed picnic lunch each day, two "Sipping and Chatting" evenings, Friday wine tasting, seminars on Saturday and Sunday and Ranch activities. Rates start at $2,191 per couple and do not include taxes and a 15 percent service charge.
For more information or to make reservations, go online to www.idahorocky.com
/, call 1-208-774-3544, fax 1-208-774-3477 or e-mail email@example.com
The 900-acre Idaho Rocky Mountain Ranch is situated nine miles south of Stanley, Idaho on the Salmon River-Sawtooth Scenic Byway.
Accommodations include 14 cabin units in seven duplexes, a family cabin that accommodates nine, a honeymoon cabin and four rooms in the main lodge. Built in 1930 and listed on the National Register of Historic Places, the accommodations provide modern comforts and historic charm. Rates include a hearty breakfast, a packed picnic lunch, dinner, the use of mountain bikes and the natural hot springs swimming pool, a stocked fishing pond, access to the Salmon River, hiking and a knowledgeable staff. A concierge will help guests decide what they might want to do each day and will make the arrangements. Idaho Rocky Mountain Ranch also boasts an active natural hot spring which feeds directly into a swimming pool, where guests can indulge in a soothing swim or soak.