By Matthew Hodgson EBS Editorial Assistant

BIG SKY – Big Sky Resort’s Vine & Dine Festival: A Wine and Food Affair is an opportunity for locals and visitors to taste the finer things in life while enjoying one of the most scenic views in the state. The fifth annual festival, taking place at various venues at the resort, begins on Thursday, Aug. 16, and concludes on Sunday, Aug. 19.

Vine & Dine welcomes sommeliers, winemakers, regional culinary specialists and distinguished guests to gather for wine, food and networking at the base of Lone Mountain at Big Sky Resort.

Nationally renowned chefs including Google Global Food Program chef Scott Giambastiani; Californian restauranteur Traci Des Jardins; and New York chef-consultant Elizabeth Falkner will prepare lunches and dinners around the resort during the festival. In addition to celebrity chefs, educational opportunities include seminars led by master sommeliers Fred Dame and Jay Fletcher.

This year the festivities kick off with a seminar about Italian wines by fine wine specialist Don Jost, also an organizer of the event. “It’s a celebration of food and wine, and the relationship between the two,” he said.

Jost added that the festival is consumer-driven, and features wines and foods from local businesses rather than corporate suppliers. In addition to the tastings and social events, Vine & Dine also has a heavy emphasis on educational seminars, he explained.

Other festival activities include live music by The Hooligans, Jamie McLean Band and Reckless Kelly; cooking demonstrations, a silent auction, and exciting outdoor adventures that weave in food and wine components.

On Sunday, Aug. 19, the final day of the festival, Peaks Restaurant in the Summit Hotel will host Bottomless Recharge Brunch, at which guests will have an opportunity to take home their favorite Vine & Dine wines at a store set up specifically for the event.

Throughout the festival, the resort will host seven seminars about wine-related topics, from tasting notes to classes on wines from specific regions. There will also be eight formal wine-pairing luncheons and dinners at the resort’s Peaks Restaurant, Andiamo Italian Grille, and Chet’s Bar & Grill in the Huntley Hotel; Rosés on the Ridge for the adventurous gourmands, and the Live Big: Stroll and Market.

Rosés on the Ridge combines the Lone Peak Expedition experience and rosé tastings on an adventure that culminates with a high-altitude toast at the 11,166-foot summit of Lone Mountain.

The central piece of the Live Big: Stroll and Market is the Big Sky Grand Tasting Event. Set up like a farmer’s market, the tasting event features 100 wines from approximately 40 national and international wineries and booths representing numerous local and regional restaurants serving samples of their culinary delights.

Visit bigskyresort.com/vine to purchase tickets and for a full schedule of events and seminars.