Tahoe Tastes: Autumn Food & Wine Festival

Go alpine for a gourmet marketplace, farm-to-table goodness, and chef hellos.

DINNER FUN, DAPPLED DAYS: Fall can summon a whole grab bag of words -- caramel, foliage, woodsmoke, and crabapple among them -- but Lake Tahoe is a slightly different place. Well, you know that, if you know the mythically beautiful spot of pure amazingness, but it can be difficult, at first glance, to land upon some of those Tahoe-type words that might be said a little bit more come September and October. We'll start with salmon, since the fall is spawning season for the lake's ruddier denizens. We'll start with skiing, which actually isn't going on yet, but will be, almost immediately, so the chit chatter is on the rise. We'll start with mellow, which Tahoe often is, but its mellow dial gets turned up when the summer takes its last golden bow.

BUT... more than anything, we'll say dappled is a fall-Tahoe-y kind of term. Sure, sun dapples during other times of the year, but to see it twinkling through the trees in September is to feel like you're at the bottom of a pitcher of lemonade. In short? It's the ideal time for anything, but if you're going to throw a food festival, you do it then. No snow, no crowds, just dapply, mellow good times good-times-ing up the Autumn Food & Wine Festival at North Lake Tahoe.

 THE LOCAL DELICIOUSNESS... hits the grills and pans and plates from Friday, Sept. 5 through Sunday, Sept. 7. The weekend starts off with an Art of the Cocktail seminar -- how very Friday -- and dips into other dining treats along the way, including Hands-On Mozzarella Cheese-Making, a wine and brew walk, and a hike into Tahoe National Forest with "tasting stations along the way" (think "craft beer" and "light snacks"). Farm-to-table themes, seafood, freshness, and the bounty of the high-elevation region shall come into play. A gourmet vendor fair, a long table harvest dinner -- how very autumn -- and a seminar all about how we should rock our own personal preferences when it comes to tastes are on the calendar. Wait. Did we say there's a hike with tasting stations? Oh, goodness, we did.

AND, JUST TO CONFIRM: We also called Tahoe a "mythically beautiful spot of pure amazingness." Not toning or dialing that down, either. It stays because it is true.

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