‘Taste of the Seasons’ this week

Funds from annual event go to youths

Wine chills and corks pop. Platters of delicious appetizers and desserts roll in. Restaurateurs set up dazzling displays of some of the finest offerings in the area. It’s time for the fifteenth annual “A Taste of the Seasons” wine tasting event.

Hosted by Four Seasons Greenhouse and Nursery in partnership with West Slope Liquors, The Cortez Journal, and KRTZ 98.7FM/KISS 97.9FM, the wine will begin pouring on Thursday, Dec. 5, from 5 to 9 p.m. Sponsors include Four Corners Community Bank and many other area merchants and restaurants whose contributions to the event help make it successful.

For 14 years, “A Taste of the Seasons” has helped children, raising more than $150,000 to programs in Montezuma County such as The Dolores Clubhouse for Youth, the Helping Hands House, the Dolores Public Library and now the United Way of Southwest Colorado.

All funds raised from this event go directly to the children-based programs of the 18 local agencies supported by United Way. Last year, $17,400 was raised and used to benefit children in need in Montezuma and Dolores Counties. Some of the United Way agencies benefiting from last year’s “A Taste of the Seasons” included the Southwest Open School, Pinon Project, Community Connections, Four Corners Child Advocacy Center and Renew. Recipients this year will include Medicine Horse Center and The Bridge Emergency Shelter.

“A Taste of the Seasons 2013” will feature a wide selection of quality wines to sample including some from Guy Drew Vineyards and from wineries elsewhere in Colorado and other regions. For those who don’t prefer wine, beer, soft drinks and coffee will be available.

To accompany the wine tasting, fine food and desserts will be presented by various area restaurants, each showcasing its specialties.

“We’ve got an exciting lineup of participating restaurants, and you’ll be able to sample from among the best in the area including Pepperhead, Shiloh’s, Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory, Stonefish, Main Street Brewery and Kuchu’s. The menu includes a variety of offerings – prime rib to chocolate-covered strawberries.

“We are so thankful to the restaurants and chefs in town who have really gotten behind this event, and it’s a wonderful way to sample the best of what Cortez has to offer in the way of culinary masterpieces,” event coordinator Gail Vanik said. “We surely could not do this without them.”

The silent auction will include works by new and familiar artists.

Bruce Johnson, United Way Community Relations Coordinator for Montezuma and Dolores counties, said, “These times of economic stress for some seem to result in more need for services for the youth in our community. With the generous outpouring of support from the community as expressed by participation in A Taste of Seasons, United Way is able to direct funding to carefully selected agencies serving youth.”

Tickets are $30 per person and are available at Four Seasons Greenhouse and Nursery, West Slope Liquors in Cortez, and from United Way agencies. Guests over age 21 only, please.

For more information about “A Taste of the Seasons” call Four Seasons Greenhouse and Nursery at 565-8274 or Bruce Johnson of United Way at 882-2635.