Coming of Age

Savoring the 2008 Kapalua Wine & Food Festival


Story by Ashley Stepanek

Grand Tasting“Cherries. A hint of currant. Mmm . . . yes, chocolate,” my friend Cortland says, savoring the first sip from a bottle he’s been saving. A satisfied smile spreads across his face, confirming to me the wisdom of what people have known since before the ancient Greeks: that wine improves with age.

Do the flavors of a fete also improve? Fans of the Kapalua Wine & Food Festival would give an emphatic “Yes!” as they eagerly await this stellar event, now in its twenty-seventh year: “Nationally acclaimed winemakers and master sommeliers! Ah, daily wine seminars and gourmet cooking demonstrations. . . .”

Hosted by Master Sommelier Fred Dame of Beam Wine Estates in San Francisco, this year’s festival takes place June 26 to 29 at Kapalua Resort. The theme is Savor the Magic of Maui, and weekend highlights, to name a few, include: cooking with celebrity Chef Pano Karatassos of Atlanta’s Kyma and Buckhead Life Restaurant Group; the Ritz’s Grand Tasting, where you can sample wines from around the world; participation in Master Sommelier 105, an interactive blind tasting for amateur connoisseurs; the Kapalua wine tour, golf tournament, and winemakers’ dinners; and the Seafood Festival, a fun finale featuring some of Maui’s most prominent chefs.

For information, call 1-888-665-9160, or visit


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