Ernest Hemingway said, “Wine and friends are a great blend.” The Red Ledges Club members toast to these words at the monthly Flight and Bite Night event—hosted by Jim Santangelo, the Utah Wine Academy’s founder.
Santangelo started his food and beverage career at a charcoal hot dog stand in Western New York. After moving to Salt Lake City, Utah, Santangelo shifted his focus toward fine dining and was especially intrigued by the enhanced flavors in food and wine pairings.
Santangelo uses his unique experience to create a fun atmosphere where new and seasoned wine drinkers continue learning about wine. Each event highlights the flavors and atmosphere of each season while emphasizing wine from specific regions.
During each event, Santangelo explains how a region’s temperatures impact the flavor of each grape varietal. Periodically, these events will take you on a blind tasting experience where you learn how to identify wine based on specific characteristics.
“New members sometimes feel nervous before our blind tasting events,” said Stephanie Potempa, Red Ledges’ Events Director. Potempa continues, “But the blind tasting events are fun because these events involve more sleuth work—which initiates even more discussion between members at each table.”
If you are preparing to attend your first Flight and Bite Night at Red Ledges Club, here is what to expect:
In the spring and summer, the event is held at the Village Center Pool. This venue allows you to soak in the incredible mountain views and summer flavors. As the weather cools, the event moves to Juniper Grill—the club’s fine dining restaurant. In the fall and winter, this event becomes more formal and places a greater emphasis on heavy winter flavors.
When you first walk into the event, you will see several tables already set with a tasting card and the glassware for the evening—each event features four wines. As the event starts, servers will pour your first glass of wine.
As you raise your glass to say “cheers” with neighbors and friends at your table—Santangelo will talk you through the flavor profile of the first wine. Meanwhile, the servers will deliver your first bite—the pattern for the remainder of the evening.
Here is an example menu Executive Chef Clark Norris created for a previous blind tasting event:
The Flight and Bite Night experience is top-rated within the Red Ledges golf community. Here’s what Cynthia Wilcox, a member of the Red Ledges Sales Team, said about the experience:
“Before attending my first event—I knew the types of wines I liked, but I wanted to understand why. Today, I attend these events because I enjoy meeting other club members with similar interests, tasting the delicious food, and finding new wines.”
If you would like to learn more about the events at Red Ledges or how to become a member—follow this link to contact our team.