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Press Release

Denver Food & Wine Sept. 9-10

Event offers hospitality students real-world experience

Contact: Tim Carroll, Office 303-556-5136, Cell 303-870-7705

Posted: September 1, 2011

(Denver, Colo.) — A sensory buffet of food and wine appealing to epicurean tastes sets the stage for a hands-on learning environment for more than 80 Hospitality, Tourism and Events (HTE) students when Metropolitan State College of Denver hosts this year’s 7th Annual Denver Food and Wine (DFW) Sept. 9-10. 

The culinary showcase, which features more than 600 wines, signature spirits and cuisine from more than 40 of Denver’s finest restaurants, has been hosted on Metro State’s campus since 2008 at 7th and Lawrence Way.

“The square footage for the event venue has almost doubled this year compared to last, providing more opportunity for students to interact with vendors and event participants,” says Cynthia Onken Glimm, Metro State affiliate faculty wine instructor and Metro State DFW coordinator.

The DFW event, which is the second largest festival of its kind in Colorado (behind Aspen Food and Wine) and the largest wine festival in the country held on a college campus, is good practice for HTE students, who will soon benefit from the College’s $45-million Hotel and Hospitality Learning Center (HLC) opening fall 2012.

The HTE department, which expects to double its current enrollment of nearly 600 students in the next decade after the opening of the HLC, has hosted the Denver Food and Wine since its move from City Lights at the Pepsi Center to the Metro State campus. The Colorado Restaurant Association Education Foundation produces the DFW with its presenting sponsor US Foodservice.


Art of the Cocktail - Friday, Sept. 9 –7:30 to 11 p.m.

  • Evening highlights: Westword’s Dish will showcase the Café Society’s list of featured restaurants.
    The Colorado Bartenders Guild presents the Art of the Cocktail’s Masters of Mixology.
    Alice 105.9 presents a concert from National recording artist Rachel Platten with special guests, local artists Air Dubai. Friday’s event tickets are $35.00 in advance online and $50.00 at the door.


Denver Food and Wine “Grand Tasting- Saturday, Sept. 10 – Noon to 4 p.m.

  • Day’s highlights: The “Grand Tasting” offers guests cuisine from 40 of Denver’s finest restaurants and samples of featured wines, and signature spirits, including: Viking Culinary Chef Showcases, Beam Global Cocktail Party, Pernod Ricard’s “Perfect Mix” Lounge, Skyy Spirits, W.J. Deutch Wine Bar,  Trinchero Family Estate Wines and the Avion Café.

Participating restaurants include: Chart House, Denver Chop House & Brewery, Piatti Restaurant, The Fort, Bonefish Grill, Brown Place Hotel, Le Central, Root Down and more. Saturday’s event tickets are $75.00 available online or at the door.

Although students are not required to work the DFW by volunteering they receive extra credit. More importantly they gain valuable event management experience that goes beyond classroom theory, according to John Dienhart, chair of the HTE department. Students are volunteering in a variety of tasks including chef support, event planning, product presentation, set up and event logistics. 

“During the past three years, we have discovered that student volunteers who show initiative gain critical experience that goes well beyond the task they were asked to support,” says Dienhart. “This event is a natural fit for our students since we offer a beverage minor degree, beverage management certificate and International Sommelier Guild certification.”

Proceeds for the event benefit Metro State HTE student scholarships, as well as the Colorado Restaurant Association Education Foundation and The Denver Post Community Foundation. This year’s event will also feature a silent wine and hospitality auction with more than $5,000 worth of merchandise. Auction items rang from a time-share condo and cooking classes, to dinner certificates and vintage wines, according Onken Glimm. 

Greening the Event
An event as large as this also has a “green” element, where students from food preparation and sanitation classes will monitor the event’s sustainability and vendor recycling habits, and contribute to the goal of reducing landfill waste by 20 percent, says Dienhart.  For more information about the event visit


About Denver Food and Wine / Metropolitan State College of Denver:
Metropolitan State College of Denver’s Hospitality Tourism and Events (HTE) department has been a longstanding partner of the Denver Food and Wine (DFW). Since 2008, Metro State has hosted the event on campus with Southern Wine & Spirits of Colorado, US Foodservice, and the Colorado Restaurant Association Education Foundation.  The event has provided hundreds of HTE students the opportunity to gain enriching first-hand event experience in Colorado’s second largest industry at the second largest event of its kind in the state. Beverage management classes are offered in Wine Fundamentals, Wines of the New World, Wines of the Old World, Beer and Spirits, and Wine and Food Pairing through the HTE program. Currently, the HTE department has nearly 600 students, with enrollment projected to double in the next decade with the opening of its new campus Hotel and Hospitality Learning Center in the fall 2012. To learn more about Metro State’s HTE program visit

About Metropolitan State College of Denver
With more than 24,000 students, Metro State is Colorado’s leader in educating undergraduate Coloradans. The College now offers master’s degrees in accounting, teaching and social work. The College enrolls the highest number of students of color among four-year colleges in the state. It boasts more than 70,000 alumni, the bulk of whom remain in Colorado after graduation.