You need fuel to power your Tahoe getaway, and there's no better way to sample what the Big Blue has to offer in food and drink than the annual tasting festivals that crop up this time of year.
The big kahuna is the Lake Tahoe Autumn Food and Wine Festival, a week-long "celebration of the senses" that takes place Sept. 1-9 in various North Lake-area locales.
The festival kicks off with a Bacon, Beer and Bluegrass event at the West Shore Cafe and Inn in Homewood on Saturday and concludes with its signature show-stopper, the Culinary Competition and Grand Tasting at Northstar on Sept. 9. In between, gourmands can partake in a number of tasty events, including a California varietal tasting and seminar at Uncorked in Squaw Valley on Monday; a Farmer's Market at Commons Beach in Tahoe City on Thursday, Sept. 6; the Tahoe City Grape Stomp on Friday, Sept. 7; a Belgian Brews and Cheese Pairing at Northstar on Saturday, Sept. 8, and an outdoor grilling and cooking seminar, also at Northstar, on Sunday, Sept. 9. A complete schedule can be found here.
The Sample the Sierra Festival, which pairs local farmers and ranchers with chefs, takes place Sunday (Sept 2.) in South Lake Tahoe, as part of a larger, weekend-long arts festival. The tasting event will be held on Ski Run Blvd. between Pioneer Trail and Lake Tahoe Blvd, a.k.a Highway 50. For schedule and ticket information, click here.
There will be two benefit tastings at Squaw Valley this weekend. On Saturday afternoon, the 23rd annual Foam Fest, whose proceeds go to Disabled Sports USA Far West, will feature 40 craft beers along with some bluegrass music. And on Sunday afternoon, the Alpen Wine Fest, which will benefits Can Do MS, have live music, a silent auction, a raffle and more than 40 vineyards represented.