Upcoming: Eat Drink SLC – July 7th 2016
Founded by executive members from SB Dance, Tracy Aviary and Vine Lore, Eat Drink SLC strives to create an evening that fosters a true appreciation of the culinary arts by featuring chefs from local restaurants and pairing their creations with wine and spirits from all over the world. “Over the last five years, Salt Lake has emerged as a disruptor in the culinary world,” says Tracey Thompson, vice president of local wine brokerage Vine Lore. “The libation market in Utah has grown because our demographic has grown—we have lots more progressive and educated wine consumers.”
As the part of the event’s organizational triumvirate that is responsible for the Drink component of Eat Drink SLC, Thompson and Vine Lore have been busy preparing for this year’s event. Boasting an impressive catalogue of both international and domestic vendors, Vine Lore has been operating as Salt Lake’s premiere wine and craft spirits brokerage for the past 20 years. While Utah’s restrictive liquor laws and strong religious presence tend to feed the stereotype that we’re living in a dry state, the reality is quite the opposite. “Utah has traditionally been a small market,” Thompson says, “but from the recession moving forward, tertiary markets like Utah have become very popular.”
In addition to bringing a heightened level of wine expertise to Eat Drink SLC, Vine Loreworks hard to facilitate organic pairings between the event’s food partners and libation partners. “We don’t have a food event of this size that intermingles both food and wine,” Thompson says. As soon as the event organizers have finalized the list of food partners,Vine Lore reaches out to its catalogue of vendors to create thematic pairings. This gives both parties time to communicate and collaborate on the food and wine pairings that have made the event famous. “Last year, we had 17 food partners and 17 libation partners, and we capped the event at 300 people,” Thompson says, “This year, we’re up to 21 food partners and 21 libation partners, and we’ve increased the capacity to 500.” With this year’s expansion, attendees can also expect to enjoy live music as they make the rounds.