When Christopher and Darcy Davies, founders of Wine Country International magazine returned from a trip to the wine regions of Chile in 2004, they wondered why all of the great food and wine festivals in Colorado were all based in the mountains. They decided to change all that. Nine years ago they kicked off the first-ever Denver International Wine Festival in the historic Oxford Hotel. Nearly a decade later, the festival, produced by Wine Country Network Inc., is now held November 6–10, at the Omni Interlocken Resort and shines as one of the metro area’s premier food and wine events. Choose from Grand Tastings that showcases more than 400 wines, beers, and spirits; a Vintner’s Dinner; VIP Winery Tours; spectacular food and wine pairing competitions; wine auctions; and seminars on everything from matching cheeses and selecting the perfect stemware, to a demo on how to saber a bottle of Champagne.

Proceeds from this year’s extravaganza go to No Kid Hungry and Share Our Strength, whose missions are to stamp out childhood hunger in America. The sensational line-up includes must-do events, such as the Pairsine, The Taste of Elegance, Chefs’ Food and Wine Pairing Competition on November 7, hosted by former White House Chef, John Moeller, (who created très soigné cuisine for three First Families from 1992 until 2005). Nine local chefs will showcase their best wine and food combinations in this Iron Chef-like competition, judged by a Who’s Who of food and wine professionals here in Colorado, including 5280’s food editor, Amanda Faison.

Another can’t-miss event is the Julia Child Champagne Tribute Luncheon and Auction, hosted by one of Julia’s dearest friends, Madeleine de Jean, a Maître Sabreur of Champagne, known endearingly to oenophiles around the world as “Madame Champagne.” This intimate event features Julia’s All-American menu paired with bubbly from around the world while Madeleine shares personal stories of her life with the beloved Julia Child. For more information and tickets for all events, go to the Denver International Wine Festival’s website.

Tip: Want to attend but don’t want to drive home? Check out the Omni’s cut-rate special for the festival with rooms for 99 bucks.

Omni Interlocken Resort, 500 Interlocken Blvd., Broomfield, 303-438-6600