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Taos Summer Wine Festival and Angel Fire Wine Wagyu Weekend

With the Taos Summer Wine Festival August 17th-19th and the Angel Fire Wine and Wagyu Weekend (formerly known as the Angel Fire Food & Wine Roundup) August 24th-26th, this is the perfect time of year to plan a visit to the beautiful New Mexico mountains. You can easily fill a week with fun activities in between each foodie event.

wildflowers in nm
Not a bad place to spend a week, eh?

And, yes, you should totally try to make it to both. We attended both last year and have been looking forward to both ever since. The Taos Summer Wine Festival and Angel Fire Wine and Wagyu Weekend could not be more different and each is amazing in its own way. I think of the Taos event as being aimed at yogis and hikers, whereas the Angel Fire event is for cowboys and Texans. It's cheese pairings versus barbeque. Hippie music versus country. Chevy Volts versus Dodge Rams - and as an owner of both, I absolutely LOVE both festivals.

The Angel Fire Wine and Wagyu Weekend features a VIP food and wine area at the Whiskey and Powder Showcase (part of the free Cool Summer Nights concert series), a "Wine and Wagyu Walk" (similar to the popular Grand Tasting at the Taos Summer Wine Festival), a country music dance with barbeque, barbeque, and more barbeque, and a "Bloody Good" Bacon Brunch. I think I'm most looking forward to the brunch, as I have never tried a Bloody Mary. Yes, you read that right! And my husband? Being a fellow Bloody Mary-virgin, he is also looking forward to the brunch. Apparently, we have both led very sheltered lives.

I'm a bit nervous about the barbeque dance which, admittedly, might not be the best thing for me to call that. Now I'm picturing a smoked pig in little cowboy boots, shaking his piggy booty. I don't dance. My husband does not dance. Fingers crossed that it will be a square dance with full instructions. We both do barbeque though, so I reckon we'll be just fine.

Here is the full schedule with pricing for the Angel Fire Wine and Wagyu Weekend.

Friday, August 24, 2018

5-7:30 pm: VIP tasting section at a live concert at Frontier Park ($20). These concerts are a weekly series and feature entertainment for the entire family, including face painting, games, and food trucks.

Saturday, August 25, 2018 (HAPPY BIRTHDAY, SEXY NERD!)

1-4 pm: Wine, beer, and food tastings, including world-famous Wagyu Beef, at the Angel Fire Country Club (Members $35, Public $45). Where else are you going to get all-you-can-eat Wagyu Beef for that price? Nowhere, that's where.

6-11 pm: Boots Boogie & BBQ dance at the Angel Fire Country Club (Members $70, Public $85). Neither of us owns boots or a cowboy hat, but you can't go wrong with blue jeans.

Sunday, August 26, 2018

11-2 pm: Brunch at the Angel Fire Country Club, featuring mimosas, Bloody Marys, and a buffet of western favorites and Wagyu Beef (Members $40, Public $50).

You can purchase a pass for every Wine and Wagyu event for only $175 (public price), as well as individual tickets at Additional information, photos from 2017, and detailed menus (fun to read, even if you can't make it this year) are available on the main Angel Fire Wine and Wagyu Weekend website. The event organizers have also emailed me a fantastic lodging special:

Book the Wine & Wagyu Weekend Package starting at $299 for two people. This package includes access for two to the Friday Night VIP Tasting from 5:30-7:30 pm at Cool Summer Nights Concert in Frontier Park and the Saturday Wine & Wagyu Walk from 1-4 pm at the Country Club. Minimum two night stay required. Must be 21 years of age to participate. 

Angel Fire Wine and Wagyu Weekend 2018
Yes, I iced my wine last year. 2018 will be even better.

So, now that you're as excited as I am about the next two weekends, what can you do to keep busy on your way to and from each festival (or in between, if you are able to stay all week)? I've created a list of fun things to do. We might zip down to the Taos Farmers Market on Saturday morning and the Art and Farmers Market in Angel Fire on Sunday

banana bread at the farmers market
With two farmers markets to choose from (three if you stop in Santa Fe on Saturday), you're certain to find some yummy, homemade banana bread.

angel fire farmers market tamales
Homemade tamales too!

The Sangre de Cristo mountains offer some of the best hiking in New Mexico. The Eagle Nest Lake State Park in Angel Fire is one of our favorite places for a walk. This time of year, it's not too hot or too cold and the wildflowers are in full bloom. During the Taos festival, I'm looking forward to a leisurely stroll, with a generous glass of wine in hand, to Williams Lake. There's also the Rio Grande Gorge, the Hondo Iris Farm and Gallery, and Frijoles Canyon. Yes, it translates to Beans Canyon. Isn't the southwest the best?

wild flowers

On our way to or from Albuquerque, I'd like to try to see our first-ever performance at the Santa Fe Opera. They're running an apprentice series at the same time as the wine festival and tickets are only $15! Rather than a long opera, it's broken into several short pieces. If that doesn't convince you-know-who to give it a try, there's another (much more expensive) show called Doctor Atomic. Remember when he wanted to name our theoretical baby Nuke? I can't imagine a more perfect opera for him.

For the Taos Wine Festival, the only activity offered on Sunday is a champagne brunch - and they aren't even allowed to serve champagne unless you come toward the end, as our liquor laws here in NM are absurd. We're expecting to have the entire day to spend in Taos. I've heard excellent things about the John Dunn Shops and Taos Plaza. There's a weekly flea marked called KTAOS Trash & Treasures. 

We can stop at the Santa Fe Parade of Homes on Sunday, August 19th. Tickets are only $15 each and many of the entries are well over a million dollars. Some may even have free chocolate chip cookies.

Come to think of it, is the cookie still free if you paid $15 for admission? I may request that they box some up for me.

landscaping in angel fire 
You can also take a self-guided tour of the charming Sangre de Cristo mountain houses and buy $15 of cookies for the drive home. You don't get to go inside though, unless perhaps you're really, really friendly. Or up to no good, I suppose.

What I'd most like to try on Sunday is a culinary class at Cooking Studio Taos with renowned chef Chris Maher. The timing is perfect, as they're offering a Mediterranean class on August 19th at 1 pm. I've wanted to do this for years! I was excited to sign up...then read an online review that said the classes are "not for the timid" and got a little (a lot!) freaked out. Damn you, social anxiety.

frontier park angel fire

I look like a nice, normal girl, right? 

having fun at the angel fire wine and wagyu weekend

It's just a trick because SOCIAL ANXIETY! Also, what is going on with my hair in this photo?

And, just in case you are still not convinced because you live far, far away (uh, so do the Texans and they're going to be out in full force in Angel Fire, plus it's totally worth the drive), here are a few more photos of the beautiful outdoors from when we went to the 2017 Taos Summer Wine Festival and the 2017 Angel Fire Food and Wine Roundup:

hiking in angel fire

You could be here.

beautiful scenery in angel fire
eagle nest lake state park
I asked SN to pose like he was having a good time and this is what he did. We really did have fun. Honest!

angel fire nature walk

wildflowers and wine in the sangre de cristo mountains

angel fire sunset

wildlife at the angel fire wine and wagyu weekend
Looking back through last year's photos, I don't recall what this was...

hiking surprise
...OH GAWD, IT'S A TINY SKULL! I, how fascinating. See how much fun and excitement awaits you on a hike in the New Mexico mountains?

I think this might be the work of the perverted ferrety thing from last year's Angel Fire Food and Wine Festival.

new mexico sky

perfect setting for a wine festival

walk off the alcohol

taos and angel fire are more beautiful than albuquerque

selfie at the wine and wagyu weekend

having fun at the angel fire wine festival

See you at the wine festivals!