Imagine tasting fine wines as you stroll across lush lawns surrounded by the majestic hills ringing Sun Valley. It's not a bad image, and it's one that can become a reality thanks to the 2013 Sun Valley Center for the Arts Wine Auction, which brings three days of food and drink with it—but don't forget to bring your wallet, because it's going to cost you.
The event starts Thursday, July 18, with a series of vintner dinners at private homes, where chefs create meals accompanied by a slate of wines. Tickets cost $750 per person and must be reserved in advance. The Wine Auction Gala fills the schedule on Friday, July 19, when participants can dine on fine cuisine and wine while bidding on "mega-lots" of wine, merchandise and travel packages. The gala marks the merger of the Center with Company of Fools and includes dancing and entertainment by Cirque Berzerk. Tickets cost $750 per person.
The most popular event of the weekend is also the most affordable. A $75 ticket gets you into the Grand Wine Tasting and Concert Saturday, July 20, from 6-9 p.m. at Dollar Mountain Lodge. Participants sample delicacies prepared by area kitchens and wash them down with wine from 29 vintners, with varieties you probably won't find on the shelves of your local supermarket. Jazz-funk band Sister Sparrow and the Dirty Birds will perform throughout the evening.
If the price makes you a little light-headed, remember that a portion of ticket sales is tax deductible and proceeds support the Center's work to bring arts to the area. If you're feeling inspired, spring for one of the $2,500 Grand Cru patrons package, which includes all events, as well as concierge and chauffeur service.