Smoky Mountain Snowdown

Learn the art of southern cooking and enjoy some mouth-watering food and drinks during the upcoming Smoky Mountain Snowdown. The whole weekend (January 29-30) will be packed with fun activities — including four events at Dancing Bear/Apple Valley — so book your accommodations before they’re gone!

Among the events…

Cast Iron Cooking Demonstration, Friday, January 29:

Chef Shelley Cooper of the Dancing Bear Appalachian Bistro will conduct a demonstration of Cast Iron Cooking from 11 am-2 pm, followed by a delightful dinner. Shelley has traveled the world working as a chef and discovering new delicacies in far-away lands. Share in her knowledge for just $55 per person. Advance reservations are required. Her demonstration includes lunch, cocktails, recipes and samples for $55 per person. It will be held at the Dancing Bear Appalachian Bistro, located at 7140 East Lamar Alexander Parkway in Townsend.

Apples to Cider Demonstration, Saturday, January 30:

FREE Apples to Cider demonstration at the Apple Valley Café from 11 am to 5 pm

Snowdown 5-Course Wine Dinner, Saturday, January 30:

Dancing Bear Appalachian Bistro will offer a special 5-course Wine and Food pairing at the restaurant from 6:30-9 pm, benefiting the Appalachian Bear Rescue.  Dancing Bear will donate $50 of each $135 ticket sold to ABR, a nonprofit, tax-exempt organization based here in Townsend. Each year black bears from our national parks and surrounding areas are orphaned, injured or in need of medical care. ABR has rehabilitated these bears and released them back to the wild since 1996.

Dana Dodd, President of the Board for Appalachian Bear Rescue, said the organization is proud to have a relationship with Dancing Bear and Apple Valley.

“Mark and Sharon Oldham have been supporters since they arrived in Townsend, and we appreciate them very much,” Dodd said. “We now have 21 bear cubs on site that we will need to provide food and shelter until April, and we will probably match our record of 35 cubs on site by the spring. Therefore, the support of local businesses is essential to give these animals a second chance at life in the wild. We hope everyone will come out to Dancing Bear and enjoy the marvelous food, have a good time and support this benefit.”

Some tasting notes for the Wine Pairing Dinner:

  • Winter Vegetable Salad paired with Sans Liege “Call to Arms” Grenache Blanc & Roussanne 2012 (92 points on Wine Advocate): This wine begins with cool mint tastes swishing with pine boughs, lemon peel sorbet, wild coriander and soft nettle then finishes with the exotic flavor of grated ginger, raw honey, vanilla crème and honeysuckle and a strike of acidity that mixes well with the rainbow carrots, sugar snap peas, blood oranges, Buratta, Tennessee honey, and spicy peanut of the salad.
  • Seared Scallop paired with Frank Family Chardonnay 2013 (92 points on Wine Spectator): This Chardonnay has aromas of fresh tropical fruit, marzipan and honeysuckle jump from the glass. On the palate, the wine has generous notes of sweet vanilla, pear and Meyer lemon. Stone fruits and ripe citrus zest lead to the rich creamy mid palate, and fresh green apple on the finish. The wine has wonderful length and well-balanced acids. The flavors compliment the bacon custard, leeks, fingerlings, truffle, and frisee.
  • Veal Cheeks paired with Robert Biale “Black Chicken” Zinfandel 2012 (91 points on Wine Advocate): The ripe, layered blackberry flavors and aromas of cherry pie and spice combine with the dish’s pumpkin fritter, apples, cippollini onions, and Brussels, highlighting accents of smoky caramel, sage and licorice. Rich, dense and jammy, this label is perfect for fans of big wines.
  • Sorghum Syrup Cake paired by Prager 10-year-old “Noble Companion” tawny port: Sweet flavors of blackberry jam, crème de cassis, tangerine zest and vanilla wafer candy make this a great combination with the black walnut ice cream. Made from 100% Cabernet Sauvignon grapes, this Port-style wine is balanced with bright, citrusy acidity as a very nice, satisfying after-dinner sipper.
  • Socializing snacks (breads, cheeses, hams & jams, oysters on the half shell, ginger & horseradish dressing, and lemon pepper fried frogs’ legs) will be paired with a wine TBD from neighboring Cades Cove Winery.

Eric Johansson of Knoxville Beverage Company will be on hand to answer questions about the wines.

Snowdown Bourbon Tasting, Saturday, January 30:

The bar will host a Bourbon Tasting from 4-6 pm, serving bourbon drinks, craft cocktails and hot toddies. The cost of the event is $20.

Advance reservations are required by Wednesday, January 27 by calling Dancing Bear at 1-800-369-0111 ext. 2 or by going online to OpenTable at

View the Wine Pairing Dinner Menu at

Make plans to enjoy the whole weekend in beautiful Townsend. See the entire festival schedule at