Wine Openers - Blog

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Octavin wines continue to raise the bar

By Dave Buchanan
Friday, July 30, 2010

There always is an adventure waiting when it comes to trying new wines. While the adventure occasionally proves to be one you'd just as soon miss next time it's offered, most of the time it's an adventure worth repeating. Although I'm not sure it's considered an adventure the second time around. Maybe it's more like falling in love for the second (or third or 20th) time, when it's the promise of something new and exciting that keeps you on track. This ...


Riesling judged top wine at Mesa County Fair

By Dave Buchanan
Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Stoney Mesa Vineyards of Cedaredge and Reeder Mesa Vineyards swept the gold medals at the first Mesa County Fair Commercial Wine Competition, the results of which were announced last week. The Stoney Mesa 2008 Riesling was judged the top white wine and also won “The Commissioner’s Cup” as Best of Show. Reeder Mesa’s 2008 Cabernet Franc was judged the best red wine and the Reeder Mesa 2007 Land’s End Red, a blend of 44 percent Cabernet Sauvignon and 28 ...


Celebrity lineup set for Festival in the Park

By Dave Buchanan
Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Let's be serious about this: For most of the attendees at the Colorado Mountain Winefest, the trés popular Saturday "Festival in the Park" is the Winefest experience. How can you possibly not enjoy a day at Riverbend Park, sipping Colorado's finest wines, meeting winemakers and grape growers, relaxing under the trees while listening to good music and enjoying the tasty fare? This isn't meant to discount at all the other Winefest activities, including the ...


2nd annual West Elks Wine Trail set for Aug. 6-8

By Dave Buchanan
Friday, July 16, 2010

If you really need another reason to visit the wineries in the West Elk AVA and the North Fork Valley, here's the best one to come along recently: The second annual West Elks Wine Trail is set for Aug. 6-8. Events include tours of the wineries, vineyards, orchards and gardens that highlight the agritourism industry of the area between Hotchkiss and Paonia. Participating wineries include Alfred Eames Cellars, Azura Winery and Gallery, Black Bridge Winery, Delicious Orchards, ...


Summer is made for Riesling

By Dave Buchanan
Sunday, July 11, 2010

It's been another great summer for Riesling. I’ve been exploring Rieslings since enjoying Paul Grieco's seminar “A Celebration of Riesling” at the Food & Wine Classic in Aspen a few weeks ago. Although the seminar was only 45 minutes long, Grieco, a co-owner and wine director of the Hearth Restaurant in New York City, offered quite an education and insights into what many people consider the greatest of white wines. Apparently many people feel this ...


The Art of making great chocolate

By Dave Buchanan
Monday, July 5, 2010

Aspen — It’s been a week or so since the Food & Wine Classic in Aspen and I’m just about recovered. But there are several stories still to tell, and one of those is about chocolatier Art Pollard. Art and business partner Clark Goble own Amano Chocolate, based in Orem, Utah, just outside of Salt Lake City. I ran into Art during one of the Grand Tastings, him standing behind his table, tie askew and this mile-wide grin splitting his face, barely containing the ...


Wine fest Sunday to benefit Delta hospital

By Dave Buchanan
Friday, June 25, 2010

If you're looking to get out of the Grand Valley heat this weekend, the Mountain Valley Wine Festival in Cedaredge on Sunday might be the ticket. This event, now in its sixth year, is an afternoon affair (2 p.m-6 p.m.) at the home of Bruce and Nancy Hovde, 637 E. Main. The Hovde's will open their home to entertainment, wine tastings and special food pairings prepared by local chefs. Tickets are $50 each and all proceeds benefit the oncology department at Delta County ...


Aspen Classic ends with a Riesling tattoo

By Dave Buchanan
Tuesday, June 22, 2010

ASPEN — The 28th annual Food & Wine Classic in Aspen wrapped up Sunday with a thunderous flourish and a Riesling tattoo. In the main ballroom of the St. Regis Hotel, TV host and food expert Sissy Biggers proclaimed chef Rick Bayless (Frontera Restaurant in Chicago and others) winner of this year’s Quickfire Cook-off over the equally talented Michael Voltaggio, “Top Chef” season six winner. This year’s theme was “Make Vegetables Sexy” and ...


Friday at the Aspen Food & Wine Classic

By Dave Buchanan
Saturday, June 19, 2010

Day 2 at the Food & Wine Classic always is a test. It's the first long day, filled with seminars and Grand Tastings plus whatever private or reserve events you've arranged, all of which makes it a test of your endurance. And then there's the parties and media events set for tonight, many of which run until WAY past my bedtime, anyway. I've included another video, this one with shots of winemakers and chefs from Chile, Spain and the Pacific Northwest, talking of ...


Opening day at Aspen Food & Wine Classic

By Dave Buchanan
Friday, June 18, 2010

It’s getting late in Aspen but there’s always something to write about. The first night crowds at the 28th annual Food & Wine Classic in Aspen were begging for more from Top Chef winner Michael Voltaggio (The Dining Room, Pasadena, Cal.) and from José Andrés (famed for, among so many other things, cafe atlantico and bringing the Spanish concept of small plate dining) but for such different reasons. Voltaggio, a very modernistic chef who uses molecular ...


It’s a busy week in Aspen and Carlson brings home the gold

By Dave Buchanan
Tuesday, June 15, 2010

This is the weekend thousands of wine and food enthusiasts anticipate all year, the annual Food & Wine Magazine Classic in Aspen. This year is the 28th annual and I'll be among all the hundreds of wordsmiths and photographers covering this unique event that features who-knows-how-many wines from around the world and dozens of wine seminars, cooking demonstrations and special tastings of wines you probably won't may never see again. You'll find daily updates, photos ...


Wine(s) of the Week

By Dave Buchanan
Tuesday, June 8, 2010

This actually is a Wines of the Week entry. Three wines, three sauvignon blancs, two from Chile and one very California. They share some attractive characteristics: low alcohol (13-13.5 percent), bright citrus-lemon-white peach flavors, and the crisp minerally acidity that makes them perfect companions for those light, summer-time meals. As with most delicate warm-season whites and rosés, buy the newest vintage you can find and drink these young. The Californian is the ...


Local wineries boost medal count at competitions

By Dave Buchanan
Monday, May 24, 2010

Every spring, many winemakers eagerly await two things: the season’s last frost and the first news from various wine competitions. This week we finally may have seen the last of the frost and two Colorado wineries are deservedly boasting of their recent medals. Talon Winery in Palisade picked up four bronze medals at the 2010 Finger Lakes International Wine Competition in Rochester, N.Y. The winning wines were Talon Riesling and Talon Wingspan White along with the St. Kathryn ...


It’s feast among the beasts at High Wire Ranch

By Dave Buchanan
Tuesday, May 18, 2010

If you've never dined among the beasts, here's your chance. I'm not talking about lunch at the local animal shelter but Yvon and Joanna Gros's third annual Wine & Buffalo Feast dinner at the always interesting High Wire Ranch. The ranch, owned by Dave and Sue Whittlesey, raises grass-fed buffalo and elk, and what you'll be eating might have been on the hoof a short time earlier. The address is 257512 North Road on the Redlands Mesa near Hotchkiss. The feast is ...


Wine of the Week

By Dave Buchanan
Tuesday, May 11, 2010

OK, it's got to be spring somewhere, so in celebration (it's rainy and windy here in Grand Junction) we're trying two new ready-for-spring releases from the Woodbridge line of Robert Mondavi. This is the line of wines Mondavi created in 30 years ago to bring everyday, affordable wines to the American table. You can read an interesting history of Woodbridge here. The first of my two samples is the 2009 California Pinot Grigio ($7.99 SRP) with hints of citrus and plenty of ...


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