Wine Openers - Blog

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Amazon puts a cork in plans to sell wines online

By Dave Buchanan
Thursday, October 29, 2009

Amazon.com, that mega-giant online purveyor-of-just-about-everything-you-ever-want, has decided the task of selling wine online is too much for even that Web wizard's staff and recently announced it won't be in the wine market, after all. It appears the mystifying hurdles of the three-tier system, not to mention the lingering, 76-year-old shadows of Prohibition, pushed Amazon to drop its plans to distribute wine through its subsidiary, AmazonWine. A test program had been up for about a ...


Snow brings changes to weather, wine

By Dave Buchanan
Wednesday, October 28, 2009

The calendar says it’s still fall but the 2 inches of snow covering my lettuce, basil and cilantro thumbs its collective nose at the calendar. I’ll have to salvage something from the garden tonight before it really freezes. The cold snap in late September that sent temperatures down to 28 degrees didn’t take everything, although the basil certainly looks the worse for wear. But tonight, if the clouds leave and the skies clear, my gardening might be finished for the ...


Early frost pushes growers to pick

By Dave Buchanan
Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Colorado's major wine-grape regions - the Grand Valley and West Elks AVAs - are scrambling to to adjust picking schedules after record-low temperatures late last month and into the early days of this reminded everyone that life is a matter of balance. *Vineyard worker Carlos Adan picks riesling grapes at Avant Vineyards in Palisade as harvest continues following an early fall frost.* In several places along the Colorado River, which runs through the Grand Valley AVA, temperatures ...


A busy fall for Colorado wine lovers

By Dave Buchanan
Tuesday, October 13, 2009

It's been a busy fall and I've been somewhat relaxed in my approach to writing about wines. From sampling as many as possible of the 80-some Colorado wineries at Winefest to several distributor-level fall tastings and the early arrival of cold weather, there hasn't been much break in the realm of local wine news. I'm not complaining, mind you, because there's nothing bad about researching and writing about wines (except not having enough time to do everything). *Wine enthusiasts at the ...


Kids’ Pasta Project serves the comunity

By Dave Buchanan
Wednesday, September 2, 2009

PAONIA — The waitress, sporting a red headband and a colorful apron of many patterns, reached for the glass and then stopped. "I can't, I'm not old enough," she said, withdrawing her well-tanned fingers away from the wine glass. "I'm 11 and a half." Even at 11 1/2, Marissa Edmondson showed remarkable poise during her recent stint serving tables at a recent Kids' Pasta Project dinner at Scenic Mesa Ranch near Hotchkiss. Marissa was one of the more-experienced youngsters working ...


August wine events for open space

By Dave Buchanan
Wednesday, August 5, 2009

It’s not often you can help preserve open space and world-class views by sipping fine wines and nibbling great foods but August is not an ordinary month and land preservationists are not ordinary people. Two special events benefitting local land trusts take place this month, both which aimed not only at entertaining you but educating you, as well. The first is the Mesa Land Trust “Dine in the Vines” experience 5 p.m. until 8 p.m. Aug. 20 at Red Fox Vineyards, the ...


West Elk wine weekend

By Dave Buchanan
Thursday, July 30, 2009

If you’re stumped for something special to do this weekend, head over Saturday and Sunday to the North Fork Valley. The West Elks Wine and Culinary Alliance and the wineries in the West Elks American Viticultural Area are hosting the West Elks Wine Trail, a two-day tour of wineries, vineyards, orchards and the lush gardens around Paonia and Hotchkiss. Spend your days on a self-guided tour of the local wineries, where you’ll find special food-and-wine pairings, recipes and ...


Guy Drew, Cortez

By Dave Buchanan
Sunday, July 12, 2009

Dinner Friday night at Dava Parr's Fresh & Wyld Farmhouse Innin Paonia was highlighted with meeting winemaker Guy Drew of Cortez. Guy's vineyards are in McElmo Canyon, an archeology-rich canyon that runs from just west of Cortez in way southwest Colorado to the San Juan River near Bluff, Utah. *Guy Drew, right, raises 18 acres of wine grapes along McElmo Creek near Cortez in southwest Colorado.* Guy built his first career selling "material handling equipment" (that includes pallet ...


Old Burgundy on review

By Dave Buchanan
Monday, June 22, 2009

ASPEN - There are many reasons to attend the Food & Wine Magazine Classic in Aspen, just as there are many reasons to partake of good wine and great food beyond the simple pleasures of enjoyment. I won't belabor the point that some people unfairly diss the Classic for its air of apparently unbridled consumption, an argument that falls apart when you realize how much control (both personal and legal) is manifest by the attendees and those running the Classic. And a general softening of the ...


Day 3 - Aspen redux

By Dave Buchanan
Sunday, June 21, 2009

ASPEN - I forgot to add yesterday when talking about Michael Chiarello's presentation on sustainability that he also talked a great deal about cooking, which makes sense since most people know him from his cookbooks, appearances on the Food Network and his St. Helena, Cal., restaurant, Tra Vigne (which, if what little Italian I know holds up, means "between the vines" or "between the vineyards"). One of his points, among many, was there's a big difference between taste and flavor, a ...


Day 2—Spheres of influence at Aspen Food & Wine Classic

By Dave Buchanan
Saturday, June 20, 2009

ASPEN — The rains returned late Friday night but quit sometime before dawn, a fact I only learned this morning from a giddy couple still heading home after a night on the town. They both were soaked, although more from something in their Reidel glassware rather than anything falling out of the sky. The main focus this weekend for many attendees of the Food & Wine Classic does seem to the be near-endless list of parties being hosted from Starwood to the top of Aspen Mountain. It's a ...


Day 1—Aspen Food & Wine Classic

By Dave Buchanan
Saturday, June 20, 2009

ASPEN - It's Day One and the rains that turned Colorado’s high country into a wildflower paradise took Friday off, just in time for the first day of the three-day 27th annual Food & Wine Magazine Classic in Aspen. You live in the mountains long enough and you expect the unexpected, whether it’s 50-degree weather in March or snow showers in July. But even the glitterati of Glamour Gulch found the incessant series of toad-stranglers a bit depressing, as one local remarked while ...


Taking a chardonnay break

By Dave Buchanan
Tuesday, June 9, 2009

I've been drinking a lot of sauvignon blancs the last couple of months. The weather started out in March and April warmer than usual, which makes me crave chilled white wines instead of the deep reds of winter and fall. But a couple of weeks ago everything changed back to spring instead of the high-desert summer and I went looking for something a bit more substantial. About then, I found in my mail a bottle of the J 2006 Chardonnay from Sam Dependahl at J Vineyards and Winery in ...


The wine and bison dinner

By Dave Buchanan
Tuesday, May 26, 2009

It's not often you get the opportunity to eat something that's still on the hoof. You'd have to be a real carnivore (and likely awfully hungry) to get that close to your meal but there we were, eating bison (it was cooked) while some of the meal's relatives were watching us balefully through a double-wire fence. It was the second annual "Wine and Buffalo" dinner at Dave and Sue Whittlesey's High Wire Ranch on Rogers Mesa about 35 miles southeast of Grand Junction. The Whittlesey's have ...


Spring brings barrel tasting

By Dave Buchanan
Tuesday, May 19, 2009

The Hostess and I spent the weekend at what seemed a virtual sprint but an enjoyable one, nonetheless. The schedule began Saturday with us chugging around the valley for the second weekend of the "Barrel Into Spring" tasting event sponsored by the Grand Valley Winery Association, a fun annual event that this year seemed more-crowded than ever. Officially limited at 190 people per weekend (it originally was a one-weekend event but demand grew to where another weekend recently was added), ...


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