Wine Openers - Blog

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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), ...

Terremoto at VinItaly

By Dave Buchanan
Thursday, April 9, 2009

On the road, northern Italy - It's early on April 6 and the voice, not the words, of the radio announcer on Italy's Radio Uno that alerts me something is changing. My Italian is limited, mostly to wine-related topics and that mostly to when the speaker takes it easy on me. But the news of the earthquake in Abruzzo isn't easily hidden even by a language barrier, and it's not long before I've pulled off the road to listen. "Terremoto, megnetudo 5.8," says the voice and the latest results ...

Day 4, Vinitaly

By Dave Buchanan
Sunday, April 5, 2009

Tramin, Italy - This town lies smack in the Alto Adige region of northern Italy, the home, at least the historic home, of Gerwurtztraminer, the spicy white grape and wine that gives so much delight at so little cost. It's late and I've arrived after spending most of the day purposefully wandering the aisles of VinItaly with Susannah Gold, author of the delightful blog avvinare. Was it the weather or the economy that kept crowds down at VinItaly? VinItaly seemed a bit less crowded this ...

Day Two, Vinitaly

By Dave Buchanan
Friday, April 3, 2009

VERONA, Italy-- April 3. The rains returned today to this city of Romeo and Juliet and a walk around the Coliseum was washed out along with some of the expected crowds at VinItaly, the largest wine fair in Italy and possibly the world. There are 3,500 or so exhibitors here this year, a mere smidgen of the estimated 27,000 commercial wine producers in Italy. And that does not come close to including the millions of Italians who grow a row or three of grapes for their home ...

Day 5: Italy 2009

By Dave Buchanan
Tuesday, March 31, 2009

CARPESICA, Italy - Some early thoughts during this year's trip to Il Bel Paese... "Welcome to sunny Italy," said winemaker Santé Toffoli with a rueful laugh Tuesday as we watched the rain splash onto the rolling hills of his already soaked vineyard in Refrontolo, Italy. It's been raining in northern Italy for four or five days, just about since I walked off the plane Friday in Milan. Just a coincidence, that's all. Honest. This small village (at the risk of being redundant, yes, ...

A wine with a taste of spring

By Dave Buchanan
Friday, March 13, 2009

It's springtime in the Rockies, no matter what the calendar says. Ski season began in December with a blast of snow across the state but the rest of this winter never lived up to the promise of last year when most ski resorts were reporting record snow falls. We spent Thursday skiing Telluride, where the weather was decidedly undecided on whether it was winter or spring. A little snow, a little sun, a little wind, more snow, more sun, more wind, etc.. The temperature never got warm enough ...

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