Wine Openers - Blog

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Pepins make fast food easy

By Dave Buchanan
Saturday, June 14, 2008

ASPEN - Early morning on Day Two of the Food and Wine Magazine Classic finds the father/daughter team of Jacques and Claudine Pepin teasing and sparring over techniques and cookery as they prepare for their demonstration titled "Fast Food Our Way." As you might expect, this isn't fast food you "Biggie size" but food that's seemingly complicated at first but surprisingly quick, tasty and good for you. In 42 minutes, three fewer than the time slot allotted, the Pepins teams to make ...


Rose sparkling wines brighten Aspen Classic opener

By Dave Buchanan
Friday, June 13, 2008

ASPEN - It's Friday the 13th and nothing but good luck for the 5,000 foodies descending on Glamour Gulch for the first day of the 26th annual Food & Wine Magazine Classic. What a place.Uncork your skiing technique in the morning and uncork a few classic wines in the afternoon. That, at least, is what Kelly Hayes of Aspen was doing when I ran into him during a lunch sponsored by Boston Brewing Co., the company that makes Sam Adams Boston Lager, among other delights. Aspen Skiing Co. ...


Utah’s liquor law may change

By Dave Buchanan
Tuesday, June 10, 2008

With the Food & Wine Classic in Aspen just two days away (be still, my beating heart) there is wine news all around us, from the Beehive State to the land of Sherry and artisanal wine producers in Italia. So here goes. According to a story filed this week by reporter Dawn House in the Salt Lake City Tribune, that state is perched on the precipice of major changes in its antiquated and little-understood liquor laws. There is a push on to do away with Utah’s confusing 1960s-era ...


It’s Classic time in Aspen

By Dave Buchanan
Monday, June 9, 2008

ASPEN — This week marks the 26th anniversary of the Food & Wine Magazine Classic in Aspen and as always there will be plenty of things to do and see. And taste, of course. From the 90-plus food seminars and cooking demonstrations to the 50,000 or so bottles of wine being uncorked by the more than 300 producers, you’d be hard-pressed to say “Sono anoiato” (I’m bored) and get even a hint of sympathy from anyone here. Everything kicks off Thursday (some ...


Time to make plans for Winefest

By Dave Buchanan
Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Just arrived in the mail is the brochure for the 2008 Colorado Mountain Winefest, set for Sept. 18-21 at Riverbend Park in Palisade. That means it's "officially" time to look for seats at one of the very popular dinners with winemakers. Seats are limited and this year might be fewer in number as some restaurants have cut back from two dinners to one. Although you're not supposed to make reservations prior to the publication of the brochure (an attempt to make sure everyone has the same ...


Spoof or Consequences

By Dave Buchanan
Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Late last night, as I was heading home after a couple hours of tasting some wines that carried the deep flavors of local dirt and the devotion of an honest winemaker, I thought back on a tasting I had participated in just about a year ago this week. I was with a small group of writers skirting through Napa and Sonoma, looking at some wineries a publicity agent had lined up for us, and on the second day we were at a fancy house just upstream from Oakville, smack in the middle of the Napa ...


Honesty shows in the bottle

By Dave Buchanan
Monday, May 19, 2008

Earlier tonight I was sitting across from my pal Sal Sassano, sharing a bottle of his 2006 Cabernet Franc. You won't find this wine in any store, since Sal is strictly small-time, a transplanted Sicilian with a love for the grape that must be DNA-connected. It's light-colored, as cab franc should be, with a delightful bit of acidity because Sal doesn't over-ripen his grapes. As typical in our get-togethers, we were chatting about wines and winemaking and the assorted truths and ...


Passion about wine in literary form

By Dave Buchanan
Sunday, May 18, 2008

This week's open bottles include a Domus d'Uby Colombard/Ugni Blanc from the Cotes de Gascogne, a clean and refreshing white that my friends at the Boulder Wine Merchant describe as "pure, clean, lively and exhilarating ... (A) stellar example of the difference modern winemaking technology has made in a formerly vinous backwater of France." Clean and bright, full of fresh tropical fruits, melon and peaches, it's been perfect for these quite-suddenly hot spring nights. And at $9 a bottle, ...


Tackling the wines still open

By Dave Buchanan
Tuesday, May 6, 2008

It's been a while, hasn't it? Wish I could say I've been away, say to Friuli or slipping along the Grand Canal in Venice but instead it's only been time passing by. Don't pay the ransom, I've escaped. What do I have open at home? Let's see, as I rummage through the fridge. A 2007 Grand Valley Riesling ($12) from Nancy Janes at Whitewater Hill Vineyards, crisp, clean, a beautiful white tasting of honey and flowers just right for afternoon sipping while wondering where I'm going to plant ...


Spring takes early fling at wineries

By Dave Buchanan
Monday, April 28, 2008

Saturday and part of Sunday were spent traipsing around the sixth annual "Barrel into Spring" wine tasting sponsored by the eight member wineries in the Grand Valley Winery Association. This year the event again has a second two weekends, with the next coming May 17-18. There might still be tickets ($65 each), call Two Rivers Winery at 255-1471. The event usually sells out, it's capped at 380 attendees to keep numbers manageable for the sometimes cramped quarters where winemakers are ...


Keeping ‘the land’ in Italian wines

By Dave Buchanan
Tuesday, April 8, 2008

VERONA, Italy — It only took two days to figure out traffic patterns at Vinitaly, billed as the world's largest gathering of wine producers, held this year April 3-6. With 5,000 winemakers and an expected 150,000 attendees, well, if you learn of anything bigger, let me know. It's a four-day, once-a-year opportunity to taste wines from each of the 20 Italian wine-producing area and you could spend a whole day working your way through just one of the 11 pavilions, each about the ...


Italian varietals that stay home

By Dave Buchanan
Saturday, April 5, 2008

VERONA, Italy - It's Day 3 of VinItaly, possibly the world's largest gathering of wine producers and it's all Italy. With 5,000 producers and maybe 150,000 visitors over the fair's four-day run in the city made famous by the fantasy of Romeo and Juliet, Vinitaly is a once-a-year affair that offers unexpecting visitors tastes of Italian wines you'll never see in the states. Yesterday I tasted raboso, a dry and very acidic red wine that spends 2 years in wood, including a year in chestnut ...


Holding on too long

By Dave Buchanan
Tuesday, March 25, 2008

I’ve been opening some old wines recently, thanks to a going-away reminder. When chef and restaurateur Dave Dame decided on Bisbee, Ariz, as his new home, we marked his going by opening a three-liter bottle of Beringer’s 1997 Estate Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon. The bottle was part of a fortuitous purchase seven or so years ago when the winery offered the limited big bottles for what now amounts to pocket change for a big-name California cab. Big bottles age more slowly ...


Lodi isn’t Bordeaux, you know

By Dave Buchanan
Tuesday, March 11, 2008

I was wandering around the French wine section in a liquor store in Steamboat Springs last week when one of the clerks, I guess he was a clerk, anyway, broke my reverie by asking. “So, you interested in wines?” Given that I was perusing some recent Bordeaux and had a 2003 Chateau Le Grande Clotte in my hand, I wasn’t too offended that he guessed correctly. But then he said, “We’re tasting some wines from Lodi in the tasting room, a couple merlots and ...


State ‘wine guy’ featured on CPR

By Dave Buchanan
Wednesday, March 5, 2008

Steve Menke, the state's new enologist, will be featured today on Colorado Matters, the Colorado Public Radio show, at 7 p.m. You can access the show here or listen tomorrow to an archived broadcast here. Menke, aka "the Wine Guy" as he puts it, is working out of Colorado State University's Orchard Mesa Research Station alongside state viticulturist Horst Caspari. The two will assist growers and winemakers in growing not only better grapes but market share, as well. Menke officially is ...


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