Wine Openers - Blog

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Investing in a good drink

By Dave Buchanan
Monday, November 5, 2007

There’s good money to be made in wine, if you don’t drink up the profits. That’s the word from Kevin Hassett on the Bloomberg News Web site. Hassett recently reported the finding of three University of Wyoming economists that says wine investments continue to have “unbelievably high returns.” One index, the London Vintners Exchange, or Liv-ex, which tracks investment-grade wines, said its portfolio of fine wines jumped 47 percent between Dec. 2006 and ...

Potions for poltergiests

By Dave Buchanan
Tuesday, October 30, 2007

It’s Halloween, dahlink, and perhaps you crave something special to revive your spirits, eh? Mwahahaha. It's easy to get into this ghoul-filled holiday, even without trying to find something to pair with candy corn or mini-Snickers. Bewitching opportunities abound and I'll write about more of them in my regular Wednesday column in The Daily Sentinel. But here are a few, in accordance with the memorable words of Gomez Addams, "That's the spirit, Thing! Lend a hand!" You can sink ...

White Wine rules American palate

By Dave Buchanan
Thursday, October 25, 2007

When Americans go out to eat, they order white wine by a 2:1 margin, reports Mike Dunne of the Sacramento Bee on his food blog, “Appetizers with Mike Dunne,” citing the latest annual survey of restaurant wine sales by the magazine Restaurant Wine. The survey initially was reported by Wine Business Insider. Dunne notes that while more steakhouses than ever are appearing on the national dining scene, American palates apparently aren’t keeping up with the “red wine ...

Lodi making waves in winemaking

By Dave Buchanan
Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Last week I talked about a fall wine tasting held recently at the DoubleTree Hotel which featured not only some of the major brands but also a few independent distributors, including Mickey Smith of Mayberry Imports. Smith has a wealth of wine knowledge about smaller producers and among his standouts at the show was the Van Ruiten Vineyards Old Vine Zinfandel ($20). There are several things about Van Ruiten’s zinfandel that stand out, not the least of which is the full-bodied ...

A serious wine with a funny name

By Dave Buchanan
Wednesday, October 17, 2007

With the advent of fall, my search for good eats has turned to comfort foods, hearty meals suited to these ever-shorter days when it feels like winter indeed is on its way. Instead of the lighter, salad-based meals of a month ago, I’ve been sleuthing through cookbooks (my current favorite is Mark Bittman’s “How to Cook Everything”) looking for soups, stews and other warming dishes that help us through this time of dropping leaves and temperatures. Since the ...

Winery takes aim at breast cancer

By Dave Buchanan
Wednesday, October 10, 2007

L October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month, and while there have been some remarkable advances in treatment and survival, the American Cancer Society predicts that more than 180,000 new cases of breast cancer will be diagnosed in 2007 and nearly 41,00 men and women will die from it. Research is expensive, and while the death rate from breast cancer drops about 2 percent each year, more money is needed. So what, you ask, does this have to do with wine? Well, a couple of things. First, ...

Fall wines shows offer new tastes

By Dave Buchanan
Friday, September 28, 2007

Wednesday the Republic National Distributing Company hosted its annual fall review of new wines and spirits and several of the presentations caught our eyes. Republic National is the second-largest distributor of wine and spirits in the U.S. with more than 4$ billion in annual over 20 states. As such, the company carries many of the wine brands you’ll see in area liquor stores, and the company’s size and reach are both a blessing and a curse to wine drinkers looking for that ...

It’s cool to keep the door closed

By Dave Buchanan
Wednesday, September 26, 2007

What if you had to fix dinner for a family of six without a refrigerator or stove or even a real kitchen? Now, imagine preparing a multi-course meal, complete with wine, five entrees, appetizers, mashed potato bar, cheese plates and desserts, for 300 under a tent at Riverbend Park. Those are among the challenges handled during the Colorado Mountain Winefest by Dan Kirby, Wayne Smith, Jon St. Peter and the rest of the staff and students of the Colorado Culinary ...

Food gaining attention at Winefest

By Dave Buchanan
Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Oh, and there’s food, too. That sums up the attitude widely held up to a few years ago about the culinary opportunities at the Colorado Mountain Winefest. The food, if you consider buffalo jerky, smoked turkey legs and funnel cakes the sort of food that goes with wine, was eminently forgettable. But that’s all changing now, and while you’ll still find booths handing out the midway-type eats, there’s a definite push toward better food at reasonable prices. It all ...

Winefest hangover almost gone

By Dave Buchanan
Monday, September 17, 2007

The 16th annual Colorado Mountain Winefest has come and gone, along with more than a few hangovers from a long weekend of too much great food and all-too-much wine. Final attendance numbers weren’t available early this morning but judging from how quickly the crowds filled River Bend Park Saturday it’s likely the festival isn’t far from reaching its self-imposed cap of 6,000 attendees. As expected, the $150 VIP tickets, limited to 300, sold out early and in case you ...

More on degree days and ripening

By Dave Buchanan
Friday, September 7, 2007

With Colorado's grape harvest nearing its high point — most of the white-wine grapes already are in the fermenting tanks and some of the early merlot are starting to show up at wineries — questions about why some areas develop their grapes faster than others need more of an answer than merely "Oh, it's warmer over there." As viticulturist Horst Caspari of the CSU Orchard Mesa Research Center recently told this reporter, it takes more than simply a long series of hot days ...

Colorado grape harvest early

By Dave Buchanan
Wednesday, September 5, 2007

Winemakers across the Grand Valley are in the midst of grape harvest, which this year comes a little earlier than in 2006. You can thank the hot but not too-hot summer for that, said Horst Caspari, viticulturist for the Colorado State University research center on Orchard Mesa. "We certainly are in the swing of things," Caspari said in a phone conversation today. "Some grape growers probably are getting into the chardonnay and merlots. The early whites like the sauvignon blancs and ...

Grapes finding their net worth

By Dave Buchanan
Friday, August 24, 2007

Take a drive through the vinelands in the Grand Valley, spin the wheel to Orchard Mesa and on to the North Fork Valley and you'll see that most growers have put out the bird netting, a sure sign that their grapes are starting to turn color. Which means ripening is fast underway. When the grapes turn from green to purple or black, it's like an "Eat Here" sign for birds, and unless a grape grower moves fast, waiting a few days can mean losing an entire crop. "I've seen thousands of ...

Stoney Mesa opens tasting room

By Dave Buchanan
Thursday, August 23, 2007

Colorado's 7th-oldest winery now has a tasting room in the Grand Valley. Stoney Mesa Winery, founded in 1990 and still owned and operated by Ron and Donna Neal, has expanded from its original Cedaredge site to their new tasting room at 221 31.3 Road on Orchard Mesa. A big banner on the side of the building announces the tasting room, which is open from 11 a.m.-4 p.m. daily, said owner Ron Neal. It's easiest to reach the tasting room off 32 Road by using B or B.5 Road. "I've been moving ...

Poster artist a ‘Colorado girl’

By Dave Buchanan
Tuesday, August 21, 2007

The 16th annual Colorado Mountain Winefest is less than a month away - it runs Sept. 13-16 -and Winefest director Marilyn Jensen called recently to promote ticket sales and encourage attendance at the various seminars being offered. While most of the dinners with winemakers have long sold out (try anyway, some restaurants have a waiting list), a few restaurants keep lists of ticketholders interested in selling their reservations. Seminars include a hands-on day helping with harvest, a ...

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