Wine Openers - Blog

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Law aims to allow wine at groceries

By Dave Buchanan
Tuesday, January 15, 2008

We are reluctant to watch the Legislature in action, if for no other reason there are so many other productive things to do. But one thing I’ll be watching this year is whether the state decides to allow liquor sales in grocery stores, something long opposed by liquor retailers for fears it will dilute their market. At least one bill has been mentioned for this legislative session and should it pass, Colorado will join the 34 other states that allow wine and full-strength beer ...

Half-bottles have a place at the table

By Dave Buchanan
Thursday, December 20, 2007

When I called Tony Bartkus this morning at his shop Tony B’s Wine List in Centennial, he was next door at Tony’s Meats, the very upscale delicatessen/catering business operated by Mick Rosacci and his three siblings. Bartkus’ store is at 4991 East Dry Creek Road, just north of C470 between Holly and So. Colorado Blvd., in case you’re headed to Denver over the holidays. At one time the two stores were connected by ownership, not just initials, but since Bartkus ...

Please save this wine

By Dave Buchanan
Saturday, December 15, 2007

With the holidays here and people dropping by the house, I find myself at the end of the night facing one or more open bottles of wine and wondering how to keep them fresh and drinkable for another day. There’s an interesting article this week in the San Francisco Chronicle about the various methods of preserving wine once the bottle’s been opened. Reporter Janet Fletcher covers all the common methods of keeping the integrity of wine, ranging from vacuum pumps to inert gases ...

Winemaker to list ingredients

By Dave Buchanan
Tuesday, December 4, 2007

Mike Dunne, food and wine critic for the Sacramento Bee, reported Tuesday that maverick winemaker Randall Grahm of Bonny Doon Vineyard next year will start to list ingredients on the back label of its wines. According to winery spokesman Burke Owens, Grahm is making the move because he wants to make his winemaking more transparent and because he is aware that some consumers are concerned about allergic reactions to elements used to produce wine. Owens said Grahm's ingredient label, ...

Barrel tastings prove a challenge

By Dave Buchanan
Friday, November 30, 2007

Barrel tastings are interesting events in that you really don't know how much what you're tasting will resemble the finished product. That's both the beauty and the beast of tasting wine still in the barrel. Most wine lovers get few opportunities to taste wine as it ages in barrel simply because it's a bit of a hassle to line up a winemaker with the time and temperament to take some novice or know-it-all drinkers into his cellar or wine cave and dip onto what is still-developing juvenile ...

Aussie drought means higher prices

By Dave Buchanan
Tuesday, November 27, 2007

If you see your favorite Australian wine start to jump a bit in price, you can blame that continent’s continued drought and it’s affect on the grape harvest. According to a story in the Brisbane Times, the Australian Wine and Brandy Corporation said the 2008 harvest, which takes place during our spring, will be only 1.22 million tons, down from 1.47 million tons this year. And there’s likely another decline in 2009, said the report, which forecast a 2009 harvest of ...

Two quick wines for Thanksgiving

By Dave Buchanan
Wednesday, November 21, 2007

A change in my Thanksgiving plans means I have to dig up two bottles of wine, one red and one white, for a meal at a friend’s home. And while I was expecting to offer American wines to go with the usual Thanksgiving theme, I made it halfway. The white was almost too easy. It’s one I tried about a month ago on a whim and liked immediately, the Pine Ridge Clarksburg Chenin Blanc Viognier 2006. Pine Ridge Winery was the first winery to offer this nontraditional blend of white ...

Restaurants honored for serving Colorado wines

By Dave Buchanan
Wednesday, November 21, 2007

The Colorado Wine Industry Development Board annually holds a competition to recognize those restaurants that best promote Colorado wines in three categories: by the glass, by the bottle and best use of Colorado food and wine. This week, Doug Caskey, executive director of the development board, announced the 2007 winners, each of which receives a $1,000 cash prize along with a trophy to display (A trophy? Sure it's an honor but display where? Between the salt and pepper at some table? ...

The ‘new’ Beaujolais is here

By Dave Buchanan
Friday, November 16, 2007

Walk into any liquor store this weekend and you’ll see brightly labeled bottles and maybe a banner or two proclaiming “Le Beaujolais Nouveau est arrive´”. Even the most Franco-challenged among us will recognize the signs that this year’s vintage of Beaujolais Nouveau has made it into town. Every third Thursday in November this youthful wine, rushed to your store within weeks of being bottled, makes its appearance to differing levels of excitement. This year, ...

It’s elementary: Cheese, chocolate and wine for a good time

By Dave Buchanan
Wednesday, November 7, 2007

If you’re still free Saturday night and are looking for a good time for a good cause, the Colorado Wine Room in Fruita is hosting a cheese, chocolate and wine tasting to benefit Tope Elementary. The evening features artisanal cheeses and crackers from Diana Tarasiewicz of DMT Catering, hand-crafted chocolates from Enstrom Candies and specially selected wines from Plum Creek Cellars, Stoney Mesa Winery and Talon Winery. Talon, by the way, is the label of Colorado Wine Room ...

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 ...

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