Wine Openers - Blog

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New calling for port

By Dave Buchanan
Thursday, August 16, 2007

A handful of Colorado winemakers who in the past have included a Port in their offerings are struggling to find another name for that sweet, fortified wine because they no longer can call it Port. True Port, of course, comes only from, and is named for, the Duoro Valley in Portugal. That similar to real Champagne coming from that region in France and Chianti from the Tuscany region of Italy. Americans have never been shy about borrowing well-known place names to identify different ...


Grape harvest still a week off

By Dave Buchanan
Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Even though those table grapes hanging off the trellis near the rear porch might be ready for munching, the first of the Grand Valley's wine grapes are a week or more away from harvest. The first of the commercial wine grapes that ripen locally is a variety called muscat blanc, said winemaker Nancy Janes of Whitewater Hills Vineyards on 32 Road, who has an acre of the white grape. "I had some extra grapes last year but this year my two customers are foaming at the mouth for all my grapes," ...


Wine consumption still on the up

By Dave Buchanan
Monday, August 13, 2007

CALISTOGA, Cal - Randy and Lisa Lynch of Bennett Lane Winery in Napa Valley not only make some of the most high-powered cabernet sauvignon in the valley but also are the only winery that owns a NASCAR team. While driver Mike David in the No. 2 Bennett Lane Ford currently is atop the NASCAR leader board, owner Randy Lynch, himself a one-time racing crew chief, is looking to win something else: The palates of the predominately beer-drinking NASCAR fans. "I think there's a huge untapped ...


Fine wines and clifftop ruins

By Dave Buchanan
Thursday, August 9, 2007

If you're headed to southwest Colorado the last weekend of the month you may want to make plans to enjoy the fifth annual Mesa Verde Country Wine and Art Festival set for Aug. 24-25 in Cortez. Two special wine dinners are scheduled for Aug. 24. One will be at Joey's Steak and Chop House in Dolores and the second right in Mesa Verde National Park at the Metate Room at Farview Lodge. This restaurant has one of the most magnificent views in the Four Corners area and on a clear day (that is, ...


Value versus price

By Dave Buchanan
Wednesday, August 8, 2007

As a firm believer that Colorado wines continue to get better each vintage, but also someone not afraid to say there still are strides to be made, one question that often comes up is why Colorado wines seem to be over-priced compared to similar wines from California, Australia and elsewhere. A good Colorado pinot noir, for example, will cost $25 or more, while you can get an $8-$10 pinot from California. As Cedric Stanton said on the Web site StarkRavingNormal.com, a cheap pinot noir ...


Take a turn at Winefest

By Dave Buchanan
Tuesday, August 7, 2007

The good folks who bring us the Colorado Mountain Winefest are looking for some volunteers to fill various duties during this year's Winefest, Sept. 13-16. With at least 6,000 guests expected for the 16th annual celebration of Colorado's wine industry, there is plenty to do and lots of opportunity to have a hand in the state's largest and most-popular wine fest. It's not like you don't get anything for your time. The swag includes entry to the Festival in the Park ($40 value), free ...


Shiraz discovery spicy news

By Dave Buchanan
Tuesday, August 7, 2007

There's no shortage of theories about why red wine tastes like, well, red wine. Terroir, vineyard management, grape clones, etc, etc, the list is as long as the number of voices expressing an opinion. However, leave it to researchers in Australia, which over the past decade or so has gained a bit of renown for the flood of (mostly) tasty shiraz coming from its vineyards, to discover what gives shiraz (also known as syrah) its distinctive peppery taste. According to a story by Chantal ...


Rocket science winery

By Dave Buchanan
Monday, August 6, 2007

As we continued a recent swing through the West Elks AVA, which includes six wineries in the North Fork Valley from Hotchkiss to Paonia, we stopped in to see Brent and Karen Helleckson of Stone Cottage Cellars  ...


“Hot” wines get dissed

By Dave Buchanan
Friday, August 3, 2007

Tip a bottle of California cabernet sauvignon today and you'll be pouring something closer to AA dragster fuel than wine. At least that's what longtime Napa Valley winemaker Randy Dunn, 61, of Dunn Vineyards (Howell Mountain AVA) claims in a recent e-mail he sent to various wine media-types. Blaming the current rage for red wines hitting upwards of 15- and 16-percent alcohol on several causes (including wine critics who give big scores to wines many people find undrinkable), Dunn says ...


No wine fit for “Ratatouille”

By Dave Buchanan
Thursday, August 2, 2007

For anyone wondering what wine goes best with "Ratatouille," Walt Disney Co. officials have this answer: None. In a story reported earlier this week in the Los Angeles Times, Disney officials said they've backed away from an earlier agreement to allow a 2004 French white Burgundy to carry the features of Remy, the haute cuisine-loving rodent star of the movie "Ratatouille." Disney said it had second-thoughts about the popular rat-faced star appearing on a bottle of wine after getting ...


Garagistes sought for Winefest

By Dave Buchanan
Friday, July 27, 2007

The term "garagiste" originated in Bordeaux, particularly along the Right Bank of the Gironde Rivers (today's fascinating geography lesson) and referred to small-production winemakers who made their juice in small, garage-like facilities. It's no longer considered a term of derision since many of the original garagistes (such as Le Pin) have become quite as popular and nearly as expensive as some of Bordeaux's deluxe First Growths. You might call some of Colorado's non-professional ...


Obscure varietal a feature of West Elks AVA

By Dave Buchanan
Thursday, July 26, 2007

Mike Dunne, food and wine critic for the Sacramento Bee, wrote recently in his blog "Appetizers with Mike Dunne" that a chambourcin from New Jersey won the prized sweepstakes award for red wines at the Long Beach (Cal.) Grand Cru. The Grand Cru is a major international wine competition, this year attracting around 1,960 diverse entries. Twenty-four red wines made it into the sweepstakes round and that something as little-known as a chambourcin would out-taste even the major reds from ...


Winefest tickets on sale

By Dave Buchanan
Wednesday, July 25, 2007

It's again time to think about the Colorado Mountain Winefest, a topic we touched on in today's column in The Daily Sentinel. But beyond trying to grab one of the coveted seats at one of the dinners featuring a Colorado winemaker, there's the matter of the main festivities themselves, including the popular Festival in the Park on Sept. 15 at Riverbend Park in Palisade. Winefest media director Marilyn Jensen said in a recent press release that 43 wineries are expected to participate this ...


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