Wine Openers - Blog

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Moscato leading the move toward sweet wines

By Dave Buchanan
Wednesday, February 8, 2012

There’s long been a saying in the wine industry that customers “talk dry but drink sweet.” That’s more true now than even 10 years ago, given the recent rise in popularity of sweet wines. These range from the dessert-style wines (Port, ice wines, fruit-and-chocolate wines) to the more-subtle but still noticeably sweet red wines many winemakers now offer. So popular are sweet wines they were the topic of a symposium sponsored recent,y by the Robert Mondavi ...

Expect higher prices as ocean of wine shrinks

By Dave Buchanan
Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Don't be surprised to see wine prices increase this year, says the always entertaining and informative writer W. Blake Gray on his blog, The Gray Market Report. Gray lists smaller vintages in California, Italy and Spain as warning signs that the world's ocean of wine has shrunk considerably over the past few years, forcing prices up as demand, particularly in the U.S., continues to grow. Forget arguing over to what degree quality affects wine prices, he says. "Pricing ...

Palisade artist celebrates Colorado wine in wine art

By Dave Buchanan
Tuesday, January 24, 2012

A wine-art poster contest won by a poster done in wine. Gary Hauschulz’s Winefest Art Competition-winning painting “Red, White and Fruit” features Colorado wines and found inspiration ranging from cruise ship guests, an American Pop-art painter and a Dutch Golden Age artist known for his group portraits. The painting, which shows a smiling face lifting a glass in toast with another, also denotes which wines Hauschulz used in the making. The theme, said Hauschulz, ...

It’s not tool late for some resolutions, is it?

By Dave Buchanan
Monday, January 2, 2012

Surely it’s not too late for a few New Year’s resolutions? It's seems too soon to be a few days into the New Year. I was busy trying to find last year’s list, just to see what I missed out on procrastinating about. Just say I’m just well-practiced in putting off making (and breaking) those pesky resolutions. So here goes, a partial salute to the New Year and a look ahead to months of swirling, sipping and scribbling. Taste more Colorado wines – ...

Sparkling wines are too good to save for only the holidays

By Dave Buchanan
Friday, December 30, 2011

It’s almost New Year’s Eve, and the popping already has begun. Not the fireworks, although those too will surely come as the clock counts down to midnight, but the sound of corks being jettisoned from bottles of sparkling wines. For many people, ending one year and beginning the next with Champagne or some other sparkling wine is a tradition. If so, it’s one indelibly linked to the economy. According to the Wine Institute, which tracks things like this, in 2007, ...

Open houses and special tours offer break from between-holiday stress

By Dave Buchanan
Tuesday, November 29, 2011

The days between Thanksgiving and Christmas often prove uncommonly strenuous, a period when the demands of housework, cooking, cleaning, and shopping merge to make what should be a joyful time one of stress and worry. One way to relax – other than locking the front door, turning off the lights and hiding under the blankets – is to get out and enjoy the holiday celebrations at some of the local wineries. This weekend in particular offers several opportunities for you and ...

Beaujolais Nouveau takes the stage at Thanksgiving

By Dave Buchanan
Tuesday, November 22, 2011

It’s the third Thursday in November, which means Thanksgiving is near and Beaujolais Nouveau is here. It’s hard to miss notice of the arrival of Beaujolais Nouveau, the vin de primeur so renown it has its own release date and coming out parties, sort of a Fat Tuesday (on the third Thursday of November) for wine. Noting the success Beaujolais Nouveau producers have had with their up-front “How do you like me so far?” introduction, other wine regions now have ...

Trying a wine the winemaker doesn’t like

By Dave Buchanan
Sunday, November 6, 2011

Ken Dunn laughs when you ask him about rkatsiteli, the curious white grape he grows in his Hermosa Vineyards on East Orchard Mesa. He pours a visitor a taste of the pale-gold wine but refrains from one himself. “I’m not a big fan of rkatsiteli,” he says with a shrug, happily admitting he prefers red wine. “I can’t stand it but the customers seem to like it.” Perhaps that's a bit of a lukewarm endorsement for this ancient grape whose roots go ...

Grape growers watching weather as final ripening nears

By Dave Buchanan
Wednesday, October 12, 2011

The basil is gone, the tomatoes are drooping and there’s a bit of hope (but fading fast) for the last of the chard. That’s just in my garden. Thank goodness I don’t have acres of grapes to worry about. But worry they will, as grape growers are wont to do, as they watch and wait for what’s remaining in the 2011 harvest to get as ripe as possible before picking. “We’re about half-finished,” said Nancy Janes of Whitewater Hill Vineyards on a ...

Why no Colorado wines? Don’t blame spoilage

By Dave Buchanan
Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Excuse No. 71: "I used to live in Carmel and I got spoiled drinking California wines." Excuse No. 35: "I had a Colorado wine four or five years ago and wasn't impressed." Excuse No. 64: "They don't taste like wines from California." Excuse No. 11: "They're too hard to sell: Our customers don't know anything about them." Or why I don't carry Colorado wines in my restaurant/liquor store. I heard these excuses within the ...

Which one? I liked them all

By Dave Buchanan
Monday, September 26, 2011

The queries, or rather "the Query," began only a few hours after the wrap-up of the 20th anniversary Colorado Mountain Winefest. "Which was your favorite wine?" came from many sides. Gee, that's like, "Daddy, which of us do you love most?" We've done this a dozen or more times, you and I, and so you understand that no answer is possible, because after tasting 100 or more wines over the course of 6 hours, it isn't easy to pick the best or ...

Reporter’s Notebook from Colorado Mountain Winefest

By Dave Buchanan
Friday, September 23, 2011

Reporter’s Notebook from the 20th Colorado Mountain Winefest: So many wines to taste and stories to tell. The crowd was late-arriving Saturday for the opening bell of the 20th anniversary Colorado Mountain Winefest but don’t call it a fashion statement. Unless your fashion tastes include gum boots and Gore-Tex jackets. The morning rain doused the riders on the Tour of the Vineyards and undoubtedly caused many people to hesitate before committing to the Festival in the ...

Breckenridge Brewery serves up Autumn Ale, Vanilla Porter and, yes, the Peachfork is back.

By Dave Buchanan
Wednesday, September 14, 2011

We expect mid-September to bring a change in weather, but with a week or more of summer officially remaining, it's unlikely anyone expects to see a forecast for up to 6 inches of snow for the higher mountains of Colorado. We won’t see the white stuff down here ( although we may see it from here) but it reminds us that as the seasons change, so do our diets and the way we drink. Salads and light meals aren’t discarded but they become less frequent as more substantial ...

Spit with the best or wear dark clothes

By Dave Buchanan
Tuesday, September 13, 2011

With Colorado Mountain Winefest and the justly popular Festival in the Park just hours away, it’s time to make a decision. Spit? Or swallow? Do you help yourself to everything poured or do you want to remember the wines? No matter how good you think your memory is, even the best tasters can’t remember after 50 wines. And with 50 wineries each pouring four or more wines, there is no way you’ll get through that many without spitting. How do you know when to spit? ...

A little of everything – even the romance – at Colorado Mountain Winefest

By Dave Buchanan
Wednesday, September 7, 2011

It’s early afternoon in mid-September as I write this, and the the pewter-colored clouds draping rain across Pinyon Mesa add to the sense that summer is about at its end. While no one is rushing into winter, September and October might be the best months in western Colorado for wine enthusiasts. This month, as you already know but I’m going to remind you anyway, brings the Colorado Mountain Winefest, set for Sept. 15-18 in Palisade with wine-related events across the Grand ...

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