Wine Openers - Blog

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Porking it up in Denver

By Dave Buchanan
Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Forget for now the Broncos, this weekend the porkers take over Denver. Lovers of heritage-breed pigs are sure to enjoy Cochon 555, a unique culinary competition Sunday in Denver featuring five pigs, five chefs and five winemakers. The event will be at the Ritz-Carlton, 1881 Curtis St. The VIP program begins at 3:30 p.m, general admission is at 5. The chefs, who include the fabulous Kelly Liken of Restaurant Kelly Liken in Vail (she, you remember, was the featured headliner who wowed ...

Where I’ve been, what I’ve been drinking

By Dave Buchanan
Thursday, March 3, 2011

In most cases, the world slows down during the mid-winter months of January and February. While activity in the vineyards is at the year's nadir, wineries already are ramping up coming the year. That's also true for many writers, retailers and importers, all looking for the next Yellow Tail or whatver brand will take the wine world by storm. If you've been this blog for any length of time, you'll have noticed there are occasionally long periods of time when few ...

Midwinter finds grape growers checking bud vitality

By Dave Buchanan
Saturday, February 12, 2011

If a grape grower should mention he’s been out cutting buds, you might be assured it has nothing to do with a shift to the medical marijuana business. He or she merely has been out among the vines, trying to determine how much damage the winter’s cold has wrought on the delicate grape buds. Winter finds grape growers and winemakers even more cautious than normal. They know there is nothing to do about the weather, but when you get only one chance a year to make money, ...

Selections for Valentine’s Day start from the heart

By Dave Buchanan
Friday, February 11, 2011

It's a three-day Valentine's Day weekend and there are places to visit and wines and chocolates to taste. Carlson Vineyards is offering its tantalizing sweet-tart Cherry wine paired with Enstrom's semi-dark chocolates as well the popular Cherry N' Chocolate Heart. Both are available online or at the winery, 461 35 Road, open daily from 10 a.m. until 6 p.m. The Valentine Wine, Buffalo and Chocolate Lover's Trail is noon to 5 p.m. Sunday at three locations on ...

Bubbly makes every night New Year’s Eve

By Dave Buchanan
Wednesday, December 29, 2010

While holidays are when most people open sparkling wines, there's no reason to wait until the tinsel is falling off the tree to open something bubbly and fun. With some friends over for a between-the-holidays midweek gathering, I gathered an assortment of various bubblies to share. I didn't have enough of any one to make it the focus of the party but there was enough variety to open some eyes to the possibilities you can find in sparkling wines. Here's what we tasted and ...

More ideas as the White Christmas tour continues

By Dave Buchanan
Wednesday, December 22, 2010

The White Christmas 2010 tour continues with some ideas for inexpensive whites and bubblies for your holiday celebrations. Holidays often are the time to splurge but there's something good to be said about saving money while enjoying the moment. White wines and sparkling wines often provide the punch in many festive punches and since white wines tend to have less alcohol than red wines, you won't get worn down during a long day of rocking around the Christmas tree. Best of ...

Chardonnay still a good place to start the holidays

By Dave Buchanan
Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Dreaming of a white Christmas means so many things but I'd like to start with a Chardonnnay, please. Maybe winter (actually it's still really, really late fall) isn't traditionally considered Chardonnay time but let's be real. A good (affordable) Chardonnay is hard to find. The always entertaining W. Blake Gray, in his blog The Gray Market Report, earlier this week commented that many people disrespect Chardonnay because it's become the phylloxera of the grape ...

Holidays offer open houses and winery tours

By Dave Buchanan
Monday, November 22, 2010

Looking out the kitchen window, I realize the weather outside really is frightful. Which must mean it’s time to find that special bottle of wine for the holidays. Since there is no such thing as the “perfect wine for Thanksgiving,” my meager advice is to find something you like to drink and enjoy your holiday. If you’re having a quiet family dinner, pick something special you enjoy drinking and share it with a loved one or two. If you’re having a ...

‘Tis the season for Beaujolais Nouveau

By Dave Buchanan
Friday, November 19, 2010

If you were standing in a liquor store late Wednesday night, you might have noticed a curious sight. As the clock struck midnight, seemingly out of nowhere, cases and cases of brightly labeled bottles of wine would have appeared, as if some much-awaited celebration were about to occur. And you would have been right on all counts. At one minute after midnight on the third Thursday of November, as dictated by French law, comes the annual release of Beaujolais Nouveau, a wine meant to be ...

It’s the time of the season for holiday wine picks

By Dave Buchanan
Tuesday, November 9, 2010

With the holiday season rapidly approaching, this is a great time to snoop around your wine collection and fill in the holes for all those holiday parties. The caveat, of course, is you're never going to please everyone. Even with the immense range and depth of wines available today, with choices seemingly unlimited, there is no way you’re going to have the perfect wine that fits everyone’s palate. I like to keep a variety of white wines and red wines on hand to ...

Local peaches featured in latest offering from Breckenridge Brewery

By Dave Buchanan
Tuesday, November 2, 2010

I'm straying from the wine trail this week to focus on another Grand Valley product – peaches – available in beer form. Thanks to a stray email, I was turned on to Breckenridge Brewery's new Peachfork Wheat, an unfiltered beer featuring fruit from Peachfork Orchards and Vineyard on East Orchard Mesa. Peachfork (the vineyards, not the beer) has long supplied grapes for local winemakers but this time it was their peaches that attracted a brewer's ...

End of season not scary at all for Garvin Mesa wineries

By Dave Buchanan
Wednesday, October 27, 2010

If you're ready to avoid the ghouls and goblins of Halloween for a few hours, take the easy drive to Garvin Mesa east of Paonia and enjoy some not-so-scary end of season deals from the four wineries there. All four – Stone Cottage Cellars, Terror Creek Winery, Black Bridge Winery and Azura Cellars and Gallery – will be offering exceptional deals Saturday on wine, art and, at Stone Cottage Cellars, on chocolate. Brent and Karen Helleckson of Stone Cottage Cellars are ...

Leroux Creek harvest party brightens fall day

By Dave Buchanan
Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Saturday was spent at Leroux Creek Vineyards clipping ripe Chambourcin grapes and trying not to cut myself with the clippers I recently sharpened. It's harvest time for winemaker Yvon Gros and each fall he summons friends and family (this year his brother Joel, shown in the photo below admiring some of the grapes, came over from the Eagle River Valley) to pick and crush his 5 acres or so of Chambourcin, a red-grape hybrid that does well in Colorado's cool climate. Yvon and his ...

Big helping little promises strong future for state’s wine industry

By Dave Buchanan
Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Among the busy tents during this year’s Colorado Mountain Winefest (and at times it seemed every tent was busy) was the tent shared by Theresa High’s Colterris Wines and Tyrel Lawson’s Kahil Winery. Lawson shared more than the tent. He not only makes his wine, he also is winemaker for Colterris as well as Bob Witham’s Two Rivers Winery and Chateau. Two Rivers Winery keeps Lawson busy producing six varietals (Chardonnay, Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon, Riesling, ...

Boulder Creek ‘Best of Fest” continues streak

By Dave Buchanan
Sunday, September 19, 2010

More notes from Saturday's Festival in the Park: Maybe someone was surprised that Boulder Creek Winery's 2007 Cabernet Sauvignon won Best of Show honors at the Colorado Mountain Winefest, but not winery owner Mike Thompson. Boulder Creek is on a bit of roll at the Winefest, having secured Best of Show three of the past seven years. His last win was in 2008 with his 2005 Boulder Creek Winery Colorado Syrah. This latest win won't be overlooked, Thompson said, but there ...

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