Wine Openers - Blog

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Colorado Winefest announces chefs for opening dinner

By Dave Buchanan
Tuesday, May 17, 2011

The lineup of chefs for the "Colorado Vineyard to Table Dinner," the kick-off dinner at the Colorado Winefest set for June 10-11 at The Shops at Northfield Stapleton in Denver, includes Top Chef winner Hosea Rosenberg, previously of Jax Fish House in Denver. Joining Rosenberg at the inaugural event for this Front Range version of the Colorado Mountain Winefest will be chefs Brian Laird (Russo's kitchen + tavern in Englewood); Dan Witherspoon (The Gourmet Spoon, Denver); ...


April snow catches spring, fruitgrowers by surprise

By Dave Buchanan
Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Consider yourself lucky if you woke up late Saturday morning to find snow on the tulips. Sleeping in, lingering over a cup of coffee and marveling at the beauty of winter’s final fling wasn’t an option for most of the valley’s fruit growers. Most of the orchardists and grape growers were up well before dawn several times this past week after frost alarms sounded in the wake of below-freezing temperatures. Temperatures in downtown Grand Junction hit a low of 26 ...


Colorado wine ‘wows’ a host and gets national boost

By Dave Buchanan
Tuesday, April 26, 2011

When Guy Drew gets attention, he gets the right kind. The affable and award-winning winemaker and owner of Guy Drew Vineyards in McElmo Canyon near Cortez recently picked up some well-deserved national acclaim when the irrepressible Gary Vaynerchuk of Wine Library TV and Daily Grape gave Drew’s 2007 Metate an unqualified “Wow.” Vaynerchuk, who is nothing but enthusiastic and calls his daily online and iPhone apps wine reviews the “Internet’s most ...


Warm weather hastens bud break in vineyards

By Dave Buchanan
Friday, April 15, 2011

Mid-April might be spring to most residents of the Grand Valley but grape growers know better. “Traditionally our last frost here is April 23, but that’s never a given,” said Nancy Janes of Whitewater Hill Vineyards on 32 Road. In what may be a sign of climate change, that last frost is coming earlier, said state viticulturist Horst Caspari of the Colorado State University Orchard Mesa Research Station. “Our last spring frost has moved forward (earlier) by ...


Oh, wait: The Denver winefest is on, after all

By Dave Buchanan
Friday, April 15, 2011

Colorado Mountain Winefest is spreading its vines. The popular 20-year-old event held each fall in Palisade will have a new sister event in Denver this spring when the Colorado Winefest is uncorked June 10-11 at The Shops at Northfield Stapleton. The Palisade winefest isn't going anywhere but the Denver event gives the state's burgeoning wine industry an opportunity to present its wines in a different setting. "I think first and foremost this is going to be different ...


‘Queen of the Sun” tells bees’ tragic story

By Dave Buchanan
Wednesday, March 30, 2011

If you eat, you should see "Queen of the Sun." The story of the crisis killing American honey bees isn't new to most of us. But answers to what's causing Colony Collapse Disorder, where worker bees simply disappear in mass numbers from their hives, has no clear or generally acceptable explanation. According to Wikipedia, such disappearances have occurred throughout the history of apiculture, The term colony collapse disorder was first applied in 2006 when a drastic ...


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 ...


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