Wine Openers - Blog

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Notes from Saturday’s Festival in the Park at the Colorado Mountain Winefest

By Dave Buchanan
Saturday, September 18, 2010

Notes from Saturday's Festival in the Park, which still was jumping as I write this (4:30 p.m.): Judging from the long line of people waiting to get into the Festival when the gates opened at 10:30 a.m., this year's ticket sales should exceed last year's record of 7,200. "We had sold 6,400 tickets by 7 p.m. Friday, so it's entirely possible we'll beat last year's numbers," said Colorado Mountain Winefest director Sarah Catlin. Catlin, sitting in ...

Grand Valley wine country ‘cradle of the world’

By Dave Buchanan
Friday, September 17, 2010

"This valley," said Max Ariza, waving his arms and trying to figure if he was facing east or west, "grows grapes from France, Spain, Germany and Italy. It's like the cradle of the world." And like most cradles, it hold something, in this case a wine industry, still in its infancy. "Colorado's wine industry is like this," Ariza said, cupping his hands together. "The rest of the world is ..." and he stretches out his arms. Ultimately, ...

Wait, wait: Colorado Mountain Winefest kicks off today

By Dave Buchanan
Thursday, September 16, 2010

When the 19th annual Colorado Mountain Winefest kicks off .. Wait, wait. It's today. The long-awaited celebration of wine and food starts today and there's still time for you to join in the fun. You've missed the golf tournament at Redlands Mesa and you're probably out of luck for the much-coveted tickets to the Winefest's highlight event, the Chef Kelly Liken cooking demo and dinner on Friday, but there still are tickets available to the other fascinating ...

Wine of the Week

By Dave Buchanan
Friday, August 27, 2010

We already have lost an hour of daylight on both ends of the day, a noticeable shortening of the time when sitting on the patio is especially nice. What we haven't lost, at least this week, is the hot weather, which means I'm still searching out refreshing white wines to ease the scorch of August's heat. I've recently been working through some samples from Robert Mondavi, including the winery's latest offerings of the 2009 Pinot Grigio and the 2008 Fumé ...

Winefest dinner reservations getting scarce

By Dave Buchanan
Thursday, August 26, 2010

When the colorful brochure heralding this year's Colorado Mountain Winefest arrived in the mail, it came as a reminder to make that reservation for one of the winemaker dinners. If you think making wine is difficult, try making a reservation for dinner. Most of the dinners are sold out, although a few opening were available earlier this week at scattered sites around the valley. A complete list of the restaurants offering these special dinners is available on the Festival Web ...

Colorado’s best to be recognized at Governor’s Mansion

By Dave Buchanan
Tuesday, August 24, 2010

If you’re headed to Denver Wednesday and have the evening free, you might grab the last $50 in your wallet and head over the Boettcher Mansion at 400 East Eighth Ave. First Lady Jeannie Ritter, along with the Governor’s Residence Preservation Fund, the Colorado Wine Industry Development Board and the American Wine Society are hosting from 6-9 p.m. “A Celebration of Premier Colorado Wines,” featuring the award-winning wines from a Colorado-only wine competition ...

Wine of the Week

By Dave Buchanan
Sunday, August 8, 2010

It's really three Wines of the Week, and all the same grape. Parker Carlson of Carlson Vineyards has taken a bit of a gamble this year, though that's nothing new for someone often considered the reigning dean of Colorado winemaking. Like every other winery facing a change in its winemaking due to a shortage of some grape varietals after several serious frosts in the last 12 months, Carlson this year is offering a trilogy of gewurtztraminers, one of the few grape varietals ...

Octavin wines continue to raise the bar

By Dave Buchanan
Friday, July 30, 2010

There always is an adventure waiting when it comes to trying new wines. While the adventure occasionally proves to be one you'd just as soon miss next time it's offered, most of the time it's an adventure worth repeating. Although I'm not sure it's considered an adventure the second time around. Maybe it's more like falling in love for the second (or third or 20th) time, when it's the promise of something new and exciting that keeps you on track. This ...

Riesling judged top wine at Mesa County Fair

By Dave Buchanan
Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Stoney Mesa Vineyards of Cedaredge and Reeder Mesa Vineyards swept the gold medals at the first Mesa County Fair Commercial Wine Competition, the results of which were announced last week. The Stoney Mesa 2008 Riesling was judged the top white wine and also won “The Commissioner’s Cup” as Best of Show. Reeder Mesa’s 2008 Cabernet Franc was judged the best red wine and the Reeder Mesa 2007 Land’s End Red, a blend of 44 percent Cabernet Sauvignon and 28 ...

Celebrity lineup set for Festival in the Park

By Dave Buchanan
Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Let's be serious about this: For most of the attendees at the Colorado Mountain Winefest, the trés popular Saturday "Festival in the Park" is the Winefest experience. How can you possibly not enjoy a day at Riverbend Park, sipping Colorado's finest wines, meeting winemakers and grape growers, relaxing under the trees while listening to good music and enjoying the tasty fare? This isn't meant to discount at all the other Winefest activities, including the ...

2nd annual West Elks Wine Trail set for Aug. 6-8

By Dave Buchanan
Friday, July 16, 2010

If you really need another reason to visit the wineries in the West Elk AVA and the North Fork Valley, here's the best one to come along recently: The second annual West Elks Wine Trail is set for Aug. 6-8. Events include tours of the wineries, vineyards, orchards and gardens that highlight the agritourism industry of the area between Hotchkiss and Paonia. Participating wineries include Alfred Eames Cellars, Azura Winery and Gallery, Black Bridge Winery, Delicious Orchards, ...

Summer is made for Riesling

By Dave Buchanan
Sunday, July 11, 2010

It's been another great summer for Riesling. I’ve been exploring Rieslings since enjoying Paul Grieco's seminar “A Celebration of Riesling” at the Food & Wine Classic in Aspen a few weeks ago. Although the seminar was only 45 minutes long, Grieco, a co-owner and wine director of the Hearth Restaurant in New York City, offered quite an education and insights into what many people consider the greatest of white wines. Apparently many people feel this ...

The Art of making great chocolate

By Dave Buchanan
Monday, July 5, 2010

Aspen — It’s been a week or so since the Food & Wine Classic in Aspen and I’m just about recovered. But there are several stories still to tell, and one of those is about chocolatier Art Pollard. Art and business partner Clark Goble own Amano Chocolate, based in Orem, Utah, just outside of Salt Lake City. I ran into Art during one of the Grand Tastings, him standing behind his table, tie askew and this mile-wide grin splitting his face, barely containing the ...

Wine fest Sunday to benefit Delta hospital

By Dave Buchanan
Friday, June 25, 2010

If you're looking to get out of the Grand Valley heat this weekend, the Mountain Valley Wine Festival in Cedaredge on Sunday might be the ticket. This event, now in its sixth year, is an afternoon affair (2 p.m-6 p.m.) at the home of Bruce and Nancy Hovde, 637 E. Main. The Hovde's will open their home to entertainment, wine tastings and special food pairings prepared by local chefs. Tickets are $50 each and all proceeds benefit the oncology department at Delta County ...

Aspen Classic ends with a Riesling tattoo

By Dave Buchanan
Tuesday, June 22, 2010

ASPEN — The 28th annual Food & Wine Classic in Aspen wrapped up Sunday with a thunderous flourish and a Riesling tattoo. In the main ballroom of the St. Regis Hotel, TV host and food expert Sissy Biggers proclaimed chef Rick Bayless (Frontera Restaurant in Chicago and others) winner of this year’s Quickfire Cook-off over the equally talented Michael Voltaggio, “Top Chef” season six winner. This year’s theme was “Make Vegetables Sexy” and ...

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