Mondo vino, good for what ails you


WHAT: Planet Wines.

WHERE: 420 Main St.

HOURS: 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday through Wednesday; 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. Thursday through Saturday.

CONTACT: 424-5432.

Physical therapist Mike Chariton has devised a little therapy of his own. Just over two years ago he opened his own specialty wine shop, Planet Wines, and now he’s doing what he loves.

When he’s not working a St. Mary’s Hospital, he’s in his Main Street shop or next door at Il Bistro Italiano doing wine-pairing dinners with chef/owner Brunella Gualerzi.

Chariton’s personal tastes run toward the Old World wine producers, France, Italy and Spain, hence the name Planet Wines.

But he’s also very interested in the newer producers, especially Colorado. Two full shelves of selections come mostly from western Colorado.

Rounding out the selection are wines from South America, Australia, South Africa and just about anywhere else you can imagine.

I’m thinking theme dinner party here.

While a downtown specialty wine shop might seem a bit daunting and expensive, Chariton is quick to assure, “we’re not here to be snobs.”

Quite to the point, I saw many and varied bottles under $10. In the center of the shop is a table of wines, all on sale. In the rear are gifts and wine accessories. The walls are lined with the artwork of a different local artist every month.

The selection includes wines you’re unlikely to find in a mega liquor store. If you’re thinking Yellow Tail, bite your tongue.

“We’re here to help people find what they like,” he said.

At Il Bistro’s once-a-month wine-pairing dinners, Chariton acts as sommelier. The very-popular dinners, often sold out months ahead, feature food and wine from one of the 20 regions of Italy, all distinctly different in their tastes.

Chariton serves white, red and dessert wines and guides diners through the nuances of what they’re tasting.

Contact Planet Wines for reservations.

BIG APPLE HEAVEN: If you’re jonesing for the fresh taste of a New York deli, try the pumpernickel bagels at Main Street Bagels.

Whether with a schmear, or the works — lox, onions, capers, tomatoes — it hits the spot.

By the way, if you ever take a trip to New York, I recommend two must-stop food destinations: Barney Greengrass deli and any traditional Italian joint on Mulberry Street in Little Italy. Both are in Manhattan.

THE VERDICT IS IN: Thousands of masochists at have tasted and voted to come up with a list of the 50 worst beers on Earth.

About the MillerCoors malt liquor Olde English 800, some of the judges’ comments were, “Not fit for college students, bums or the desperate for a drink” and “holy crap, this stuff is nasty.”

In their estimation, here are the 10 worst beers in the world:

1. Olde English 800, 3.2

2. Natural Ice

3. Natural Light … ah Natty Light

4. The beast, Milwaukee’s Best

5. Michelob Ultra

6. Sleeman Clear

7. Budweiser Select 55

8. Coors Aspen Edge

9. Bud Light Chelada

10. Busch Ice

To see the full list, go to http://www.ratebeer. com/Ratings/TheWorstBeers.asp.

SCARY STUFF: Chipotle Mexican Grill is teaming up with chef and fresh-food crusader Jamie Oliver this Halloween. Visit any Chipotle’s on Sunday evening, Oct. 31, dressed as processed food product and get a burrito for $2.

If you want to try for the big prize, take a photo of yourself in costume at a Chipotle restaurant and post it online at

First place wins $2,500, five runners-up get $1,000 each. Twenty others will win a burrito party for 20. See

I can think of easy costumes already: A block of Velveeta cheese or, if you’re skinny, a Slim Jim.

BREW OF THE WEEK: The happy hour special at Rockslide Brewery is a $2 draw of their choosing, from 4–6 p.m. and 10 p.m. to midnight.

QUOTE: “McDonald’s announced it’s considering a more humane way of slaughtering its animals. You know, they fatten them up and then kill them. The same thing they do to their customers, isn’t it?” — Jay Leno, comedian


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