We've come a long way since I first started here last summer. At that time the cellar was scarcely filled and what it did have was wine that maybe I would cook with. As some of you may remember our Chateauneuf-du-Pape Reserves came in last week and this is how far we've come ... we actually have Reserves! What makes a wine a Reserve other than it being stated on the label? First and foremost, it is wine that is of the utmost quality so the wine maker will put it aside or age it a bit longer before selling it. Most wineries…Read More
My number one instruction to my wine vendors is to bring me something that few others have. It goes without saying that I want the wine to be delicious and memorable, but I am also looking for significant character. Lesser known varietals such as Treixadura, Godello, and Criolla dot the landscape of our cellar. I want the cellar to be deep with diversity since our space is limited.
It is reassuring to take the easy way out when you choose a wine you are familiar with. Buying a bottle of wine is a gamble, one that I don't even like to take. A guy who was studying for his Level 1 Somm was very excited about a South African Pinotage. My experience told me not to buyRead More
A few tastings ago I covered white wines we should be drinking; it was by far one of my favorite tastings. Colorado ranks in the top five for wine buying. 54% of those wine buyers prefer red compared to 41% who like whites. White wine gets a bad rap; I have found as my palate matures and I’ve tasted about everything I could ever dream of tasting (‘94 Penfolds “Grange” still brings a tear to my eye), I find myself going back to whites to rediscover them. There are few things that compare to a white Burgundy with its reductive qualities or the zing of a Picpoul to accompany those Moules Marinières … these are wines worth buying and enjoying.Read More
My heart wanted to do a bourbon tasting to honor the 145th running of the Kentucky Derby on May 4, complete with Mint Juleps and Hot Browns, but alas, we are in Colorado and not Kentucky. Cinco de Mayo seemed to be more appropriate and what’s more fitting than a tequila tasting?
Wines for the Spring Holidays to Give You Serious Wine Cred
Passover and Easter are upon us (Mother’s Day a few weeks away!) and that means it is time for family gatherings. I implore you to not bring the average bottle of Chardonnay to go with matzoh ball soup or a Cabernet to accompany the Easter ham. The wines listed here pair well with everything from Charoset to cheesy scalloped potatoes. I am a firm believer in eating well, but most importantly, drinking well, so please don’t settle for the Hazel’s $12.99 special. Consider treating your guests or hosts to a bottle that will blow them away.…Read More
I have been hesitating on an Italian tasting because Italian wines can be a frustrating love affair. I used to only drink Italians in my quest to get it all figured out. I haven’t had a dedicated bottle of Italian wine in over a year because I was literally driving myself mad attempting to perfect my knowledge. Between the numerous names for Sangiovese to the over 350 indiginous wine grape varieties in Italy alone, it can be considered the pinnacle of wine knowledge among sommeliers. This is our first Italian tasting, and it won’t be our last … this will be a very long and fun journey (and you’ll understand why it’ll make you nuts!). To get us started, I’ll pour a Barolo, Nebbiolo, and a Pinot Grigio that will be unlike that standard suburban book club wine.
It seems like an odd thing to talk about, why a bottle's shape is as important as the wine inside. The same holds true for stemware. A champagne flute does a glass of bubbly a huge disservice and a Nebbiolo served in a large glass mitigates the bitterness of the tannin or spicy flavors. In the next tasting we'll bring out some wines to consider and the bottles that contain them. Bordeaux, Burgundy, and Alsace bottles will be represented plus the respective stemware. I can assure you there is much to learn in this tasting and of course the wine will be marvelous!Read More
Last tasting we did a deep dive into Chardonnay (and shared a beautiful Chateauneuf-du-Pape blanc … ‘twas a good night!), the next tasting will embody some other wines that most people dismiss when thinking about whites. Up your wine game and come learn about the world of Viognier, Picpoul, Rioja Blanca, Tokaji, Sancerre, and more.Read More
City Club's much requested and highly anticipated Chardonnay tasting is finally happening! Born in Burgundy, France, this wine is now ubiquitous and has a tendency to get a bad reputation (even by this sommelier). Truth is, this grape embodies terroir perfectly and sampling Chardonnay side-by-side is a wonderful way to experience this wine. We will serve four Chardonnay wines from Carneros to Burgundy, and I promise, no Kendall Jackson will be served.Read More
Malbec! Argentina's most relevant variety via France. These wines are not shy. A good Malbec tends to be right up against you like a warm body in bed, with bold fruit and chocolate finishes. I was fortunate enough to meet with Eduardo Antonini from Bodega Noemía and tasted some of his Patagonian Malbec. I am so excited about these wines that I built an entire tasting around them to share with you. We'll start with a North American Malbec, switch to a bottle from southwest France, and then top it off with these beautiful wines from Patagonia.Read More
No, we will not break out Harvey's Bristol Cream (but in case anyone is feeling nostalgic, I found a bottle tucked away in the cellar). This week we will explore the interesting world of beverages that are aged in sherry casks, from red ale to Glenmorangie's La Santa, to a wickedly good Rioja Blanca, and finally ending with a '98 Emilio Lustau Oloroso Anada Sherry that, I can promise, was not found deep in the cellar. Put aside any negative connotations you may have about Sherry – I promise this will be a worthwhile journey.Read More
We’ll start the year off with a great tasting! Wine and cheese are two items the culinary gods blessed us with, and to combine the two can be heavenly. While the options are endless, we wanted to start off this adventure on rather safe ground while still exploring acidity, fat, texture, and tannin. Edam with Carneros Chardonnay, Piave with Barbera, and of course Brie with Champagne will be served.Read More
The first of many bourbon tastings is upon us. We start off with the basics (by Nathalie’s standards). We aren’t talking Jim Beam, but we will be heavily influenced by Booker Noe, the grandson of Jim Beam. Booker undoubtedly was a major contributor to the elevation of bourbon, if not one of its most influential patrons. For those of you who are apprehensive to sip a glass of bourbon, now is your chance to do so and to explore all of the lovely characteristics that will unfold on your palate. Basil Hayden and Knob Creek, plus a nod to Elijah Craig, one of the somm’s favorite underappreciated bourbons, will be poured and indulged.
In the immortal words of Booker Noe, “Drink it any damn way you want.”