A few years ago, at a wine event in a LoDo loft, I met Colorado wine-lovers Roger and Donna Beery. We chatted pleasantly and exchanged cards. I have periodically, but not recently, checked their Bacchus & Beery wine blog. They now split their time between Austin and Healdsburg, CA, where they established J. Cage Cellars, a winery named after Roger’s great grandfather, a Texas bridge-builder. They refer to it as “their wine-stained dream” and in fact, that’s what they named their newsletter.
The Beerys and their grown children are building a reputation with their award-winning wines, including several golds in 2014, 2015 and 2016 at the Denver International Wine Festival competition. The Wall Street Journal profiled them yesterday in a retirement piece called “At Last, Becoming a Winemaker.” Happy to share this recognition, and I hope to try their wines along the way.
Open Table’s “100 Best” list includes a handful in metro Denver.
Open Table, the online restaurant reservation site, has unveiled its users’ choices for the 100 Best Steakhouses in America for 2016. Of those, five are in Colorado — all in Denver or the greater metro area. They are:
Del Frisco’s Double Eagle Steak House, Greenwood Village
Elway’s Cherry Creek, Denver
Guard & Grace, Denver
Perry’s Steakhouse & Grille, Park Meadows, Lone Tree
Shanahan’s Steakhouse, Denver
I was alerted to this by a Del Frisco’s spokeswoman, who also noted that this upscale steakhouse chain has three interesting insiders’ features:
Secret menu items that “only those with prior knowledge know to order the off-menu delights, many inspired by Del Frisco’s regulars and local celebrities.”
Non-traditional spirits that vary by each location, offering “some of the rarest vintages and bottles available in the U.S.
The recently created recently created Somm Wars pitting “Leaders of Women in Wine” against each other, “with Del being “home to many top female sommeliers and a friendly three-city wine competition, which will become an annual event.” The three cities are Dallas, New York and Chicago.
Every time I’ve come down the steep hill into Bailey on U.S. Highway 285, I’ve been astonished that no one has plowed into the that has been housing the Aspen Peak Cellars & Winery. Now someone has.
Around midnight on Monday, the driver of a semi-trailer fell asleep or lost control or something and slammed into the winery , destroying the building and rendering the operation a “total loss,” according to authorities and the owners.
At this time of year, wineries typically think about the grape harvest and crush. Marcel and Julie Flukiger began making wine as a hobby before starting the Aspen Peak Winery, first in Conifer, where they operated restaurant and winery. After the restaurant’s event venue, a 140-year-old barn, burned, they moved the winery to this vulnerable property in Bailey. Let’s hope that if they relocate again, that the third time’s the charm and the next location doesn’t suffer some unforeseen disaster.
Eat, drink and celebrate local chefs and winemakers.
The Denver Food + Wine Festival is six days events celebrating the good life at the table. It takes place downtown on the Pepsi Center grounds, Metro State and he Curtis Hotel. Here’s the roundup. Click here for details and to buy tickets.
Tuesday, September 6. Culinary Cinema Night, part of the ongoing Culinary Cinema Series, a partnership between the Colorado Restaurant Association and Denver Film Society, the Denver Food + Wine Festival will kick off with an evening comprised of great food, great drinks and a great movie. An exclusive screening of an engaging culinary film will be paired with wine, cocktails and bites from Denver’s notable chefs.
Wednesday, September 7. Dinner Under the Stars, which is new for 2016, celebrates the best of what Colorado’s culinary scene has to offer. Each course of the curated, five-course prix fixe meal is designed by a different acclaimed chef and served in a beautiful outdoor setting.
A Taste of Colorado, the long-running Labor Day Weekend tradition of food, entertainment, carnival attractions and vendors galore, packs ’em in to Denver’s Civic Center Park. But an option in the mountains holds more epicurean appeal –.away from the Front Range’s late summer heat. The commonality, in addition to being in Colorado, is that entry to both events is free. You pay for what you eat.
The 10th annual Gourmet on Gore, a comparatively new classic culinary festival, takes place in the heart of Vail on Labor Day Weekend (September 2-5) and features gastronomic creations from some of Vail’s most renowned chefs, sips from world-class vintners, exceptional beers and events that highlight the natural beauty of Vail. In short, you won’t fine BBQ turkey legs or funnel cake.
In addition to the open-air tasting with wine, beer and spirits selections and food from the Vail Valley’s top restaurants, Gourmet on Gore offers also offers a variety of additional pairing events and outdoor activities throughout the weekend. The Tasting Tour kicks things off on Friday, September 4, and Open-Air Tastings take place on Saturday and Sunday, Sept. 5 and 6, from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Brunch on Bridge Street closes the weekend on Monday from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.
Find a full schedule of events, lodging packages and other details or purchase Tasting Tour tickets online, FoMoInfo: 970.476.6797 x712.
Colorado’s robust wine industry celebrated its best wineries, cideries and meaderies (and I just made up those last two) at the Governor’s Cup do at the History Colorado Center. Governors do not always appear at this annual event, but Governor Hickenlooper was there, wineglass in hand, to announce winners of the wine competition for wines, ciders, meads and fruit wines produced in 2015.
In addition to a Hickenlooper handshake and a plaque, a dozen winning wines from grapes are part of the year’s Governor’s Cup Case, used for VIP occasions to promote the state’s wines and related beverages. Colorado Wine Industry Development Board, notes that there are currently 140 wineries in the state, The award event included small plates from some of the Front Range’s leading chefs. Here are some pix:
Denver event to honor winning wines, plus top chefs’ food sampling.
Governor John Hickenlooper was famously a beer guy, opening the Wynkoop Brewery with three colleagues back in 1988, the year that I moved to Colorado. He now presides over a state with a robust wine industry too, and on August 4, the winning wines from the annual Governor’s Cup are revealed in a public tasting event at the Colorado History Center.
The Colorado Wine Governor’s Cup is the only statewide wine- making competition exclusively for the Centennial State’s wines, including 236 wines from 33 local wineries. The panel of such experts as sommeliers, chefs, writers and wine experts annually evaluate the submitted wines to select the 18 (12 grape wines and 6 cider/mead/fruit wines). They are assembled into the “Wine Case” used to promote Colorado’s best.
The Governor’s Cup celebration on August 4 provides the opportunity to taste all the medalists paired with small bites prepared by some of the area’s best chefs. These include Elise Wiggins (formerly Panzano and soon opening Cattivella) , Mark Reggiannini (Cafe Marmotte), Ben Davis (Tony’s Market Dry Creek) and Ashlea Tobeck (Escoffier School of Culinary Arts).
VIP entry ($90) is at 6:30 p.m. and includes a chance to sample 2015 winners paired with an extended menu by Chef Samir Mohammad of the History Colorado Center’s Café Rendezvous. General admission ($45) begins at 7:30 p.m. The event ends at 9:30 p.m. Governor Hickenlooper presents the awards to the wineries. FoMoInfo or tickets, call 303-869-9177 or click here.
Don’t expect to see Canyon Wind Cellars, which is closing on July 31, having planted its first grape vines in 1991, early in the current Colorado wine era. The owners and wine-makers, Jay and Jennifer Christianson, are retiring. I wish them well.
Claire Walter's Colorado-oriented but not Colorado-exclusive blog about restaurants, food and wine events, recipes and related news. For address of any restaurant, click on the Zomato icon at the end of the post.