SOMM spills the juice on what it takes to become a Master Sommelier

Categories: Swirl Girl, Wine

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SOMM includes some surprising Colorado connections.
What's the hardest test you've ever heard of? For many, the bar exam -- the test every aspiring attorney must pass in order to legally practice law -- will come to mind. The test's difficulty cannot be denied; only about 55,000 people pass every year.

But the fact is, the test to become a Master Sommelier is much, much more difficult to pass than the bar exam. It's so challenging, so all-out consuming in every way, that fewer than 150 people in the United States have passed it -- ever -- since the United Kingdom's Court of Master Sommeliers started offering the once-a-year, three-day master's exam in 1969. So first-time director Jason Wise decided to make a film about it -- and that film, SOMM, premieres tonight at the Sie FilmCenter.

See also:
- Embrace your inner somm at the Sie Filmcenter tonight
- Frasca's Bobby Stuckey gets a huge nomination nod in Wine Enthusiast
- Three major sommelier service don'ts


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A recap of the Grand Cochon in Aspen -- and seven tips for next year's feast

Categories: Swirl Girl, Wine

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The annual Food & Wine Classic that takes place in Aspen every June is known in industry circles as the epicurean equivalent of the Olympics. And given that the festival features more than 72 hours of pure excess, one certainly needs to be in peak physical form in order to go the distance. But late on Sunday afternoon, when most attendees had packed up their swag and headed for home to nurture their hangovers, the true hardcore partiers descended on what might qualify as the most debaucherous event of the weekend: the swine- and booze-fueled bacchanal known as Grand Cochon.

See also:
- Food and Wine Classic in Aspen: Day 1
- Straight from the gut of Ian Kleinman, Max MacKissock at the Food & Wine Classic
- Living the high life: A photo recap of the Food & Wine Classic in Aspen


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La Paulée des Neiges -- aka The Ballers' Burgundy Fest -- returns to The Little Nell this weekend

Categories: Swirl Girl, Wine

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La Paulée des Neiges: How ballers drink Burgundy.
If you love pinot noir and chardonnay -- specifically, the particularly revered varieties which hail from the postage stamp-sized wine-producing region of Burgundy, France -- you may want to buy a lottery ticket today.

See also:
- The Boulder Burgundy Festival delivered the juice
- Four top wine trends for 2013

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Four top wine trends for 2013

Categories: Swirl Girl, Wine

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Celebrate the top wine trends of 2013.
Welcome to 2013 and the next year of your wine-drinking life. Over the past twelve months we saw a slew of clever new wine concepts worth trying, and a whole lotta wine-related WTFs to studiously avoid. All the while we watched and waited, eyes peeled for signs of the wine-related developments that would turn out to be more than just a flash in the glass. Below, our picks for the four most compelling wine trends for 2013.

See also:
- Ten of the best (and highly giftable) wines of 2012


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Ten of the best (and highly giftable) wines of 2012

Categories: Swirl Girl, Wine

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Last week, we poured out a little guidance on what you might sneak under the tree (or Festivus Pole, or whatever) that would add a little splash of joy in the lives of any wine lover on your list. But we failed to include any actual wine in that grouping, because we believe it deserving of a special rundown all its own. Well, we've made a list -- and checked it twice -- of the most extraordinary bottles we drank over the past twelve months, any of which would be ideal candidates for gifting (or just plain guzzling) this holiday season.

See also:
- Five perfect holiday wine gifts for every budget


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Five perfect holiday wine gifts for every budget

Categories: Swirl Girl, Wine

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The best holiday gifts always involve wine.
'Tis officially the season, wine lovers. Christmas is a mere thirteen days away, and if you're anything like us, then you've barely thrown out your Thanksgiving leftovers, never mind purchased anything sparkly or bright for your loved ones. The good news? We've made a list of all the primo wine-related goodies we're hoping Santa brings us this year, any of which would suit the oenophile you're shopping for, too. Read on for five of the most desirable gifts for wine lovers -- that are perfect for every budget.

See also
- Four ways to give the gift of wine (and buy local) this holiday season
-Three sensational wine cocktails to celebrate the holiday season

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Three unlikely online wine clubs eager to quench your thirst

Categories: Swirl Girl, Wine

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Amazon.com is the latest unusual suspect to join the wine club home delivery business.
It seems like everybody and their neighbor wants to be in the wine business.

Last week, we spilled the juice on Denver-based Club W's first year in the monthly wine club business. While we found their edgy-cool offerings well worth the hype, as we did our research we couldn't help noticing that the wine home delivery market is getting more and more crowded every day -- and by companies that you wouldn't normally associate with fermented grape juice.

See also
-Three incredibly cool wine concepts to try in 2012
-Three of the biggest wine-marketing WTFs!

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Club W delivers tasty wines worth waiting for

Categories: Swirl Girl, Wine

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Club W delivers delicious wine goods straight to your door.
Delicious bottles of wine. Hand-selected for you by industry pros, based on your personal palate's preferences. Shipped directly to your door, every month, for less than $40. Welcome to the club -- that is, Club W.

See also
- Four ways to give the gift of wine (and buy local) this holiday season
- Three Colorado winemakers worthy of Drink Local Wine Week love

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Four unique wines that will keep the Thanksgiving love alive

Categories: Swirl Girl, Wine

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Mix things up -- and keep the love flowing -- with four unique Thanksgiving wines.
If your family's anything like ours, then it's not so much the turkey, stuffing and cranberry you're looking forward to inhaling tomorrow -- it's the booze.

There's a reason why most of us make sure we only commit to spending several hours in the company of these people two or three times a year. It's not that we don't love our relatives -- we do. But now that we're all grown up, what used to be explained away as Uncle Charles's "quirks" and cousin Tracy's um...colorful sense of humor now seem to work our nerves mercilessly.

Thank goodness there's a wine for that.

See also:
-Beaujolais Nouveau is great, but Cru Beaujolais is even better
-Five stellar South African wines

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Beaujolais Nouveau is great, but Cru Beaujolais is even better

Categories: Swirl Girl, Wine

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It's Beaujolais Nouveau time again -- but cru Beaujolais rocks, too.
There's a certain cadre of wine drinkers who anxiously await the arrival of a very special Thursday in November for their chance to eat and drink (wine, natch) until they fall into a pleasure-induced stupor. If you're reading this and thinking to yourself, "Yeah, that's called Thanksgiving," then think again. The peeps I'm talking about are giddy for a day most of the world pays no attention to: the third Thursday of November, when "le Beaujolais nouveau est arrivé!" -- aka, the day the Beaujolais Nouveau arrives.

See also:
-Five sexy Spanish wines to try now
-Four Fall-worthy red wines to fall in love with

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