2012 Pairsine Challenge: The ultimate food and wine throwdown

Categories: Swirl Girl, Wine

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Pairsine: The Taste of Elegance comes to Denver.
Wine never tastes better than when matched with its perfect food-based soulmate. So when the annual Pairsine -The Taste of Elegance Chefs' Food & Wine Pairing Competition rolls into town, we clear our calendars and start fasting -- because we know that it's about to go down.

See also:
- Chef and Tell with Lon Symensma of ChoLon Modern Asian Bistro

- Chef and Tell with Tom Coohill of Coohills

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Moving to Canada to protest the election results? Three things to know about Canadian wine

Categories: Swirl Girl, Wine

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Wikimedia
Moving to Canada? At least there's good wine in that country.
No matter who you were pulling for in last night's Presidential contest, if you were on the losing side, you undoubtedly heard more than a few of your disgruntled peeps threaten to move to Canada in protest. Well, before you start packing your bags, we thought it only proper to give you the lowdown on the state of the Canadian wine business -- just because you'll probably need to stock up on warmer clothing for the much-colder temperatures doesn't mean that your wine standards must drop just as precipitously.

See also:
-Three incredibly cool wine concepts to try in 2012
-Five stellar South African wines

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The Boulder Burgundy Festival delivered the juice

Categories: Swirl Girl, Wine

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The 2012 Boulder Burgundy Festival: Better than ever.
"The first duty of wine is to be red; the second is to be a Burgundy."

So say many hard-core oenophiles around the world, for whom the sun rises and sets according to the vintage charts, weather forecasts and harvest projections associated with a relatively tiny (we're talking roughly 200 miles) piece of real estate in northern France. It is here that purists believe some of the most spectacular wines in the world are made; if you love pinot noir in particular, than there are none worth drinking besides those from Bourgogne.

See also:

- Five stellar South African wines
- Three incredibly cool wine concepts to try in 2012


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Five stellar South African wines

Categories: Swirl Girl, Wine

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Old world plus new world equals stellar South African wine.
Wine drinkers typically skew into two categories: those who love the taste of dirt, and those who are all about big fruit flavors. Put another way, the first group consists of peeps who worship at the altar of everything old world, including wines from across the pond (read: Europe), usually in a style focused on expressing the unique terroir and classic characteristics associated with a given grape variety; vintners tend to make wine "in the vineyard," letting the weather dictate matters and basically doing as little as possible to tamper with the results that nature intended. Conversely, fans of new-world bottles crave the pronounced, juicy ripeness generally found in wines that hail from the decidedly warmer climes of regions like California and Australia.

But what if there was a place that turned out delicious, value-priced juice that featured the best of both wine-world styles -- and in so doing, positioned itself to win the hearts of wine lovers of every stripe? Say hello to the fantastic wines of South Africa.

See also:
- Three incredibly cool wine concepts to try in 2012- Three of the biggest wine-marketing WTFs!
- Four luscious white wines to savor now

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Three incredibly cool wine concepts to try in 2012

Categories: Swirl Girl, Wine

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Evocative Wrapped Bottles? We'll drink to that.
After reading last week's column, you may have correctly deduced that we were less than thrilled by a set of half-witted wine branding ideas designed to insult the intelligence of women everywhere. Lest you think we were unduly harsh in our assessment, trust that we understand that it's gotta be tough to dream up sexy and interesting new ways to market a product that's been in existence since well before antiquity. Layer onto that the fact that wine drinkers are more educated and discriminating than ever before, and it becomes abundantly clear how miraculous it is that any wine producer would be brave enough to attempt to push anything beyond the predictably safe and familiar. The good news is that these brave souls do exist, and there are still plenty of clever ideas out there that we're fired up about. Read on for three very cool wine concepts to try now.

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Three of the biggest wine-marketing WTFs!

Categories: Swirl Girl, Wine

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Wine marketing that panders to women makes us say "WTF?"
If you're a woman and you love wine, then you must be a complete idiot.

That's the only logical conclusion we were able to draw after stumbling upon a slew of borderline misogynistic marketing ploys to influence our (since we are most assuredly a "she") wine-purchasing decisions. With some research claiming that women are responsible for 80 percent of the wine purchased for home consumption, it's no wonder that some brands will push any crazy "girlie" wine idea they can dream up in order to get their hands into our wine kitty. We can certainly appreciate that there is some subset of our demographic that is seeking -- to put it nicely -- "softer" messaging about wine, which for too long has been largely targeted to men. But on behalf of our wine-loving gender, we simply must call bullshit on these overly sexist and, in one case, downright misleading wine-marketing concepts. Turn the page for three marketing ploys so egregious, we had to say "WTF!?"

See also:
- Four lucious white wines to savor now
- Four fall-worthy red wines to fall in love with

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Four luscious white wines to savor now

Categories: Swirl Girl, Wine

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Think cooler weather means giving up white wines? Think again.
Last week, we introduced you to four uniquely delicious red wines that seemed as though they were destined for autumnal consumption from the day they were bottled. And while it's true that our seasonal wine cravings generally give the edge to reds over whites, there are a multitude of compelling reasons to drink white wines now -- the trick is in knowing that these are not just "any" white wines -- and in understanding that there are all kinds of fall dishes just clamoring to be paired with bottles that are a lighter shade of pale.


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Four fall-worthy red wines to fall in love with

Categories: Swirl Girl, Wine

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What makes a red wine fall -- or should we say, fall in love -- worthy? Given the record-setting quantities of rosé we consumed over the past few months, you might assume that getting us to loosen our death grip on pink wines would equal a Herculean feat.

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Five of the most annoying wine trends we've seen on TV

Categories: Swirl Girl, Wine

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Wine drinking on TV should be great -- except for when it isn't.
Seems like no matter what channel we tune into lately, we've spotted a character or two drinking wine. Which is something you'd think we'd applaud -- if the wine-related antics on the particular handful of shows we stumbled upon hadn't ranged from mildly annoying to downright depressing.

But before we unleash a rant on the decidedly less-than-classy side of wine drinking on TV, some good news: Wine's increasing presence on network and cable television shows alike means it's finally shedding its reputation as a beverage consumed principally by middle-aged white guys wearing elbow-patched blazers. Plus, we can't help but toast the fact that this new generation of wine-loving characters appears to enjoy quaffing red, white, pink and -- most encouraging of all -- bubbly, in nearly equal proportions. So if society's tendency to mimic the alcohol-guzzling behavior of characters they identify with continues to hold up (remember back in the '90s when you couldn't swing a Fendi baguette without hitting someone sipping a Cosmopolitan?), this bump in both wine-drinking frequency and variety is basically positive. After all, we are nothing if not in favor of encouraging the world to drink more (and better) wine. The downside? Some of the wine world's most enduring stereotypes continue to be reinforced by what we'll refer to as some "less than evolved" television players. Here's what we'd like to see a lot less of when it comes to wine drinking on the small screen:

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Three juicy reasons to spend your weekend at Colorado Mountain WineFest

Categories: Swirl Girl, Wine

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Via Facebook
Spend this weekend falling in love with Colorado wine.
The Colorado wine industry is having a kick-ass year.

In fact, we might even say that 2012 will go down as the one in which our state's wine biz officially blew up. Let's rewind: In April, our fair city hosted the fourth annual Drink Local Wine conference, a national affair that lured a clique of the country's most influential wine media to Colorado and got them buzzing about how far our local juice has come in recent years. Just a couple of months later we toasted a barrelful of Colorado wine-soaked activities that made up the first of the two annual fĂȘtes conceived of, organized and executed by the Colorado Association of Viticulture and Enology (CAVE) - the Colorado Urban WineFest. But the party was just getting started back in June -- it continues this weekend at the 21st annual Colorado Mountain WineFest on the Western Slope, also known as "where the magic happens" for the roughly 100 wineries doing work out there.

Turn the page for all the encouragement you'll need to jump in your car and head west.

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