Flagstaff House lands Wine Spectator award for its cellar and service

Categories: Wine

Flagstaff House
Concise wine lists and boutique offerings by the glass seem to be the mood of the moment at high-end restaurants. But for those who respect the grape, tradition and commitment to excellence trump the new and trendy. Finding great wine and wine service in the metro area is easy when one of the top wine cellars in the world, located in Boulder's Flagstaff House, emanates its stellar reputation like a beacon from a hillside above the city. And that reputation has earned the restaurant yet another Grand Award from Wine Spectator magazine.

See also: Jennifer Jasinski and Frasca Food and Wine win James Beard Foundation awards

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The six hottest rosés of spring 2014 -- and where to find them

Categories: Swirl Girl, Wine

Kendra Anderson
A sure sign that spring has sprung: this glorious rosé display at Mondo Vino.
You know that spring has officially arrived when, instead of tulips, you see bottles of rosé popping up everywhere you look. And even though the weather here in the Mile High City hasn't been exactly stellar, the season for drinking all things pink arrived earlier than ever, with the city's top restaurants and wine shops proudly displaying their commitment to the #JustDrinkPink cause as early as the end of March. During a recent spate of dinner parties and casual soirées, rather than overhearing appalled guests gasping, "What the hell is up with this pink wine?", we were delighted to catch cries of "Where the hell IS the pink wine?" This is what we in the wine business call "progress."

All of this proves that after years of trying to shake its reputation as sweet, unserious wine, rosé wines have finally proven that they are no joke. Read on for my list of the six hottest pinks to drink this spring, and where to go in Denver to score them.

See also: Best restaurant wine list -- Denver 2014

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Welcome to the most unique wine bar in Denver: Palma Cigars

Categories: Wine

Clay Carlton is on a roll. The Denver native who opened his first barbershop in Winter Park 38 years ago today is a master cigar-roller and proprietor not just of Palma Cigars but of Bar Las Palmas Wine Bar, the most unique shop in the Ballpark neighborhood, offering cigars, wine, haircuts and lots of character to the area.

See also: What is Denver's best cigar bar?

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Photos: Kassia's Pasta Farm celebrates the season at Infinite Monkey Theorem

Scott Lentz
Kassia Koukari of Kassia's Pasta Farm plates up some kale pesto noodles at Infinite Monkey Theorem Urban Winery.
Before Kassia Koukari parks Roberto, the three-wheeled delivery bike for Kassia's Pasta Farm, for the season, she wheeled him to the Infinite Monkey Theorem on Thursday night for the kickoff of Operation: Turkey Raisin', a food/fundraiser for Denver Rescue Mission's Thanksgiving Turkey Drive. Through November 23, a portion of all Kassia's Pasta Farm's sales will be donated to the cause -- and customers who donate a can of food will get a dollar off a pasta dish.

See also: Infinite Monkey Theorem Urban Winery and Wine Lab opens in RiNo

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Flagstaff House wins Wine Spectator Grand Award -- for the thirtieth year in a row

The patio at Flagstaff House, overlooking Boulder.
Wine Spectator just presented Flagstaff House with the Grand Award -- it highest honor, given only to restaurants that demonstrate passion and commitment to their wine programs. And Flagstaff House definitely displays that passion, because it's won the same award every year since 1983.

See also:
- Best View 2011 - Flagstaff House
- Flagstaff House wins an award as big as its wine collection
- Review preview: Flagstaff House at forty years

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

Categories: Swirl Girl, Wine

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

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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Master Sommelier Brett Zimmerman uncorks the wines of Ribera del Duero

Categories: Wine

Samantha Alviani
Wines from the Ribera del Duero region.
Master Sommelier Brett Zimmerman hosted the first-ever Drink Ribera Denver Workshop at Zengo yesterday afternoon; it included an in-depth seminar and walk-around tasting of more than sixty wines from the Ribera del Duero region. Winemaking there dates back 2,000 years to the Roman era; the Tempranillo grape, known locally as Tinto Fino, produces acclaimed wines that represent the peak of Spanish winemaking, combining modern technique with a steadfast respect for old tradition.

After the seminar, we talked with Zimmerman, who owns the Boulder Wine Merchant, about the growth of this winemaking region.

See also:
- The Boulder Burgundy Festival delivered the juice
- Green Russell is hosting a wine cocktail competition for Colorado Wine Week
- Joe Hines ofWilliams & Graham wins the Colorado Wine Cocktail competition

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Win tickets to tomorrow's Colorado Urban Winefest at Infinity Park (winner update)

Update: We have a winner of our Colorado Urban Winefest contest giveaway.This morning, we asked Cafe Society readers to answer this question: What's the furthest distance, in exact miles, that a participating winery traveled to Denver to be a part of Colorado Wine Week? Congrats to Skinney85, who guessed 325 glasses; the actual number is 350. Skinney85, we'll send you an e-mail with directions on how to claim your prize.

Original post: It's been a whirlwind week of wine for the state's oenophiles partaking in Colorado Wine Week, which kicked off last Sunday and continues through tomorrow, when hundreds of grape gurus will gather at Infinity Park for Colorado Urban Winefest, the last event of the seven-day long homage to Colorado-produced juice.

See also:
- Joe Hines, bartender at Williams & Graham, wins Colorado Wine Cocktail competition
- Civic Center Eats, Colorado Wine Week and more on this week's calendar
- Mod Livin' is turning rosy for a wine-tasting this weekend

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Schmoozing, boozing and pigging out on pork and lamb: Taste of Vail recap

The Taste of Vail, a multi-day food and wine festival that uncorks each year in Vail Village and on Vail Mountain, is still -- even after 23 years -- one of the state's most fantastic culinary spring flings. Herewith, a few observations and photos from the weekend revelry.

See also:
- Slide show: Taste of Vail 2013
- Wine tastings, a mountaintop picnic and a lamb cook-off at the Taste of Vail
- Eat, drink and soak up the scenery at the Taste of Vail

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