First-of-its-kind celebration of our state’s best wine sells out

Winter Wine Fest 2015

This past Saturday, Grand Junction Visitor and Convention Bureau, in collaboration with Two Parts (formerly Imbibe) and other local organizations, put on an electric wine-centric fête in Denver. Hosted at RiNo’s Redline Art Center, Winter Wine Fest 2015 highlighted the best of Colorado winemaking, paired with engaging art exhibits, live music, and nibbles from top chefs. Here are some highlights:

Wine:

  • Settembre Cellars poured a lovely balance of both light and medium-bodied varietals, giving special attention to their Rosato—an easy-drinking, dry wine—and their 2011 Cabernet Sauvignon—a must-have with smooth character and a cherry finish. Hats off to Winemaker Blake Eliasson.
  • Sourcing all of their grapes from the Palisades, Red Fox Winery showed a keen sense of single-varietal bottles like their light-hearted Sangiovese while also evincing remarkable creativity, displayed most notably in their Bourbon Barrel-Aged Merlot.
  • In the VIP corner, Colorado Wine Industry Development Board Executive Director Doug Caskey was pouring a wealth of top-notch Colorado vino, including a meaty Syrah from beloved Boulder Creek Winery (now closed), as well as rich red varietals from Bookcliff, among other winemakers.
  • 17 different producers were pouring at the festival, showing us the range and possibility of Colorado wine—from Old World varietals to sweet dessert wines, homemade cider to mulled mead.
Winter Wine Fest 2015

RedLine Art Center proved to be the perfect venue for the event; art gazing pairs well with Colorado wine.

Food:

  • The delicious creation of Chef Frank Bonnano, Luca was busy dishing up silky smooth Polenta topped with Lamb Meatballs in a smoky tomato sauce.
  • Sweet tooths were delighted to indulge in Habit Carbon‘s Saffron Brioche Doughnut Holes. Many went back for seconds, thirds, fourths …
  • Lafayette-based Nova Chocolate was doling out samples of single-origin chocolates, not to mention a melt-in-your-mouth Ganache that proved highly addictive.
  • Elway’s wowed the crowds with their bite-sized “surf and turf”: sliced steak with a lobster salad on mini toasts.
  • Postino Winecafe, the recently opened hit in the Highlands, served delectable Bruschetta right at the door—the perfect lead-in to a glass or several of white wine.

Inspired by this show of enological possibility, we only hope that the Winter Wine Fest will return next year.

Look out, Colorado: Beer and spirits may be our pride and joy, but you can bet that wine will be our next star.

By Jeffrey Steen | Managing Editor