Cuvée Wine Bar and Bistro’s oenophiles partner their flights of pleasant potables with French-influenced small plates and entrees. Wine flights sail through combinations of both reds and whites, themed around a single grape, multiple countries of origin, or the fact that the harvest was plucked by helpful sparrows. The international flight teases tongues with the dry kiss of an Italian pinot grigio and the sweet rush of a German riesling before hurling taste buds halfway round the globe to sample New Zealand’s sauvignon blanc. On the other end of the grape spectrum, the vineyards of Louis Latour, Bethel Heights, and Maysara find common ground in side-by-side servings of their pinot noirs. Six types of cheeses, acquired the same day at the market, join a medley of fresh fruit, dried figs, and bread on the cheese board, a practice first adopted by British sailors who had committed misdemeanors and were forced to eat the plank.
Owners Manuel Sanchez and Joanne Keys lead a staff of oenophiles who stock West End’s intimate shelves with hand-selected, value-priced bottles from producers both foreign and domestic. The team rigorously tastes each wine that the store sells, then privately ranks them on a scale from “sangria” to “cellar” to “object of worship.” Shelves brim with such enological gems as the Sean Minor pinot noir ($18), which glides across palates with preternatural delicacy, and the robust Protocolo red from Spain ($9), which demonstrates its value for cooks by doubling as a rolling pin. Meanwhile, the Jordan cabernet sauvignon ($55) dons formal attire as it assumes its place among the West End Wine Shop’s elite selection of premium wines. Corks fly on Wednesdays as the staff pours complimentary tastes of choice elixirs, allowing customers to sample bottles and judge their lip-staining potential.
In 1995, Twisted Pine Brewing Company began as something more of a grove than a forest, with brewer Gordon King crafting just a trio of beers in equipment purchased from New Belgium. Come 1996, the company fell into the hands of current owner Bob Baile, who merged the nascent brewery with his own project, Peak to Peak Brewing Company, and began bolstering the lineup with inventive stouts, ales, and porters. Since then, Twisted Pine has maintained a high standard of quality even in the face of its expanding scale, as evidenced by the gold medals garnered at the Great American Beer Festival for its American Amber Ale and Oak Whiskey Red. They credit their love for experimentation and strong community involvement as the driving force behind crafting beers that surprise and delight their loyal customers.
Today, locals and visitors mingle in the tap room, where the beer menu offers seasonal specials such as the Ghost Face Killah, infused with the 1.1 million Scovilles of the Bhut Jolokia pepper, and rated by Bon Appétit as one of the top ten weirdest beers in America. And to pair with the beer and drawers of otherwise useless silverware, the food menu features hearty pizzas, sandwiches, and salads.
Hop to It! outfits DIY drinkers of every skill level with all the tools and ingredients they need to craft original alcohol in their own home, be it beer, wine, or mead. Although kits come with all the equipment needed to distill your own draught, ingredients are sold separately. On the day you redeem your Groupon, though, you will receive 10% off your first beer recipe. The shop's massive selection of specialty grains, yeasts, herbs, spices, sugars, hops, and malt extracts make it easy to recreate your favorite local brews, such as Boulder Street Wheat ($36.99) and Northern Lights IPA ($44.99). Mad suds scientists, meanwhile, can blend concoctions with coriander seeds ($1.99), sweet orange peel ($2.49), cardamom seed ($2.99), and banana flavoring ($6.49) to discover what a Christmas ale might taste like in Kenya, or with ferment licorice sticks ($1.59) and strawberry flavoring ($7.69) to make Twizzlerbrau.