Owner and senior wine instructor Dani Cross created VinBoutique with a mission to introduce palates to the best French wines. A certified level-III sommelier, Cross personally travels to France to hand-pick vintages from small production companies and develop relationships with local vintners, ensuring her customers enjoy a collection of reds, whites, and bubbly that is exceptional not just in craftsmanship and taste, but also in value. "By tasting my wines, you can actually hone your palate way quicker because [the wines are] technically correct" in the way they are selected, shipped, and stored, she says. "If you're not tasting something that's proper, you won't know what chardonnay is supposed to taste like."
A strong belief that wine should be enjoyed and shared with others inspires VinBoutique's tasting classes, where Cross and other wine experts share insights into different varietals, food pairings, and wine-making techniques. Using an approach designed to be both fun and unintimidating, Cross also includes a question-and-answer section, as well as easy-to-follow tasting notes, making her classes accessible to everyone from the casual wine fan to the connoisseur who can uncork a bottle using only their mind. As Dani continued to try new wines and savor her favorite French vintages, she became dismayed. Often, the wines she bought had been stored improperly or for too long, destroying the bouquets and noses that she loved. "Born of frustration, I decided to start my own [wine boutique]." And thus she curated a selection of French wines for VinBoutique. "By tasting my wines, you can actually hone your palate way quicker because [the wines are] technically correct" in the way they are selected, shipped, and stored, she says. "If you're not tasting something that's proper, you won't know what chardonnay is supposed to taste like."
In addition to bottles of red, white, and bubbly, Dani and a team of instructors offer wine classes suitable for everyone from the casual wine fan to the connoisseur who can uncork a bottle using only their mind. Each class comes with notes and take-home materials, and is taught by a teacher who can both go into great technical detail or give thorough overviews so that student's don’t "get cross-eyed."
When Marv Parliament established The Winery at Pikes Peak, he was hoping to create something new. After 16 years, Marv's restaurant, Wines of Colorado, has established itself as one of the region's best places to sample wines from around Colorado. With The Winery at Pikes Peak, Marv can now offer his own signature wines, including a crisp, light Chardonnay, a Pinot Gris which reveals just a hint of apple, and the Rosie C - a rosy blend of Merlot and Riesling and Parliament Blend, a fruity spicy blend of 60% Syrah and 40% Cabernet.
Ten Bears Winery produces smooth, handcrafted wines through a fermentation process that involves french-oak aging and an exclusive winter-hibernation technique. To begin, the facility’s winemaker hand-selects the finest grapes available, and by the time those grapes reach the bottling line, they’ve been transformed into easy-to-drink, well-balanced Colorado wines, many of which populate the shelves at local retailers. For a more personalized wine-drinking experience, Ten Bears also offers private tastings and a custom labeling service that adorns bottles with company logos, pictures, and personal pager numbers.
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.
Exposed-brick walls, soft string lights, and eye-catching art serve as the backdrop for a relaxing night over carefully selected wines, small plates, and conversation at Sienna Wine Bar & Small Plates. Shareable dishes include Toblerone chocolate fondue, house salads, and gourmet pizzas to tantalize taste buds and fill diners' stomachs, complemented by sips of wine from the bar's large list of libations.
Mile High Winery owner and vintner Jon Brickner views winemaking as an art form. When he was searching for the perfect space to open his first operation, Winter Park Winery, Jon met his wife Cassidi, who ran a graphic- and web-design firm. Since then, the two have joined forces to outfit their tasting rooms and wine labels with a colorful and distinct look.
The Brickner’s devotion to creativity carries over to Mile High Winery, where Jon continues to churn out handcrafted wines, especially bold reds. Here, the flavors of downtown Denver and its RiNo art district manifest in the form of live music performances, food tastings, and painting classes. But make no mistake: the wine is still the star, with Jon’s creations including an earthy merlot and a medium-bodied cabernet sauvignon infused with hints of berry.