Avanti Winery handcrafts its own signature wine blends alongside more than 25 local Colorado wines, furnishing oenophiles with myriad grownup grape-juice choices. A bottle of chardonnay ($16.95) transports hints of vanilla, lemon, almonds, and hazelnuts to taste buds, and the popular white table wine ($16.95) melds five varietals potent enough to charm palates and steal guests’ girlfriends at dinner parties. Swill sips of Avanti's table red wine ($17.95) or uncork the signature cabernet sauvignon ($22.95), bursting with maroon-tinged fruits. The merlot ($22.95) introduces cherries and a dry finish to palates, and the port III’s dashes of caramel, cherry, and chocolate ($24.95) form a trio of dessert flavors in tipsifying liquid form. Avanti Winery also offers free wine tastings Thursday–Sunday from a different Colorado winery each month.
Thanks to its impressive selection of varietals from more than 95 local wineries, The Wines of Colorado has been lauded as "one of the most unique wine shops in the country" by Wine Trail Traveler and featured in the Wall Street Journal. Inside, a mural of larger-than-life bottles lines one wall, and an adjacent room houses an expansive tasting counter that stocks a lineup of bottles filled with Colorado reds and whites, which are often compared to Californian vinos. Their food has received it’s fair share of recognition as well, earning numerous awards, including Best Creekside Dining from the Gazette in 2010 and 2011. The chefs sizzle up signature buffalo wine burgers and creamy dill mahi-mahi, which guests can enjoy on the pine-tree-lined outdoor patio as they sip wine mere steps away from the burbling Fountain Creek.
Nestled in the consecrated, carbonated halls of the Coors Brewery, a gift shop brims with clothes and memorabilia emblazoned with the logos of the company's various brews. Four-packs of 16-ounce Blue Moon pilsner glasses ($23) act as attractive perches for orange slices, whereas a Can o' Tools ($14) can be used to decoratively store practical necessities or trick a friend into drinking a socket wrench. Coors Banquet thermals ($24–$26) keep torsos warm during expeditions into the fridge, and Coors Light bottle jerseys ($4) protect hands from beer chills and clothe easily embarrassed bottles. Shoppers can also use this Groupon toward beer, including Herman Joseph's ($9.99 for a six pack), Colorado Native ($9.99 for a six pack), and a variety pack including Coors Light, Blue Moon, Molson, and more ($7.49 for a six pack).
Sojourning south from his native Minnesota, Jeff Chayer traveled to Texas, where he received his degree in viticulture and oenology. Not far behind was his brother Danny, who followed Jeff to Texas, where he began work at a local winery. Somewhere along the way, as their passion for wine grew, the two decided to travel to Colorado and open Silver Vines Winery. Since then, their tasting room has been named one of the 11 best tasting rooms in Colorado by the Denver Post. Amid massive swaths of exposed brick and gleaming hardwood, the brothers serve a collection of wines forged from Washington and Oregon grapes. The elixirs include a chardonnay, whose citric bouquet meshes with notes of oak, as well as a dessert-style chocolate wine and a range of merlots, syrahs, and cabernet sauvignons. Shelves cradle stacks of bottles, and glasses clink along the long wooden bar, punctuating the rhythms of the live bands who appear on weekend evenings and when they are locked out of the ZZ Top mansion.
The bartenders at 12 Volt Tavern bolster its dive-bar cred with a daily two-for-one happy hour, pairing suds and spirits with a punk-rock-heavy jukebox that helped earn it Westword's Best Dive Bar in the ‘Burbs award in 2007. From 3 p.m. to 6 p.m., the daily happy hour lobs beer bottles ($2.75–$4.50) and cans ($2.25–$5.50) to those longing to grip longnecks or crush something other than Pringles cans against their heads. Draft beers ($2.75–$4.50) cascade from foam-flecked taps as imbibers sip to the refrain of rhythmically clacking pool balls and whizzing darts. Mad Dog 20/20 and its 10 electric libations glimmer and gleam over the bar’s pale light, headlining the top shelf of 12 Volt’s library of liquors and spirits ($3.75–$8). On weekends, local punk and rockabilly acts storm the intimate stage, blaring tunes that ricochet off the wall’s aluminum PBR signage and the ceiling’s bottle-cap frescos of Johnny Rotten’s boyhood pony (a cover charge applies to live shows).