Posts from the ‘what I’m drinking’ category

Get Schooled on Champagne at Nocturne Jazz & Supper Club

Photo courtesy of Lori J Photography
If you haven’t been to RiNo’s Nocturne Jazz & Supper Club5280’s 2017 Top of the Town pick for Eatertainment—here’s an excellent reason for you to check it out: Champagne School. Nocturne co-owner and sommelier Scott Mattson and Breakthru Beverage sommeliers Sam Heider and Adam Vance debuted the class series in July, covering topics such as rosé and grower’s Champagne. Sadly, all of the summer classes are sold out—but there’s still time to make it to the last installment. The final(e) class, which will focus on Champagne winemaking traditions and the art of food pairings, takes place on October 29. This don’t-miss event features a four-course meal by chef Greg Weadick, ample bubbly tastings and pairings, and a set of tunes from vintage-jazz musicians Annie Booth and Matt Smiley.

Nocturne began holding cocktail classes earlier this year, but the new Champagne classes give Denverites the opportunity to dive deep into the terroir and culture of the famed French wine. As founder and co-owner Nicole Mattson says, “It’s a fun opportunity to educate the people of Denver on why it’s a lifestyle splurge.”

At a recent Champagne introduction course, I was welcomed to the chic, industrial venue with a flute of prosecco. While I was initially befuddled—why on earth would wine experts serve prosecco at a Champagne class?—the Italian sparkling wine served was a teaching moment. Prosecco’s quick process from harvest to glass can’t touch the complex flavors produced by the time-consuming methode traditionelle of true French Champagne. Soon, we were sipping samples of crisp, apple-y Nicolas Feuillatte and yeasty, effervescent Charles Heidsieck, nibbling on black lentil falafel, charred corn and smoked hominy fritters, and black cod croquettes, and jotting down tasting notes as our knowledgeable instructors shared their expertise. At the end of the class, we voted for our favorite sips; the winning bottle of bubbles from each class in the series will be featured at the October 29 dinner.

Written for 5280.com. Find the original blog post here.

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Eat, Drink, and Be Family at Balistreri Vineyards’ Showcase Wine Dinner

Perhaps you’ve been to Balistreri Vineyards’ 17-year-old north Denver tasting room for glasses of Colorado-sourced wine or an Italian-inspired lunch. But you may not know about its outstanding seasonal wine dinners, which owner and winemaker John Balistreri launched 13 years ago.

You can experience one for yourself at the family-owned winery’s lush garden this Friday, August 4. The Showcase Wine Dinner promises six courses from chefs Ariana Pope and Chris Teigland, veterans of Blackbelly Market and Honor Society Hand-Crafted Eatery, respectively. They’ll be preparing summery dishes such as tuna carpaccio, Talbott Farm peach caprese, a play on surf and turf involving Snake River Farms wagyu beef and butter-poached lobster, and a sweet Olathe corn custard. All will be served on grandson John Domenico’s ceramic plateware, baked in a 30-foot Japanese kiln a few hundred yards away from the winery.

Of course, there will be wine, and lots of it. Balistreri plans to break out library wines as well as a never-before-released orange-style wine, which gets its color from the skins of white grapes that are left on during the fermentation process. At a recent spring barrel-tasting supper, my fiancé and I (and 108 others guests) were wowed by Balistreri’s fruit-forward 2016 Colorado Syrah, the green pepper notes of the 2016 Colorado Cabernet Franc, and the bold, oaky-vanilla flavors of the 2016 Colorado Cabernet Sauvignon. All are made with grapes sourced from Palisade vineyards and will be available in the tasting room this fall. Between the delicious food, familial hospitality, and award-winning wines, it was an experience that I look forward to repeating.

Written for 5280.com. Find the original story here.

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Smart Sips: Adrift’s Macadamia Nut Chi-Chi

Colorado may be landlocked, but island-inspired Adrift Tiki Bar in the Speer neighborhood manages to deliver a slice of beachside heaven. That’s especially true now that the serene enclosed patio is open for the season, with its brilliant hula dancer mural (by Denver graffiti artist Jolt), grass-hut awnings, and piping-hot lava rock fire pit. Nothing pairs better with patios than cocktails, and you’ll definitely want to soak up the warm weather with Adrift’s macadamia nut chi-chi in hand.

via Smart Sips: Adrift’s Macadamia Nut Chi-Chi – 5280

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Smart Sips: The Infinite Monkey Theorem’s Dry-Hopped SB

Once upon a time, oenophiles might have have turned up their noses at the prospect of canned wine. Indeed, when RiNo-based urban winery the Infinite Monkey Theoremreleased its first line of canned vino in 2011, it had to convince consumers that its red, white, rose, and moscato were all just as good as their glass-bottled counterparts. Fast forward to 2017, and TIMT is still innovating: Winemaker and founder Ben Parsons defied convention by adding Citra hops to California Sonoma Coast Sauvignon Blanc (SB) grapes at the end of the fermentation process, rolling out the groundbreaking dry-hopped SB this past February.

via Smart Sips: The Infinite Monkey Theorem’s Dry-Hopped SB – 5280

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Whiskey Lovers, Rejoice: Hearth & Dram Is Open

At one-week-old Hearth & Dram, it wasn’t the intoxicating smell of roasted suckling pig, the game-y bite of fresh bison tartar, or the deep savoriness of roasted hen of the woods mushrooms that secured my devotion. No, it was the impressive library of whisk(e)y, bourbon, and rye—more than 350 varieties in total—that won me over.

via Whiskey Lovers, Rejoice: Hearth & Dram Is Open – 5280

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Which local brew is for you?

It’s finally summer. Days are longer, which means patios are open later so you can enjoy time with friends and family. Columbia’s breweries — Logboat Brewing Company, Flat Branch Pub & Brewing, Bur Oak Brewing Company, Rock Bridge Brewing Company and Broadway Brewery — feature seasonal beers to fit the occasion. So relax, and let us help you find a delicious brew to try this season.

via Which local brew is for you? | Food & Drink | Vox Magazine

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Sweet and Stout

With the recent microbrewery mania, beer experts have found ways to incorporate beer with almost anything — even dessert.

Just in time for St. Patrick’s Day on March 17, Bonnie Watson, Craft Beer Cellar’s director of education and certified cicerone — a sommelier of beers — paired classic desserts with craft beers. Chocolate chip cookies? A malty German doppelbock. Cheesecake? A carbonated sour cherry beer.

Watson said the three primary pairing goals are to complement, enhance or contrast. When tasting, first take a sip of beer. Then take a bite of dessert. Mid-bite, take another sip of beer and let the flavors unfold.

Source: Sweet and Stout: How to pair beer with desserts

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