Pick It Apart

Fighting for wine in Denver

The sparkling selection is perhaps the weakest of the bunch with many good choices but nothing that jumps off the page. Then again, there’s no Cristal or DP so it has that going for it. The Rosés on the other hand offer a wonderful selection. Yes, Tempier is $90, but the selection includes the $48 Margerum, the $52 JK Carriere and the $36 Muga. I could be happy just drinking Rosé here, but I might have to make some different menu choices.

The Fresh & Bright White (their ampersand use, not mine) is much like the Bubbly selection, well priced but a little uninspiring. So, I move on to the bigger whites, but not before making a mental note to learn more about Colorado’s Infinite Monkey Theorem wines!

The Medium to Big whites might as well be called the Chardonnay section; you could easily move the lone Aligote to the Light & Bright after all. As a Chardonnay section it is quite strong, with well-priced bottles of ’08 Jordan ($69), ’05 Varner Bee Block ($90) and ’06 Domaine Parigot Chassagne-Montrachet ($88). There’s also the Infinite Monkey Theorem ’09 for $40.

Monkeys pounding away on key boards. Hmmm. Another mental note.

How about those Flex Reds. Not sure what that means, but it seems very green, apropos for Denver I would imagine. This could be the Pinot Noir companion to the Chardonnay section, or at least the first page could be. Plenty of Pinot with some very interesting choices like the ’08 La Follette Sonoma Coast ($52) or the ’06 Littorai Anderson Valley ($79). But the most interesting, if risky, selection would be the very fairly priced ’01 Hofstatter Barthenau Pinot from the Alto Adige. Usually a real standout from the region, the 2001 was a little long in the tooth last time I tried it. Still, it is a nice surprise to find on a list.

Page two of the Flex Reds could also be called the Rhone-style red page, and it is a well thought out selection. This section includes a pair of Margerum wines, the ’06 Uber Syrah ($99) and the ’07 M5 GSM++ ($60), as well as the Infinite Monkey Theorem Petite Sirah for ($55) which, like most if not all wines made by keyboard pounding monkeys, is produced in a Quonset hut off Santa Fe Blvd in urban Denver.

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  • Snooth User: travreeves
    220129 51

    FYI: In Ann Arbor, MI, I had the Craggy Range Te Kahu on the wine list for $30. Maybe there's regional pricing?

    Oct 05, 2011 at 1:37 PM

  • Snooth User: EMark
    Hand of Snooth
    847804 5,185

    A quarter of the bottle per glass is a generous pour. I think most people/restaurants calculate five glasses per bottle.

    If I can move the conversation to bottle prices, how much is fair for a restaurant to charge? Way back when my wife was studying in Hotel and Restaurant Management school, she told me that, typically, restaurants charged three times their cost. (Obviously, there is variation to this rule, especially, at the high end, and we are talking about 25 years ago. ) This seems to translate to about two times what I might find as typical retail store cost. So, if I'm ordering a bottle of wine in a restaurant, I am comfortable in ordering one that is priced twice what I expect to pay "on the street." When I see it in writing, it sounds like robbery, but I rationalize it by factoring the festiveness of my dining experience.

    As you might imagine, it is not uncommon to go into a restaurant and see wines that are listed at three times "street price." This is where I get grouchy.

    Wines by the glass just seem to be evilly expensive, but there are times when I do it.

    Oh, hotel bars and restaurants, bane of the business traveler and, obviously, the tourist, are the worst. Why? Because they can.

    Oct 05, 2011 at 3:23 PM

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