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Posted: January 20, 2012

Can I BMOB?

If not, why not?

I do not know - and I should know - the laws that allow or don't allow me to carry in and drink my own bottle of wine in a restaurant.

Perhaps you know. Perhaps you've read all 152 pages of Colorado's liquor laws. If you have, would you please write me at thewinewench@comcast.net? I'd like to be able to go to an eatery or two that, for various reasons, do not have a liquor licenses, but whose vibe, food and essence steal my palate and my heart.

A restaurant can offer spectacular menu fare but remain unable to list and pour treasured wines to accompany that fare for a variety of reasons. But I have to say that I suspect the hindrance is maintained because of antiquated liquor laws and the desire to keep a constant and lucrative government-inscribed revenue stream very much alive and well.

When I've traveled to Europe, Paris in particular, I am particularly enamored with cafes that serve heavenly cappuccinos and croissants to me in the morning and then - at the same table, twelve hours later - pour an exquisite pint of beer (in a tulip-shaped glass, as it should be) for me.

We don't do that here, and I'm unclear why. I'm also tempted to sneak in a bottle of wine to a sweet little bistro run by two incredible cooks who've changed the complexion of a neighborhood with their happy new restaurant brimming with extraordinary food (Skoops Ice Cream and More). Skoops' front door is within a block of an elementary school, so they cannot get a liquor license.

However a somewhat decrepit liquor store sits right next door to the school and is "grandfathered in" so that the no-too-close-to-a-school law doesn't apply). The Budweiser Beer-signed, the "Suitcases on Sale" advertisement embellished shop happily sells booze galore all day long, even as kids swarm the sidewalks at 3 p.m.

This makes no sense to me. On a wintery, snowy evening, I'd love to slip into this softly lit Skoops, get a warmed plate of fresh Mac ‘n Cheese with Portobello Mushrooms, Chicken and Portobello Mushroom Sauce - and sip an equally silky glass of red Zin.

But because if I walked out Skoops' door and strode down the street about a block and there met with the elementary school building - because of that fact, it would appear, I cannot.

So help a girl out. If you know the liquor code and the laws applying to bring your own bottle, please advise. If you're up for reading 152 pages of Colorado-inspired liquor law (including the "Proposed Changes") and want to distill it all down into an easy-to-read, one-to-two-paragraph summary, please do so.

If you happen to write the liquor law, give a girl a break. Consider the code of Paris, France and allow me my caffeine and alcohol - all within easy walking distance of my home and without crazy rules that suggest my imbibing will somehow thwart the moral gestation of the grade-school-aged sect.

I'll buy you a glass of wine next time I see you. Much obliged.

One Winning Wine Tasting

8th Annual Wine Tasting Benefitting Sun Valley Youth Center

On Saturday, Feb. 4, from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m., the Sun Valley Youth Center hosts a wine tasting fundraiser for the organization, which raises much needed funds for helping to transform the lives of Denver's at-risk youth in the poorest and most isolated neighborhoods of Colorado.

The event will be held on the Auraria Campus at 900 Auraria Parkway, Denver.

Cost is $49 for an individual and $95 for a couple. To purchase tickets, visit http://www.eventbrite.com/org/1744550968?s=6352878. Learn more about the Sun Valley Youth Center at http://sunvalleyyouthcenter.com.

Weird Wine Trivi

• According to Persian mythology, wine was discovered by a woman. She drank the fermented juice from grapes stored in a jar, went to sleep, and surprisingly woke up cured of a headache, instead of suffering from the world's first hangover as one might have expected.

• The Bible offers many references to wine. The first recorded mention is in Genesis, in the ninth chapter, where readers learn that Noah planted a vineyard, and that "he drank of the wine and was drunken."

• In the 1690s Richard Ames wrote several books of satirical verse about wine. Fatal friendship; or, the drunkards misery is an early tirade against the drinking of spirits:

"There are some few of that most mighty Train,
Of his hard Drinking, brings on wretched Man;
Yet in the Cafe it is but plain and clear,
The Body is the smallest sufferer:
Too often the Estate the Damage feels,
And a House totters while its Master reels"
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Cathie Beck, a/k/a The Wine Wench, can be reached at: TheWineWench@comcast.net. Please forward any and all wine events, wine related news items directly to her.

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Readers Respond

As a winemaker and collector I'm looking for a legislator to carry a bill to allow corkage in colorado to allow corkage. Wine and beer are food. Perhaps an initiative is necessary. What a strange state we live in where a person can have marihuana for personal use but it is a crime to bring a bottle to a restaurant . By Alan mart on 2013 01 30
Hi - Any update on Greg's post regarding changing Colorado's corkage law? Art. By Art on 2012 12 21
Thanks for the insight, Greg! http://www.cobizmag.com/images/smileys/smile.gif By Cathie on 2012 01 23
Cathie - I'm in the process of compiling a change to the Colorado law concerning corkage, the practice of bringing your own wine to a Restaurant, the restaurant then charges you $10 or $15 to open the bottle. The current law in Colorado does not allow corkage at all, much less for non-licensed restaurants. I will be forwarding the info to my state rep, Don Coram. If you have a political contact that might be friendly to the idea please let me know. The Governor being an ex-restaurateur might not be supportive, but studies in Califoria have shown that most restaurants show an INCREASE in overall wine sales when they allow corkage. By Greg Fishering on 2012 01 21

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