Wines for every occasion: part 2

(Editor’s note: this is the second of two parts. Read part 1.)

Special Occasion No. 4:
Except for the mountainous debt you’ve accumulated while putting your kids through private schools, assorted music and athletic lessons, and three years of braces per child (not to mention the “rehab hiccup”), you are now an empty nester – and you’re not crying in your wine about it.

Spread your wings and head over to Z Cuisine À Côté in north Denver. A charming French bistro with little tables, soft lights and waitresses that look remarkably like they work in a Parisian café, Z Cuisine is the “anti” family-friendly chain restaurant. Get a Burgundy or a Beaujolais for about the price of a movie ticket and kiss your kid-centric Burger King days bye-bye!

Special Occasion No. 5:
Sometimes, you just have to be a grown up – and sit down at a lovely, rich oak bar with a real sommelier or at a linen covered table – and order a beautiful bottle of wine, along with a rich, memorable dinner to go with it.

Barolo Grill is one of the best-kept wine and dining secrets in Denver. Pull out that credit card and get a bottle of the heavenly Cabernet Sauvignon, La Vota, Cantine Barbera 2005 Sicilia – listed on “Blair’s (the owner’s) Favorites” side of the wine list. Why? Because you’re worth it.

When You’ve Had Enough of Special Occasions (No. 6):
So you just got your American Express card bill in the mail and you didn’t mean to spend four hours and this month’s car payment at Barolo Grill – but you know you’d do it all over in a heartbeat – so this week is all about staying home and stay-cationing with basic cable and your mother’s hand-me-down sofa.

Flip the remote to AMC and relax in front of the “Seinfeld Marathon.” Now put on the T-shirt and baggy shorts you wore to paint your bedroom and make sure you’ve got any of these Queen of Cheap Cabernet Selections in stock (all in the $10 to $15’ish range): Coppola’s Cabernet Sauvignon, Estancia’s (any year) Cab or Julie Balistreri’s Signature Cheap Cabernet. Order in Chinese, stretch out on the sofa and act like an unemployed, decadent diva. (Not that there’s anything wrong with that.)
The point? Quit “wining” and go treat yourself!
Word(s) o’ the Week

“Cheap” Wine: Vino by Any Other Name is Still …

There’s actually a lexicology of “wine words,” most of them unflattering, many of them referring to stuff we’ve all had a sip or two of in our pasts. Hooch, street wine, goon, bum wine, poverty punch, or ghetto wine are cheap fortified wines that typically have an alcohol content between 15% and 20 %.

Bit of Australian lingo: Plonk – their word for cheap wine.

One Winning Wine Tasting

Balistreri Vineyard will host KUVO’s annual Signature Fundraising Event and it promises to be a night to remember with great music, fantastic food, and wine. The Ken Walker Sextet will play the music of Eddie Harris and vocalist Rene Marie will perform. Jax Fish House, Brothers BBQ, Gumbo’s, El Diablo, Tambien of Cherry Creek, Mad Greens, Mitt n’ Mutts Craft Creamery, India’s Pearl, Gaetano’s, Kaos Pizzeria, Pearl Street Grill, Goosetown Tavern and fruit by Balistreri Vinyard will be available. Balistreri Vineyard will host a wine tasting that includes three KUVO Signature Wines along with 15 other award-winning selections.

The event is Saturday, August 14th, 2010, 6 p.m. until 10 p.m.

Call 303-480-9272, ext. 13 for further information or to buy tickets.

Coming September 10

Grapes From Elsewhere

There’s a cottage wine industry in Colorado that produces the kind of wines that win California and European wine contests. It’s an “urban winery” phenomenon that involves buying grapes from places like Sonoma and Napa Valleys, then producing 4 and 5-star wines in Colorado.

On September 10, we’ll take a look at the mechanics, the quality and the viability of this wine producing method – one that has wine aficionados comparing these Colorado wines to vintages akin to another continent.
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