Best Mid-Range Wine List (2004)

Mel's Restaurant and Bar

In Denver, Mel and Jane Master are known for a lot of things. Their flagship restaurant, Mel's, is one of the most consistently excellent eateries in town, with a staff of top-notch professionals and a menu that's high-end and comforting at the same time. Outside of Denver, though, they're probably best known for the name they've made for themselves in the wine business. Lucky for us, Mel's gets to act as a focal point for all that grape expertise, and the restaurant's list -- which features primarily French vintages -- maintains a nice depth and breadth without pricing out the casual drinker or becoming too fussy. But what truly sets Mel's apart from the dozens of other good lists and good houses is the way the wine is neither elevated above nor subsumed by the food. The two menus strike a perfect balance, complementing each other equally and proving that the best companion you can ever have for a fine dinner is an equally fine bottle of wine.


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