Best New Wine List Denver 2013 - The Populist
After opening last November amid a flurry of industry- and hipster-driven buzz, this tiny jewel of a restaurant has settled into a pattern of turning out ridiculously good food to a packed dining room night after night. We were delighted to discover that the Populist's wine program was just as unassuming — and satisfying — as its menu: by-the-glass pours (five white, five red, two bubbly) somehow cost only $4 each, yet showcase marvels like La Spinetta's juicy Il Nero di Casanova sangiovese and the bracingly mineral-driven Laurenz V. grüner veltliner. Bottled selections should thrill both wine geek and novice alike; familiar zinfandel cozies up to esoteric godello without fanfare or frills. The best thing about this small but mighty list? It never seems to take itself too seriously — always remembering that at the end of the day (or meal, as it were), wine is all about having fun.