With all the talk lately about Occupy This and The X Percenters, if you're like us, you're wondering how to align your gift giving instincts with your urge to support businesses hustling to make ends meet just like you are. And since we can't imagine a better way to spread a little joy this season then to make like Bacchus and shower everyone on our list with wine (or wine-related gear), read on for your 2011 guide to local giving, wine-style.
For the discerning oenophile: Cash rules everything around us
Is there an easier (or more sought after) gift for the oenophile with incredibly specific tastes than a gift card to their neighborhood wine merchant? Denver is home to some truly top-notch bodegas, staffed by wine geeks whose sole purpose in life is to answer their shoppers' most obscure wine questions and, of course, fill their carts with the goods. With cash in hand, the recipient of said gift card will be free to browse the racks at their leisure and maybe even score that extra pricey bottle of Bordeaux they've been desperate to scoop up all year. Below, a listing of some of our fave local purveyors:
Incredible Wine & Spirits: 8557 E. Arapahoe Road, Suite A, 303-488-9463 Davino Wine & Spirits: 1240 South Broadway, 303-778-1800 Marczyk Fine Wines: 770 East 17th Avenue, 303-894-9499 SIP Fine Wine & Spirits: 1920 Market Street, 303-298-9463 Mondo Vino: 3601 West 32nd Avenue, 303-458-3858
For the budding wine geek: Teach them something they don't know
Cook Street School of Culinary Arts, 1937 Market Street, is home to one of the best recreational wine programs in town. Perfect for novices and aficionados alike, courses range in topic (Old World vs. New World Wines, Wines for Chocolate Lovers) and price (classes start at $49 and max out at $75). Led by Cook Street grad-turned-instructor Thomas Allen, each class includes training materials, tasty nibbles, and, of course, the wine. Tip: Be sure to tell recipients of your gift to sign up in 2012 for their killer Wine & Cheese Pairing class, featuring Denver cheese mistress Elizabeth Woessner for the perfect foodie/wino mash-up.
For the entertainer: Wine accoutrements
Wondering what to get for the wine lover who has everything? Head to Equipement de Vin, Larimer Square's ridiculously slept-on mecca to all things wine. Chock full of high-end stemware, gorgeous serving pieces and elegant accessories, we dare you to leave this delightful store without at least two things for your own home; it's that good. To make the gift giving process even sweeter, simply tell any one of the oh-so-helpful service staff your price range and a hint or two about the lucky recipient and let them craft the perfect package.
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For the collector: Club W Monthly Wine Shipment
Wine-of-the-month clubs usually inspire about as much excitement for the modern wine drinker as, um - well, they don't. Enter Club W. A membership-based program offering a small but mighty selection of eclectic, boutique bottles, you can gift a very, very lucky someone with a three- six- or twelve-bottle-a-month shipment of wine selected by Table 6 owner/frontman/rock star sommelier Aaron Forman. And as if that wasn't gift enough, each bottle of wine shipped by Club W includes a QR code that provides drinkers with detailed tasting notes and sommelier-driven food pairings (directly to their mobile device, natch.) If that's not a gift you'd be proud to give (never mind receive), we don't know what is.