When The Kitchen opened in Boulder seven years ago, it was a concept based on the idea of community feeding community, sourcing from local and sustainable producers and acknowledging their work while turning out bistro fare in a true neighborhood restaurant. In short, it was farm-to-table before farm-to-table was a catchall buzzword.
Over the years, the restaurant has remained vigilant about adhering to that early vision, constantly re-evaluating practices to see where it could do things more sustainably.
The wine list, for example, which is going farm-to-table, too.
The list, designed by The Kitchen sommelier Tim Wanner, will feature wines made solely from biodynamic, organic and sustainably farmed grapes, spanning a selection of over 100 bottles from around the world.
And he acknowledges that farm-to-table is a little bit of a misnomer. "Basically, we're trying to communicate that we have these standards for sourcing our food and we're using the same standards to source our wine," he says.
But finding producers for the list proved challenging. "A lot of big companies are jumping on the sustainability phrase, he admits, "so we had to have some really hard conversations with winemakers to determine whether they were actually farming sustainably." The perseverance, he says, "gave us an appreciation for estate-bottled wine and producers that take pride in their work."
As for exactly what those standards were, Wanner says there was no checklist. "We started with whether the winemaker gives a shit, and we had long conversations about what makes sense in certain regions."
The fruits of his labor will debut at The Kitchen and The Kitchen [Upstairs] on Monday, March 7.
Wanner is also rolling out a new wine concept at The Kitchen [Next Door] when it opens this spring. "We're featuring four whites and four reds on tap," he reveals, adding that two of those whites and two of those reds are blends he made with producers in California. "They're special Kitchen blends," says Wanner. The other two whites and two reds will be guest taps.
He notes that they'll work hard to make sure those guest taps also feature sustainable, organic or biodynamic wines, but that it'll be hard when the restaurant first opens to guarantee that all the time. "A lot of wineries don't produce kegs like this. It will get there eventually, but maybe not at first."
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The keg wine is part of an effort to reduce glass recycling at the restaurant.
For more information, dial 303-544-5973.