With Labor Day behind us and summer's sun-soaked days and sizzling temperatures vanishing before our eyes, we aren't traditionally all that psyched to welcome the month of September with open arms.
This year, though, we're seeing things differently, given the tantalizing array of wine events around the state in the coming weeks. While two of these events aren't new, we can't help but feel like this month's spate of wine-focused happenings means that Denver is truly coming into its own as a city full of oenophiles that are serious about getting their wine knowledge (or at least their drink) on. So if you're guilty as charged -- and if you're not, you should be -- make sure you check out these three wine-soaked events.
Denver Food & Wine Classic www.coloradorestaurant.com/displaycommon.cfm?an=1&subarticlenbr=56 September 9 and 10
The Juice: Now in its seventh year, this is Denver's annual signature food and wine affair. Showcasing more than 600 wines, the event also features culinary delights from Denver's hottest restaurants and interactive demonstrations -- as well as a new Friday night addition, Westword's own Dish.
Don't Miss: Saturday's Grand Tasting event, where you'd be crazy not to take advantage of the chance to sample wines from such venerable houses as Krug, Archery Summit, Far Niente, and Nickel & Nickel, plus a slew of hard-to-find Italian bottlings from über-importer Marc de Grazia. Also, for those of you still clucking about how silly it is to worry about using a particular glass to sip your chardonnay, be sure to check out the Riedel glassware seminar on Friday.
Colorado Mountain Wine Fest www.coloradowinefest.com/index.html September 15-18
The Juice: After being seriously impressed by the inaugural Denver Wine Fest earlier this summer, we've been anxiously awaiting the chance to slurp even more of Colorado's best wines at the Palisade-based version of the event. The Colorado Mountain Wine Fest is the perfect excuse to get out of the city and immerse yourself in hours of wine seminars and lectures, with plenty of picturesque bike rides and picnics sandwiched in between.
Don't Miss: Friday's Farm-to-Table Wine and Food demo with Boulder's own SALT Bistro executive chef Kevin Kidd and sommelier Evan Faber, followed by a multi-course dinner featuring locally sourced ingredients and paired with stellar Colorado wines. Spend all day Sunday touring vineyards and tasting rooms (our faves include Canyon Wind, Guy Drew, and Alfred Eames Cellars).
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Denver International Wine Competition Consumers' Choice Tasting www.denverwinefest.com/pretaste.html September 17
The Juice: The largest double-blind wine competition in the Rocky Mountains, the Denver International Wine Competition offers wine industry professionals the chance to taste more than 500 wines and award bronze, silver, and gold medals to the best in show.
Don't Miss: Although judging has historically been limited to sommeliers and wine experts only, this year, the Denver International Wine Competition decided to allow 200 regular peeps (that would be you) to taste and evaluate some of the same wines as the pros. The Consumer's Choice Tasting will feature more than 200 different wines and gives you the chance to pick the winners of the Consumers Choice Award for the best white, red and Bordeaux blend. How cool is that?