Even though winery tasting rooms are closed because of COVID-19 restrictions, Colorado wine drinkers can still find holiday deals and events to make spirits bright.
Carboy Winery Denver, at 400 East Seventh Avenue, is hosting Christmas Eve Flights and Fondue from 3 to 8 p.m. on Thursday, December 24, by the fire pit in the courtyard. Tickets are $45 and require reservations. Participants will also get a tour of the new Bubble Barn, where the winery makes its sparkling wines.
In addition to Carboy, Aspen Peak Cellars, Colorado Cellars, Buckel Family Wine, Sauvage Spectrum, Avant Vineyards, Infinite Monkey Theorem, Continental Divide Winery, Sutcliffe Vineyards, Red Fox Cellars and Purgatory Cellars are offering sparkling wines. See the wineries' websites for hours and for wine shops and liquor stores that carry the bubbly locally.
While you’re shopping, give a gift to yourself for 2021 — you deserve it! Aspen Peak Cellars, at 60750 Highway 285 in Bailey, is taking reservations for its 2021 Snowshoe and Fondue series. Participants will enjoy a ninety-minute guided snowshoe hike, followed by wine tasting, fondue and live music in a heated tent on the winery’s deck. Snowshoe and Fondue runs every weekend from January 8 through March 21. Tickets are $79 for Friday hikes, $89 on Saturdays and Sundays. Call 303-816-5504 for more information.
Balistreri Vineyards, at 1946 East 66th Avenue in Denver, is offering reduced prices on three-packs for the holidays and gift baskets for the late shopper. I recommend the 2019 Colorado Viognier, made with prized Bookcliff Vineyard grapes. Orange in color from contact with grape skins early in the wine-making process, this viognier is the perfect full-bodied white wine for dark winter evenings. The winery offers curbside pick-up for wine and lunch. Don’t feel like cooking this Christmas? You can also reserve a bake-at-home lasagna meal for two. Order online or at 303-287-5156. Balistreri is open from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. seven days a week; holiday hours vary.
Bonacquisti Wine Company, at 4640 Pecos Street, carries several fine red wines, of which [d] RED is a favorite. For the holidays, the winery is running a special on its wine club and growler refill package. Bonaquisti is open from noon to 5 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday for pick-up, but will be closed December 24 to 27 and December 31 to January 4.
For some heavenly port to enjoy after a Christmas meal or a cozy at-home New Year’s Eve, check out Water to Wine, at 8130 South University Boulevard in Centennial. The winery is open from 2 to 6 p.m. Tuesday through Friday and 1 to 6 p.m. Saturdays, holidays excepted. The winery offers a full range of award-winning wines, but the ports are extra-special. I highly recommend the Black Forest Port, which tastes like chocolate cake and goes down smooth.
If your shopping list includes a bit more of the sweet and tasty, swing by Redstone Meadery at 4700 Pearl Street in Boulder for a special seasonal release of Winter Solstice mountain honey wine, made with vanilla and cinnamon sticks. Tasty on its own, it's also great mixed with Redstone’s Apple Nectar to make an apple dumpling dessert drink. Curbside pick-up is available from noon to 6 p.m. Monday through Friday, and noon to 5 p.m. Saturday and Sunday, holidays excepted.