Todd Helton could use a lesson in wine tasting

Friends don't let friends drink and drive, but real friend also make sure that their amigos are using proper glassware — or at least a more socially acceptable variety than the kind that Rockies first baseman Todd Helton allegedly admitted to drinking out of last week after he was popped for a DUI by police in Thornton, close to where Helton lives.

As numerous media outlets have reported, an officer responded to a gas station at around 2 a.m. on February after a report that someone driving a black pickup truck was weaving and had hit a median on Colorado Boulevard near 128th Street. Helton was coming out of the station holding his wallet, chewing tobacco and lottery tickets, and said he'd gone there to get his car washed, according to the police report. Helton was booked and later told police that he'd had "two igloo cups of red wine."

We can only assume that the Tennessee-raised all-star was talking about the conical paper kind (which seem kind of small), since those are the only ones we could find on the Igloo company's website — a sad fact that Colorado Liquor Mart, 865 South Colorado Boulevard, addressed on Twitter thusly: "We hope everyone is aware that there are really simple alternatives to using igloo cups for #wine #rockies #helton," and then provided a link to a primer on wine glasses that read in part:

"The taste of wine changes with different glasses! Using the proper stemware will enhance aromas, flavors, and overall enjoyment of wine. Some hardcore winos will use specific glasses for each different varietal...but if that's going too far for you we recommend having two sets of glasses: one for red wines, the other for white wines."

Since Helton was drinking red wine, it's likely he would also find this helpful: "A good red wine glass is one that is large and round with a full bowl which will uniquely benefit the development of flavors and aromas while the wine is in your glass."

And while Igloo could probably sign him to a sponsorship deal thanks to this incident, Ford may want to stay away from Helton, who was driving his black F-150 when he was arrested. But that may be difficult: Helton has been doing ads for Longmont Ford for a decade, and last fall he bought into the Columbine Ford dealership in the town of Rifle, which he now owns with Mike Peebles, who also owns Longmont Ford.

Helton has released a statement apologizing and asking the public for forgiveness. He did not apologize, however, for drinking wine out of an Igloo cup.

A good sign: A Kickstarter campaign run by a group called Save the Signs on Colfax failed earlier this month to raise enough money to buy and restore the retro-cool neon sign that once hung above Sid King's Crazy Horse Bar, an East Colfax Avenue strip joint and club that closed in 1983 ("Off Limits," January 24). But the organization just announced that the owners of the sign (who had planned to sell it privately) have decided to hold on to it long enough for Save the Signs to figure out how to raise the money through other channels.

In the meantime, the group plans to meet this week with the owners of the Oriental Theater, which has a cool sign of its own — but one that's in a state of disrepair. "They just sort of cold-called us, which was cool, because we were talking about doing something as well," says Oriental co-owner Andy Bercaw. "We've dumped a lot of money into it over the years, but it was always sort of bit by bit. We have never been able to afford the huge chunk of money that it would take to do it right."

But Bercaw and company recently decided that it would be worth fixing for curb appeal alone. "It looks kind of bad from the outside, and we've come to realize that fixing it could really help make it an anchor in the neighborhood."

A fundraiser might be the way to go, he says. But he hopes to know more after meeting with Save the Signs or later this year.