1515 showcases Colorado wines this fall

With entrees like coffee-rubbed Kurobuta pork chops and horseradish crusted salmon, 1515 Restaurant, located at 1515 Market Street., has long been one of Denver's premier fine dining establishments for New American cuisine.

But don't forget about the wine.

1515's wine list has received Wine Spectator's "Award of Excellence" nine years in a row now, but the restaurant isn't resting on its laurels. 1515 owner and sommelier Gene Tang has stepped up the selection this fall by adding eight award-winning Colorado wines, including Carlson Vineyard's "Laughing Cat" Riesling (made just above the town of Palisade), Woody Creek Cellar Merlot (from a winery located in Woody Creek, just outside of Aspen) and Guy Drew Syrah (from southwest of Cortez).

The new additions are the result of an extensive Colorado wine tour by Tang, who last month was one of a select group of American sommeliers to attend the Russian River Pinot Forum in Sonoma County, California. Although California may be the first region people think of when consider wineries in the United States, ang is hoping to expand their horizons.

"Colorado has great wine and we want to spread the word and sell Colorado, too," he says.
"Colorado is a little more expensive than California, but we don't mass produce like they do."

Customers at 1515 have responded well to the new additions. "I give people a taste of Guy Drew Syrah and they don't think it is from Colorado but people need to know about it." Tang says. "We should all be proud of Colorado wine."

Local wines are not the only Colorado products at 1515; the kitchen also uses local meats such as Colorado lamb, as well as organic ingredients harvested from its rooftop greenhouse. And through Friday, 1515 will be participating in the second annual Harvest Week 2009, a celebration of Colorado produce sponsored by the Denver Independent Network of Restaurants.

The 1515 Harvest Week menu includes Colorado sweet corn chowder, Colorado striped bass barigoule and a peach melba featuring Colorado peaches and raspberries. All entries are paired with Colorado wines.  For more information and reservations, call 303-571-0011.