Five years ago Ben Parsons opened a winery in an old quonset hut just off Santa Fe Drive, and used Colorado-grown grapes to make wines in this unlikely setting. Last year, he moved his winery to a 30,000 square-foot facility in RiNo, where he also opened a tasting room. And Colorado has definitely developed a taste for Infinite Monkey Theorem wines. At tonight's
local winemaker dinner at Arugula, chefs Alec Schuler and Sven Hedenas will pair their courses with five of Parsons's wines -- and he'll be on hand to talk about them, including 100th Monkey, which received the highest score given by Wine Spectator to a wine from Colorado.
The dinner, which starts at 6:30 p.m., costs $40, with an additional $29 for wines (plus tax and tip). Reservations are required; call 303-443-5100. To whet your appetite, here's the menu, including each dish (mostly made with local ingredients) and the wine with which it will be paired:
Arugula's September 24 Winemaker's Dinner
Dish: White balsamic dressed baby lettuces*, Charentais melon*, Armenian cucumber* and spiced roasted almonds; topped with seared Nantucket bay scallops
Wine: The Blind Watchmaker White, Viognier/Rousanne 2012
Dish: Seared wild Alaskan salmon over orecchiette pasta in corn* cream with roasted peppers*; topped with a petite fresh herb* salad
Wine: The Blind Watchmaker Red, Syrah/Petite Verdot 2011
Dish: Bacon* wrapped pork tenderloin* roasted with apples*; served in its natural jus with pecorino pepato gratinéed delicate squash*
Wine: Syrah 2012
Dish: Seared rare venison with roasted carrot*, new potato* and oyster mushroom* medley and blackberry-red wine* demi glace
Wine: 100th Monkey, Malbec/Petite Syrah/Petite Verdot/Cabernet Franc 2010
Dish: Lemon pudding cake with toasted pine nuts, mint sorbet* and fresh berries
Wine: Orange Muscat 2012
*denotes local products
For more information, go to arugularistorante.com.
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