Patio of the Day

Patio of the Week: Infinite Monkey Theorem Steps Up Its Patio Game

When I told someone I was visiting Infinite Monkey Theorem's (IMT) patio, they asked why, pointing out that it's always empty and there's not much to do. That was a few months ago, and very true at the time.

See also: John Hickenlooper signs bill at Infinite Monkey Theorem, wine now on tap at Gov's Mansion

Until recently, the 8,000 square foot patio at RiNo's urban winery was a huge cement parking lot with a smattering of benches and a monstrosity of a "bar" -- a concrete and sheet metal triangle that was too tall for any person of normal height to order from. Because the patio is so large, that sparse furniture made you awkwardly wonder if the wine wasn't great, or pat yourself on the back because your hipster self just discovered a new treasure.

But IMT is neither a hipster find nor a bad winery: It has been on Larimer Street since 2012, when it moved from Santa Fe Drive, and while I'm no sommelier, the wine is unique and always good.

And now the team at IMT has made updates so that the winery's patio is no longer a deserted plane. The expanse is still a little intimidating, and motor oil stains on the concrete and a tarped, chain-link fence maintain the impression that this might just be a fancy parking lot, but it's now a much more welcoming space. Four gray sun shades span one section and are strung with patio lights, creating an inviting space instead of the previous impression of benches strewn across a parking lot. Supporting that atmosphere are the line of benches that halves the patio and more seating around additional picnic and cocktail tables.

IMT only seems to be busy on First Friday and Final Friday nights; on those nights it's packed and they need an outside bar. But instead of the old bar that seemed built for NBA players, they now have a food-truck-turned-bar with wine on tap -- a much more welcome and mod choice.

I've never had a bad glass from Infinite Monkey Theorem's selection of wines. And despite a general hatred of pink wine, the sparkling rosé has become my go-to. I also appreciate that, unlike many wineries too caught up in seriousness, IMT is willing to be playful with the wine. In addition to pours by the glass, draft Bellinis blending peach juice and the house riesling and summer slushies in two flavors, sangria and moscato, give unpretentious wine drinkers additional options. The wine slushies spin in a commercial margarita machine and are not your homemade, high school Arbor Mist blends: at more than fourteen percent alcohol, they pack considerable punch. It's also a decent place to bring non-wino friends; the winery doesn't serve beer or liquor but there are usually a couple of ciders -- pear or apple -- on tap.

Infinite Monkey's irreverence extends to its packaging: Tall, thin cans with 250 milliliters (8.4 ounces) of wine are available for take-out or in-house imbibing. I've done my share of boxed wine, but canned? I was skeptical at first, but the cans are nothing to hesitate about. "Single serve, very accessible and unpretentious," says owner Ben Parsons of the packaging, they "fit the Colorado life style: pack in, pack out."

I don't always need to entertain myself with games on a patio, but when you have an 8,000 square-foot space, it seems an appropriate option. The new updates include cornhole boards and a bocce ball court on the far side of the expansive slab. I wouldn't say they have finished making the most of their space, but an employee told me more landscaping is planned and certainly the recent improvements have made better use of the former warehouse cement lot.

The Best Deal: Buy a bottle and save a few bucks over the per-glass price.

The Best Feature: Who doesn't love wine in a can? OK, maybe lots of people -- but only because they worry too much.

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Kristin Pazulski has been a renaissance faire wench, a reporter, an espresso-shot slinger, an editor of a newspaper for the homeless and a grant writer. She's now a freelance writer covering Denver's restaurant scene.
Contact: Kristin Pazulski