| Booze |

Sip great wine on the cheap at four of Denver's poshest spots

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'Tis the season for giving - the time of year for fa-la-la-ing, mistletoe-ing and all the other festivities Bing and Nat sing about. But let's be honest: Decking the halls and making merry can be downright exhausting. So in betwixt the tree trimming and holiday caroling, why not give yourself a little break? A luxe evening of wine tasting out on the town is our favorite respite from the crazy that comes with Christmastime. And while there seems to be no shortage of swank Denver spaces in which to imbibe, with all the gifting we'll be doing over the next few weeks, we sought a slightly more budget-minded approach to our drinking games.

Read on for the savviest (and cheapest) way to sip great wine at four of the poshest spots in Denver.

The Capital Grille 1450 Larimer Street 303-539-2500

Want to see and be seen? Belly up to the bar at this Larimer Square hot spot. While known for its serious, meat-lovers menu, what you may not be so hip to is the reams-long list of wines stocked in the cellar. Featuring an incredible offering of thirty bottles that can be had for less than thirty clams, the wine you drink just might be the one of the best deals you find this holiday season. From bubbles to Beaujolais, we love the range and depth of choices to be had for some pretty unbelievable prices.

twelve 2233 Larimer Street 303-293-0287

When you're looking for a quietly elegant space that's well off the LoDo parade routes and blessedly tucked away from the melee of Pavilion shoppers, head to twelve. If you've never dined at this über-chill spot, you'll be utterly delighted by both Jeff Osaka's soulful, seasonal menu and his thoughtfully selection of wines. The list reads more like an oenophile's fantasy team of rock-star/culty winemakers, with reds from Owen Roe and Aberrant Cellars snuggled up next to old world whites like Zind Humbrecht pinot blanc and Bastianich friulano. No matter what your pleasure, every single wine has one thing in common: They're unbelievably food-friendly. Oh, and by the way - you can score wines by the glass for half price when you dine at the bar. Now that's a gift everyone can appreciate.

Elways Downtown 1881 Curtis Street 303-312-3107

It was the lure of the incredible bar menu that initially sucked us into this sexy, stylish restaurant, but it's the wine list that keeps us coming back again and again. As we would expect from a steakhouse of this ilk, the book of bottles is vast and pricey. But there are plenty of kick-ass, by-the-glass choices to be had for $15 and under (which we adore). Even better? The daily happy hour, which features glasses of red, white and sparkling for the low, low price of $5. That is not a typo, people. Wrap those gifts already and then treat yourself to a little glass of heaven.

The Churchill Bar at the Brown Palace 321 17th Street 303-297-3111

Easily the poshest spot on our list, we love everything about the Brown Palace at this time of year. After a tough day of shopping or a sumptuous meal, stop into the Brown and take in the stunning decorations festooned about the lobby, then head to the Churchill Bar for a decidedly grown-up form of holiday cheer. Cognac is our preferred form of liquid comfort, and you'll find one of the best selections in town in this luxurious, dark-wood paneled space. Choose from the usual suspects like Hennessey and Courvoisier, or step your game up with a snifter full of Hardy's Perfection Series. Settle in next to the roaring fire with a cigar (if you like) and drink in the holidays in style.

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