Saturday, May 25, 2013

Kingman Winery, Denver CO

My mom and I came to Denver this Memorial Day weekend to see Les Miserables and my friend Emily but had a lot of time to kill before our show so we hit Hammond's Candy for the tour and to stock up on old fashioned candies. While we were waiting for our tour, my mom came across a pamphlet for Colorado wineries and vineyards....and there were a few really close to Hammond's


We tried hitting one with a fancy name first but saw that they were having a fancy party so we went back to follow the wine signs that mom had spotted on the way. They led us to Kingman Winery which was a small store-front with a nicely decorated tasting area and a wall that separated it from the production area. We got to try all the wines that they offered:


Cabernet Sauvignon
Marv'lous 1680

They also had a special wine that was a bled of Riesling and Cabernet Sauvignon grapes (which I can't remember the name of) and it is their summer wine for 2013. It was an interesting bled of white and red that made for a lovely wine to drink on a hot summer day. They designed the label using a painting from one of their featured artists (they do a art night once a month where an artist comes in and teaches people how to recreate one of their paintings while drinking wine... I should do this some day).

They prided themselves on taking familiar wines and making them unfamiliar. They don't age their Chardonnay in oak barrels so it doesn't have the creamy and buttery taste that most Chardonnays have. They also process their Riesling differently so it's not as sweet as most Rieslings go. As for the reds, they only age their Cabernet Sauvignon for about 8 months before bottling when it normally ages for a year. This gives it a strong beginning but a more mellow end than most Cabs.

When we were done with our tastings, we were offered a tour of their operations... Which was very small compared to what I had seen at other wineries. They get all of their grapes from a valley in another part of Colorado and process them all in the small space behind the tasting room.

My favorite of their offerings was their Chardonnay, which is strange since I don't usually favor them. I was not a fan of the Riesling and did not mind the Cab, two even stranger things. 

Kingman was an interesting little find and was glad we visited.

"Your adaptive unconcious is crying out to taste our wine."

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Another Good Time at MONA

Wow. I had not realized that it had been so long since the last time I posted.

Well, this weekend brought the Wine and Jazz Festival back to Kearmey and of course Jessi ventured west to go with me. The weather was threatening nastiness like it usually does for the W&J Fest but we were not disheartened. We got there around 7, met up with some friends and found a table outside near the stage to plan our stratify. The lightening was flashing and the rain was just starting to sprinkle when we headed in for our first tastings... Which I got exactly one of when they told us the event was shutting down because of the weather. If it cleared, they would open back up and we were welcome to come back.

What to do until then you may ask. Well, we did what everybody else did... We headed to the closest bar to wait out the storm. The poor guy behind the bar at the Garage didn't know what hit him. He was ready for a quiet evening at work when he suddenly got slammed by dozens of people from the festival. He desperately called other bartenders for help while trying to serve drinks, which he was doing rather well considering. Everybody was cool with the wait so that made his job easier.

We stayed there for a couple of rounds, found one more friend and headed back to the MONA parking lot for round two of wine.

Most of the vineyards and wineries that were there were the same from years past but that didn't stop Jessi and I from hitting them up for our favorites (and not so favorites-Sweet Hattie anybody?). We did find some new good ones, my new favs of the evening were Silver Fox from Silver Hills and Wine-A-Rita from... somewhere. During the course of the evening, we found or were given about 20 extra tickets so we had that many more chances to try the wines that peaked our interest.

We had some good laughs, tried some great wine, and listened to some good music while thumbing our nose at Nebraska weather. Overall, it was what the Wine & Jazz Festival has come to mean to me: bad weather and an awesome time.

Sunday, March 18, 2012

The Finger Lakes Wine Region

My first introduction to the Finger Lakes wine region was at my cousin, Ryan's, wedding at Belhurst (pictured below). They served wine from the Anthony Road Wine Company (Ryan is friends with the owner). I remember the Tony's White they served at the wedding being the best I had ever had and can't wait to try it again to see if it is as good as I remember.

Belhurst at Seneca Lake: Winery, Hotel, Spa, Event Center, Castle
Finger Lakes Wine Region

When Jessi and I visited James Arthur Vineyard last summer, the lady we talked to there reccomended that if we wanted to visit a huge wine region, skip Napa and visit the Finger Lakes. She said Napa was expensive, too commercial, and the people were less likely to spend time talking to you about the wines.... this coming from the daughter of James Arthur and wife of the head winemaker at James Arthur Vineyard. If they wouldn't talk to her, they probably wouldn't talk to us.

The Finger Lakes, she said, was more like the wineriers and vineyards in Nebraska. They were a close-knit group, friendly, and less commercial. Then and there, Jessi and I decided that sometime, we needed to find a bus tour of the Finger Lakes wine region and leave enough time afterwards on our vacation to New York to explore on our own.

I don't know a whole lot about the Finger Lakes wine industry, but exploring it is on my bucket list. With family in the area, it shouldn't be too hard to do... Plus, I'm hoping I can drag some of them along to enjoy the trip with us.

Here's a link that Anthony Road posted on their facebook page that tells about some of the New York wineries/vineyards and some of their wines: Drinking New York


Thursday, March 15, 2012

Another Pour Decision

As Lent approached, the question of what I would give up continued to bounce around in my mind, daily.... helped along by others asking what I was giving up. I don't remember giving anything up last year so this year I decided to do something extra difficult to make up for my lapse.

So, I was sitting in the Lair one day, trying to decide if it was too early to have a glass of wine when it hit me: I found what I was giving up for Lent.... Wine.


The first few days were fine, but as the weeks pass, it is getting more difficult. For example, I am sitting here craving a glass of the sweet red moscato I have in the fridge like you wouldn't believe. I can hear it calling and mocking me from half way across the apartment... its voice is amplified by the unopened bottles in my wine rack.

I am trying to stay strong. I think the only thing that is getting me through is the thought of Jessi and I hitting our first stop on the 2012 wine tour at the end of March. We have a stop planned for our way up to Wayne for March Madness and I am not allowing myself any slips until then.

It is my reward.

Friday, February 17, 2012

Broken Rule

I broke one of my rules for this one.... the one about not buying wine without a cork in the bottle. I'm sorry. It was just soooo damn cute!!!! It's like a pudding cup of wine!

God Bless 'Mur'ka!


Exciting news today in the world of the Nebraska Wine Tour: I'm chalking it up to them knowing my address from sending in my passport from last year but I got a shiny new 2012 Wine Tour passport in the mail today!!!!

It wasn't really much of a surprise since Jessi had texted me earlier and told me that she had gotten one in the mail and that I should check my box when I got home. I ripped open the envelope to discover not one, but TWO passports just waiting to be stamped. Looks like they are encouraging me to recruit more friends to join Jessi and I on this year's adventure...

Challenge Accepted!!!!

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Wine Review #3: Beringer's Red Moscato

With my adventures on the Nebraska Wine Tour, this blog, and my random wine-themed stories, my friends, coworkers, and random acquaintances know how much of a wineaux I am. This tends to have its advantages (although, it might look to outsiders that I have a serious problem).

For example, my friend, Cathy, and I recently got around to exchanging our Christmas presents (our goal was to do it by Valentine's Day, mission accomplished!) and I could not help but be excited by what she got me: 2 bottles of wine! The first was my favorite moscato, Rex-Goliath which is super cheap and has a rooster on the label (she had Puffy run recon so she got the right kind) and the second was one I had never heard of before, Beringer's Red Moscato. I was really excited to try it and I was proud of Cathy for stepping out of her comfort zone (she knows nothing about wine and is rather apprehensive about the subject) to get something new for me.

Beringer's Red Moscato is sweet and light like most moscatos but there is a definite difference. The only way I can describe it is the "red difference." Dry to Sweet, red and white wine have a different taste. Chalk it up to tannins or just the color but blindfolded, I bet most people could point out the red vs. the white.

Either way, I LOVED it!!! It was also a huge hit with my mom and friend, Matt... I made Puffy and Joey try it. They were not fans... so my mission to turn them into wine drinkers continues.

It has become my new favorite wine and the hunt continues for where to get it since Cathy refuses to tell me where she found it.