Event Recap: Colorado Wine vs. The World at Row 14

As many of you know, last week was Colorado Wine Week and Denver hosted Drink Local Wine 2012 a national conference celebrating and educating US wines. To whet appetites for the week of festivities, Row 14 & Chef Jensen Cummings and sommelier Kendra Anderson (aka Swirl Girl Denver), hosted a Colorado Wine vs. The World blind tasting event for winos and amateurs alike.

The intimate evening was held on the 14th floor of the Spire Building and despite the ridiculous thunder and lightning at the beginning of the night, the weather cleared in time for a sun-lit event and spectacular views of the city and mountains.

We started with a 2011 Boulder Creek Dry Rose while waiting for all the guests to arrive. Rose’s are not typically my wine of choice, mostly because I had a few too many of them while living in Aix-en-Provence, but this one was a crisp, dry wine to start the evening.

We then went on to do a blind tasting of three pairs of wines: Rieslings, Syrahs, and Cabernet Sauvignons. The goal was to taste wine A and then wine B in the pair, and guess which wine was from Colorado and which was from somewhere else in the world. All three pairs were accompanied by hors d’oeuvres from Chef Jensen Cummings and the Row 14 staff. A sashimi amuse bouche to go with the riesling, lamb sliders to go with the syrah, and a beef amuse bouche to go with the cabernet sauvignon. All delicious!

The wines once presented:

2010 Russell Vineyard Riesling, Guy Drew Vineyards, Montezuma County, CO vs. 2009 Sky Leaf Riesling, Waipara Valley, NZ

2009 Garfield Estates Syrah, Grand Valley, CO vs. 2009 St Hallett Faith Shiraz, Barossa Valley, AU

2009 Colterris Cabernet Sauvignon, Grand Valley, CO vs. 2009 LaMadrid Single Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon, Argentina

The array of cheerful guests–some who were local winemakers, others wine experts, and then those of us who were there to learn a lot more–turned out to be a wonderful mix for a lively, informative discussion based on the different tastes of Colorado wines versus those produced in other parts of the world. For the most part, the wines from abroad won the taste test, but the Colorado wines weren’t far behind–and the general consensus was that given the brevity of Colorado’s wine history (really, a baby in the wine world), our local wine is doing pretty damn well in producing high quality, flavorful wines.

Thank you Row 14 and Kendra for a fantastic event! And Wagon readers, be sure to keep an eye out for the next wine night at Row 14!

About Jossie Auerbach

Jossie is mostly behind-the-scenes at the Wagon--editing articles, advertising, and the like. And by day she does Marketing & Communications for Denver start-up, Forkly. Follow Jossie for mostly food-related posts on @JSWAuer & @Forkly. If you're interested in advertising on our site, email jossie@denveroffthewagon.com.

  • John Mogos

    Disappointing to see it was all New World v. New World.  A “New World” (Colorado) v. “Old World” (France/Germany in this case) would have been a lot more interesting, I would think.