About Max Koepke

As a Sedona, Arizona native I grew up obsessed with the outdoors and exploring the southwest. I lived in Orvieto, Italy for six months and gained a great appreciation for Italian food and culture, with an emphasis on wine. This appreciation of wine led me to seeking out employment at places with extensive wine lists that placed their focus on Italian wines. I have worked for Lettuce Entertain You in Chicago, Telluride Ski and Golf at their flagship restaurant, Allred's, and their top-o-the-mountain wine bar, Alpino Vino. Currently, I work as the sommelier at the northern Italian restaurant, Il Posto, in Denver. My sommelier courses were taught by Frasca's Bobby Stuckey in Aspen, Colorado. In addition to the pursuit of wine I also have a passion for photography, the outdoors, and Colorado's striking mountains (especially when they're covered in thick blankets of snow).

The Good Fight for the Sulfite

cascina-tavijn-barbera-d-asti-2010

Don’t be afraid! Yes, sulfites are in your red, white, and rose wine. However, they have been given a bad wrap. Sulfites have played the role of scapegoat since the 1980’s and have been falsely accused of inducing countless headaches and other adverse conditions. At Il Posto, I often hear the exclamation, “I can’t drink […]

I’d decant that wine…I think?

Decanter

The myths, fallacies, and improper methods of decanting wine abound. When should I decant? What should I decant? How should I decant? There is no shortage of wine experts who agree that decanting a wine provides beneficial effects. However, those who hold the opposite opinion are anything but rare. Both camps have solid arguments. Why […]

Italian wine for an American feast

Babera d'Asti d.o.c.g. Piedmont, Coppo "Camp du Rouss" 2008

Pairing wine with a Thanksgiving meal can be a difficult task due to the mish mash of dishes and culinary components. Ideally, each dish asks for a specific wine. As this is fairly unrealistic for most Thanksgiving diners, I suggest simplifying the entire process and popping bottles in stages. Start with an aperitif to liven […]

Food for Wine & Wine for Food- Strategies for Successful Pairings

Zucca Pumpkin Soup and a bottle of Langhe Bianco d.o.c Chardonnay.

As the sommelier of Il Posto, I field hundreds of oenological questions on a nightly basis. These questions range from the basic to the incredibly complex. The majority of my nights revolve around deciphering our wine list and translating the contents of any given bottle to its potential consumer. The lion share of my evening, […]

Italian Wine — Exploring the Obscure

Vermentino

Don’t be intimidated! Italian wine can, more often than not, send potential drinkers fleeing in confusion and uncertainty. I am well versed in Italian wine. That being said, there are plenty of wine aisles I encounter that make me long for a pocket translator and a cold beer. There are 20 Italian wine regions, thousands […]