Wine Travels and Reviews

February 13, 2015

Sweet Sauternes and rich foie gras. Oxidative Muscadet and briny raw oysters. Barnyard-scented Pinot Noir and fatty roast duck breast. Jammy Zinfandel and a juicy burger and crisp French fries. Plump Sangiovese with a bloody steak. Bone-dry Riesling and smoked salmon. Racy Champagne and oily fish roe.

The above are some of the world’s greatest and most famous wine pairings. But do they make you horny?

If the answer is yes, then read no further: Reach for one of the wine world’s canonical pairings for your coupling on Valentine’s Day this year. You really can’t go wrong with any of them. They’ve stood the test of time and have helped many a lover seduce the object of her/his desire...

February 6, 2015

Last week here on the blog, we talked about different approaches to wine shopping, including budgeting and getting the best pricing whenever and wherever you shop. And most importantly, we talked about how your wine salesperson is your best bet for getting the most out of your wine shopping experience.

But once you've purchased your wine, it's also important to be mindful of how you transport and store the wine once you leave the store.

Sadly, many wine shoppers damage their wines after they leave the store by not caring for them properly.

The number one threat is exposure to extreme temperature.

Extreme hot and...

January 30, 2015

Wine shopping can be a daunting experience for a lot of people. Especially for folks who don't regularly drink wine, the thought of walking into a wine store and picking out a bottle — from literally hundreds on the shelf — can be overwhelming.

And then you have to add the "wine snob" factor to the mix. Even though the majority of people who work in the wine trade are super nice and down-to-earth, many shoppers who are unfamiliar with the experience can feel intimidated: Will my salesperson think less of me because I don't know much about wine? Will she/her try to sell me a bad bottle because I seem like someone who won't know the difference?

The number one thing to remember is that most...

January 22, 2015

In this day and age, it’s hard to believe that there are still a handful of independently owned wine stores scattered around the U.S.

Between the “big box” outfits and major retail chains that dominate the wine sales world, mom-and-pop operations are a sadly endangered species.

But the good news is that after thirty five years in business, the Boulder Wine Merchant is still going strong and enjoys a fiercely loyal following among its clientele in Colorado and beyond.

And the even better news is that this year, beloved store manager Jeff Mathews marks his thirtieth year working at the store.

Not only is Jeff one of the most respected persons in the Colorado wine scene...

January 16, 2015

It's already mid-January and the new year is about to get into full swing.

And so it seemed like a good time to get back to basics and brush up on the fundaments of wine tasting.

During the Boulder Burgundy Festival, when I sat down with Robert Bohr, one of the most dynamic wine professionals working in U.S. today, he reminded me that "wine tasting is like a muscle" and being a top taster is "like being an athlete."

Of course, Robert belongs to an elite group of top wine tasters and professionals. I'm just a wine scribe who is fortunate enough to hang out with guys like him and — by osmosis...

January 8, 2015

Happy 2015, everyone! Today's blog post and travelogue entry on Alsace comes from Boulder Wine Merchant team member Christopher Davis.

Alsace: The Shimmering Jewel of Northeast France

by Christopher Davis

There’s a pretty good chance you haven’t been to Alsace, the enchanting wine region slicing through northeast France, 300 miles east of Paris and a stones throw from the German border. There’s an even better chance you’d fall in love with Alsace if you made the trip. Whatever Alsace lacks in familiarity it vastly makes up for in wines of exceptional refinement and elegance, and medieval scenic charm. These wines simultaneously pulse with pure and unrestrained ripe fruit,...

December 30, 2014

Across the United States, a new generation of sommeliers and restaurant professionals has begun abandoning the flute as the stemware of choice for sparkling wines.

In our parents' era, it was believed that the flute enhanced the sensorial experience of drinking sparkling wine by concentrating the wine's fizziness in the glass' narrow aperture.

But over the last decade, wine lovers have discovered that a wider-aperture glass actually allows the wine to aerate more readily, thus "opening up" its aromas and flavors as the wine evolves in the glass.

And perhaps even more importantly, the broader brim makes it a lot easier to stick our noses deeper into the glass. As silly as that may sound, many...

December 24, 2014

Happy holidays from the Boulder Wine Merchant blog!

We really appreciate you being here, reading, and sharing.

We've got lots of great content lined up for next year, including guest contributors.

Stay tuned for next week's notes on sparkling wines for New Year's.

December 19, 2014

I met a lot of fantastic people at the Boulder Burgundy Festival this year: winemakers, wine tradespeople, collectors, and bon vivants.

But one of the most fun conversations I had was with George Berg (above, left), whose law firm Berg, Hill, Greenleaf & Ruscitti, underwrites the festival each year.

When I asked George, whose generous conviviality is rivaled only by his Texas charm, why he and his firm sponsor the gathering, his answer was a simple as it was brilliant.

"I've always found that sharing food and wine is a great way to do business," he said. "Sitting down and drinking a bottle of wine together is a very attractive way to get to...

December 12, 2014

Earlier this year, leading wine writer Elin McCoy called Robert Bohr (below right) one of “New York’s sommelier old guard.”

His list at Charlie Bird, which he co-authors with another one of the city’s celebrity sommeliers, Grant Reynolds, is “a window into the New York wine zeitgeist," she wrote.

I caught up with Robert at the festival last month and we chatted about what it means to be a sommelier today and why he comes to the festival every year to participate and pour.

He’s one of the highest-profile wine professionals working in the U.S. today but when it comes to be a sommelier, it...