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Aug 30, 2009 06:19 PM

Best Denver Wine Stores/Bordeaux Futures?

What are Denver 'hounds favorite spots for high-quality French wines and futures? Most cities have 1-3 stores that really rise above the others for wine knowledge, chateaux relationships and value. Thanks!

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  1. I'm not one for $$$ French wines, but a friend of mine is—has his own high-tech cellar etc.— and he's developed very good relations with the guys at Mondo Vino in the Highlands.

    My own fave is Divino on S. Broadway, but that's way about the funk, so probably not what you're looking for.

    1. IMO, the best Denver wine store is in Boulder. The Boulder Wine Merchant is owned by two master sommeliers, Wayne Belding and Sally Mohr (she the first female master somm). Nate Ready, who more recently passed that level, has worked there on occasion too. just hints at the wonderful wine specialist.

      IMHO, Mondo Vino is a great store too in the wonderful Highlands neighborhood, but rightly or wrongly, I always think of them as specializing more in the wines of German and Italy, plus New World wines.

      11 Replies
      1. re: ClaireWalter

        Love the Boulder Wine Merchant, although Mohr was not the first female master somm. Here's a good list:

        We heard from the farm dinner folks that Nate Ready is in Portland. If he ever shows up at the Merchant again, just hand him your credit card and say "Wine, please."

        Bordeaux hounds in my wine group are fans of Mondo Vino and City Wine, although I'm not sure they've purchased futures (sounds risky in this economic climate):

        1. re: rlm

          RLM - If Sally wasn't the first master somm in the US, she was pretty close -- the second, according to the Into Wine post to which you supplied to the link. Glad to hear where Nate Ready has landed. Portland also has a rep as a good food/wine town.

          1. re: ClaireWalter

            You just said "first female master somm" and she was actually the fourth. Impressive, nonetheless, but I figured a professional journalist like yourself would want the facts to be correct.

            Midwesthound, if I am ever lucky enough to be in the position to spend some serious money on wine in one fell swoop, I would make a reservation at Frasca Food and Wine in Boulder and ask owner/MS Bobby Stuckey for recommendations. He pours at this little "rinky dink" celebration most years so he knows a thing or two about DRCs and such:

            1. re: rlm

              RLM - Re " figured a professional journalist like yourself would want the facts to be correct." When I get paid to write, I research very thoroughly -- and I also make sure that there are no typos in the copy that I turn in to an editor. For better or for worse, I'm a little more casual on forums.

              FWIW, please note that I wrote, "If Sally wasn't the first master somm in the US, she was pretty close." According to the Into Wines' "wine queens" post that you cited, #1 was Claudia Harris, 1984, in the UK -- which is not the US. #2 was Madeline Triffon, 1987, from Michigan, which would make her the first female sommelier in the US. #3 was Vera Wessel, 1992, from The Hague, Netherlands, also not the US. #4 was Sally Mohr, 1995, of the Boulder Wine Merchant. So I apologetically plead guilty to being off by one, but not by three.

              Regardless, the master sommelier level is a major accomplishment, whether it's a man or a woman, and no matter when s/he achieved it. And in that sense, I still have the highest regard for the Boulder Wine Merchant, with two master sommeliers at the helm.

              1. re: ClaireWalter

                You only feel the need to make sure you write accurate information when a paycheck is involved? If you scroll up and read your original post there is no mention of the US, just "she the first female master somm." Maybe you meant to write "in the US," but you didn't. Just sayin'.

                1. re: rlm

                  Just sayin', or just nitpickin' ? Claire is one of the best we have for Colorado food advice. Harsh comments are unfair payback for her helpful and thoughtful contributions.

                  1. re: Veggo

                    Veggo, I actually know Claire and have had dinner with her a few times so that might be why I'm more comfortable joshin' with her.

                    1. re: rlm

                      Thanks, Veggo and RLM. I am a longtime freelance writer -- accustomed to having my ideas rejected or ignored, and my words edited or rewritten. If I couldn't take the occasional barb, I ought to find another line of work. Veggo, I took your words as a compliment. RLM, your post was a reminder to be less casual -- especially since I don't have a ScreenName. So again, thanks to you both.

                  2. re: rlm

                    I NEED to write totally accurate information when there's a paycheck involved. I TRY to wite accurately even on a casual board. Sometimes I mess up -- and when I do, I apologize and appreciate the correction.
                    You're right, RLM. My first post did not mention "in the US," but after you corrected me on the fact that Sally was not the first female master somm, I did write that in my second post. Just sayin' back. (And thanks, Veggo, for the compliment..)

                    As an aside, I take pains to be meticulous when I turn in copy to a publication, but I have come to think of "fact checkers" as "fact wreckers." My best example was in a travel story that I wrote for a national publication about Tulsa and Oklahoma City, into which some anonymous editor inserted the sentence, "Both cities enjoy a balmy, year-round climate." I'm sure an underpaid twinkie in NY looked at a map, thought to herself, "Gee, those cities are around the same latitude as LA and San Diego, so it must be pretty nice there all the time."

          2. re: ClaireWalter

            I was furious with my experience with the Boulder Wine Merchant. We went in to have them pick us out a mixed case of mostly unfamiliar Italian and Spanish wines based on our stated tastes. Three of the bottles were cooked. Given the odds of getting three cooked wines in a case, I suspect they knew this and were trying to pawn them off on us because we told them they were unfamiliar styles.

            When we brought them back we were helped by a different person. For the first two wines they said that a lot of them had come back cooked. A quick smell and they agreed with us on the major-cookage, so it wasn't just our dislike of the wines.

            I still suspect that the first person who helped us pick out the wines was trying to get rid of some bad inventory on some seemingly-naive customers.

            I will not return.

            1. re: jeremyn

              Wait, so you brought a problem to their attention, they satisfactorily rectified the situation and you won't give them another chance? They are human, not machines and we all make mistakes.

          3. Get acquainted with the buyers at Argonaut, 7th and Colfax. They will seriously work with you.

            1. when i think bordeaux futures i think of Applejack, Davidson's or Argonaut.