DAM Uncorked: So many wines, so little time

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It has become a rite of spring: the annual Denver Art Museum DAM Uncorked fundraiser. On April 11, 2014, hundreds of wine tasters — novices and cellar connoisseurs alike – gathered to sample wines from around the world. Patrons paired them with hors d’oeuvres from Kevin Taylor Catering and some of the best people watching all year. The crowd ranged in age from 21 to 81, and wore everything from cocktail dresses and heels to Colorado casual and RiNo hip.

Three hundred wines in three hours demanded a strategy. This taster opted for bubbles of all stripes, a handful of white wines, any wine from Colorado or having a Colorado connection, and voluptuous reds.

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The Infinite Monkey Theorem tasting table.

Highlights from Schlessman Hall included a sampling of mini sliders and salads, as well as:

Charles Cazanove – Brut, Pinot Noir & Chardonnay, Champagne, France. An excellent start to the evening. Fruity, light, and easy-drinking, it set the bar high with its refreshing minerality.

Two Rivers WineryChardonnay, Mesa County, Colorado. This crisp Chardonnay offered abundant Granny Smith apple, pineapple, and vanilla on the nose. It was smooth and balanced and paired well with some of the creamier hors d’oeuvres.

Infinite Monkey TheoremThe Blind Watchmaker White. The nonvintage blend of 52% Viognier and 48% Roussane grapes from Colorado came together in an elegant combination of orange, melon, and nutty minerality.

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The J Winery and Jordan Winery tasting table.

Ponti Hall’s selections included a night club feel and slide show, with shafts of light pouring through narrow windows. Wine highlights:

Nicolas Feuillatte – Rosé Champagne, France – Lots of red fruit, baked bread, and bright acidity bubbled in the glass. Plus, it just looked pretty, millions of tiny bubbles in a salmon-hued sparkler.

J Winery – Cuvée 20, Russian River, California – This bubbly wine satisfied with lemon, fresh grasses, and crisp minerality. J Winery was founded by a former Coloradoan.

Jordan Winery – Cabernet Sauvignon, Alexander Valley, California – This medium-bodied red wine was built for food, with a balanced complexity of red fruit, acid, and tannin. Jordan Winery was founded by a former Coloradoan.

Ridge Vineyards – Three Valleys, Sonoma County, California – Jammy goodness from a winery that specializes in full-flavored Zinfandel blends.

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The Duncan Pavilion offered views of the Capitol from the patio, as well as the longest lines anywhere, for Silver Oak. An event like this gave wine tasters the opportunity to try something they might not otherwise have the chance to sample, short of buying a $115.99 bottle of wine.

Silver Oak, Cabernet Sauvignon, Napa Valley, California – This was one of those granddaddy-of-‘em-all oaky reds that demanded a thick slab of meat. It could have handled it. Silver Oak was founded by a former Coloradoan.

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Silver Oak tasting table.

The event was co-sponsored by Applejack Wine & Spirits, which offered a discount DAM price to event patrons. Applejack carries all of these wines as well as several hundred more. Currently their Bordeaux & Burgundy Sale is underway, another temptation to draw you to the store.

Until our next adventure in wine and food…

Denver Art Museum
100 West 14th Avenue Parkway
Denver, CO 80204
Neighborhood: Downtown

Applejack Wine & Spirits
3320 Youngfield Street
Wheat Ridge, CO 80033

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