Denver Wines on Wednesdays

Denver wines tastings Argonaut Liquor OopsLast night I attended my first wine tasting at Park Hill Golf Course, an event arranged by Argonaut Liquor on Colfax to benefit the Positive Project, which uses the stories of people infected/affected by HIV/AIDS to raise awareness.

Not only were there dozens of wines from Chile and Argentina to try, including grapes I had never tasted such as Torrontes, but also the people pouring the wine provided some free entertainment.

And having two companions (Denveater and From Argentina with Love) to giggle with helped. Go read Denveater’s inspired take on this same event, along with actual wine research, which information you can find via the link above. Her comments are in italics below.

As Monsignor said long ago, “A little wine is good for the stomach.” So I tasted about 16 wines, and each pour provided about 3 sips, except for my self-serve on Los Vascos Sauvignon Blanc ($9.99) when the table-mistress wasn’t looking. Denveater notes: I can vouch for the fact that Beth was a very generous self-server. Unfortunately, the strong lychee aroma made me “think pink,” and I couldn’t get past it while drinking my extra-large pour. At that same table I found the wine with the best name: Oops Voluptuous Beauty ($10.99). But the flavor didn’t quite live up to the name: it was drinkable but dry.

I had better luck at Table 19 (maybe it was the prime number?), where I found two good Malbecs. All three of us liked Altosur Malbec ($10.99), a spicy yet velvety wine from the southernmost wine-growing region in Argentina. And the Baqueano Malbec Reserve was also good, if more smoky and pricier ($13.99) than the Altosur.

My favorite among the many Torrontes wines offered at this tasting was the Santa Julia Torrontes Organica, named after the vintner’s daughter. It smelled strongly of grapefruit and was a steal for $9.99. Apparently the Torrontes grape grows well in South America but not really anywhere else, or at least, that was the opinion of the man who advised us to try the Santa Julia.

Speaking of men, we met one I swear was a used-car salesman turned wine salesman. His hair defied gravity, and he was very, very friendly, though thankfully not to me. Denveater notes: Don’t be so sure—it was he who saw you sneak that pour, and he made all those wink-wink conspiratorial facial gestures to show just how on your side he was.

I’ll end by praising two other Torrontes: Tamari and Colome. The Tamari ($12.49) had a strong citrus aroma, like a Sauvignon Blanc, and the Colome’s flintiness reminded me a bit of a Chablis, though with more fruit ($13.99).

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I’ll occasionally be writing about wine on Wednesdays, but I don’t plan to make it a regular feature just yet.