My wine glass was always half full last week. The Colorado Media Tour took flew us to Grand Junction, Cortez, Boulder and Winery Row (Denver) to get the latest on Colorado Wines. Lets be honest, I am not a proclaimed wine expert. Before this week long extravaganza, I would order either A. House Merlot or B. House Cab, and I felt so wine savvy abbreviating cabernet. If I ordered cabernet sauvignon my tongue would become tied, so I always stuck with just plain cab.
So now fast forward after a week of being surrounded by wine makers, grape growers, research experts for growing grapes and sommeliers. My questions, usually rather armature, such as when you see “Vintage” on a bottle what does that mean? Or, what types of grapes have the highest alcohol content. And, what is the difference between aging wine in a French oak barrel or a Hungarian oak barrel. And can you seriously taste a difference? The answer YES! My questions were always thoroughly answered.My proudest moment was being able to blind taste a wine, and pick out an oakey flavor (This does not mean it was produced in an Oklahoma Barrel) and a bell pepper taste, that was the last day of the trip. Had it been then first day of the trip, I would have guessed it was a House Cab. My palette was learning. My appreciation for wine grew. When I see passion in a quality product, I am an instant fan. Knowing the history, the localness and people behind the wine left me wanting more. Even if I haven’t quite developed the palette to taste the distinct differences in each, the distinct character of each vineyard was enough to satisfy my senses. Colorado's strongest point is not our wine. From what I gathered, Colorado has a ways to go on making the map on being the top when it comes to being recognized for wine. Our wine pairs best with the atmosphere of the Colorado mountain tops, water rafting and scenery Colorado displays. However, winemakers agree the wine is stepping it up more and more each year, and they won’t stop till it’s a highlighted destination on the winemaking map. I’ll follow the Colorado Wine Trail to support local winemakers, promote Colorado and our land, with a glass of Cab Franc in hand.