Fall has come at last. Menus and appetites are transitioning, and there’s no better time to enjoy a glass of full-flavored wine at Denver’s best dining establishments. Sunny days still abound, and while the occasional day calls for flannel, we’re still blessed with plenty of afternoons spent on patios. Strike a seasonal balance with these delightful wines by the glass available this month at the bartops and tables of the city’s finest restaurants.
Location: 1510 16th St Mall, Denver, CO 80202
When Fall envelopes the rolling hills of Italy’s Piedmont region, the fog, or ‘nebbia’ that gives the Nebbiolo grape variety its name, floats through the vineyards, cooling the grapes before harvest. This thick-skinned grape produces some of Italy’s finest wines, such as Barolo and Barbaresco. In downtown Denver, this approachable example offers all the flavors and structure we love in this Autumn classic without needing hours of decanting or years of aging in the bottle.
Nestled in the heart of the famed Barolo region in Castiglione Falletto, the Monchiero family has been making remarkable red wines from Nebbiolo since the 1950s. Starting as a grape grower, the family started producing their premium wines in the 70s. The Nebbiolo d’Alba gushes with layered berry flavors and classic notes of violets. Paired with Bistro LeRoux’s classically delicious French Onion Soup and a plate of Foie Gras with Chicken Liver Mousse, the wine offers a pop of tart fruit like a garnish of dried cranberry or cherry. Each of these rich menu items strikes a balance in concert with the wine that screams Fall.
Location: 1431 Larimer St, Denver, CO 80202
The spectrum of gold and yellow during Fall in Colorado is tough to capture. Mother Nature paints a beautiful picture of the season with this gold-flecked wine from the Arneis grape. Like the previous wine, this beautiful bottle is crafted in the hills of Italy’s Piedmont region, and it’s no mistake. There’s something about the wines from this area, whether red or white, that’s so spectacular this time of year.
The Fontatabianca winery in the Neive region of Piedmont has been responsible for top-tier examples of grapes like Arneis and Nebbiolo for decades. Their refined winemaking practice is apparent in their seamless delivery of elegant classics vintage after vintage. Arneis is a variety you may not be familiar with, but it’s worth a try if you love crisp, refreshing whites.
Served alongside the iconic Artichoke Tortelloni with truffle brodo, aged Manchego, and chervil at Rioja on Larimer Square, this is a combination of flavor and texture that’s perfection whether you’re looking for a date night win or a quick plate after work as the breeze brings the leaves off the trees in downtown Denver.
Location: 3940 W 32nd Ave, Denver, CO 80212
Fresh, seasonal flavors prevail out west in the Denver Highlands neighborhood. Newcomer restaurant Rooted Craft Kitchen has created a cozy gathering place where food, wine, and cocktails are made simple, approachable, elevated, and delicious. Wood-grilled oysters on the half served with charred lemon, butter, thyme, and panada have quickly become a menu staple.
When variety is the order of the day, a duo of impressive wines by the glass is a great way to work past indecision. For a sublime Autumn white, the Grüner Veltliner Federspiel from Domäne Wachau is loaded with Fall fruit flavors like apple and white pepper with just a hint of smokiness that’s divine with the oysters.
A pour of the Domaine de Saint Siffrein Côtes du Rhône Villages is a beautiful way to respond when red wine is called for. A blend of Syrah and Grenache, the wine is structured, balanced, and intense enough to satisfy an entire table of wine lovers. This winery is committed to quality and sustainability and is known for producing Village-level wines and the revered Chateauneuf du Pape.