Thirty-six of Spain’s best wine producers came to Denver to showcase their products. The roadshow should have a long-lasting effect on Denver’s food and wine scene. Denver distributors, bar and restaurant owners, caterers, and wine stores were able to sample wines and make first-hand purchases from rare, luxury Spanish wineries at the Spanish Wine Roadshow.
Only four US Cities are getting to experience these extraordinary Spanish wines: Denver, Washington DC, Houston, and San Diego. The Denver event took place June 29th, at Blanc Denver in the River North Arts District, RiNO. Cheese and Meat Board served some yummy treats to accompany the wines. Here’s are a few of the highlights.
Sadly, I could not taste all 140 types of wine, but the ones I did try were some of the best I’ve had. Having just returned from a culinary extravaganza in Paris, I can comparatively say the Spanish wines are of the highest caliber. Spanish Merlot is every bit as amazing as French Merlot, and you can buy a bottle for a fraction of the cost.
Meeting Ed Ruiz and Fabian Garcia from Denver’s Blend – Beer Wine and Spirits was a highlight. Blend is Denver’s newest bottle shop on First Avenue in Cherry Creek, between Madison and Cook. Ruiz said, “We already have a wide variety of wines from Spain, France, South Africa, and Argentina,” so,
I am looking for something new and special.
“New and special” was the theme of the day!
Bodgas Marisol Rubio at the Spanish Wine Roadshow
At the first table, I met Jorge Garrido. He is a fifth-generation grape farmer with a new winery that started in 2018. Garrido’s winery, Bodegas Marisol Rubio, named for his mother is located in a small Spanish town in Villanueva de Alcardete called Toledo. Toledo Spain is in the land of La Mancha, the same La Mancha from Don Quixote lore. The winery cultivates Pedro Ximenez, a special white grape grown only in that region of Spain. The extraordinary temperature range between winter and summer in the region offers a characteristic acidity and a low natural PH in the grapes. This allows the grapes to obtain a full phenolic ripeness.
The labels and corks from these Spanish wineries are as special as the wines themselves! The label on the Bodegas Marisol Rubio wine is the signature of Garrido’s mother. The corks are all-natural, numbered, and written with words that connect the wine to music.
Bornos Bodegas & Vinedos at the Spanish Wine Roadshow
It was real pleasure speaking with Christian Bungard, the Export Director for Bonros Bodegas & Vinedos. He told me how the bottles of the red wines Guelbenzu Vierlas and Evo were designed in 1871! The Merlot Syrah 2017 blend was one of the best wines I tried.
Bodegas Esteban Martin at the Spanish Roadshow
Another luxury standout was Bodegas Esteban Martin from Alfamén, located in the Ebro Valley in the foothills of the Iberian mountain range. Estaban Martin produces organic and sustainable wines with an intentional focus on reducing the environmental impact. In 2001, Estaban Martin pioneered the use of pheromones. They are now doing the same with ozone spraying. These wineries mentioned just touch the surface of the high caliber of producers participating in the Spanish Wine Roadshow! Each and every winery had something unique and exciting they bring to the table.
Local Bars and Bottle Shops Bringing in New Wines from Spain
One of the great things about the Spanish Wine Roadshow was the absence of snobery. Everyone was so friendly and fabulous! I had a chance to speak with the bar manager from Joy Hill, a Denver bar on South Broadway, and learn a little about what kind of wines Joy Hill likes. Joy Hill offers a large variety of different wines and beer from around the world. The Bar Manager Michael, explained, “we are looking for something out of the ordinary. It also needs to go well with our pizza!”
I’m hoping my new friends at Blend will start selling some of the wines we tasted, so I can run over and buy them rápido! I’m also really looking forward to going to Joy Hill for pizza and Spanish wine! Don’t you just love Denver!