A few months ago I visited a new wine shop on the recommendation of a friend. It’s on the other side of town in an area I almost never go; however, I was on the hunt for a certain wine and heard that they may have it. Not only did I find the wine I was searching for, but I found a very extensive collection of local Colorado wines. Among them was this bottle – A Touch of Red by Bookcliff Vineyards out of Boulder, Colorado. I was first attracted to the label. (You know me, I’m a sucker for a good label, especially if there’s a dog on it!) In this case, two adorable terriers sniffing curiously at a cluster of grapes. I bought it, thinking it would be perfect to open on Valentine’s Day.
Valentine’s Day this year was very laid back considering it was a Monday and we both had to work. I gave the kids boxes of chocolate and my husband ordered flowers from The Bouqs Co. I cannot say enough good things about this company! It’s based on the simple philosophy of caring about people, the planet and the process of growing flowers. All bouquets are grown using sustainable practices, harvested by workers who are paid a living wage and shipped directly to consumers in bud form, eliminating the middleman. This particular bouquet came from Ecuador and is called the Amore bouquet, which I will link here. (Bonus: on the website you can meet the farmer and learn about the farms on which the flowers are grown which I find particularly interesting.) They arrived two days early, just in time for the flowers to open fully for Valentine’s day.
We opened the wine that evening when I got home from work. I will say that the label gave no indication about the nature of the wine; what grapes were used, where they were grown, not even ABV. It simply states, “Colorado Red Table Wine.” Table wine is such a general term! In Italy, table wines are always dry with fairly low ABVs and light tannins. They’re meant to pair effortlessly with whatever food you may be serving for dinner that night – or, if at a restaurant, the same wine can be served with chicken, fish or meat. However, I’ve tasted enough “table wine” to know that here in the US, they are quite often sweet. But don’t click away just yet!
For a sweet wine, I was surprised by how light this is. Sweet wines can sometimes feel very heavy. They sort of slap you in the face at first sip and leave you feeling sick by the bottom of the glass. This wine is different. It’s very delicate and slightly exotic, floral on the nose with notes of jasmine and rice paper, and almost lacy on the tongue. The taste is very soft and pleasant, with flavours of dark, ripe cherries balanced by tart, slightly underripe pear. The finish is clean and doesn’t leave a saccharine coating in your throat like many other sweet wines do. Maybe I’m committing copyright infringement here when I say it was “good to the last drop.”
Rather than serving this wine with a meal, it would be more properly paired with a cheese platter for dessert. Or served as an aperitif, as we did on Valentine’s Day. It is absolutely worth a try – and as someone who is not too keen on sweet wines, that’s saying something. If you like sweet wines you will absolutely love it, and if you don’t, it might broaden your horizons like it did mine.
Bookcliff Vineyards makes a variety of wines with grapes grown in Colorado’s Grand Valley, which is the prime fruit growing region in the state. They follow sustainable growing practices – no pesticides or herbicides – and use companion planting to encourage beneficial insects in the vineyards. Colorado’s unique, high dessert terroir is known to produce distinctive wines. Bookcliff Vineyards crafts theirs in small batches by hand, using traditional methods. I encourage you to seek out a bottle even if it means driving across town (or just ordering from the link below). They make many varieties, both sweet and dry. Tasting rooms are in Boulder, CO (1501 Lee Hill Drive, Number 17, Boulder, CO 80304) and in the Grand Valley in Palisade, CO (670 39 Road, Palisade, CO 81526). Visit their website to learn more, shop for wine or join their wine club.