The United States consumed 913 million gallons of wine last year. With so many vineyards producing to keep up with demand, it’s hard to distinguish what bottles will be worth the investment. The average price per bottle has increased significantly in the last two years, but price doesn’t always mean quality. If you’re constantly lost in the liquor store, or if you generally pick your bottles of wine by the sale price or the pretty label on the front, we’re here to help you sort it out.
Enter 21 and Under: our monthly series covering the best bottles of wine at liquor stores around Denver ringing in at less than $21 — because you don’t have to break the bank to pop a cork.
Bottle Shop 33 is not just a killer wine shop in central Wash Park, it’s a gift and knick-knack lover’s dream. Since opening in July 2015 after an eight-month remodel and expansion from the previous owner, the store has been brightening the neighborhood with their wide selection of wine, beer and spirits and mantra that leads everything that they do — “Better Drinking Made Simple.”
If you’re looking for the perfect Thanksgiving hostess gift or holiday present for the libations lover in your life, Bottle Shop 33 has just about anything you could imagine, from craft beer advent calendars to wooden casks for aging your own spirits. If you’re looking a classic and affordable bottle of wine to take to your next holiday party, look for store manager Christina. She hand picked these five favorites exclusively for the readers of 303 Magazine.
THE BOTTLE: Biutiful Rosé Cava – 100% Garnacha. Cava, D.O., Spain ($18)
THE NOSE: This cava is one of the customers’ all-time favorites! Your nose will be welcomed by hints of stone fruit and zest.
THE PALATE: Complex and bone dry, but punctuated by fine, elegant bubbles. Toast, strawberries and raspberries shine in this bottle.
THE PAIRINGS: Made for Thanksgiving! Tote this to be the star of your Turkey Day.
THE NOSE: Apricot and citrus hit the nose, with a light hint of herbs.
THE PALATE: Crisp and refreshing with a great balance, good acidity and medium finish. You’ll taste citrus and stone fruits with a soft citrus finish.
THE PAIRINGS: Another Thanksgiving star, this white is sold individually or in the shop’s pre-packaged Thanksgiving gift set alongside several other bottles that pair with turkey and classic sides.
THE NOSE: Christina says this is her favorite Sauvignon Blanc of all time. Tropical fruit, grapefruit and lime hit the nose upon sipping.
THE PALATE: The grapes are selected from the Western Cape of South Africa, specifically chosen to make this premium product. the taste is similar to what the nose allows, while also providing a fresh, full length of flavor.
THE PAIRINGS: Great for sipping solo or pairing with fresh fruit, fish, sushi or oysters.
THE NOSE: A uniquely un-French Pinot Noir, showing off a lovely nose of ripe raspberries and red cherries.
THE PALATE: If you’re looking for a bottle of Burgundy, don’t pick up this Pinot. This wine has a style all its own, fermented in stainless steel and unoaked—it’s elegant and lovely!
THE PAIRINGS: A big bowl of fresh pasta, meat and cheese board or perhaps both.
THE NOSE: Barolo lovers will love this Nebbiolo from Roero, Christina calls it Barolo’s often-forgotten cousin.
THE PALATE: Velvet-smooth on the palate, this ruby-red wine delivers on its Piedmont reputation. It over-delivers especially for the price.
THE PAIRINGS: Sip with risottos, fondues and grilled white or red meats.
What wine shop should we explore next?
All photography by Alex Palmerton.