All day long, we move from screen to screen, from home to traffic to work to errands, and back again. It’s a fast paced world and it’s only speeding up. What better way to pump the brakes after a hectic day than with an adult beverage?
Divino Wine & Spirits offers south-central Denver a chance to slow things down, a chance to encourage conversation over a unique libation and a chance to travel the world without stepping beyond Denver county. Situated amongst antique shops on South Broadway, Divino boasts a funky, unique collection of libations with a knowledgeable staff to help point you in the right direction—no matter the meal or mood.
Owner David Moore takes pride in his selection. You’re not going to find big bottles of Barefoot Moscato or Franzia’s top selling Chillable Red. Don’t get me wrong. There’s a time and a place for every kind of booze (they go well stuffed in a backpack on the way to the top of Mt. Evans or tossed between innertubes floating down the river). However, Divino delivers something out of the ordinary: carefully selected, expertly tasted, small production wines and spirits from around the world.
“We don’t bring in wine just because it’s highly rated or from a famous producer. We don’t care about the scores,” said Moore. “If we can’t taste it or we don’t like it, it’s not at Divino.” This mantra is what makes the store a big fun grab bag. You’re likely to get something good, no matter what you pick.
There’s so much information out there on booze that selecting the right bottle can be overwhelming. How do we know what pairs best with a lavender butter escargot appetizer? Do people besides the Golden Girls really drink sherry? To help eliminate some confusion, Moore says all you have to do is, “just ask about it.” The staff at Divino is knowledgeable, meticulously vetted and many continue to take advanced wine classes.
Divino offers a feature rack that showcases 10 bottles under $10. From Thanksgiving-themed “Wines to Feast With,” to the misunderstood “Unsung Heroes,” such as Merlot (thanks, Sideways), to 10 obscure grapes, there’s a bountiful offering of crazy cool, best-bang-for-your-buck bottles that you’re sure to enjoy.
What’s most unique about Divino is their huge selection of grappa, a brandy made from leftover grape seeds, skins, and stems after they are pressed for wine making. The drink is an integral part of Italian culture and is believed to aid in digesting large five-course, tomato- and cheese-laden meals. “Grappa is the medicine. And I like to keep a full medicine cabinet,” said Moore.
Moore is a member of Keep Colorado Local, a group focused on promoting and protecting the small business industry. Colorado Consumer’s Choice wants to open up the liquor business, giving national chain grocers like Safeway, King Soopers and Albertson’s the chance to sell booze. They believe it benefits consumers because cost will decrease and availability will increase. Moore explains it a bit differently. “Selection of small production wine could very well diminish. Many local breweries will have to close their doors…We will end up just another homogenized big-box-store drinking state.”
Divino Wine & Spirits is more than just a pretty store with an unusual selection of libations. In addition to peddling booze, they’re providing an experience. A bottle of wine contains the chance to take a breath, to tell your story, to learn something from the person you’re sharing it with. The staff at Divino takes pride in helping patrons track down that special bottle to open with loved ones, to help slow things down, to help us disconnect from hectic days and reconnect with one another, face to face, over a healthy glass of wine.
All photography by Danielle Webster.