March 6th, 2019 § 0 comments § permalink

If you love wine as HG/BSK do, a stop at Applejack is mandatory if you are in the Greater Denver area. Applejack is a vast and perfectly organized wine and liquor store in suburban Wheat Ridge. Applejack has wines from every country, every region, every vintage. Hundreds are always on sale and the values are extraordinary. They also have the ultimate big-time wines (lofty prices) and deliver them to the billionaire ski homes in Aspen and plutocrat ranches. Leaving Denver, HG/BSK loaded up on the bargains. HG concentrated on the reds while BSK selected the whites and roses. HG found great Washington and Oregon vintages and some values from France (Languedoc and Cotes du Rhone). BSK assembled many New Zealand Sauvignon Blancs, Friuli and Veneto pinot grigios and Provence roses. Trader Joe’s in Santa Fe, curiously, has the better bargains for these Provencal winners. BSK, the love of HG’s life, bought HG a gift: A bottle of high-end Tavel, HG (and A.J.Liebling’s) favorite rosé. It has all the sprightliness of rosé but levels of flavor that rival a good red. Pleasant grace note: Applejack has a small corner of Italian food specialties: pasta, rice for risotto, anchovies, etc. HG took advantage. As usual, HG/BSK’s food and wine future looks bright.

Denver Surprises

September 26th, 2013 § 1 comment § permalink

Smooth, pleasant flight from LaGuardia to Denver on Southwest Airlines. Picked up the HG/BSK car and were off to Applejack, the giant liquor and wine shop (biggest volume in the USA) in Wheat Ridge. After paying inflated prices (because of high Canadian taxes) for plonk during the last three months on Prince Edward Island, it was a delight to revel in Applejack’s bargain prices for superior wines. HG was off to the Walla Walla, Washington section for the lush House wine and Steak House Wine bottled by Charles Smith. Yes, Walla Walla is a funny name but you will only smile with pleasure not derision when you drink the robust reds from the town and its environs. HG also picked up some nice reds from Peter Lehmann, HG’s favorite Australian vintner. BSK was in charge of whites and she filled her cart with sauvignon blancs from New Zealand’s Marlboro region and pinot grigios from Italy’s Friuli and Venezie regions. The excursion sharpened HG/BSK’s appetites and the duo stopped at the Hillstone Restaurant in Cherry Creek. Hillstone is a chain restaurant, a very professional, upscale and delicious chain restaurant. Modest prices for a menu of pure comfort food. Not reaching for the gourmet stars but providing very tasty and approachable dishes. One big surprise, however — HG/BSK reveled in a Kampuchi roll that would have been worthy of a sushi master. Constructed of yellowtail, chopped spicy tuna, avocado and topiko, it was a revelation. The restaurant is beautifully designed, decorated with superior art and the service is worthy of a Michelin-starred establishment. Good night’s sleep at a Marriott where (after watching some football) HG and BSK remarked upon the ability of big American chain hotels to provide clean rooms, good TV, comfortable beds and showers that have plentiful hot water and great water pressure at affordable prices. In Europe one would only find those services at the most expensive hotels. Notch one up for the U.S.A..

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