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Stories on:
Sonoma Meets the Rocky Mountains
The Broadmoor Salute to Escoffier  
 Pueblo Bonito Pacific, Holistic Resort Cabo San Lucas, Mexico

Surprise Finds from The Finger Lakes
By Christopher J. Davies
Wine Country International® magazine

New York’s largest wine region, The Finger Lakes Wine AVA lies just 6 hours Northwest from Long Island. The wine growing conditions are in most cases more difficult, where vintners face a colder and wetter climate.

If Long Island can be best compared to Bordeaux, The Finger Lakes should be compared to Rheingau region of Germany. And just as the Rheingau has been respected for producing noble Rieslings, The Finger Lakes has cut its teeth making Riesling its signature grape.

I am a big fan of Finger Lake Rieslings. They are the of wines… they come in a kaleidoscope of sugar levels from sweet to bone dry. I love their compatibility with just about any food on the planet. With my home now based outside New York, I have found it difficult to find any New York wines for sale in the State of Colorado.

So when I received an invitation from the Finger Lakes Wine Alliance to participate in their Vintner’s Roundtable, I quickly responded yes! A week after receiving the telephone call, UPS arrived with a box containing six different wines. After opening the carton, I was surprised that it contained 6 different RED wines from the Finger Lakes. Could this be a mistake? Obviously not!

The Finger Lakes Vintner’s Roundtable was an imaginative way to guide wine reviewers across the country to taste wines with the winemakers and proprietors almost virtually. The tasting was conducted from a remote location in upstate New York, while wine writers including myself called into a toll free number and were patched in live to the presenters.

The instructions that came with my wines were simple: Have a corkscrew and glasses available.

Not a problem for me!

One by one we tasted 6 different red wines over the telephone with the
Finger Lakes producers. The tastings, questions and answers took
approximately 90 minutes. I am glad that they took the time to expose us to these delicious wines! Hats off for the most imaginative form of Guerilla Marketing ™ that I have seen in the wine business this year!

Surprise Finds! Finger Lakes Red Wines

Billsboro 2006 Cabernet Franc, Finger Lakes, 13%, $18
A light red that spent 5 1⁄2 months in light oak (neutral & new French
barrels). This is the winemaker’s first vintage of Cabernet Franc,
harvested in a difficult year. The result is a light and refreshing red with
finesse. Pair with Portobello mushrooms or mild fish dishes.

Fox Run 2005 Reserve Cabernet Franc, Finger Lakes, 12%, $24
A rich and wonderfully flavored wine made from 100% estate grown grapes. This wine is reminiscent of an elegant Bordeaux. Blend of 77% Cab Franc, 15% Merlot and 8% Cabernet Sauvignon. Open one hour in advance of your tasting for maximum enjoyment. Try with Lamb chops or red sauces.

Hunt Country Vineyards, 2005 Cabernet Franc, Finger Lakes, 13%, $22
100% Cabernet Franc harvested during a very dry season. The wine is medium bodied, with a beautiful ruby color and hints of pepper and smoky flavors. If you are a fan of Syrah this will be a pleasant alternative. Pair with fine cuts of lamb or beef, eggplant and soft, creamy cheeses.

Sheldrake Point, 2005 Cabernet Franc, Finger Lakes, 12.5%, $17
A very interesting, one time blend of grapes from the Finger Lakes with grapes from California: 87% Cabernet Franc, 4.5% Cabernet Sauvignon & 8.5% California Cabernet Sauvignon. Aged in a combination of old & new oak. Excellent color, tannins and long finish. This wine is versatile with foods. Try it with steak, Italian red sauces and hearty meats.

Ravines, 2005 Meritage, Finger Lakes, 12.5%, $25
A classic Bordeaux barrel blended wine made from Finger Lakes grapes. 45% Cabernet Franc, 32% Cabernet Sauvignon and 23% Merlot. European born Morten Hallgren has seamlessly transferred his winemaking style from Provence to the Finger Lakes. The result is a bold and big red that is fruit forward with great balance. This wine has great potential for cellaring. Pair with Prime Rib, Lamb or Pork Loin.

Standing Stone Vineyards, Pinnacle, Finger Lakes, 12.5%, $21
Estate harvested and appropriately named for achieving greatness by growing Cabernet Sauvignon in the Finger Lakes! Mae West bodied, consisting of 89% Cabernet Sauvignon, 8% Cabernet Franc and 3% Merlot. The result is a bright tasting, colorful wine with European elegance. Pair with venison, cheese or even the proprietors’ favorite Asian cuisine!

I have now become a true believer in the potential and possibilities of
Finger Lakes reds. I only wish that they produced a greater quantity. I
guess I now have found a new excuse to visit Finger Lakes Wine Country this summer!


Editors note:
If you reside in New York State you can order these wines directly from the producers. They may also be found at select wine stores & restaurants. The biggest seller of New York wines is Vintage New York, which has two retail locations in Manhattan (SoHo & Uptown). Visit them online:


“Sonoma Meets the Rocky Mountains” at the Omni Interlocken Resort,
Broomfield, Colorado.
By Christopher Davies
I am a big fan of Food Network's "Iron Chef". So when I received an invitation to be a Judge at the Omni Interlocken Resort's “Sonoma Meets the Rocky Mountains” competition, I accepted with joy!

Imagine 4 Sonoma wine makers, 4 Colorado chefs, 1 secret ingredient. 1 hour for chefs to pair food with wine and prepare dish for guests. Winning Categories: Best Dish, Best Wine, and Best Pairing. Approximately 150 guests were in attendance inside the Omni's recently constructed pavilion. It was a windy evening so the outdoor pavilion was filed with portable heaters to take off the chill. After sampling several Sonoma wines the building felt even more comfortable.The excitement of live competitions is the element of surprise.

The secret ingredient of the evening was a mixture of wild Colorado grown mushrooms. This threw our competing chefs a culinary curveball.

The Omni's talented Executive Chef Kristen Harkness, the only female chef working for Omni chain, prepared a scrumptious array of appetizers & desserts for the event.

Omni appetizers served during Reception: Northern California Crab Cakes, Seared to order, with Meyer Lemon Relish and
Tarragon Aioli. Cocoa Seared Pork Tenderloin. Heirloom Tomato and California Artichoke Manicotti, Opal Basil Pesto.

Best Dish: Jake Linzinmeier, The Bluepoint Grill & Noir Bar, Telluride Wild Mushroom Cappuccino with Goat Cheese Biscotti Paired with 2004 Wattle Creek Alexander Valley Cabernet Sauvignon

Best Food & Wine Pairing: Tim McCaw, Zach's Cabin, Beaver Creek Zach's Cabin Coquille St. Jacques (puff potato topped with scallop and brandied curry cream) 2005 Clos du Bois Reserve Chardonnay Russian River Valley

Best Wine: Tie between 2005 Buena Vista EVS Pinot Noir
2006 Geyser Peak Blanc Sauvignon Blanc Wines Served during Reception: 2006 Geyser Peak Blanc Sauvignon Blanc
2004 Clos du Bois Reserve Merlot Alexander Valley
2005 Buena Vista Carneros Chardonnay
2005 Wattle Creek Viognier

Wen Chocolates
Mission Fig Clafoutis, Orange Scented Whipped Cream
Raspberry Bavarian and Cabernet Chocolate Mousse Cups

Other contestants:
Aaron Taylor, Keystone Ranch Restaurant
Venison Strip loin with Mushroom Duxelle, Foie Gras with Wild Ramp (potato) Risotto and Huckleberry Compote and Mushroom Glace Paired with 2004 Geyser Peak Reserve Alexandra Valley Meritage Bob Burden, Beaver Run Restaurant, Breckenridge Bing Cherry and Pomegranate Demi Glace under forest mushroom bulgar risotto, topped with sautéed herb-rubbed Lamb loin and topped with micro greens and enoki mushroom salad tossed in pinot noir dressing
Paired with 2005 Buena Vista EVS Pinot NoirThis event was well orchestrated and simply delicious. We got to meet some
interesting Chefs and winemakers. The Omni's newly appointed Food and Beverage Director, Chad Oakes promises that we will see some interesting new events in the coming months. We can't wait!







Photo Caption:
Opus One Winemaker Michael Silacci with Chef Bertrand Bouquin of the Broadmoor's Summit restaurant

Broadmoor "Salute to Escoffier" Weekend

Tantalized guests with delicious food & wines Colorado Springs, Colorado, the fabulous Broadmoor has continued to raise the culinary bar in Colorado, if not the US, with it's 5th annual Escoffier event held from January 25 to 28, 2007.

The weekend celebration is dedicated to legendary French Chef Gustav Escoffier and helps raise funds for The Broadmoor's Culinary Education Fund as well as The Colorado Restaurant Association's Pro Start Program. The Broadmoor's Food & Beverage Director, Craig Reed, told guests "This is all about the future of Culinary excellence". Approximately 200 food & wine lovers gathered for the week celebrations that included a delectable Opus One Vintner's Dinner, Welcome Reception

Featuring a Tasting of International Cuisines paired with their Regional Wines Culinary Cooking Demonstrations, Wine Luncheon paired with American wines, “Art of the Cocktail” Seminar/Tasting, “Salute to Escoffier” Grand Buffet a six hour,free-flowing dining and entertainment extravaganza, finalized by The Broadmoor’s Traditional Sunday Brunch. Thank god we managed to fit in the Broadmoor's spa and fitness center during our stay!

Photo Caption:
Delicious Breakfast! Enchiladas Rojas
Mushrooms, Poached Egg, Hollandaise Sauce

Pueblo Bonito Pacific, Holistic Resort Cabo San Lucas, Mexico Luxury relaxation,
style & finesse

By Christopher Davies

I had the pleasure of making a visit to Pueblo Bonito's Pacifica Holistic Resort this January. Timing was great, as Denver had just received another wicked cold snap from Mother Nature. It was -2 degrees Fahrenheit when I departed DIA.

I have been to Mexico many times, but this was my first trip to Cabo San Lucas. The flight from Denver was quick, under 2 hours. When I walked off the plane unto the tarmac I received a blast of pleasant 75 degree air!

The Pueblo Bonito Pacifica is a new 140-room, 14-suite beachside retreat, which is located at the very tip of the Baja on the Pacific side. It is the first resort in Cabo that is dedicated to health and fitness.

The beautiful and pristine beach has day beds with canopy's that can be rented for the day. They allow you to to savor the warm ocean breeze on a comfy shaded bed. The beaches are classified as "un-swimable" which was a
new term for me, having grown-up on Long Island. But that's ok, because as a Pueblo Bonito guest you can take the complimentary shuttle to their nearby Sunset Resort for a dip in the ocean. The shoreline along the Pacific has a quick and steep drop into the ocean, which combined with Herculean tides, makes swimming extremely hazardous to your well-being. Because the ocean is so deep, very close to the shore, you will see whales playing in the sparkling blue of the Pacific.

The theme of The Pacifica is relaxation. Accommodations are Zen-inspired, minimally dressed with the finest natural materials, all ocean-view, airy, and light. The SPA is sophisticated and utilizes the latest day treatments &
aroma's. I had my first facial during this visit. The process took about an hour with facial massages, fresh steam, herbal ointments and soothing music and subdued lighting. My skin and complexion has not looked this clear in a
long time.

Some of the Armonia Spa's many services include:

  • Therapeutic Stone Massage
  • Sweedish Massage
  • Deep Tissue
  • Expectant Mother Massage
  • 6-treatment rooms
  • Aromatherapy
  • Watsu pool
  • Temazcal
  • Dead Sea Mud Wrap
  • Full-scale fitness facility

The Pacifica has a fine dining restaurant Siempre, ("always") featuring market fresh ingredients highlighted in both the wellness-oriented spa menu and a more indulgent 'splurge' menu. The restaurant is surrounded by an infinity pool that overlooks the beach and the Pacific. We enjoyed a wonderful Chef's wine pairing dinner showcasing Roasted Baby Vegetables, paired with Covey Run Riesling, Seared Scallops with Lemon Confit and Caper Sauce paired with Sauvignon Blanc from Casablanca Chile(my favorite region), Escolar Fish Confit, Black Corn Puree, Sautéed Scallops with Shallot in Lemon and Cinnamon Sauce, paired with Mexican Barbera. If you have room for dessert try their fresh fruit and Ice cream paired with a Tawny Port.

The Pacifica's Wine Bar is a eclectic and chic wine bar. Their list is International, but you can find a delightful selections of Mexican wines that are produced in the expanding BAJA wine country. We tried Baja Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc, Barbera and Syrah. All were quaffable!
If you live to eat like me, a visit to LaFrida restaurant at the nearby Pueblo Bonito Sunset Beach Resort is a must! Ultra-Talented Chef Antonio de Livier is at the helm, he and his Sommelier Juan Carlos Flores Mazón are the dynamic duo of great cuisine and wine pairing. Their highly inventive Chefs Wine Pairing table includes a first course of Mole Poblando paired with Negra Modelo beer.

Cabo San Lucas has evolved into a jet-setters paradise. Don't be surprised if you bump into Kevin Costner, Mel Gibson or the Red Rocker Sammy Hagger, who by the way owns the Cabo Wabo Cantina downtown. Pueblo Bonito has recognized that the market for quality resorts will attract International appeal. With seven resorts in operation and several others under development they are elevating quality standards in Mexico to new heights!

For details visit: