Choosing the best wines for your holiday gathering can be a challenge, to say the least. If you’re planning a party, we have you covered with tips and tricks for making the best selection of libations. We were excited to chat with Will Frischkorn of Cured Boulder! Here, he shares guidance for navigating wines this holiday season.
What are your favorite wines right now?
The holidays always provide more opportunities than normal to pull corks, and we’ve been eagerly embracing the excuse! Chardonnays from Burgundy, France always have a warm reception in our home, and the 2019 vintage, with many offerings hitting now, was lights-out. The more generous bottles from Buisson-Charles, or the strikingly focused Chablis from Moreau-Naudet have all been hard to say no to. We’ve also been loving bigger Italian reds, with the 2016 and 2017 Barolo and Barbarescos so on point right now. Ca del Baio and Trediberri are two producers we’re loving, and we have offerings starting with their everyday reds all the way up to seriously special-night examples. The shop also recently had an incredible opportunity to purchase a monstrous library collection of older Emidio Pepe, one of Italy’s most legendary producers from Montepulciano…and while nobody can afford to open them frequently, we’ve had to open a few “for the sake of quality control”, and our minds have been blown time and time again.
Is there a favorite among your clientele this season?
While we all start drinking bigger reds this time of the year with colder nights and fires prompting it, we’ve seen a huge amount of interest in Barolo and Nebbiolo based reds this past bit. Maybe it’s truffle season, and the local connection between the white truffles of Alba, Italy, or just the need for a bigger, more structured red in our lives after this never ending fall, but we’ve been bitten by the same bug as so many of our great customers and it’s a fantastic time for these Nebbiolo right now with a handful of great vintages on our shelves to choose from at any price point.
Are there any wines that you enjoy gifting others? How can the average person make the most thoughtful decision on a bottle of wine as a gift?
This is always one of the most challenging things to do well when you don’t know what the recipient loves to drink. This time of the year I often lean towards bubbles. From grower Champagne down to amazing Cremants, Cavas, Proseccos, and Pet-Nats, there are endless choices depending upon the price point desired for a great bottle of bubbly, and if there is one thing we should ALL drink more of, it’s bubbles.
In the spirit of shopping locally this season, what are some of your favorite local wine options?
We’ve always loved the wines from Settembre Cellars, recently have been smitten by the wines from Monkshood up in Avon, and for a truly unique local product, I love to share the ciders from Haykin Family. They’re huge Champagne nuts and the ciders they make reflect that love, with incredible focus, precision, and a celebratory feel every time you pull a cork.
Do you have any other recommendations for elevating holiday guests’ wine experience?
Wherever you shop, find somebody in the store that you resonate with, and ask for their suggestions! One of the most amazing perks being in this business is the ability to taste a LOT of wine. At Cured, being small ensures that I’ve had the ability to taste almost every bottle on our shelves. When a customer asks what they should drink that night, it gives me the ability to dive in, talk about what they’re cooking, what they love drinking, and what the occasion is, and to then find the perfect bottle. The Boulder area is blessed with a huge number of talented wine professionals…take advantage of their guidance!