A truly well-rounded by-the-glass list (try the Elk Cove Pinot Noir from Oregon) brings us to Lala's. Pair it with any of the pizzas.
If you've dined at Frasca, you know the pleasures of leafing through the tome that is the wine list. It's big. It can be intimidating. But nothing compares—not only in our estimation, but also according to New York's prestigious culinary authority, the James Beard Foundation, which awarded Frasca top honors for wine service this spring. Even the most dedicated oenophile won't know everything on this list; that's where Frasca's staff comes in. Ask your server or the sommelier for a recommendation to bring out the subtlest flavors in your meal.
If you haven’t checked out the corner of 16th and Wazee in LoDo in the past few months, you’re missing out on a mini renaissance—one that includes the newest location of the Kitchen. Denver winos should be thrilled they no longer have to trek to Boulder to savor grapes selected by sommelier Tim Wanner, who has a knack for choosing lesser-known vintners from California to Austria and pairing them perfectly with the eatery’s small-plate menu.
450 E. 17th Ave., 303-861-3747, caveauwinebar.com
1442 Larimer St., 303-893-9463; 8433 Park Meadows Center Drive, Ste. D-155, Lone Tree; www.cruawinebar.com/cru-denver.htm
3030 E. Sixth Ave., 303-393-1040, www.barologrilldenver.com
Our readers dig the user-friendly “More Than a Glass” menu—categorized into tastes such as “luscious,” “soft,” and “fresh” for whites and “juicy,” “smooth,” and “rich,” for reds—as much as we do. 410 E. Seventh Ave., 303-861-9463, www.lalaswinebar.com
When we sit down and scope out a wine list, there are a couple of things in particular we’re looking for. The first is to be surprised. The second is a price range that won’t force us to take out a second mortgage for a bottle of grape juice. Row 14 in downtown’s Spire hits the sweet spot with its constantly changing list. When we visited not long ago, we found a fantastic bottle of Pinot Noir from Germany (Germany!) and had a killer Grüner Veltliner from Austria. Both bottles were under $50.