Duey Kratzer's exceptional taste and his easy demeanor (which carries over to the entire staff) make Mondo Vino a perennial list-topper.
Located in an alley off the main drag of 16th Street Mall (look for the hanging, circular sign with a grape logo to mark your turnoff), this LoDo shop is a favorite of downtown office dwellers in need of a quick bottle on the way home or en route to a gathering. Exposed brick walls adorned with local artwork, three tiers of hardwood floors, and an approachable wine display make for a welcoming, unstuffy atmosphere that works for first-time tasters and seasoned winos alike.
3601 W. 32nd Ave., 303-458-3858, mondovino.net
There’s certainly value in gigantic wine emporiums, usually in the prices. But we love smaller joints where we trust the owners’ palates and recommendations. Tucked away at the back of Marczyk Fine Foods, the wine shop is small enough to browse in just a few minutes, but chances are you’ll spend a bit more time there, chatting about which Zin will go with that grilled lamb you’re making or that inexpensive white Côtes du Rhône in the funny-shaped bottle. No matter what, you’ll leave with something you feel good about.