Editor’s note: The April 2020 issue went to print prior to governor Polis’ March 16 suspension of all on-site dining and drinking in Colorado. So, while you can’t visit Sunday Vinyl until it reopens on May 11, you can support the restaurant by buying an e-gift card. Or, read on for a few of super somm Clara Klein’s favorite bottles, available at local wine shops, to tide you over. 

Sunday Vinyl sommelier Clara Klein is something of a superhero. Her origin story? Years of training under wine stars at the Little Nell in Aspen, Mourad in San Francisco, and Frasca Food and Wine in Boulder. Her costume? An infectious smile and shiny gold Nike Air Force 1s. And her power? Nimbly scaling the 13-foot-tall ladder that slides across the two-level wine wall at the chic, three-month-old European-style wine bar behind Union Station, retrieving bottles from its Old World meets New World list in mere moments. Klein attends to her guests with grace and flair, never failing to describe a wine using less than evocative language (“crunchy,” “gushy,” “wild”), while the bar’s killer acoustics and vinyl beats fuel her moves. “The support of the Frasca family gives you the freedom to be your best self,” Klein says. “I feel like I’m an Avenger.” So, whether you’re at Sunday Vinyl for a juicy pork burger at the bar or choose to indulge in a full dinner of bison tartare, roasted carrots, and rack of lamb, be sure to call on your friendly neighborhood somm to tell you what to drink with it. Klein won’t let you down.

Clara Klein’s Favorite Bottles to Buy Now

All of the following wines are sustainably farmed and most are organic and made using indigenous yeasts. Every wine sits right around the $20 mark and can be found at your local boutique wine shop—if not the exact bottle, then a very similar wine should be available. Don’t be afraid to ask!
  • 2018 Frisach Garnatxa Blanca L’Abrunet Blanc (Grenache Blanc)
    $20 at Pearl Wine Company
    This refreshing, crisp wine is grown in southern Catalonia, Spain, and sees a hint of skin contact, giving the Grenache Blanc a chance to up the ante in terms of flavor. Your new best friend with any grilled fish, olives, or that can of anchovies in the back of your cabinet, sandwiched on a cracker with a slather of salty butter.
  • 2018 Vignoble du Rêveur Pierres Sauvages Pinot Blanc (Pinot Blanc, Pinot Gris, Pinot Noir)
    $26 at the Proper Pour
    A white wine that groups all of your favorite Pinot varieties into one bottle. Aromatic and soft-textured with an Alpine sensibility from the master of the field blend, Marcel Deiss. Vignoble du Rêveur is Deiss’ side-hustle project from vineyards that he inherited from his maternal grandfather. Drink with roasted potatoes, sautéed mushrooms, or your favorite grilled cheese. (Preferably with your grandfather.)
  • 2019 Broc Cellars Love Rosé Blend (Valdiguié, Zinfandel, Trousseau)
    $24 at the Proper Pour
    Don’t we all need a bit more love these days? This is a super aromatic and juicy rosé with great brightness from the Valdiguié grapes and plush texture from the Trousseau. Great as an aperitif while you cuddle on the couch with your pet or human, or to accompany lighter fare such as a charcuterie snack or roasted chicken.
  • 2018 M. & C. Lapierre Raisins Gaulois (Gamay)
    $20 at Pearl Wine Company
    Made by one of the “Gang of Four” from Beaujolais, Raisins Gaulois offers ample crushability. Full of crunchy red berry fruits with high toned aromatics, drink this with a juicy hamburger and salty french fries. Ultra soothing for the soul.
  • 2018 Château de Montfaucon Côtes du Rhône (Grenache, Syrah, Carignan, Cinsault, Counoise)
    $18 at Pearl Wine Company
    Made by Rodolphe de Pins, a former member of the winemaking staff at Domaine du Vieux Télégraphe, this is a round and plush wine with plenty of body. Think Crockpot classics with this wine, such as pot roast and braised pork shoulder. Notes of Mediterranean herbs, roasted plum, and baked earth offer layers of comfort.

This article was originally published in 5280 April 2020.
Denise Mickelsen
Denise Mickelsen
Denise Mickelsen is 5280’s former food editor. She oversaw all of 5280’s food-related coverage from October 2016 to March 2021.