Fourth of July Special: Colorado Wine Edition!

Last night I passed along some wine tips and suggestions for Fourth of July weekend, and today I wanted to continue that with three picks specifically from Colorado vineyards.

Colorado currently has two recognized AVAs (American Viticultural Areas), including Grand Valley and West Elks, and my notes will indicate which wines come from where.

As with my last post, these are merely suggestions based on the wines I know and my personal knowledge of wine pairing; I recieve no financial payments for making these recommendations or links.

Feel free to note your own Colorado wine suggestions in the comments — I’d love to try them for myself!

Carlson Vineyards NSFW Red

Palisade, CO (Grand Valley AVA)

Red blends are wide and varied. Knowing what you like in a wine can make a difference in both selection and pairing.

A guilty pleasure of mine, and one I need to locate again. Marketed as a table red because the grape blend varies slightly from year to year, nonetheless the NSFW (and yes, it does mean that) remains remarkably juicy and tart from great acidity and dark fruit. This year, the blend features two less-familiar grapes, including Chambourcin and Noiret, combined with the recognizable Merlot.

Overall, the NSFW offers a food-friendly option for burgers, grilled meats, and roasted vegetables. You can find the wine in Carlson Vineyards’ shop here or in some larger Colorado wine retailers near Palisade and Grand Junction.


The Storm Cellar Dry Riesling

Hotchkiss, CO (West Elks AVA)

Riesling can be incredibly versatile. From dry to sweet, still to sparkling, there’s a Riesling for every occasion.

A much newer establishment in Hotchkiss that has a focus on whites and rosés, The Storm Cellar began with two sommeliers who had a passion for what Colorado had to offer the world of wine.

Their shop page has a wide variety of wines to try, though my personal favorite (and has been since they opened) is their Dry Riesling. Austere and full of zesty citrus, it clears the palate between bites and makes you sigh happily afterward. Try it with charcuterie, cold soups, or white meat dishes in light sauces.

If you prefer wines that aren’t quite so dry, fear not! Storm Cellar also has options for sweet Riesling.


Bookcliff Vineyards

Palisade, CO (Grand Valley AVA)

Remember how I said Malbec is cheating? Well, this wine is more than worth mentioning!

Ahhh, Malbec. The all around crowd pleaser and grill-friendly red. Bookcliff has two Malbecs (one is an oak-aged reserve that is luscious), but this unoaked version offers juicy black fruits with a touch of herbs and spice. It’s fresh, it’s easy to drink, and it’s readily available in most major liquor stores in the greater Denver/Boulder area. Also, if you’re in Colorado, California or Texas, they are able to ship your wine to you!

Pair this wine with meat such as skirt steak with chimichurri, lamb, or savory potato dishes. It will also go well with just about anything you can think of to throw on the grill, as long as it’s not too charred.

Bookcliff I saved for last, because it’s without a doubt my favorite Colorado winery. Look for more reviews of their wines and others from this beautiful state in upcoming posts!


I hope you’ve enjoyed this Colorado edition of wine ideas for your upcoming holiday weekend. If you have suggestions for wines that I should try for my next list, let me know in the comments!

Have a safe weekend!


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Published by Allie

Foodie explorer with Stardew Valley dreams. Lover of wine but not beer, cheese but not milk, and all things chocolate. Working to learn as many self-sufficient, at-home food production skills as possible.

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