Thursday, May 23, 2013

Wine University in June!

Wine University @ Ridge Street Wine
June 2013
There are 5 Sundays in June....make the most of them by enrolling in our Seated Wine Seminars.
$25 (* plus tax) includes 6 wines for contemplation, an amuse bouche plate & wine education.
June 2: Techniques, Basics & Trends: Deductive Tasting Methods, New Trends in the Wine Industry, Classic Varietals and Sommelier Favorites. Blind Tasting & Wine Trivial Pursuit.
June 9: Cool Climate & Food Friendly Varietals: Rose, Loire Valley & The Rhone
June 16: The New Value Frontier: Chile & Argentina
June 23: The Benchmarks: Burgundy & Bordeaux
June 30: Old World Masters: Piedmont & Tuscany
This is your opportunity to learn more about what is in your glasss: the varietals, the growing regions, the winemakers and winemaking history. Learn with fellow wine lovers. Discover new wines.
There are 20 seats available fot these tasting seminars.
Call: 970 453 7212 to reserve your spot!


Nicely written article about what we do...and who we are. Thanks Kelli Bennett!


Tuesday, January 15, 2013



We were asked recently...What we do...Why we do what we do...Why did we open a wine shop in Breckenridge...How do we feel connected to the Community...

These are our answers:

Q: What type of business do you run, and what do you sell or provide to your customers?

My husband and I own Ridge Street Wine/ Breckenridge Cheese & Chocolate. We opened in 2000 and just celebrated our 12th year in business.  In the beginning Ridge Street was a retail wine shop in an old 1880’s house on Ridge Street. We opened Breckenridge Cheese & Chocolate in 2005 to complement the wine shop.   We moved to our current location in 2007. We have 22 seats for Wines by the Glass and cheese plates.  We serve wines by the Glass and cheese plates every day. On Wednesdays and Fridays we have our own sort of Happy Hour...where we feature wine flights and cheese pairing specials.


Q: Why did you decide to start a business in Summit County?

I grew up competing in skiing and travelling all over Europe and North America.  When I retired, I knew Breckenridge was where I wanted to be….to start a life and be part of a community. For a few years I worked as a Wine Rep…selling wines to restaurants and liquor stores around Summit, Grand & Routt Counties. I quickly got tired of my car and decided to go back to Europe for a winter. I found a small wine shop in Chamonix, France that only sold wine…no beer or booze.  It occurred to me that Breckenridge needed something like it…. a place that focused on boutique wines from around the world…a place where you weren’t getting run over by kegs being transported out the door…a place that cared about small production/quality wines that where delicious and interesting.  I wrote a business plan and opened Ridge Street Wine 6 months later.


Q: What experience do you have in this field and how does it apply to your business?

I worked as a wine rep for several years before I opened my shop. I worked for a small distributor that represented wines from small producers from around the globe. The people who owned the company were very knowledgeable and eager to educate their staff. They took us to California every year…to Napa, Sonoma, Mendocino, Santa Cruz Mountains, to Monterey…we saw the vineyards and the winemaking facilities and met the winemakers. I read books written by the importers we represented and I passed the first level of the Court of Master Sommeliers in 1998.  I am always reading about wines and trends in the wine industry…and always trying new wines. It is a continual project.  My husband and I travel to different wine growing regions as often as we can…to Sonoma, and Napa…to Burgundy, The Rhone, Bandol, Cinque Terre, Tuscany, and Piedmont. It is our passion to learn and to understand wines and the wine industry. We meet with reps on a weekly basis…and we are always reading to learn more…so that we stay on the pulse of the industry and keep bringing new and interesting wines from small producers to our customers.  We bring in wines to the shop that we find interesting, unique and delicious...and represent value. Our goal is to have an amazing variety of wines for the price. Our selection is always changing.


Q: What sets your business apart from similar Summit County businesses?

There is no other boutique wine shop in Breckenridge.  We have been in business for 12 years…and have a wonderful local following as well as a great clientele that come in year after year when they are in Breckenridge on vacation.  We have the Enomatic Wine Preservation System upstairs in our wine bar. It keeps the wines we serve tasting as they should. We offer distinctive, hand chosen wines by the glass and ½ glass…it is an unparalleled wine experience in Summit County.  You can sit upstairs and have a glass of wine and share a cheese plate with friends…and if you love the wine you can go next door to the wine shop and take it home. We also sell amazing cheeses and artisan chocolates.


Q: What people are you trying to reach in Summit County and what can you do for them?

Our goal is to reach people who enjoy wine, cheeses and chocolates…who are looking for something new and interesting to bring to their table.  In addition…we are here for the Breckenridge experience…we are a unique shop that brings amazing wines, cheeses and chocolates to our town… to take home or bring as a hostess gift.  In addition we offer a relaxed environment to sit down apr├Ęs ski and enjoy some great wines, cheeses and chocolates with friends in the heart of town.


Q: Is your business involved in the Summit County community and how?

Our shop is located in the center of Breckenridge.  We are located across from Patagonia.  My husband and I have lived here for over 20 years.  We love this community and we wanted to bring great wines …cheeses and chocolates to our town. At the beginning the mission was to be the place you came to on a daily basis …for an amazing bottle of wine. That mission remains the same… to be a daily stop….like a coffee shop or a bakery.  We love sharing stories and hearing what our customers are up to…what happened earlier in the day etc. We love to hear about the amazing run they had on the mountain…their new job…or baby….what their kids are doing…what plans they have for the future etc.  My goal has always been to be connected with our clientele…to understand where they are coming from…what their needs are and how we can help them find a great wine or have a quality experience in our shop. In addition, I teach classes at the Colorado Community share my knowledge, passion and experience with the community.

Q: Do you have plans for changes or growth in the future?

Our big change was 5 years ago when we started offering wines by the glass. We hope to continue that growth… by hosting more parties….family reunions, bachelorette parties, holiday parties. It is a great location for local businesses who want to celebrate their employees…or hold casual company meetings.  We’d love to see more local faces as well as more visitors enjoying a casual night on the town with amazing wines.  Our goal, for 2013 is to get more people to come in and enjoy what we do.


Q: How does your business relate to the real estate industry in Summit County?

Breckenridge is an amazing town filled with shops and local shop owners. It is a real town…with brick and mortar small businesses.  Small business keeps this town unique.  People want to live in a real community. Our shop is a hub for conversation and a quality experience.


Sunday, September 2, 2012

Dalla Terra tasting with Dawn Gaudini

Giro d'Italia
 Dawn Gaudini & Dalla Terra Wines!!
Another fantastic night with a well versed wine professional!  Dawn (also known as Madonna del Vino) lead us around Italy with some fabulous wines from her portfolio....from Piedmont through the boot and to the heel with Salice Salentino.  We had a wonderful evening as we enjoyed the wines of Aia Vecchia, Vietti, Li Veli, Marco Felluga and Boroli.  When I told Dawn about the wines I had selected from her portfolio (one of which was the Marco Felluga Pinot Grigio) she said, "Fabulous!  We can talk about what real pinot grigio should taste like!"  She is articulate and full of anecdotes about Italian wines and particulary passionate about the portfolio she represents. In addition we had a chance to muse over some favorite varietal. Tar, roses, finesse and power all wrapped into one...Vietti is a standout producer from Piedmont and a true artist of the Nebbiolo grape. The Vietti Perbacco is one of the best made Langhe Nebbiolos for the extreme value not to be missed. The Boroli "Anna", a blend of Nebbiolo, Barbera, Cab and Merlot is also another outstanding everyday wine for your dinner table under $20.  We finished the evening with Vietti's charming, lightly sweet, refreshingly frizzante Moscato d' Asti...paired with a strawberry tartlette.  Italian wine, with its combination of old World charm and modern winemaking skill, is always one of my favorite subjects. Thank you Dawn. Ba Bene!

Thursday, August 30, 2012

An evening with Chris Rowe and Old Bridge Cellars!

Old Bridge Cellars and Chris Rowe! 

In August we had two wine events that were a smashing success and a blast! Chris Rowe gave the lively group the lowdown on the wines he represents from Old Bridge Cellars.  OBC does an amazing job of bring to the U.S. many small production wines from mostly family run wineries in Australia. Leeuwin, Penley, d'Arenberg, Chambers, Kilikanoon were among the wines we enjoyed while feasting on an amuse bouche plate and listening to Chris as he described the wines and the history of the wineries.  Did you know that Australia has no native vitis vinifera vines?  All the vines that are planted there today were brought over...originally on the 1st Fleet from South Africa and then late in the 1800's from Europe.  Shiraz is the Syrah grape....just with the local dialect.  It is fairly common in Australia to see Rhone G,S,Ms for instance.  A G,S,M is a blend of  Grenache, Shiraz (Syrah) and Mourvedre. You also see Marsanne and Viognier (Rhone whites) grown in Australia.  They are some of the most delicious and nuanced wines. We finished the evening with a much loved dessert wine...Chambers Muscadelle that was outstanding with the pecan tartlettes I had made earlier in the day.  The nutty apricot notes of the wine were sublime with the sweet pecan tart and biscuity crust.  

Monday, May 7, 2012

The Wine University was a BIG Success! 

Honestly...what a blast! 
It was so much fun to get some local wine lovers together...discuss regions, varietals, history, winemakers & flavors while drinking some new and delicious wines! 

Burgundy & Bordeaux:

*Two major red grapes in Burgundy: Pinot Noir & Gamay.

*Under AOC laws...all Red Burgundy is made from  Pinot Noir...except in Beaujolais, which is made from the Gamay grape.

*Pinot Noir has a very thin skin and is known as the "heartbreak grape".

*Chardonnay is the white grape of Burgundy...tho there are many styles. Chablis & Maconnais for the most part are fermented and aged in stainless steel.

*In the Cote de Beaune a good percentage of the wines are feremented and aged in oak barrels...for complexity, depth, body, flavor & longevity.

*The primary difference between the Village wine & Grand Cru is not in the type of wood or how long it is is in the location of the vineyard...the soil and the slope of the land.

*The Cote d'Or is only 30 miles long and only 1/2 mile wide.

*Bordeaux produces 3xs as much wine as Burgundy.

*The English word “claret” refers to the dry red wines from Bordeaux.
*Bordeaux is much larger in acreage than Burgundy.
*Of all the AOC wines of France, 27% come from the Bordeaux region.
*The United States is the second largest importer of Bordeaux wines.
*The majority of wine produced in this region is RED…but not until after 1970.
*Four main areas:  Medoc, Pomerol, Graves/Pessac-Leognan, St-Emilion.
*2 Main white Grapes of Bordeaux: Sauvignon Blanc & Semillon (and sometimes Muscadelle).
*Whites generally have some oak on them.
*Beautiful sweet wines of Sauternes: always sweet…not all the grape sugars are allowed to be turned into alcohol during fermentation.
*Botrytis Cinerea = Noble Rot.
*The 5 red grapes allowed: Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Cabernet Franc, Malbec, Petit Verdot...and sometimes Carmenere.
*In Bordeaux the wines are almost always blends.
*The 1855 Classification (rating of the Bordeaux Chateaux):
*There are five  1st Growths…Premier Crus in the Medoc (revised in 1973):
1.       Chateau Lafite Rothschild (Pauillac)
2.       Chateau Latour (Pauillac)
3.       Chateau Margaux (Margaux)
4.       Chateau Haut Brion (Pessac-Leognan)
5.       Chateau Mouton-Rothschild (Pauillac)
*The vineyard, Chateau Petrus (one of the most expensive wines in Bordeaux), is located in Pomerol.  It is 95% Merlot.
*St-Emilion Classification 1955 (revised in 1996:
*15 1st Growths (Premiers Grands Crus Classes)
*Grape Varieties planted:  70%: Merlot, 25% Cabernet Franc, 5% Cabernet Sauvignon
*Great Vintages in Bordeaux:  2000, 2003, 2005, 2009, 2010.