Another great new wine bar in the midwest.

Please consider giving to our GoFundMe to raise funds for the MLK Day 2021 parade in Orange, Texas where Tracie grew up and where we’ve been protesting a newly constructed neo-Confederate monument since 2017. Thank you for your support.

Giving a heartfelt shout-out today to Sunday Vinyl, the new Denver wine bar by the Boulder-based Frasca restaurant group.

I had the opportunity to visit early this year before the pandemic lockdowns while on a business/fun road trip with Paolo Cantele, one of my best friends.

That’s the venue’s signature turntable, above. Pretty friggin’ cool, right?

The folks at the Frasca group just know how to do it right.

That’s the lobster pasta, above, at their (newish) Tavernetta restaurant, adjacent to the wine bar.

I don’t think there’s anywhere else in the country where there is such a rich confluence of finely calibrated professionalism, high-toned gastronomic aestheticism, holistically tuned and well-informed conviviality, and earnest embrace of ethics, fairness, and equity in fine dining. Some other groups come close and often shine in one of those categories or more. But none, in my experience, bring it together like the folks at Frasca.

Another highlight of eating at Tavernetta was getting to share a meal and some ridiculously good wine (including 2015 B. Mascarello) with Denver-based wine writer Kevin Day, author of one of my favorite (often Italian-focused) wine blogs, Opening a Bottle.

Kevin has just launched a series of virtual tastings for readers. See the “follow” button on his upcoming Prosecco tasting to get updates on future events.

The next night, Paolo (such a generous friend!) treated me to a bottle of 2016 Borgo del Tiglio Ronco della Chiesa, one of my all-time favorite wines, at Frasca in Boulder, the group’s flagship and one of my favorite restaurants in the world.

It was followed by this extraordinary bottle of 2015 Comtes Lafon Meursault Clos de la Barre, arguably one of the greatest designations for white wine in the world, by one of the greatest white wine producers ever.

What a night! It was the last big night out before the lockdowns. I’ll never forget driving from Denver to Boulder that day and Paolo reading me the coronavirus numbers from Italy from his phone. We didn’t even call it “covid” then.

I believe all the Frasca group restaurants are closed for dine-in right now. But I know they are doing some great work with their “Frasca at home” program. So many members of our country’s new generation of top food and wine professionals are learning their profession thanks to Frasca group. They deserve our support and command our respect.

And wow, what a memory from the time before covid… Thanks for letting me share it here.

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