Posts from the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

Cork Dork Series – Part Three

Source: Cork Dork Series – Part Three


We’ve moved (virtually)!

Check out our shiny new website and blog — it’s beautiful. We’ll be shutting down this site at some point in the near future. See you over at!

Gnocchi- Mesa Park Style

Gnocchi oh gnocchi, where have you been?  To be quite honest I’ve never met one of these potato rocks I liked.  Way too dense and floury for me.  That is until I stumbled along this recipe while slogging through another day of work.  I’ve only made it once, but did receive nothing but good reviews.  Here goes:

3-5 Large Russet Potatoes (starchy taters are necessary), scrubbed of dirt

1 egg yolk

2 or so cups of flour (depending on moisture content)

1/2 stick of butter, chilled and diced

1 tablespoon chopped sage (the fresher the better)

Kosher salt and pepper mill

1/4 cup (maybe more) Parmigiano-Reggiano

1.  Cook potatoes at 350 Degrees until soft (about 1.5 hours).  Don’t forget to prick the potatoes.

2.  Remove from oven and immediately cut the potatoes in half lengthwise.  This maximizes surface area for evaporation.  Water is the enemy.

3. Scoop the  cooled potatoes from the skin and force through a ricer,.  Spread into a 24 inch by 12 inch rectangle.

4.  Season with salt and pepper; be generous because it’s a steaming pile of bland potato.  When cooled, drizzle the beaten egg yolk and a cup of flour over the mixture.

5.  With a pastry scraper fold the ingredients together until will mixed and the dough resembles course brad crumbs.  gather mixture into a ball.

6.  Sprinkle 1/4 cup of flour on your work surface (a cutting board perhaps) and flatten into a disc using both hands.  Dump 3/4 cup flour onto the disc, incorporate.  Continue to work until the dough isn’t sticky.

7.  Roll into a log, dust with flour and let it chill for a few.  Divide the log into 8 pieces; roll each into a 1/2 inch thick cylinder.  Cut into 1 inch pieces.

8.  Boil heavily salted water and drop in gnocchi.  Work in a few batches, do not crowd the gnocchi, and remove them when they float.  Brown the butter for 4 minutes and mix in the gnocchi, top with cheese.  Voila!

Pair with 2006 Mesa Park Vineyards Estate Merlot.


Survivor’s Guide to the 20th Annual Colorado Mountain WineFest

Colorado Mountain WineFest

Colorado Mountain WineFest is the best and biggest celebration of the state’s growing wine industry each year. This year is a little extra special as it celebrates 20 years. With 56 participating wineries and numerous culinary experts coming to town, there’s a whole lot going on throughout the long weekend (Sept. 16–18). Here are the not-to-miss highlights.

Dine, Wine and Vine Experience
Noon– 2 pm, Friday, September 16, Wine Country Inn, 77 Grande River Drive

Enjoy a relaxed lunch and unique experience at the Wine Country Inn in Palisade with state enologist Dr. Steve Menke. Lunch will be paired with Colorado’s best produce from the harvest and with superb Colorado wine. Walk through the vineyards with Steve, and learn and experience the romance of winemaking. Tickets are $65.

Farm to Table Wine and Food Pairing
2 pm-4 pm Saturday, Sept 17, WineFest VIP tent

The Farm to Table Food and Wine Pairing with Kevin Kidd and Evan Faber is brand new this year and brings a stellar food component to the park. The executive chef and beverage director at Salt in Boulder — considered two of the leading culinary minds in the Colorado wine movement — will conduct this seminar, talking about pairing Colorado foods to Colorado wines. Tickets are $30.

20th Anniversary Salut
4 pm–4:30 pm, Saturday, Sept. 17, WineFest VIP tent

Join winemakers, owners and VIP guests for a special toast celebrating 20 years of Colorado Mountain Winefest. For winemakers and VIP guests only!

Behind the Winery Bash
11 a.m.–5 p.m., Sunday, Sept. 18, Mesa Park Vineyards, 3321 C Road

Mesa Park Vineyards finishes off the weekend with its annual “Behind the Winery” bash. This once-a-year party features all of our wines served alongside tasty bites with local ingredients inspired by some of our favorite chefs plus plenty of entertainment. Entrance is free.

Early Dinner
Sunday, Sept. 18, Feast in the Fields at Z’s Orchard, 315 33 3/4 Road

Finish off the weekend at the adorable Z’s Orchard for a one-of-a-kind experience for dinner. This truly special evening always hosted by the charming Richard Skaar and Carol Zadrozny, Z’s owners. John Barbier of Maison La Belle Vie and Le Rouge will prepare the feast alongside his delicious wine and a selection of Mesa Park Vineyards offerings. Tickets are $75, call for reservations.

Eating out in the Grand Valley: A guide to Colorado’s wine country restaurants

Touring vineyards in the Grand Valley works up quite a hunger. Here are some of the best spots to fill up on local food when you’re visiting Palisade or Grand Junction.


This sleepy town of 2,500 is finally starting to build a culinary reputation that equals the town’s status as the heart of Colorado’s wine country.

Diorio’s Pizza of Palisade

309 W. 8th Street, Palisade, (970) 464-7966

Located in Palisade on Highway 6

This unassuming joint is the real deal for coffee in the morning (along with fresh smoothies, muffins and any breakfast sandwich you can dream up).  The Italian style hoagies are the bomb for lunch and you always need a go-to pizza joint.  Locals gush about this no-frills pizza joint, and owner John bakes all the bread and treats his customers like gold.

The Tapestry Lounge*

@ the Wine Country Inn, 777 Grande River Drive, Palisade, 970-464-5777

A relatively new 22-seat bistro that serves up some of the best food in town. This haute eatery serves gourmet fare in an intimate vineyard setting. The menu is fresh and seasonal — like a late-Augusts Palisade Tomato Caprese Salad ($14) or Salmon in a butter dill sauce with coconut risotto and seasonal vegetables ($23) — and the bistro delivers a dining experience fitting of a bona fide wine country. The wine list is a standout, too.

Palisade Café and Grill*

113 W Third Street, Palisade, 970-464-0657

This adorable café in the heart of town serves a wide variety of entrees, sandwiches and tasty sweet potato fries.  Don’t miss the ahi napoleon or the gyro sandwich.  There’s plenty of Palisade wine and beer on the drink list, and the business is so intimate, there’s a good chance owner Margie Latta will also be your server.


336 Main Street, Palisade, Colorado 81526

(970) 464-4911

A dinner and Sunday brunch option that is a quaint neighborhood bistro in the heart of Palisade featuring an eclectic, seasonal menu. Wine and beer selection is wonderful and we recommend the Thai fish cakes served on a bed of mixed greens and soba noodles tossed with spicy soy vinaigrette and accompanied with sambol aioli.

Grand Junction:

Just 15 minutes from Palisade, the bustling metropolis of Grand Junction (by Palisade standards) offers a much more diverse dining opportunity. Here are a few of our favorites.

La Dolce Vita*

336 Main Street, Grand Junction, 970-242-8482

This classic Italian restaurant features city-like service and a mile-long wine list. It’s a go-to spot in Grand Junction’s historic Old Town. The Calamari Fritti is a house specialty and on Wednesday for date night, La Dolce Vita offers a complimentary bottle of select red or white wine with the purchase of two entrées.  Reservations recommended.

No Coast Sushi

1119 North 1st Street, Unit A,  Grand Junction, 970-255-1097

A sushi restaurant with a cool vibe and fresh fish? In the middle of the Grand Valley? Are you sure we are in Grand Junction? Yes, yes and yes. This spot with a cute and clever name is not the only thing that gets us excited about No Coast.  We love the atmosphere and the menu.  Plus you can bring your non-sushi loving friends along as the diverse menu has plenty of options for those who shy from raw fish. There is something for everyone at No Coast.  Current Special:  Mixed Greens, Carrots, Roasted Red Pepper and Garlic Cream Cheese, Fried Leeks rolled then topped with Salmon and a Spicy Palisade Peach puree.

Bin 707 Foodbar

225 N. 5th St. #105 Grand Junction, CO 81501


Another fun spot in Grand Junction Bin 707 specializes in happy hour, brunch, lunch and dinner.  This inventive eatery is one that caters to the foodie within. Great cocktails such as The Pink Dove or the “Paloma,” which features ruby red grapefruit juice and a smoky float of Mezcal 30/30 Blanco Tequila, Mezcal, Pink Grapefruit Juice, Prickly Pear soda shine. And nibbles such as Carpaccio and Roasted Beets are standouts.

* Serves Mesa Park Vineyards wines

A weekend at the Colorado WineFest in Denver

Last weekend was the inaugural Denver version of the Colorado WineFest. My wife, working in social media for the festival board, was an integral part in pulling it off.  There was a Governors Cup wine competition, a dinner featuring former Top Chef winner Josea Rosenberg (who I saw hugging my wife tightly in many pictures?) and the fest itself at Northfield Shopping Center.  Patty manned the Mesa Park Vineyards booth with much help from her fantastic group of friends, and did one hell of a job.  I think the day was more fun than stress, but, there’s always a turd in the punchbowl.  Organizing and planning a large event takes coordination and mutual respect from the entire team and, if not achieved, chaos and dissension may ensue.  In my humble opinion (steeped with the fact I wasn’t in attendance), they accepted the challenges and made the day the success it was.  Good job by most!

In the meantime, Chuck, Liv and I manned MPV all weekend. Luckily, Maria helped with Liv and Sandy assisted in the tasting room, freeing us up to concentrate on drinking wine. On Saturday evening we hosted a behind the winery BBQ for Keith (former JPM Chase Colleague) and his band of weary tri-athletes.  We had a great time hosting and it seemed they had a great time partying.  I gave them a vineyard tour and tutorial and Chuck schooled them on winemaking.  Thanks again Keith and everyone!

The heat has arrived full force here in the valley and the vines are the better.  Our clusters have flowered and the berries should set soon.  Our crop, fingers crossed, has come back strong!  Grapes, grapes everywhere and soon they will be wine!

How about that Rep. Weiner? What a dumb ass.  I don’t get this guy — influential job, beautiful young, pregnant wife — he intentionally bares it all using social media.  I guess dumb is the wrong word, I think egotistical fits more fluidly.  I hear today he was offered a job by Hustler Magazine at double the salary with moving expenses to Beverly Hills included.  I think he should take it, his political career is kaput.  On the other hand, if he holds out maybe he could join Sptizer’s program.  That would be a show with unending possibilities.

I’m excited for my 2nd annual Fathers Day celebration!  Congratulations to all you dad’s out there, I hope you enjoy your child as much as I!

Nice Video! RT @denverwine: Hi Mom! I’m

Nice Video! RT @denverwine: Hi Mom! I’m on @Metromix_Denver Colorado Winefest 2011 #colwine