Daytrip to Boulder: Wine Tasting, Burgers, and Frozen Custard

It is widely known that Colorado is a mecca for breweries, and I admit that some of the best beers I’ve ever tasted are within the Rocky Mountain region. But what about wineries? We don’t hear much about them. Well winos are in luck because believe it or not, there are some great wineries here in Colorado. The grapes get shipped over to the Denver metro area on a refrigerated truck from Palisades (also the “Peach Capital of Colorado”), which is on the west side of the state neighboring Utah and grows 85 – 95% of Colorado’s grapes.

After failed attempts to try and get my boyfriend to come with me to a museum, he suggested something more fun and involving alcohol. We’ve heard of Colorado wineries nearby so we decided to give them a try. Boulder itself is such a charismatic town; I could write a whole post on it’s uniqueness alone. If you’ve never spent a day there, I highly suggest you immerse yourself in what what I’ll just call the “Boulder culture”.

I grew up in Northern California where there are more grapevines than trees so wine comes second to water for us. I tried not to hold my snobby taste for sophisticated California wine against the Colorado wineries, but let’s be honest, they really don’t compare. However, I was pleasantly surprised with the simplicity of wines I tasted today and they were still delightful. I also tried something I’ve never had before called mulled wine; it was delicious! But more on that later.

First stop on our list was at a wine tasting room for Boulder Creek Winery.

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Side note: maybe this is the California wine snob in me talking again, but the tasting rooms we visited aren’t in the most scenic or desirable locations. They looked like warehouse office buildings and it felt like we were about to head into an appointment with an HVAC consultant. Nevertheless, the inside was nice and well-decorated to make it feel like you weren’t just at some warehouse.

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This winery/tasting room has a nice self-guided tour to get you acquainted with the wine making and fermenting process. I thought this was great because it was informative and I felt like I learned something about the aging process and how different oak barrels can change the flavor of a wine.

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They had some very nice wines here, we actually ended up getting a bottle of their Cabernet. They also had a fun thing for their wine club members where they have an annual competition in which the members vote on their favorite wine. We tried the top two and they were pretty good; both a little tart with sweet, smoky, and peppery flavors.

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Lots of award winning wines here

Next on our list was a winery that just opened called What We Love.

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This wine tasting experience was unlike one that I’ve ever had before. It started out with a few whites, which were okay to me. But then it just got better and better. The first red, called “Red Rhone”, was a blend of red varietals containing plum and berry aromas. Then we tried the “Decadent Saint Sangria” which is made with real fruits, vanilla, almond, and cinnamon-type spices. Diluted with San Pellegrino, this would make for a perfect, refreshing summer beverage. It was sweet but not too sweet and had just the right amount of spice.

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Last, our favorite was called the “Decadent Saint Mulled Wine”. We bought two bottles of this because it was just that good. It would be perfect for sipping with family during the holidays because it is served warm. The taste was a combination of chocolate, berries, spices, coffee, and wine (everything I love) and each sip is even better than the first. If wine is served in heaven, it’s probably serving this.

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All the different ingredients that go into the mulled wine

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Never had wine served to me from a thermos!

At this point, we had a nice wine-buzz going. If you’ve ever been wine tasting, you know that once you get a wine-buzz, all the wines start tasting the same from here on out. I feel the next winery, Bookcliff Vineyards, didn’t get a reasonable amount of attention from me to develop an opinion about the wines and we didn’t really engage with the wine sommelier as much at this one either. We didn’t exactly have a “favorite” here, but it is still a place I would recommend to add to the list for wine tasting.

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After all our wine tasting, we got a recommendation to experience lunch at a Boulder staple called The Sink. Apparently, they have the best burgers and even President Obama tried it out when he was in Boulder in 2012. It was crowded so we knew the recommendation was probably a good one. The inside decor was interesting. The walls were covered in cartoons, and I don’t mean the cute Disney kind, but a college-humor animated comic type. The ceiling was covered in sharpie writings from all the restaurant patrons the restaurant has seen since its existence in 1923. But the food was spot on. We both had burgers and they weren’t too big which I liked because usually I feel overwhelmed when I order burgers.

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The last stop was a hole-in-the-wall place called Bova’s Frozen Custard. I can’t find a website or any information about it, but it’s on University Ave & Broadway St. We just happened to stumble upon this place by chance and we were glad we did. I had a “Funky Monkey” and Dylan had the “Peanut Butter Paradise”. They were both really good – I would make this my go-to sweet treat place if I lived in Boulder.

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Overall, I really enjoyed the day in Boulder. If I were to do it all over again, I would do it exactly the same way. I noticed that people in Boulder are genuinely nice which makes for a pleasant experience. The city easily has a lot to offer so I will try to explore it more in the future. I’ve heard there are great places to go hiking there too. I know a lot of people are turned off by the “hippie scene” in Boulder, but if you are able to look past that and take it for what it is, it can be a great place to getaway for the day. And don’t forget to stop by the What We Love winery and pick up your mulled wine!

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