If you're looking for an unpretentious winery experience where you can kick back & enjoy your wine with a beautiful view overlooking grassy plains and the foothills of the Rockies, Ten Bears Winery in Northern Colorado is the place to be.
Just to the slight west of Fort Collins in Laporte, the first thing you'll see when you drive up the adjacent dirt road is an adorable red barn inviting you to turn into the winery. Hop out of the car and venture in to the tasting room, where you'll cozy up to the friendly patrons, and even friendlier staff, at the tasting bar. Have a look over the menu and start off with the tasting flight (6 pours for the price of a glass of wine, very affordable at $5.99).
Being a red wine fiend myself, my companion and I just went straight down the list of reds, starting from the top. Here are my most memorable picks:
• Publick Red Wine - A custom zinfandel you'll l.o.v.e. if you're a fan of peppery notes (I am) and less fruit.
• Poudre River Red Table Wine - One of the more unique flavors on the menu, it's kind of like a cherry punched you in the face - in a good way. I tend to shy away from fruitier flavors, but I really liked the almost tartness of this one, finishing with some more mellow raisin notes. It's made with a blend including winery-grown Marquette grapes, a cold-hardy hybrid varietal.
• Grand Valley Tempranillo - Peppery and leathery notes round out this lovely wine, which I thought would pair really well with meatloaf.
• Grand Valley Merlot - My companion's favorite, and top of my list as well, this wine was drier than a normal Merlot - which is probably why I liked it. Really well balanced round notes of chocolate finished with a bit of plum. Easy drinking, but keeps your attention.
• Nutty Laporte Dessert Wine - Just for funsies! Not overly sweet, but satisfying as a dessert wine. Chocolate & hazelnut get the party started, with cherry and plum joining on the dance floor to round out the mix.
Which wine would you want to try most? Tell me in the comments!
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