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ColoradoBiz Staff //January 20, 2012//


ColoradoBiz Staff //January 20, 2012//

I do not know – and I should know – the laws that allow or don’t allow me to carry in and drink my own bottle of wine in a restaurant.

Perhaps you know. Perhaps you’ve read all 152 pages of Colorado’s liquor laws. If you have, would you please write me at [email protected]? I’d like to be able to go to an eatery or two that, for various reasons, do not have a liquor licenses, but whose vibe, food and essence steal my palate and my heart.

A restaurant can offer spectacular menu fare but remain unable to list and pour treasured wines to accompany that fare for a variety of reasons. But I have to say that I suspect the hindrance is maintained because of antiquated liquor laws and the desire to keep a constant and lucrative government-inscribed revenue stream very much alive and well.

When I’ve traveled to Europe, Paris in particular, I am particularly enamored with cafes that serve heavenly cappuccinos and croissants to me in the morning and then – at the same table, twelve hours later – pour an exquisite pint of beer (in a tulip-shaped glass, as it should be) for me.

We don’t do that here, and I’m unclear why. I’m also tempted to sneak in a bottle of wine to a sweet little bistro run by two incredible cooks who’ve changed the complexion of a neighborhood with their happy new restaurant brimming with extraordinary food (Skoops Ice Cream and More). Skoops’ front door is within a block of an elementary school, so they cannot get a liquor license.

However a somewhat decrepit liquor store sits right next door to the school and is “grandfathered in” so that the no-too-close-to-a-school law doesn’t apply). The Budweiser Beer-signed, the “Suitcases on Sale” advertisement embellished shop happily sells booze galore all day long, even as kids swarm the sidewalks at 3 p.m.

This makes no sense to me. On a wintery, snowy evening, I’d love to slip into this softly lit Skoops, get a warmed plate of fresh Mac ‘n Cheese with Portobello Mushrooms, Chicken and Portobello Mushroom Sauce – and sip an equally silky glass of red Zin.

But because if I walked out Skoops’ door and strode down the street about a block and there met with the elementary school building – because of that fact, it would appear, I cannot.

So help a girl out. If you know the liquor code and the laws applying to bring your own bottle, please advise. If you’re up for reading 152 pages of Colorado-inspired liquor law (including the “Proposed Changes”) and want to distill it all down into an easy-to-read, one-to-two-paragraph summary, please do so.

If you happen to write the liquor law, give a girl a break. Consider the code of Paris, France and allow me my caffeine and alcohol – all within easy walking distance of my home and without crazy rules that suggest my imbibing will somehow thwart the moral gestation of the grade-school-aged sect.

I’ll buy you a glass of wine next time I see you. Much obliged.

One Winning Wine Tasting

8th Annual Wine Tasting Benefitting Sun Valley Youth Center

On Saturday, Feb. 4, from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m., the Sun Valley Youth Center hosts a wine tasting fundraiser for the organization, which raises much needed funds for helping to transform the lives of Denver’s at-risk youth in the poorest and most isolated neighborhoods of Colorado.

The event will be held on the Auraria Campus at 900 Auraria Parkway, Denver.

Cost is $49 for an individual and $95 for a couple. To purchase tickets, visit Learn more about the Sun Valley Youth Center at

Weird Wine Trivi

• According to Persian mythology, wine was discovered by a woman. She drank the fermented juice from grapes stored in a jar, went to sleep, and surprisingly woke up cured of a headache, instead of suffering from the world’s first hangover as one might have expected.

• The Bible offers many references to wine. The first recorded mention is in Genesis, in the ninth chapter, where readers learn that Noah planted a vineyard, and that “he drank of the wine and was drunken.”

• In the 1690s Richard Ames wrote several books of satirical verse about wine. Fatal friendship; or, the drunkards misery is an early tirade against the drinking of spirits:

“There are some few of that most mighty Train,
Of his hard Drinking, brings on wretched Man;
Yet in the Cafe it is but plain and clear,
The Body is the smallest sufferer:
Too often the Estate the Damage feels,
And a House totters while its Master reels”
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Cathie Beck, a/k/a The Wine Wench, can be reached at: [email protected]. Please forward any and all wine events, wine related news items directly to her.