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The Fort Collins Wine Scene

It’s no secret that Fort Collins is something of a Microbrew Mecca. Beer is woven into our culture and at the forefront of restaurant guides and town branding. But what about wine? We rarely talk about it unless someone is making a joke about Franzia or its Girl’s Night and we are watching the Bachelor. So let’s talk about it. I tend to be more of a brewery patron myself, but that doesn’t mean I don’t enjoy a good ol’ glass of fermented grape juice now and again. Here are some of my favorite spots to grab a glass of wine when I’m feeling particularly classy, refined or scholarly.

Perhaps one of the most popular wine venues in Fort Collins, Café Vino has the widest selection in town, offering wine by the bottle, by the glass or in flights. Every week, they offer their ‘Sunday Wine Dinner’. While I’ve never attended myself, if this dinner is anything like their lunch menu, it will knock your socks off. For $39 per person you’ll get three courses paired with three different wines. Make sure you call ahead to get a reservation! If that doesn't fit your plans, for $25 you can swing into their Wednesday wine tastings where you can sample five wines and fill your brain box with some new wine related knowledge.

Honestly, they had me at ‘cheese’ and the wine turned out to be a great bonus. The Welsh Rabbit is perfect in its simplicity; good wine and good cheese served together. Wine is served by the bottle, glass, half glass or in flights. I would definitely recommend. My condolences to our lactose intolerant readers.

Most of the buzz around Ace Gillett’s is over their cocktails, but we shouldn’t overlook their wines. The wine selection is reasonable but the ambience is what has me coming back (that and the asiago cheese fries). The live jazz, flattering lighting and five star service makes Ace Gillett’s a highly sophisticated venue. As a bonus, if you get way too animated when telling a story and spill your drink all over your lap, three wait staff will materialize out of thin air at your side and offer you club soda for your dress. Ladies and gentlemen, customer service at its finest.

Social is, in my humble opinion, the classiest joint in town. It’s a cozy underground bar with a distinctive speakeasy flair. Apart from their stellar cocktails and charcuterie, Social has a killer wine list. They were awarded the Wine Spectator Award of Excellence three years in a row and if you have any questions about the wine list, you can ask their in-house sommelier, Ty Fulcher.

*Honorable mention: Pick up a couple cans of canned wine (yes canned. I recommend Underwood) and find a spot next to the Poudre. Enjoy your wine and reflect upon the finer things in life.

In conclusion, I believe it was Martin Luther who once said ‘Beer is made by men, wine by God’. With a review like that, why aren’t we all drinking more wine? So let’s get out there and join the great sulfite safari!

Photo Credit: The Welsh Rabbit

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