There has been a lot of cyber-ink spilled recently over how difficult it is for restaurants to sell regional wine, and how they don't deserve the criticism they have received from people like Todd Kliman and I.
So I give you Jonesy's Eatbar in Denver, which started life serving mostly local beer and discovered -- happily -- that it could sell local wine as well. I ate at Jonesy's last week when I was judging Colorado wines in Denver, and had a nice chat with the restaurant's Leigh Jones about the Colorado wines on her affordable and interesting wine list.
Leigh said Jonesy's has no trouble selling Colorado wines, even though she had very little idea when it opened that there would be demand for it. But given the restaurant's extensive local craft beer list and its focus on comfort food, it made business sense to sell local wine. Best yet, she said, it's a decision that has been profitable. Now, to be fair, I can see where regional wine would have an edge at Jonesy's, which is neither snotty nor overpriced, and where the goal is to have fun and not impress food snobs.
We had two Colorado wines with dinner -- Infinite Monkey Theorem's 2009 rose (about $15 retail, sample), which was dry, fruity (almost watermelon) and paired quite well with the various appetizers on the table, including some knockout samosas; and Bookcliff Vineyards' Reserve Cabernet Franc (about $26 retail, sample), which is a good example of how Colorado does cabernet franc -- more fruit than one expects, but balanced and food friendly.