The Power of Wine and A Kick Ass Sommelier

When I write about a restaurant, or dining experience of any kind, I’m usually focused on the food.
I’ll mention a special wine or craft beer I’m enjoying, for example, and generally what I drank, but for this post, I want to shine a grateful light on the wine program and sommelier, Kendra Anderson, at Pasta Vino in Boulder.
A friend and I went last night, lured by the incredible half off food and wine offer they had going [hard to say no to].
When we sat down and the server came over asking what we wanted to drink, giving a couple of wine suggestions, I could tell she was professional and knowledgeable, but naturally wanted Kendra to guide us through the wine list.
She’s coined the phrase [and hashtag!] Drink Pink – for her love of and faith in rose.
No matter what I’m eating, or where I’m dining, it’s usually a big red for me, but it’s a good reminder of the life lesson to leave certain things to the professionals.
She brought out an Infinite Monkey Theorem rose [one I didn’t even know they produce!], which she accurately described as Jolly Rancher Watermelon, and I could smell and taste exactly that.
The next was a lighter rose, beautifully blush pink, and equally good.
Next, Kendra asked us questions about preferences and told us stories of the backgrounds of the reds we were interested in.
Though our main dishes would have probably been better suited to a white or another rose, she was gracious about not shaming us, even in a subtle way, about our want for red.
She said any wine in the glass is a win for her!
We then tasted a couple of bold ones – one, a malbec-ish, which I liked, but didn’t love – and the other, a Super Tuscan.
Let me put it to you this way – when my friend took her first sip of the Super Tuscan, she said, “Oh Hell Yes!”, which says it all.
Two glasses of that, please.
And hurry.
While we were trying to be good girls on this weeknight, and stick to just one glass of red, we had a rowdy group sitting next to us – who in good form, and with apologies for their rowdiness – offered to buy us another glass.
The answer was yes.
Because to have answered no, to a second glass of one of the best red wines I’ve ever had the pleasure of drinking [and trust me, I’ve had a lot of red wine in my time], would have been borderline insane.
I appreciated Kendra’s expertise in helping us navigate the options, but what I appreciated even more, was that she’d made a selection for the list that goes down in my wine drinking history as an all-time favorite.
To give a diner – and wine-lover – that kind of experience, is the mark of a true professional who knows their craft deeply.
We were there for quite a while – almost 3 hours, in fact – enjoying each other’s company, catching up and taking each course in an unhurried way – which in itself, is a great luxury.
That whole time, I would observe as Kendra worked the floor with her balanced assertiveness.
She’d consult on, present and pour bottles, but I also saw her carrying plates to tables, answering questions for fellow staff, and generally being a solid presence on the floor.
It was reinforced for me how important both the front and back of the house are to a great dining experience, and while we enjoyed our food and the aesthetics of the space, it was the wine and Kendra who took our evening to a level of grace and delight.

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One thought on “The Power of Wine and A Kick Ass Sommelier

  1. I totally agree. Whenever I’m at Pasta Vino, Kendra is our awesome guider. She’s so good at what she does and I love her stories about them. She’s always fab. Big shout out Swirl Girl 🙂

    PS. We tried to come at around 8 PM but was an 1.5 hour wait 😦 we missed you last night b/c we had to go eat elsewhere haha we were too hungry to wait.

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