Where are you traveling next? To the Rocky Mountains' rugged peaks? A serene lake in Minnesota? Seattle's vibrant city streets? If so, check out these three restaurants that are worth any wine-lover's attention.
Boulder, Colorado: Hiking, rock-climbing, fly-fishing and kayaking in and around Boulder, Colorado's 30,000 acres of open space have a way of making visitors hungry. Fortunately, this vibrant Old West town has an impressive number of highly acclaimed restaurants set to satisfy.
One such place is The Kitchen, a charming neighborhood bistro that serves up comforting classics prepared with seasonal, local and high-quality ingredients. Wine selections from California, France, Italy and Spain anchor wine director Karim Boulet's list -- which has been awarded a Wine Spectator's "Best Award of Excellence."
Before or after dinner, head upstairs to the wine lounge, where enthusiasts can choose from an extensive list of half-bottles to enjoy amidst a lively local crowd. The Kitchen, 1039 Pearl Street, Boulder, CO; thekitchencafe.com; 303-544-5973.
Minneapolis, Minnesota: Traveling to one of Minnesota's 10,000 lakes this summer? Rick Nelson, restaurant critic for the Minneapolis-St. Paul Star Tribune, points wine-lovers toward Solera, a restaurant specializing in both modern and traditional tapas as well as paella.
Yet whether you order the Chorizo-Stuffed Dates or the Salt Cod Croquettes, just don't try to order a California Chardonnay -- the list is exclusively Spanish, covering the many diverse regions and grape varieties of that wine-loving country.
The restaurant's extensive sherry selection further distinguishes the wine program. Solera's by-the-glass sherry list happens to be one of the largest in the country, encompassing enough styles and flavor profiles to pair with any course of the meal -- from appetizers to desserts. Solera, 900 Hennepin Ave., Minneapolis, MN; solera-restaurant.com; 612-338-0062.