June 8, 2011

With a focus on fresh local ingredients, Salt not only has a stunning variety of fine dishes on their food menu, but they also have a very impressive wine and spirits list. Located at 1047 Pearl Street, in the building that Tom’s Tavern once occupied, Salt has been keeping a secret from us. His name is Evan Faber.

I have never met a person as enthusiastic about their trade as Evan. Brimming with knowledge and stories, his passion for liquid flavor is utterly contagious. In a world where wine and spirits have always held an air of mystique, Evan’s mission is to show his customers how approachable these beverages really are. He encourages Salt’s visitors to have fun and get a little adventurous with testing their palates.

Excited about the versatile selection of Colorado wines available to us, Evan says that he hopes to “split the wine list. One side is going to be local Colorado wines and the other side is going to be imported wines, which includes California wines on the imported list.”

When I asked him “What makes Colorado wines stand out from others,” he responded in exactly the way I hoped he would. Evan pulled down two glasses, filled each with a different Cabernet, and set them in front of me. Placing the glasses on colorless napkins he commented, “it’s good to taste your wine over something white in color so that you can see the color of the wine.” Walking me through the process of observing, smelling and finally tasting the rosy drinks, I could feel that Evan not only wanted me to learn, but to enjoy the experience as well.

Evan helped me notice how light and bright the California selection was compared to the darker, richer Colorado wine he had chosen. The California Cab was friendly and easy to enjoy, while the glass of Colorado Cab was more sophisticated and complicated. Evan explained that “there are definitely expressions of a place in a well made wine. Wine is about a grape in a place. The soil, altitude, sun exposure, water-they all have an impact on wine. The grape is couched in the flavor of the land. That’s where it gets exciting! This California wine was made to taste approachable. It’s like a pop song, like the Beetle’s I Wanna Hold Your Hand. Colorado wine is more like Pink Floyd’s Dark Side Of The Moon. It doesn’t hit everyone’s palate the same.”

I asked Evan about his passion for wine and spirits. He said that only a little while ago he had been in the process of becoming a Sommelier, but then he “got derailed and discovered spirits. It is the bad boy side of the industry.” As Evan explained why spirits are so intriguing, his eyes brightened and he smiled broadly. “Imagine a world where the only wine you were drinking was coming in boxes and from big producers. And then suddenly you had selections from small wineries. In the past the world of spirits has been like that. But now, micro distilleries are popping up all over the state. Each has their own unique flavor profiles and they are challenging national brands.”

Evan’s passion for wine and spirits is something everyone in Boulder should experience. Swing on by Salt for dinner this weekend. Follow Evan’s suggestions, try the Slow Roasted Colorado Lamb paired with Cab Franc by Canyon Wind. To end the evening perfectly, finish with a Dark Chocolate Caramel Salt Tart and a snifter of Roundhouse Corretto Coffee Liqueur.

For more information on Salt, visit their website at https://www.SALTthebistro.com