Coming Attractions

Wander + Ivy turns customers into casual sommeliers

Recommended activities for the coming week

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Convenience is king in today's consumer market. Entertainment, food and clothing have all seen significant convenience advancements in recent years and now, thanks to Highlands resident Dana Spaulding, wine might be next in line.

With the October launch of her company, Wander + Ivy, Spaulding aims to make it easier for wine drinkers to have a glass without the guilt that comes from not finishing the bottle.

“I was getting frustrated because I would want a nice glass of wine with dinner, but I was certain to waste it because I'd only want one glass,” Spaulding explained. “My husband, Gus, asked me if I was going to waste another bottle of wine and that started me thinking about alternatives.”

Spaulding started exploring the single serve options in the market but couldn't find something she really enjoyed. She wanted a more premium package and product for the casual drinker and so Wander + Ivy, which offers four wines — rosé, sauvignon blanc, pinot noir and a red blend — in 6.3-ounce wine bottles was born.

The October launch was the result of more than a year of research and preparation, which included getting her sommelier certification, branding groundwork and finding vineyards that can offer organic products.

“I was looking for natural and organic ingredients in my wine, and I couldn't find that in most single-serve options,” Spaulding explained. “I found it really interesting to explore what the organic ingredient movement means for wine. The same reasons people eat organically, they should also drink.”

In the handful of months since she launched Wander + Ivy, Spaulding has already found a home for her wines in about 60 liquor stores in the state, including Littleton, Denver and Wheat Ridge. Her dedication to the local community extends to the company's standing as an One Percent For the Planet member. This means Wander + Ivy donates 1 percent of gross profits to Colorado charities.

“I'm trying to create a beautiful, premium product that tastes delicious,” Spaulding said. “Our mission is to elevate the single-serve wine experience and give back to the community in a meaningful way.”

For more information, including location and tasting information, visit www.wanderandivy.com.

Clarke's Concert of the Week — Durand Jones and The Indications at the Bluebird Theater

There are few things I find more comforting in this rapidly changing world than the continued quality and durability of soul music. It may mutate and evolve, but it never loses its power to instruct, comfort and inspire.

Durand Jones and The Indications are one of the best contemporary exemplars of the genre, and their newly released album, “American Love Call” is an early frontrunner for my favorite album of the year. Like Leon Bridges, Jones and the band are example to update classic soul sounds with grace and without pandering.

The group will be stopping at the Bluebird Theater, 3317 E. Colfax Ave. in Denver, in support of the album at 9 p.m. on Friday, April 5. Tickets can be secured at www.axs.com.

Race in a real life Mario Kart

Video games have improved by leaps and bounds since I first started playing, and while I rarely play anymore, there is one game franchise that never goes out of style - Mario Kart. And now at the Mushroom Rally, racers and fans can bring the game to life.

The go-karting race will be held from Friday, April 5 through Sunday, April 14, at K1 Speed, 8034 Midway Drive in Littleton.

Participants will be able to race and collect stars on a custom go-kart track. Racers will compete for the chance to win a trip to Las Vegas for the national championship, where they will face off against other winners from 16 cities. Winners will be selected in three ways: having the fastest lap time, collecting the most stars; and by a lottery.

For more information and registration, visit www.mushroomrally.com/denver.

Life lessons with Dave Barry

Columnist and author Dave Barry has to be one of the funniest people to ever win the Pulitzer Prize. He's made a career out of being hilarious in print form, which as a writer, I can tell you is almost obscenely difficult.

Barry's latest book is called “Lessons From Lucy: The Simple Joys of an Old, Happy Dog” and is an ode to the countless benefits of dog ownership and challenges of aging. And he'll be talking about the book and sharing other stories thanks to the Tattered Cover's Evening with Dave Barry.

The event will be held at 7 p.m. on Monday, April 15, at the Trinity United Methodist Church, 1820 Broadway in Denver. Tickets can be purchased at www.eventbrite.com and include a copy of “Lessons From Lucy” and a place in the signing line.

Clarke Reader's column on culture appears on a weekly basis. He can be reached at Clarke.Reader@hotmail.com.

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