Robert Corbari from The Populist wins the annual Colorado Wine Cocktail competition

It’s time for a new champ. Robert Corbari from The Populist, dethroned the only champion the Colorado Wine Cocktail Competition had seen, Joe Hines.

In front of a sold out crowd at The Green Russell during the second major event of Colorado Wine Week, Corbari’s cocktail “Cinsaut-Motxo” was the unanimous victor, as deemed by the judges (ESPN columnist and author Rick Reilly, 5280 Magazine Food Editor Amanda Faison, SwirlGirl Denver Kendra Anderson, and chef Jensen Cummings of Heroes Like Us).

The Cinsaut-Motxo featured the WTF red from Creekside Cellars (Evergreen), mixing the cinsaut blend with homemade cola syrup, Braulio amaro, lemon balm infused soda. The tasty and well-balanced drink showcased the nuances of the wine, a top goal of the competition.

Rae Raymond’s Pear Franc was deemed the second best drink, a Cab Franc forward cocktail featuring BookCliff Vineyards award-winning version of the wine. It was dry, crisp and refreshing.

“I wish this is what sangria tasted like,” Judge Cummings said.

Of course, the defending champ Hines, busy opening the Terminal Bar in the new Union Station, created a buzz worthy cocktail. He won the previous two years by mastering the art of the Colorado port wine cocktail — this year his focus was solely on still wines. He blended three different Infinite Monkey Theorem wines into his drink, Jazz Monkey.

It was light, refreshing and wine forward. As with all the drinks, it was a masterful concoction, just not quite worthy of the three-peat.

Click here for the recipes (coming soon).