Denver's Counter Culture Wine Lab: Infinite Monkey Theorem

Staff Writer
At Denver’s Infinite Monkey Theorem, wine tasting is raw, gritty, and inspired
Ryan Lee
Ryan Lee

Ben Parsons started IMT with the intention of shaking up wine world.

Even before I got to Denver, I was blogging about the Infinite Monkey Theorem (IMT), a counter culture wine lab and tasting room in Denver’s River North (RiNo). I had a sneaking suspicion, even before the Friday I was scheduled to visit, that I was going to fall in love with this winery that attempts to turn snobbishness and elitism on its outdated head.

Any winemaker with the chutzpah and the quirky sensibility to name his wine after a probability theorem that posits that a monkey hitting typewriter keys for an infinite amount of time will eventually type the complete works of William Shakespeare is the kind of innovator I can get behind.

As Ben Parsons, the 37-year-old Englishman who started IMT, says about the wine’s rather offbeat name, “I always envisioned a monkey typing Shakespeare as a way of making order out of chaos. And my business plan, which involved farming, which is always fickle, a short growing season, harsh winters and driving trucks full of grapes through mountain passes to a city on the other side of the state, resembled what could be considered chaos. Or at least there were an awful lot of factors over which I had very little control.”

But because he believed he could make Shakespeare-quality wine in an old warehouse, next to a back alley, that’s exactly what he did. Indeed, his seasonally-changing syrahs, malbecs, and rieslings have secured glowing reviews from Wine Spectator, medals at competitions and, most importantly, at least to Parsons, the loyalty of young, active Coloradoans who email him pictures of themselves drinking his wine while pedaling through mountain passes or cooling it behind rafts on Colorado’s famous white water.

To Parsons, wine and wine drinking is all about community. His fashionably immodest tasting room has scattered sofas, tables made from reclaimed timber, one, the so-called "community table," which seats 20, dangling wine bottles transformed into lights and a tricked out vending machine that dispenses perhaps his most unorthodox scheme so far—wine in slim aluminum cans.

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