Red, White and Brew: Beer is meant to be fun
Try these October suggestions from Boone’s Wine and Spirits
“2015 Varner Pinot Noir Los Alamos Vineyard”
Brothers Bob and Jim Varner, identical twins, both attended UC Davis, where they studied enology and biology. Jim decided he wanted to make Burgundian-style Chardonnay and Pinot Noir in California. They found the perfect spot in the Santa Cruz mountains and bought land in 1980. Bob fell in love with the land and the idea and they both set out to plant the hillsides. They have always been organic, dry-farmed, hand-hoed and hand-harvested. In 2014 they set out on a new path in Santa Barbara where this Pinot was born in Los Alamos. The wine has notes of cranberries, Bing cherries and tobacco on the nose. On the palate, it is light-bodied and elegant with soft tannins, dusty red berries, sandalwood and baking spice. Drink with roasted chicken or turkey. On sale at Boone’s now for $19.99.
“2019 Welkin Selections Russian River Chardonnay”
This wine is a true bargain from this famous region within Sonoma County. Its color is straw yellow with flavors of baked pears, ripe apple, stone fruits and honey. With just a touch of oak and a little buttery creaminess, the fresh fruit shines through. Cook up blue crab and lobster with drawn butter for a great pairing with this fantastic Chardonnay. On sale at Boone’s now for $15.99.
Age is more than a number; it’s a dimension. Beer isn’t just a thing that gets us from Monday through Friday, it’s a beautiful rainbow-colored spectrum of styles to choose from. While selecting the most intimate lagers and hazy IPAs for the wonderful people of Eagle County, I also spend a great deal of my time seeking beers that age well. This means imperial stouts of all kinds, such as barley wine, lambic and sour. What you might not know about me is that I love beer — that outlives normal expiration dates. It is a testament to what beer is capable of and continues to be. Quite often, I get customers that refer to beer as an inferior product to wine or bourbon. The thing is, I have beer that is bourbon barrel-aged, or wine barrel-aged to suit any occasion. Beer has a beautiful clock that ticks along like our limited lives. It is a reminder of how we should enjoy life. One beer at a time.
The beers that I have been cellaring, or aging, in-store over the past 3 years are hitting the shelves. There is a Dogfish 120 minute IPA (American barley wine) mix four-pack that contains vintages from 2018, 2019 and 2020. I have Fremont Barleywine, B-Bomb, BA Dark Star, Rusty Nail and variants. A few Jester King cellar select options are available and maybe a Cascade option or two. Drie Fonteinen is another big hitter that is overlooked. Lambic is one of the most beautiful styles of beer that I implore my customers to treat themselves to. We have several vintages of geuze, along with some fruited masterpieces that will expand your palate. Do yourself a favor this year and pick up a bottle that you wouldn’t normally grab.
Remember that beer is meant to be fun, serious, happy, sad, neat, messy, flabby, tight, subtle, in your face, out of line, professional, bubbly, still, sweet, sour, hoppy, bitter, tart, funky, tannic, salty, fatty, boozy, buttery, fruity, floral, vegetal and coniferous. Whatever it is you like, treat yo’ self!