Red, White and Brew: Celebrate U.S. wine and beer with old-school Napa wines and local beer
Editor’s note: The weekly Red, White & Brew feature highlights drinks from local liquor stores.
The Fourth of July is here, and Avon Liquor is celebrating by featuring a red, white and brew for the holiday. The Fourth is a celebration of the United States’ rich history, and nowhere is there more history than in the wine, spirits and beer produced here.
The U.S. wine industry was built by immigrants coming across the ocean with root cuttings of grape vines in their suitcases from France, Italy, Spain and other countries. They then planted their crops in the fertile soils of California. Grapes flourished there, and one of the earliest areas with history of grape growing is in the Napa Valley, an area still celebrated by wine connoisseurs and casuals today.
Over the years, vineyard growers discovered, through trial and error, the areas where certain grape varietals performed better than others. One of the personalities who elevated our understanding of world class wine making is Andy Erikson and his wife, Annie. Erikson has worked at wineries including Newton, Konsguard, Staglin, Screaming Eagle, Mayacamas and more. Annie Erikson manages Dalle-Valle, Pahlmeyer and Screaming Eagle, and together, the couple makes Favia wines.
Far Niente in Napa Valley boasts a rich history of winemaking. The winery was established in 1885 and prospered until the onset of Prohibition in 1919. Sixty years later, in 1979, the old Far Niente underwent a three-year renovation, which restored the building to its original 19th-century grandeur. Far Niente is on the National Register of Historic Places and now operates with solar energy and has net-zero electricity use.
The Bella Union 2016 Cabernet Sauvignon from Napa Valley Far Niente contains another piece of American history: Heitz winery used the famous Bella Oaks vineyard for its famous Cabernet Sauvignon for years. Far Niente bought this iconic vineyard, and this is the source of Bella Union Cabernet Sauvignon 2016. This wine retails for $68.99 at Avon Liquors.
For the Fourth, the Mayacamas Mount Veeder Chardonnay 2016 from Napa Valley also offers an old-style taste perfect for reflecting on U.S. history. Mayacamas was established in 1889 as one of the grand old estates of Napa Valley. Planted near the summit of Mount Veeder, about 2,000 feet above sea level, the vineyard has consistently yielded wines that are touchstones of an old-school style: serious, restrained and supremely ageworthy. Fashion is fleeting, but Mayacamas wines are built for the ages. Mayacamas 2016 Mount Veeder Chardonnay costs $54.99 at Avon Liquor.
Gaper Pilsner from Storm Peak Brewing out of Steamboat Springs is perfect for any and all Independence Day activities. Not only does the can have a red, white and blue design, but it’s crisp, refreshing, and easy drinking. Easy living is just what will hit the spot on a nice, hot Fourth of July. Storm Peak is a small, independently owned brewery in nearby Steamboat Springs that, like many craft brewers, focuses more on the quality of its product instead of quantity. Think traditional small business values here in America, and that’s just one of the many reasons why we always recommend their beer here at Avon Liquor. A six-pack of 12-ounce cans costs $11.99 at Avon Liquor.