Red, White and Brew: Grab festive, high-quality drinks for the holidays
Editor’s note: Red, White and Brew columns highlight drinks from local liquor stores.
About 15 years ago, before kids came along, my wife and I (this is Jeff Anderson) were lucky enough to spend about two weeks in Napa and Sonoma, California. At the time, I was a server/bartender at Beano’s Cabin in Beaver Creek. I learned disclosing that information got us an in at many of the wineries.
Some places gave a free tour or tasting, and some would offer a room or cabin on the property for the night. One of the most amazing places we stayed was the Winery and Chateau at Jordan just north of Healdsburg in the Alexander Valley. Tom and Sally Jordan established the winery in 1972 and had their first vintage in 1976 focusing on French inspired wines of Bordeaux and Burgundy. The winery was designed to mimic a French Chateau in Bordeaux. It houses the winery, dining area, tasting room, wine library and rooms for guests, where we stayed, that open up into the barrel room.
The property is absolutely beautiful with vineyards, gardens, lakes and wild animals as far as you can see. A stay at Jordan is a stunning experience. Winemakers John Jordan and Rob Davis focus on Cabernet and Chardonnay as they have done since the beginning, which is why we’ve picked their concoctions for this week’s Red, White and Brew column.
The Jordan Chardonnay is the style of classic white Burgundies. It is soft, elegant and lightly creamy with bright acidity and French oak. Flavors of apple, pear and stone fruit make this wine perfect for pairing with a wide variety of foods. Drink when it’s one to three years old for more citrus and lively acidity, or in five to seven years for more ripe fruit and caramel. Whenever you drink it, this wine is a stunner and is definitely not your typical California Chardonnay. A bottle is $37.99 at Boone’s Wine and Spirits.
The Jordan Cabernet Sauvignon is a spectacular Bordeaux-inspired blend that combines Cabernet, Merlot, Petit Verdot and Malbec. The blend creates a big bold wine with a lush feel and silky tannins. Flavors of blackberry, currant, pomegranate and blueberry burst in your mouth leading in to hints of vanilla that come from 100% French oak aging. Its finish is soft, silky and so long that it seems to go on forever. This wine is made so it can be consumed young or aged for up to 20 or more years. Vintages from the 1970s and 1980s are still showing well.
The combination of great wine, food and hospitality along with a breathtakingly beautiful property make Jordan one of my favorite stops anytime I’m in wine country and should be on your list as well. A bottle of the cab is $64.99 at Boone’s.
Our brew brings us to St. Bernardus Brewery which was founded in 1946 in Watou, Belgium. St. Bernardus Abt 12 is a fabulous Belgian Quadrupel. This beer appears deep ruby brown with a two-finger head. Upon first whiff, you will smell bread, raisin, dark fruits, honey, banana and nutmeg.
This brew has a sweet, dark bready and toasty malt up front with a raising fig and date flavor. You can taste dark fruit, caramel and a hint of clove, cinnamon and brown sugar. If you’re feeling adventurous, throw in a pinch of tobacco for warming the alcohol in the finish. St. Bernardus is a medium to full bodied brew with prickly carbonation and a dry finish.
St. Bernardus is incredibly easy to drink even at 10 % ABV. This immaculate interpretation of the Belgium Quadrupel is best to drink at about 52 degrees Fahrenheit poured into your best stemmed or tulip glass.
You can grab a St. Bernardus ABT 12 750ml at Boone’s for only $14.99. We also have the St. Bernardus XMAS, which is the more spiced up version. Or you can grab vintages of 2012, 2015, 2017 and 2018 along with your 2019 St. Bernardus. Whichever version you choose, you can’t go wrong with this festive and flavorful beer at your holiday celebrations.
Jeff Anderson and Josh Pipkin work at Boone’s Wine and Spirits in Eagle. Contact the store at 970-328-9463.