Red, White and Brew: Selections for sunny days
Beat the heat with these selections from Boone's Wine and Spirits
Boone's Wine and Spirits
Here we go again. Back to Italy. This time to a couple of regions I have not had the pleasure of visiting … yet. Soave Classico is in northeast Italy in the hills above the town of Verona. Soave produces only white wines mostly from the garganega grape with small amounts of chardonnay and Trebbiano Di Soave mixed in. About as far away as you can get in Italy is the Mount Etna region in Sicily. The vineyards here are on the side of an active volcano which provides excellent soil for growing grapes and the possibility of losing everything to the volcano. That being said, most of the vines are around 100 years old and look like gnarled little trees. The main grape varietal is nerello mascalese, which produces a slightly tannic light bodied wine and nmerello cappuccio being used as a blending grape to soften the wines. The resulting wines are bright, elegant and delicious.
“2018 Le Sabbie Dell’Etna Rosso” by Firriato
The grapes for this wine are grown on the northeastern slopes of Mount Etna in volcanic soil. It is a bright ruby red color with Black cherries, licorice, black currants, pepper and violets on the nose and pallet. There is a lively minerality as well as rich red and black fruits. The narello mascalese and cappuccio blend nicely together and create a soft, elegant wine with a touch of tannic grip at the end. I’d drink this with an aged New York steak or a big glazed pork chop.
“2019 Soave Classico” by Pieropan
The grapes are hand picked from the hillside vineyards above Verona and are a blend of 85% garganega and 15% Trebbiano Di Soave. This certified organic white wine is straw yellow with a greenish tint. You will find almond blossoms and marzipan on the nose and flavors of pineapple, apricot and Meyer lemon. Bright acidity leaves you with a dry and juicy finish. Drink this before dinner with apps or with light seafood dishes and veggies.
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Four beers to drink outside
I decided to pick out four beers that have touched me lately while fishing, floating and camping. I know we’re all dealing with summer fires and heat, but hopefully these beers will lighten the mood, be refreshing, and make you smile just a little bit.
American Solera Handsome Brothers is a Hazy Pale, or as they call it “DDH Session IPA”, that clocks in at 5.1% alcohol by volume. Did you all know that Bill Lodge at Village Wine and Spirits loves Session IPAs? This one is a masterpiece. The Citra and Sabro cryo hops saturate your palate with notes of dank weed, grapefruit, orange, melon, pineapple and even a little coconut if you dig deep. The malt is soft, and pillow-like. Overall, it’s complex, bright, intense, and thoughtfully crafted. This pale ale is extremely hard to find in Colorado, but I had to write about it. Seriously, ask Bill Lodge about Session IPAs, he knows more about them than I do.
Half Acre Smoking Gull is a Hazy Pale weighing in at 5.3% ABV, and squawking Citra and Mosaic hops at ya. Notes of tropical fruit, pine, and a medley of berries make up the aroma and some flavor. A malt profile composed of Pilsner, Vienna, and flaked oats makes for a nice balance that is typically missing in most hazy pale ales. I flat out love this beer, and you should be “Gullible” and buy some too.
Oxbow Alpino Dry Hopped Lager is a strong lager, 6.5% ABV, brewed with European malts and hops. Malt notes of light caramel, wheat, graham cracker and the expected noble hop bouquet of fresh cut grass, spice and citrus. This lager is medium-bodied, smooth and finishes dry. The malt balance is what sets this lager apart from the others.
Aecht Schlenkerla Helles, 4.3% ABV, is brewed with fine Bavarian hops from the area around the city of Nurnberg. It’s lagered in century-old caves, boiled in the same copper kettles and bottom fermented by the same yeast as their smokier Rauchbiers. Unlike their more potent smokey beers, the Helles only imparts subtle smokiness, and just adds some depth to a beautiful lager. If you can’t beat the smoke… join ’em?