Red, White and Brew: Ski season is here |

Red, White and Brew: Ski season is here

Val Goranov
Alpine Wine & Spirits

Winter season is officially on. It’s one of the earliest openings for Vail that I can remember. You can feel the excitement around. Everyone I have spoken to believes it’s going to be a great season. And I fully agree with them. Let’s hope Mother Nature gives us enough snow so we can all fully enjoy it. Be prepared with handwarmers, just in case. That’s during the day. At night, though, you can hold a glass of nice wine or beer by the fireplace, reading a book or on the couch watching sports or a movie. Here are some suggestions for you to explore.

Alpine Wine & Spirits
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Red Wine: Foppiano 1896 Red Blend is a great value. Named in honor of the year the Foppiano family started making wine just south of Healdsburg in California. The Petite Sirah grape plays a big part of their history. Their first was introduced to customers in 1967 and had since developed and won many significant awards. It is the main component in the 1896 Red Blend, along with Barbera, Carignane, Mourvèdre and Zinfandel. It starts with aromas of black fruits, cinnamon and thyme on the nose. Palate is well-structured between the tannins of the grapes, the dense minerality and balanced acidity. I personally think the Barbera really shows up in the mid-palate, softening it up after the initial blue fruit explosion.

White Wine: One of my favorite white grapes is Viognier. It is also a part of my all-time favorite food and wine pairing — sea scallops and Viognier. Some people are hesitant to ask for it, as they can’t pronounce it correctly. VEE-ohn-yay, that is. It is primarily grown in the Rhone region in France. Domaine Gassier does an organic version of it. Vineyards are hosts to about 200 sheep who feast upon wild vegetation. These natural mowers save the winemaking team tractor runs for half of the year. The 2019 vintage was a challenging one – severe drought and fires occurred. However, le vigneron (the winemaker) was able to create a stunning wine. Lots of apricot and white peach give way to a medium-bodied, rounded, textured palate that finishes fresh and lively. Great for sipping or with any seafood dish, as I hinted earlier.

Alpine Wine & Spirits
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Beer: I, like most of you, adore dogs. Labs are one of my favorite breeds. Besides them being very smart, I love it when they laugh after doing something controversial. Laughing Lab is also a beer from Bristol Brewing’s year-round lineup. It is a Scottish-style Ale and is their most popular brew. It is also their most awarded beer with nine medals from the Great American Beer Festival alone. Its nutty, roasted flavor is mildly sweet. Smooth drinking at only 5.4% abv. A great selection for a colder day or anytime that you play fetch with your lab.


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