Red, White and Brew: St. Patrick’s Day wine and beer
Jeff Anderson and Josh Pipkin
Boone’s Wine and Spirits
Editor’s note: The Red, White and Brew weekly feature will highlight drinks from local liquor stores.
St. Patrick’s Day is Sunday, so in the spirit of the Irish, we are highlighting wines aged in whiskey barrels. As a style, these wines have been gaining in popularity over the last few years.
First, we have “The Protest.” This is a soft dark silky red blend made mostly from syrah with a little zinfandel and malbec in the mix. The syrah adds dense black fruit notes with hint of raspberry jam from the zinfandel. At the end of the winemaking process, it is aged in rye whiskey barrels for 45 days adding hints of spice and bacon fat on the finish. This is a sumptuous, delicious red that will pair nicely with a big smoked bone-in rib eye steak. Grab it at Boone’s for only $15.99 this week (regularly $22.99).
Next, we have Robert Mondavi’s Private Select Bourbon Barrel Aged Chardonnay. This wine is a bright golden yellow in the glass with notes of honey, apple and vanilla on the nose. The heavy charred bourbon barrel aging mellows the acids and gives a nice peach, vanilla and honey finish to the wine. This rich textured Chardonnay will pair wonderfully with a delicious shrimp scampi. This wine is regularly $15.99, but at Boone’s, grab it for only $13.49 this week.
Because St. Patrick’s Day is on the horizon, we’re giving you two beers to mull over — Innis & Gunn Brewing Co.’s Blood Red Sky ($10.99 for a four-pack) and Irish Blessing ($10.49 for a six-pack) from Boulder Beer Co.
First off, let’s address that we know that Innis & Gunn is a Scottish craft beer company. While we don’t want to offend any of our true Irish fans, this Blood Sky Red, a rum-barrel aged red ale, just fits the St. Patrick’s celebrations too well to pass up. While it’s not a traditional Irish beer, it is a nice, complex red ale with a Scottish spin and a Caribbean rum twist.
Blood Sky Red is actually aged by putting the barrel staves into the beer instead of the beer into the barrel. This process allows them to mature more beer using fewer barrels in less time than the traditional beer into the barrel method, without losing any of the flavor. What does this mean for you? More beer to cheers with this weekend.
Blood Sky Red has a beautiful dark crimson color with brown sugar sweetness. It has notes of vanilla, rum, raisin, plum, fig, clove and bread crust. It comes in at 6.8 percent alcohol by volume and has a moderately dry finish. It’s a very smooth and easy to drink red ale.
Next, we come back to local Colorado. Boulder Beer’s Irish Blessing is an oak-aged coffee stout. Boulder Beer uses coffee from its local roasters at OZO Coffee. The beer is soaked in Tullamore Dew Irish Whiskey oak chips adding to its St. Paddy’s flair. With roasted barley and chocolate malt, this beer has a roasted and chocolate flavor with layers of creamy sweetness. The rolled oats add to the mouthfeel and texture of the beer.
Irish Blessing finishes slightly oaky with a hint of whiskey. But you’ll want to add Irish whiskey of your own for the full effect (we’ve got plenty of that in stock, too).
You can stock up on your Irish Blessing and Tullamore Dew at our St. Patrick’s Day prep tasting today from 4:30 to 6:30 p.m.