Red, White and Brew: Try French wine and an ‘epic’ beer | VailDaily.com

Red, White and Brew: Try French wine and an ‘epic’ beer

Joe Reinhardt
Beaver Liquors
From left to right: L’ Petit Payson ($21.99), Epic Brewing's Oak and Orchard ($10.99) and Chateau Beauregard Ducasse Blanc ($15.49).
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Editor’s note: The Red, White and Brew weekly feature will highlight drinks from local liquor stores.

It’s bright out there. After the Daylight Saving Time change, it’s getting sunnier each day. This bright sun has made me thirsty for bright and refreshing beverages to enjoy while soaking up the sunshine. There is nothing I find more refreshing this time of year than a crisp, fresh fruit wine or beer to brighten up my day a little more. Here are my picks:

The red

L’ Petit Payson is Ian Brand’s, winemaker of the year from the San Francisco Chronicle, homage to the French-style of winemaking while keeping the price point relative to most people’s budget. This Cotes du Rhone style red made in Monterey County California focuses the areas winemaking to showcase the maritime terroir in a region that focuses on bulk production of grapes to sell. He achieves this by limiting the vines to produce low yields of fruit and winemaking techniques. By reducing the yields of each vine, the plant puts more energy and nutrients into each berry, which enhances the flavors it derives from the soils. He has a minimal approach to winemaking, as is the French direction, doing less to the wine to show more of what the wine is. Many California producers will embolden their wines so they have more robust and bold flavors with higher alcohol. Brand takes the opposite approach, allowing the fruit to be smoother with lower alcohol and more focus paid to the earthy finish of the wine. Brand has three labels he works with exclusively but his L’Petit Payson label is his showcase of a great bottle under $25. This wine is perfect for barbecue or just sipping on while out in the sunshine for an easy drinking experience. Grab a bottle for $21.99.

The white

White Bordeaux may be one of the most underappreciated styles in wine. Bordeaux, known for its world-class reds produces white blends of sauvignon blanc and semillon. These generally inexpensive whites are dry with loads of minerality and plenty of options for the every day. Semillon is a very dry white wine with nutty and mineral flavors and is the perfect compliment to bright and fruity sauvignon blanc. Chateau Beauregard Ducasse winery uses 70 percent semillon and 30 percent sauvignon blanc in its blend from the Graves region of Bordeaux. The wine is crisp without being too acidic, has a full mid palate that rounds out the mouth with viscosity and fruit flavors and finishes easily with some nutty and mineral flavors of the semillon. Try the Perfect Porch Pounder when the weather is good. It’s currently on special for $15.49.

The brew

Epic Brewing Co. was founded in 2010 in Salt Lake City. The brewery has always been dedicated to small-batch artisanal ales, as recognizable on its hand-stamped high-end releases, and hasn’t changed its style even as the brewery’s popularity has soared. In 2013, the brewery opened a new location in north Denver’s Rhino neighborhood and were finally able to get around Utah’s alcohol laws to make barrel-aged beers and started a sour line. Many people know and love the Tart & Juicy Sour IPA, a simple sour with loads of grapefruit-like flavors, but the brewery has recently released a new high-end line of wine barrel aged sours on fruit called Oak and Orchard. These sours are inviting and agreeable with bright bursting fruit flavors at the start then lead into more dry and complex flavors of oak, wine and subtleties of the fruit. Each of the Oak and Orchard sours are amazing and I highly suggest trying them off the tap if you are visiting the brewery. We currently carry the sour-aged on blackberry, black currant and cherries in a cabernet sauvignon barrel. The beer is bright and fruity but finishes complex and leaves you wanting more. Grab a bottle for $10.99.

Come into Beaver Liquors any day to speak with our sommeliers in the cellar and we will be sure to find a wine to brighten your day.