Red, White and Brew: Try some sleeper specialties from two of the world's best wine regions, plus a Left Hand Porter | VailDaily.com
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Red, White and Brew: Try some sleeper specialties from two of the world’s best wine regions, plus a Left Hand Porter

By Val Goranov
Special to the Daily

Editor’s note: Red, White and Brew columns highlight drinks from local liquor stores.

The last few weeks have been really challenging. Five letters and the number 19 after them changed our lifestyle, if not our lives. Yeah, I’m talking about COVID-19. Stress is high, and days can be long and exhausting. Among all the implications it’s had on our lives, we need to find some positivity to get us through, and a glass of something nice might do the trick. Some choose hard liquor for its higher alcohol content, thus its disinfecting quality. But for the wine and beer lovers, here are my picks for taking off stress during the coronavirus pandemic.

Each of these wines represent under-appreciated aspects of their respective regions.
Val Goranov | Special to the Daily

Red wine

California is best known for outstanding Cabernets and Pinot Noirs. But there are other grapes there that are of high quality: the so-called Rhone grapes – Syrah, Grenache and Mourvedre, among others. Bistue Cellars is located east of Napa and fairly close to Sacramento. Named after the winemaker Carolina Bistue, who had worked in Priorat in Spain previously, hence her love for those grapes. This wine is intense and full-bodied with well-matured tannins. It will complement greatly any steak or chicken. And I think you’ll love the wine and the blend, which contains 9% Cabernet Sauvignon as well. It is currently $23.99 a bottle.

White wine

New Zealand is known for its Sauvignon Blanc. But did you know that some very fine Sauvignon Blancs are produced next door in Australia too? Cape Mentelle is a great location for these wines. It is located in the Margaret River zone in the Southwest part of the country. The area is primarily known for its high-quality Cabernet Sauvignons, but the Sauvignon Blancs here are also stellar. A healthy amount of Semillon is blended in to add some complexity. The winemaker says it is the embodiment of their place and terroir. Some similarities with the New Zealand style, but in an improved way, in my opinion. Also rated 94 points, for those who find these numbers important. You can get a bottle of it for $14.99.

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Beer

Left Hand’s claim to fame is it’s Milk Stout and the Nitro version, but this porter holds up well to its reputation for producing great dark beers.
Val Goranov | Special to the Daily

Spring is officially here, per the calendar. The weather is trying to warm up, even if we do get dumped on occasionally. This time of year is the last time it makes palatable sense to enjoy something darker, but really, drink whatever you want whenever you want. Dark beers in colder temperatures isn’t a hard and fast rule, just a guideline. Left Hand Brewing from Longmont, Colorado is a master of the dark beer brewing. Many beer lovers know about their flagship Milk Stout and its Nitro version, widely available across the country. But a few months ago they came out with a Porter – Death Before Disco. Brewed in a classic style, it is full-bodied with rich chocolate malt and dark berry notes. Dry and roasty on the finish, it drinks beautifully. Get a 6-pack of cans for $7.99.

Val Goranov is the store manager of Alpine Wine & Spirits. Contact the store at aws@vail.net or 970-479-8116.


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