Red, White and Brew: Wines from Italy and half-and-half beer cocktails from Ireland

By Jeff Anderson and Josh Pipkin
Red, White and Brew

Here at Boone’s Wines and Spirits, we just received several delicious new Italian wines. So, I (Jeff Anderson) will be focusing on Italy for the next few Red, White and Brew articles.

The five major grapes of Piedmont are Nebbiolo, Dolcetto, Barbera, Arneis and Moscato Bianco. I will discuss all five. This week, let’s start with Arneis and Barbera. Typically, Arneis is a golden straw colored, highly perfumed wine with notes of pears, peaches, almonds and hops. It can be full bodied or lighter with a lively acidity. Barbera is typically a deep ruby red color, full bodied with fresh fruit and has low tannins and a high acidity.

The Red

2016 Cascina Delle Rose Barbera D’ Alba “Donna Elena”

These wines hail from Piedmont, located in the north of Italy.
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The winery is small, family owned and run on about five hectares. The grapes for this wine come from the picturesque valley of Tre Stelle. They are old clones aged for 20 months in large Slavonian oak barrels. On the nose, it is complex with black cherry, plum, cinnamon and cloves. It is a deep garnet color with fresh fruits to start and a dark chocolate finish with mild tannins. This is an exquisite example of the Barbera grape and one of the best I’ve had in a while. Drink with red meats (think game or lamb) or mildly seasoned cheese. Price: $32.49

The White

2019 Deltetto Roero Arneis San Michele

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Arneis is my favorite white grape from the region and the Deltetto family has been making Arneis in Roero since 1977 on San Michele hill. Soils of sand, marl and sea shells unique to the region give the wine a bright acidity and minerality. It is a deep yellow color with apple, exotic fruits and hints of vanilla. Aged for about six months in cement and french oak barriques, it finishes soft and long lasting on the palate. I love this wine with fondue, oysters or as an aperitif. Price: $20.99

The Beer

Guinness is a popular choice around St. Patrick's Day, but Left Hand's Nitro Milk Stout is also popular around the country, and it hails from Colorado.
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The idea of sullying a perfectly good lager/ale with Guinness is painful to me, but the holidays make for a fun time to experiment with an Irish favorite. With St. Patrick’s Day in sight, it’s time to plan out what you’ll be stocking the fridge with. Grab any Nitro Guinness, a framboise, cider, lager, pale ale, cider, or IPA (if you must). Grab that spoon that has taken one too many trips down the garbage disposal and put a 90 degree bend in it towards the neck (bottom side up) to create a beer cocktail favored by the Irish.

The “half and half” (refrain from saying from “black and tan” as it has become an offensive reference to Great Britain’s violent and repressive rule over Ireland) has always been a visually appealing beverage served at the pub, but not many people take the time to learn the art for themselves. Equal parts lager/pale ale (dense beer) and Guinness (less dense beer) will result in a fine layer once properly executed with the pour over the spoon method. I prefer to create some head by pouring slightly hard with my lager/pale ale (I prefer Bass Pale) to create some head, which works nicely as a bed for the Guiness. Pour the Guinness gently over the bent spoon inside your glass, and voila.

Some other fun ways to mix Guinness: Guinness and Smithwicks = “Blacksmith”, Guinness and fruited Lambic (I love the framboise), Guinness and cider = “Snakebite”, and Guinness and Coke = “Trojan Horse” (you might be surprised). Just remember, this doesn’t have to be so serious. If you mess it up, you still have a very delicious mistake to consume while you try again. We’re running a holiday special on all Guinness, and Left Hand Nitro through March 17. Slainte!

Jeff Anderson and Josh Pipkin work at Boone’s Wine and Spirits. Anderson writes the intro text and the Red and White blurbs. Pipkin writes the Brew blurb. Contact the store at 970-328-9463.

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