Red, White & Brew: Yes, Colorado produces wine | VailDaily.com

Red, White & Brew: Yes, Colorado produces wine

Val Goranov
Alpine Wine & Spirits
Colterris means "from the Colorado land," and the winery produces a merlot from its estate vineyards.
Special to the Daily

Editor’s note: The Red, White & Brew weekly feature highlights drinks from local liquor stores.

Happy (belated) Memorial Day, everyone. We value all the men and women who have done so much for this country. Our theme this week will be kind of similar — we will talk about the local winemakers and brewmasters who spend countless hours each day to produce the best American products for us to enjoy.

Red Wine

There isn’t a more appropriate place to start than home — Colorado. Yes, Colorado produces wine. There are actually more than 150 wineries, most of them growing their grapes between 4,000 and 7,000 feet in elevation. Even though Colorado is not in the top 10 of the wine producing states in the USA, the state is well known for its high, quality grapes. Colterris Winery is a prime example of that. (Colterris means “from the Colorado land”). Grapes always come from their estate vineyards and their merlot is no exception to that. Wait, did I just say merlot? Yes, I did, and you will fall in love with it once you try it. Forget all the negativity around the grape or the “Sideways” effect ­and give it another chance. Very dark and extracted in color, it has a great depth but finishes soft and silky, thanks to the balanced tannins. It is worth the $24.99 price.

White wine

I don’t mean to make anyone jealous, but we’ll skip California once again. It will get its chance for glory, though, I promise. Today we’ll go to Oregon and the grape that recently became a flower child for it — Chardonnay. Whether rich and buttery or elegant and mineral-forward, Oregon has it all. I will say a few words about the latter and in particular about Solena Chardonnay. I have to admit that I am not a fan of Chardonnay in general but this one blew me away. The 2016 vintage brought more finesse and elegance to the wine than the 2015. And even though it was in 30% new oak barrels for 10 months, it is not your typical oaky, creamy or buttery wine. The palate is complex with some apple and pear notes, making it a great choice as an aperitif or paired with salads and fish. The Solena Chardonnay costs $24.99.

Beer

This one is “embarrassingly fun to drink,” as they describe it. They? New Image Brewery from Arvada is made up of incredibly creative, futuristic people creating styles of beer that are very interesting and delicious in flavor and taste. Moped Blood Orange Witbier is their take on the classic Belgian wit but with a unique citrus twist. It’s extremely refreshing, juicy and delicious, perfect for a relaxing day — and for the warm ones that are (hopefully) coming. A six-pack of cans is $10.99. And when you try it, you’ll be back for more.