Alcohol reviews in Eagle County |

Alcohol reviews in Eagle County

Daily Staff Reports
Vail CO, Colorado
AE Wine Review TS 01-10-08

There is plenty of wisdom when it comes to wine ” what varietals grow where, which flavors to expect, tannins, acidity and food pairings. Usually these ideas make up a useful and accurate guide for enjoying wine, but every once in awhile it is important to work outside the guides and do something different. Pairing salmon with a red wine other than pinot noir is a good example. I consulted with Dan Mahan, of Beaver Liquors on the right red wine to pair with the fish. He pointed me toward Luccarelli Primitivo ” a variety I had never heard of ” and gave me a history lesson.

Primitivo is best compared with a Zinfandel. Zinfandel is the pre-eminent American variety, while the Primitivo hails from Italy ” Pugalia to be exact in the “heel of Italy.” The two wines have many similarities such as taste ” think pepper and red berry fruits. Obviously, this caused some clashes over which one came first and if the two wines are actually being made from the same grape. Both countries got into the act and extensive DNA testing has been done to answer the questions. The answer is that they are related, but not the same type of grape as previously suggested. And actually the oldest variety is from Croatia.

My culinary experiment turned out incredibly well. The meatier fish stood up to the flavors of the wine, especially with a heavier sauce that incorporated spice. Mahan, suggested this particular wine because it has a relatively low alcohol content, 13 percent, whereas other versions of this wine can be as high as 16 percent.

But the most enjoyable part of the wine was trying something new and different. And for $10.99, it is a wine to start exploring.

” Jessica Slosberg, Daily Staff Writer

Sauvignon blanc and pinot grigio is SO yesterday. People in the know drink “gruvy” ” otherwise known as gruner veltliner, a varietal from Austria.

“The Austrian marketers came up with that (term),” said David Courtney, owner of Beaver Liquors in Avon, because it’s easier for people to pronounce.

Gruner Veltliner is becoming “super hot” for a few reasons, Courtney said.

“It’s streamlined and crisp. It’s a good wine with or without food. The best thing is if you spend $12 on a gruner veltliner, it’s like spending $20 on a pinot grigio or sauvignon blanc,” Courtney said.

When I opened the wine the first thing I noticed was a green apple aroma. In the mouth the wine has a nice minerality about it, with peppery notes on the finish.

I personally paired a glass with a good book and some time on the couch, but Mickey Werner, of Alpine Wine and Spirits in West Vail, said this wine is very flexible.

“It’s like pinot gri(gio) on steriods. It’s real, bright, crisp, it works great with spicy foods, it’s good with chicken and fish dishes or even with fondue.”

” Caramie Schnell, High Life editor

Sometimes the hardest things to find are the basics: a plain white T-shirt, jeans, a turkey sandwich (without any gourmet toppings) and a good, brown ale. Today beers are getting more and more diverse; everyone can find a beer that appeals to his or her taste buds. But with all the infused beers, hybrid styles and the new crop of organic beers, finding a good brown ale can be a challenge. Luckily, Deschutes Brewery might have the answer with its seasonal brew, “BuzzSaw Brown.”

The beer, which was originally introduced in early spring, is now being released in late winter. The beer has a chestnut color and a medium body. The company says the beer has, “A slightly, biscuity flavor” and the hops are mellow.

“The unique combination of European and American malts make it a very food-friendly beer that pairs well with a wide variety of flavors,” said Deschutes Brewery Brewmaster Larry Sidor.

I paired the beer with salmon and polenta. It complemented the flavors of the fish, which was done with lemon and peppercorns. It was quite tasty. The brewery recommends pairing it with winter squash and pumpkins flavors. Think soups and pies using in-season fruits and vegetables, which will help bring out the flavors of the beer.

The brewery, located in Bend, Ore., dedicated the beer to the town’s history. There is a long history of sawmills in the small town, which is on the banks of the Deschutes River in the northwest. The beer is meant to satisfy after a long day at work in the mill, or in the Vail Valley’s case, a long, hard day on the slopes.

” Jessica Slosberg, Daily Staff Writer

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