Life beyond cabernet, chardonnay and merlot |

Life beyond cabernet, chardonnay and merlot

Caramie SchnellVail, CO Colorado
AE Apres Ski Tasting DT 4-12-07

Even though Lance Arnold can’t remember the name of the pink-hued wine he liked, he can gesture in the general direction of the table where he procured it. “It was a rose wine, which I’ve never tried before. It tasted like watermelon and strawberry – it was in a category all by itself,” Arnold said.Arnold, a 30-year-old Marriott bellman and his friend and coworker Taylor Morris, 26, embodied the theme of this year’s Taste of Vail apres ski event, called Life Beyond Chardonnay, Cabernet and Merlot.”The theme is about getting away from the commoner’s favorite wines and moving on to the finer things, like Pinot Noir, Sauvignon Blanc, Shiraz, Reisling and Zinfandel,” said Stephen Lloyd Wood, media liaison for the Taste of Vail.

Generally, Arnold sticks to Pinot Noir he said while sipping Domaine Serrene’s Rockblock Syrah. “I like this, it’s spicy, but it’s good.”And even though Arnold is branching out for the evening, expanding his wine palate portfolio, and learning about how specifics like region and weather can affect wine, he still can’t help but favor old reliable. His favorite Pinot Noir of the evening was Calera, he said.Sidling up to rosy-cheeked Morris, I ask if he knows much about wine. “Wait, they have wine here?” he asks with a grin. “Does box wine count? No, I’m kidding.”

Successful scallopsBy all standards the two-and-a-half-hour semi mob tasting event was a success. Winemakers poured tastes that grew heavier as the event wore on into the glasses thrust their way. Local chefs scrambled to put the finishing herb sprigs into place before quickly handing them off to outstretched hands.The French Press served up scallops on crostini with a fresh tomato, cilantro, shallot, lemon and olive oil topping.”It was kind of bruschetta, kind of salsa – like Mexico bumps into Italy,” said Zak Stone, owner of the French Press. Stone said he’d been worried that they’d brought too much food.

He was wrong.”We went through 400 portions in two hours,” he said. “I love this event, out of the three main (Taste of Vail) events, it’s the best by far.”Arts & Entertainment Writer Caramie Schnell can be reached at 748-2984 or

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