Red, White and Brew: Eagle County reviews
Vail CO, Colorado
My mom really likes this beer.
That’s saying something, because she’s a dedicated light beer drinker. But she found a review can ” I really like the idea of good beer in cans ” in my fridge on a recent visit and, with a dearth of anything else in the chill chest at the time, broke into it.
Her opinion of Gordon is that, unlike a lot of microbrews, it’s not too bitter for her tastes. Remember, we’re talking about someone whose usual beer is Bud Light.
Gordon is the smoothest thing, by far, from Oskar Blues, which I’ve referred to before as the Evel Knievel of American microbreweries.
It’s also expensive, pushing $3 a can in some stores. And, to keep even that price down, it’s sold only in four-packs. But four would be plenty for a couple of friends to split on a Friday night.
My mom’s tastes aside, make no mistake that this is heavy-duty stuff, a self-proclaimed “big, red, sticky” ale. It’s red to the point of being auburn, and the flavors don’t really open up until it’s been out of the fridge for a few minutes. And there’s flavor a-plenty.
Like all Oskar Blues products, Gordon is hopped up like there’s no tomorrow. That means there’s a ton of aroma and flavor, but unlike its Dale’s Pale Ale stablemate, Gordon has a smoothness that belies its bigness. If this was a car, it would be a Boyd Coddington hot rod, flashy and expensive, but with plenty of substance to back it up.
Gordon is brewed to honor the memory of Gordon Knight, who, obviously, liked his beer big and hearty. This would accompany everything from Yankee potroast to dogs on the grill to just an evening with the ballgame of your choice.
If you don’t get woozy over the price, this one’s well worth a try.
The wine is available at West Vail Liquor Mart in West Vail.
Scott Miller, Daily Business Editor
Chile may not be the first wine-growing country that comes to mind when you think Pinot Noir, but the Casablanca region in the northern part of the country near Valparaiso does have the cooler climes the grape requires. It’s a relatively new wine-producing region that produces mostly green grapes, so it’s forgivable to plead ignorance of Valle de Casablanca reds.
I tried hard to like this wine, since I’m generally well-disposed to Pinots and believe South American has a lot of interesting bottles being imported into the states. But this 2007 Montes Pinot Noir was a tough customer. It has a fairly complex mouth and a deep fruit character that shows promise, but even after several hours uncorked (and another try the following day), it refused to settle down its tannins ” leading to the inescapable conclusion that the wine is simply over-oaked (although the bottle says it was aged only eight months in the barrel). It could well be that another year or two in the bottle could help the Montes reveal more of its desirable and discernible red and black cherry flavors. For now, though, it’s hard to justify summoning a Pinot Noir from so far away when we have so many excellent ones being made on our own west coast.
This wine is available at Riverwalk Wine and Spirits in Edwards.
Alex Miller, Vail Daily Editor
A week of rain has passed (we hope) and the time for drinking in the sun, along with a nice glass of wine, is upon us again.
Gather the gang and a bottle of 2006 Cline Mourvedre Rose and breathe a collective sigh of relief ” we Vail Valley folk just aren’t used to being waterlogged, and the Cline has no patience for it either.
More adapt at accompanying people on sun-drenched decks and patios ” add an umbrella if you must ” the Cline, is great by itself but also holds its own against food. At $11.79 at Riverwalk Wine and Spirits, it’s not a snobby wine, so pair it with unpretentious eats, such as turkey burgers or cheese pizza. Its subtle fruitiness also lends itself to grilled seafood dishes or something with sweeter sauces, like teriyaki. And Riverwalk Wine and Spirits wine guy Jarrett Osborne says the Cline combined with ripe tomatoes drizzled with balsamic is to die for.
Best served chilled this refreshing dry rose nevertheless boasts fruit flavors, including cranberry, black cherry and plum.
“But it has a toasty, vanilla character to it, too,” Osborne said. “They call it a ‘creme brulee.'”
Hailing from Contra Costa County in Sonoma, California, the Cline reaps the benefits of deep, sandy soils from the 100-year-old vineyards the take advantage of the cooling effects of the San Joaquin and Sacramento Rivers that allows the grapes to hold their acidity, the winemaker reported.
Roses have always been a hugely popular summer wine in Western Europe, but they’ve fought to overcome the white zinfandel backlash in the United States, Osborne said. Roses fought, they conquered and their popularity has exploded over the last few years.
“I think they’re making a comeback,” Osborne said. “And I think this is just a heck of a wine.”
This wine is available at Riverwalk Wine and Spirits in Edwards
Nicole Frey, Daily Correspondent