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Vail Daily Red White & Brew: A non-port Portugal wine

Vail Daily staff reportsnewsroom@vaildaily.comVail, CO Colorado
Vail Daily reviewer says you should pick some Dogfish Head World Wide Stout up tonight and then keep a bottle to age and try next ski season.
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VAIL, Colorado – Portugal may be known for port, but if you haven’t dipped your toes in the waters of this country’s other wine offerings, perhaps now’s the time. This red, Vale do Bomfim, from the Douro Valley (where all Portugal’s top ports come from), may not lend itself easily to pronunciation or memory, but it has a real assertiveness on the palate and a unique intensity. Like its port cousins, this Douro is a deep garnet color and redolent with dark spice: plum, blackberry, cinnamon, chocolate. It’s a medium-bodied dry red that still has a nice, smooth mouth feel and isn’t too tart. This 2007 drinks quite nicely now, but the winemaker says it will age well in the bottle for another couple of years – and I don’t doubt it. The Douro is complex enough to benefit from a little more time in bottle, but it’s not a wine that needs over-thinking: It’s relatively crisp and straightforward, even if its dominant character is unfamiliar to the typical Merlot or Cab drinker.Portugal’s wine-making history goes back to the ancient Romans and Phoenicians, and the country established its appellation system 200 years before France. In a wine like this, it’s hard not to fancy that you’re experiencing a bit of that history in every sip. These guys know what they’re doing, and as wine exports to the U.S. increase, I look forward to getting to know the non-port Portugal wines a little better in the future. What’s more, you can get to know this small batch (5,000 cases) wine for a very reasonable price.You can find this wine at Riverwalk Wine & Spirits in Edwards and West Vail Liquor Mart. Alex Miller, Summit Daily editor

Dogfish Head Brewery has created one of the world’s strongest dark beers. World Wide Stout sports 18 percent alcohol and is an Imperial Stout style.After the next snowy, spring day, grab a beer and settle down in front of a fireplace and linger over one of the best beers in the world. This style beer is perfect for a winter day and warming your innards. World Wide Stout earned a ranking of No. 48 on the Top 100 Best Beers in the World List on http://www.ratebeer.com. Dark, rich, roasty and complex, World Wide Stout has more in common with a fine port than a cheap mass-marketed beer. Thick, rather sweet, black licorice, dark chocolate and roasted malts assault the nose and heartily invite you to try a taste. This beer has an interesting bitter taste to balance all these flavors. Poured into a tulip glass, this beer will pleasure the drinker with layers of flavors and a complexity that is well worth lingering over.Dogfish Head World Wide Stout is brewed using six different yeast strains over seven months and then aged for six more months. This finely crafted beer has the ability and alcohol to age for a few years. This cult beer takes a lot of talent and craftsmanship to pull off. It has a very limited availability. Pick some up to drink tonight and then keep a bottle to age and try next ski season.You can find this beer at Avon Liquor, Beaver Liquors in Avon and Eagle Ranch Wine & Spirits.Cary Hogan, Avon Liquor

Here’s a splendid, highly approachable Chardonnay even confirmed red-wine drinkers – such as my wife and I – came to truly enjoy. Acre’s 2008 Chardonnay has a bit more sweetness than your typical bottle, and it’s as bright and cheery as a 5-year-old on Christmas Day. With warmer weather here, it’s a great white to keep in mind as you think about lighter summer fare, time in the sun and entertaining outdoors.This Acre Chard has a very nice toasted oak background that plays host to tropical, citrus and floral flavors throughout – with a mild acid and a spry finish. There’s lemon in here, some lime and kiwi, perhaps, and a creamy texture that’s very satisfying. Packaged in Acre’s distinctive grape-leaf bottle, this is definitely a bottle I’ll grab again and again.Visit http://www.acrewinery.com to learn more.Alex Miller, Summit Daily editor


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