Vail Red, White & Brew: A a slightly spicy whiskey | VailDaily.com
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Vail Red, White & Brew: A a slightly spicy whiskey

Daily staff reportsnewsroom@vaildaily.comVail, CO Colorado
(ri)1 Whiskey
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Upon first glance (ri)1 pronounced rye one whiskey might seem like just another gimmicky liquor built more around an ad campaign and a fancy bottle than actual quality and taste, but looks can be deceiving. Sure, the bottle is fancy and the marketing is geared more toward the Sex and the City crowd than the Harley Davidson crowd, but it also stands apart from other whiskeys in that it has a spicy, almost peppery taste when first sipped, then slowly mellows out as it goes down. But, at 92 proof, it doesnt lack any of that whiskey kick either, which is good because you should be prepared to spend a little more for (ri)1. At $48 per 750 ml youll want to take your time and enjoy it. Its not a Saturday-night frat party whiskey.To fully enjoy the taste of (ri)1 drink it on the rocks with no mixer, unless you want to splash some cold water over it to smooth it out even more. Thats not to say you cant mix it up with good results. The companys Web site contains several ideas for cocktails using (ri)1 whiskey.(ri)1 brings cocktails to life by celebrating smooth rye flavor notes, said Mara Melamed, brand manager of (ri)1 whiskey, in a press release.Mickey Warner, manager of Alpine Wine and Spirits in West Vail, said Canadian whiskeys are usually made with rye but that gourmet rye whiskeys are still a niche market.Rye typically has a sharper taste for a lot of folks, Warner said.Will it change your outlook if youre already predisposed to dislike whiskey? Probably not. But it might slowly win you over to the dark side after enough sips.Available at Village Warehouse Wine in Avon and Pier 13 in Eagle-Vail. Charlie Owen, Daily correspondent

Breathing we cant live without it, and neither can this wine.Yes, it is possible to drink the 2006 Quivira Anderson Ranch Zinfandel the instant its uncorked. But without giving it a bit of breathing room, its one big wine to tackle, despite the hearty meal of grilled pork chops and potatoes au gratin I paired it with. For those who love an incredibly hearty, robust wine, go for it straight from the bottle. I would recommend decanting it for an hour before serving. After sampling it the first night, I gave it another 24 hours to mellow out, at which time it was a much smoother and quite a nice accompaniment to a decadent beef stew.No matter how you slice it, this amply acidic zinfandel is a food wine, reminiscent of Bordeauxs. Try it with a variety of grilled, braised or stew meats. And unless half your taste buds are dead from years of abuse, avoid sipping solo. The Quivira Zinfandel, Dry Creek Valley, is a plush, full-bodied wine brimming with blackberry and plum notes. The busy bees at the solar-powered Quivira Vineyards allow for 10 days of open-top fermentation with wild yeast before aging in French oak for 16 months. Just being released in bigger cities, this zinfandel isnt yet available in local liquor stores. At a recommended $34 for a 750 ml bottle, Im not sure this rough-around-the-edges wine is quite worth it. Visit http://www.quivirawine.com for more information.Nicole Frey, Daily correspondent

Im a sucker for a good story, and Simi Winery certainly has one: Two Italian immigrants, brother Giuseppe and Pietro Simi, founded Simi Winery in 1876. As the story goes, the boys failed at their farming and produce endeavors but excelled at making wine. They built their first stone cellar in 1890 in the rolling hills of Californias Sonoma County because it reminded them of home. After both brothers tragically died within 4 months of each other, Giuseppes daughter, Isabelle, took over the winery and ran it for more than 65 years. On to the wine specifically Simis 2007 Chardonnay. The wine is 100 percent chardonnay and composed of fruit from Sonomas Russian River Valley, Alexander Valley and Carneros growing regions. My advice is to make sure the wine is good and chilled. Drink it too warm and, as my roommate said, it tastes a bit like box wine. But at the right temperature, some nice flavors come through green apple and stone fruit are the most recognizable to me. Its obviously oaked, but its not too much instead, the wine is creamy with enough spice to keep your palate engaged.All in all its not my favorite chard, but for the price and the story its worth having on hand for last-minute guests. Drink it alone, or serve it with pork, poulty or salmon. You can find this wine at West Vail Liquor Mart, Avon Liquor, Eagle Ranch Wine & Spirits, Village Warehouse Wines in Avon and Alpine Wine & Spirits in West Vail. Caramie Schnell, High Life editor


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