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Vodka, grenache and verdicchio, oh my

Daily Staff ReportsVail, CO, Colorado
Special to the Daily/ Caramie Schnell
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Thats good, is what you should hear when you open a new bottle of wine. When I opened a bottle of Yalumba Bush Vine Grenache 2006 that is exactly what I heard from the Vaily Daily staffers who sampled a glass. This red wine is most definitely tasty, which is almost word for word what Mickey Werner, Winewiz at Alpine Wine and Spirits in Vail, told me it would be.While Grenaches are usually associated with Spain this one hails from Australia not only from the land down under but from the oldest family-owned vineyard. It was established in 1849. But another unique aspect of this wine is its a bush vine (the Australian term for head pruned). This means that the grape is grown without the help of tressling. Instead, the grapevines grow wild and the grapes are picked off the top. This effectively keeps the yield down to two to four clusters a branch, he said. The wine is a sweet wine that stands on its own quite nicely. If you are looking for a food pairing, Werner suggests lamb chops with a little olive oil and rosemary. This should bring out the sweetness of the wine he said. He also suggests that if you are keeping it in your house or apartment and it is on the warm side, anywhere between 70 and 80 degrees, put this bottle in the refrigerator for 30 minutes to let it cool down to really experience it.This wine has flavors of plum, licorice and spice. It has a nice buttery taste that is sweet without being overbearing. At $14.99 this bottle is definitely worth a try and the perfect compliment to a nice, easy evening sitting on the deck. Jessica Slosberg, Daily Correspondent

This artisan, handmade vodka hails from Palisade, where the distillers use Olathe sweet corn to make it. Mickey Werner at Alpine Wine and Spirits in Vail suggests pouring a little of the vodka into a wine glass and swilling it around. Just smell the tip of the glass and youll swear youre smelling the corn, he said.The vodka does have a sweet character to it, which makes it go down quite smooth.The company also produces a peach-flavored Goat vodka, which is infused with Palisade peaches added during the distillation process. The vodka fuses with the peaches, which results in a light, subtle peach taste rather than a sugary, overpowering effect that some flavored vodkas are known for. Todd Gould distributes the vodka locally for Peach Street Distillers. He was kind enough to share the recipe for their signature drink, called the Copper Cabra, which is their own version of the Moscow Mule. Copper Cabra (as served in their Copper Cups)2 oz. Goat Artisan Vodka6 oz. Ginger Beer (he uses Reeds)Lime WedgeYou can find Goat vodka at bars and restaurants like Sandbar, Bagalis, Loaded Joes, Montauk, Chaps and Mezzaluna, as well as most liquor stores in town, including Grappa Fine Wine and Spirits, Lionshead Liquors, Beaver Liquors, Avon Liquors, Alpine Wine and Spirits and Minturn Mile Liquors. Caramie Schnell, Arts & Entertainment Editor

I first tried this wine at Frites in Edwards a few weeks ago and though I promised to commit the wine to memory, the slate was blank the next morning. Thankfully, the wine features a lime green screw top thats hard to miss, at least for my fellow wine lover and reviewer, Jess Slosberg. On a recent liquor store outing she handed me the bottle saying, isnt this that wine you wanted to review? Yes, yes it is.This wine is made from 100 percent Verdicchio grapes grown in the Marches, a region of central Italy. Upon opening a bottle (easy to do since it features a screw top) its impossible to miss the intense floral bouquet, with hints of ripe fruit. This dry wine is fresh and crisp. Mickey Werner at Alpine Wine and Spirits chose this wine as his wine of the week about a month back, he said. Its a nice alternative to pinot grigio and a little bit lighter than a pinot grigio. It has a real fresh minerality with a nice tang to it … It gets your appetite going, Werner said. As such, pair the golden hued wine with cheese and crackers before dinner. Caramie Schnell, Arts & Entertainment Editor


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