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Vodka with grape appeal

Daily Staff ReportsVail, CO, Colorado
Special to the Daily
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Sometimes the best wines arent from a far off land; they are from around the corner or, in our case, a few states over. There is a reason that California-wine country, despite all the grumbling, is viewed as Mecca for wine lovers and known for producing first-class bottles. And, in my opinion, you will be hard pressed to find a better Cabernet Sauvignon for your money than one from California. Redwood Creeks 2006 vintage is a perfect example. This red wine has a full, round flavor featuring berries and black cherries and finishing with spice and mocha. According to the companys Web site, the mild temperatures during that years growing season, between mid-August and November, was ideal for this type of grape, which contributed to the soft, ripe tannins.Now, I like my wine full of flavor and I like my Web sites full of information and http://www.redwoodcreek.com fits the bill. It not only offers information on all of the vintages, it also offers a full range of recipes that pair the wines with interesting dishes. Honestly I indulged in the wine with nothing more than a turkey sandwich, which worked out just fine. But the suggested recipes had my mouth watering while figuring out when I would have time to cook a full meal to compliment the rest of my bottle and thinking about giving the other wines a try. The company suggested pairing the cabernet with Campfire braised pears and Lost in the woods pork tenderloin, and both sound excellent.The wine is available at Avon Liquor and at Beaver Liquors. Jessica Slosberg, Daily Staff Writer

First, let me get something off my chest. Ive never been a huge fan of the bubbly. Well, thats not entirely true. At one wedding, I was quite the fan. I still remember the headache that followed and Ive shied away from more than a half glass ever since. Last night though, I happily finished a full glass of Canella Prosecco with dessert. This sparkling wine has aromas of flowers, lemon and lime on the nose and finishes slightly fruity as well.Prosecco is considered off dry, explained Jarrett Osborn, the wine guru at Riverwalk Wine and Spirits, so its not as dry as brute champagne. Its a little softer and smoother. This one in particular is real soft and smooth.Proseccos are popular among those who want bubbles for mimosas or bellinis, perhaps but dont want to pay for the nuances of fine champagne, Osborn said. They have a little bit of natural fruitiness, peach characteristics, so oftentimes when people drink it (without juice), theyll drink it with dessert. Pair it with a fruit dessert, which is how I like it best, Osborn said. I second that.Caramie Schnell, Arts & Entertainment Editor

For those not familiar with vodkas origins, the clear alcohol is usually distilled from fermented potatoes, grain or even molasses. Ciroc vodka is one of very few vodkas on the market made from grapes, specifically French grapes grown and harvested in centuries-old vineyards in the Cognac and Gaillac regions of France. The grapes are cold fermented before being distilled five times (most vodkas are distilled three times, according to their website). The copper pot-still method is used for the final distillation. Im not sure how the copper pot comes into play, but this vodka is surprisingly smooth. I generally drown my vodka in soda and a splash of cranberry, but for the sake of this review I, gasp, tried it solo. And even though the company recommends drinking the vodka in a champagne flute to release the true aroma and flavor of any cocktail, I drank it from a plain old tumbler and I wasnt disappointed. The vodka is very smooth, with subtle sweet flavors. Even better, it didnt have the usual searing alcohol burn on the finish.This vodka is really crisp, really clean, said Kyle Bolio, one of the sommeliers at Riverwalk Wine and Spirits in Edwards. It also has a slight hint of grapes because its distilled from grapes that they let freeze thats why its called Snapfrost. There will be a frost and the grapes will freeze. They press them while theyre frozen, get the concentrated flavors and distill that so theres a slight essence of grape. Its nice for something different.Looking for a new vodka drink? Try the Ciroc French Accent. Ingredients:I and 1/2 ounces Ciroc vodkaSplash raspberry liquorSplash pineapple juice1 slice fresh pineappleShake with crushed ice in cocktail shaker and serve in a champagne flute. Garnish with the pineapple slice. Source: http://www.thebar.comCaramie Schnell, Arts & Entertainment Editor


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