Wine and beer reviews in Eagle County |

Wine and beer reviews in Eagle County

Daily Staff Reports
Vail CO, Colorado
Theo Stroomer/Vail DailyOld Chub is rich and full of flavor, something a beer lover will appreciate but not everyone else will.

After much longing and many hours of discussion, spring is finally here. Now that Vail and Beaver Creek mountains are closed and all that ski equipment is getting packed away, we have time to embrace different pastimes. With that in mind Matt Austin, assistant manager of Beaver Liquors, suggested I review Il Cavaliere Ruche di Castagnole Monferrato.

“The wine is perfect to barbecue with,” Austin said. “I knew spring was coming.”

He said that the fruit-forward, aromatic wine would be great with any grilled meats but specifically with grilled lamb or chicken. Also think about getting wild and pairing the wine with Indian or Asian edibles. But sipping the wine while nibbling some big flavor cheeses won’t disappoint your palate either.

The wine hails from the legendary Piedmont region of Italy. It’s made from 100 percent Ruche grapes, which are distinct with their clear flavors of peppers and berries. The wines can be described as having soft tannins and nice acidity.

Austin said this vineyard specializes in this varietal and after meeting the producers he knew that wine “was their passion.”

And after trying this new-to-me grape, I could see it becoming a passion of mine, too.

You can find this wine at Beaver Liquors in Avon.

Jessica Slosberg, Daily Staff Writer

Do you have Old Chub in the can?

Well let him out!

Sorry. But it seems appropriate to use a silly joke to start a review of a kind-of-silly beer.

Don’t get me wrong. Old Chub is very good at what it does. It’s rich and full of flavor, maybe too much flavor for some. And putting it in cans puts the lie to the old canard that good beer only comes in bottles.

But the Oskar Blues Brewery in Lyons, just north of Boulder, is kind of the Evel Kneivel of craft breweries. The place bills its products as “gonzo beer,” and that’s about right.

In other words, Old Chub ” along with its can-mates Dale’s Pale Ale and Gordon ” is fun for a night or a weekend, but not something you really want to go steady with.

It’s also not a beer for a casual drinker, or someone who doesn’t know what’s coming. I once saw a man hand a performing musician an Old Chub one hot summer night. The performer, obviously expecting something light and refreshing, had the good manners not to spit out his first sip, but he gingerly put the can down and headed back to his water bottle.

Old Chub’s heavy-duty nature makes it a good match for just about anything on the grill, as long as it once had four feet and fur, and it’s easy to see this ale as a dandy base for a beef or lamb stew.

It’s not often that something as seemingly simple as a beer will challenge those who pick it up. If you’re beer drinker enough, and ready for some heavy, hearty fun, then let Old Chub out of the can and have a few laughs.

You can find this beer at Alpine Wine and Spirits in West Vail.

Scott N. Miller, Business Editor

I was told this wine tastes somewhat like a Starburst candy. To be honest, I wasn’t all that excited about trying it. I mean, I like Starbursts just fine, but I don’t want to eat or drink anything else, least of all wine, that tastes like the sugary, super-fruity chews. Turns out there was no reason to be nervous, after all. While this wine has LOTS of intense fruit flavors, it isn’t syrupy sweet.

On the nose, this wine is super fragrant, smelling of flowers and honey. It starts out fruity and creamy but finishes dry. Though it smells somewhat delicate and tastes fruity, this wine has plenty of body and a nice acidity that pairs well with food.

“It’s just beautiful stuff,” said Mickey Werner of Alpine Wine and Spirits. “It’s made by the best known Argentine woman wine maker and her vineyard practices are fantastic. This wine is light, clean, crisp and fragrant.”

Now for a little background ” Torrontes is is the most widely planted white varietal in Argentina.

“I think of it as a cross between gerwurtraminer and pinot grigio,” Werner said.

Torrontes was originally thought to be a varietal from Northern Spain but DNA testing shows it’s likely a hybrid created from Muscat of Alexandria and the Mission grape (Criolla Chica) in California.

I enjoyed a chilled glass alongside an orange and soy sauce glazed Pork Chop atop udon noodles. Yum!

You can find this wine at Alpine Wine and Spirits in West Vail and Beaver Liquors in Avon.

Caramie Schnell, High Life Editor

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