Wine and beer reviews in Eagle County |

Wine and beer reviews in Eagle County

Daily Staff ReportsVail CO, Colorado
Theo Stroomer/Vail DailyRogue HazelNut Brown Nectar is a very good brown ale, in fact, with good color and a nice, malty flavor but you have to search for the Hazelnut flavors.

Pairing wine with popcorn? Thats what Daniel Mahan from Beaver Liquors pairs Gotin Mencia with. That comment was enough to pique my interest. Its not that this wine is simple, rather its young and fresh with a fruity, slightly floral nose. Really, its pretty darn good all by itself or with a few handfuls of popcorn and a good movie, Mahan said. Grape nerds will appreciate this wine. Its made from Mencia, which is thought to be related to cabernet franc, a varietal that is generally a little lighter than cabernet sauvignon. The grapes in this wine, grown in the Bierzo region of Spain, come from 35-year-old vines. Theres no oak used in the aging process. It makes for very easy drinking, very approachable wines not scary, Mahan said. Its just a really fun wine.Like Mahan told me to begin with, this wine goes well with simple presentations, maybe some cheeses or a lighter grilled meats like pork chops. I personally tried a glass by itself and enjoyed it, though now I wish Id popped some corn for kicks. You can find this wine at Beaver Liquors in Avon. Caramie Schnell, High Life Editor

This light, bright wine hails from the Willamette Valley in Oregon. I admit it, I feel privileged to know how to say Willamette correctly and will now share it with you so you can condescendingly correct your friends and peers when they mispronounce it. Im pretty sure you wont forget, either. Its Wil-lam-ette. It rhymes with damn it. Go ahead, say it aloud. See? Now its stuck in your brain, too. Back to the wine. Its fermented in stainless steel in the classic pinot grigio style. This wine is light and approachable. This is a little more austere-style gris, said Mickey Werner, wine whiz at Alpine Wine and Spirits in West Vail. You can get pinot gris that are real fruity and soft and lush and (Langes) tends to be a little leaner, a littler meaner, with a little more acidity, might even have a little tannin to it.Try the wine with homemade humus, like I did, or Werner recommends serving it with shellfish, like scallops with a buerre blanc sauce or spicy foods because its an all around great thirst quencher.It would also be great with salmon, since its a member of the pinot family, he said.You can find this wine at Beaver Liquors in Avon. Caramie Schnell, High Life Editor

You have to love a brewer that gives its products names like Old Crustacean, Jazz Guy Ale and Brutal Bitter.Here we have HazelNut Brown Nectar, a kind of nondescript name for a kind of nondescript beer.Looking at the Web site, Rogue seems to embrace the too-cute, too-clever-by-half approach a lot of craft brewers take. It could be just me, but Im not sure the world needs a chipotle beer, or a brew infused with juniper. I had a pine-needle-infused beer once. It tasted like something that had been filtered through Ewell Gibbons underwear. (Note to under-40 readers: Go to YouTube and search for Ewell Gibbons. The preceding joke will then be funny.)HazelNut Brown Nectar is nothing like that pine-infused beer, thank heaven. Its a very good brown ale, in fact, with good color and a nice, malty flavor. The hazelnut extract is there, but at least to my nose and tastebuds so subtle you really have to search hard for any hazelnut flavor.So why bother? The guess here is that Rogues stuff is designed by and for homebrew heroes looking to be clever. Just look at part of this beers description on the companys Web site: Hazelnut Brown Nectar Ale is a blend of Great Western 2-row Pale, Munich, Hugh Baird Brown, Crystal 80 and Crystal 135, Carastan, and Beeston Pale Chocolate malts; hazelnut extract; Perle and Saaz hops.Thats nice, I suppose.A good beer, but not one to go nuts over.You can find this beer at Beaver Liquors in Avon. Scott N. Miller,Vail Daily Business Editor

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