Wine and beer reviews in Eagle County |

Wine and beer reviews in Eagle County

Daily Staff ReportsVail CO, Colorado
Theo Stroomer/Vail DailyOrange Blossom Cream Ale is light enough to be refreshing, but has more flavor than Bud or something like it.

This beer should be ripe for a scoffing, dismissive review.Its a fruity beer not one of my favorite styles, although I thoroughly enjoyed the blueberry wheat and coconut porter (really) I sampled at last weekends microbrew event at the Blues, Brews & BBQ party at Beaver Creek.This is also a cream ale, which brings back memories of massive morning-after headaches thanks to low-budget cream ales like Little Kings and Genesee.Worse, its one of those brewed by beers. In this case, Pyramid, a fairly reputable brewery in the Great Northwest, brews this stuff for Buffalo Bills.Thats three strikes, right?So, with a slight mixture of dread and the deliciously perverse anticipation of a chance to really unload on something in print, I opened my one and only review bottle and poured.Now I wish Id had a six-pack.This is a delightful summer beer, served best icy-cold. Theres a nice whiff of orange blossom that hits both on the first pour and as you sip your way to the bottom of the glass.As microbrews go, this is light, light stuff. There isnt an abundance of color, and next to no head retention, although theres a steady stream of bubbles rising to the top of the glass until youre about halfway down the glass. It makes wheat or Belgian whites (my current default beer now that its spring) seem positively syrupy.But this is what a summer beer is all about. Imagine youve just mowed a decent-sized lawn with a push mower. Waters always good, but wont cut the sweat youve built up the way something with some flavor would. Its after noon, so your significant other wont shoot you the skunk-eye if you head to the fridge for a delightful fermented beverage.This is the kind of beer you want light enough to be refreshing, but with a lot more flavor than a Bud or something like it. Drink this stuff quickly it really needs to be cold. But if the beers cold and youre hot, lay in a good supply.You can find this wine at Beaver Liquors in Avon. Scott N. Miller, Daily Staff Writer

Choosing a bottle of wine at a liquor store reminds me of treasure hunting as a child. As a kid, often times my treasures were golf balls plucked from the hills surrounding the Eagle-Vail golf course. My brother and I would hunt the white orbs at dusk, sometimes staying out way past sunset, eyes steeled for any reflection in our flashlights path. Since my boyfriend wont take me golf ball hunting (he thinks its a pretty lame idea), I guess wine hunting is as close as I can get these days. The most exciting wine hunts are when I pick out a bottle of wine all by myself, without one of the valleys very knowledgeable wine connoisseurs by my side, pointing out whats usually guaranteed to be a good bottle of vino.What Im getting at is I picked out the Mas Donis Barrica all by my lonesome. Ill admit, I was seduced somewhat superficially by the label, but thats besides the point. The bottom line is this wine, a blend of 85 percent garnacha and 15 percent syrah, is very good. It smells like black cherry, blueberry and even a hint of licorice. Complex and spicy on the tongue, this wine hints at cinnamon and cloves and has a long finish.The Spanish red wine hails from the Montsant region, located in northeastern Spain. Importer Eric Solomon requested that the winery, Cellar De Capcanes, separate the grapes from the old vines and make a custom cuvee.Its good that he did at less than $13, this is a treasure. You can discover this wine for yourself at Costco Liquors in Gypsum.Caramie Schnell, High Life Editor

As the Vail Valley transforms ever so slowly into summer this year, it helps to think spring with a switch from the heavy reds of winter into crisper, lighter wines. I took a bottle of Bon Ton Vin Blanc for a test drive at a dinner party and got several appreciative nods for the wines multi-faceted personality.The 07 Bon Ton is a mix of varietals Sauvignon Blanc, plus two from the Ctes-du-Gascogne: Rolle and Gros Menseng. The introduction of these two grapes from the South of France give the wine its friendly complexity: The first taste reveals the Sauvignon Blanc, but then the other two varietals reveal themselves, with aromas of lime and grapefruit. This is a somewhat sweet wine on the finish, but not so much that it cant be a very nice table wine or pre-dinner sipper.A good part of the reason for this bottles consistent crispness is that it was fermented in stainless steel which has the happy result of capturing the three varietals springy aromas and not muddying the waters with any residual wood flavor.The Bon Ton went very nicely with grilled salmon and spring vegetables and still hung around to lend its sweetness to a dessert of baklava. All around, a good warmer-weather bottle to have on hand, and pretty reasonable at less than $13 a bottle.You can find this wine at Beaver Liquors in Avon. Alex Miller, Vail Daily Editor

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