Wine and beer reviews in Eagle County |

Wine and beer reviews in Eagle County

Daily Staff Reports
Vail CO, Colorado
Preston Utley/

When most people think of Washington they think Seattle and then he or she might think fish, Nirvana or Starbucks, but almost everyone thinks rain. Really everyone should be thinking wine. Washington produces great wines and no, not in Seattle. As a native I can attest there is more to the state than the coastal port city. An example of this is the Chateau St. Michelle 2005 Cold Creek Cabernet Sauvignon.

“Most people like California wines because they are fruit forward, jammy wines. And they get like that from the dry, hot climate. But people forget that Washington gets two more hours of daylight in the summer,” said David Courtney, owner and wine consultant at Beaver Liquor. And the Cabernet has blackberry and dark fruit flavors. There was a collective sigh of disappointment among the group I was with when the last glass was poured.

Courtney said this wine is so good partly because the eastern part of the state is so dry they irrigate the vineyards, which gives the winemaker more control. When making wine, the winemaker wants to starve the vine to the point that it almost shuts down, which is how the best fruit is produced, Courtney said.

” Jessica Slosberg, Daily Staff Writer

Some mead enthusiasts claim mead ” fermented honey wine ” as the first fermented beverage. Redstone Meadery in Boulder produces award-winning varieties of mead “everything from plum and blueberry to a mead made with pinot noir grapes. I tried their annual Winter Solstice release made with vanilla beans and cinnamon sticks. It was my first time trying mead and I’m not going to lie, I didn’t fall in love, but after a half glass or so, I began to like it more.

“It’s an acquired taste,” said Daniel Mahan, one of the wine experts at Beaver Liquors in Avon. “You expect sweet but you get a fairly dry flavor, actually.”

According to Redstone Meadery’s Web site “the word honeymoon is derived from an ancient tradition of sending a newly married couple off to seclusion for a month with much mead, to ensure their best chance to start a family quickly. Mead has been, and still is, considered the drink of love.”

The drink is called the king of drinks and the drink of kings and dates back to Babylonian times, Mahan said.

“It’s quite the unique little item. If you’re tired of wine and you don’t really want to drink beer and want to hit something in the middle, try mead,” he said.

Mead lovers, take note ” the International Mead Festival, which is the world’s largest honey wine festival and competition and features more than 100 varieties of mead, is Friday and Saturday in Denver. Visit for more information.

” Caramie Schnell, High Life Editor

Being rather short, I am attracted to things that come in small sizes. When a beer comes in a small-ish bottle I get rather excited. When I saw Anchor Steam’s Old Foghorn “barley wine ale,” which comes in 12-ounce bottles, I knew I had to try it.

The company’s Web site says it adheres to traditional brewing methods and ingredients when making the beer, which is based on English barley wines. It is very hoppy and only cascade hops are used. It is fermented with a top-fermenting ale yeast.

The aspect of the beer that stood out the most to me were the bubbles. They were more champagne-like than beer-like. They are softer and felt smaller in my mouth. According to the company’s Web site the “carbonation is produced by an entirely natural process called ‘bunging,'” which is how the pleasant effect is achieved.

But other than the bubbles this beer didn’t do much for me. It was light and drinkable and I would give it another shot, but I won’t be running to buy a six-pack.

” Jessica Slosberg, Daily Staff Writer

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