Wine and beer reviews in Eagle County |

Wine and beer reviews in Eagle County

Daily Staff Reports
Vail CO, Colorado
Special to DailyTwilight Seasonal Ale.

Ah, summer. Time for outdoor concerts, biking ” with and without motorized assist ” golf and warm-weather delights galore. Including summer beers.

Most summer microbrews are wheats or other, lighter beers, but Twilight Ale has some hoppy heft to it. The folks at Deschutes claim they use four kinds of hops in this brew.

I can’t tell a hallertau from a Cascade, but these guys can, and they know how to combine hops to create bubbly, delicious beers. I’ve previously raved about Deschutes’ Hop Henge on this page, and would gladly buy it with my own money (Let’s take a moment here to thank everyone who provides sudsy samples for your humble reviewer. Thanks!) The same is true for Twilight Ale. Twilight might be a little more hop-heavy than Hop Henge (go figure), and it has a nice tartness to it that’s a fine way to end a day.

If I’d been running a shovel or a lawn mower on a hot afternoon, I think I’d go with a wheat beer with a slice of lemon or a Belgian white ale, but unless you’re sweaty and parched, this is a fine summer brew. Diving into a glass is a great way to let go of a day.

Find this beer at Avon Liquors or Village Warehouse Wines in Avon.

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Scott N. Miller, Daily Staff Writer

The 2006 Stonestreet Alexander Valley Chardonnay is a study in good chardonnay. Along with pronounced mineral tones, this medium-bodied wine tastes of peaches, pears and tropical fruit. The crisp acidity is a nice balance to the vibrant fruit flavors. Even better, the oak characteristics are subtle, which is just how I like my chardonnay.

“Everything about it is elegant and balanced. It’s just a fantastic bottle,” said Mickey Werner of Alpine Wine and Spirits in West Vail.

If you tried Stonestreet’s Chardonnay before 2004, you should try it again. When winemaker Graham Werts came on in 2004 he reinvented the style of the wine, according to Jarrett Osborn of Riverwalk Wine and Spirits.

“It went from this incredibly oaky bottle to this beautiful mountain-grown fruit,” Osborn said. “He completely changed the style of the wine.”

I paired a bottle of this wine, actually two bottles, with friends over the course of a warm summer night BBQ. The flavors in this California wine worked nicely with a roasted beet salad and even with grilled fare ” corn on the cob and chicken breast ” though Werner said he’d pair this elegant wine with something a bit more elegant, like roasted rather than grilled chicken and even pork or red meat.

“It’s a chardonnay I would eat with steak because texturally it has body and weight to it,” he said.

Werner also recommends chilling the wine in the fridge for a day, pouring a glass and then letting the wine warm up a few degrees before drinking it to get the full flavor profile.

This wine can be found at Alpine Wine and Spirits in West Vail, Riverwalk Wine and Spirits in Edwards and Village Warehouse Wines in Avon.

Caramie Schnell, High Life editor

A nice Cabernet Sauvignon may not be the first thing that comes to mind on a warm summer day. Fortunately, Monday night’s thunderstorms in Vail offered the perfect opportunity to cozy up with a glass of Murphy-Goode’s excellent 2005 Cab.

A product of Sonoma County’s Alexander Valley ” which seems to be producing all kinds of nice varietals lately ” the Murphy-Goode is a wonderfully flavored red that combines a great many textures in one taste: dark cherry, a touch of blackberry, maybe even a hint of tobacco and leather. But unlike some Cabs that have a bit too much earthiness going on, the Murphy-Goode stops short of a full subterranean experience. It has a clean intro on the palate and a pleasing finish that makes it very drinkable.

This is a good red for anyone who wants a pretty good kick of flavor. The Murphy-Goode demands your attention and has enough complexity in it that rolling it around on the tongue is a pleasure. Is that bay leaf? Thyme? Some kind of ancient root? There’s a lot going on here, and there’s little doubt this is a wine that would age very well.

Pair this Cab with any kind of meat and it’s hard to go wrong. It’s not a bad stand-alone sipper, either.

Find this wine at

Alex Miller, Vail Daily editor

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