Wine and beer reviews in Eagle County |

Wine and beer reviews in Eagle County

Daily Staff Reports
Vail CO, Colorado

It’s not too often I run across a Tempranillo that’s not blended with Granacha or some other grapes. In this case, the Old Vines Reserva from Spain’s Valdepenas region (about midway between Madrid and Granada) is a 100 percent Tempranillo varietal worthy of note.

A medium ruby color, the Old Vines Tempranillo has a wonderfully fragrant nose that promises a pleasant drinking experience ahead. This is a mature wine that’s very easy on the palate with a nice, fruit signature with a touch of acidity. There’s black cherry in here, currants and spice. This is not an overly complex wine: just a very drinkable red that went great with pizza and would be a welcome accompaniment to pasta, lamb, barbecued beef or a cheese tray.

This wine is fermented in stainless steel and then aged 12 months in mostly American oak ” a combination that gives it both its clean lines as well as its mellow but distinctive character. A good wine for drinkers who don’t like high-tannin bottles or overly demanding flavors, the Old Vines is a great option for Cab drinkers looking to branch out a little.

This wine is available at Pier 13 Liquors in Eagle-Vail.

Alex Miller, Summit Daily editor

Typical New Zealand sauvignon blanc is crisp, with citrus and passion fruit flavors ” pretty much my definition of a good summer wine. This wine falls right in that category: It tastes of grapefruit with a touch of guava and passion fruit but it’s not as tart as some of the sauv blanc from New Zealand can be. The crisp finish is characteristic of the area its grown in, namely Marlborough ” New Zealand’s premier winegrowing region. It’s a good bottle to sneak in the mix before the leaves turn and you start craving a white with a little more substance.

There was one slightly off-putting thing about this bottle that I should mention. When we first opened it three people said it smelled a bit like diaper rash ointment.

Thankfully it didn’t taste anything like it (not that I know what diaper rash ointment tastes like, but you get my drift).

Until about a year ago this wine was called New Haven, said Jarrett Osborn of Riverwalk Wine and Spirits. After a merger, the name of the wine changed, but the wave-laden label and the wine are still the same.

While I had a glass of this wine with friends after dinner, I think it would taste better paired with food. Tom Domenico, owner of Pier 13 Liquor in Eagle-Vail said this wine would pair well with “roasted chicken, seafood dishes and lighter salad fare.”

This wine is available at Pier 13 Liquors in Eagle-Vail, West Vail Liquor Mart, Avon Liquors and Riverwalk Wine and Spirits in Edwards.

Caramie Schnell, High Life editor

So, you’ve just come home from a camping trip. The car’s unloaded and you’ve had a shower to wash off the weekend’s dust. Now … what’s in the fridge?

In this case the post-camping brew was Edge City from Colorado Springs’ Bristol Brewing Co. At first, the very bottle raised suspicion, since it touts Edge City as an “Octoberfest” style brew.

OK, this is America, but the beer style is “Oktoberfest.” Not an auspicious start.

Spelling aside, the beer itself seems to fit with the Oktoberfest style ” more malt than hops, with a little heft to the body. There’s a slightly sweet taste, and not much in the way of carbonation.

But still. There’s something about the beers from Bristol that doesn’t sit well on my palate. There’s a kind of bitterness that doesn’t come from hops, and it’s common to all of Bristol’s stuff. I’m not well-enough versed in the whys and hows of brewing to nail it down, but this beer just isn’t very satisfying.

If I was in Colorado Springs and enjoying a burger or brat at the brewpub with friends and a game on the big screen it would be one thing, but out of a friendly local retailer’s coolers? I’ll pass.

This isn’t a bad beer. There aren’t many of those. But if you’re in the market for a real Oktoberfest beer, try something from Germany.

This beer is available at Avon Liquors and Beaver Liquors in Avon.

Scott N. Miller, Vail Daily staff writer

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