Wine and beer reviews in Eagle County |

Wine and beer reviews in Eagle County

TheoBig Tattoo Red

Heres a feel-good wine if ever there was one: Not only is this 50/50 Chilean blend of Cabernet Sauvignon and Syrah bursting with big-fruit goodness, its a wine with a mission thats particularly relevant during October Breast Cancer Awareness Month.As the story goes, two brothers, one a wine importer and the other a tattoo artist, created Big Tattoo Red in honor of their mother, who died of cancer in 2000. For every bottle sold, the brothers donate 50 cents to breast-cancer charities, except in September and October, when they double it and donate $1 for each bottle. Nice story, good cause but the wine still has to hold its own. In the case of the Big Tattoo, the news is good: This is a pretty big wine, but not overwhelming. The Syrah gives it plenty of body while the Cab rounds out the flavor with some complex notes that dont demand too much attention. A nice table wine, no doubt, but not a bad sipper in its own right. It would hold up well against a stronger meat dish and be a good complement to just about any pasta concoction you could come up with.As for its place of origin, the Colchagua Valley is just south of Santiago in a fertile, warm area at the foothills of the Andes. The Valley is an increasingly important wine-growing region, and well no doubt see plenty of product from this area in the coming years. Next time youre heading over for a climb up Aconcagua, pop by and check it out. In the meantime, you cant go wrong grabbing a taste of Chile with a bottle of Big Tattoo Red.This wine is available at West Vail Liquor Mart, Alpine Wine & Spirits in West Vail and Avon Liquors.Alex Miller, Summit Daily Editor

A reason for the little ones to dress up is a reason for the grown ups to drink up. With Halloween just days away, start the holiday season off with a little pink champagne. The hue is perfect for a girls night in, but the dryness of the Mumm Napa Valley Brut Rose will tickle mens fancies, too. The powerful Brut Rose is no sissy drink. The complex pink potion is 85 percent pinot noir and 15 percent chardonnay. The grapes are picked by hand to preserve the delicate flavors, and five percent of the pinot noir is ripened on the vine and fermented in the Burgundian style to add weight and the bright coral color, Mumm Napa winemaker Ludovic Dervin said. The subtle fruitiness of this rose think cherry and plum ease a traditionally quite dry brut making this bottle accessible to a wide array of palates. Rose sales are up 15 percent this year, said Mickey Werner, manager of Alpine Wine and Spirits at City Market in West Vail. People are finally realizing how great they are. Theyve been associated with white zinfandel, and the stigma is that theyre sweet. But [roses have] great tannins, grip, flavor, and bubbles are just fun.And who can argue with fun?Start off a soiree with the Brut Rose as an aperitif. Itll also pair well with food. I recommend this sparkling wine with light eats, like hors doeurvres or seafood, avoiding dishes with heavy sauces, like stews.Jarrett Osborne, resident wine guy at Riverwalk Wine and Spirits, endorses classing up fried food with the Brut Rose. What do you think of when you think of fried food? Osborne said. Beer. Why? Because beer has bubbles. And whats in sparking wine? Bubbles. Its going to cut through the grease. Get some fried mushrooms or tempura and pop open a bottle.Visit for more information on this sparkling wine. None of the local retailers we called carry this bottle. Nicole Frey, Daily Staff Writer

The Breckenridge Brewery is something of a misnomer.Sure, the label says Breckenridge, and the brewery has an outlet there, but corporate headquarters is in downtown Denver. That would explain why you can get so many varieties of beer from the place. And the Breckenridge beer Ive had in the past hasnt been anything special. Its all drinkable, but until now, nothing Ive had from the brewery has ever exceeded pretty good on my personal, informal Beer Yumminess Rating Scale.Wherever this is brewed, Brecks Autumn Ale has taken a big step up on the yumminess spectrum, coming in with a score of very nice.This is dark, dark stuff. In fact, I had to take the shade off the little table lamp next to home computer on which these reviews are written to get any light to pass through the glass. A naked bulb reveals a deep, red color. A nice, long pull from the glass reveals a smooth, hearty, delicious brew. Like many fall and winter brews, malt is the dominant theme here. Instead of the hoppy tang of a lager or wheat beer, theres almost a chewiness to a fall or winter seasonal. Theres only minimal carbonation, which adds to the liquid-bread feeling.But theres no bitterness here something that can plague darker beers from regional brewers.Drinkable can be a kind of loaded word when it comes to beer usually meaning something easy to drink because there isnt much in the way of taste, or anything that will really tickle a palate.This ale, though, is eminently drinkable, but still full of flavor.Its sort of like comfort food, perfect for a season of those chilly nights just before youre willing to open up your wallet and turn on the heat.Its very nice, indeed.This beer is available at Alpine Wine & Spirits in West Vail, West Vail Liquor Mart, Beaver Liquors in Avon, Avon Liquors and Village Warehouse Wines in Avon.Scott N. Miller, Daily Staff Writer

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