Wine and beer reviews in Eagle County |

Wine and beer reviews in Eagle County

Daily Staff Reports
Vail CO, Colorado
HL Steel Toe Stout DT 3-3-08

A bottle of wine can be a centerpiece of an evening, providing not only an adventure for your palate but a conversation topic. A good bottle of wine, like the ‘Inu Cannonau di Sardegna, can boost a relaxed quiet evening at home to a great, still relaxed evening with plenty of good conversation.

This Italian wine, from Sardegna, might seem unfamiliar but it is related to something most people have tasted ” a grenache, which is commonly thought of being from Spain and France. This 2002 riserva packs the same big punch that most people expect with excellent fruit flavors, which can be described as juicy. It’s also characteristically rich, like most grenache. Sardegna, or Sardinia in English, is 125 miles from the mainland and is more remote than most wine regions.

Dan Mahan of Beaver Liquors suggested this wine would pair well with what I was having, steak. When I told him I was planning a balsamic glaze he centered in on this wine because it would stay in the same region and be an excellent complement. It was.

Jessica Slosberg, Daily Staff Writer

If the extra hour of daylight doesn’t have you craving summer, this fresh, fruit-forward wine will. I admit, I picked up the bottle because of the bright orange label and simple block letter name ” NORA. But, being a sucker for a wine’s story, its the back of the bottle that sold me.

“The vineyards are surrounded by pine and eucalyptus forests and the ruins of ancient Celtic fortresses. In the midst of this poetic landscape, Albarino, the queen of Spanish white varietals ripens slowly.”

There’s a hint of pineapple and even peach in this wine that’s reminiscent of beach side umbrella drinks. Nora is 100 percent Albarino, grown on the rocky northwest coast of Spain. Like all good Albarino, this wine is crisp, like a riesling, with tropical flavors, and a slight citrus edge. Pair this wine with really lightly prepared seafood, recommends Dan Mahan from Beaver Liquors. Personally, I paired it with Friday night ” a great match, indeed.

Caramie Schnell, High Life Editor

The Spanish have a different word than “Durango” for “a long way from here,” but the truth is that wherever you are, a certain southwestern Colorado town is going to take some driving.

It’s a good thing other people are driving ” in trucks, most likely ” to bring Steel Toe Stout to other parts of our region. This is one worthwhile dark beer.

The folks at Ska call Steel Toe a “milk stout.” While various Web sites define this kind of beer as being brewed with milk sugar or lactose, Steel Toe’s ingredient list includes milk, so the lactose intolerant may want to beware.

Whatever the method, the result is a sweet, rich, smooth brew. The fortunate coincidence of having a Samuel Adams Cream Stout in the fridge when the Steel Toe came home provided a good side-by-side comparison. The Colorado brew is smoother, richer, and has more flavor than the bottled-in-Boston brand.

The Steel Toe head isn’t especially pronounced, but it’s a rich one. The top of the glass will give a drinker a chocolatey brown mustache.

A Steel Toe was a great way to finish the first motorcycle ride of the year. Even cold, this hearty brew quickly took away the early-March chill.

Scott N. Miller, Business Editor

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