Wine and beer reviews in Eagle County |

Wine and beer reviews in Eagle County

Daily Staff Reports
Vail CO, Colorado
HL Silverado Chardonnay DT 3-13-08

When a wine settles on the tongue a lot of things can happen. In the best possible scenario the taste buds hop to attention to enjoy all the flavors in the wine. That is what happened with Silverado Vineyards’ Vineburg Chardonnay. It stood out in a tasting of many fabulous wines.

The wine has mineral components and limey flavors, winemaker Jonathan Emmerich said. It comes from the Napa Valley from Carneros, which, as the Beverly Hills of the area, grows some of the best grapes.

What set this wine apart is the absence of strong oak flavors. Half of the wine is fermented in steel barrels and the rest in French oak.

“The idea behind it is to focus on the great purity,” Emmerich said. The wine has a great texture and acidity, he said. While this wine is good on its own, it would also pair well with food.

Emmerich said the traditional shellfish pairing will showcase the wine perfectly. He said it is a classic “first course kind of wine.” And it could be the key element for a great night.

Jessica Slosberg, Daily Staff Writer

On average, a box or two a week arrives for the High Life department at the Vail Daily. Inside the boxes, there’s usually a few bottles of beer or a bottle of wine.

Styrofoam peanuts fly and, for a moment, it feels like Christmas. The next week though, when I sit down to actually try the bottle, there’s always a bit of trepidation.

After all, it’s not like one of our local wine or beer connoisseurs recommended the bottle with a grin and a suggested food pairing. It might be really awful and believe me, there have been a few duds along the way.

Not to worry, this Lake County Cabernet Sauvignon is a good, solid wine, which hails from Lake County, California. Lake County was created from parts of Napa and Mendocino counties in 1861 and by the early 1900s, the area was known for producing good wines. Despite a hiatus during prohibition, when the vineyards were replaced with pear and walnut orchards, grapes were replanted in the 1960s and have excelled since.

There are distinct aromas of plums and ripe cherries from this 90 percent cabernet sauvignon, 10 percent petite verdot. At first sip the wine tastes of concentrated blackberries, cherries again and a touch of vanilla bean. Later this week I plan on pairing the rest of the bottle with an elk steak and a side of sauteed spinach.

Caramie Schnell, High Life Editor

Now that the days are starting lengthen and it is light well into the evening it means one thing ” spring is here. And with spring comes the beginning of barbecue season. Deschutes brewery’s latest seasonal offering, Cider Cone Red Ale, is a great complement to ushering in the warmer weather.

This red ale features citrus aroma, toffee-like flavors and a good hint of bitterness. The brewery used a selection of hops and barely to give the diverse flavors. The brew is named for the northern slope of Mount Bachelor in Oregon, called Cider Cone. It is also known as Red Hill, because when the season turns to spring, the hillside turns red.

The brewery’s Web site says its latest offering “teeters on the brink of world-class.” Well, that might be a slight overstatement, but it is good. I took the company’s advice and tried it with a rack of ribs ” good advice, indeed. The beer is seasonal and it will be available from late March to June.

Jessica Slosberg, Daily staff writer

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