Wine and beer reviews in the Vail Valley |

Wine and beer reviews in the Vail Valley

Daily staff reportsnewsroom@vaildaily.comVail CO, Colorado
Special to the Daily2007 Terrazas de los Andes Malbec

The days are short and the nights are cold. It sounds dreary, but the harsh elements make the perfect climate for cozying up to a hearty glass of 2007 Terrazas de los Andes Malbec. Its big, juicy, robust and guaranteed to fight of the chill. Its got a darker, cherry-type fruit and raisin on the finish, said Tom Domenico, owner of Pier 13 Liquor, which usually sells the bottle for $13.99 but currently has it on special for $10.99.This Argentine red boasts harvesting at 3,500 feet, debatably too high for ideal wine grapes, but it seems to be working to a point. Its good, not awe inspiring, but good. And if youre looking for an inexpensive table wine, its a fair deal and decidedly drinkable for the average palate. The Terrazas malbec has strong acidity and ample tannins, though its certainly not one of the heaviest reds. Its fairly diverse, pairing with everything from roast chicken to heavier meat dishes, like beef stew or pork roast. With good body and structure, its better with food than sipping, though I enjoyed a couple glasses on their own, too. The voluptuous plum and cherry fruit coats the mouth liberally giving way to a lingering, dry finish. The intensely dark red, purple drink gives way to powerful notes of jammy, black fruit. Give it a moment to breathe and youll notice the subtle aromas of licorice and vanilla that add complexity to this wine. Its a wonderful, Argentinean malbec, Domenico said. You can find this wine at Pier 13 Liquor in Eagle-Vail, Eagle Ranch Wine & Spirits, Riverwalk Wine & Spirits in Edwards and Alpine Wine & Spirits in West Vail. Nicole Frey, Daily staff writer

Doing these reviews each week, sometimes its fun to play a game I not-so-cleverly call guess the price. If the red you swore was $7 tops turns out to be $16, thats obviously not a good thing. On the flipside, theres always a twinge of satisfaction when you find a bottle you guess to be more expensive than it actually is. I pegged the St. Francis Chardonnay at around $15 or $16 a few dollars more than its actual cost. This medium-bodied wine has distinct pear and apple flavors, and a hint of citrus and vanilla. Barrel aging the wine for six months in French and American oak barrels before blending adds just enough oak to the wine. Some chardonnays are so over-oaked, theyre too oaked to drink, but this one is just right I think, said Tom Domenico, owner of Pier 13 Liquors in Eagle-Vail. … Theres a nice buttery, creamy finish to the wine. And yes, Domenico agreed with me on the bottles pricing. It tastes a little more expensive than it is, he said. Celebrating 30 years this year, St. Francis winery was christened after St. Francis of Assisi, in recognition of the Saints role as a protector of the natural world and as acknowledgement of the Franciscan order, believed to have been the first to bring European grape cultivation to the new world, according to And arent we glad they did?You can find this wine at Pier 13 Liquor in Eagle-Vail, Avon Liquors, Riverwalk Wine & Spirits in Edwards, Village Warehouse Wines in Avon and Alpine Wine & Spirits in West Vail. Caramie Schnell, High Life Editor

After the holidays, its kind of nice to get back to work, and back to basics.Theres nothing fancy about Buzzsaw Brown, a seasonal brew from Deschutes, one of my favorite craft breweries. This just a good, no-nonsense brown ale to knock back after a day at the office or on the slopes.At first after drinking a high-flavor brew I thought there wasnt much to this Buzzsaw. But if your palettes clear, the flavor comes through fine. Nothings going to hit your tastebuds over the head, but thats OK. The colors rich, and Buzzsaw has a nice, finely-bubbled head that laces down the glass to remind you of the tasty trail youve been on. The flavor is spot-on, too, subtle, but with plenty of character. This is the very definition of drinkable flavorful, but smooth. If you and your friends can find this stuff on tap, one pitcher wont be enough. And, at 4.8 percent alcohol, you wont feel like youre trudging through a snowdrift if you have more than two.After a bunch of holiday feasting, a good dark beer probably doesnt fit well with a resolution to hit the gym more, but this beer and a potroast, or beef or lentil stew, would be a good way to spend part of a winters night before falling asleep in the recliner.You can find this beer at Pier 13 Liquor in Eagle-Vail, West Vail Liquor Mart, Avon Liquors and Village Warehouse Wines in Avon.Scott N. Miller, Vail Daily Business Editor

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