Wine and beer reviews in the Vail Valley |

Wine and beer reviews in the Vail Valley

Daily staff reportsnewsroom@vaildaily.comVail CO, Colorado

Some wine begs to be served with a luxurious cut of meat a hearty buffalo rib eye or decadent New York strip. With its complex fruit and earthy tones, a cabernet sauvignon is the blushing bride to the beefy groom. The 2006 337 Cabernet Sauvignon plays the part beautifully. This ultra-smooth red boasts smooth tannins and just enough acidity to stand up to a vigorous meal. Its fruit forward, but on the lighter side of cab sauvs, so feel free to pair it with a lighter dish, like rabbit or game birds. Or for something truly decadent, whip up a beef Wellington, with tender filet, creamy foie gras stuffing and flaky pastry. Savor how 337s core of blackberry, cola and cedar play on the rich meat combination. The finish is long, velvety and entirely satisfying.On the nose, the 337 Cabernet Sauvignon reveals inviting aromas of mocha, dark cherry and spice, with a floral top note of rose and violet. Named for the French vine clone, 337 takes advantage of its Bordeaux roots combined with Californias ideal growing conditions in the rich, rocky soils of Lodis Clay Station Vineyard at the foothills of the Sierra Nevada mountains. The herbal and veggie characteristics that traditionally hindered the cabernet sauvignon grapes were bred out of this strain. The small, flavorful grapes are picked at night and delivered to the winery cold when the tannins reach optimal ripeness, eventually barrel-aged in a mix of French and American oak, according to 337s Web site. At this price point under $14 337 shows true class and merit.You can find this wine at Pier 13 Liquor in Eagle-Vail and Avon Liquors.Nicole Frey, Daily staff writer

This wine is pure California chard lush fruit aromas and flavors with a little oak. The grapes are sourced from Bianchi Bench Vineyard in the cool Santa Lucia Highlands in Californias Central Coast. Its all Monterey fruit, which is a particularly good place to grow chardonnay … I always like the fruit down there, said Jarrett Osborn of Riverwalk Wine & Spirits in Edwards. Riverwalk Wine & Spirits brought in the wine right before Christmas, said Beverly DeMoss, owner of the store. The price was right and the wine stood behind it, she said. Its actually a little bit more of a masculine chardonnay, DeMoss said. Its intense in flavor. It does have oak on it but it really doesnt have any of the citrus characteristics, but instead has more of the pit-fruit characteristics.This wine straight out of the fridge is very different than after it warms up a few degrees. The wine really opens up when its cool, rather than cold. Pair this wine with smoked Gouda cheese and crackers.You can find this wine at Riverwalk Wine & Spirits in Edwards.Caramie Schnell, High Life editor

Is this the beer equivalent of Red Bull and vodka? If so, pour me the cocktail.I may not be the best person to review this beer. You see, after 20-some years of drinking black-as-night java in the mornings, I had to give it up. Didnt agree with me. Im also a confirmed skeptic about flavored beers, whether its cranberries, bacon or coffee.Sometimes the combination works, and works beautifully. Most of the time, though, flavored beers either cover up an inferior product or are just an exercise in brewer show-off. Whatever the case, flavored beers usually make a strong case for the German Beer Purity Law from the 1500s (water, grain, yeast and hops only, please). In this case,if some baron had gotten a flagon of this stuff, somebody would have been executed, or, at least, come in for a stern flogging.The problem here is that the coffee far, far overpowers whatever beer taste might have been there. And the brew is bitter the way only bad doughnut shop coffee can be.In the time Ive been doing beer reviews for the paper, Ive been greeted with snickers from my family whenever I mention that it is, technically, work. Not this time. This is the only review beer Ive received that I havent been able to finish.If you really need coffee and alcohol, go with Kaluha, Baileys, Irish whiskey or something else delicious and intoxicating. Give this stuff a wide berth.You can find this beer at Pier 13 Liquors.Scott N. Miller, Vail Daily Business Editor

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