Wine and beer reviews in the Vail Valley |

Wine and beer reviews in the Vail Valley

Daily staff writersnewsroom@vaildaily.comVail CO, Colorado
Special to the Daily/Caramie Schnell2006 Goodnight Cabernet Sauvignon

Feminine and elegant its how wine wiz Mickey Werner describes the 2006 Goodnight Cabernet Sauvignon. Goodnights version of the cabernet sauvignon is approachable with a juicy aroma of dark fruit, mocha and cola. On the mouth, it bursts with plum and black cherry with a slightly earthy aftertaste. Its delicious, Werner said. Its something new from Bill Foley Estates.Werner, head clerk of Alpine Wine & Spirits in West Vail, recommends Goodnight with lamb, steak or pasta with creamy sauce. As a lighter-style cab sauv, it pairs well with a variety of foods, but I would recommend it with lighter meats like veal and chicken. Its fruit-forward characteristics also lend itself to pairing with a sweeter duck dish, like duck a lorange or roast duck with plum sauce. Avoid tomato bases or sauces the acidity in the wine and food clashes. Goodnight can also stand on its own feet. Sip it by the fire after a day on the mountain. Add some nuts and fruit for a little aprs action. The Goodnight is smooth with discernable, but not overwhelming, tannins, developed in French and American oak barrels for 18 months. Its a classic Paso Robles with a softness in the tannins that you dont find in Napa or Sanoma cabernet sauvignons, Werner said of the Santa Ynez California wine. The grapes are primarily machine picked, with some hand-picked to flavor. Theyre then crushed, fermented and skin contacted up to 21 days. Along with 80 percent cabernet sauvignon, Goodnight also contains 20 percent merlot, adding texture and complexity to the wine. The winery recommends decanting for one hour prior to serving, but the difference is negligible. At, $12.99, the Goodnight Cabernet Sauvignon is approachable and lush an excellent value on its own and a lovely addition to any meal. You can find this wine at Alpine Wine & Spirits in West Vail.Nicole Frey, Daily staff writer

Risesling. Its a varietal that can strike fear in my heart. Thats mostly because rieslings in the $10 range tend to be sticky sweet and, frankly, hard to drink. Not to worry, this Chilean white is not that riesling, said Mickey Werner of Alpine Wine & Spirits.This is a well-balanced, great-priced riesling in that dry style, Werner said. Hes right this is an elegant, tasty wine. It gives off floral and honey aromas, but is more dry than sweet when you taste it. If given the grandma test (my grandmother only drinks pink, sweet wine with a few ice cubes floating around), she probably wouldnt like it, for precisely the same reasons I do. Everyone looks at California, Washington and Germany for good riesling when really there is some great riesling being produced in Australia and Chile.Even better, this riesling is organic, something you wouldnt guess considering its under-$11 price tag. Its incredibly worthy at that price, Werner said. And while most people dont think of riesling as a Southern Hemisphere grape, Cousino-Macul proves its possible.Its nice to get outside that box and those boundaries and find good riesling, Werner said.You can find this wine at Alpine Wine & Spirits in West Vail.Caramie Schnell, High Life Editor

Heres a good reason to love the Boston Beer Co.: We got a review sample of Blackberry Witbier not long ago. The bottles came lovingly, maybe obsessively, cradled in enough bubble wrap that youd think wed just received a shipment of nitroglycerine. And the beer was a delicious, wheaty, cloudy, flavorful brew with a nice shot of blackberry for good measure.About a week later we received an apologetic e-mail from a Sam Adams public relations type, explaining that the last batch of review brew was ever-so-slightly past its best by date, and if it wasnt too much trouble, the company would like to send us a fresh batch of suds.Well, OK.A few days later we received a box big enough to ship a small dog in. In it was a six-pack of Blackberry Witbier, again packaged with enough bubble wrap to protect a six-pack of Faberge eggs. In fact, the only way into the packages was either a sharp knife or a pair of scissors.You gotta love it.By now youre surely asking, Well, was the beer any different?Uh, maybe. In the name of journalism, I had a new brew and an old one back-to-back. The new batch seemed a bit more fresh, and the old seemed to have a slightly metallic aftertaste.Remember, though, that these beers were poured one right after the other, and I was really trying to use my clodhopper palate. Before we got the word from the folks in Boston, Id already had a couple of Blackberry Witbiers and found them delightful, with a blackberry taste that complemented, but didnt overwhelm, the spices of the very good witbier base. The fresher batch was, subtly, better.This isnt a great winter beer. The flavors put you in the mind of, and mood for, warmer weather. But its delicious nontheless. In a couple of weeks, turn up the heat a bit and turn on the Pro Bowl (beer would be the only reason to do so). No matter the age of the batch, youre in for a pleasant time.For more information about this beer, visit Scott N. Miller, Daily Staff Writer

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