Wine and spirit reviews in Eagle County |

Wine and spirit reviews in Eagle County

Daily Staff Reports
Vail CO, Colorado
Theo Stroomer/Vail DailyJunipero gin is a is a crisp and refreshing spirit when mixed with tonic and a squeeze of lime or orange juice.

Mickey Warner, manager of Alpine Wine and Spirits in Vail, has a high opinion of Junipero Gin. This dry spirit is produced by The Anchor Distilling Co. in California, and Warner said he has a hard time getting his hands on it to sell at his store, but that didn’t stop him from calling it “great stuff.”

“I think they’re as good as anything out there right now,” Warner said.

As a shot, expect a rough, spicy and bitter shock. Mix it with tonic water and a slice of citrus fruit ” I prefer orange ” and this gin is smooth and mellow.

Like Kentucky Fried Chicken, you can really taste the herbs and spices used in the distilling process, which, according to Anchor Brewing, is done in a traditional fashion using a small copper pot.

The final result of whatever super-secret ingredients and process they use to make this gin is a crisp and ultimately refreshing spirit. Junipero is full of natural flavors that separate it from others in its class.

Charlie Owen, High Life Writer

Spring has officially arrived, bringing warm weather, the sight of grass and the start of the rose-wine-drinking season. In the U.S., rose wines tend to get a bad rap ” too sweet is among the most common criticism. But a good rose can be an enjoyable offshoot from the standard red. The Prieure de Montezargues Tavel 2006 is a great offering.

The wine features a combination of flavors from Key lime to black currents to peaches. The wine is not too sweet or too dry. Instead, it offers a great balance that can stand up to richer dishes like grilled meats without being too heavy. Daniel Mahan, of Beaver Liquors, suggested pairing the wine with fried chicken and garlic mashed potatoes. A slightly modified version ” blackened chicken and mashed potatoes ” proved to be a good option.

The wine hails from France, the Rhone Valley to be exact. Tavel is located in the Gard District and situated on the “right bank of the Rhone.” Mahan said that in Tavel, rose wines are the only type the area is legally able to grow. If it is the only type you can grow, you’d better do it well.

Thankfully, they do.

Jessica Slosberg, Daily Staff Writer

A wine with a lower alcohol content can be a beautiful thing. After two glasses, you’re happy and relaxed rather than unsteady.

“This wine packs a lot of flavor, but it’s not so high in alcohol that after two, you’re wobbly,” said local wine distributor rep Kenny Teague.

This French white wine from the Loire Valley is 12.5 percent alcohol and can do double duty as a cocktail or a first-course wine. Made from the chenin blanc grape ” “a great, underrated grape in the same family as riesling,” according to Teague ” this wine has a beautiful nose, not unlike a bouquet of flowers. In the mouth, this wine is slightly sweet at first but finishes dry.

“It’s not the biggest picture in the room, but it’s interesting looking,” Teague said.

The wine is light and easy to drink and pairs well with liver-based appetizers, like foie gras or pate. Try it with light cheeses if organ meat isn’t your thing.

“It’s also great with Chinese take-out or killer with grilled fish or any of the sort of stuff we make that has spice to it. It would be really good with sea bass with fresh mango chutney or even some of the Indian-food flavors,” Teague said.

Caramie Schnell, High Life Editor

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