Val’s May Blog

Happy early Memorial Day everyone! (originally Decoration Day) We value all the men and women that have done so much for this country. F16 jets should be flying over in their honor too. Our theme today will be kind of similar – we will talk about the local winemakers and brew masters that spend countless hours each day to produce the best American product so we can enjoy it. Like last year, I’ll talk about Merlot. Please don’t skip that section! But unlike last year I will focus on California wines this time.


Red Wine: Rodney Strong is one of my favorite wineries. Especially value for money! It all started over 55 years ago when dancer Rodney Strong settled into Sonoma in California to pursue a second lifelong passion. Quality of winemaking has been on the rise there during this time. Their 2016 Merlot is finally getting the attention it deserves. It shows lots of dark fruit notes, palate is elegant and the tannins are soft. A great match for your grilled pork or burgers. Rated 94 points, it overdelivers for the moderate price tag of $18.99.


White Wine: Are you tired of the same New Zealand wine you are buying every time? It’s time to try something similar, yet not so much. Uppercut Sauvignon Blanc form the North Coast in California will satisfy you. Compared to its cousins in Marlborough, this one has mineral backbone that reflects the vineyards’ volcanic soils. Citrus flavors are present but they are not the main character here. Green apple, pear and melon notes are found from start to finish. It drinks very easy, acidity is not too high either. A very balanced wine that is totally worth the money. It is on sale now for only $13.99.


Beer: Denver Beer Company has always impressed me with their beers. Their newest addition did the same. A year-round selection, Tart Delight is a Citrus Sour. It is fermented with lime juice and a touch of pink Himalayan salt (my favorite salt!). The finish is clean and crisp. Overall it is a very refreshing beer with just the right amount of tartness. Whether you are a sour beer fan or just need a thirst quencher, this one is a must try! A 6 pack will be on sale all next month for only $7.99. I’ll see you at the store!


Val’s March Blog

Last few weeks have been really challenging. Five letters and the number 19 after them changed our lifestyle, if not our lives. Among all that we need to find some positivity to get us through. Too many people are concerned for too many reasons. It’s definitely a tough time out there. Stress is high, people are even panicking. Days could be long and exhausting. At the end of it we need a glass of something nice to soothe us up. Some choose hard liquor for its higher alcohol content, thus its disinfecting quality. But I’ll recommend some nice wines and beer to finish your day with.

Red Wine: California is best known for its outstanding Cabernets and Pinot Noirs. But there are other grapes there that are of high quality. The so called Rhone grapes – Syrah, Grenache and Mourvedre, among others. Bistue Cellars is located east of Napa and fairly close to Sacramento. Named after the winemaker Carolina Bistue, who had worked in Priorat in Spain prior to this. Hence her love for those grapes. This wine is intense and full-bodied with well-matured tannins. It will complement greatly any steak or chicken. And I think you’ll love the wine and the blend, which contains 9% Cabernet Sauvignon as well. It is currently on sale for only $23.99 a bottle. Come and get some!

White Wine: We are all very familiar with the New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc, I dare to say. But did you know that some very fine Sauvignon Blancs are produced next door in Australia too? Cape Mentelle is a great example of that. It is located in the Margaret River zone in the Southwest part of the country. The area is known for its high quality Cabernet Sauvignons. But this wine is exceptional too. A healthy amount of Semillon is blended in to add some complexity. As the winemaker describes the wine it is the embodiment of their place and terroir. Some similarity with the New Zealand style but in an improved way, in my opinion. Also rated 94 points, for those who find these numbers important. You can get a bottle of it for only $14.99 now.

Beer: Spring is officially here. Weather is soon to start warming up. This is probably the last chance to enjoy something darker. Left Hand Brewing from Longmont, Colorado is a master of the dark beer brewing. Many of us know about their flagship Milk Stout and its Nitro version. But a few months ago they came out with a Porter – Death Before Disco. Brewed in a classic style, it is full-bodied with rich chocolate malt and dark berry notes. Dry and roasty on the finish, it drinks beautifully. For the whole month of April you can get a 6 pack of cans for only $7.99. Enjoy!

Val’s February Blog

February 29th. Every four years we get an extra day. To enjoy life and with that to enjoy a glass of nice wine and/or beer. Three weeks before Spring temperatures are rising. Days are sunny and we still spend quite a bit of time on the mountain. After a long and tiring in a good way day, we look forward to a refreshing beverage that will make our evening perfect. Here are some suggestions that I think will complement your day greatly.

Red Wine: Joel Gott makes quite a few wines. And I can say he makes all of them very well. A great guy himself, his wines speak quality and great value. It’s easy to pick any of them for dinner or to enjoy by itself. His Washington red blend is not too well known so we’ll focus on it today. Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and a touch of Syrah are blended to make an exceptional wine. Dark fruit flavors on the front of the palate are followed by elegant tannins and a long finish. An amazing quality for only $17.99 a bottle. I highly recommend it!

White Wine: Most of you have probably heard of Chateauneuf-du-Pape appellation in the Rhone Valley in France. But did you know there is also a Chateauneuf-du-Pape blanc (white)? Domaine des Senechaux is an iconic producer in that area. Their red wines are gorgeous. But their whites are a hidden gem. Their 2015 C-d-P Blanc is a somewhat untraditional blend of Roussane, Clairette, Grenache Blanc and Bourboulenc, due to the rarity of Clairette in those parts of the valley. Grape varietals you might have never heard of but ones that will please your palate. The wine has a great structure and complexity and the finish is elegant and long-lasting. Rated 93 points by the Wine Spectator, a bottle of it is on sale for only $34.99, down from $44.99.

Beer: 1554. The year the city of Sao Paulo was founded. A fact that is unlikely you knew. But when you hear the number 1554 most people will think of New Belgium’s dark ale. And rightfully so. It has been a staple for them for many years. It survived the never-ending changes at the brewery. Aussie Aussie Aussie, Oi Oi Oi! Certainly my favorite of their lineup, it is light to medium-bodied. Drinks full flavor, feels light on the palate. At 6% abv it appeals to many, especially those who are not in a mood for a porter or a stout. For the whole month of March a 6pk bottles will be on sale for only $9.49. Now is the time you give it a try, if you’ve never had it before.

Val’s January Blog

Whether you are a football fan or not, whether your favorite #12 is playing or not, whether you like the halftime commercials better than the actual game, Super Bowl is a big thing. Fact! Over 100 million people will be watching, although viewers in the Northeastern part of the country might be slightly less this year. Preparations start days ahead. Traditionally, most consumed adult beverage that day is beer. We will turn our attention there in a moment. But first here are some suggestions for wines that will go well with your nachos, chicken wings and everything else you might have on the table.

Red Wine: Easy drinking and affordable, we are not looking for anything too fancy. But we still want a quality wine. Stelvin closure (screw cap) is preferred so we don’t miss any action on TV. Castle Rock’s Red Wine Cuvee from Columbia Valley in Washington is the winner here. A blend of Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Pinot Noir and Syrah. It is elegant with loads of dark berries on the nose and palate, well-balanced with soft tannins. Pairs very well with Kansas City BBQ and such. And a bottle of it is only $12.99.

White Wine: We continue with the theme – A to Z Pinot Gris from Oregon would be a great fit in the white wine world. Aromas of peaches, apricots and yellow plum are followed by a balanced and fresh palate. Acidity is crisp and the fruit notes make it a very enjoyable wine. It pairs easily with many different courses of a meal, making this an ideal complement to any dining or drinking occasion. Would complement a San Francisco Cioppino, for example. Stelvin closure and a very friendly price tag of $15.99 for a bottle.

Beer: Bonfire Brewing’s Brush Creek Blonde Ale is a great choice for the big game! 100% of the water comes from Eagle’s Brush Creek, fed by springs and snow-melt in the Sawatch Mountains. Light, smooth and delicious, it also comes with a low abv (alcohol by volume) and low ibu (international bitterness units). A guarantee you’d want to enjoy more than one can. For the whole month of February a 6 pack of cans is only $7.99! What’s not to love here!? Go Broncos! (in remembrance of those free dougnuts we used to get during regular season)

Val’s December Blog

The holiday season is upon us. It’s the most wonderful time of the year. The snow has crafted magical views, bright and colorful lights can be seen everywhere, you hear the bells ringing. It might be cold outside but it is warm in our hearts. We will spend time with the loved ones to celebrate a successful year and to wish ourselves health and happiness in 2020. Tables are full of wide variety of homemade dishes. The only thing missing is the wine and beer to go with them. Here are some suggestions.


Red Wine: Big, bold and full-bodied for this time of the year, right? More than 200 miles south from Napa, in Paso Robles, Daou Cabernet Sauvignon is what you’re looking for. 2017 vintage is quite possibly the best for the Daou brothers. When I met Georges 5 years ago, he told me: “I’d like to make a wine that is 100 points. But 100 points in terms of value for money when customers drink my wine.” Well, Georges and Daniel, you fully succeeded and you should be proud of yourselves. Your dream became a reality, the quality is amazing! I became a fan a while back and still have some bottles of the 2012 vintage. Dear customer, now it’s your turn! Give this highly rated wine a try for only $28.99 a bottle.


White Wine: No doubt we have to go with a sparkling wine here. For 10 straight years its consumption has increased in the US. November and December are naturally the busiest months for it. We’ll gather for a toast at New Years Eve, we might have a mimosa in the morning and why not pair it with a dish too. Moillard Cremant de Bourgogne Brut is ideal for all. A Chardonnay-based blend, it is elegant, with a touch of citrus notes that are followed by some apple and peach flavors. The fine bubbles makes you want to have another glass. All Prosecco lovers are welcome to try it and compare. An outstanding value at only $16.99 a bottle. Brut Rose is at $19.99.


Beer: Lately all seasonal beers are done well before the end of that season. But one of them is holding strong to be available for the perfect occasion – Anchor Christmas Ale. Brewed for 45 years in a row now, the 2019 release is fantastic. Slightly darker than last year’s, it is rich, round and full-bodied with a smooth finish and hints of coffee and Mexican chocolate. A perfect pair for the cold but cozy winter holiday days. Only a few 6 packs left at $14.99.