The St. Regis Aspen's Raj Radke chooses Champagnes and wines for a beer palate. (photo: Jim Guttau)
Raj Radke, Director of Food & Beverage at The St. Regis Aspen, is prepping for the holiday season. Radke’s tips on picking wines that will work for your table may be the secret to holiday bliss. It’s inevitable that at a large table of friends and family there’s a beer lover that typically isn't into wine. But the below may turn them around.
Lager and light beer. Cold, easy to drink, refreshing beers. Instead, try Brut Cava; a Spanish champagne that pairs well with a wide range of food items and is affordable for all budgets.
Pale Ale. Characterized by more body, lacking bitter accents. Instead, try Pinot Noir; a light balanced red wine that offers body without bitter tannins and can be served at a cooler, more refreshing temperature.
Wheat Ale. A refreshing richness that is smooth, creamy and at times sweet. Instead, try a buttery Chardonnay with charred oak undertones highlighting apple and vanilla accents. Substitutes include Viognier, Roussanne and Semillon.
Porter and Dark Ale. Dark, earthy, and medium-bodied, with a “punch” to the mouth; try a Bordeaux or Chianti—both have lighter alcohol level, a medium body, and pair well with food.
During holidays in Aspen, our slopes’ Champagne powder by day is celebrated with bottles of bubbly by night. Radke’s suggests:
Bouvet Brut Signature. Sparkling wine with ripe melon notes and smooth aftertaste. ($16.99)
Chandon Sparkling Wine (Blanc de Noirs). Full-bodied and dry; black and red cherry undertones; pairs well with salmon or lamb. ($17.99)
Stella Rosa Imperiale Prosecco. Provides palate pleasing flavors; ripe apple, light chalk and mineral with a crisp finish. ($18.99)