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About this Episode

Grace Hood, wine educator and certified sommelier, and Robert Tas navigate the wine list at Elways owned by and named after the NFL quarterback, John Elways. This is the place to go in Vail if you want a chophouse that serves steak and sides with sensational wines.

Wines reviewed include:

  • 2020 Gruner Veltliner from Ingrid Groiss

  • 2019 Chateau la Rame White Bordeaux

  • 2020 Paul Pernot Puligny Montrachet   

Transcript: Elways

RT: Hello and welcome to CorkRules! 

A podcast where, in each episode, we will review a wine list from your favorite restaurants. I’m your host Robert Tas along with Grace Hood, wine educator and certified sommelier. Hello Grace, it’s great to have you!

GH: Hey hey Robert

RT: Before we jump in, let’s talk about CorkRules. We created CorkRules to demystify wine lists because we know from experience, that sometimes when we get that list handed to us, well… it can be intimidating, and even a little daunting.

Our aim is to help prepare you to navigate that list, find those hidden gems, or value wines or that special bottle that will take your dining experience over the top.

RT: So, sit back and listen as we review your favorite wine list. Grace, what fabulous spot are we looking at today?

GH: Well since it is ski season, we are in the fabulous town of Vail Colorado, taking a deep dive into the wine list at Elways.   

RT: Owned by the football player?

GH: That is correct Robert. Elways has a few locations, and their location is definitely one of the gems in their portfolio.  

RT: And I can assume the wine list here is going to be killer. Fine dining steak house in a ski town must mean a baller list.

GH: 100%  

RT: Alright where do you want to start us, my friend?

GH: With sparkling of course! If you’re looking for a nice easy drinking approachable French sparkling – the Lucien Albrecht Crémant from Alsace is one of my go-tos. However, if you wanted a fabulous vintage champagne, they have a 2005 Jacequesson which would be really unique.

RT: Oh, wow two great and very different options to start us off with. Thanks for that Grace. Where are you steering us when it comes to the whites?

GH: If you’re looking for light white, they’ve got a 2020 Gruner Veltliner from Ingrid Groiss, or if you want a sauv blanc, I would show some love for the 2019 Chateau la Rame White Bordeaux.

RT: Awesome – definitely can’t go wrong with either of those. Now I assume Vail brings in the classic chardonnay drinkers.

GH: Oh, it absolutely does Robert. For California chardonnay, I would go with the 2014 Hirsch vineyards out of Sonoma, for Oregon Chardonnay I’m doing the 2016 Walter Scott, and for French chardonnay, I would do the 2020 Paul Pernot Puligny Montrachet     

RT: 3 very different styles of chardonnay – super fun choices. Alright – where are we going as we dive into the reds?

GH: Gotta start with pinot of course – for my Burgundy pick I think I would do the 2014 Chambolle Musigny Première Cru from Olivier Bernstein, and then California pinot I would do the 2018 Alden Alli from Sonoma Coast. And then for Oregon pinot, the 2015 JK Carrier.   

RT: Sold ha-ha now how about something a little more medium-bodied?

GH: Ohhh speak of the devil – I just spotted a 2014 Mayacamas from Mt. Veeder – I was literally just talking about Mayacamas merlot to a fellow sommelier the other day. I personally prefer napa merlot over Cabernet so I’m always excited to see some love shown to Napa merlot.

RT: Totally get where you’re coming from. Speaking of, any good right bank Bordeaux?

GH: At Elways – oh for sure. I would do the 2001 Chateau l’Avangile.

RT: Hey now that sounds like a winner. Alright we can’t forget about the cab drinkers – especially at a steak house like this.

GH: Would never dream of it – for cabs – starting with left bank Bordeaux, the have a 1995 chateau Gruraud Larose which for the price point is crazy good. And then for a big bold California Cabernet – they have a 2011 Araujo which would definitely do the trick

RT: hey now we’re talking. Alright, Grace how about some value wines on the Elway’s menu? Something accessible and easy for an après ski?

GH: You had me at après hahah for a white, I would do the 2018 Aligoté from Sylvain Patalie. And then for a red – the 2016 Bordeaux Blend from Gilbert Cellars out of Walla Walla Washington.

RT: Oh yeah those will drink great for the price point. Now how about some special occasion bottles at Elways.

GH: Oh man there are tons of those to choose from. But if I just had 2 picks – I would go with the 2011 Grand Cru Morey Blanc Batard Montrachet, or the 2001 Chateau Latour.

RT: There it is - Grace thank you so much for helping us navigate the wine list here at Elways.  To our audience, thank you all for joining us here on CorkRules.  If you would like us to review one of your favorite restaurants, please send us email to: Info@CorkRules.Com or visit our web website where we have a request form available and we will do our best to get it in the queue as quickly as possible.

We are looking forward to being with you on another CorkRules episode soon. In the meantime, please check out our website for other episodes of your favorite restaurant wine lists. Follow us on social media @CorkRules and @wineswithgrace

And finally, drink what you love and please make sure you drink responsibly.

Thank you.





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