Charles Krug Merlot and More

By Kimberly Lord Stewart

Ready to Drink for Less Than You Think
In the quest to find a pleasurable wine for a decent price, Charles Krug’s 2009
Merlot from Napa Valley is very drinkable for less than $20 retail. After years
of maligned merlots, the vintage has righted itself. Look for dried plum,
black fruits and chocolate flavors; perfect for winter lamb and beef stews.
Available in Denver wine and liquor stores for $14-$20.

Colorado Distiller Tea and Brewer Master:
Sugar and Spice

If you measured out the beverage industry by gender, gents would tip the scale in ownership. Two Colorado women are filling this gap with exceptional products that don’t compromise sustainability, authenticity and charitable giving. Though Karen Hoskin, founder of Montanya Distillers in Crested butte, and Brook Eddy, founder of Bhakti Chai in Boulder, are mountains apart in location, the two women share too many similarities to ignore, so we paired them up for this profile and winter cocktail recipe.

American-oak barrels and high-altitude aging. With the exception of sugar cane, which Hoskin buys from Maui, all of these essentials are within reach. Montanya can truly claim Americanmade, high-quality rum, which experts have recognized with numerous awards since 2009.

Eddy made her first batch of freshly brewed chai in mason jars after returning from India where she studied “Bhakti,” the Indian principle of devotion through social action. Word spread about the spicy chai, which led to an opportunity to put her beliefs into practice. She created a company devoted to making a pure, fresh and exceptional product, and one that meets the needs of others. Bhakti Chai sources cardamom from Guatemala, ginger from Hawaii or Peru and tea from Assam, India. The chai is made fresh daily through a small-batch process in Longmont. The growing popularity has allowed Eddy to stay true to the practice of Bhakti. The company contributes monthly to a variety of charities that serve women and children in India, Guatemala and Colorado, as well as environmental stewardship groups.

The Maharini Cocktail

Denver Life Magazine toasts to the success of the women who founded Montanya Distillers and Bhakti Chai with two cocktails designed by Hoskin: The Maharini (pictured) and Escapade (go to and click on “Sip”). Maharini translates to a Hindu princess in the birthplace of chai. Makes one cocktail

2 oz. Montanya Oro Rum
1 oz. Bhakti Sweetened Chai
1.5 oz. Half and half
(substitute soy, rice or
whole milk, if preferred)
Combine all ingredients in a
shaker with ice. Shake vigorously for
30 seconds, or until foamy. Strain into
an eight-ounce rocks glass. Spoon the
remaining foam on top. Garnish
with ground nutmeg and star anise.

Left Ear For a Beer

The Denver Art Museum and Dillon Dam Brewery created a beer in honor of the museum’s exhibition, Becoming Van Gogh. Brewmaster Cory Forster created a farmhouse ale that might have been similar to one Van Gogh would have tasted while traveling through and painting the French countryside. Forster envisioned an old wood barrel in the darkest, coolest corner of the barn with foam spilling over from the wild yeast fermentation. Facebook fans chose the name Dam Gogh de Garde. The beer is available at Dillon Dam Brewery through January.