“Who decides what goes with what? Why does milk go so well with an oreo, beer with pizza? The undeniable appeal of salty and sweet. Some things just go together.
There are lots of people who make their lives putting these flavours together for us. Outside of the world of chefs, there are the artists who match drinks together with food. They are the Sommeliers of wine, Brewmasters of beer and Master Tasters of coffee. Passionate about their craft, they want to make your dining experience the best it can possibly be.
Recently, at the Beer Vs. Wine Dinner at Inferno’s on Academy I was a happy witness to a throw down between two of these people, from Kenaston Wine Market, Marlies Tibbs and from Half Pints, Dave Rudge. They paired a wine and beer with each course and gave guests a ballot to vote on who got it right.
We started with seared scallops with orange chipotle glaze paired with a German Riesling and the house brewed, Weizenheimer to start off the night. Wine snobs will tell you things like ‘there is a Riesling revolution’ where as my dinner companion Leif Norman simply declared that it smelled like feet. To each his own!
The second course, apple and blue cheese fritter over mixed greens, went to the beer pairing of Parallel 49’s Old Boy Ale from Vancouver. The Torres Grangre de Toro from Spain was my favourite wine of the night. A crispy white with red apple and pineapple flips over to fennel and licorice, which was fun and light.
Dave Rudge explained to the crowd that an IPA goes with anything Tandoori and he was right. The grilled swordfish with mango chutney was sweet and meaty, a great match with the Red Racer from Surry BC.
My favourite dish of the night was the English style rack of lamb with minted pea puree. The winner of this round went to the Rosmarinus by Big Rock. The pairing of the rosemary infusion in the beer was awesome with the lamb, an unexpectedly great pairing beating out the beautiful Tempranillo from Australia.
It looked like it was going to be a tie, since we were going back and forth all night between the wine and the beer. But in the end, the last course of Jerk rib eye with red beans, rice and sautéed ackee fruit went to the Old Vines Zinfandel from California with a wide margin.
The best part of the dinner was seeing how critically and deliberately everyone started tasting their meals. If you’ve never been to a pairing dinner Kenaston Wine Market has some great options for you this fall, including a winemaker’s dinner in November, a German themed night and festivals in the spring. Tickets sell out fast so visit their website kenastonwine.com for details. Cheers!”
“Join us at Inferno’s on Academy to put beer and wine to the test. You will be served a 5 course meal and each course will be expertly paired with beer and wine.
At the end of each course, vote on which beverage fared better with your dish. Votes will be tallied at the end of the meal to see whether beer or wine won as the evening goes on.”