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Musings on Wine from a Beer Connoisseur

Beer and Wine
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Ever notice that when you’re organizing a beer tasting or pairing a beer with a dinner course, someone always wants to have other drink options “for the people who don’t like beer?" So why is it, then, that when a wine event is organized, no one ever suggests getting in a few good beers for the people who don’t like wine?

Nobody is really interested in touring a winery or a brewery. We all just want to get to the tasting room at the end.

Corks, artificial corks, screw caps... Hey guys, the pry-off cap works just fine!

Restaurant truth: It’s always easier to get a decent glass of wine at a beer-focused place than it is to get a good beer at a joint with a great wine list.

And along those same lines: Why is it that restaurateurs who would never consider stocking Yellow Tail think that it’s perfectly acceptable to have Corona as the highlight of their beer list?

Locavores take note: Local beers are often a whole lot better than local wines, unless you’re living in Georgia and consider Sonoma wines to be “local.”

A bottle of 2002 La Tâche from Domaine de la Romanée-Conti at New York City’s Gramercy Tavern: $1,100. Two bottles of the classic 1997 Harvest Ale from the British brewer J.W. Lees at the same place: $40. Who’s laughing now?

Wine distilled is brandy. Beer distilled is whiskey. Okay, we’re even on that score.

Wine + chocolate = a small set of interesting combinations. Whiskey + chocolate = a broad range of possibilities. Beer + chocolate = seemingly endless variety. So what are you going to serve with dessert?

Ever hear anyone say “Hey, want to go for a couple of glasses of wine after the game?” Didn’t think so.

What winery workers drink at the end of a hard day: Beer. What brewery workers drink at the end of a hard day: Beer.

But in all seriousness, the Scottish distillers really do appreciate all those ex-wine barrels the French, Californians and Italians have been sending their way as of late. Some brewers do, too.

You know what I’ve noticed? No one ever expects you to wear a tie at a beer event. I like that.

What are you going to do with a nice piece of raw milk cheddar or a wedge of runny Brie de Meaux, allow either to crush the flavors of a fine cabernet or to enhance the experience with a glass of good ale? Probably the former, if you’re like most people, and that’s just too bad.

Common ground for beer and wine in restaurants: temperature. Most beer (and white wine) is served too cold and most (red) wine is served too hot.

That was fun. Now, before you get your poison pens out, allow me to come clean and admit to a healthy admiration and appreciation of wine in all its diverse forms. Except for Yellow Tail, never Yellow Tail...