Inspired by the book He Said Beer, She Said Wine, F&W invited authors Sam Calagione, the founder of Delaware’s Dogfish Head brewery, and Marnie Old, a wine educator, to a taste-off. The challenge: Who could come up with the superior pairing for the recipes here?

Kristin Donnelly and Nick Fauchald
June 01, 2008

* = Good pairing
** = Very good pairing
*** = Spectacular pairing

Great Beer

Guinness Stout
Guinness’s dark, roasty flavors match the smoky eggplant but don’t overwhelm it. **

Grilling Recipe

Open-Face Grilled Eggplant Sandwiches

Open-Face Grilled Eggplant Sandwiches

Delicious Wine

2000 La Rioja Alta Viña Alberdi Rioja Reserva
The elegant Rioja isn’t too heavy for this vegetarian dish. *

Great Beer

Allagash White
The beer’s fruity spice is delicious with the sweet scallops and slightly spicy salad. **

Grilling Recipe

Grilled Scallops with Mexican Corn Salad

Grilled Scallops with Mexican Corn Salad

Delicious Wine

2006 Alma Rosa Chardonnay
Oak gives Chardonnay flavors similar to those that grilling gives the scallops and corn here. ***

Great Beer

Brooklyn Brewery Brooklyn Brown Ale
The toasty flavors are great with the cheeseburger’s char. ***

Grilling Recipe

Beef-And-Lamb Burgers With Cheddar

Beef-And-Lamb Burgers With Cheddar

Delicious Wine

2006 Viña Cobos El Felino Malbec
The earthy Malbec works well with the lamb in this burger, and the fat mellows the tannins. *

Great Beer

Chimay Red
This low-alcohol apricot-flavored ale complements the steak’s spicy, fruity glaze. **

Grilling Recipe

Flank Steak With Tamarind Glaze

Delicious Wine

2004 Rosemount Show Reserve GSM
An intensely fruity wine is spectacular with the bright, fruity glaze. ***

Great Beer

Alpine Beer Company Pure Hoppiness
Sweet meats like chicken are wonderful with hoppy beers. **

Grilling Recipe

Buttermilk Chicken With Crispy Cornflakes

Buttermilk Chicken With Crispy Cornflakes

Delicious Wine

2006 Mary Elke Pinot Noir
Pinot Noir is a good call for simply prepared chicken—it has silky fruit and not too much tannin. *

Great Beer

Westmalle Tripel
The creamy, complex Belgian Trappist ale is outstanding with the sweet-spiced sauce. ***

Grilling Recipe

Moroccan-Spiced Lamb With Date Barbecue Sauce

Delicious Wine

2006 Concha y Toro Marqués de Casa Concha Cabernet Sauvignon
The spiced sauce brings out this wine’s ripe fruit. **

Great Beer

Schneider Aventinus
The light clove flavor of this wheat beer is so good with the vinegary mustard sauce. **

Grilling Recipe

Cider-Brined Double-Cut Pork Chops

Delicious Wine

2007 Alkoomi Riesling
The lean, sharp acidity of the Riesling pumps up the flavors of the mustard sauce. ***

Great Beer

Victory Prima Pils
Yeasty pilsners are great with anything on bread and especially refreshing with hot dogs. ***

Grilling Recipe

Hot Dogs With Grilled Coleslaw

Delicious Wine

2006 Georges Duboeuf Domaine des Rosiers Moulin-à-Vent Beaujolais
This friendly wine’s vibrant fruit is ideal with hot dogs.

Great Beer

Dogfish Head Palo Panto Parron
The beer’s roasty sweetness really works with the ratatouille. *

Grilling Recipe

Halibut With Grilled Ratatouille

Delicious Wine

2006 Brandal Albariño
The tangy ratatouille makes this bright white wine taste even more complex. **

Sam and Marnie, along with F&W editors, rated these recipe pairings.