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Beer vs. Wine Pairings

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?

* = 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. **

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. **

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. ***

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. **

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. **

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. ***

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. **

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. ***

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. *

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.

Published June 2008
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