Beer Trumps Wine

By Jen Murphy Posted October 03, 2007

Last week I blogged about restaurant El Bizcocho’s plan to host a beer vs. wine dinner. Sommelier Barry Wiss and Stone Brewing Company CEO Greg Koch both felt confident that their respective drinks would win. The dinner took place September 27, and since I couldn’t be there, El Bizcocho chef Gavin Kaysen sent me a quick update at 12:13 a.m.: “We are in the cheese course now, and so far, it looks like beer may take the victory...stay tuned. GK”

The next day I learned that the course-by-course score came out even, with beer winning three courses and wine winning three. It was the overall popular vote in which beer took the night, racking up a total of 210 votes, just six ahead of wine. Wiss was unavailable for comment, but Koch, who had felt pretty sure his beer pairings had a chance at sweeping the dinner, admitted that wine turned out to be a noble and fun adversary. “Wiss pulled out a couple of real winners in his matchups, and of course, he’s always welcome to a rematch,” said Koch.

Below, see chef Kaysen’s menu, along with the pairings and the votes.

English Pea - Morel, Truffle, Sherry
Trinchero Napa Valley Reserve Chardonnay, Vista Montone Vineyard 2005 (25 votes)
Koningshoeven Dubbel (44 votes)

Hamachi - Mango, Fennel, Basil
Napa Cellars Sauvignon Blanc, Napa Valley 2006 (47 votes)
Russian River Damnation (22 votes)

Soft Shell Crab - Tomato, Brioche, Tartar

Angove’s Nine Vines Grenache/Shiraz Rosé Tea Tree Gully, Adelaide Foothills, South Australia 2007 (31 votes)
Avery Brewery “White Rascal” (38 votes)

Lamb - Eggplant, Spinach, Polenta

Angove’s Vineyard Select Shiraz McLaren Vale, South Australia 2004 (48 points)
Stone 07.07.07 Vertical Epic Ale (21 points)

Ossau-Iraty - Quince, Arugula, Pecan Dust
Montevina Sierra Sunrise Nebbiolo/Syrah/Zinfandel Rosé 2005 (14 points)
Forét Organic Saison (55 points)

Panna Cotta - Lavender, Rhubarb, Strawberry
Montevina Terra d’Oro Moscato 2005 (39 points)
Stone Imperial Russian Stout-2004 (30 points)

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